MIRA Pilot Adds New and Early Stage Investigators

We have just expanded the pilot of our Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) to include new and early stage investigators. The application due date is September 9, and we request—but do not require—letters of intent by August 9.

MIRA supports investigators’ overall research programs through a single, unified grant rather than individual project grants. The goals include increasing investigators’ funding stability, ability to take on ambitious challenges and approach problems creatively, and flexibility to follow important new research directions as opportunities arise.

Awards will provide all of the support from NIGMS for research related to its mission in an investigator’s laboratory. [Editor’s note: Awards will be for 5 years, similar to the current average length of an NIGMS R01 award to new investigators.]

To test the MIRA concept under well-controlled conditions, eligibility is currently limited to two small groups. The first, announced earlier this year, is established investigators who received two or more R01-equivalent awards or a single award of $400,000 or more in direct costs from NIGMS in Fiscal Year 2013 or 2014 and who have at least one grant expected to end in Fiscal Year 2016 or 2017. The second, just-announced group is early stage investigators and new investigators who are at the assistant professor or equivalent level.

If the pilots are successful, we plan to open the program to any investigator working on research questions related to its mission.

See the MIRA Web page for more information.

4 comments on “MIRA Pilot Adds New and Early Stage Investigators

  1. So PIs with multiple NIGMS R01s are eligible, and PIs with no NIGMS R01s are eligible, but the vast majority of PIs with a single NIGMS R01 are left out in the cold. Nice…

    • Yes, those of us in the middle (which I suspect is the majority) are still starving. But we must feed the children and elderly first.

  2. Just a reminder that this is only the beginning of the pilot phase of the MIRA experiment. In order to test the new mechanism and the review process for it, we need reasonably small groups of applicants. The eligibility criteria of the first two FOAs were developed to produce two distinct sets of investigators to start the pilot. It is also important to remember that the established investigators now being considered for MIRAs are being asked to trade some of their current NIGMS support for the benefits of new system – increased flexibility and stability and reduced grant writing and administrative burden. We hope to expand the eligibility requirements as soon as possible to include all PIs working in areas related to the mission of NIGMS. In the meantime, the Institute has been rebalancing its portfolio and refocusing its funding policies and priorities to increase the investigator-initiated RPG success rate, which should benefit investigators at all stages.

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