NEI Institutional Mentored Physician Scientist Award (K12 Clinical Trial Optional)

Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to encourage institutions to propose creative and innovative institutional research career development programs which prepare clinically trained vision scientists for independent research careers.  This initiative is intended to expand and strengthen the community of clinician investigators engaged in clinical research.  Such an increase in the number of well-trained clinical researchers is necessary to achieve a pool of scientists with contemporary, multidisciplinary expertise able to leverage recent advances in ocular genetics, artificial intelligence, computational modelling, ocular therapeutics, bioengineering, and bio-behavioral research in order to enhance patient treatment and to increase scientific momentum in these fields.

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) allows appointment of Scholars proposing a separate ancillary study to an existing trial or proposing to gain research experience in a clinical trial led by another investigator, as part of their research and career development. For this career development program scholars are limited to clinical trials that are mechanistic and/or minimal risk. The existing clinical trial must be a NIH-defined clinical trial that fulfills the NIH requirement for either a mechanistic or minimal risk trial. A mechanistic trial is designed to understand a biological or behavioral process, the pathophysiology of a disease, or the mechanism of action of an intervention. A minimal risk trial is one in which the probability and magnitude of harm or discomfort anticipated in the research are not greater in and of themselves than those ordinarily encountered in daily life or during the performance of routine physical or psychological examinations or tests. For this career development program, scholars are limited to clinical trials that are mechanistic and/or minimal risk. Applicants are strongly advised to consult with NEI program staff prior to submitting an application with human subjects to determine the appropriate funding opportunity.

Application Deadlines: June 9, 2021; June 9, 2022; June 9, 2023

PAR-21-073 Expiration/Closing Date: June 10, 2023

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

The sponsoring institution must assure support for the proposed program. Appropriate institutional commitment to the program includes the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned program.

The applicant institution must have a strong and high-quality research program in the area(s) proposed under this FOA and must have the requisite faculty, staff, potential trainees and facilities on site to conduct the proposed institutional program. In many cases, it is anticipated that the proposed program will complement other ongoing career development programs occurring at the applicant institution and that a substantial number of program faculty will have active research projects in which participating scholars may gain relevant experiences consistent with their research interests and goals.

The PD/PI should be an established investigator in the scientific area in which the application is targeted and capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program. The PD/PI will be responsible for the selection and appointment of scholars to the approved research career development program, and for the overall direction, management, administration, and evaluation of the program. The PD/PI will be expected to monitor and assess the program and submit all documents and reports as required. The PD/PI has responsibility for the day to day administration of the program and is responsible for appointing members of the Advisory Committee (when applicable), using their recommendations to determine the appropriate allotment of funds.

Funding Type



Junior Faculty


Curriculum Development
Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences
Medical - Clinical Science
Social Sciences

External Deadline

June 9, 2023