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FY2022 NIH Director’s Early Independence Award (DP5 – Clinical Trial Optional)

The NIH Director’s Early Independence Award in the High-Risk, High-Reward Research program provides unique opportunities for exceptionally creative scientists to pursue highly innovative approaches to address major challenges in biomedical or behavioral research.

The NIH Common Fund announces the FY2022 funding opportunity for the NIH Director’s Early Independence Award in the High-Risk, High-Reward Research program. The program provides unique opportunities for exceptionally creative scientists to pursue highly innovative approaches to address major challenges in biomedical or behavioral research. Applications are welcome that propose any research topic relevant to the broad mission of NIH and from any eligible institution. NIH especially encourages applications from women and members of groups that are underrepresented in NIH-funded research.

FY2022 NIH Director’s Early Independence Award (DP5 – Clinical Trial Optional): RFA RM-21-018

Enables outstanding junior scientists with the intellect, scientific creativity, drive, and maturity to bypass the traditional postdoctoral training period and launch an independent research career. Applicants must have recently completed or will soon complete her/his doctoral degree or clinical training and have the support and guarantee of an independent research position from a host institution.

  • Single-PI applications only
  • Complete doctoral degree or clinical training between June 1, 2020 and September 30, 2022
  • In non-independent research position at time of application
  • Cannot have served in a postdoctoral position for more than 12 months before June 1, 2020
  • Requires significant institutional commitment 
  • Limited to two applications per institution
  • No preliminary data required
  • Up to $250,000 direct costs per year for up to 5 years
  • Application deadline: September 3, 2021

See the Early Independence Award website for more information, including FAQs, an application guide with a sample application, and past webinar (a new webinar is forthcoming).

The High-Risk High-Reward Research Program and other Common Fund programs are managed by the Office of Strategic Coordination, Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives in the NIH Office of the Director, in partnership with the component NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices. The NIH Common Fund encourages collaboration and supports a series of exceptionally high impact, trans-NIH programs.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) –“The Nation’s Medical Research Agency” – includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit the NIH website.