“How does NIH determine my status as an early-stage investigator?”

Funding News Edition: December 01, 2021
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NIH defines an early-stage investigator (ESI) as a program director/principal investigator (PD/PI) who has completed his or her terminal research degree or end of post-graduate clinical training within the past 10 years and has not previously competed successfully as PD/PI for a substantial NIH independent research award.

When you create a user account in eRA Commons, before applying for a grant, you’ll input the date you completed your terminal research degree or post-graduate clinical training on your profile page. NIH’s electronic systems will check whether that date is within the past 10 years and if you’ve not yet received a substantial grant award. If you meet both conditions, your Personal Profile will display ESI status.

See NIH’s Early-Stage Investigator Policies for further details.

Contact Us

Email us at deaweb@niaid.nih.gov for help navigating NIAID’s grant and contract policies and procedures.

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