Renewal of the NIDDK Catalyst Award

May 2024 Council

Lead Division/Office


Point(s) of Contact

David Saslowsky, Ph.D., Carol Haft, Ph.D.

Executive Summary

NIH high risk/high reward (HRHR) grant programs supported by the NIH Office of the Director (NIH-OD), including the Pioneer and New Innovator programs, have been highly successful at diversifying and strengthening grant portfolios across NIH. The NIH-OD programs are designed to prioritize research that spans the interests of multiple NIH institutes, and as a result, HRHR proposals that focus on NIDDK's mission areas are underrepresented. The NIDDK Catalyst initiative is patterned after key elements of the OD Pioneer Award, including requirements for an essay-based proposal focused on goals that are bold and innovative. Accordingly, the Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition (DDDN) joined with the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases (DDEM) to offer this Catalyst program for FY2021 that funded such HRHR proposals within the missions of DDDN/DDEM. Another RFA for Catalyst applications was published in FY2023 and applications are currently awaiting review in early 2024. Based on the robust responses to these prior funding opportunities, there remains a need to continue to support this unique and important part of DDDN’s/DDEM’s grant portfolios and provide a consistent avenue to support HRHR research to tackle intractable problems within NIDDK's mission.