RFA-RM-21-018: NIH Director’s Early Independence Awards (DP5 Clinical Trial Optional)
Internal Deadline: June 4, 2021, 5pm PT
LOI: August 3, 2021
External Deadline: September 4, 2021
Award Type: Grant
Estimated Number of Awards: 10
Anticipated Amount: $4 million
Process for Limited Submissions: PIs must submit their application as a Limited Submission through the Office of Research Application Portal: https://research.usc.edu/usc-grants/. PIs must create their own SurveyMonkey account in order to proceed with submission.
Materials to submit include:
(1) Single Page Proposal Summary (0.5” margins; single-spaced; font type: Arial, Helvetica, or Georgia typeface; font size: 11 pt). Page limit includes references and illustrations. Pages that exceed the 1-page limit will be excluded from review.
(2) CV – (5 pages maximum)
Note: The portal requires information about the PIs and Co-PIs in addition to department and contact information, including the 10-digit USC ID#, Gender, and Ethnicity. Please have this material prepared before beginning this application.
Who May Serve as PI: Time window for eligibility: Given the focus on early research independence, the receipt date of the terminal doctoral degree or end of post-graduate clinical training of the PD/PI must be between June 1, 2020 and September 30, 2022. The degree receipt date is that which appears on the official transcript for the degree. The end of post-graduate clinical training includes residency and fellowship periods. The PD/PI must not have served as a post-doctoral fellow for more than twelve months before June 1, 2020.
At the time of award, either 1) the Early Independence investigator must have received a PhD, MD, DO, DC, DDS, DVM, OD, DPM, ScD, EngD, DrPH, DNSc, ND (Doctor of Naturopathy), PharmD, DSW, PsyD, or equivalent doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution (it is the responsibility of the sponsoring institution to determine if a foreign doctoral degree is equivalent), or 2) an authorized official of the degree-granting or training institution must certify that all degree requirements have been met and that the receipt date of the degree (as will appear on the transcript) will be before September 30, 2022. An authorized official of the host institution must certify that the PD/PI will be able to conduct independent research at the institution at the time of the project start date.
Level of effort: Individuals must commit at least 9.6 person-months each year (i.e., 80% effort of a 12-month appointment) to the Early Independence Award project in years 1-2 of the project period. In years 3-5, awardees may reduce effort towards the Early Independence Award project but must commit at least 9.6 person-months each year (i.e., 80% effort of a 12-month appointment) to independent research in general.
Research independence at time of application: Individuals are eligible only if they, at the time of application submission, do not have research independence. Lack of research independence is defined functionally rather than by position title. Eligible individuals must have all the following characteristics:
- The PD/PI’s current research agenda is set through concurrence with mentors.
- The PD/PI’s research is funded primarily through support to other investigators (mentored fellowships such as NIH F31 or F32 Fellowships or NSF Graduate Research Fellowships do not preclude eligibility).
- The PD/PI does not have any space assigned directly by the institution for the conduct of his/her research.
- The PD/PI, according to institutional policy, cannot apply for an NIH R01 grant without special waiver or exemption from the institution.
Purpose: The NIH Director’s Early Independence Award provides an opportunity for exceptional junior scientists to accelerate their entry into an independent research career by forgoing the traditional post-doctoral training period. Though most newly graduated doctoral-level researchers would benefit from post-doctoral training, a small number of outstanding junior investigators are capable of launching directly into an independent research career. The Early Independence Award is intended for these select junior investigators who have already established a record of scientific innovation and research productivity and have demonstrated unusual scientific vision and maturity; typical post-doctoral training would unnecessarily delay their entry into independent research. The NIH Director’s Early Independence Award also provides an opportunity for institutions to invigorate their research programs by bringing in fresh scientific perspectives of the awardees they host.
Budgetary Requirements: This FOA does not require cost sharing.
Visit our Institutionally Limited Submission webpage for more updates and other announcements.