Funding Opportunity to Create Training Modules to Enhance Data Reproducibility

In February, we asked for input on training activities relevant to enhancing data reproducibility, which has become a very serious issue for both basic and clinical research. The responses revealed that there is substantial variation in the training occurring at institutions. One reason is that “best practices” training in skills that influence data reproducibility appears to be largely passed down from generation to generation of scientists working in the laboratory.

To increase the likelihood that researchers generate reproducible, unbiased and properly validated results, NIGMS and nine additional NIH components have issued a funding opportunity announcement to develop, pilot and disseminate training modules to enhance data reproducibility. Appropriate areas for the modules include experimental design, laboratory practices, analysis and reporting of results, and/or the influence of cultural factors such as confirmation bias in hypothesis testing or the scientific rewards system. The modules should be creative, engaging, readily accessible online at no cost and easily incorporated into research training programs for the intended audience, which includes graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and beginning faculty.

The application deadline is November 20, 2014, with letters of intent due by October 20, 2014. Applicants may request up to $150,000 in total costs to cover the entire award period. For more details, read the FAQs.

Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Program Infrastructure for Clinical and Translational Research (IDeA-CTR) and Human Genetic Cell Repository Funding Opportunities

You may be interested in these recent funding opportunity announcements (FOAs):

Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Program Infrastructure for Clinical and Translational Research (IDeA-CTR) (U54)
(PAR-14-303)

Purpose: Develop infrastructure and other resources to conduct clinical and translational research in IDeA-eligible states
Letter of intent due date: 30 days prior to the application due date
Application due dates: October 8, 2014; September 30, 2015; September 30, 2016
NIGMS contact: J. Rafael Gorospe, 301-435-0832

The NIGMS Human Genetic Cell Repository (U42)
(RFA-GM-15-005)

Purpose: Maintain the current collection of NIGMS Human Genetic Cell Repository cell cultures and DNA samples; acquire, characterize and expand high-quality cell samples; and distribute cell lines and DNA isolated from them to qualified biomedical researchers
Application due date: October 1, 2014
NIGMS contact: Michael Bender, 301-594-0943

Funding Opportunities: IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence; Pharmacogenomics Knowledge Base

You may be interested in these recent funding opportunity announcements (FOAs):

IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) [P20]
(PAR-14-233)

Purpose: Augment and strengthen the biomedical research capacity of an IDeA-eligible state
Letter of intent due date: 30 days prior to the application due date
Application due dates: July 29, 2014; May 27, 2015; May 26, 2016
NIGMS contact: Krishan K. Arora, 301-594-3900

Pharmacogenomics Knowledge Base (R24)
(RFA-GM-15-002)

Purpose: Develop a high-impact pharmacogenomics knowledge base that serves as a research resource available to the entire scientific community
Letter of intent due date: 30 days prior to the application due date
Application due date: October 7, 2014
NIGMS contact: Rochelle Long, 301-594-3827

Funding Opportunities: NIH Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub; Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) Phase III; Enabling Resources for Pharmacogenomics; Administrative Supplements for Research on Dietary Supplements

You may be interested in these recent funding opportunity announcements (FOAs):

NIH Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (REACH) Awards (U01)
(RFA-OD-14-005)

Purpose: Facilitate and accelerate the translation of biomedical innovations into commercial products that improve patient care and enhance health
Letter of intent due date: May 26, 2014
Application due date: June 26, 2014
NIH contact: Kurt W. Marek, 301-443-8778

Limited Competition: Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) Phase III – Transitional Centers (P30)
(PAR-14-178)

Purpose: Transition the core resources and biomedical research activities of Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) into independence and sustainability
Application due dates: June 30, 2014; May 26, 2015; May 26, 2016
NIGMS contact: Rafael Gorospe, 301-435-0832

Enabling Resources for Pharmacogenomics (R24)
(PAR-14-185)

Purpose: Support critical enabling resources that will accelerate new research discoveries and/or the implementation of research discoveries in pharmacogenomics
Letter of intent due date: 30 days prior to the application due date
Application due dates: September 25, 2014; September 25, 2015; September 25, 2016
NIGMS contact: Rochelle Long, 301-594-3827

Administrative Supplements for Research on Dietary Supplements (Admin Supp)
(PAR-14-201)

Purpose: Provide supplemental funding to investigate the role of dietary supplements and/or their ingredients in health maintenance and disease prevention
Application due dates: October 15, 2014; January 15, 2015; April 15, 2015
NIGMS contact: Scott Somers, 301-594-3827

Funding Opportunities: Undiagnosed Diseases Network Gene Function Research, NIH Blueprint Program for Enhancing Neuroscience Diversity; Request for Information: Clinical Questions in Post-Resuscitation Hypothermia

You may be interested in the following announcements:

Undiagnosed Diseases Gene Function Research (R21)
(RFA-RM-14-005)

Purpose: Investigate the underlying genetics, biochemistry and/or pathophysiology of newly diagnosed diseases in association with the respective gene variant(s) identified through the Undiagnosed Diseases Network
Letter of intent due date: May 23, 2014
Application due date: June 23, 2014
NIGMS contact: Donna Krasnewich, 301-594-0943

NIH Blueprint Program for Enhancing Neuroscience Diversity through Undergraduate Research Education Experiences (R25)
(RFA-NS-14-010)

Purpose: Enhance biomedical research workforce diversity through the development of creative educational activities primarily focused on research experiences, skills development courses and mentoring activities
Letter of intent due date: April 28, 2014
Application due date: May 28, 2014
NIH contact: Michelle D. Jones-London, 301-451-7966

Request for Information: Current Clinical Questions in Post-Resuscitation Hypothermia
(NOT-GM-14-112)

Purpose: Provide feedback on the clinical research questions that need to be answered surrounding post-resuscitation therapeutic hypothermia
Response due date: May 30, 2014
Send responses to: Jeremy Brown, 301-594-2755

New Mechanism to Support Research Educational Activities

As part of our efforts to develop and sustain a highly skilled and diverse biomedical research workforce, we have introduced a new mechanism to complement or enhance research training activities. The Innovative Programs to Enhance Research Training (IPERT) will support creative and innovative research educational activities through courses for skills development, structured mentoring activities and outreach programs.

We expect the scope, purpose and objectives of IPERT applications to be as varied as the potential applicants. Both institutions and organizations are eligible to apply.

An IPERT program should address a documented need, problem or challenge in research training and include measurable goals and objectives. Applications should explain the balance of effort and resources dedicated to each activity and how the activities will integrate. Proposals should also align with the NIGMS Strategic Plan for Biomedical and Behavioral Research Training, which recognizes that:

  • Research training is a responsibility shared by NIH, academic institutions, faculty and trainees.
  • Research training must focus on student development, not simply the selection of talent.
  • Breadth and flexibility enable research training to keep pace with the opportunities and demands of contemporary science and provide the foundation for a variety of scientific career paths.
  • Diversity is an indispensable component of research training excellence and must be advanced across the entire research enterprise.

The IPERT program may be of particular interest to institutions and organizations with current or past support from the MARC Ancillary Training Activities program (T36), which has lapsed and will not be reissued. Conference and meeting programs previously supported by the T36 mechanism may be more appropriately supported through the NIH conference grant mechanism (R13/U13).

While a letter of intent is not required, we strongly encourage anyone who is interested in submitting an IPERT application to consult with me or other staff of the NIGMS Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity to determine if this is the best mechanism to support their ideas and plans.

Last Submission Deadline for Collaborative Science Supplements

NIGMS grantees have one final opportunity to introduce new collaborations into their ongoing research projects through the Supplements for Collaborative Science (SCS) program. The submission deadline in response to NOT-GM-11-105 is May15, 2014. Investigators can request supplements of up to $90,000 per year in direct costs for two collaborating labs or up to $135,000 per year for three collaborating labs.

The proposed research must be within the original scope of the project and should propose approaches not used previously by the principal investigator. All collaborators should be able to make significant intellectual contributions, and we especially encourage proposals that involve less commonly combined areas of expertise.

To be eligible, an NIGMS parent R01 or R37 award must be actively funded through November 30, 2015. Proposals may request support to cover a period up to the end of the parent project. The application now requires that collaborating investigators provide a letter of commitment and “other support” page countersigned by their institutional official. Send any additional questions to me at andersonve@nigms.nih.gov or to Sue Haynes at hayness@nigms.nih.gov.

The SCS program is very competitive, so if you are interested in submitting an application, we recommend that you first discuss your potential proposal—and its new and novel aspects—with the program director of your grant.

Funding Opportunities: Big Data Science, Initiative for Maximizing Student Development

You may be interested in the following funding opportunity announcements:

Big Data Science

Purpose: Research and develop new technologies in biomedical computing, informatics and big data science that will support rapid progress in biomedical research

  • Early Stage Development of Technologies in Biomedical Computing, Informatics, and Big Data Science (R43/R44)
    (PA-14-154)
  • Early Stage Development of Technologies in Biomedical Computing, Informatics, and Big Data Science (R01)
    (PA-14-155)
  • Extended Development, Hardening and Dissemination of Technologies in Biomedical Computing, Informatics, and Big Data Science (R01)
    (PA-14-156)
  • Early Stage Development of Technologies in Biomedical Computing, Informatics, and Big Data Science (R41/R42)
    (PA-14-157)

Application due dates: Standard dates apply
NIGMS contact: Peter Lyster, 301-451-6446

Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) (R25)
(PAR-14-121)

Purpose: Develop new or expand existing institutional developmental programs at research-intensive institutions that prepare undergraduate and graduate students from diverse backgrounds for attaining the Ph.D. degree in biomedical or behavioral sciences and subsequent competitive research careers and leadership positions
Application due dates: May 1, 2014; January 26, 2015; January 25, 2016
NIGMS contact: Daniel Janes, 301-594-0943

NIGMS Participation in Additional NIH Individual Predoctoral Fellowship Programs

We are now supporting two additional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award individual predoctoral fellowships in basic biomedical sciences relevant to our mission: the F30 fellowship for M.D.-Ph.D. or other dual-doctoral degree students and the F31 fellowship for Ph.D.-degree students. We will continue our support of the F31 fellowship to promote diversity in health-related research.

NIGMS predoctoral fellowships, which generally provide up to 3 years of support, promote fundamental, interdisciplinary and innovative research training and career development leading to independent scientists who are well prepared to address the nation’s biomedical research needs.

An applicant for an NIGMS predoctoral fellowship should:

  • Be an advanced Ph.D. or M.D.-Ph.D. student.
  • Demonstrate high academic performance in the biomedical sciences and independence in his or her research.
  • Have identified a research sponsor and a dissertation project that includes a novel approach to the problem and has strong training potential.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to a career as an independent scientist.

We expect the funding for F30 and F31 fellowships to be highly competitive, and we anticipate funding only a very limited number of these applications in any year.

We will give priority to outstanding applicants with sponsors who are currently supported by NIGMS research grants. In addition, we strongly encourage F30 applications from students in combined M.D.-Ph.D. (or other dual-doctoral degree, such as D.O.-Ph.D., D.D.S.-Ph.D. and D.V.M.-Ph.D.) programs at institutions that are not currently supported by our Medical Scientist Training Program.

For more details on F30 and F31 awards, see the NIGMS NRSA Individual Predoctoral Fellowships Web page or contact Peggy Schnoor.

Final Funding Opportunity Announcement for “Genomes to Natural Products” Research

Natural products are a prolific source of therapeutic drugs because they have been selected through evolution to be biologically active. New opportunities for natural products development made possible by genomic discoveries are poised to rapidly expand the utility of this critically important resource.

To further stimulate studies in this area, we have just issued the final funding opportunity announcement for Genomes to Natural Products (U01) research. Applications are due by June 10, 2014.

We’re looking for multidisciplinary teams of experts in natural products, synthetic biology, bioinformatics, genomics and analytical chemistry to develop high-throughput natural products discovery platforms based on a synthetic biology approach that leverages genomics and metagenomics data. The goal is to deliver broadly applicable, context-independent (i.e., independent of organism and/or natural products class) and game-changing tools, methods and resources in natural products discovery. The funded research also should lead to a deeper understanding of the regulation of natural products biosynthesis.

In addition to talking with potential collaborators, I encourage you to discuss your application with me.