NIH Director's Pioneer Award

Funding opportunities for exceptionally creative scientists proposing pioneering approaches

NIH Director's Pioneer Award

Part of the High-Risk, High-Reward Research program, the award supports scientists with outstanding records of creativity pursuing new research directions to develop pioneering approaches to major challenges in biomedical, social science, and behavioral research.

  • Open to all career stages
  • Single PI only
  • No preliminary data required
  • Must be new scientific research direction
  • $700,000 in direct costs per year for up to 5 years
  • Minimum of 51% research effort in first 3 years
  • 3 Letters of Reference required


Application Information

Funding Opportunities
FY 2020

Closed September 6, 2019

               NIH Director's Pioneer Award FAQs

Q&A Webinar Video

Watch the live webinar held on July 17, 2019, featuring short presentations from NIH program and review staff and answering submitted questions from the public.

Download the July 17, 2019 Q&A webinar material

Pioneer Award Informational Video (April 2019) - Due date is incorrectly stated in video; actual due date is September 6, 2019

Learn more about the eligibility requirements, award cycle, application process, review process, and award requirements for the NIH Director's Pioneer Award in this short 2-minute video.

Join our Listserv or contact us at

This page last reviewed on December 12, 2019