Early Stage Investigator Lecture

Nomination and Selection Process

The ODP Early Stage Investigator Lecture (ESIL) award is given to an early career prevention scientist who has made significant research contributions, but who has not yet successfully competed for an R01 or R01-equivalent NIH research grant.   

Call for Nominations

The nomination period is currently closed. We will open the Call for Nominations for the 2025 awardee in the fall of 2024. Please sign up for our listserv to receive updates about this and other ODP events and programs. 

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Eligibility Criteria


At the time of the nomination due date, the candidate must meet NIH’s definition of an early stage investigator (ESI). This means the candidate:

  • Completed a terminal research degree within the last 10 years
  • Has not yet been awarded an R01 or R01-equivalent NIH research grant.  

See a list of NIH grants that an investigator can hold and still be considered an ESI.

Federal government employees, including fellows and contractors, are not eligible.

Nominees should have:

  • Innovative and significant research accomplishments in applied prevention research in humans in areas that are relevant to the ODP’s mission
  • Evidence of highly collaborative research projects, especially those that bridge disciplines to offer new approaches and ways of thinking in disease prevention research.

Priority will be given to nominees conducting applied preventive intervention research to address health disparities in any of the following common risk factors for death and disability in the United States: tobacco, overweight/obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity, alcohol misuse, drug abuse, risky sexual behavior, injury and violence, infectious disease, and environmental health.

Nomination Packages and Submission Instructions


Nomination packages may be submitted by the nominee or the nominee’s mentor. Nomination packages must be a single PDF file that includes:

  1. NIH Biosketch including a link (URL) to the nominee’s My Bibliography in PubMed
    1. If you do not have a My Bibliography in PubMed, refer to these simple step-by-step instructions to save your citations in PubMed to a “My Bibliography”
    2. Use the URL that PubMed automatically generates when you change your “My Bibliography” sharing setting to public.
  2. One letter of nomination (1,000 words or less) from a mentor or colleague familiar with the nominee’s work, addressing the nominee’s innovative contribution to the field of prevention research, and the nominee's cross-cutting and collaborative nature of the nominee's research. This letter should demonstrate the lasting significance and impact of the nominee’s work to date.
  3. A PDF of a key peer-reviewed article published in the past 12 months, which is first or senior authored by the nominee. If in press, please provide a Word version of the accepted paper and the letter of acceptance from the journal.

The submission should be compiled into a single PDF file, labeled with the nominee's first and last name. Attach the PDF to an email and send it to by the deadline. 

Review and Selection Process


The review process consists of two stages.

  • Stage 1: ODP assembles review panels composed of NIH staff with relevant expertise (informed by the nominations received). These content-area specific panels perform the initial review of the nomination packages and make recommendations to the ODP Director.
  • Stage 2: The ODP Director reviews the recommendations and selects the finalists and the winner(s).  
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