In July 2015, NINDS issued the first funding opportunity announcement for the R35 Research Program Award (RPA). The RPA is designed to encourage ambitious, creative science by providing stable funding to outstanding investigators’ research programs, offering them the freedom to pursue longer-term, innovative research projects. I am thrilled to announce that NINDS has named the first recipients of this new award.
The 30 awardees represent an exceptional group of investigators who are diverse in terms of gender, career stage, and lab size and location. Their interests span topics across basic, translational, and clinical neuroscience research, including mechanisms of neurodegenerative disease and human brain development, molecular and cellular changes that give rise to memory, and whole-genome studies to determine how to promote neural repair. The R35 awards consolidate NINDS support for these investigators for up to eight years, and we are encouraged by their plans to make use of the sustained funding and reduced administrative burden to pursue bold new directions and pioneer new methods in their research.
As described in a previous blog post, NINDS received many excellent proposals for the RPA program. Reviewers considered the applicants’ likelihood for continued success as productive and rigorous investigators, as well as the scope and significance of their proposed research programs. Approximately 15 percent of applications were awarded, mirroring the 2016 NINDS pay line for R01s at the 15th percentile.
Following the success of this initial round of the RPA program, NINDS just issued an updated RFA, through which we intend to fund up to 30 additional awards. We welcome input from the community as we continue to monitor the implementation and impact of this pilot program.
Please join me in congratulating our inaugural R35 grantees! I look forward to following their exceptional research, and to seeing the next round of innovative proposals.
NINDS Press Release: NIH initiates pilot grant program for innovative neurological research
NINDS Director’s Message: Launch of the NINDS Research Program Award
NINDS Blogs Post: Launch of the NINDS Research Program Award
NINDS Director’s Message: NINDS Creates Stable Funding for Outstanding Neuroscience Investigators
Taylor, Anna, and Bob Finkelstein. “An experiment in program-based funding.” ASBMB Today 1 Feb. 2017: 26.
Friday, January 27, 2017