Update on NIH Extension Policy for Early Stage Investigator Status (ESI)

Notice Number: NOT-OD-18-235

Key Dates
Release Date: September 24, 2018

Related Announcements

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)


The purpose of this notice is to update NIH policy on extension criteria for Early Stage Investigators (ESIs). 


NIH remains strongly committed to the Next Generation Researchers Initiative (NGRI) policy to fund more early career investigators and to enhance biomedical research workforce diversity. NIH defines an ESI as a Program Director / Principal Investigator (PD/PI) who has completed her/his terminal research degree or end of post-graduate clinical training, whichever date is later, within the past 10 years and who has not previously competed successfully as PD/PI for a substantial NIH independent research award. 

NIH considers requests for extension of the ESI period for various reasons, including medical concerns, disability, extended periods of clinical training, natural disasters, active duty military service. Each of these requests is reviewed on a case by case basis.  Because close to 50% of the ESI extension requests are related to childbirth,  effective immediately, NIH will approve an ESI extension of one year for childbirth within the ESI period. PDs/PIs must provide the child’s date of birth in the extension request justification on the NIH Extension portal.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Division of Biomedical Research Workforce
Office of Extramural Research
Website: https://researchtraining.nih.gov
Email: NIHTrain@mail.nih.gov