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NIH Next Generation Researchers Initiative

Information on NIH Next Generation Researchers Initiative.

NIH has launched the Next Generation Researchers Initiative to address longstanding challenges faced by researchers trying to embark upon and sustain independent research careers, and to take steps to promote the growth, stability, and diversity of the biomedical research workforce.

An Early Stage Investigator (ESI) is a Program Director / Principal Investigator (PD/PI) who has completed their terminal research degree or end of post-graduate clinical training, whichever date is later, within the past 10 years and who has not previously competed successfully as PD/PI for a substantial NIH independent research award.  See the List of ESI NIH Grants that a PD/PI can hold and still be considered an ESI.  ESIs are encouraged to enter the date of their terminal research degree or the end date of their post-graduate clinical training in their eRA Commons profile to ensure their correct identification.  ESI applications with meritorious scores will be prioritized for funding.

​A New Investigator is a PD/PI who has not previously received substantial, independent funding from NIH.  NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) fund New Investigators according to the ICs' programmatic and strategic interests. 

Please note, NIH anticipates that some PD/PIs may have experienced a lapse in their research or research training or have experienced periods of less than full-time effort during their ESI or EEI status.  In order to accommodate such lapses, the NIH will consider requests to extend ESI or EEI period for reasons that can include medical concerns, disability, family care responsibilities, extended periods of clinical training, natural disasters, and active duty military service, determined on a case by case basis at the sole discretion of NIH.  You may also make this request online at the Early Stage Investigator Extensions page.

ESIs may request an extension of their eligibility under existing ESI procedures. 
For more information visit the Next Generation Researchers Initiative page or visit the Early Stage Investigator Policies page for more information. 

For more information or questions email