NIH Director's Pioneer Award

Funding opportunities for exceptionally creative scientists proposing pioneering approaches

NIH Director's Pioneer Award

Part of the High-Risk, High-Reward Research program, the award supports scientists with outstanding records of creativity pursuing new research directions to develop pioneering approaches to major challenges in biomedical, social science, and behavioral research.

  • Open to all career stages
  • Single PI only
  • No preliminary data required
  • Must be new scientific research direction
  • $700,000 in direct costs per year for up to 5 years
  • Minimum of 51% research effort in first 3 years
  • 3 Letters of Reference required


Application Information

Funding Opportunities
FY 2021

Due September 11, 2020

FY 2020

Closed September 6, 2019

               NIH Director's Pioneer Award FAQs

Q&A Webinar

A live Q&A webinar will be held in June or July of 2020. Check back for a specific date and time. NIH program and review staff will provide information on the application and review process and answer questions submitted by the public. The webinar will be recorded and made available here.

Informational Video (May 2020)

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


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This page last reviewed on May 21, 2020