The NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, known by the activity code DP1, is one of the four High-Risk, High-Reward grants issued by the NIH Office of the Director. The purpose of the DP1 is to support investigators “with outstanding records of creativity pursuing new research directions to develop pioneering approaches to major challenges in biomedical, social science, and behavioral research.”
DP1 awards are open to investigators of all career stages (the New Innovator Award, DP2, is for ESIs only). Application content for DP1s must focus on a new scientific direction and the idea must be substantially different from the line of research being pursued by the investigator and elsewhere. No preliminary data are required. The award provides funding of $700,000 direct costs per year for up to 5 years. Awardees must dedicate a minimum of 51% research effort in the first 3 years.
The DP1 mechanism is quite different from the R-series grants with which investigators may be more familiar. No detailed experimental plan or detailed budget is expected. Instead of a research strategy, the application requires a five-page essay describing the project, including its innovation and significance, the investigator’s history of being highly innovative, and why the proposed project fits the award. Additionally, 3 Letters of Reference are required.
The DP1 mechanism does not follow the standard NIH schedule of deadlines. Interested applicants can check the DP1 page for the next deadline.
If you’re interested in exploring other projects funded under the DP1 mechanism, use NIH RePORTer’s Advanced Search feature. Under Project Number/Application ID, enter “DP1” as the Activity Code to see funded DP1 awards.