Support for New Investigators
In 1997 the NIH Working Group on New Investigators reported that our "national capacity to advance biomedical research and to improve the health of the American people in no small measure resides in the nurturing, education, training, recruitment, and employment of cadres of new investigators." One of the major recommendations of the Working Group was termination of the R29 funding mechanism in favor of regular R01 support for new investigators.
In response to recommendations of the Working Group (see the Report of the NIH Working Group on New Investigators), NIDCD established procedures and funding policies to ensure that adequate numbers of new investigators are supported. Under these policies, an applicant's status as a new investigator is one of the criteria used in funding decisions made by the Institute. NIDCD staff and NDCD Advisory Council members are encouraged to identify and give special consideration to new investigators. In addition to receiving special consideration for funding, R01 grants to new investigators are exempted from reductions in time or amount. Protecting new investigators from such reductions in funding time and amount will allow them the additional time and effort necessary to establish their research program.
The NIDCD has a history of encouraging the development of New Investigators. Since the early 1990s, NIDCD has offered a Small Grant (R03) Program specifically designed to support basic and clinical research of scientists who are in the early stages of establishing an independent research career. The Small Grant Program may be used to support individuals transitioning from postdoctoral status to their first independent research position.