NIH: Office of Disease Prevention


ODP Early-Stage Investigator Lecture

Early-Stage Investigator Lecture

The Office of Disease Prevention's Early-Stage Investigator Lecture was developed to recognize early-career prevention scientists who have not competed successfully for a substantial NIH-supported research project, but who have already made substantial, outstanding research contributions to their respective fields and are poised to become future leaders in prevention research.

The submission deadline has passed. The winner will be notified by January 15, 2018. The next Call for Nominations will be posted in early fall 2018.

2018 Lecture Details

The award winner will be invited, with all travel expenses covered, to give a lecture at the NIH on Monday, March 19, 2018. The awardee will also be offered an opportunity for professional networking with NIH program directors and scientists.

Eligibility Criteria

At the time of the nomination due date (October 27, 2017), the candidate must have met the NIH’s definition of an early-stage investigator (ESI). This means the candidate:

  • Had completed a terminal research degree within the last 10 years.
  • Had not yet been awarded a substantial NIH-supported research grant.

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

Nominees should have:

  • Innovative and significant research accomplishments in applied prevention research in people and 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.
  • A track record of career advancement and evidence of leadership roles.

Priority was given to nominees conducting applied prevention research on any of the following:

  • Ten most common causes of death in the United States:
    1. Tobacco
    2. Overweight/obesity
    3. Poor diet
    4. Physical inactivity
    5. Alcohol misuse
    6. Exposure to microbial agents and/or toxic agents
    7. Motor vehicle accidents
    8. Injury and violence
    9. Risky sexual behavior
    10. Substance abuse
  • Methods and measurement research
  • Health disparities
  • Disease screening

Letters of Intent

A Letter of Intent (LOI) to submit a nomination is required (nominees may self-nominate and submit their own LOIs). The LOI should be a 1-page Word document and include:

  1. Nominee’s name, title, affiliation, and date of the terminal degree (Reminder: nominee must have received a terminal degree within the last 10 years.)
  2. eRA Commons ID
    1. Before submitting the LOI, researchers should make sure their New Investigator and ESI status are correctly marked in their eRA Commons profiles. If the status is incorrect, please contact the NIH eRA Service Desk to resolve the issue before submitting an LOI.
  3. Prevention research focus of nominee’s work.

Attach the LOI (as a Word document) to an email and send it to with the subject line “2018 ESIL Letter of Intent” no later than 11:59 p.m. on September 26, 2017.


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. 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, crosscutting and collaborative nature of his/her research, trajectory of career development, and leadership strength. The strongest letters will demonstrate the lasting significance and impact of the nominee’s work to date.
  3. Two letters of endorsement from other mentors or colleagues. Letters of endorsement may be less encompassing than the letter of nomination, but should address similar themes.
  4. A PDF of a key, peer-reviewed article published in the past 12-month period, which is first-authored by the nominee. If in press, please provide a Word version of the accepted paper and the letter of acceptance from the journal.

After compiling all the above elements into a single PDF file, attach the PDF to an email, and send it to with the subject line header “2018 ESIL Nomination” no later than 11:59 p.m. on October 27, 2017.

Review and Selection Process

  • Stage 1: The 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.
  • Stage 2: ODP staff reviews the recommendations from the content-area-specific panels and makes recommendations to the ODP Director.
  • Stage 3: The ODP Director reviews the recommendations and selects the finalists and the winner(s).