NIH Director's New Innovator Award

Funding opportunities for unusually creative early stage investigators

NIH Director's New Innovator Award

Part of the High-Risk, High-Reward Research program, the award supports exceptionally creative early career investigators who propose innovative, high-impact projects in the biomedical, behavioral or social sciences within the NIH mission.

  • Must have Early Stage Investigator status (completed doctoral degree or postgraduate clinical training within last 10 years and never received an NIH R01 or equivalent award)
  • Single PI only
  • No preliminary data required
  • $1.5 million in direct costs disbursed in first year of 5-year project period
  • Minimum of 25% research effort



Application Information


Funding Opportunities
FY 2021

Closed: August 21, 2020

Notice of Clarification for Post-Submission Material Policy During COVID-19 Pandemic

               NIH Director's New Innovator Award FAQs


Q&A Webinar (June 25, 2020)

NIH program and review staff discussed the funding opportunity and answered questions from prospective applicants in a pre-application interactive Q&A webinar. The video and slides of the webinar are now available. An audio described version of the webinar is forthcoming and will be posted when available. If you need assistance before the audio described version is posted, please contact us at

Click to download slides of webinar presentation

Informational Video (May 2020)

Learn more about the eligibility requirements, award cycle, application process, review process, and award requirements for the NIH Director's New Innovator Award in this short 2.5-minute video.


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This page last reviewed on October 23, 2020