Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) -- Neurofibromatosis Research Program -- Early Investigator Research Award

Funding Agency:
Department of Defense

The Early Investigator Research Award supports NF-focused research opportunities for individuals in the early stages of their careers, under the guidance of a designated mentor. This opportunity allows for early-stage investigators to develop a research project, investigate a problem or question in NF research, and further their intellectual development as an NF researcher of the future. The postdoctoral investigator is considered the Principal Investigator (PI) of the application and must exhibit strong potential for, and commitment to, pursuing a career as an investigator at the forefront of NF research; however, the PI is not required to have previous NF research experience. Applications must include at least one mentor, appropriate to the proposed research project, who has experience in NF research and mentoring as demonstrated by a record of active funding, recent publications, and successful mentorship. The primary mentor can be a junior faculty member, in which case the PI is encouraged to include a secondary mentor with a more robust track record in NF research and mentorship. The selected mentor(s) should also demonstrate a clear commitment to the development of the PI toward independence as an NF researcher.

• Required Pre-Application Submission Deadline:  July 8, 2021
• Application Submission Deadline: July 22, 2021

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

The vision of the FY21 NFRP is to decrease the clinical impact of NF. Toward this end, the NFRP seeks to support innovative, high-impact research that will foster new directions for and address neglected issues in NF research; sponsor multidisciplinary and multi-institutional collaborations that will bring new perspectives to the field; promote translational and clinical studies to move promising ideas from bench to bedside; and develop a balanced portfolio of meritorious research related to all aspects of NF1, NF2, and schwannomatosis.

Areas of Emphasis: The FY21 NFRP strongly encourages research applications that specifically address the critical needs of the NF community in one or more of the following: Not all Areas of Emphasis are applicable to every award mechanism. If the proposed research project does not address at least one of the FY21 NFRP Areas of Emphasis, justification should be provided it addresses an important problem related to NF research and/or patient care.

Areas of Emphasis:

• Biomarker discovery, utility, development, and validation

• Non-tumor manifestations including but not limited to: ○ Pain ○ Cognitive manifestations ○ Sleep

• Heterogeneity of NF-related tumors

• Novel disease and treatment response markers using genetics, genomics, epigenetics, systems biology, metabolomics, or similar approaches

• Preclinical efficacy studies

• Target identification, drug discovery

• Nutritional, environmental, and other modifiers of NF

• Health services research

Eligibility Requirements

The PI must: • Be involved in a postdoctoral training or medical residency program • Possess at least 1 and up to 4 years of continuous postdoctoral research experience by the Early Investigator Research Award application due date • Possess a doctoral degree (i.e., Ph.D., M.D./Ph.D., D.O./Ph.D.) or a clinical doctoral degree (i.e., M.D./D.O. or Ph.D. in a clinical discipline) from an accredited organization or program o Must commit at least 50% of his/her effort toward the proposed NF research project

An eligible PI, regardless of ethnicity, nationality, or citizenship status, must be employed by, or affiliated with, an eligible organization.



Amount Description

The anticipated direct costs budgeted for the entire period of performance for an FY21 NFRP Early Investigator Research award will not exceed $200,000. Refer to Section II.D.5, Funding Restrictions, for detailed funding information.

Funding Type



Medical Fellow/Resident
Post Doctoral Fellows


Environmental & Life Sciences
Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

July 8, 2021