The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has commenced a new pilot grant programme, R35 Research Programme Award (RPA), in order to boost creative neurological research by increasing funding stability.
The first 30 awardees of the research grant have been announced by the NIH division, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).
The researchers receive an RPA and will be funded by NINDS to carry out their research for a period of five years.
Under the programme, the funding might also be extended for up to an additional period of three years.
The funding award has been initiated by the NIH in order to offer a longer and consolidated support for a grantee’s overall research programme, rather than solely for individual projects.
NINDS director Dr Walter Koroshetz said: “NINDS created this pilot programme to improve the value of the research it funds by enabling proven investigators to pursue long-range, innovative research instead of continually writing and submitting grant applications.
The 30 award recipients feature major researchers investigating topics, including the use of models such as fruit flies and yeast to better understand neurodegenerative disease, the molecular and cellular changes that give rise to memory, mechanisms of pain, how the human brain forms and grows during development, whole-genome studies to determine how to promote neural repair, and brain disease.
Based on NIH peer review standards, the review of R35 RPA applications included assessing the researchers’ track records, as well as the importance and relevance of their proposed research programmes.