mentation of recommendations for fostering the independence of early-career investigators. Among the questions that might be considered are:

  • Are previous recommendations still appropriate and relevant?

  • To what degree have they been implemented?

  • What are the challenges to implementing previous recommendations?

  • Which non-NIH models have been successful in fostering the independence of early-career scientists and how might their most important elements be incorporated into NIH programs?

  • How might support of postdoctoral fellows through research grants be used to foster their independence and reduce any tendencies to stifle their creativity?

  • What is the role of the NIH study section and peer review system in creating the current situation for the funding of young scientists?

  • To what extent can the objectives be achieved by specific instruction to study sections and/or by increasing discretion of Program Officers?

A report will be prepared identifying the challenges and presenting ideas for enhancing the opportunities for young investigators to gain independent research funding. The report will also make recommendations on those topics where consensus can be reached. The study will focus on mechanisms for fostering independent funding in the life sciences, but it may also identify challenges or recommend solutions for dealing with the larger biomedical research and academic structures.

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