Early-Career Investigator Awards

Individual Awards

NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00)
Provides up to 5 years of support consisting of two phases: 1-2 years of mentored support for highly promising, postdoctoral research scientists, followed by up to 3 years of independent support contingent on securing an independent research position. Applicants must be within 4 years of having earned their doctoral degree. Funding Announcement.


Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01)
Provides support for 3 to 5 years of intensive, supervised career development in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences leading to research independence. Funding Announcement.


Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award (K08)
Provides 3 to 5 years of supervised specialized study for outstanding clinical research scientists with health professional doctoral degrees, who have the potential to develop into independent investigators and who are committed to a career in laboratory- or field-based research. Funding Announcement.


Mentored Patient-Oriented Career Development Award (K23)
Provides support for 3 to 5 years of supervised study and research for the career development of investigators with a clinical doctoral degree, or its equivalent, who have made a commitment to focus their research endeavors on patient-oriented research. Funding Announcement.


Mentored Quantitative Research Career Development Award (K25)
Provides support for 3 to 5 years of career development in clinical biomedicine, bioengineering, bioimaging, or behavioral medicine for investigators in quantitative science and engineering research who had not previously focused primarily on questions of health and disease. Funding Announcement.


Stephen I. Katz Early Stage Investigator Research Project Grant
The Stephen I. Katz Early Stage Investigator Research Project Grant supports an innovative project that represents a change in research direction for an early stage investigator (ESI) and for which no preliminary data exist. These are R01 Grants for Early Stage Investigators. Funding Announcement and Funding Announcement (Clinical Trial Not Allowed).


NIDA Small Grants Program (R03)
Intended for newer, less experienced investigators; investigators at institutions without well-developed research traditions and resources; and more experienced investigators conducting exploratory studies that either represent a significant change in research direction or test new methods or techniques. Provides research support up to a maximum of $50,000 per year in direct costs for up to 2 years. Funding Announcement.


B/START—Behavioral Science Track Award for Rapid Transition (R03)
Facilitates the entry of investigators who are 5 or fewer years past training status into the field of behavioral science research. Support is for 1 year, with a maximum of $50,000 in direct costs. Funding Announcement.


I/START—Imaging-Science Track Award for Research Transition (R03)
Facilitates the entry of new investigators to the area of brain imaging/clinical neurobiology research, allowing for the design and collection of “proof of concept” brain imaging data for use in transitioning to more extensive research proposals. This mechanism has a 1-year maximum of $150,000 in direct costs. Funding Announcement.


A/START—AIDS-Science Track Award for Research Transition (R03)
Facilitates the entry of newly independent and early career investigators to the area of drug abuse and HIV/AIDS research. Provides support for two years, with a maximum of $100,000 per year in direct costs. Investigators funded under this mechanism are expected to use their data to develop R01 grant applications on the intersection of drug abuse and HIV/AIDS.  Funding Announcement.


Exploratory/Developmental Grant Applications (R21)
Designed to test innovative or conceptually creative, scientifically sound ideas and to enable exploration of the feasibility of the research question or approach. Data demonstrating feasibility are desirable. Novel and creative approaches are essential. Provides up to 2 years of funding and a maximum of $275,000 in direct costs (both years combined). Funding Announcement.


Regular Research Grant (R01)
An independent grant mechanism used for many of the research grant opportunities available at NIDA. Grantees can support mentored research training opportunities on their R01 grants. Funding Announcement.