New SuRE R16 Program Funding Announcements and Upcoming Webinar

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We’re pleased to announce that two funding opportunities for the new Support for Research Excellence (SuRE) program, which replaces our Support of Competitive Research (SCORE) program, have been issued. SuRE R16 awards support investigator-initiated research projects in all NIH mission areas and are open to faculty at institutions that award science degrees (bachelor and/or graduate degrees), receive limited NIH research support, and serve students from groups underrepresented in biomedical research. Faculty with prior experience in leading independent research who aren’t currently program directors/principal investigators of active NIH research project grants may apply for a SuRE Award (PAR-21-169). Faculty who haven’t had any prior independent research grant support are encouraged to apply for the SuRE-First Award (PAR-21-173).

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Application and Funding Trends in Fiscal Year 2020

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On December 27, 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, was signed into law. The appropriation provides NIGMS with a budget of $2,991,417,000, in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, a 1.8% increase over the FY 2020 appropriation. With this increased budget, NIGMS is committed to providing taxpayers with the best possible returns on their investments in fundamental biomedical research. As part of this commitment to stewardship, we regularly monitor trends in our funding portfolio.

NIGMS maintains a diversified biomedical research portfolio, supporting a wide range of topics and investigators. NIGMS and NIH programs and policies aim to increase the number of funded investigators and to maintain researchers’ funding stability over time. In this post, we describe NIGMS investigator-level trends for selected R01-equivalent grants as well as overall research project grant (RPG) trends for FY 2020 compared to previous fiscal years.

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Funding Opportunity: Modules for Enhancing Biomedical Research Workforce Training

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We’re pleased to announce a new notice of special interest (NOSI) calling for applications developing training modules for creating safe, inclusive, and supportive research environments (NOT-GM-20-047). The proposed modules should impact individuals from a broad range of scientific disciplines and career stages and cover material not typically taught as part of current institutional coursework. The modules can take many different formats and approaches and should be timely, informative, engaging, easily accessible, and free to everyone. Applications must address how the modules will catalyze either of the following:

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Richard Aragon to Direct Division of Data Integration, Modeling, and Analytics

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Headshot of Dr. Richard Aragon.

I’m pleased to announce that Richard Aragon is the new director of the Institute’s Division of Data Integration, Modeling, and Analytics (DIMA). He has been acting director of DIMA since January 2020.

Richard has ably led NIGMS’ strategic planning and evaluation activities and has served as our Congressional liaison since joining us in 2014 as chief of what was then our Office of Program Planning, Analysis, and Evaluation. In this role, he has evolved and expanded our capabilities to include predictive analytics, budget and fiscal modeling, and the use of artificial intelligence to enhance business processes. As we prepare to the launch the NIGMS 2021-2025 Strategic Plan this spring, Richard’s extensive expertise in spearheading these activities makes him the ideal candidate to lead this critical component of the Institute.

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It Takes Courage: Re-Emphasizing Our Institutional and Societal Commitment to Diversity, Respect, and Inclusion

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Recent events have highlighted the unfortunate, discriminatory, and, at times, violent or criminal actions taken against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. These events, including attacks on women and the elderly, constitute a threat to the health and well-being of not only the AAPI community, but also to the principles of diversity, inclusivity, respect, and civility. Data recently released [PDF] by California State University, San Bernardino, indicate a 149% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes reported to law enforcement between 2019 and 2020, including staggering increases in some of the most demographically diverse cities in the country. These events, and the perspectives or attitudes that underlie them, damage the social fabric and mutual bonds that hold us together. Elements of hate and discrimination anywhere act as a barrier to equity and respect everywhere.

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New U-RISE and MARC Funding Announcements and Upcoming Webinar

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We’re pleased to announce the reissuance of funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) for the Undergraduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement (U-RISE) (PAR-21-146) and the Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) (PAR-21-147) T34 programs. The FOAs continue the shared goal to develop a diverse pool of undergraduates who complete their baccalaureate degree, and transition into and complete biomedical, research-focused higher degree programs (e.g., Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D.).

The first application due date for these FOAs is May 26, 2021, and the earliest start date for both programs is April 2022.

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Funding Opportunity: New T32 Medical Scientist Training Program

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We’re pleased to announce our Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) (T32) funding opportunity announcement (FOA) has been reissued (PAR-21-189). This FOA continues our efforts toward changes in integrated medical and graduate research training to keep pace with the rapidly evolving research environment that’s increasingly complex, interdisciplinary, quantitative, and collaborative. This program provides support to eligible domestic institutions to develop and implement effective, evidence-informed approaches to integrated dual-degree training leading to the award of both clinical degrees (e.g., M.D., D.O., D.V.M., D.D.S., and Pharm.D.), and research doctorate degrees (Ph.D.).

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Funding Opportunities: Addressing Structural Racism and Discrimination

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UPDATE: The funding opportunity, Understanding and Addressing the Impact of Structural Racism and Discrimination on Minority Health and Health Disparities (R01 Clinical Trial Optional) (RFA-MD-21-004), is now available.

We want to make you aware of two funding opportunities to investigate and address structural racism and discrimination in the biomedical research enterprise. This is a follow-up to our previous post about NIGMS’ support for UNITE, the trans-NIH initiative to address structural racism and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in biomedical research.

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Webinar: Navigating Research Collaborations as a Teaching-Based Professor

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UPDATE: The video from this webinar is now available.

NIGMS is committed to increasing biomedical research capacity, including at institutions where faculty have significant teaching responsibilities. In these settings, research collaborations across institutions can be especially beneficial. Join us as we explore this topic:

Thursday, March 25, 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET

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