Next Generation Researchers Initiative

NIH has launched the Next Generation Researchers Initiative to address longstanding challenges faced by researchers trying to embark upon and sustain independent research careers, and to take steps to promote the growth, stability and diversity of the biomedical research workforce.

An Early Stage Investigator (ESI) is a Program Director / Principal Investigator (PD/PI) 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 PD/PI for a substantial NIH independent research award.  A list of NIH grants that a PD/PI can hold and still be considered an ESI can be found here.  ESIs are encouraged to enter the date of their terminal research degree or the end date of their post-graduate clinical training in their eRA Commons profile to ensure their correct identification.  ESI applications with meritorious scores will be prioritized for funding.

‚ÄčA New Investigator is an PD/PI who has not previously received substantial, independent funding from NIH.  NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) fund New Investigators according to the ICs' programmatic and strategic interests. 

Please note, NIH anticipates that some PD/PIs may have experienced a lapse in their research or research training or have experienced periods of less than full-time effort during their ESI or EEI status.  In order to accommodate such lapses, the NIH will consider requests to extend ESI or EEI period for reasons that can include medical concerns, disability, family care responsibilities, extended periods of clinical training, natural disasters, and active duty military service, determined on a case by case basis at the sole discretion of NIH.  You may also make this request online here.

ESIs may request an extension of their eligibility under existing ESI procedures. 

For more information on NIH's Net Generation Researchers Initiative please go here, and for more information on Early Stage Investigator Policies, please see here.

Per NOT-OD-19-072, NIH recognizes there are cases where a PD/PI may need to update and/or request an extension of their ESI status post application submission. Therefore, to minimize the need for manual change requests by applicants after submission of an application, while still allowing consideration of ESI status at the time of a funding decision, effective on the date of this notice, NIH will automatically update the ESI status of an application within eRA Commons as follows:

If a PD/PI updates his/her degree or residency information after submission of an R01 or R01-equivalent application, or if an investigator requests and/or receives an extension of ESI status after submitting an R01 or R01-equivalent application, the application will be reviewed with the designation assigned at the time of submission.  Within eRA Commons, the status of the pending application will be updated after release of the Summary Statement to acknowledge ESI-application eligibility.  

If an ESI-eligible application is awarded and the same PD/PI has an R01 or R01-equivalent application pending review, the pending application will be reviewed as an ESI-eligible application.  However, the status of the pending application will be updated after release of the   Summary Statement to acknowledge the application is no longer ESI-eligible.    
Per NOT-OD-19-053, NIH has eliminated the special NI deadline for next round resubmission of A1 R01 applications.

Starting with R01 applications submitted for due dates on or after January 25, 2019:

NI R01 applications will be reviewed on the same timeline as other applications submitted to the same FOA.
NI R01 applications will be clustered together for review within a meeting.
Summary statements for all NI R01 applications will be prioritized:  to the extent possible, they will be released before summary statements for other applications reviewed in the same meeting.
In general, summary statements will be available no later than 30 days before council.
A1 resubmission of NI R01 applications will be accepted on the resubmission due date of any Program Announcement (PA, PAR, or PAS), both standard and special due dates, that accepts resubmission applications.  See the NIH Resubmission Policy for requirements and instructions.
The Early Independence Award (EIA) program is designed to help exceptional junior investigators leapfrog over traditional post doctoral training and move into independent academic positions at U.S. institutions, directly upon completion of their graduate research degrees. EIA recipients are awarded up to $250,000 in direct costs per year for up to five years for research that complements and enhances an institution's research program.

Please see NIH's EIA Program Website for additional information.

UC San Diego is only allowed to submit two (2) applications for this announcement each year. If you are interested in applying, please contact