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2016 NIH Common Fund High-Risk, High-Reward Research Symposium

Date: December 5, 2016 - 5:10 p.m. ET to December 7, 2016 5:10 p.m. ET

Natcher Conference Center Auditorium (Bldg. 45), NIH Campus, Bethesda, MD

Event Description

Register today for the 2016 NIH Common Fund High-Risk, High-Reward Research Symposium

Featuring presentations on groundbreaking research across the biomedical field from recipients of the NIH Director’s Pioneer, New Innovator, Transformative Research, and Early Independence Awards, including Pardis Sabeti (Harvard University), Christina Smolke (Stanford University), Leor Weinberger (University of California, San Francisco), Helen Blau (Stanford University), Ting Wu (Harvard Medical School), Thomas Kupper (Harvard Medical School), Rafael Yuste (Columbia University), and more.

The event is free and open to the public. To view the agenda and register, go to The event will be videocast at

Individuals with disabilities who need sign language interpreters and/or reasonable accommodation to participate in this event should contact Becky Miller in the Office of the Director at 301-594-9979 or at Requests should be made by 5:00 PM on November 30, 2016.


The NIH Common Fund (, in the Office of the Director, supports programs that address key roadblocks in biomedical research impeding basic scientific discovery and its translation into improved human health. Common Fund programs are designed to have broad impact, be catalytic, and tackle challenges that no other entity, including individual NIH Institutes, will be likely or able to do. There currently are 27 different Common Fund programs, spanning the broad mission of NIH.

The NIH Common Fund’s High-Risk, High-Reward Research program ( was created to accelerate the pace of biomedical discoveries by supporting exceptionally creative scientists with highly innovative research ideas of unusually broad impact. Four initiatives within this program serve distinct purposes in achieving this goal:

  • NIH Director’s Pioneer Award—Supports individual scientists of exceptional creativity at any career stage who propose bold approaches to address major challenges in biomedical and behavioral research.
  • NIH Director’s New Innovator Award—Supports unusually creative early career stage investigators with highly innovative research ideas with the potential for broad impact.
  • NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award—Supports exceptionally innovative and/or unconventional research projects that have the potential to create or overturn fundamental paradigms. The initiative permits multiple principal investigators and flexible budgets.
  • NIH Director’s Early Independence Award—Provides a mechanism for outstanding early career scientists to move rapidly into independent research positions by omitting the traditional postdoctoral training period.