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NIH Announces 2009 Roadmap Funding for New Investigators

By Eddy Ball
December 2008

On October 23, NIH issued a program announcement for the 2009 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award program soliciting applications with an opening date of December 15, 2008. The program is tailored to early career investigators, with grants to cover up to $1.5 million in direct costs over five years. NIH expects to fund 24 awards in September 2009.

To be eligible for the awards, applicants must have received a doctoral degree or completed medical internship and residence within the previous ten years and be committed to dedicating at least 25 percent of their research effort to their projects. Because the program is geared toward new investigators, applicants must not have been a principal investigator on a prior NIH Research Project (R01) or similar grant. The eligibility criteria were clarified on November 4 to include current or past recipients of an R00 Pathway to Independence award if they meet all the other eligibility criteria.

The New Innovator Award program is designed to support exceptionally creative new investigators who propose highly innovative projects that have the potential for unusually high impact on an important biomedical or behavioral research problem. The evaluation procedure for applications under the New Innovator Award program is distinct from the traditional NIH peer review “study section” process,

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