2024 NIH Director’s Early Independence Award(DP5 – Clinical Trial Optional)

  • Limited
  • Anywhere
  • June 24, 2024

Website National Institutes of Health

The NIH Director’s Early Independence Award supports exceptional junior investigators who wish to pursue independent research soon after completion of their terminal doctoral degree or post-graduate clinical training, thereby forgoing the traditional post-doctoral training period and accelerating their entry into an independent research career. For the program to support the best possible researchers and research, applications are sought which reflect the full diversity of the research workforce. Individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from underrepresented groups and from the full spectrum of eligible institutions in all geographic locations, are strongly encouraged to apply to this Funding Opportunity Announcement. In addition, applications in all topics relevant to the broad mission of NIH are welcome, including, but not limited to, topics in the behavioral, social, biomedical, applied, and formal sciences and topics that may involve basic, translational, or clinical research. The NIH Director’s Early Independence Award is a component of the High-Risk, High-Reward Research program of the NIH Common Fund.

To be eligible, investigators, at the time of application, must have received their most recent doctoral degree or completed clinical training within the previous fifteen months or expect to do so within the following twelve months.


The criteria for the award are the following:

  • Single PI only
  • Must complete doctoral degree or clinical training between May 1, 2023,
  • and September 30, 2025
  • Must be in non-independent research position at time of application submission
  • Preliminary data not required
  • Requires 9.6 months of research effort each year for first 2 years
  • Requires 3-5 Letters of Reference
  • $250,000 direct costs per year for up to 5 years

Internal Application Process

UCI may submit no more than two applications to this competition. Therefore, interested applicants are asked to submit a preliminary application to the Office of Research Monday, June 24, 2024 (via the UCI Review application system), with the following information:

  • Research Plan (no more than 3 pages) which addresses (in summary) the 10 questions listed under “Research Strategy” in the RFA under Section IV.
  • NIH Style Bio sketch
  • Support letter from the Department Chair (or equivalent)
      • Letter should speak to support/commitment for the candidate becoming an independent investigator

If necessary, an ad hoc committee will convene to review the preliminary proposals.  The selected PI(s) will be notified in time to meet NIH’s September 6, 2024 deadline for Letters of Intent (LOI). For more information, please refer to https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-22-021.html

Questions about our internal campus review process may be directed to Michael Gallo at magallo@uci.edu.

To apply for this opportunity please visit uci.infoready4.com.

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