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NIH extends commitment to transformative research with 2008 Pioneer, New Innovator Awards
Date:9/21/2008

The National Institutes of Health announced today that it has increased its support of high-impact research with 2008 NIH Director's Pioneer and New Innovator Awards to 47 scientists, many of whom are in the early stages of their careers. The grants, estimated to be up to $138 million over five years, enable recipients to pursue exceptionally innovative approaches that could transform biomedical and behavioral science.

"Nothing is more important to me than stimulating and sustaining deep innovation, especially for early career investigators and despite challenging budgetary times. These highly creative researchers are tackling important scientific challenges with bold ideas and inventive technologies that promise to break through barriers and radically shift our understanding," said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D.

While scientists at any career level can receive Pioneer Awards, only early career investigators who have not held an NIH regular research (R01) or similar NIH grant are eligible for New Innovator Awards. Both programs are key components of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research.

Now in its fifth year, the Pioneer Award program has made 63 awards, 16 of them in 2008. The New Innovator Award program, launched in 2007, supports 61 investigators30 selected last year and 31 more this year.

Each Pioneer Award provides $2.5 million in direct costs over five years. New Innovator Awards are for $1.5 million in direct costs over the same time period.

"These programs are central elements of NIH efforts to encourage and fund especially novel investigator-initiated research, even if it might carry a greater-than-usual degree of risk of not succeeding. The awards also reflect our goal of supporting more investigators in the early stages of their careers," Zerhouni noted.

Zerhouni will announce the 2008 award recipients today at the start of the NIH Director's Pioneer Award Symposium on the NIH's Bethesda,
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Contact: Ann Dieffenbach
dieffena@nigms.nih.gov
301-496-7301
NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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