New and Early Stage Investigator

Researchers planning to apply for an early stage investigator award can access resources for planning, preparing, and submitting grants by visiting our Grant Resources page. Researchers can also visit the official NIH page on New and Early Stage Investigator Policies.The policies of the NIH and other funding agencies reflect their commitment to supporting the research career development of new and early stage researchers. These include special funding consideration for new investigators and funding opportunities available specifically to new and early stage investigators. 

New Investigators

Anyone who has not yet been awarded (as Principal Investigator) an NIH R01 Grant is considered a “New Investigator.”

NOTE: You ARE still considered a New Investigator even if you have received any of the following awards: R00, R03, R15, R2, R25, R90, RL9, RL5, R34, R36, R41, R43, R55, R56 SC2, SC3, an F award, a Career Development (K) award, a Loan Repayment contract (L30, L32, L40, L50, L60) or a training grant (9T32, T34, T35, T90, D43), G07, G08, G11, G13, G20, R13, S10, S15, S21, S22.

Again, having received one of these awards does not affect your New Investigator status.

Early Stage Investigators 

An “Early Stage Investigator” (ESI) is an individual who has completed within the past ten years terminal research degree or medical residency. According to the NIH, “Applications from ESIs will be given special consideration during peer review and at the time of funding. Peer reviewers will be instructed to focus more on the proposed approach than on the track record, and to expect less preliminary data than would be provided by an established investigator.”

In order to establish ESI status, you may have to remove and re-enter your current degree information in your NIH Sponsored eRA (Electronic Research Administration) Commons profile. Find further instructions on establishing Early Investigator status.

Additional Information from NIH about New and Early Stage Investigators

Please visit the NIH website page on Frequently Asked Questions about NIH New and Early Stage Investigator Policies.

NIH Early Career Awards

The NIH offers a number of different Career Development (K) Awards. For a complete list, please visit the NIH K-Kiosk website. A partial listing of awards appears below:

Find more information on Career Development Awards.

NIH “K Kiosk”

The NIH K-Kiosk website offers important K-award related information and resources, including:

K-Related Data from the NIH RePORT Website  

Find K-Award related data from the NIH RePORT website by taking the following steps:

Find additional data, charts, and graphs on (K)-Awards by visiting the NIH’s Data Book pages.

K-related Guidance Material

The Mailman Research Resources (R2) Office has created K-related guidance material to assist new and early stage investigators identify appropriate K-Awards and to begin planning for writing and submission. Users can access these documents below:

K-Award Classes and Workshops

Researchers are encouraged to take advantage of the following resources:

New York State Psychiatric Institute K-Award Course

Dr. Harold A. Pincus (New York State Psychiatric Institute) offers a monthly K-Awards seminar held at the New Psychiatric Institute building, 1051 Riverside Drive.  For more information about this course, please email Jansonh [at] (Heather Janson) or call 212-543-5400.

Please visit Dr. Pincus's K-Award website to learn more about this course.

Note: Users must access the website from a Columbia University or New York State Psychiatric Institute computer. 

Mailman School K-Award Workshop

The K-Award Workshop is designed to introduce junior faculty members at the Mailman School to the K-Award mechanisms and to help them plan and organize their applications. In addition to holding these periodic workshops, the R2 Office meets individually with junior faculty members who are submitting K-Award applications. Please contact the ckk7 [at] (R2 Office) for more information.

Other Agency Early Career Awards

Additional Program Information and Data

  • Key NSF Contacts
  • Estimated Number of Awards: 425 per year
  • Anticipated Funding Amount: $80M per year for new awards. This amount is approximate and subject to availability of funds. Funding for CAREER awards is contained within program allocations. The minimum CAREER award, including indirect costs, will total $400,000 for its 5-year duration with the following exception: proposers to the Biological Sciences Directorate (BIO) must submit budget requests for a minimum of $500,000 for the 5-year duration.
  • The R2 Office has prepared a summary of the NSF CAREER Awards.

Agency for Healthcare Research (AHRQ) K Awards

AHRQ offers the several Career Development Awards, including:

More information can be found on AHRQ’s Training and Education Funding Opportunities page under “Post-doctoral Individual Level Grants.”