Excellence in Research New Investigator Award

There is strong evidence that underrepresentation is an important problem that the health research enterprise must address (see Women, Minorities and Persons With Disabilities in Science and Engineering). Fostering diversity by addressing underrepresentation in the pediatric research workforce is consistent with Seattle Children’s vision and values.

Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Excellence in Research New Investigator Award program provides the time, funding, mentorship, experiences and training necessary to foster the early career development of the next generation of Seattle Children’s researchers.

The objective of the program is to support new early career faculty positions at Seattle Children’s Research Institute for promising researchers from backgrounds recognized as Underrepresented in the Extramural Scientific Workforce. This includes, but is not limited to, individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis. We anticipate up to four scientists will be recruited and selected each year, at either a postdoctoral position level, or at faculty levels of instructor, acting assistant professor or assistant professor, and receive up to three years of salary support and project funds. This program is open to both current Seattle Children’s investigators and external investigators who would like to join Seattle Children's.

  • Purpose and summary

    The goal of Seattle Children’s Excellence in Research New Investigator Award program is to facilitate early career investigators’ transition to research independence. We will invest in scientists with high potential for NIH funding. The expectation at program completion is an NIH funded K-award, R-award, or extramural equivalent.

    The program supports the career development of individuals identified as underrepresented in biomedical science across the translational spectrum. Basic, preclinical, clinical and public health research are all able to be supported by this award. Examples of basic and pre-clinical research include therapeutic target identification and/or validation, development of novel therapeutics prior to clinical testing, in vitro or cell-based assays or research using animal models. Examples of clinical and public health research includes patient-oriented research, small- and large-scale clinical investigation and trials, epidemiology and health services, health behavior, and community-based research.

    Research must be consistent with Seattle Children’s mission to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible.

  • Program overview
    • Protected research time: Scientists must devote at least nine person-months (75% FTE) of full-time professional effort to pursuing their proposed research project and engaging in career development and program activities. This requirement protects scientists’ research time and ensures they have the freedom to develop their projects and their careers.
    • Salary support: This award requires a minimum of 75% of a scientist’s full-time effort with salary support. Salary support of up to $100,000 salary funding is allowed. Fringe funding is calculated additionally, at the rate applicable to the awardee individual’s role. If salary costs for 75% effort exceed $100,000, institutional support (i.e., cost share from appropriate source(s)) must cover the difference (of salary and associated fringe costs) to support 75% FTE in this program. For certain subspecialties (e.g., surgery, ENT) a minimum of 50% FTE is required.
    • Research and career development funds: Scientists will receive $25,000/year in funds to support their research and travel.
    • Mentorship: In addition to the scientist’s own mentorship team, awardees will develop an Individual Development Plan (IDP) with milestones and quarterly mentor meetings with a program director.
  • Eligibility

    The program is open to individuals in the early stage of their career at the postdoctoral level or early career faculty level who plan to conduct or are conducting research. Early career is defined as a scientist who has completed their terminal research degree or end of post-graduate clinical training, whichever date is later, within the past 10 years and who has not previously competed successfully as principal investigator for an NIH independent research award. The goal of this program is to support the career development of individuals identified as underrepresented in biomedical science.

    Investigators must:

    • Be at an early stage of their career.
    • Have a research or health-professional doctoral degree relevant to child health. These degrees include MD, PhD, DrPH, DO, DDS, DVM, DMD, OD, DC, PharmD, ND, PsyD. We encourage graduates of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and medical schools to apply.
    • Be able to commit a minimum of nine calendar months of full-time professional effort for research activities, career development and program activities.
    • Have personal and/or professional experience with underrepresented and/or culturally diverse communities.
    • Should have a research interest or track record of research involving health related issues relevant to underrepresented and/or culturally diverse communities. Wet laboratory-based scientists may want to comment on how their life experiences have/may shape their approach to answering basic science questions.

    Applicants are ineligible for the program if they are:

    • Simultaneously participating in clinical fellowships leading to clinical certification (see FAQ below).
    • PI of any type of NIH award (K-award, R03, R21, R01, U01 or other type of award). Applicants who are co-investigators on NIH or other federal or non-federal sources of funding are eligible.
    • An individual mid-career making a change into clinical research.
    • Have received research funds exceeding $200,000 from any single source (internal to Seattle Children’s or external).

    Additional information:

    • This award is open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents and those with a H-1B or other visa that enables them to legally work in the United States.
    • This award may support global health research (see FAQ).
    • Exceptions to 75% effort requirement may be made for certain procedure-based specialties (see FAQ).
    • Future grants of awardees must be submitted through Seattle Children’s Research Institute.
  • How to apply

    To be eligible for this program, you should apply for or inquire about an open junior faculty position at one of the centers at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Search Seattle Children's careers page for jobs at the research institute or contact a research center director.

    For early career investigators interested in this program, applications are considered on a rolling basis annually, and applicants are reviewed by an internal selection committee. Submit a CV and cover letter to the relevant research centers based on your research background and interest, or email us directly.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    How many funded positions will there be?

    Up to four scientists each year may be selected into this program. This award may be given to basic science, preclinical, clinical and/or public health researchers.

    If an applicant has a pending K-award under review at NIH, is he/she eligible to apply for the program?

    Yes. If an applicant receives both this award and the K-award, the K-award will replace the salary support provided by this award. The scientist will retain their project funds related to this award.

    If an applicant is already studying under an existing NIH funded K-award, is he/she eligible for the program?


    If the potential applicant is a principal investigator or project director (PI/PD) of an NIH grant is he/she still eligible? What if the applicant is the PI of a smaller grant such as an R03 or R21?

    No. Individuals who are PI of any independent NIH award are not eligible to apply for this award.

    Can this award be combined with a clinical fellowship?

    In general, no. Funds cannot be used to support clinical fellowship training. However, fellows who have completed the part of their fellowship needed for sub-specialty certification are eligible to apply. For example, although a medical oncology fellowship may last three to four years, fellows who have completed two years may be eligible to sit for the boards and are therefore eligible. In general, applicants should be board-eligible for their specialty or subspecialty when they enter the program. Please check with us to confirm eligibility.

    Do I need to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to apply?

    This award is open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents and those with a H-1B or other visa that enables them to legally work in the United States.

    Can I conduct research outside the U.S. and Canada or focus on global health?

    Yes. However, the research should clearly align with the priorities of NIH and have potential for future NIH funding.

    Do I have to be part of Seattle Children’s Hospital or the Research Institute to apply?

    No. We encourage external applications.

    Do I have to be University of Washington faculty to apply?


    If I have received $200,000 or more in direct costs to support my research from a foundation or other non-NIH or non-federal source, am I still eligible to apply?


    If I have received $200,000 or more in support from Seattle Children’s to support my research, am I still eligible to apply?


  • Contact us

    For questions or clarifications of these criteria and/or process, please email us.