Researchers planning to apply for an early stage investigator award can access resources for planning, preparing, and submitting grants by visiting our Grant Resources page. Researchers can also visit the official NIH page on New and Early Stage Investigator Policies. The policies of the NIH and other funding agencies reflect their commitment to supporting the research career development of new and early stage researchers. These include special funding consideration for new investigators and funding opportunities available specifically to new and early stage investigators.
Anyone who has not yet been awarded (as Principal Investigator) an NIH R01 Grant is considered a “New Investigator.”
NOTE: You ARE still considered a New Investigator even if you have received any of the following awards: R00, R03, R15, R2, R25, R90, RL9, RL5, R34, R36, R41, R43, R55, R56 SC2, SC3, an F award, a Career Development (K) award, a Loan Repayment contract (L30, L32, L40, L50, L60) or a training grant (9T32, T34, T35, T90, D43), G07, G08, G11, G13, G20, R13, S10, S15, S21, S22.
Again, having received one of these awards does not affect your New Investigator status.
Early Stage Investigators
An “Early Stage Investigator” (ESI) is an individual who has completed within the past ten years terminal research degree or medical residency. According to the NIH, “Applications from ESIs will be given special consideration during peer review and at the time of funding. Peer reviewers will be instructed to focus more on the proposed approach than on the track record, and to expect less preliminary data than would be provided by an established investigator.”
In order to establish ESI status, you may have to remove and re-enter your current degree information in your NIH Sponsored eRA (Electronic Research Administration) Commons profile. Find further instructions on establishing Early Investigator status.
Additional Information from NIH about New and Early Stage Investigators
- Researchers must ensure that their eRA Commons profiles are updated in order to be correctly identified as New or Early Stage Investigators. Please review the NIH Notice on Updating eRA Commons Profiles to Include Degree and Residency Completion Dates.
- In some cases, extension of one’s ESI period are granted (e.g., family care responsibilities; extended periods of clinical training; extended periods of additional, non-degree research training; and disability or illness)
- Find more information about requesting an extension of the ESI period.
- Access the Form for Requesting an Extension in the Early Stage Investigator (ESI) Period.
Please visit the NIH website page on Frequently Asked Questions about NIH New and Early Stage Investigator Policies.
NIH Early Career Awards
- The NIH offers a number of different Career Development (K) Awards. For a complete list, please visit the NIH K-Kiosk website. A partial listing of awards appears below:
- K01 Mentored Research Scientist Award
- K02 Independent Research Award
- K07 Academic Career Award
- K08 Mentored Clinical Scientist Award
- K22 Career Transition Award
- K23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award
- K25 Mentored Quantitative Research Career Development Award
- NIH Director’s New Innovator Award
The website includes current funding opportunities for each mechanism.
K-Related Data from the NIH RePORT Website
Find K-Award related data from the NIH RePORT website by taking the following steps:
Find additional data, charts, and graphs on (K)-Awards by visiting the NIH’s Data Book pages.
Other Agency Early Career Awards
Agency for Healthcare Research (AHRQ) K Awards
AHRQ offers the several Career Development Awards, similar to those awarded by NIH including a K01 and a K08. More information can be found on AHRQ’s Training and Education Funding Opportunities page under “Research Training and Education.”