Erica Brown Named Associate Director for Extramural Activities

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Headshot of Dr. Erica Brown.

I’m pleased to announce that Erica Brown has been named NIGMS associate director for extramural activities and director of our Division of Extramural Activities (DEA). In this role, Erica oversees the receipt, referral, review, and fiscal management of the Institute’s grants. Additionally, she serves as executive secretary of our advisory council and advises senior staff on the planning, development, and administration of Institute grant activities.

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How do I know if my work fits in the mission of NIGMS?

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Ninety percent of the applications to our Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award for Early Stage Investigators (known as the ESI MIRA program) that were submitted in October are about to undergo peer review. The remaining 10% were administratively withdrawn, mostly because the research proposed fell outside the NIGMS mission. This is comparable to the proportion that was withdrawn over the past 3 years.

Withdrawn applications represent a lot of wasted time and effort on the part of affected PIs and are the source of considerable frustration. So what can you do to minimize the chance of this happening to your ESI MIRA application in the future?

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Perspectives on Choosing the Best Research Organism for Your Scientific Question

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Among the research organisms discussed at the NIGMS workshop last September are (clockwise): Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl, credit: iStock), Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast, credit: see NIGMS Image and Video Gallery), Vibrio fischeri (bobtail squid, credit: Dr. Satoshi Shibata), and Platyhelminthes (planarian, credit: iStock). Among the research organisms discussed at the NIGMS workshop last September are (clockwise): Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl, credit: iStock), Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast, credit: see NIGMS Image and Video Gallery), Vibrio fischeri (bobtail squid, credit: Dr. Satoshi Shibata), and Platyhelminthes (planarian, credit: iStock).

Consistent with NIGMS’ mission to support a diverse portfolio of biomedically relevant basic research, we aim to support research that uses a wide range of research organisms (ROs). We see this approach as the best way to increase our understanding of life.

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

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UPDATE: The vacancy announcement for this position is now open and will close January 30, 2020.

We’re recruiting for an accomplished scientist with experience in the biochemical sciences to join the Biochemistry and Bio-related Chemistry (BBC) Branch of the Division of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biological Chemistry (PPBC). The BBC Branch supports research studies in synthetic chemistry, biochemistry, and bio-related chemistry. Research in this Branch is related to enzymology, bioenergetics, carbohydrate chemistry and recognition, synthetic methodology development, natural product synthesis and biosynthesis, peptide and protein chemistry, and synthetic biology. 

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Funding Opportunity: Support of Competitive Research (SC1, SC2, SC3) Awards

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The Support of Competitive Research (SCORE) program strives to increase the research competitiveness of faculty at institutions with a historical mission or demonstrated track record of training and graduating students from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical research (see NIH’s Notice of Interest in Diversity). Funding opportunity announcements for the three SCORE mechanisms were just reissued:

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Wanted: Division of Biophysics, Biomedical Technology, and Computational Biosciences Director

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BBCB Search Committee Members:

Enrique De La Cruz, Yale University

Daniel Gallahan, National Cancer Institute

Jill Heemskerk, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

Ming Lei, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, Chair

Cathy Wu, University of Delaware

The search is now open for an outstanding candidate to serve as director of our Division of Biophysics, Biomedical Technology, and Computational Biosciences (BBCB). The division supports the development of biophysical and computational methods and tools for understanding basic biological questions; physical and theoretical methodologies, data science and bioinformatics tools, and cutting-edge quantitative and computational approaches to better understand biological systems and lay the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention; and the creation of innovative tools and new technologies for the study of macromolecular, cellular, and organelle processes and function. The division also administers NIGMS’ Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) program.

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Funding Opportunity: Innovative Programs to Enhance Research Training (IPERT) R25

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In March, we released an NIH Guide notice informing the community of our intent to continue the Innovative Programs to Enhance Research Training (IPERT) R25. We’re now pleased to announce that the IPERT funding opportunity announcement (FOA) (PAR-19-383) has been reissued with minor changes. The goal of IPERT is to enable the scientific community to develop and implement innovative educational activities that equip diverse cohorts of participants with the skills required for careers in the biomedical research workforce. IPERT activities must integrate the required components of the Research Education Program Plan (REPP), including the following core elements:

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Funding Opportunity: Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Awards (IRACDA) Program

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We’re pleased to announce that the Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Awards (IRACDA) (K12) funding opportunity announcement (PAR-19-366) has been reissued with some minor changes. IRACDA combines a mentored postdoctoral research experience at a research-intensive institution with an opportunity to develop critical teaching and mentoring skills at a teaching-intensive partner institution that has a diverse student population. The primary goal of the program is to develop an inclusive pool of well-trained biomedical scientists who have the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue independent academic teaching and research careers. An additional goal of IRACDA is to benefit the teaching-intensive partner institutions by:

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Webinar for Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) (T32) Program Applicants

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UPDATE: The slides [PDF, 3.28MB] from the IMSD Webinar have been posted.

Are you preparing an institutional Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) (T32) grant application? If so, please join us for a webinar about the program and the opportunity to ask questions:

Monday, November 4, 1:00-3:00 p.m. ET

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