Skip to main content
NIH Directors New Innovator Award logo.

Program Snapshot

Part of the High-Risk, High-Reward Research program, the award supports exceptionally creative early career investigators who propose innovative, high-impact projects in the biomedical, behavioral or social sciences within the NIH mission.

  • Single PI only
  • Must have Early Stage Investigator status (completed doctoral degree or postgraduate clinical training within last 10 years and never received a substantial NIH independent research award)
  • No preliminary data required
  • Minimum of 25% research effort
  • $1.5 million in direct costs split into two multi-year segments

The NIH Director’s New Innovator Award (DP2 mechanism), established in 2007, supports highly innovative research from promising Early Stage Investigators (defined as those within 10 years of completing their terminal research degree or postgraduate clinical training and who have not yet received substantial NIH support). No detailed experimental plan or preliminary data are required. The major component of the application is a 10-page essay describing (1) the significance of the problem/challenge being addressed; (2) the general approach to be taken to address the problem/challenge; (3) why the project is unusually innovative; and (4) the qualities and experiences of the investigator that make him/her especially well-suited to pursue such research.

Explore the NIA Archive.

Go to the Info & Help section.

NIH Director's New Innovator Award

Applications due August 18, 2023

HRHR Research and NIH Director's Awards

The NIH Director’s New Innovator Award is part of the Common Fund’s High-Risk, High-Reward Research program, which was created to accelerate the pace of biomedical, behavioral and social science discoveries by supporting exceptionally creative scientists with highly innovative research. The program seeks to identify scientists with high-impact ideas that may be risky or at a stage too early to fare well in the traditional peer review process. The program encourages creative, outside-the-box thinkers to pursue exciting and innovative ideas in any area of biomedical, behavioral or social science research relevant to the NIH mission. The program houses three additional awards – the NIH Director’s Pioneer AwardNIH Director’s Transformative Research Award, and NIH Director’s Early Independence Award  – and is managed by the Office of the Director in partnership with other component NIH Institutes and Centers.


This page last reviewed on September 14, 2023