The NIH MERIT award (Method To Extend Research in Time) Award (R37) was created by the National Institutes of Health in 1986. It is a prestigious award designed to provide stable, long-term funding support to outstanding, experienced investigators whose productivity is distinctly superior and who are deemed highly likely to continue to perform their research activities in an outstanding manner. The MERIT award provided funding for 5 years and could be renewed for up to 10 years. Unlike most NIH grant awards, the MERIT award could not be applied for by the investigator. The OIA allows for up to $600,000 in direct costs for 7 years.

In 2014, NIH announced that it would be phasing out the MERIT award and replacing it with a similar Outstanding Investigator Award (R35).

Notable MERIT award recipients

Name Institute Year
Susan Amara National Institutes of Health 2004
Alexander Raikhel University of California Riverside
Arnold Berk UCLA 2003
Gary Borisy Northwestern University
Joan Brugge Harvard Medical School
Joseph D. Brain Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health 1987-1995
Donald S. Coffey Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Chris Q. Doe University of Oregon 2013
John Engelhardt University of Iowa 2005
David L. Felten Oakland University
Andrew Feinberg Johns Hopkins University 2001
Catherine Clarke Fenselau Johns Hopkins University 1991
Ethel Gilbert National Cancer Institute 2003
Patricia A. Grady NIH
Shiv I.S. Grewal National Cancer Institute
Alan Grodzinsky MIT 1994
Curtis C. Harris National Cancer Institute 2009
Eric Jacobsen Harvard University 2002
Lily Jan UCSF 2006
Kenneth W. Kinzler Johns Hopkins University 2002
Leonid Kruglyak Princeton University 2002
M. Daniel Lane Johns Hopkins School of Medicine 1990
Mitchell Lazar University of Pennsylvania
Xihong Lin Harvard University 2007
Andrew D. Luster Massachusetts General Hospital
James L. Manley Columbia University
Sean J. Morrison UT Southwestern 2009
Eric N. Olson UT Southwestern 2000
Pier Paolo Pandolfi Harvard Medical School 2005
Carol Prives Columbia University 1996
Julius Rebek Scripps Research Institute 1996
Clarice Reid NHLBI
Sandra Schmid UT Southwestern 2000
John M. Sedivy Brown University 2009
Edward I. Solomon Stanford University 1995, 2002
Suresh Subramani UC San Diego
Inder Verma Salk Institute for Biological Studies 1987
William T. Wickner Dartmouth Medical School
Charles R. Wira Dartmouth College
George Woude Van Andel Research Institute 1982
Hao Wu Harvard Medical School
Nancy Zahniser University of Colorado