An ESI is a Program Director/Principal Investigator who has completed their terminal research degree or end of post-graduate clinical training, whichever is later, within the past 10 years and who has not previously competed successfully as a PD/PI for a substantial NIH independent research award. Read on to learn about NIH policies and how NIH support for ESIs helps promote the growth, stability, and diversity of the future biomedical research workforce.
|Early Stage Investigator Status Infographic
|Early Stage Investigator
|A Program Director / Principal Investigator (PD/PI) who has completed their 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. See our list of NIH grants that a PD/PI can hold and still be considered an ESI.
|R01-equivalent ESI applications with meritorious scores will be prioritized for funding.
|A New Investigator (NI) has not previously competed successfully for a substantial research grant from NIH.
NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) fund New Investigators
according to the ICs' programmatic and strategic interests.
Learn about ESI eligibility and how investigators complete their eRA Commons profile to ensure NIH systems have the information needed to calculate eligibility.
We understand that life happens. NIH considers requests for extensions of ESI eligibility from researchers who have lapses in their research or research training or have experienced periods of less than full-time effort.
Learn more about ESI funding and related data.
Explore the detailed history of NIH’s longstanding interest in the training and subsequent research support for establishing independent research careers.
Explore related notices, policy references, statements, reports, and other resources related to ESIs.
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