Program Summary

Program Summary

The NIH Director’s Early Independence Award Program supports exceptional investigators who wish to pursue independent research directly after completion of their terminal doctoral/research degree or clinical residency, thereby forgoing the traditional post-doctoral training period and accelerating their entry into an independent research career. Though most newly graduated doctoral-level researchers would benefit by post-doctoral training, a small number 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. By the end of the award period, the Early Independence investigator is expected to be competitive for continued funding of his/her research program and for a permanent research-oriented position. 

 

Positions details:

  • During the award period, the Early Independence Investigator must be scientifically independent and administratively independent.  The appointment need not be permanent or tenure-track and may be contingent upon receipt of the Early Independence Award.  Describe in detail the position into which the Early Independence Investigator will be appointed and how the PD's/PI's independence will be ensured during the course of the award.
  • Describe plans for maintaining protected time for the Early Independence Investigator so that he or she will be able to devote at least 9.6 person-months (i.e., 80% effort of a 12 month appointment) to conducting independent research during the project period, with at least the first two years being devoted entirely to the Early Independence Award project. Clinicians should be permitted to perform clinical duties to the extent necessary to maintain credentials.
  • Describe the process and criteria used to select the PD/PI.
  • Describe the Institutional organizational structure within which the Early Independence PD's/PI's position will be administered (School, Department, etc.), and explain how this administrative structure will best meet the goal of supporting the success of the Early Independence PD/PI.  Include details of responsibilities for integrating the Early Independence Investigator and their scientific project into the institutional culture and the faculty community.  Describe the management of problematic situations as well as institutional expectations related to the retention or transfer of the PD/PI at the end of the funding period.

 

Institutional resources commitment:

  • Describe details of the laboratory space to be provided to the Early Independence Investigator including physical structure and space layout along with the availability of support staff.
  • Describe other administrative and support functions that will be available to the Early Independence Investigator (for example, human resources, supply and equipment ordering systems, administrative assistance, etc.)
  • Describe the institutional financial commitment to the Early Independence Program.  Matching funds are not required; however, an appropriate level of institutional support is expected.  Institutional commitment to the development of the PD/PI as a successful and independent research scientist will be given considerable attention during the review and selection process.
  • If the Early Independence Investigator already has a commitment of funding for independent research, from the institutional perspective, describe how Early Independence Award will affect the other funding and status.

 

Institutional career development commitment:

  • Describe plans for assuring scientific independence. Particularly if the Early Independence Investigator is staying at the same institution at which he or she trained, indicate how independence from previous mentors will be established and maintained.
  • Describe career enhancement plans for the Early Independence Investigator. Provide plans for assessing and monitoring the annual progress of the PD/PI supported by this award. Describe any additional plans for ensuring the success of Early Independence Investigators as productive, independent investigators.
  • Describe plans for integrating each Early Independence Investigator into institutional scientific and administrative activities at the institution. Describe the scientific collaborative activities (attendance at faculty meetings, laboratory meetings, participation in Institutional scientific retreats, etc.) and career development resources (courses in laboratory management and grant writing, etc.) that will be available to ensure the Early Independence Investigator is successful.   Describe the support from senior colleagues and leadership of the Program that will be available to the Early Independence Investigator.
  • The primary goal of each Early Independence Investigator is to establish an independent scientific research program.  If Early Independence Investigators have an interest in (limited) teaching, describe what opportunities will be available.
  • Describe expectations and opportunities for the Early Independence Investigator to establish a record of independent funding by submitting and accepting grants from sources other than the Early Independence Award.

 

Awards will be for up to $250,000 in direct costs per year, plus applicable Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs

Awards will be for up to $250,000 in direct costs per year, plus applicable Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs

 

Application Limits

Application Limits

University is limited to two proposals. 

Additional Information

Deadlines

UIC Letter of Intent
May 15, 2017
UIC Internal Competition
TBD
Sponsor Letter of Intent
N/A
Sponsor Application
September 22, 2017

Letter of Intent

Letter of Intent

Letter of Intent (LOI) Form

 

Depending upon the number of LOIs submitted, OVCR might be required to facilitate an internal peer review process to select UIC’s submission(s) to this program.  White paper instructions will distributed to those who have submitted LOIs.

 

Please contact Natalia Glubisz at RDS@uic.edu or 312-996-8348 with any questions.

 

If an authorized principal investigator is not listed above, please consider the limited competition still open. Contact RDS@uic.edu for further information.