For purposes of the 2021 program, an eligible Early-Career Investigator (ECI) is defined as:
- An investigator who is within four years of appointment to their career-track academic position (i.e., whose career-track appointments began no earlier than January 1, 2016). In general these are faculty appointments with significant expectations regarding research, and/or teaching, and/or clinical activities and may be tenure-track or non-tenure track. For purposes of determining eligibility, post-doctoral appointments, residencies and courtesy instructor titles are not considered career-track academic appointments. However, you must identify any of these exceptions in your biosketch, and fully and clearly state the nature of the appointment;
- An investigator who HAS NOT previously received a major independent research award. A major independent research award is determined to be a National Institutes of Health [NIH] R01 or similar grant which provides independent research support of at least $125,000 (either single-year or multiple-year award), and which was awarded through a rigorous peer review process conducted by a public or private institution. Multiple independent awards that are each less than $125,000, but that total more than $125,000 will not impact eligibility;
Additional Grant Clarification
Training grants, mentored/supervised grants, and career development grants are not considered to be independent awards. There is no limit on the amount of these types of awards that an ECI can receive to maintain eligibility.
NIH “K” series grants are generally mentored grants, however, the R00 grant, which can follow the K99 grant is an independent award. Holders of K-99s and R00s are not eligible.
NIH R01 grants are independent awards and holders are not eligible.
- An investigator who received a terminal degree or completed their medical residency within the ten years preceding the application (i.e., on or after January 1, 2010); and
- An investigator who is either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident.