On May 2, 2017, the NIH announced a new policy (Grant Support Index) that would essentially limit any Principal Investigator (PI) to being awarded an equivalent of 3 R01’s. By June 8, 2017 they had changed their minds and replaced it with the Next Generation Researchers Initiative.
Most people in the funding world know how difficult it is to be awarded NIH grants (success rate: 19.1% FY2016), but for years, the scientific community has been worried about a looming larger problem in NIH funding: a larger portion of the awarded funding is going to senior researchers rather than early or mid-career researchers.
In response to the many and immediate reactions to a formulaic cap of senior researchers’ funding, this new plan aims to directly bolster early and mid-career investigator’s applications. Hopefully this initiative will successfully help new researchers in this hyper-competitive funding environment.