NIH Director’s New Innovator Award Program (DP2 Clinical Trial Optional)

Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health

The NIH Director’s New Innovator Award Program supports early stage investigators of exceptional creativity who propose bold and highly innovative research projects with the potential to produce a major impact on broad, important areas relevant to the mission of NIH. For the program to support the best possible researchers and research, applications are sought which reflect the full diversity of the research workforce. To support innovative and novel research across the vast NIH mission, individuals from diverse backgrounds (including those from underrepresented groups; see Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity) and from the full spectrum of eligible institutions in all geographic locations are encouraged to apply to this Notice of Funding Opportunity. Applications in all topics relevant to the broad mission of NIH are welcome, including, but not limited to, behavioral, social, biomedical, applied, and formal sciences and topics that may involve basic, translational, or clinical research. The NIH Director's New Innovator Award Program complements other ongoing efforts by NIH and its Institutes and Centers to fund early stage investigators. The NIH Director’s New Innovator Award Program is a component of the High-Risk, High-Reward Research (HRHR) Program of the NIH Common Fund.

There is no limit to the number of applications an institution may submit. Individuals may submit only one application as PD/PI in response to this FOA.


  • Application Due Date(s): August 19, 2024
  • AIDS Application Due Date(s):  August 19, 2024

RFA-RM-24-003 Expiration Date: August 20, 2024

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

There is no limit to the number of applications an institution may submit. Individuals may submit only one application as PD/PI in response to this NOFO. 

Applicants must meet the definition of an Early Stage Investigator (ESI) at the time of application submission. An ESI is a new investigator (defined as a PD/PI who has not competed successfully for a significant NIH independent research award) who is within 10 years of completing their terminal research degree or end of post-graduate clinical training. See the Office of Extramural Research website for a complete list of NIH awards that do not disqualify a PD/PI as a new investigator and for frequently asked questions about the NIH ESI Policy.

An extension to the 10-year period may be granted under certain circumstances (e.g., childbirth, family care responsibilities, clinical loan repayment requirements, disability or illness, natural or other disaster, etc.). It may take several weeks for the review process for the request, so applicants should plan accordingly. Note: If an applicant is not identified as an ESI in the eRA Commons, it may result in the application not being reviewed. Applicants are responsible for reviewing and/or updating their degree information in their eRA Commons account in a timely fashion.

Applicants must hold an independent research position at a domestic (U.S.) institution by September 1, 2025. For this NOFO, an “independent research position” is a position that automatically confers eligibility to the investigator (based on institutional policy) to apply for R01 grants with appropriate institutional commitment of facilities for the conduct of the proposed research. Investigators still in training or mentored status (such as postdoctoral fellows) are not eligible to apply unless they have a written commitment from the institution stating they will be in an independent faculty position by September 1, 2025. The commitment is certified by the institution's submission of the application.

Applicants may submit or have an NIH R01 or other grant application (including an ESI MIRA R35 application) pending concurrently with their NIH Director’s New Innovator Award application, but scientific overlap is not allowed per NIH policy. If a pending grant becomes active prior to the New Innovator Award, and the grant mechanism is not on the list of smaller NIH grants and awards that maintain ESI status, the applicant is no longer eligible to receive the New Innovator Award.

Awardees are required to commit at least three person-months (25%) of their research effort each year to activities supported by the New Innovator Award.

For more details regarding eligibility requirements, see FAQs on the New Innovator website.

Amount Description


Awards will be in two multi-year segments, the first of three years followed by a segment of two years. The three-year segment will have an award budget up to $900,000 in Direct Costs. The two-year segment will have an award budget up to $600,000 in Direct Costs. For each segment applicable Facilities and Administrative costs (F&A) should be added.

Funding Type


Duke Awardees

Nicolas Buchler, PhD
Departments of Biology and Physics
Project Title: Rewiring The Yeast Brain: Redundancy And Interference In Genetic Networks

Charles Gersbach, PhD
Pratt School of Engineering
Project Title: Engineering Morphogenetic Factors For Enhanced Genetic Reprogramming

David Tobin, PhD
Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Project Title: Modulating Eicosanoids To Treat Tuberculosis: Personalized, Host-Directed Therapy

Seok-Yong Lee, PhD
Department of Biochemistry
Project Title: Pharmacology and Biophysics of the Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel Nav 1.7

Michel Bagnat
Duke University School of Medicine
Discovering New Regulators of CFTR and Fluid Secretion in Zebrafish

Chay T Kuo, PHd
Discovering Pathways Regulating Neurogenesis and Brain Remodeling After Injury


Junior Faculty
Post Doctoral Fellows


Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences
Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational
Social Sciences

External Deadline

August 19, 2024