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University of Wisconsin–Madison

NIH Director’s Early Independence Awards (DP5) 2018

To:Chairs and Administrators; Departments in the Biological and Social Sciences; Associate Deans for Research; College/School Research Administrators
From:Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research & Graduate Education
Date:June 01, 2017
Subject:NIH Director's Early Independence Awards (DP5) 2018 RFA-RM-17-008

Deadline

Deadline for Internal Review:June 29, 2017

Project Description

The NIH Director’s Early Independence Awards provide an opportunity for exceptional junior scientists to accelerate their entry into an independent research career by forgoing the traditional post-doctoral training period. Though most newly graduated doctoral-level researchers would benefit by post-doctoral training, a small number of outstanding junior investigators would benefit instead by launching directly into an independent research career. For these select investigators, who have established a record of scientific innovation and research productivity and who have demonstrated unusual leadership, drive, and maturity, post-doctoral training would unnecessarily delay their entry into performing independent research. By the end of the award period, the Early Independence investigator is expected to be competitive for continued funding of his/her research program and for a permanent research-oriented position. The NIH Director’s Early Independence Awards also provide an opportunity for institutions to invigorate their research programs by bringing in the fresh perspectives of the awardees that they host.

The NIH Director’s Early Independence Awards initiative is funded through the NIH Common Fund, which supports cross-cutting programs that are expected to have exceptionally high impact. All Common Fund initiatives invite investigators to develop bold, innovative, and often risky approaches to address major problems that are especially daunting or to seize new opportunities that offer the potential for rapid progress.

Amount per Award: Awards will be for up to $250,000 in direct costs per year, plus applicable Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs.
Duration of Award: 5 Years
Number of Awards:  The NIH Common Fund intends to commit approximately $4,000,000 to support approximately 10 awards in FY 2018, contingent upon availability of funds and receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Eligibility

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

Only single PD/PI applications will be accepted. Applications with multiple PDs/PIs will not be accepted. Only the PD/PI may be listed as a Senior/Key Person and provide a Biographical Sketch.

Time window for eligibility: Given the focus on early research independence, the date of receipt of the terminal doctoral degree or completion of clinical residency of the PD/PI must be between June 1, 2016 and September 30, 2018.  The clinical fellowship period is NOT included in the clinical residency or equivalent training period. The date of degree receipt is that which appears on the official transcript for the degree. In addition, at the time of application, the PD/PI must not have served as a post-doctoral fellow following a previous doctoral degree for more than twelve months.

At the time of award, either 1) the Early Independence investigator must have received a PhD, MD, DO, DC, DDS, DVM, OD, DPM, ScD, EngD, Dr PH, DNSc, ND (Doctor of Naturopathy), PharmD, DSW, PsyD, or equivalent doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution (it is the responsibility of the sponsoring institution to determine if a foreign doctoral degree is equivalent), or 2) an authorized official of the degree-granting institution must certify that all degree requirements have been met and that the date of degree receipt as appearing on the transcript will be before September 30, 2018.

Level of effort: Individuals must commit at least 9.6 person-months (i.e., 80% effort of a 12 month appointment) during the first two years of the project period to research supported by the Early Independence Award. In the final three years of the project period, awardees may reduce effort toward the Early Independence Award, but the total effort towards independent research must remain at least 9.6 person-months (i.e., 80% effort of a 12 month appointment).

Research independence at time of application: Individuals are eligible only if they, at the time of application submission, do not have research independence. Lack of research independence is defined functionally rather than by position title. Eligible individuals must have all the following characteristics:

  • The PD’s/PI’s current research agenda is set through concurrence with mentors.
  • The PD’s/PI’s research is funded primarily through support to other investigators (mentored fellowships such as NIH F31 or F32 Fellowships or NSF Graduate Research Fellowships do not preclude eligibility).
  • The PD/PI does not have any space assigned directly by the institution for the conduct of his or her research.
  • The PD/PI, according to institutional policy, cannot apply for an NIH R01 grant without special waiver or exemption from the institution.

Though PD/PI must not be functionally independent at the time of application submission, they may become functionally independent prior to time of award and still retain eligibility for the award.

UW-Madison is allowed to submit 2 applications

Website

Internal Competition Application Instructions

Applications for Internal Review

To submit your application, follow this link: https://inic-uwmadison.fluidreview.com/

Please include the following information:

  • Cover Sheet
  • Based on the information contained in the NIH FOA, please submit a document of no more than 8 pages summarizing;
    1. Details of the position to which the Early Independence Investigator will be appointed
    2. Specific Aims, Hypotheses and Research Strategy
    3.  Institutional resources commitment (college and/or department levels)
    4.  Institutional career development commitment.  Specify institutional mentors and the role that he/she will play if an Early Independence Award is made.
      Please see Part 2, Section IV, #2 of the FOA for specific details of these sections

Sponsor Deadlines

Letters of Intent are due to NIH by August 22, 2017. Applications are due to NIH by September 22, 2017.

Questions?

Contact Dave Schuster (608) 263-7274 or email grants@research.wisc.edu.