NIGMS Support for New Investigators

In 1998, NIGMS established procedures and funding policies to ensure support for adequate numbers of new investigators (defined as a research applicant who has not yet been awarded a substantial, competing NIH grant). Under these policies, an applicant's status as a new investigator is one of the criteria used in funding decisions made by the Institute. In FY 2009, NIH announced a new policy involving the identification of early stage investigators (ESIs). ESIs are new investigators who are within 10 years of completing either their terminal research degree or their medical residency (whichever is later) at the time they apply for R01 grants.

In FY 2017, NIGMS awarded 290 grants to new investigators. Of these, 220 were to ESIs.

New Investigator Awards in FY 2017 on R01, DP2 and R35 Applications

(QVR Data, FY 2017)

Institute New Investigators Early Stage Investigators
Applications Awards Approximate Success Rate Applications Awards Approximate Success Rate
NIGMS 1,075 290 27.0% 671 220 32.8%
NIH 9,192 1,520 16.5% 4,588 988 21.5%

Notes: The status of R01 and DP2 awardees is determined for the assigned fiscal year of the award. An individual PI is designated as a new investigator if the investigator has never received a major NIH research project grant competing award (based on the definition found at