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NIH Office of the Director (OD)

Monday, January 10, 2005

Ann Dieffenbach

Sara Alden

2005 NIH Director's Pioneer Award Program Opens

The National Institutes of Health announces the 2005 NIH Director's Pioneer Award, a key component of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research.

"The Pioneer Award supports scientists of exceptional creativity who take innovative approaches to major challenges in biomedical research," said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D. "We look forward to adding a new cohort of visionary thinkers to the outstanding group of scientists chosen in the first year of this program."

Unlike other NIH grants, which support research projects, the Pioneer Award supports individual scientists. The award gives recipients the intellectual freedom to pursue new research directions and highly innovative ideas that have the potential for unusually great impact.

The program is open to scientists at all career levels. The scientists may currently be engaged in any field of research provided they are interested in exploring biomedically relevant topics and willing to commit the major portion of their effort to Pioneer Award research. Awardees must be U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, or permanent residents.

In September 2005, NIH expects to make five to ten new Pioneer Awards of up to $500,000 in direct costs per year for five years. The first nine Pioneer Awards were made in September 2004 and support scientists working on a variety of challenging scientific problems.

The self-nomination process includes a three- to five-page essay, a biographical sketch, a list of current research support and the names of three references. Nominations may be submitted between March 1 and April 1, 2005, on the Pioneer Award Web site, http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/pioneer.

"To maximize the diversity of those considered for Pioneer Awards, we encourage nominations from women, members of groups that are underrepresented in biomedical research, individuals in the early to middle stages of their careers, and scientists working in fields that have not traditionally been supported by NIH," said Jeremy M. Berg, Ph.D., director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Dr. Berg and Nora D. Volkow, M.D., director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, are co-chairs of the NIH committee that oversees the Pioneer Award program.

The complete Pioneer Award announcement is posted at http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-05-021.html.

The NIH, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting medical research. More information about the NIH can be found on its Web site: http://www.nih.gov.

The NIH Roadmap is a series of far-reaching initiatives designed to transform the nation's medical research capabilities and speed the movement of research discoveries from the bench to the bedside. It provides a framework of the priorities the NIH must address in order to optimize its entire research portfolio and lays out a vision for a more efficient and productive system of medical research. For more information about the NIH Roadmap, please visit the Web site at: http://www.nihroadmap.nih.gov.

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