The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund announces fiscal year 2019 funding opportunities for the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, New Innovator Award, Transformative Research Award, and Early Independence Award in the High-Risk, High-Reward Research program.

The program provides unique opportunities for exceptionally creative scientists at all career stages to pursue highly innovative approaches to address major challenges in biomedical or behavioral research. Any research topic relevant to the broad mission of NIH is welcome. The NIH recognizes a compelling need to promote diversity in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences research workforce. Applicant institutions are always encouraged to consider talented researchers from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical research, including underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, persons with disabilities, and women for participation in all NIH-funded research opportunities.

2019 NIH Director's Pioneer Award: RFA-RM-18-007

Supports scientists with outstanding records of creativity pursuing new research directions to develop pioneering approaches to major challenges in biomedical and behavioral research.

2019 NIH Director's New Innovator Award: RFA-RM-18-008

Supports exceptionally creative early career scientists proposing innovative and high-impact projects. Note: The NIH definition of an Early Stage Investigator now includes clinical training.

2019 NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award: RFA RM-18-009

Supports individuals or teams proposing projects that are inherently risky and untested but have the potential to create or overturn fundamental paradigms.

2019 NIH Director’s Early Independence Award: RFA RM-18-010

Supports outstanding junior scientists with the intellect, scientific creativity, drive, and maturity to flourish independently launch independent research careers and bypass the traditional postdoctoral training period. Over 50% of doctoral degrees in biomedical sciences are awarded to women; NIH views the Early Independence Award as an opportunity to ensure that women do not prematurely leave science at this vulnerable time in an academic career. NIH hopes that sponsoring institutions will take this into consideration in selecting their applicants to put forward.