top of page

NIH New Innovator Award Contest


Fostering the creative discoveries and innovative research that will protect and improve health requires NIH to take steps to promote the growth, stability, and diversity of the biomedical research workforce. NIH and its stakeholder community have been concerned about the long-term growth and stability of the biomedical research enterprise for many years. Read our page on the NIH Next Generation Researchers Initiative for additional background.

Determination of Investigator Status

  • All Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD/PIs) must have an eRA Commons account at the time of application.

  • Prior to application submission, PD/PIs are encouraged to verify and/or 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 the correct identification.

    • NIH systems will automatically calculate the status of each investigator and display it within their eRA Commons personal profile

    • The ESI status of the PD/PIs on any R01 or R01 equivalent application will be flagged at time of submission

    • Investigators should make sure their status is correctly marked in their profile. If your status is incorrect, please contact the NIH eRA Service Desk.

Extension of ESI Status

  • Some researchers may have lapses in their research or research training, or have experienced periods of less than full-time effort. NIH will consider requests to extend the ESI status period for reasons that can include: medical concerns, disability, family care responsibilities, natural disasters, and active duty military service, determined on a case by case basis at the sole discretion of NIH.

  • Principal investigators can submit a request for an ESI extension via an ESI Extension Request link found in the Education section of the PI's Personal Profile in eRA Commons. For step-by-step instructions, see the ESI Extension Request online help and the ESI Status Extension Request video tutorial

  • Note: The previous form for requesting an ESI extension was retired on Aug. 22. 2019

Special Programs

NIH has several special award programs for new investigators, including:

  • NIH Director’s New Innovator Award (DP2)

  • NIH Director’s Early Independence award (DP5)


bottom of page