New investigators represent the future. They bring fresh ideas and technologies to research. NIDDK is dedicated to providing training and research funding for new investigators working on topics within its mission.
NIH has policies and resources designed to assist new investigators in establishing their research programs and careers. New investigators should check the "New PI" box on the face page of their R01 applications so that they can be given special consideration. Peer reviewers are instructed to focus more on the proposed approach than on the track record, and to expect less preliminary data than would be provided by an established investigators. Institute staff pay special attention to applications from new investigators as well. In addition, NIH has piloted a program for rapid turnaround for new investigator applications allowing them to revise and resubmit more quickly.
NIDDK has created a number of special new investigator opportunities and Frequently Asked Questions for new investigators. You are encouraged to discuss your ideas with NIDDK program staff as you are planning and preparing your grant application. Check NIDDK scientific areas of interest to find the right staff members and their contact information.
Differential payline – Each year, the NIDDK sets a percentile “payline” for R01 applications based on available funds and the volume of applications. The payline for new investigator grants is two percentile points more generous than the regular payline for established investigators. While NIDDK often makes administrative reductions in grant duration, applications from new investigators that fall within the payline are usually awarded the full requested duration.
Second-level review – The NIDDK Advisory Council meets to provide second-level review after the initial round of peer review by Scientific Review Groups (study sections). All new investigator R01 applications within ten percentile points of the payline receive individual consideration during the second-level review process. This could result in the award of an R01 with a reduced budget or a smaller award such as an R56.
NIH High Priority, Short-Term Project Award (R56) – Although you cannot apply for this grant mechanism, NIDDK can choose to award a one- or two-year R56 grant to an R01 application scored outside the payline. These provide support for an investigator to collect preliminary data in order to submit an improved revised R01 application. During second-level review, new investigators are given special consideration for R56 awards.
Career Development (K) awards – NIDDK has a vigorous Career Award program.
Small grants (R03) awards – NIDDK has several relevant funding opportunities for small grants.
Mentoring workshops – NIDDK regularly holds workshops for recently funded new investigators such as these held on April 24-25 and May 10-12 in 2006.