OSP FO# 12-040

AGENCY: Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)/National Institutes of Health (NIH)

PROGRAM: NIH Director’s Early Independence Awards (DP5)

OBJECTIVES: The NIH Director’s Early Independence Awards provide an opportunity for exceptional junior scientists to accelerate their entry into an independent research career by forgoing the traditional post-doctoral training period. Though most newly graduated doctoral-level researchers would benefit by post-doctoral training, a small pool of outstanding junior investigators would benefit instead by launching directly into an independent research career. For these select investigators, who have established a record of scientific innovation and research productivity and who have demonstrated unusual leadership, drive, and maturity, post-doctoral training would unnecessarily delay their entry into performing independent research. The NIH Director’s Early Independence Awards also provide an opportunity for institutions to invigorate their research programs by bringing in the fresh perspectives of the awardee scientists that they host.

Please see the link to the program announcement below for further details.

ELIGIBILITY RESTRICTIONS: An applicant organization (identified as having a unique DUNS number) may submit up to two applications in response to this FOA.

At the time of application, the individual either 1) within the preceding twelve months must have received a terminal doctoral degree or completed medical residency or 2) within the following twelve months must complete all the requirements for a doctoral degree or complete a medical residency. At the time of funding to the grantee Institution, the Early Independence investigator must have received a PhD, MD, DO, DC, DDS, DVM, OD, DPM, ScD, EngD, Dr PH, DNSc, ND (Doctor of Naturopathy), PharmD, DSW, PsyD, or equivalent doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution.

A PI is permitted only a single application for an Early Independence Award.

BU Internal Deadline: November 15, 2012
Letter of Intent (optional): December 30, 2012
Full Proposal: January 30, 2013

FUNDING INFORMATION: NIH intends to commit $4 million to fund approximately 10 awards, contingent on NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of scientifically meritorious applications. Awards will be for up to $250,000 in direct costs per year, plus applicable Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs. The project period is five years.

Ravi Basavappa, Ph.D.
Office of Strategic Coordination
Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives
Office of the Director, NIH
1 Center Drive, MSC 0189
Building 1, Room 205
Bethesda, MD 20892-0189

Telephone: 301-435-7204
Email: earlyindependence@mail.nih.gov
Web: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-12-018.html

INTERNAL REVIEW PROCESS: Only two applications per institution will be accepted. To screen potential proposals for this competition, an internal deadline has been established. Principal Investigators (PIs) interested in submitting an application should provide the following proposal information to their Associate Dean by Thursday, November 15, 2012 for internal review purposes:

1. Description of the applicant’s proposed research project (maximum length 4 pages); including a research plan in a scientific area relevant to the NIH mission for which the investigator has demonstrated expertise, and evidence of exceptional scientific creativity and productivity;

2. Budget and budget justification (two pages).

3. Biographical sketches: include NIH-format biographical sketch for PI and any Senior/Key Personnel.

4. A letter of recommendation from the appropriate Department Chair or Research Mentor, offering a detailed assessment of the prospects for a successful early transition to research independence; achievements as a graduate student; and the potential for future scientific contributions;

Following the Dean’s assessment of the internal application, it will be forwarded to India Adams in Sponsored Programs and then to the Office of the VP for Research for final selection. PIs will be informed if their proposal is selected for submission in time to complete and process their proposal for final review.

REMARKS: NIH requires that applications to this program be submitted electronically through Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov). After submission via Grants.gov, applications will be retrieved and processed by the NIH Commons system (https://commons.era.nih.gov/commons/index.jsp). In order to prepare a responsive application, PIs should download both the complete program guidelines and the corresponding application package from Grants.gov as well as the NIH Grants.gov Application Guide (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/index.htm). PIs must also be registered Commons users.

For more information about Grants.gov and the NIH Commons, or to register as a Commons user, please contact A. B. Effgen (abeffgen@bu.edu) or India Adams (adamsi@bu.edu) in the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) at x3-4365. In addition, please contact the OSP Research Administrator assigned to your school or department as soon as possible to coordinate submission through the Grants.gov system.

Complete program guidelines and application material (RFA-RM-12-018) may be obtained from the website listed above or from the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP). Please distribute this notice to any faculty or staff members who might be interested in the information. For more information, please contact the OSP at X3-4365 or ospinfo@bu.edu, or visit the OSP website at http://www.bu.edu/osp.