Author: Dr. Kenneth Gibbs

Headshot of Kenneth Gibbs.

Kenny, an immunologist, oversees the Institute's cross-disciplinary undergraduate and predoctoral training programs. He also manages the Maximizing Opportunities for Scientific and Academic Independent Careers (MOSAIC) K99/R00 and UE5 programs to promote faculty diversity, and research grants in the area of stem cell biology.

Posts by Dr. Kenneth Gibbs

New U-RISE and MARC Funding Announcements and Upcoming Webinar

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UPDATE: The video and slides [PDF] from this webinar are now available.

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 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. A pre-application technical assistance workshop will be held on May 26, 1-2:30 p.m. ET. See NOT-MD-21-018 for details.

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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NIGMS Supports UNITE, the Trans-NIH Initiative to Promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Biomedical Research

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UNITE logo. UNITE is an NIH initiative to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in biomedical research.

On March 1, NIH Director Francis Collins announced UNITE, a new effort to end structural racism and racial inequities in the biomedical research enterprise. NIGMS fully supports this initiative and is actively reviewing our own policies, practices, procedures, and priorities. We’re also intensifying our current efforts to undo the impacts of structural racism and all other forms of structural bias and discrimination in the biomedical research enterprise. Upcoming NIGMS communications and activities will identify structural and cultural elements in biomedical research that are contributing to racism and what we’re currently doing and plan to do to address them. New initiatives include, but are not limited to:

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Inaugural Cohort of MOSAIC Scholars and Upcoming Application Deadline

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We’re pleased to announce our first cohort of Maximizing Opportunities for Scientific and Academic Independent Careers (MOSAIC) program scholars. Each scholar will receive up to 5 years of mentored career development and research support and become part of a cohort-based career development program to expand their professional networks and gain additional skills and mentoring through programs administered by MOSAIC UE5 awardees: the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the American Society for Cell Biology, and the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Headshots of the 2021 MOSAIC Scholars. 2021 NIGMS MOSAIC scholars.
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MOSAIC Announcements and Upcoming Webinar

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UPDATE: The video and slides [PDF] from the MOSAIC webinar are now available.

Last summer, we shared with you our new Maximizing Opportunities for Scientific and Academic Independent Careers (MOSAIC) funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). MOSAIC, which NIGMS oversees, is part of NIH’s efforts to enhance diversity within the academic biomedical research workforce. It’s designed to facilitate the transition of promising postdoctoral researchers from diverse backgrounds into independent faculty careers at research-intensive institutions. The program has two components: a research education cooperative agreement (UE5) and a postdoctoral career transition award (K99/R00).

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Webinar for Postdoctoral Research Associate Training (PRAT) Program Applicants

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UPDATE: The video Link to external web site and slides [PDF, 5.23MB] from the PRAT webinar are now available.

We’re hosting a webinar for students and fellows interested in the PRAT Program for the October 2, 2020, receipt date:

Tuesday, July 14, 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET

PRAT is a competitive 3-year fellowship program that prepares trainees for leadership positions in biomedical careers. Training includes a mentored laboratory research experience and intensive career and leadership development activities. PRAT fellows conduct research in laboratories in the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP) in basic biomedical research areas within the NIGMS mission. These areas include, but are not limited to, biological chemistry, biophysics, bioinformatics, cellular and molecular biology, computational biosciences, developmental biology, genetics, immunology, neuroscience, pharmacology, physiology, and technology development.

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What Can We Do to Combat Anti-Black Racism in the Biomedical Research Enterprise?

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The recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, in addition to the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 on African Americans, are wrenching reminders of the many harms that societal racism, inequality, and injustice inflict on the Black community. These injustices are rooted in centuries of oppression—including slavery and Jim Crow, redlining, school segregation, and mass incarceration—that continue to influence American life, including the biomedical research enterprise. Despite leading an NIH Institute whose mission includes building a diverse scientific workforce, at NIGMS we’ve struggled with what an adequate response to this moment would be, knowing that the systems that mediate the distinct and disparate burdens Black students, postdocs, and scientists face are complex and often aren’t easily moved with the urgency that they demand. With that in mind, below we share thoughts on what each of us who is in the majority or in a position of power can do to help break the cycles of racial disparities that are woven into the fabric of the biomedical research enterprise and that limit opportunities Link to external web site for Black scientists Link to external web site.

Institutional structures, policies, and cultures Link to external web site, including those in the biomedical research enterprise, all contribute to racial inequality and injustice. This fact was laid bare for us by the responses to the request for information (RFI) we issued in 2018 on strategies to enhance successful postdoctoral career transitions to promote faculty diversity. Respondents cited bias and discrimination—including racism—most frequently as a key barrier to postdoctoral researchers attaining independent faculty positions.

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Funding Opportunity: NIGMS Institutional Predoctoral Training Grants

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We’re pleased to announce that the NIGMS Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Predoctoral Institutional Research Training Grant (T32) for the basic biomedical sciences has been reissued (PAR-20-213). This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) continues our efforts to ensure biomedical graduate research training keeps pace with the rapidly evolving biomedical research enterprise. The goal of the T32 program is to develop a diverse pool of scientists with the technical, operational, and professional skills needed to advance their chosen fields and transition into productive careers in the biomedical research workforce.

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New Maximizing Opportunities for Scientific and Academic Independent Careers (MOSAIC) Programs Announced

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UPDATE: The webinar video Link to external web site and slides [PDF, 863KB] from the MOSAIC Webinar have been posted.

In March, we shared our plans to develop a new program as part of our efforts to enhance postdoctoral career transitions to promote faculty diversity in the biomedical research workforce. We’re pleased to announce that the Maximizing Opportunities for Scientific and Academic Independent Careers (MOSAIC) funding opportunity announcements have been published. MOSAIC is designed to facilitate the transition of promising postdoctoral researchers from diverse backgrounds, such as individuals from groups underrepresented in the biomedical research workforce at the faculty level, into independent faculty careers at research-intensive institutions. The program has two components:

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Webinar for Postdoctoral Research Associate Training (PRAT) Program Applicants

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UPDATE: The slides [PDF, 1.04MB] and video Link to external web site from the PRAT Program Applicant Webinar have been posted.

We recently reissued the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for the Postdoctoral Research Associate Training (PRAT) Program and will host a webinar for interested students and fellows:

Wednesday, June 19, 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET

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