High-Risk, High-Reward Research Program

Funding opportunities for outstanding scientists at all career stages

The High-Risk, High-Reward Research program supports exceptionally creative scientists pursuing highly innovative research with the potential for broad impact in biomedical, behavioral, or social sciences within the NIH mission. Preliminary data are not required. The program's four constituent NIH Director's awards provide a diverse set of funding opportunities. See the individual award websites for more information and application help.

NIH Director's Pioneer Award

NIH Director's Pioneer Award

For scientists with outstanding records of creativity pursuing pioneering approaches to major challenges

  • Open to all career stages
  • Single PI only
  • Must be new research direction
  • Requires at least 51% research effort
  • $3.5 million for 5 years

NIH Director's New Innovator Award

NIH Director's New Innovator Award

For exceptionally creative early career scientists proposing innovative, high-impact projects

NIH Director's Transformative Research Award

NIH Director's Transformative Research Award

For individuals or teams proposing groundbreaking, unconventional research with the potential to create new scientific paradigms

  • Open to all career stages
  • Open to individuals or teams
  • Anonymized review process
  • Research effort commensurate to project needs
  • Flexible budget for 5 years

Funding Opportunities

Non-COVID-19 Proposals: RFA-RM-20-013
Closed September 30, 2020
COVID-19 Proposals: RFA-RM-20-020
Closed September 30, 2020
Special Interest in ALS Applications: NOT-RM-20-019
(Apply through RFA-RM-20-013)
Closed September 30, 2020

NIH Director's Early Independence Award

NIH Director's Early Independence Award

For exceptional junior scientists bypassing postdoctoral training to launch independent research careers

  • Must complete doctoral degree or clinical training between June 1, 2020 and September 30, 2022
  • Single PI only
  • Must be in non-independent research position
  • Limit of 2 applications per institution
  • $1.25 million for 5 years

Funding Opportunities

Non-COVID-19 Proposals: RFA-RM-20-014
Closed September 4, 2020
COVID-19 Proposals: RFA-RM-20-021
Closed September 4, 2020
 
 
 

This page last reviewed on January 11, 2021