The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognizes researchers who have demonstrated superior competence and outstanding productivity in research endeavors by the highly selective award, the MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) Award. MERIT Awards provide long-term support to investigators with impressive records of scientific achievement in research areas of special importance or promise. Less than 5 percent of NIH-funded investigators are selected to receive MERIT Awards.
Initiated in 1987, the MERIT Award program extends funding to experienced researchers who have superior grants and who have demonstrated a long-term commitment to and success in research. The principal feature of the program is the opportunity for such investigators to gain up to ten years of grant support. The MERIT Awards are intended to provide such investigators with long-term, stable support to foster their continued creativity and spare them some of the administrative burdens associated with frequent preparation and submission of research grant applications.
The MERIT Award (R37) program provides a means to recognize the most outstanding R01 applications from superior researchers. Program staff and/or members of the National Cancer Advisory Board will identify candidates for the MERIT Award during the course of review of competing research grant applications prepared and submitted in accordance with regular PHS requirements.