|NIH Director Announces 2007 Pioneer Award Competition
NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., today launched a new round
of competition for the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award. This signature
program supports exceptionally creative scientists who take highly
innovative — and potentially transformative — approaches
to major challenges in biomedical research.
“We hope this opportunity stimulates even more investigators to
send us their boldest, most imaginative concepts,” said Zerhouni. “The
Pioneer Award supports individual scientists rather than specific
projects and allows recipients to pursue promising new research
directions that could have unusually great impact. This program
is one way we are exploring of funding scientists whose ideas might
be too novel, span too diverse a range of disciplines, or be at
too early a stage to fare well in the traditional NIH peer review
Each Pioneer Award provides $2.5 million in direct costs over
five years. NIH funded 35 scientists in the first three years of
the program, which is part of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research.
In September 2007, the agency expects to make between five and
ten new Pioneer Award grants.
Scientists at all career levels and engaged in any field of research
may apply for the Pioneer Award, as long as they are interested
in exploring biomedically relevant topics.
“We hope to see a diverse applicant pool again this year. Toward
that end, we continue to encourage applications from women, members
of groups that are underrepresented in biomedical research, and
individuals in the early to middle stages of their careers,” said
Jeremy M. Berg, Ph.D., director of the National Institute of General
Medical Sciences and a leader of the Pioneer Award program.
The centerpiece of the streamlined, electronic application process
is an essay on the investigator’s vision for addressing a biomedical
challenge, the importance of the problem, and the person’s qualifications
to engage in groundbreaking research. The application period opens
on Friday, December 1, 2006 and closes on Tuesday, January 16,
Application instructions are at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-07-005.html.
More information on the Pioneer Award is at http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/pioneer.
The NIH Roadmap for Medical Research 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://nihroadmap.nih.gov.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's
Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and
Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting
and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research,
and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both
common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and
its programs, visit www.nih.gov.