NIH awards $285M for innovative biomedical research projects

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

October 4, 2022 -- The National Institutes of Health's (NIH) High-Risk, High-Reward Research program, part of its Director's Awards, has awarded 103 new research grants to support visionary and broadly impactful behavioral and biomedical research projects. The five-year awards total approximately $285 million with support from the Common Fund, institutes, centers, and offices across NIH.

This year's awards will fund research on topics such as the impact exposure to fracking might have on pregnancy and conception; how brain mechanisms influence memory performance; the neural basis of social bias and association using the female songbird as a model; tissue regeneration using the uterus as a model; a mixed methods examination of skin tone and health among African Americans across the U.S.; and a new model organism to lead in the development of an HIV vaccine.

The High-Risk, High-Reward Research program supports investigators at each career stage who propose innovative research that, due to their inherent risk, may struggle in the traditional NIH peer-review process despite their transformative potential.

The program manages four awards, including two awards specifically for researchers in the early stages of their careers; these include: the NIH Director's Pioneer Award, the NIH Director's New Innovator Award, the NIH Director's Transformative Research Award, and NIH Director's Early Independence Award.

NIH issued eight Pioneer awards, 72 New Innovator awards, nine Transformative Research awards, and 14 Early Independence awards for 2022.

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