Washington Update

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Seeks Input from Past and Potential Grant Applicants

By: Yvette Seger
Thursday, April 26, 2018

The National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is seeking feedback from the scientific community on its Emerging Investigator Award (EIA) and Outstanding Investigator Award (OIA) grant programs.

Funded through the R35 mechanism, the purpose of the programs is “to promote scientific productivity and innovation by providing long-term support and increased flexibility to experienced Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PDs/PIs) who are currently PDs/PIs on at least two NHLBI R01-equivalent awards and whose outstanding record of research demonstrate their ability to make major contributions to heart, lung, blood and sleep (HLBS) research.”

NHLBI’s EIA and OIA grant awards differ from traditional R01 research grants in two key ways. First, the R35 mechanisms support an investigator’s overarching research program as opposed to a specific project. Rather than limiting funding to the pursuit of three to five specific aims, the EIA and OIA provide investigators with increased flexibility to conduct research activities in support of their overall research program and pursue emerging lines of inquiry as they arise.

This is supported by the second key difference between the R35 and R01, an extended duration of support that provides funding for up to seven years. Combined, the R35 mechanism allows investigators to take greater risks and pursue research that may require a longer timeframe than one that could be supported by a traditional R01 grant.

In the Request for Information (RFI) issued April 2, NHLBI seeks input from investigators who applied to the EIA and OIA programs and from those who were eligible but opted not to apply. Specifically, the Institute would like to learn more about the features of the award that prompt investigators to apply and those that may have deterred potential applicants.

While the original deadline for feedback was April 16, the deadline was just extended to May 4, 2018.