NIH plans to invest about $60 million over the next five years to help junior-level scientists launch independent research programs within a year of completing their doctorate degrees. The Early Independence Award program targets a small number of talented researchers who do not need traditional postdoc training, according to NIH. The awards “will reduce the amount of time these exceptional junior scientists spend in training and allow them to start highly innovative research programs as early in their careers as possible,” NIH Director Francis S. Collins said in a statement. NIH expects to grant up to 10 of these new awards in the fall of 2011. Each award will provide up to $250,000 per year for up to five years. Applications for the awards must be submitted by a host institution on behalf of an investigator by Jan. 21, 2011. Each institution is limited to two applications per year, and each investigator may apply only once.