On May 2, FASEB submitted written comments to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) on two awards – the Emerging Investigator Award (EIA) and Outstanding Investigator Award (OIA) – offered by the R35 mechanism. Similar to R35 awards offered by other Institutes of the National Institutes of Health, the EIA and OIA promote research productivity and innovation while providing longer-term support and flexibility to pursue emerging and promising lines of scientific inquiry.
In its comments, FASEB highlighted several components of the EIA and OIA programs that would make them appealing to early stage and established investigators, respectively. Providing funding in support of a researcher’s program, rather than a few specific aims, encourages researchers to consider broader impacts of his or her research and follow interesting new lines of inquiry as they arise. The seven-year term of funding allows PIs sufficient time to develop research findings more fully and reduces the likelihood of premature publication of results, thus enhancing scientific rigor of funded research.
FASEB encouraged NHLBI to share data and preliminary assessments for each program, including analysis of applicant and awardee demographics, and coordinate efforts with the leadership of other NIH Institutes offering similar mechanisms to ensure clear communications with applicants regarding eligibility for R35 grants across different Institutes.