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NIH announces 115 awards to encourage high-risk research and innovation
Date:9/24/2009

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced today that it is awarding $348 million to encourage investigators to explore bold ideas that have the potential to catapult fields forward and speed the translation of research into improved health.

The full complement of awards is granted under three innovative research programs supported by the NIH Common Fund's Roadmap for Medical Research: the NIH Director's Transformative R01 (T-R01) Awards, Pioneer Awards, and New Innovator Awards. The Common Fund, enacted into law by Congress through the 2006 NIH Reform Act, supports cross-cutting, trans-NIH programs with a particular emphasis on innovation and risk taking. A portion of these New Innovator Awards is also supported by funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"The appeal of the Pioneer, New Innovator, and now the T-R01 programs, is that investigators are encouraged to challenge the status quo with innovative ideas, while being given the necessary resources to test them," said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. "The fact that we continue to receive such strong proposals for funding through the programs reflects the wealth of creative ideas in science today."

Accelerating the current pace of discovery through the support of highly innovative research is an ongoing effort at the NIH, but the NIH Director's T-R01 Program is new this year. Named for the standard investigator-initiated research project that the NIH supports, the R01, the T-R01s provide a new opportunity for scientists that is unmatched by any other NIH program. Since no budget cap is imposed and preliminary results are not required, scientists are free to propose new, bold ideas that may require significant resources to pursue. They are also given the flexibility to work in large, complex teams if the complexity of the research problem demands it.

This year, the NIH is granting 115 NIH Director's High-Risk Research Awards: 42 T-R01
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Contact: Karen Silver
silverk@mail.nih.gov
301-435-2435
NIH/Office of the Director
Source:Eurekalert

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