Skip Over Navigation Links
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Search eRA:

Advanced Search

Eligible PIs urged to establish Early Stage Investigator status

Eligible PIs urged to establish Early Stage Investigator status;
Update Personal Profile in eRA Commons

January 9, 2009

Attention Principal Investigators! If you attained your terminal research degree or completed your medical residency within the past ten years, and you have not previously received a substantial NIH research grant, you may be eligible to qualify as an Early Stage Investigator for the purposes of your NIH R01 research grant application. An ESI is a subset of the New Investigator category.

How exactly does that benefit you, you may ask? Well, for one, your R01 grant application will be flagged as an Early Stage Investigator application beginning with the February 2009 R01 submissions. In reviewing this application, reviewers will be instructed to focus more on the research portion of your application and less on your track record. Beginning in May 2009, Early Stage Investigator applications will be clustered for review.

The idea behind this new policy is to encourage scientists to seek NIH funding for their research early on in their career.

To ensure that NIH recognizes your eligibility as an Early Stage Investigator, PIs are urged to log into eRA Commons ( and update their Personal Profile immediately. Note that PIs need to update their degree/residency data before they submit their R01 application.

After Jan. 17, 2009, the eRA Commons will be ready to accept completion dates for medical residency; please do not try before that date. Once the PI enters the information, the system will calculate ESI eligibility and display the eligibility end date to the user if he is eligible.

Steps to update degree and medical residency information in your Personal Profile:

It is important to note that the ESI status will be updated if the ESI eligibility changes due to the following circumstances:

The PI will be notified if his or her ESI eligibility status changes.

Note: A Multiple-PI application is only considered ESI-eligible if all PIs listed on the application are ESI-eligible.

Related NIH Guide Notices

Important Links


eRA Commons Help Desk
Web: (Preferred method of contact)
Toll-free: 1-866-504-9552
Phone: 301-402-7469
TTY: 301-451-5939
Hours: Mon-Fri, 7a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time

This page last reviewed: January 12, 2009