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Early Stage Investigator (ESI) Policies

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.


NIH Early Stage Investigators Policy

Learn how NIH prioritizes awards that fund early stage investigators.

Determining Early Stage Investigator Status

Learn about ESI eligibility and how investigators complete their eRA Commons profile to ensure NIH systems have the information needed to calculate eligibility.

Early Stage Investigators Extensions

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.

Resources of Interest to Early Stage Investigators

Programs, presentations, podcasts and more!

Early Stage Investigator Related Data

Learn more about ESI funding and related data.

History of NIH Support for Early Career Investigators

Explore the detailed history of NIH’s longstanding interest in the training and subsequent research support for establishing independent research careers.

Related Notices, Laws, Statements and Reports

Explore related notices, policy references, statements, reports, and other resources related to ESIs.


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