Instead, NIH will launch the Next Generation Researchers Initiative (NGRI) that will allocate $1.1 billion over the next five years to support nearly 2,400 new grants for early and mid-career researchers whose grant proposals receive high scores, but fall short of receiving funds.
At this time, however, there was no immediate promise of where that money would be found, according to an article in the The Chronicle of Higher Education.
In addition to the proposed $1.1 billion fund, Collins also highlights several other elements of the NGRI including:
Tracking the impact of NIH Institute and Center funding decisions for early- and mid-career investigators with fundable scores to ensure this new strategy is effectively implemented in all areas of research;
Placing greater emphasis on current NIH funding mechanisms aimed at early- and mid-career investigators; and,
Encouraging multiple approaches to develop and test metrics that can be used to assess the impact of NIH grant support on scientific progress.
The new proposal is not without skeptics including Garry McDowell from the Future of Research coalition. “I don’t know where the money is going to come from for this,” he said in a Chronicle of Higher Education story.
“It will probably end up affecting our success rates anyway because the money has to come from somewhere.”
McDowell contends that while the program may be effective in the short-term for the existing cohort of early and mid-career researchers, it may have unforeseen ramifications on future generations.