• Effective programs that have a large impact on the potential impact of a beginning researcher to hire people and obtain computers and other necessary equipment need not be high-cost. For example, the NIH FIRST (R29) award provides a research support for newly independent, biomedical and behavioral science investigators to initiate their own research and demonstrate the merit of their own research ideas.2

  • Focus more on middle-level people who have tenure, because they are able to take the risks entailed in IDR.

  • Focus funding on fellows and on travel grants that provide them with the necessary independence.

  • Create independent IDR institutions where people can come together on equal footing.

Institutional Mechanisms

  • Focus attention on institutional roles—the leadership of an organization is critical.

  • Create universitywide interdisciplinary research positions.

Other issues:

  • When disciplines come together, they need to do so on an equal basis

  • Treat postdoctoral fellows as the glue between researchers who should be joint advisers.

  • Study history.

  • Make medical schools more hospitable to IDR.


Guidelines for FIRST awards Web page http://grants2.nih.gov/grants/policy/r29.htm.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement