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NIA New and Early Stage Investigators

A New Investigator (NI) is an investigator who has not yet competed successfully for a substantial, independent NIH research award, such as an R01 or R01-equivalent. An Early Stage Investigator (ESI) is an investigator who has completed their terminal research degree or end of post-graduate clinical training—whichever date is later—within the past 10 years and who has not previously competed successfully as a Principal Investigator for a substantial, NIH independent research award. See the list of NIH grants that an investigator can hold and still be considered an ESI.

R01 applications from ESIs/NIs will be considered among NIA's highest priorities in the use of discretionary funds to make awards selectively. ESIs/NIs should examine our funding policy to determine their relative advantage in competition for R01s. First time R01 applicants should register themselves in NIH eRA before submitting their R01 to track an application as well as confirm ESI or NI status. For detailed information, visit the NIH Early Stage Investigator Policies.

Funding Opportunities for Early Career Investigators

In addition to ESI/NI status considerations for R01 awards, NIA offers a variety of mechanisms specifically for junior faculty and postdoctoral fellows to advance their research and career training in aging. These include the K-series Research Career Development Awards (e.g., K01, K08, K23), and the following opportunities:

Funding Opportunities for Early Career Investigators
Number Title Description
R03 Small Research Grant Program for the Next Generation of Researchers in Alzheimer's Disease     Supports innovative projects to improve the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and/or care for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and Alzheimer's disease-related dementias (AD/ADRD) in three focus areas:
R03 Grants for Early Medical/Surgical Specialists' Transition to Aging Research (GEMSSTAR) An award for early-career physician-scientists trained in medical or surgical specialties or early-career dentist-scientists to launch careers as future leaders in aging-or geriatric-focused research. 
R21 Early Stage Investigator Research Using Nonhuman Primate (NHP) Models Supports research using nonhuman primate (NHP) models performed by early stage investigators (ESI) who have at least two years of postdoctoral experience.
K76 Paul B. Beeson Emerging Leaders Career Development Award in Aging An award for early stage investigators (ESI) who have begun to establish research programs and who, through this award, will be ready to assume leadership roles in their field of expertise. 

Katz ESI R01
Stephen I. Katz Early Stage Investigator Research Project Grant
Supports an innovative project in an area of science that represents a change in research direction for an early stage investigator (ESI) and for which no preliminary data exist.
 
DP2 NIH Director's New Innovator Award Supports exceptionally creative early career investigators who propose innovative, high-impact projects in the biomedical, behavioral, or social sciences within the NIH mission.
 
DP5 NIH Director's Early Independence Award Supports outstanding junior scientists to bypass traditional postdoctoral training and launch independent research careers.
R43/R44 and R41/R42 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs Largest source of early-stage funding for aging-related research and development (R&D).
L30 and L60 NIH Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs) Repay up to $50,000 annually of a researcher's qualified educational debt in return for a commitment to engage in NIH mission-relevant research.
N/A Butler-Williams Scholars Program Unique opportunity for junior faculty and researchers new to the field of aging to gain insight about aging research. 

Extension of Early Stage Investigator Status

ESI status extensions may be requested for circumstances including childbirth, medical leave, and research impacts of COVID-19. For more information and step-by-step instructions, please visit the NIH ESI FAQs webpage.

Administrative Supplements to Promote Research Continuity During Critical Life Events

NIH Family Friendly Initiatives

Being able to balance work and family life is important for everyone, including biomedical and behavioral researchers. Explore how NIH helps grantee institutions foster family-friendly environments for the NIH-supported workforce.

Grant Tutorial

For more information on how to write a grant or get a grant from NIH, see: Grants Tutorial (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)