Applications for this grant are no longer being accepted.

NIH Director's Early Independence Award Program (DP5) Summer 2016


MGH Internal Preliminary Application Deadline

Extended to Wednesday, July 13, 2016 – 5:00 PM




The NIH Director’s Early Independence Award Program supports exceptional investigators who wish to pursue independent research directly after completion of their terminal doctoral/research degree or clinical residency, thereby forgoing the traditional post-doctoral training and accelerating their entry into an independent research career.

MGH is eligible to nominate two candidates.  Preliminary Applications will be reviewed and assessed by the ECOR Subcommittee on Review of Research Proposals (SRRP). 



This award will be for up to $250,000 in direct costs per year, plus applicable Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs. This award is limited to five years and funding will be effective in the Fall of 2017.



MGH Internal Preliminary Application Deadline:  Extended to Wednesday, July 13, 2016 

NIH Letter of Intent Deadline: August 12, 2016

NIH Deadline: September 12, 2016

Notification to MGH Candidate: Late July



At the time of application:

  • the applicant must have received a PhD, MD (or equivalent doctoral degree) or completed medical residency within the preceding 12 months or within the following twelve months must complete all the requirements for a doctoral degree or complete a medical residency.
  • the applicant must not have served as a post-doctoral fellow following a previous doctoral degree for more than one year. 
  • the applicant must also not be the PI of an NIH R01 or equivalent grant at the time of award.

Level of effort: Individuals must commit at least 9.6 person-months (80% effort) during the first two years of the project period to research supported by the Early Independence Award. In the final three years of the project period, awardees may reduce effort toward the Early Independence Award, but the total effort towards independent research must still be at least 80% effort.

Research independence at time of application: Individuals are eligible only if they, at the time of application submission, do not have research independence. Lack of research independence is defined functionally rather than by position title. Eligible individuals must have all the following characteristics:

  • The candidate's current research agenda is set through concurrence with mentors.
  • The candidate's research is funded primarily through support to other investigators (mentored fellowships such as NIH F31/F32 Fellowships or NSF Graduate Research Fellowships do not preclude eligibility).
  • The candidate does not have any space assigned directly by the institution for the conduct of his or her research.
  • The candidate, according to institutional policy, cannot apply for an NIH R01 grant without special waiver or exemption from the institution.

Though candidates must not be functionally independent at the time of application submission, they may become functionally independent prior to time of award and still retain eligibility for the award.



The MGH internal preliminary application must include the following 5 items:  

1 Project Title

2. Research Proposal (3 pages)

  • Brief description of the project with an emphasis on how appropriate experience, training, and skills obtained will enable you to conduct highly innovative research
  • Brief description of your current scientific environment and how it will foster independent research and contribute to the probability of success

3. Biosketch of the applicant in NIH format (not a CV).  Click here for a sample NIH biosketch.

4. Other Support, a list of other current and pending support sources, in the NIH format.  If the applicant does not have other current or pending support sources, please indicate “none” when applicable.  Click here for a sample Other Support list in the NIH format.

5.  Unit, Service, or Department Chief letter of recommendation (address letters to ECOR Review Committee).



  • Use margins of 0.5 inches or greater
  • Use 11pt font size or greater.
  • Upload PDF documents only.  Limit characters to A-Z, a-z and 0-9 when naming PDF documents.  Do not use periods, commas or dashes in the file name.



ECOR accepts all applications online via the ECOR Online Grant Management Portal.  The system has been designed to allow users to:

  • Create a personal profile, which will auto-populate your future ECOR applications
  • Assign a delegate to submit applications on your behalf (optional)
  • View current calls and apply to open opportunities 
  • Save and edit current applications in progress
  • Submit completed applications.

Instructions for Applying Online:

1.        Create your account: Log in using your Partners credentials and fill-out the profile information.

2.        Complete the application: Once your profile is complete, you will automatically progress through the online application. If you cannot complete the application at one time, “save” the application and return to it at a later time to finish. Before submitting your application, you will have the ability to make changes to the application.

3.        Submit your application: Once you have completed the application click on the “submit” button at the bottom of the page. Once you submit it, you will not be able to make further changes unless you send a request to ECOR (note that once the deadline passes, requests to make changes will not be accepted).


Useful tips:

  • To avoid losing your work, remember to save frequently
  • You can only upload PDF documents
  • If you previously created a profile, please ensure your information is current prior to submitting an application.

  Click 'Apply' below to begin the application.



If you have any questions, please email ECOR.