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)
  • Early Stage Development of Technologies in Biomedical Computing, Informatics, and Big Data Science (R01)
  • Extended Development, Hardening and Dissemination of Technologies in Biomedical Computing, Informatics, and Big Data Science (R01)
  • Early Stage Development of Technologies in Biomedical Computing, Informatics, and Big Data Science (R41/R42)

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

Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) (R25)

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.

Funding Opportunities: Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program, Research on Issues Related to Central IRBs and Using Clinical Records and Data, Innovative Technologies and Assays in Support of HIV Research

You may be interested in these recent funding opportunity announcements:

Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) (R25)

Purpose: PREP provides support for well-designed courses for skills development and extensive research experiences aimed at preparing individuals from diverse backgrounds to complete doctoral degrees.
Application receipt dates: March 31, 2014; January 25, 2015; and January 25, 2016.
NIGMS contact: Michael Bender, 301-594-0943.

Empirical Research on Ethical Issues Related to Central IRBs and Consent for Research Using Clinical Records and Data (R01)

Purpose: This program furthers NIH’s commitment to enhanced protections for human subjects by encouraging research on the use of central Institutional Review Boards and on the use of clinical records and data.
Application due date: April 18, 2014.
NIGMS contact: Jeremy Brown, 301-594-2755.

Innovative Technologies and Assays in Support of HIV Cure Research (ITAS-Cure)
(PA-14-101) (R43/R44)
(PA-14-102) (R41/R42)

Purpose: ITAS-Cure encourages Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grant applications focusing on the development of sensitive and quantitative assays, methods or imaging techniques with commercial potential that can be applied to the measurement of residual HIV reservoirs in HIV-positive individuals on effective antiretroviral therapy.
Application due date: Standard AIDS application due dates apply
NIGMS contact: Mike Sakalian, 301-594-0829.

Our Investigator-Initiated SBIR/STTR Program

In January, NIH and several other agencies issued new omnibus solicitations for the Small Business Innovation Research (PA-14-071) and Small Business Technology Transfer (PA-14-072) programs. A program descriptions and research topics document gives details about each funding component’s areas of interest. The NIGMS section begins on page 91.

Potential SBIR/STTR applicants often assume that, like some other federal agencies, NIGMS will be an end user of the tools, devices, products or services being created under the grant or will play an active role in their ongoing development toward eventual commercialization. As a result, we get questions like:

  • How can I ensure that my project offers what NIGMS needs?
  • Can NIGMS provide technical and/or regulatory assistance to help my project obtain FDA approval?
  • What clinical trial/technology development expertise does NIGMS have that I may access?

These assumptions are not correct. Like the vast majority of NIGMS-funded research, our SBIR/STTR program is investigator-initiated. Applicants propose what to do, how to do it and the best path toward commercialization. Although we may occasionally issue or participate in SBIR/STTR funding opportunity announcements targeted to stimulate activity in a specific area, these are still independent projects because we do not prescribe what the activity should be or how it should be pursued.

Our goal is to support innovative SBIR/STTR projects that could benefit the broader research and development communities and/or directly impact human health.

If you’re interested in applying for an SBIR/STTR grant in an NIGMS area of interest, you can get general advice and answers to many procedural and technical questions about the application and review process from NIGMS program and grants management staff. If you don’t know whom to contact, you can start by asking me your program questions or asking Patrice Molnar your grants management questions. If we don’t know the answers ourselves, we can refer you to others as appropriate.

You can also find useful information on the NIH SBIR/STTR Web site and in a recent blog post from NIH’s Sally Rockey titled What’s New with NIH’s Small Business Research Programs?

Biomedical Technology Research Resources: Funding and Access Opportunities

Our Biomedical Technology Research Resources (BTRRs)—until recently known as Biomedical Technology Research Centers—develop and disseminate cutting-edge technologies and methods that allow scientists nationwide to advance their projects beyond the levels that could be attained using commonly available laboratory resources.

If you’re a researcher who works collaboratively to create and integrate potentially transformative biomedical technologies and are interested in providing service and training to the scientific community, you may want to apply for a BTRR grant. The first step is to submit your concept in a pre-application. Feedback from its review can help you decide whether to submit a full application.

If you’re a biomedical researcher with a project in need of technology resources, you may be able to access them at an existing BTRR. The Biomedical Technology Resources Portal Exit icon includes descriptions of the available resources Exit icon, including those funded through NIH’s National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, and instructions for accessing them Exit icon.

Before granting use of its technologies (whether remotely or in-person), the BTRR will evaluate your research project for demonstrated need as well as the level of engagement and assistance that would be required of resource staff. It’s also possible that, if your project has potential for advancing a newly emerging technology, you’ll be able to collaborate with BTRR investigators as they develop it. This close collaboration benefits your research and also furthers innovation at the BTRR.

For more details about the BTRR program, please contact me or Doug Sheeley.

Funding Opportunities: NIH Big Data to Knowledge, Research Centers for Pharmacogenomics in Precision Medicine

You may be interested in these recent funding opportunity announcements:

NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K)

NIGMS is participating in additional BD2K Exit icon programs, an NIH-wide initiative that enables the biomedical research community to use various types of big data for research:

  • Development of an NIH BD2K Data Discovery Index Coordination Consortium (U24)
  • BD2K-LINCS-Perturbation Data Coordination and Integration Center (U54)
  • Mentored Career Development Award in Biomedical Big Data Science for Clinicians and Doctorally Prepared Scientists (K01)
  • Courses for Skills Development in Biomedical Big Data Science (R25)
  • Open Educational Resources for Biomedical Big Data (R25)

Research Centers for Pharmacogenomics in Precision Medicine (P50)

Purpose: This program will support a limited number of large-scale centers to conduct cutting-edge research studies designed to push the boundaries for understanding and predicting therapeutic drug responses.
Letters of intent due date: 30 days before the application due dates
Application due dates: September 25, 2014; September 25, 2015; and September 25, 2016.
NIGMS contact: Rochelle Long, 301-594-3827.

Funding Opportunities: Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies, Common Fund Opportunities, Career Development Awards

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

Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative

The first funding opportunities for the BRAIN Initiative, a large-scale effort aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain, are now available. To view the FOAs, visit

Common Fund Opportunities

The NIH Common Fund has issued FOAs under both the Single Cell Analysis and the Enhancing the Diversity of the NIH-Funded Workforce programs. A Webinar for potential applicants to the diversity FOAs will be held in January.

Career Development (K) Awards

K awards help transition new investigators to research independence.

  • NIH Pathway to Independence Award (Parent K99/R00)

    Purpose: Help postdoctoral researchers complete mentored training and transition to an independent, tenure-track or equivalent faculty positions and launch a competitive, independent research careers

  • Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award (Parent K08)

    Purpose: Provide individuals with clinical doctoral degrees with intensive, supervised career development experiences in biomedical and behavioral research, including translational research

  • Mentored Quantitative Research Development Award (Parent K25)

    Purpose: Attract individuals with quantitative and engineering backgrounds to bring their expertise and skills to address NIH-relevant research questions

  • Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (Parent K23)

    Purpose: Support individuals with a clinical doctoral degree who have made a commitment to focus their research endeavors on patient-oriented research

Application due dates: Standard dates apply.
NIGMS contact: Michael Sesma, 301-594-3900.

T32 Application Changes

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.

Funding Opportunities: Support of Competitive Research Program; Modeling the Scientific Workforce; Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence

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

Support of Competitive Research (SCORE) Program, which offers three funding opportunities based on career level that are designed to increase the research competitiveness of faculty at minority-serving institutions and institutions with a historical mission of training students from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical research

Purpose: Conduct high-quality research and increase research competitiveness by progressively enhancing the pace and productivity of projects
Career level: Advanced formative stage

Purpose: Test a new idea or gather preliminary data to establish a new line of research
Career level: Early academic career

Purpose: Continue engaging in meritorious biomedical or behavioral research projects of limited scope in a given biomedical or behavioral area within the NIH mission
Career level: Intermediate stage

Application due dates: January 25, 2014; May 25, 2014; January 25, 2015; May 25, 2015; January 25, 2016; May 25, 2016
NIGMS contact: Hinda Zlotnik, 301-594-3900

Modeling the Scientific Workforce (U01)

Purpose: Develop computational models and systems approaches to better understand the underlying dynamics that produce successful scientists, to examine strategies for increasing the diversity of the scientific workforce, to identify factors that influence participation in scientific training and questions in need of research, and to guide the collection and analysis of data used to develop these models
Letter of intent due date: January 4, 2014
Application due date: February 4, 2014
NIGMS contact: Michael Sesma, 301-594-3900

Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (P20)

Purpose: Establish a thematic, multidisciplinary center in an IDeA-eligible state and enhance the ability of investigators to compete independently for NIH or other external peer-reviewed support
Application due dates: February 26, 2014; January 28, 2015; January 28, 2016
NIGMS contact: Yanping Liu, 301-594-3900