NIGMS Feedback Loop

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Updated: 18 hours 21 min ago

The Diversity Program Consortium – Open Competitions for Phase II

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:59

We are pleased to announce that NIH Leadership has granted clearance for the second, final phase of the Diversity Program Consortium (DPC), a national program that is part of a larger, trans-NIH effort to enhance diversity in the biomedical research workforce. To accomplish this goal, the DPC takes a scientific approach to evaluating training and mentoring interventions. Two components of the second phase will be open competitions: the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) and the DPC Dissemination and Translation Awards (DPC-DaTA). The DPC-DaTA grants will allow sites that are not currently part of the DPC to implement sustainable training, mentoring, or research-capacity building interventions using DPC evaluation methods. NIH intends to release the DPC-DaTA FOAs in 2019.

The NRMN funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) were released on February 16, 2018. They include:

  • The Science of Mentoring and Networking (U01) (RFA-RM-18-004). Applicants may submit proposals for research projects in the following areas: 1) The Science of Mentorship, 2) Professional Networking, or 3) Navigating Critical Career Transition Points. Using randomized control trial approaches, case controls, matched pair designs, or other rigorous designs, applicants will explore their research questions and contribute to building the knowledge base to inform the scientific community about their thematic area.
  • NRMN Coordination Center (U24) (RFA-RM-18-003). One service award will be granted to develop an NRMN Coordinating Center. This Center will build upon and improve the current NRMN Administrative Core and work in conjunction with the Center for Evaluation and Coordination (CEC). It will coordinate trans-NRMN activities, and provide infrastructure and expertise surrounding data collection, storage, de-identification, and reporting.
  • NRMN Resource Center (U24) (RFA-RM-18-002). One service award will be granted for an NRMN Resource Center. This center will be analogous to the current U54 Mentorship and Networking Core and will provide a web-based mentoring tool to facilitate real-time mentor/mentee engagement. It will also oversee management of the NRMN website and serve as a platform for publicly available mentoring resources and tools.

Two components of the DPC for the second phase will be limited competitions. The Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) (U54) (NOT-RM-18-005) will allow meritorious sites to complete their BUILD experiments. Review will include a focus on site-specific and consortium-wide experiments, and emphasize sustainability and dissemination. The Center for Evaluation and Coordination (CEC) (U54) (NOT-RM-18-006) will allow for uninterrupted data collection. The review will focus on the current center’s strengths and weaknesses, allowing for improvements and course corrections. Sustainability and dissemination will be emphasized.

Contact for questions? Mercedes Rubio for NRMN inquiries, Anissa Brown for BUILD inquiries, Michael Sesma for CEC inquiries, and Alison Gammie for DPC-DaTA inquiries.

Discontinuing Our Participation in the NRSA Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (Parent F31) Program

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 11:58

We recently issued an NIH Guide notice informing the community that we will discontinue participation in the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (Parent F31) (PA-16-309). As stated in the notice, we will not accept new or resubmission applications for this program, and its subsequent reissuances, starting with the April 8, 2018, receipt date. We will continue to accept NRSA Individual Predoctoral Fellowships to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (F31) (PA-16-308) and NRSA Individual Predoctoral MD/PhD or Other Dual-Doctoral Degree Fellowships for Students at Institutions Without NIH-Funded Institutional Predoctoral Dual-Degree Training Programs (F30) (PA-16-306). This decision does not affect those F31 (parent) applicants who have already received an award from NIGMS or whose applications have already been received by NIH and have been reviewed or are currently pending review.

NIGMS supports approximately 3,000 graduate students on our T32 training grants in basic biomedical sciences disciplines and the Medical Scientist Training Program each year. This investment represents nearly half of the total number of graduate student T32 NRSA slots that NIH as a whole funds. We feel that T32 grants supporting early-stage, fundamental training for graduate students provide NIGMS with its biggest impact on biomedical research training because they positively influence programs and institutions as a whole, rather than simply supporting individual trainees. Because the T32 and F31 programs necessarily compete for funding with each other, in order to limit negative effects on our graduate student T32 grants, our investment in the parent F31 awards has been very limited since Fiscal Year 2014 when the Institute was first required to participate in the parent F31 fellowship program. Thus, we have made only 86 F31 (parent) awards to date, and over 90% of these awards went to individuals at institutions with at least one NIGMS predoctoral T32 grant. In fact, the average number of NIGMS predoctoral T32 training grants held by institutions that received at least one NIGMS F31 (parent) award was nearly four, and institutions that received three or more NIGMS F31 (parent) awards had, on average, over six NIGMS predoctoral T32 grants. Given the tight budget and correspondingly low success rate (~9.6%) for these fellowships, along with the fact that most institutions receiving them were already well-supported by NIGMS predoctoral training grants, we concluded that the F31 (parent) program was not serving our community well, and the Institute made the decision to refocus these resources on supporting additional graduate students through NRSA T32 Institutional Predoctoral Training Grants.

If you have any questions, please contact me.

Webinar for RISE Program Applicants

Thu, 01/25/2018 - 11:34

If you’re preparing an institutional Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) grant application for the May 25 receipt date, don’t miss our upcoming webinar:

Wednesday, February 7, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. ET.

During the webinar, we’ll answer your questions about the RISE funding opportunity announcement and data tables. You may 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 628 101 292 and the password PcyVj2JT. If you are 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.

We look forward to talking to you about the RISE program.

We Asked, You Responded: Community Input on Enhancing the Medical Scientist Training Program

Tue, 01/23/2018 - 12:45

Continuing our efforts to help modernize graduate education, we sought input from the community through a Request for Information (RFI) on strategies to enhance our physician-scientist training grants to medical schools across the country. These grants, funded through the Ruth L. Kirschstein Institutional Predoctoral Training Grant (T32) Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), provide M.D.-Ph.D. dual degree students with an integrated program of biomedical sciences and clinical training. The RFI was open from June 9 to August 9, 2017. There were 16 themes in the RFI that were broadly binned into the following categories:

  • Trainees (e.g., time of recruitment to the MSTP, diversity of the applicant pool, and selection criteria)
  • Financing/funding (e.g., how different M.D.-Ph.D. funding models influence the range of institutions that apply for MSTP support, the pool of trainees, and the trainees’ commitment to research careers)
  • Dual-degree training (e.g., time-to-degree, integration of curriculum, training areas, mentoring, and career advising)
  • NIGMS management of MSTP grants (e.g., size, number, and distribution of training programs; evaluation of outcomes; and peer review)

A total of 253 unique responders submitted comments through an online form, the Feedback Loop blog, and direct email to NIGMS staff. Most responses were anonymous, but the content indicated that they were submitted by current and former M.D.-Ph.D. students, faculty, institutions, and professional societies. Not everyone provided feedback on all 16 areas, however, on average each respondent provided input on 10 themes resulting in a total of more than 2,500 comments (Figure 1).

View larger imageFigure 1. Number of Comments Received Across the Themes of the MSTP RFI

Given the volume and richness of these responses, we did our best to distill down the comments in the summary report. We appreciate the thoughtful and thorough feedback provided to us through this RFI. These comments will inform us as we develop a new MSTP funding announcement that would incorporate MSTP-specific training needs and align with the new funding announcement for non-MSTP predoctoral training programs funded by NIGMS.

Notice

Mon, 01/22/2018 - 12:13
Because of a lapse in government funding, the information on this website may not be up to date, transactions submitted via the we​bsite may not be processed, and the agency may not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted.
The NIH Clinical Center (the research hospital of NIH) is open. For more details about its operating status, please visit cc.nih.gov.

Updates regarding government operating status and resumption of normal operations can be found at USA.gov.

Wanted: Program Director, Biochemistry and Bio-related Chemistry Branch

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 18:05

UPDATE: The vacancy announcement for this position is now available and is open through February 7.

UPDATE: The vacancy announcement will be available beginning on January 29, 2018.

We’re recruiting for an accomplished scientist with experience in the chemical sciences to join the Biochemistry and Bio-related Chemistry Branch (BBC) of the Division of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biological Chemistry (PPBC). The successful applicant will have responsibility for both scientific and administrative management of a portfolio of grants (both research and training) and fellowships, to include: stimulating, planning, advising, directing, and evaluating program activities for the portfolio of research awards.

The BBC Branch supports basic research in areas of synthetic chemistry, biochemistry, bio-related chemistry, and the glycosciences. This position will include stewardship of grant awards related to creation of new synthetic methodologies, biosynthesis, and structure of macromolecules, synthesis of natural products, development of novel medicinal agents and mimics of macromolecular function, and/or the chemical basis of regulation and catalytic properties of enzymes.

Applicants should have expertise in chemistry, chemical biology, biological chemistry, or biochemistry, and should have experience in applications of chemistry to biological systems and/or therapeutics (for example, organic synthesis and methodology; biological catalysis and regulation; biotechnology, biosynthesis, and bioengineering; or chemical tools for manipulation of biological systems). Candidates should also have outstanding written and oral communication skills.

The position is included in the global recruitment for Health Scientist Administrators. The vacancy will only be open for a few days, beginning on January 29, 2018. For additional information about this position, see the announcement on the NIGMS website. Do not hesitate to ask questions about this position or the recruitment process. In preparing an application, Applying for Scientific Administration Jobs at NIGMS may offer other useful information.

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.

Wanted: Developmental and Cellular Processes Branch Chief

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 16:22

UPDATE: The vacancy announcement for this position is now available and is open through February 7. Make sure you apply for the supervisory HSA position.

UPDATE: The vacancy announcement will be available beginning on January 29, 2018.

We’re recruiting for an outstanding individual to serve as branch chief within our Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology (GDB). This person will oversee the scientific and administrative management of the Developmental and Cellular Processes (DCP) Branch and will be responsible for advising, directing, and evaluating program activities for a portfolio of research grants in one of the branch areas.

The GDB Division supports research into the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie inheritance, gene expression, and development. The DCP Branch focuses on the genetic and biochemical pathways that cells utilize in development and in normal physiological processes. The research supported by the branch spans the spectrum from the genetic basis of development and cell function to biochemical signaling pathways that underlie normal cell physiology. Candidates should have expertise in any area of research supported by the branch. Familiarity with NIH extramural funding as an applicant, reviewer, or NIH scientific administrator is a plus, and outstanding written and oral communication skills are essential.

This position is included in the global recruitment for Health Science administrators which will only be open for a few days beginning on January 29, 2018. For additional information about this position, see the announcement on the NIGMS website. In preparing an application, Applying for Scientific Administration Jobs at NIGMS may offer other useful information.

Not looking for a position right now? Please help us out by forwarding this information to others who might be interested in this opportunity.

Proposed Reorganization of NIGMS Scientific Divisions

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 08:56

I’d like to make you aware of a proposed reorganization of the Institute’s scientific divisions that we are considering.

Currently, NIGMS has four scientific divisions: Biomedical Technology, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology (BBCB); Cell Biology and Biophysics (CBB); Genetics and Developmental Biology (GDB); and Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biological Chemistry (PPBC). We would like to shift to a structure in which there are only three scientific divisions: Biophysics, Biomedical Technology, and Computational Biosciences (BBCB); Genetics and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (GMCDB); and Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biological Chemistry.

In broad strokes, the current CBB cell biology branch and most of the grants it manages would move to the new Genetics and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology division, and the CBB biophysics branch would move to the new Biophysics, Biomedical Technology, and Computational Biosciences division. A few grant portfolios from CBB would be transferred to the existing Division of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biological Chemistry.

This proposed reorganization does not reflect any change in scientific emphasis or interests by the Institute. Rather, it is an attempt to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our support for fundamental biomedical research, consistent with two goals outlined in our strategic plan [PDF, 702KB]: enhance the effectiveness of our support for fundamental biomedical research and improve the efficiency of our internal operations.

The proposed restructuring also includes establishing the Center for Research Capacity Building as a full division, consistent with its unique place in the Institute. In addition, based on a recommendation from the Steering Committee of the Office of Emergency Care Research (OECR), we plan to transfer the office to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Because of NINDS’ strong expertise in and support for clinical research related to emergency medicine, it is extremely well-suited to promoting the mission of OECR.

You might wonder what the proposed reorganization will mean for your current or future funding. Our commitment to funding fundamental biomedical research and research capacity building programs remains the same, so the amount of money allocated to these areas will not change as a result of the proposed reorganization. We also expect that most grantees will continue working with their current program directors and grants management specialists.

Soliciting input from the community is among the steps that need to occur before any changes can be implemented. We invite you to share your thoughts on these plans by commenting here or by email. Input will be received through December 4, 2017.

New Area for NIGMS Predoctoral Training

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 11:53

NIGMS has a longstanding commitment to graduate training and has for many years supported research training in 11 broad areas of basic biomedical science, including Behavioral-Biomedical Sciences Interface; Bioinformatics and Computational Biology; Biostatistics; Biotechnology; Cellular, Biochemical, and Molecular Sciences; Chemistry-Biology Interface; Genetics; Molecular Biophysics; Molecular Medicine; Pharmacological Sciences; and Systems and Integrative Biology.

With publication of the NIGMS’ new predoctoral training grant funding opportunity announcement, the list now includes Transdisciplinary Basic Biomedical Sciences. This new area is designed to broaden the scope of disciplines supported by an NIGMS training grant and increase the geographical distribution of institutions that might apply.

The transdisciplinary area is open only to a) institutions that currently do not have an NIGMS-funded institutional predoctoral T32 training program in any of the basic biomedical science disciplines listed above (with the exception of Behavioral-Biomedical Sciences Interface or Biostatistics), or b) institutions with current NIGMS-funded predoctoral T32 training programs that propose to merge two or more of their existing NIGMS-funded predoctoral training programs into a single program. Training supported in this area is expected to be broadly-based and multidisciplinary in nature and may be covered by the other NIGMS-supported areas of basic biomedical science disciplines, or may include other emerging area(s) within the NIGMS mission.

Applications for the Transdisciplinary Basic Biomedical Sciences area will be accepted for the May 25, 2018, receipt date and thereafter.

We welcome your comments and questions—they can be posted here, emailed to me, or you may call 301-594-3900.

Webinar for Regional Technology Transfer Accelerator Hubs for IDeA States FOA

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 11:11

UPDATE: The slides and video from the Regional Technology Accelerator Hubs webinar have been posted.

If you or your institution are considering applying for our Regional Technology Transfer Accelerator Hubs for IDeA States (STTR) funding opportunity—a new initiative designed to promote biomedical entrepreneurship—don’t miss our upcoming webinar:

Wednesday, November 15, from 3:00-4:30 p.m. ET.

During the webinar, NIGMS and Center for Scientific Review staff will explain the goals and objectives of the initiative and answer your questions. You are encouraged to submit questions by November 13 to Krishan Arora.

To join the webinar, visit the WebEx meeting page . If you are 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 access code 628 562 389.

NIGMS Staff Participating in the November 15 Webinar:

Krishan K. Arora, Program Director, NIGMS

Joseph Gindhart, Program Director, NIGMS

Christy Leake, Grants Management Team Leader, NIGMS

Allen Richon, Scientific Review Officer, NIH Center for Scientific Review

Slides will be available on the IDeA website following the event.

We look forward to talking with you soon.

New NIGMS Funding Opportunity: Collaborative Program Grants for Multidisciplinary Teams

Mon, 10/30/2017 - 13:39

We’ve published a new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) to support multidisciplinary, collaborative team research in scientific areas within the mission of NIGMS. The Collaborative Program Grant for Multidisciplinary Teams (RM1) aims to support highly integrated, interdisciplinary teams working toward a common scientific goal. The RM1 program replaces NIGMS Program Project Grants (P01) and most of NIGMS’ P50 centers programs (with the exception of the Structural Biology of HIV/AIDS centers). The first receipt date for the new program is January 25, 2018.

RM1 applications should have a unified scientific goal within the NIGMS mission that requires a team with diverse perspectives and expertise in a variety of intellectual or technical areas. We are seeking projects that are challenging, ambitious, and innovative, with the potential to produce lasting advances in their fields. Unlike many larger programs, NIGMS Collaborative Program Grants require one integrated research plan and a separate management plan that addresses shared leadership, responsibility for decision making and resource allocation, and opportunities for professional development and credit. Optionally, the team can expand to support early stage investigators (ESIs) in pilot projects that enrich program objectives and help the ESIs obtain independent funding.

In general, we expect that the research supported by Collaborative Program grants will be the primary focus of the principal investigators (PIs) rather than being in addition to the main work going on in their individual laboratories. Guidelines for investigator effort and details about how the PIs’ other support will be considered when making funding decisions can be found in the FOA and on the Institute’s website. Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss research plans with NIGMS staff before submission.

If you have any questions about NIGMS Collaborative Program Grants, please contact Drs. Susan Gregurick or Paul Sammak.