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  • Washington Highlights

    NIH Requests Input on a Potential “Emeritus Award” for Senior Researchers

    Stephen Heinig, Director, Science Policy
    Anurupa Dev, Director, Science Policy & Strategy

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Feb. 3 released a request for information (RFI)to measure the scientific community’s interest in a potential “emeritus award” to help with succession planning for senior investigators should they wish to transition to a new position.

    The RFI notes “long term succession planning” is an “important” issue for NIH. Therefore, NIH has been examining strategies to sustain a vibrant biomedical workforce since the establishment of a working group in 2011, and is evaluating NIH policies that would create the most productive research environment and also support early career investigators.

    In a Feb. 3 blog post, NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research Sally Rockey, Ph.D., said, “We want to explore how we can help senior investigators who wish to transition out of a position that relies on funding from NIH research grants, and facilitate the transfer of their work, knowledge and resources to junior colleagues.”

    Dr. Rockey also cited a recent report by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) examining major challenges to the research enterprise. The report proposes the idea of a “transition award” as an incentive for senior scientists to reduce the size of their laboratory and free up grant funding for early-career researchers.