As part of the limited applications process, the Provost's Office has established an internal process and deadline (11/30/2012) for NIH award for grad and med students that allows junior scientists to bypass the postdoc and go straight to an independent academic position.
The NIH Director’s Early Independence Awards provide an opportunity for exceptional junior scientists to accelerate their entry into an independent research career by forgoing the traditional post-doctoral training period. Though most newly graduated doctoral-level researchers would benefit by post-doctoral training, a small pool of outstanding junior investigators would benefit instead by launching directly into an independent research career. For these select investigators, who have established a record of scientific innovation and research productivity and who have demonstrated unusual leadership, drive, and maturity, post-doctoral training would unnecessarily delay their entry into performing independent research. The NIH Director’s Early Independence Awards also provide an opportunity for institutions to invigorate their research programs by bringing in the fresh perspectives of the awardee scientists that they host.
At the time of application, the Early Independence Award candidate must be within twelve months before or after the completion of their PhD (or equivalent) or for clinicians within twelve months before or after the completion of their medical residency (or equivalent) training. The medical fellowship period is NOT included as part of the medical residence or equivalent training. The date of degree receipt is that which appears on the official transcript for the degree. The time of application is the date when the application is submitted electronically to NIH through Grants.gov. In addition, at the time of application, the Early Independence investigator must not have served as a post-doctoral fellow following a previous doctoral degree for more than one year. By the end of the award period, the Early Independence investigator is expected to be competitive for continued funding of his/her research program and for a permanent research position.
Each institution may submit only up to two applications. In addition to this announcement, Dartmouth has posted an announcement on the NIH matching website at http://commonfund.nih.gov/earlyindependence/matchingportal/list.aspx