New and Early Stage Investigators

Entry of new investigators into the ranks of independent, NIH-funded researchers is essential to the health of this country’s biomedical research enterprise. In general, a Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) is considered a New Investigator if he/she has not previously competed successfully as PD/PI for a substantial NIH independent research award, and PD/PI is considered an Early Stage Investigator (ESI) if he/she is within 10 years of completing his/her terminal research degree or is within 10 years of completing medical residency (or the equivalent).

Helping investigators transition to independence is a high priority for NIH and an important funding consideration for NINDS. NINDS will fund additional R01 applications from early stage investigators with scores beyond the percentile payline with the aim of supporting these early career scientists at a success rate equivalent to that of established investigators submitting new R01 applications.

Special awards for new and early-stage Investigators include: Pathway to Independence Award (K99-R00), PA-16-077; the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award (DP2); and the NIH Director’s Early Independence award (DP5). Learn more about New and Early Stage Investigator Policies.

Learn more about grants application by listening to our Podcast NINDS's Building Up the Nerve.

Stephen I. Katz Early Stage Investigator Research Program FAQ Video Series

This Notice, NOT-NS-23-017, informs potential applicants that NINDS will not accept applications to the Stephen I. Katz Early Stage Investigator Research Project Grant funding opportunity announcements (PAR-21-038 & PAR-21-039) for the January 26, 2023 receipt date (December 28, 2022 for AIDS applications) or for later receipt dates of these funding announcements. New and resubmission applications to these announcements will be accepted by NINDS for the upcoming September 27, 2022 receipt date (August 26, 2022 for AIDS applications). After these upcoming receipt dates, early-stage investigators proposing research project grants within the NINDS mission are encouraged to apply to the parent NIH announcements (PA-20-185 & PA-20-184).

Please contact Glen Nuckolls, PhD ( with inquiries regarding this notice.

Resources and Tools


Stephen Korn, Ph.D. |Director, Office of Training, Career Development and Workforce Diversity