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Updated: 6 hours 29 min ago

NIGMS Administrative Supplements for Helium Recovery Systems

Thu, 2019-07-11 15:26

We’re offering administrative supplements to NIGMS-funded P20, P30, P41, R01, R35, R37, and RM1 awards for the purchase of helium recovery systems. The deadline for these supplement applications is August 5, 2019.

Note that:

  • These funds are intended for the purchase of a single system with requested direct costs up to $250,000.
  • The requested supplemental budget cannot exceed the total-year direct cost amount of the parent award. Applications may not include requests for future-year funds.
  • For these supplements, we request one application from an NIGMS grantee on behalf of all active NIGMS-funded researchers at the same institution whose projects make use of helium-cooled, magnetic resonance instrument(s) (i.e., NMR, EPR, MRI).
  • The budget justification should include an equipment quote and a statement regarding the expenditure of currently available unobligated funds for the submitting principal investigator’s (PI’s) grant.
  • Applicants should provide the following information:
  • A list of the NIGMS-funded PIs (and grant numbers) who use the instrumentation
  • A list of instruments that will be integrated into the helium recovery system, including the magnetic field strength and design (pumped or not)
  • The average volume of helium used annually, the anticipated volume that will be recaptured, and the typical efficiency of the helium recovery system
  • The name and biosketch of the person who will maintain the helium recovery system, a schedule of the anticipated regular maintenance tasks this staff member will perform, and a description of this person’s other duties and commitments  
  • A letter of commitment from the institution agreeing to pay for any initial costs not covered by the supplement and for future maintenance costs
  • Applications must be submitted to PA-18-591, Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional). Use the research application package labeled FORMS-E-ADMINSUPP-RESEARCH.
  • Electronic submissions are strongly preferred for this funding opportunity.

Eligible investigators are highly encouraged to contact me to discuss potential requests before submitting an application.

Funding Opportunity: NIGMS National and Regional Resources

Thu, 2019-06-27 09:01

Research resources provide access to technologies, methods, and expertise that are not generally available to individual laboratories. Large-scale research resources can significantly broaden access to cutting-edge technologies and can achieve economies of scale not possible for facilities serving individual institutions.

We have just published a new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) to support national and regional (multistate) resources for biomedical research that will provide access to state-of-the-art facilities, equipment, technologies, research tools, and software to many users. We expect the impact of these resources and the number of users to be on a similar scale to what is achieved by synchrotron beamlines and cryo-electron microscopy centers.

Resources eligible for funding must:

  • Have been developed with previous NIGMS support
  • Be able to accommodate a regional- or national-scale user community
  • Be available to any qualified biomedical researcher, regardless of their focus
  • Provide technical capabilities within NIGMS-supported research areas

Resources should not:

  • Require substantial technology research and development efforts
  • Replace or duplicate institutionally supported resources or those supported by other NIH institutes and centers

Existing resources that meet the criteria above may apply to this FOA. Alternatively, multiple, existing facilities that together meet these criteria can propose to merge to create a single resource eligible for funding. This FOA includes support to maintain and upgrade resource capabilities, to make their availability known through community outreach, and to provide user training and support. Stand-alone data repositories and knowledgebases will not be supported through this FOA because separate FOAs for those activities will be issued soon, coordinated by the NIH Office of Data Science Strategy.

Resources must be dedicated to user service and have a focus on optimizing access, utility, and efficiency of operations. Investigators who are interested in support for large-scale resources with significant technology development efforts should not apply to this FOA but should instead consider the NIGMS Biomedical Technology Research Resource (P41) program. If you have any questions about this FOA, please contact Peter Preusch.

Funding Opportunity: Diversity Program Consortium Dissemination and Translation Awards (DPC DaTA) and Webinar

Wed, 2019-06-26 11:51

On behalf of the NIH Common Fund, we’ve just released a new funding opportunity announcement soliciting applications for the Diversity Program Consortium Dissemination and Translation Awards (DPC DaTA) (U01).

This initiative is designed to broaden the DPC’s national impact. It provides an opportunity for institutions not currently part of the DPC to apply for funding to employ the consortium’s experimental methods to understand the effectiveness of biomedical research training, mentoring, or research capacity building interventions.

Funded programs are expected to:

  • Conduct hypothesis-driven research
  • Use rigorous DPC methods for evaluation (e.g., the use of the DPC hallmarks of success, data elements, and matched controls and/or comparison groups)
  • Disseminate the results to inform the biomedical community on what factors enhance diversity in the biomedical research workforce and why those factors have an influence

NIH intends to make 12 awards in fiscal year 2020. Eligible institutions must be domestic associate and/or baccalaureate degree-granting colleges and universities that 1) received NIH research project grant funding averaging less than $7.5 million total costs per year over the past 3 fiscal years, and 2) have at least 25% of undergraduate students supported by Pell grants.

For more details about the program, visit the DPC DaTA webpage.

DPC DaTA Webinar

Join us to learn more about this new program. During the webinar, NIGMS staff will provide an overview of the program and will explain application expectations and requirements for the upcoming October 8, 2019, receipt date.

Wednesday, July 17, 1:00-3:00 p.m. ET
Learn More

NIGMS Statement in Support of Diverse and Inclusive Meetings and Conferences

Tue, 2019-06-25 09:12

On June 12, NIH Director Francis Collins announced that he will not take part in conferences or meetings in which “attention to inclusiveness is not evident in the agenda.” In keeping with this announcement, all NIGMS staff, including leadership, program and scientific review officers, grants management specialists, and others, will only attend meetings and conferences where the organizers have shown a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion in their selection of chairs, speakers, and panelists. NIGMS has a long-standing mission to promote diversity in the scientific enterprise. Helping to ensure that the organizers of scientific conferences and meetings plan diverse and inclusive agendas will further our goal of developing the most creative, vibrant, and productive biomedical research workforce possible.

Funding Opportunity: Sponsored Programs Administration Development (SPAD) Program and Webinar

Wed, 2019-06-19 10:01

We’ve just released a new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) soliciting applications for the Diversity Program Consortium’s Sponsored Programs Administration Development (SPAD) Program (UC2).  

A primary goal of the program is to enhance faculty and student participation in biomedical research and research training programs. These programs include undergraduate research programsAcademic Research Enhancement Awards (R15), and Support of Competitive Research (SC1, SC2, SC3), among others. Funded institutions are expected to develop offices that provide services such as professional development in targeted areas (e.g., enhancing grant-writing skills), pre- and post-award services, and certification-guided training of sponsored program staff and leadership.

Applicant institutions are limited to domestic associate and baccalaureate degree-granting colleges and universities that 1) received NIH research project grant funding averaging less than $7.5 million total costs per year over the past 3 fiscal years, and 2) have at least 25% of undergraduate students supported by Pell grants. Health professional schools are not eligible to apply to this FOA.

We intend to fund up to 10 awards per year. Application budgets are limited to $200,000 direct costs per year, and the total project period may not exceed 3 years.

SPAD Program Webinar

Join us to learn more about this new program. During the webinar, NIGMS staff will provide an overview of the program and will explain application expectations and requirements for the upcoming July 25 receipt date.

Tuesday, July 2, 1:00-3:00 p.m. ET
Learn More

Webinar for Postdoctoral Research Associate Training (PRAT) Program Applicants

Mon, 2019-06-03 09:54

We recently reissued the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for the Postdoctoral Research Associate Training (PRAT) Program and will host a webinar for interested students and fellows:

Wednesday, June 19, 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET

PRAT is a competitive 3-year fellowship program that prepares trainees for leadership positions in biomedical careers. Training includes a mentored laboratory research experience and intensive career and leadership development activities. PRAT fellows conduct research in laboratories in the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP) in basic biomedical research areas within the NIGMS mission. These areas include, but are not limited to, biological chemistry, biophysics, bioinformatics, cellular and molecular biology, computational biosciences, developmental biology, genetics, immunology, neuroscience, pharmacology, physiology, and technology development.

Graduate students considering postdoctoral research opportunities at NIH, or current NIH Intramural Research Training Award postdoctoral fellows who started no earlier than July 1, 2018, are eligible to apply. All applications require connecting with an investigator in the NIH IRP in advance of writing the application. 

To access the webinar, visit the WebEx meeting page and enter the meeting number (access code) 626 200 454 and the password nigms. You can also attend by phone by calling 1-650-479-3208 from anywhere in the United States or Canada and entering the meeting number. Slides will be posted on the PRAT website following the event.

NIGMS Staff and PRAT Fellows Participating in June 19 Webinar:

  • Kenneth Gibbs, Director, PRAT Program
  • Mercedes Rubio, Program Officer, PRAT Program
  • Miriam Bocarsly, PRAT Fellow
  • Tommy Vo, PRAT Fellow
  • Sofia Beas, PRAT Fellow

We look forward to talking with you about the PRAT Program.

Webinar for NIH Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) Applicants

Wed, 2019-05-29 15:42

Are you preparing an NIH Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) (R25) application for the July 9 receipt date? If so, please join us for a webinar about the program and the opportunity to ask questions: 

Wednesday, June 5, 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET

During the webinar, we’ll provide an overview of the program and share our expectations of applications and how they will be assessed for fit to the program. You can send questions in advance to NIGMS_SEPA_Mailbox@nih.gov or post them in the chat box during the event.

To join the webinar, visit the WebEx meeting page and enter the meeting number 623 628 879 and the password nigms1. If you’re unable to attend online, you can join by phone by calling 1-650-479-3208 from anywhere in the United States or Canada and entering the meeting number above.

NIGMS Staff Participating in the June 5 Webinar:

  • Tony Beck, SEPA Program Director
  • Rashada Alexander, SEPA Program Director
  • Brian Iglesias, Grants Management Specialist
  • Jonathan Arias, Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review

We look forward to talking to you about the SEPA program. Slides will be posted on the SEPA webpage following the event.

Recommendations of the NIGMS Working Group on Sepsis

Thu, 2019-05-23 12:04

Sepsis is a serious condition that affects about 1.7 million people and causes about 270,000 deaths annually in the U.S. Because it involves multiple organ systems, it is also one of the clinical research areas supported by NIGMS. Despite decades of research, sepsis remains a poorly understood condition with limited diagnostic tools or therapeutic interventions.

Nearly a year ago, we established a working group of our Advisory Council to advise us on how best to advance sepsis research. At last week’s Council meeting, Dr. John Younger and Dr. Monica Kraft, co-chairs of the working group, presented the group’s recommendations:

Watch the sepsis presentation at the May Advisory Council meeting.

1. NIGMS should significantly expand its support of clinical research related to sepsis.

2. NIGMS should broaden its collaborations with other institutes to support clinical trials in sepsis.

3. NIGMS should independently sponsor definitive clinical trials only in extraordinary circumstances.

4. NIGMS should work with the Center for Scientific Review to ensure the availability of reviewer expertise.

5. NIGMS leadership should engage the Office of the Director to conduct a higher-level review of how NIH can best coordinate efforts across institutes and more fully define NIGMS’ role in that effort in order to translate tax dollars into cures.

Details of the recommendations can be found in the final report [PDF 2.7MB]. You can also watch the videocast of the Council presentation. We are grateful for the guidance these recommendations provide and are making plans to begin implementing them.

Extended Deadline to June 25: NIGMS Administrative Supplements for Equipment

Thu, 2019-05-23 08:37

As announced earlier in the fiscal year, NIGMS is offering administrative supplements to NIGMS-funded R01, R35, and R37 awards for the purchase of single pieces of equipment.

The deadline for these supplement applications has been extended to June 25, 2019.

All the provisions of NOT-GM-19-013 continue to apply. Note that:

  • These funds are intended for the purchase of single pieces of equipment (or a single system) with requested direct costs up to $250,000.
  • The requested supplemental budget cannot exceed the total year direct cost amount of the parent award. Applications may not include requests for future year funds.
  • As part of the budget justification, a statement regarding the expenditure of currently available unobligated grant funds should be included.
  • Two, and only two, NIGMS grantees at the same institution with similar equipment needs are encouraged to submit separate requests with a combined budget of no more than $250,000 in direct costs. The requests should cross-reference each other, stating both grant numbers.
  • Applications must be submitted to PA-18-591, “Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional).”  Use the research application package labeled “FORMS-E-ADMINSUPP-RESEARCH.”
  •  Electronic submissions are strongly preferred for this funding opportunity.

Eligible investigators are highly encouraged to discuss potential requests with the program director of their grant before submitting an application.

Does your application fit the scientific mission of NIGMS?

Wed, 2019-05-22 11:27

Prospective applicants frequently ask us whether their application ideas fit within our mission. NIGMS supports basic research that increases our understanding of biological processes and lays the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.  We also support research in some specific clinical areas that affect multiple organ systems, including anesthesia, sepsis, wound healing, and trauma. In addition, we’re committed to training the next generation of scientists, enhancing the diversity of the scientific workforce, and developing research capacity throughout the country.

Not all applications for fundamental biomedical research projects will ultimately be assigned to NIGMS.  Other NIH institutes and centers (ICs) also have strong commitments to basic research that underlie an understanding of their own particular organ systems, diseases, or treatments. Each NIH IC is different and supports distinct research areas, so it’s wise to seek advice from the program where your science best fits. Before submitting an application to NIGMS, we strongly recommend that you contact the program director whose portfolio most closely matches your area of research.

A project’s fit within NIGMS’ mission is often based on the scientific goal of the studies. For example, if a proposed project utilizes a cell type (e.g., cardiac muscle cells or neurons) as a model to study a basic mechanism such as ion fluxes, it might be appropriate for NIGMS. But if the goal is understanding an organ function or pathophysiology, the research isn’t likely to be within the NIGMS mission. The same logic holds for creating small molecule chemical probes; when the goal advances from using the molecule to explore biological function to developing a therapeutic for a specific disease, the studies then usually fall within the purview of another NIH IC.

For research project grant applications (e.g., R01, R35, R15), an applicant can examine current NIH-funded grants in NIH RePORTER to determine which NIH IC might be the most appropriate. One particularly useful tool is Matchmaker. By inserting an abstract or specific aims, you can see similar projects funded by any of the NIH ICs and identify their program officials. Although program staff can’t guarantee acceptance of an application in advance, they can advise investigators on the likelihood that a project is appropriate. The final decision is made after an application is received, a process that can involve both automated text-based methods and expert assessment.   

Not all NIH ICs participate in every funding opportunity announcement (FOA).  For example, the MIRA (R35) and the Collaborative Program Grant for Multidisciplinary Teams (RM1) FOAs only support research within the NIGMS mission. If your work isn’t within our mission, it’s not a good strategy to try to make it fit so you can apply to our initiative. It’s too much work to prepare an application to risk having it administratively withdrawn. It’s also unlikely that you’ll be doing the best science if you alter your work just to fit into a specific FOA. It’s best to understand the intent of a program, review the requirements in detail, and read the FOA and any associated FAQs carefully before beginning to write an application. 

Finally, if your basic research is a good fit for NIGMS, it’s unnecessary to emphasize possible relevance to a specific disease. If you’re not working in one of our clinical areas, overemphasis on the possibility of eventual relevance to a disorder or treatment can backfire and cause your application to be assigned to a clinically focused IC and study section, rather than to NIGMS and a basic science review group. With limited space in the application, it’s best to focus on the questions your studies will really examine.

NIGMS welcomes applications from any investigator whose research is within our mission, and we’re on the lookout for scientists working in emerging areas that define new directions in fundamental biomedical research. We wish you success in finding your research home at NIH or elsewhere.

Funding Opportunity: Methods to Improve Reproducibility of iPSC Derivation, Growth, and Differentiation

Tue, 2019-05-21 14:12

NIGMS, along with 11 other NIH institutes and centers, is seeking Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) applications to develop methods that improve the reproducibility of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derivation, growth, and differentiation (RFA-19-GM-001). Human iPSCs are mature cells that have been reprogrammed to an embryonic stem cell-like state and are able to differentiate into any cell type in the body. iPSCs are increasingly important research systems with a wide variety of applications, including studies of human development, tissue regeneration and repair, disease processes, and the development of new therapeutics. iPSCs and other regenerative technologies also have potential to transform clinical practice by creating living, functional tissues to repair or replace tissues or organs lost due to age, disease, damage, or congenital defects. Realizing the full potential of human iPSCs for both research and clinical practice has been limited by the significant variability in reprogramming efficiency, differentiation potential, and cell growth and stability. This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) will support SBIR projects to develop novel, reliable, and cost-effective methods to standardize and increase the utility and reproducibility of iPSCs at all stages, from their derivation to their research and clinical applications.

This FOA builds on NIGMS’ interest in enhancing reproducibility in cell culture, and is one of a number of initiatives planned by many NIH institutes, centers, and offices to support research to develop and validate experimental human tissue models that do not rely on human fetal tissue. Applications assigned to NIGMS should be within our mission and focus on understanding the principles, mechanisms, and processes that underlie living organisms (not specific diseases, organ systems, stages of life, or populations). The other participating NIH institutes and centers each have their own areas of interest, as described in the FOA.

The application deadline is January 6, 2020. Applicants may request up to $375,000 per year in total costs. More details can be found in the FOA. Please contact me if you have any additional questions.

NIGMS-Managed HIV/AIDS Research Transitioning to NIAID

Mon, 2019-05-13 10:32

For the past few months, NIGMS has been reviewing its HIV/AIDS grant portfolio. As the HIV/AIDS field has matured and the necessary research directions have become clearer, the HIV/AIDS-related grants we’ve supported have, appropriately, become more narrowly focused. Because of this, and after close consultation with leadership at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), we’ve concluded that it’s in the best interest of the research to transition NIGMS’ HIV/AIDS portfolio to NIAID to allow improved scientific coordination, prioritization, and efficiency of management.

The HIV/AIDS budget is separate from the general NIGMS appropriation and thus transferring the HIV/AIDS portfolio, along with the funding, to NIAID will not adversely affect NIGMS’ ability to support research in our mission areas, nor will it diminish the overall funding available for HIV/AIDS research. NIAID has a strong commitment to basic research related to HIV/AIDS and the expertise necessary to manage grants in these areas, including in the structural biology of HIV and related immunology.

Grants related to HIV/AIDS that are not supported by the HIV/AIDS budget, including those funded by the Institutional Development Award (IDeA), Native American Research Centers for Health (NARCH), and the Support of Competitive Research (SCORE) programs, will not be affected by this change and will remain at NIGMS.

This transition is effective for applications received for funding consideration and active awards with pending non-competing continuation funding commitments. Accordingly, HIV/AIDS applications submitted for the May 7 AIDS and AIDS-related applications due date will not be accepted by NIGMS for funding consideration but will instead be referred to NIAID. NIGMS grantees with active HIV/AIDS awards that will transfer to NIAID will be contacted by NIGMS and NIAID staff with further information regarding the transition. For more information, see NIH Guide Notice NOT-GM-19-039.

Also read a blog post about the transfer by NIAID Director Dr. Anthony S. Fauci.

NIH Global Recruitment for Health Scientist Administrators

Fri, 2019-05-10 15:54

On May 20, NIH will open a global recruitment for Health Scientist Administrators. A global recruitment is a way NIH hires for common positions by creating a single announcement in USAJobs.gov , which can be used by any Institute or Center with an approved vacancy. Applying to a global recruitment means that, with a single announcement, hiring officials throughout NIH will have access to your application.

We’re currently recruiting for a Program Director. However, we may have additional vacancies in the future. If you are interested in serving as a Health Scientist Administrator at NIGMS but the current vacancy does not fit your area of expertise, we encourage you to apply to the global announcement. If your application is determined to be qualified for the recruitment, it may remain active for at least 3 months. This means that if NIGMS receives approval to recruit for additional positions in the near future, our selecting officials will be able to view your application.

Generally, NIGMS hires Health Scientist Administrators to fill two types of positions: Scientific Review Officers (SROs) and Program Officers (POs).

An SRO conducts the initial administrative and scientific merit review of grant applications for research programs and/or research training and career development grants. An SRO ensures the fairness and consistency of the scientific peer review process and provides guidance to applicants, reviewers, and Institute staff on peer review policies and procedures.

A PO is responsible for stimulating, planning, directing, and evaluating a portfolio of activities for research projects, research program and other grants/awards, cooperative agreements, and/or contracts in the assigned program area.

At NIGMS, we’re always looking for talented and diverse candidates. Visit our website to learn about NIGMS’ research and training programs or to learn more about global recruitments. You can also search public sites such as NIH RePORTER to learn more about the grants we fund.

Visit our Job Vacancies page on May 20 to find the links to the global recruitment.

Wanted: Program Director, Pharmacological and Physiological Sciences Branch

Thu, 2019-05-09 12:45

We’re recruiting for an accomplished scientist with interest and experience in inflammation, innate immunity, and the physiological responses to injury, to join the Pharmacological and Physiological Sciences (PPS) Branch of the Division of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biological Chemistry (PPBC). The successful applicant will have responsibility for scientific and administrative management of a portfolio of research, career development, and training grants.

The PPS Branch of PPBC supports research studies that can be basic or clinical in nature. This position offers stewardship of grant awards related to investigations directed toward improving understanding of the total body response to injury and shock, including biomedical and physiological changes induced by trauma and burn injury. Research supported in this branch includes studies of the mechanisms of immunosuppression, wound healing, hypermetabolism following injury, and prediction of body-wide recovery. The portfolio also supports research on the cellular and molecular mediators of the onset, regulation, and termination of inflammation and the innate immune response. The research supported by the portfolios covers from the time immediately following injury through ultimate resolution and includes aspects of critical illness.

Applicants should have experience and a degree in one of the sciences underlying these research areas (for example, immunology, pathology, microbiology, cell biology, physiology, or medicine). Candidates should also have outstanding written and oral communication skills. The job responsibilities involve working collaboratively with other staff to stimulate, plan, advise, direct, and evaluate program activities for the portfolio of research awards.

This position is included in the Global Recruitment for Health Scientist Administrators at NIH. There will be two GS-12/13/14 HSA (Program Officer) vacancy announcements: one for federal employees (candidates with current or former federal employment status) and one for the public (candidates without such status). The vacancy announcement opens on May 20 and closes on May 29. You also may find the NIGMS “Tip Sheet” for Global Recruitments to be helpful. We encourage all interested candidates to contact one of us to ask questions about this position or the recruitment process.

Not looking to become a Health Scientist Administrator right now? Please help us out by forwarding this information to others who might be interested in this opportunity.

Funding Opportunity: NIGMS Technology Research and Development

Thu, 2019-05-02 12:16

We’ve just re-issued two funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) for technology research and development grants that support biomedical research areas within the NIGMS mission.

They are:

Exploratory Research for Technology Development (R21)
PAR-19-254
Two-year grants that support innovative, high-risk concepts for developing a new technology or radically improving an existing one. The R21 supports only novel concepts that haven’t yet been tested for feasibility. Thus, unpublished data are not allowed. Because proof of concept must not already be developed, NIGMS expects the projects to be high risk.

Next application receipt date: June 16, 2019


Focused Technology Research and Development (R01)

PAR-19-253
Four-year grants that support development projects to validate and optimize a new technology. The R01 is for technologies that already have been shown to be feasible but need further technical work to produce a useful prototype. Projects with partial demonstration of feasibility but with substantial risk remaining could be submitted as a 3-year R01 with a reduced budget under this FOA.

Next application receipt date: June 5, 2019


For both the R21 and R01 programs, we’re seeking inventive technology that significantly advances the state of the art. Examples would include instruments, devices, processes, algorithms, software, chemicals, biomolecules, or cells that have potential value for enabling new basic biomedical research. Applicants should not include use of the technology to solve biological questions in their applications. The research plan should be rigorous, with defined objectives.

Neither FOA will support testing new biological hypotheses, but we encourage validation with well-characterized models or gold-standard biological samples. Once the technology is ready to be applied to answer untested biological hypotheses, the application should be submitted to the Parent NIH R01 FOA.

KEY DIFFERENCES:

R21 (PAR-19-254) R01 (PAR-19-253) Years of support 2 3 to 5 Criteria Novel and innovative Innovative with future utility Feasibility Not yet tested Already established Unpublished data Not allowed Encouraged Final objectives Proof of concept Working prototype

KEY SIMILARITIES:

Applications should:

  • Show significant advance over state-of-the-art technology
  • Have future utility for NIGMS-funded research
  • Have rigorous research plans and defined intermediate and final objectives
  • Exclude untested biological hypotheses, which won’t be funded

You can learn more about these programs on our Biomedical Technology webpage. Standard application due dates apply. If you have any questions about these funding opportunities, please email NIGMS_TechDev@nigms.nih.gov. We’ll also host a webinar to discuss these new programs. See details below.

NIGMS Technology Development Webinar

Join us to learn more about our technology research and development R21 and R01 programs. During the webinar, NIGMS staff will provide a broad overview of the programs and will share expectations of applications for the upcoming receipt dates.

Tuesday, May 14, 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET
Learn More

Change in NIGMS Phone System

Mon, 2019-04-29 15:02

Like most organizations, NIGMS has been modernizing many of its systems. One recent change is our phone system. To increase efficiency and to enable our support staff to handle higher-level responsibilities, we want you to know that the best way to now reach a program director or scientific review administrator is to send him or her an email. If you want the person to call you back, please provide your contact information and grant or application number. If you don’t know the email address of the NIGMS staff member, it can be found easily by entering the name in our Staff Directory. This directory also provides direct phone numbers of each staff member where you can leave a voicemail message.

The NIGMS website provides information that you may find helpful in determining the staff member you want to contact. If you are still uncertain about who to contact, you may call the main NIGMS phone number (301-496-7301) and leave a message.

NIGMS’ program staff are, as always, interested in hearing from you, answering your questions, and addressing your concerns.

Application and Funding Trends in Fiscal Year 2018

Thu, 2019-04-11 15:00

On September 28, 2018, the Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019 and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019  was signed into law. The law includes an NIGMS budget of $2,872,780,000 for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019—a 3.1% increase from FY 2018. This budget increase follows a 5.1% rise in funding in FY 2018.

NIGMS is committed to ensuring that taxpayers get the best possible returns on their investments in fundamental biomedical research [PDF, 702KB] . As part of this commitment to stewardship [PDF, 7.89MB], we regularly monitor trends in our funding portfolio.

NIGMS recognizes the value of a diversified investment portfolio and, to this end, supports both a wide variety of research topics, as well as a diverse set of investigators. To monitor our investigator pool, we continually track our “cumulative investigator rate.” This statistic indicates the percentage of investigators who held funding in a given fiscal year relative to those actively seeking funding at some point in that fiscal year or in the previous 4 fiscal years. Figure 1, below, depicts this cumulative investigator rate (gray line) for NIGMS R01 and R35 applicants, from FY 2007 to FY 2018. As illustrated, the cumulative investigator rate has been on the rise since 2015, recovering from a period of high applicant numbers (blue line) but steady awardee volume (green line). In 2018, the cumulative investigator rate (39.7%) increased for the fifth consecutive year. Awardee numbers have been increasing over these 5 years, while applicant numbers have been steady, or—as in FY 2018—slightly declining.

NIGMS Competing R01/R35 Applicants, Awardees, and Cumulative Investigator Rates

Figure 1. Number of NIGMS R01/R35 Applicants, Awardees, and Cumulative Investigator Rates, FY 2007-2018. The number of investigators who had been actively seeking NIGMS R01 and R35 support at some point in the indicated fiscal year or in the previous 4 fiscal years (blue circles, dashed line; left axis) increased steadily from FY 2007 to 2014 but has stabilized more recently and slightly decreased in FY 2018. The NIGMS R01 and R35 awardee counts (green squares, solid line; left axis) have increased over the past 5 years, resulting in a higher cumulative investigator rate (gray triangles, dotted line; right axis). The cumulative investigator rate indicates the percentage of the applicants seeking NIGMS funding who have it in the year shown. In this and all subsequent figures, grants associated with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 are not included.

As part of our commitment to maintaining a diverse and vibrant research portfolio, we also emphasize support for early stage investigators (ESIs). As shown in Figure 2, the yearly number of ESIs receiving their first competing NIGMS major research project grant has doubled since 2013. Increases are partly due to the Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) R35 program ESI funding opportunity introduced in 2016. The small drop in the yearly number of ESIs funded in FY 2018 relative to 2017 may be due to a leveling off of the ESI applicant pool as more ESIs received funding. Consistent with this, MIRA (R35) and R01 ESI applicant numbers both decreased in 2018 (not pictured)—a drop that mirrors the lower number of applicants across all career stages in 2018 (Figure 1). Additional information on our R35 trends can be found in our recent Feedback Loop post on MIRA awards.

NIGMS Competing R01/R35/DP2 ESI Awardees

Figure 2. Number of NIGMS Competing R01/R35/DP2 ESI Awardees, FY 2009-2018. The yearly number of unique R01, R35, and DP2 ESIs (blue bars) receiving their first major NIH research project grant from NIGMS has increased since 2013, especially after the introduction of the MIRA program in FY 2016.

Considering award rates more traditionally, NIGMS also tracks application success at the grant level, in addition to the investigator level. This metric is reported as the success rate [PDF, 185KB], calculated as the number of applications funded divided by the number of unique project proposals received. Figure 3 depicts the success rate for competing research project grants (RPGs) from FY 2007 to 2018. Overall, the RPG success rate (gray line) follows a pattern similar to the cumulative investigator rate, generally increasing since FY 2013. In FY 2018, the RPG success rate was 29.2%, slightly lower than in FY 2017 (30.7%). This change since 2017 reflects a slight increase in competing applications along with a slight decrease in awards. The increase in applications was largely driven by a new R21 Exploratory Research for Technology Development award. Consistent with this, when only R01s and R35s are considered (Figure 4), success rates were stable in FY 2018 (29.7%), largely due to a decrease in applications.

NIGMS Competing RPG Applications, Funded RPGs, and Success Rates

Figure 3. Number of NIGMS Competing RPG Applications, Funded Competing RPGs, and Success Rates for RPGs, FY 2007-2018. NIGMS RPG applications (blue circles, dashed line; left axis) increased slightly from FY 2017 to 2018. Meanwhile, NIGMS-funded competing RPGs (green squares, solid line; left axis) decreased slightly in FY 2018 relative to FY 2017. As a result, the NIGMS RPG success rate (gray triangles, dotted line; right axis) decreased slightly when compared with FY 2017.

NIGMS Competing R01/R35 Applications, Funded R01s/R35s, and Success Rates

Figure 4. Number of NIGMS Competing R01/R35 Applications, Funded Competing R01s/R35s, and Success Rates for R01s/R35s, FY 2007-2018. NIGMS R01/R35 applications (blue circles, dashed line; left axis) decreased from FY 2017 to 2018. Meanwhile, NIGMS-funded competing R01s/R35s (green squares, solid line; left axis) decreased to a lower degree over the same time. As a result, the NIGMS R01/R35 success rate (gray triangles, dotted line; right axis) remained stable when compared with FY 2017 (29.9% in FY 2017 versus 29.7% in FY 2018).

Changes in success rates are a function of both changes in the number of competing applications and in the number of awards. The number of competing grants awarded is affected by our funding policies, budget, and existing commitments to active (noncompeting) grants. As more investigators pursue funding through the MIRA program, we expect a lower number of competing awards, as fewer investigators will apply for and receive multiple concurrent grants. Despite this effect, overall the Institute supported a record number of RPGs (competing plus noncompeting) in FY 2018 (Figure 5).

NIGMS-Funded RPGs, Competing and Noncompeting

Figure 5. Number of NIGMS Competing and Noncompeting RPG Awards, FY 2007-2018. Considering both competing (bottom, hashed blue bars) and noncompeting (top, solid orange bars) RPG awards, NIGMS supported a record number of RPGs in FY 2018. During FY 2017 and 2018, the number of noncompeting RPGs increased from previous years, while competing awards decreased slightly.

As mentioned in our previous funding trends posts, we do not use a strict percentile cutoff (“payline”) to make funding decisions. Instead, we take a variety of factors into account, including peer review scores, summary statements, Institute priorities, overall portfolio diversity, and an applicant’s other research support. As a result, a significant number of applications each year are in the “fundable” range, as shown in the funding plots in Figures 6 and 7. In FY 2018, approximately 50% of applications that scored at the 26th percentile were funded (Figure 6). Additionally, a shallower curve in FY 2018 compared with many previous years reflects a wider “fundable” range for applications.

NIGMS Competing R01 Funding Rates by Percentile

Figure 6. Percentage of Applications Funded Within Each Percentile for Competing NIGMS R01 Applications, FY 2014-2018. Curves are smoothed by averaging application and award counts two points above and below the percentile value shown. The point at which 50% of the applications were funded for FY 2018 (solid gray line) is near the 26th percentile, as compared with the 24th in FY 2017 (dashed orange line) and FY 2016 (dashed green line).

Figure 7 further illustrates scoring and award distributions for FY 2018. Applications were roughly evenly distributed across percentiles, and a wide range of application percentiles were funded. As with last year, a number of well-scoring R01 applications went unfunded, in part due to NIGMS policies on support for research in well-funded laboratories, funding for investigators with substantial unrestricted support, and prioritization for ESI and other at-risk investigators. MIRA awards are not included, but NIGMS carefully monitors this program and communicates our findings through regular Feedback Loop posts.

NIGMS Competing R01 Funding Distribution by Percentile, FY 2018

Figure 7. Funding Distribution of NIGMS Competing R01 Applications by Percentile, FY 2018. Funded grants (solid green bars) generally follow the funding curve pattern shown in Figure 6, with unfunded applications (striped black-and-white bars) constituting the remainder of the overall uniform distribution of application percentiles.

Overall, outcomes in FY 2018 indicate positive trends in funding more investigators and more awards. We will continue to monitor these trends and other data related to the outcomes of our investments in fundamental biomedical research.

Webinar on NIGMS Collaborative Program Grant for Multidisciplinary Teams

Thu, 2019-04-04 14:56

If you’re preparing an NIGMS Collaborative Program Grant for Multidisciplinary Teams (RM1) (PAR-17-340) application for the May 25 receipt date, don’t miss our upcoming webinar:

Tuesday, April 16, 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET

During the webinar, we’ll provide an overview of our expectations of RM1 applications and how they will be assessed for fit to the program, and we’ll answer any questions you may have. You can send questions before the webinar or post them in the chat box during the event.

To join the webinar, visit the WebEx meeting page and enter the meeting number 620 198 293 and the password 871594. If you’re unable to attend online, you can join by phone by calling 1-650-479-3208 from anywhere in the United States or Canada and entering the meeting number above.

NIGMS Staff Participating in the April 16 Webinar:

  • Jon Lorsch, Director
  • Susan Gregurick, Director, Division of Biophysics, Biomedical Technology, and Computational Biosciences
  • Peter Preusch, Chief, Biophysics Branch

In addition, other NIGMS staff will be available to answer programmatic, review, and grants management questions.

We look forward to talking to you about the RM1 program. Slides will be posted on the NIGMS Collaborative Program Grant for Multidisciplinary Teams website following the event.

New Undergraduate Training Programs Announced

Tue, 2019-04-02 08:21

In May 2018, we shared with you our plans to reorganize the undergraduate and graduate programs in the Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity. As part of this reorganization, in December we announced two new graduate training programs. Now, we are pleased to announce two new undergraduate funding opportunities aimed at developing and implementing effective, evidence-based approaches to biomedical training and mentoring. The goal of these funding announcements is to enhance diversity in the biomedical research workforce and to encourage applications from training programs that:

  • Focus on skills development, rigor and reproducibility, the responsible conduct of research, and promote safe, inclusive, and supportive research environments
  • Use evidence-based, innovative educational practices
  • Promote cohort-building activities and interventions that enhance the trainees’ science identity and self-efficacy
  • Provide individualized mentoring and oversight throughout the trainees’ undergraduate careers
  • Introduce trainees to a variety of scientific research areas and career trajectories
  • Encourage program director/principal investigator teams to broaden program leadership and provide complementary expertise
  • Display coordinated interactions and synergies with other NIGMS-funded training programs at the institution
  • Improve long-term tracking and posting of program trainee outcomes

These new undergraduate programs are:

Undergraduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement (U-RISE) (T34)
PAR-19-218
Supports undergraduate training programs at research-active institutions (i.e., those with an average of NIH research project grant funding less than $7.5 million total costs per year over the last 3 fiscal years; this information is available through NIH RePORTER).

First application receipt date: May 21, 2019
Earliest start date: April 2020

Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) (T34)
PAR-19-219
Supports undergraduate training programs at research-intensive institutions (i.e., those with a 3-year average of NIH research project grant funding equal to or above $7.5 million total costs per year; this information is available through NIH RePORTER).

First application deadline: May 21, 2019
Earliest start date: June 2020

Because these are new funding announcements, all applications (including those from previously established programs) must be submitted as new. However, applicants who have been supported by MARC U-STAR, IMSD (undergraduate), or RISE (undergraduate) grants may describe in the narrative their program’s outcomes over the past 15 years.

If you have questions about our new undergraduate training programs, contact Anissa Brown or Luis Cubano (U-RISE), or  Sailaja Koduri or Luis Cubano (MARC). We’ll also host webinars to discuss these new programs. See details below.

U-RISE and MARC Webinars

Join us to learn more about our new undergraduate training programs. During the webinars, NIGMS staff will provide a broad overview of the programs and will share expectations of applications and the required data tables for the upcoming May 21st receipt date.

Undergraduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement (U-RISE) Webinar

Wednesday, April 3, 1:30-3:00 p.m. ET

Learn more Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) Program Webinar

Thursday, April 4, 1:30-3:00 p.m. ET

Learn more



Contact Information:

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