NIH has issued a new parent announcement for the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grant (T32) that incorporates many of the “mandatory special requirements” previously in an NIGMS T32 predoctoral grant application. As a result, eligible institutions applying for an NIGMS training grant with a due date on and after January 25, 2014, will no longer need to include this material as a separate section at the end of the background section but should instead address each of these requirements throughout the document.
Changes in the new T32 announcement are based on recommendations of the Biomedical Workforce Working Group of the Advisory Committee to the Director, NIH. As stated in a related NIH Guide notice, T32 programs are now encouraged to make available career development advising as well as learning opportunities so that trainees obtain a working knowledge of various potential career directions and of the steps required to transition successfully to their next career stage.
NIGMS-funded predoctoral training programs should provide support for trainees in their early years (e.g., years 1-3) to prepare them for subsequent, more differentiated research and for a variety of research careers. NIGMS predoctoral T32 programs are not intended to support students in the dissertation/independent phase of their doctoral research training.
Each NIGMS T32 application must clearly:
- State the objectives of the proposed program and how they are distinct from or relate to other training programs at the same institution.
- Identify the faculty involved, describe their roles and responsibilities, and indicate whether they participate in other training programs at the same institution.
- Demonstrate access to a pool of highly promising scholars, including those who are underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences and individuals with disabilities.
In addition, NIGMS strongly encourages its programs to develop mathematical fluency among all trainees by integrating quantitative biology and/or advanced statistical approaches. NIGMS also expects funded training programs to evolve in response to changes in the field of science and to respond effectively to student needs and outcomes. The Institute is always interested in innovative approaches to training that will prepare a strong and diverse biomedical and behavioral research workforce for the 21st century.
For more details, see our predoctoral T32 training grant Web page, which includes a link to slides on NIGMS predoctoral training program guidelines for 2014, as well as our postdoctoral T32 information. Prospective applicants are welcome to contact me or one of my colleagues who manage training grants with questions, comments or suggestions.