NIH has announced a new program to help young scientists make the transition from postdoctoral researchers to tenure-track (or the equivalent) professors. The Pathway to Independence Award program will provide five years of support for each awardee and allots up to two years to complete postdoc obligations and the remaining time to secure and develop an assistant professorship. "Encouraging independent inquiry by promising new investigators is a major goal for NIH," Director Elias A. Zerhouni said at a press briefing. NIH has allocated $394 million to the program over the next five years, with 150-200 awards to be made in each year. Every award is worth about $1 million over the five years: Recipients will be eligible for up to $90,000 for each of the first two years and up to $250,000 in the last three years. Applications for the first set of awards are due this spring, and the awards are expected to be made this fall. The program is open to any researcher working at a U.S. institution, regardless of citizenship. Unlike with other awards, the application review will be done by individual NIH institutes and centers, which Zerhouni notes are in the best position to select talented individuals working in key scientific areas.