Apparently NIH was feeling a little left out of the ol' funding institute acronym game, which I daresay NSF has had an easy lock on for quite some time. I mean, with award names like CAREER, BREAD, BEACON, and OPERA, how could poor NIH even expect to compete? But lo! 'Tis a new day, as NIH recently unveiled a re-issue of the BRAINS award, which I also daresay is quite an awesome thing.
In a nutshell, the Biobehavioral Research Award for Innovative New Scientists (very well played) is an R01 RFA specifically for Early Stage Investigators with Hot New Ideas that might be seen as too risky by traditional study sections*. The fact that this is an RFA has two big advantages: 1) your submission will be judged only against other ESI proposals; 2) if you don't get funded, you can resubmit to a standard study section as an A0, not an A1, so it's like hey, free summary statement!
They seem to be interested in extremely specific research directions, here, so I highly recommend you read the RFA description and objectives carefully. Also, note that there's a bit of a career development aspect to the award, in that you're required to put together an "advising committee" and provide some sort of career statement.
Submission due date is Oct 23 of this year and next year, folks. Now go forth and innovate!
*That this is an existing problem to begin with is one issue perhaps worth discussing on its own, and yes, we should probably work on changing study section attitudes rather than giving innovative and risk-taking ESIs a sheltered forum in which to propose their amazing and crazy ideas. But I guess it's a start.