NIH Creates New Award to Facilitate Research Independence

A competitive, new research award program should make it easier for talented junior scientists to move into independent academic positions at U.S. institutions immediately after earning their graduate research degrees.

The National Institutes of Health created the Early Independence Award in response to trends indicating a lengthening of the traditional scientific training period.

“Although traditional post-doctoral training is appropriate for the majority of new Ph.D. and M.D. recipients,” NIH states in a news release, “there is a pool of talented junior scientists who have the intellect, scientific creativity, drive, and maturity to flourish independently without the need for traditional post-doctoral training.”

NIH intends to invest approximately $60 million in the award program over the next five years. Plans are to issue 10 awards in the fall of 2011 with recipients receiving up to $250,000 in direct costs per year for up to five years.

For more information, visit