Letter of Intent Due: May 24, 2013
Application Deadline: June 24, 2013
The Lasker Clinical Research Scholars Program will address the clinical research mission of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and will lead to better treatments for disease and to improvements in human health. The NIH funds research and research training at extramural institutions, as well as within the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP) to address this goal. However, these efforts can be hindered by barriers to clinical and translational research. Such barriers include limited research time for clinical investigators, increases in the length of time to independent careers, and access to hospital facilities and patient enrollments.
In an effort to address those barriers, the NIH has created the Lasker Clinical Research Scholars (Lasker Scholars) program that will offer applicants the opportunity to compete for a unique combination of intramural and extramural resources for clinical research. The program will support a small number of exceptional clinical researchers in the early stages of their careers to promote their development to fully independent scientists. The program combines a period of research experience as a tenure-track Principal Investigator in the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP) with an opportunity for additional years of independent financial support, either within the IRP or at an extramural research institution.
The program honors the contributions of Mary and Albert Lasker to the National Institutes of Health and to the overall biomedical community.
The Lasker Scholars program aims to support successful candidates in two phases. The first phase will support scholars in the IRP for up to 5 years, with the possibility of an extension for an additional 2 years. Successful applicants for the Lasker Scholars Program will be appointed as independent tenure-track investigators within an NIH Institute or Center, a process that includes being hired as a full time employee at the NIH and completing the procedures required of new Federal government employees. The IRP will provide space, research expenses, full salary, and Federal employee benefits. Scholars will develop independent research activities over the course of their stay in the IRP, and will be formally reviewed by a panel of senior extramural investigators every 2-4 years to evaluate their research progress.
Upon successfully completing the initial IRP phase of the program, the Lasker Scholar will be eligible for two options in the second phase:
Option 1. Remain in the IRP with continued intramural funding and progression to tenured senior investigator status, if consistent with formal reviews and assessments. Retention in the IRP will be dependent on the development of a mutual agreement between the Scholar and the IRP. Tenure at the NIH requires evaluation and approval by the NIH Deputy Director for Intramural Research.
Option 2. Scholars who successfully complete at least five years in the first phase of the program will be eligible to compete for an extramural research grant in the second phase of the program as an independent researcher. The second phase of the Lasker Scholars Program involves competition for a grant that can provide direct costs of up to $500,000/year (plus applicable Facilities and Administration (F&A) costs) for up to 5 years at an extramural institution. Scholars who choose to leave the Lasker program before completing 5 years of research in the IRP will not be eligible to compete for the Lasker Scholars Grant but will be eligible to compete for other extramural NIH research grants as announced in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts.
The NIH expects to make at least 3 Lasker Scholar awards in the first year of the program, ultimately reaching a steady-state of 20-30 active awardees.
The NIH recognizes a unique and compelling need to promote diversity in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences research workforce. The NIH expects all of its efforts to diversify the workforce to lead to the recruitment of the most talented researchers; to improve the quality of the education and training for all researchers; to balance and broaden national perspectives in setting research priorities; to improve the ability to recruit subjects from diverse backgrounds into clinical research protocols; and to improve the Nation’s capacity to address and eliminate health disparities. The NIH encourages applications from talented researchers from diverse backgrounds that may be underrepresented in biomedical research, including underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, persons with disabilities and women for participation in all NIH-funded research opportunities.
Application details are announced in the Request for Applications. For general questions regarding the Lasker Clinical Research Scholars Program, contact:
Charles R. Dearolf, Ph.D.
Assistant Director for Intramural Research
National Institutes of Health
Building 1, Room 152
Bethesda, MD 20892