Biomedical—The full range of biological, biomedical, behavioral, and health sciences supported by the National Institutes of Health.
Early-Stage Investigator (ESI)—A Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) who has completed their terminal research degree or post-graduate clinical training, whichever date is later, within the past 10 years and who has not previously competed successfully as PD/PI for a substantial NIH independent research award.1 This report also refers to ESIs as early-career investigators.
Early Established Investigator (EEI)—A PD/PI who is within 10 years of receiving their first substantial, independent competing NIH R01 equivalent research award as an ESI.2
Independent Researcher—An individual who enjoys independence of thought—the freedom to define the problem of interest and/or to choose or develop the best strategies and approaches to address that problem. Under this definition, an independent scientist may work alone, as the intellectual leader of a research group, or as a member of a consortium of investigators each contributing distinct expertise. Specifically, we do not intend “independence” to mean necessarily “isolated” or “solitary,” or to imply “self-sustaining” or “separately funded.”
1 See https://grants.nih.gov/policy/early-investigators/index.htm (accessed February 15, 2018).
2 See https://grants.nih.gov/policy/early-investigators/index.htm (accessed February 15, 2018).
Postdoctoral Researcher—An individual in a period of mentored transition to independence, providing (1) increasing intellectual control of scientific direction and (2) professional development in skills necessary to lead a research project.
Underrepresented Minorities (URM)—Three racial or ethnic minority groups (blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians or Native Alaskans) whose representation in science and engineering education or employment is smaller than their representation in the U.S. population.3
3 NSF. Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering 2017. https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2017/nsf17310/digest/glossary-and-key-to-acronyms/ (accessed February 7, 2018).