High-Risk, High-Reward Research Program

Funding opportunities for outstanding scientists at all career stages

The High-Risk, High-Reward Research program supports exceptionally creative scientists pursuing highly innovative research with the potential for broad impact in biomedical, behavioral, or social sciences within the NIH mission. Preliminary data are not required. The program's four constituent NIH Director's awards provide a diverse set of funding opportunities. See the individual award websites for more information and application help.

NIH Director's Pioneer Award

NIH Director's Pioneer Award

For scientists with outstanding records of creativity pursuing pioneering approaches to major challenges

  • Open to all career stages
  • Single PI only
  • Must be new research direction
  • Requires at least 51% research effort
  • $3.5 million for 5 years
     

Funding Opportunity

Closed September 10, 2021

NIH Director's New Innovator Award

NIH Director's New Innovator Award

For exceptionally creative early career scientists proposing innovative, high-impact projects

Funding Opportunity

Closed August 20, 2021

NIH Director's Transformative Research Award

NIH Director's Transformative Research Award

For individuals or teams proposing groundbreaking, unconventional research with the potential to create new scientific paradigms

  • Open to all career stages
  • Open to individuals or teams
  • Anonymized review process
  • Research effort commensurate to project needs
  • Flexible budget for 5 years

Funding Opportunity

Closed September 1, 2021

NIH Director's Early Independence Award

NIH Director's Early Independence Award

For exceptional junior scientists bypassing postdoctoral training to launch independent research careers

  • Must complete doctoral degree or clinical training between June 1, 2020 and September 30, 2022
  • Single PI only
  • Must be in non-independent research position
  • Limit of 2 applications per institution
  • $1.25 million for 5 years
     

Funding Opportunity

Closed September 3, 2021

 
Overview Slideshow

This page last reviewed on October 5, 2021