"The Pioneer Award supports exceptionally creative scientists who bring their talents, expertise, and perspectives to bear on some of the biggest challenges in biomedical research," said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D. "It is exciting to watch the program mature as the awardees translate their ideas into action. We are eager to start the next round of selection and add a third cohort to the outstanding group we have already assembled."
Unlike other NIH grants, which support research projects, the Pioneer Award supports individual scientists. The award gives recipients the intellectual freedom to pursue new research directions and highly innovative ideas that have the potential for unusually great impact.
"Although we cannot predict the results of pioneering research, it holds great promise for yielding groundbreaking, and even paradigm-shifting, discoveries that lead to significant medical advances," Dr. Zerhouni added.
The program is open to scientists at all career levels. The scientists may currently be engaged in any field of research provided they are interested in exploring biomedically relevant topics and willing to commit the major portion of their effort to Pioneer Award research. Awardees must be U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, or permanent residents.
In September 2006, NIH expects to make five to ten new Pioneer Awards of up to $2.5 million in direct costs over a five-year period. The first nine Pioneer Awards were made in September 2004 and 13 scientists received awards in September 2005.
The streamlined, electronic application process includes a three- to five-page essay, a biographical sketch, identification of the applicant's most significant publication or achievement, and three letters of reference. Applications may be submitted be
Contact: Ann Dieffenbach
NIH/Office of the Director