Author: Alison Cole

Headshot of Alison Cole.

Before her retirement in December 2019, Alison handled research and training grants in anesthesiology and peri-operative pain as well as predoctoral training grants on molecular medicine.

Posts by Alison Cole

Wanted: Program Director, Pharmacological and Physiological Sciences Branch


UPDATE: The vacancy announcement for this position is now available and is open through May 29.

We’re recruiting for an accomplished scientist with interest and experience in inflammation, innate immunity, and the physiological responses to injury, to join the Pharmacological and Physiological Sciences (PPS) Branch of the Division of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biological Chemistry (PPBC). The successful applicant will have responsibility for scientific and administrative management of a portfolio of research, career development, and training grants.

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Wanted: Program Director, Pharmacological and Physiological Sciences Branch


We’re recruiting for an accomplished scientist with experience in the pharmacological sciences to join the Pharmacological and Physiological Sciences (PPS) Branch of the Division of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biological Chemistry. The successful applicant will have responsibility for scientific and administrative management of a portfolio of grants, both research and training, in the Division.

The PPS Branch supports research studies ranging from the molecular to cellular to organismal, which can be basic or clinical in nature. This position offers stewardship of grant awards related to modern approaches to examining the effects of drugs on the body and the body’s effects on drugs, as well as how these effects vary from individual to individual. This includes investigations of the absorption, transport, distribution, metabolism, biotransformation, toxicity, and excretion of drugs, as well as determinants and models of pharmacokinetics. The portfolio also includes investigation of drug delivery strategies and the packaging and delivery of molecules and biologics, with an emphasis on drug release and kinetics.

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NIGMS Support of Career Development (K) Awards


NIH offers a wide variety of career development (K) awards, and NIGMS participates in a number of them. Here are answers to questions we often get about NIGMS support of these awards.

Which career development awards (K awards) does NIGMS support?

We support:

I’ve found a new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for a K award. How can I tell if NIGMS participates in this FOA?

If NIGMS is participating, it will be listed in the “Components of Participating Organizations” section near the top of the FOA. If NIGMS is not participating, consider whether another listed component may be appropriate for your application.

Where can I learn more about NIGMS-supported K awards?

Visit our Mentored Career Development Awards page to find additional information about most of our K awards. You also can contact an NIGMS program director in your area of interest.

Where can I find information on all NIH K awards?

You can find information on these awards at the K Kiosk. Another NIH resource, the Career Award Wizard, can help you identify the K awards that may be right for you.

Upcoming NIGMS Training Grant (T32) Application Deadline


The next submission date for NIGMS predoctoral T32 applications is May 25. If you plan on submitting an application, please see my earlier post with reminders about mandatory requirements related to recruitment and retention plans for students with disabilities, training in the responsible conduct of research and NIGMS-specific guidelines. Feel free to contact me with additional questions.

Reminder to NIGMS Training Grant (T32) Applicants


As we approach the next submission date for T32 applications on January 25, I’d like to remind applicants about several requirements:

Recruitment and Retention Plans for Students with Disabilities: The long-standing requirement for a recruitment and retention plan to enhance diversity must include students with disabilities as well as individuals from racial and ethnic groups that are underrepresented in the health-related sciences (see the current funding opportunity announcement). We’ve posted some ideas and approaches for this element on our Training Web page. For both new and renewal applications, the focus at this time for the recruitment and retention of students with disabilities is on plans and strategies, rather than on numerical outcomes. Applications lacking a plan for the recruitment and retention of individuals in either category will be considered unacceptable.

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research: The responsible conduct of research (RCR) requirement was updated in an NIH Guide notice in 2010 to include five components: format, subject matter, faculty participation, duration of instruction and frequency of instruction. All components must be addressed in an application for it to be considered acceptable. We find that some applications fail to address the requirement that RCR instruction be taken at least once every 4 years. This “refresher” training can take many forms, but it must be substantive. For example, it can be a formal course given in the later years of graduate training, ongoing annual seminars or workshops, sessions at annual retreats, etc.

NIGMS Special Requirements: All applicants for NIGMS-funded predoctoral training grants are required to address six special requirements related to their training programs as listed in our NRSA Institutional Predoctoral Training Grants Program Description and Guidelines. This material should be inserted at the end of the background section of the application.

These requirements are mandatory. Any application with an unacceptable plan for diversity recruitment or RCR training will not be funded until the applicant provides an acceptable, revised plan.

Interested in Research Training Fellowships?


NIH has just reissued program announcements for Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) individual fellowships at the predoctoral (F31), postdoctoral (F32) and senior (F33) levels.

Scientist in her labIf you plan to apply, be sure to read the recent NIH Guide notice applying to NRSAs. Effective with the August 8, 2009, submission date, NIH will only accept electronic applications for F-series programs. There are other changes, too, including how letters of reference are submitted, how many amended applications you may submit (only one), and how review is structured (there are now five review criteria). In addition, reviewers will use the new scoring system for individual fellowships starting with applications reviewed at the summer 2009 study section meetings.

I am happy to answer your questions about the F32s and F33s, and Adolphus Toliver can answer questions about the diversity-oriented F31s.

As some of you may know, I recently became the acting research training director at NIGMS after John Norvell retired this past March. For more than 20 years, John provided outstanding leadership for training at NIGMS and across NIH, and he brought about many significant improvements.

I welcome your input on training matters and look forward to working with you in my new role.