Funding Beyond the Payline (Select Pay)

Use this page to learn more about how NINDS considers applications beyond the payline for potential funding through a process known as "Select Pay."

To advance our mission, NINDS supports a scientifically vibrant and diverse research workforce, which includes individuals from different career stages with a broad range of skills, perspectives, and backgrounds. To this end, we reserve a small portion of our funding to support applications beyond the payline with the potential to expand the diversity of thought, experience, and/or perspective within the NINDS research or clinical workforce.

Investigators CANNOT apply for select pay, and DO NOT need to request consideration. Consideration is automatic for eligible applications


NINDS utilizes three approaches as part of its select pay process: 

  • Early stage investigators (ESI - within 10 years of terminal degree) to at least equalize their R01 success rates with those of established investigators submitting new R01 applications as described on the NINDS Early stage investigator page. ESI status is determined by the education information you provide in your eRA commons personal profile and consideration is automatic based on that information.
  • Bridge awards for up to ONE year to investigators without significant other lab support, to sustain an outstanding research program and prevent the loss of unique resources/infrastructure and meeting one or more of the criteria listed below.
  • High Program Priority (HPP) award to support projects for the full requested duration that meeting one or more of the criteria listed below.

Factors used for select pay consideration:

For HPP Consideration:

  • Investigator has a track record of doing rigorous research (required)
  • Project is responsive to an important scientific opportunity or gap
  • Project addresses an important public health need
  • Project brings needed inclusive excellence to a research environment by enhancing the contributions of underrepresented groups to neuroscience and science leadership
  • Project is aligned with specific NINDS strategic objectives or legislative/executive priorities
  • Project brings an outstanding investigator into a new research area
  • Project has the potential to have exceptionally high impact on a particular area of neuroscience or neurology

For Bridge Consideration:

  • Investigator has a track record of doing rigorous research (required)
  • Project will benefit from 1 year of funding and has high likelihood of future success
  • Investigator has limited other support but a record of recent productivity

How Will you Know if Your Application is Being Considered or Will be Funded via the Select Pay Process?

  • Your application is automatically considered for select pay based on the eligibility criteria defined above
  • All applications considered for select pay are reviewed by the NINDS Advisory Council where funding recommendations are made
  • Final funding decisions for select pay like all other applications are made by the NINDS Director
  • Program staff cannot speak to the status of applications while they are under consideration
  • Definitive funding outcomes are only available via a Notice of Award