The NIEHS Revolutionizing Innovative, Visionary Environmental health Research (RIVER) program is the centerpiece of an emerging effort to support people, not projects, by providing support for much of an independent research program for outstanding investigators and giving them intellectual and administrative freedom, as well as sustained support, to pursue their research in novel directions in order to achieve greater impacts. The RIVER program rewards outstanding environmental health sciences researchers who demonstrate a broad vision and potential for continuing their impactful research with increased scientific flexibility, stability in funding, and administrative efficiency.
It is felt that these scientists can demonstrate an outstanding record of creative research at any career stage and RIVER seeks to identify investigators at mid-career stages as well as more established investigators.
RIVER will improve long-term research outcomes and accelerate ambitious, creative research by focusing on broadly stated goals rather than specific research aims. Key features and benefits of the program fall into two categories: (1) freedom from traditional focused specific aims and experimental details required in a structured research plan which will enable investigators to pursue new directions in their research as they arise, and (2) the ability to devote increased effort to research, mentoring, and scientific service due to reduced time spent writing and managing multiple grant applications and awards.