Next Generation Researchers Initiative Working Group


NIH and its stakeholder community have for many years been concerned about the long-term stability of the biomedical research enterprise. Increasing numbers of researchers vying for a limited set of resources has led to a hypercompetitive environment in which many highly meritorious applications go unfunded. The current environment is particularly challenging for early- and mid-career investigators.

Over the last several years, NIH has taken numerous steps to balance, strengthen, and stabilize the biomedical research workforce. However, these measures have only taken us so far. To address this challenging issue, and to ensure the long-term stability and strength of the U.S. biomedical research enterprise, NIH proposed the Next Generation Researchers Initiative (NGRI) to support early stage investigators and mid-career investigators through specific funding and evaluation efforts. NIH convened a working group of the Advisory Council to the NIH Director to provide input on the NGRI policy and strategy.


The ACD Working Group on the Next Generation Researchers Initiative (ACD Next Gen WG) will provide feedback on the Next Gen WG recommendations and resultant policies, programs, and activities.

Consistent with this charge, the ACD Next Gen WG will:

  • Review data and analyses to assess the impact of the Next Gen policy on the overall NIH scientific portfolio and workforce trends;
  • Advise the ACD on activities in support of the aims of the Next Generation Researchers Initiative and biomedical research workforce;
  • Advise the ACD on the alignment of recommendations with the work of other ACD and internal NIH WGs regarding the demographics of workforce, age, sex, ethnic/racial diversity, MDs vs. PhDs;
  • Provide consultation on strategies for research community input to NIH initiatives in support of the biomedical research workforce

In carrying out its charge, and in alignment with ACD recommendations, the working group will engage individuals at every career stage, as well as research institutions and other stakeholders, to ensure that the Next Gen policy is effective in its goal of providing long-term stability and strength to the U.S. biomedical research enterprise. The ACD Next Gen WG will determine when formal reports are necessary, except when requested at the direction of the NIH Director.



  • Christine Curran, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Biological Sciences
    Northern Kentucky University
  • Amicia Elliott, PhD
    Postdoctoral PRAT Fellow
    National Institute of Mental Health/National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
  • Gary Gibbons, MD
    National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
  • Linda Griffith, PhD
    S.E.T.I. Professor of Biological and Mechanical Engineering
    Director, Center for Gynepathology Research
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Pamela Kreeger, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Vilas Associate
    Biomedical Engineering
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Cell and Regenerative Biology
    University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
  • Michael Lauer, MD
    Deputy Director for Extramural Research
  • Michael Levitt, PhD
    Structural Biology and Computer Science
    Member, Bio-X
    Stanford University
  • Jon Lorsch, PhD
    National Institute for General Medical Sciences
  • Stephani Page, PhD
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Timothy Reddy, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Biostatistics and Bioinformatics
    Duke University
  • Juan Pablo Ruiz
    NIH Oxford Scholar
    National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
  • Elba E. Serrano, PhD
    Regents Professor
    Department of Biology
    College of Arts and Sciences
    New Mexico State University
  • Christina Stallings, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Molecular Microbiology
    Washington University School of Medicine
  • Bruce Weinberg, PhD
    The Ohio State University


  • Jose Florez, MD, PhD
    Chief, Diabetes Unit
    Investigator, Center for Genomic Medicine
    Massachusetts General Hospital
    Associate Professor
    Harvard Medical School
    Institute Member
    Broad Institute
  • Lawrence A. Tabak, DDS, PhD
    Acting Director


  • Nicole J. Garbarini, PhD
    Immediate Office of the Director


  1. An ESI is a Program Director / Principal Investigator (PD/PI) 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 PD/PI for a substantial NIH independent research award.
  2. An EEI is a PD/PI who is within 10 years of receiving their first substantial, independent competing NIH R01 equivalent research award as an ESI. A meritorious application with a designated PD/PI EEI may be prioritized for funding if: The EEI lost or is at risk for losing all NIH research support if not funded by competing awards this year, OR The EEI is supported by only one active award.
  3. As described in NIH Guide NOT-OD-18-214, NIH will not use the EEI definition. It will continue to prioritize funding for Early Stage Investigators (ESIs) and, pending the deliberations of this working group, will employ the interim strategy of considering support for "at risk investigators" (investigators with meritoriously-scored applications who would not have major NIH research funding if the application under consideration is not awarded and who do not have significant research support from other sources).

This page last reviewed on August 31, 2017