NIH/NIGMS Outstanding Investigator Award – Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award for Early Stage Investigators (R35)

March 7, 2017 by School of Medicine Webmaster

Supporting fundamental research by funding individual projects has a number of consequences for the efficiency and effectiveness of the biomedical research enterprise in the U.S.  To address these issues and increase the efficiency and efficacy of its funding mechanisms, NIGMS established the Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) program to award a single grant to provide support for the program of research in an investigator’s laboratory that is related to the mission of NIGMS.  For the purpose of this FOA, a program of research is the collection of projects in an early stage Program Director/Principal Investigator’s (PD/PI’s) lab that are relevant to the mission of NIGMS. (See:  MIRA web page For research in the NIGMS mission, see:

It is anticipated that this funding mechanism will achieve the following:

  • Increase the stability of funding for NIGMS-supported investigators, which could enhance their ability to take on ambitious scientific projects and approach problems more creatively;
  • Increase flexibility for investigators to follow important new research directions as opportunities arise, rather than being bound to specific aims proposed in advance of the studies;
  • More widely distribute funding among the nation’s highly talented and promising investigators to increase overall scientific productivity and the chances for important breakthroughs;
  • Reduce the time spent by researchers writing and reviewing grant applications, allowing them to spend more time conducting research; and
  • Enable PD(s)/PI(s) to devote more time and energy to mentoring junior scientists in a more stable research environment.

In developing MIRA, NIGMS is committed to maintaining support for at least the current total number of NIGMS-funded investigators and their associated programs of research. The Institute will also work to ensure that it maintains a broad and diverse research portfolio in terms of scientific areas, approaches, regional and institutional distribution, investigator career stages, and investigator backgrounds. Such diversity will optimize returns on the Institute’s investments by maximizing the ideas explored and the chances for important breakthroughs.

The NIGMS MIRA program is similar to other NIH R35 awards in that it provides support for the research projects in a single investigator’s laboratory that are in the mission of the institute; however, MIRA differs from the other R35 programs in that it is eventually intended to support most NIGMS investigators.

Clarification (12/21/17):  
The following paragraph has been added to this section to clarify that eligibility is limited to ESIs.

This FOA targets investigators who are beginning their independent research careers.  Applications will be accepted from NIH defined Early Stage Investigators. Note that Early Stage Investigator status can be extended beyond the normal 10-year window after completion of the terminal research degree or medical residency for certain life or career events, as described in NOT-OD-09-034 and on the NIH website. Eligibility to receive the award is determined at the time of award. Applicants who receive R01, SC1, DP1, DP2, or any other type of disqualifying award prior to issuance of the MIRA, are not eligible to receive the award.  Applications from investigators who are not eligible to receive the award will be administratively withdrawn without review.

Deadlines:  October 3, 2017; October 3, 2018; October 3, 2019


Filed Under: Funding Opportunities