Author: Dr. Shiva Singh

Headshot of Shiva Singh.

Shiva, a microbiologist with a lot of experience in scientific administration, oversees predoctoral T32 training programs, predoctoral F30 and F31 fellowships, as well as a broad array of undergraduate student development programs.

Posts by Dr. Shiva Singh

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 Bridges Training Programs Announced

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UPDATE: The slides [PDF, 1.5MB] from the 2019 Webinar for Bridges Applicants have been posted.

In September 2018, we presented our plans to reorganize the Bridges training programs, part of a larger effort to reorganize the undergraduate and graduate programs in the Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity. We’re now pleased to announce two new Bridges funding opportunities aimed at developing and implementing effective, evidence-based approaches to biomedical training and mentoring. The goal of these funding announcements is to enhance diversity in the biomedical research workforce and to encourage applications from training programs that:

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Webinar for NIGMS Institutional Predoctoral Training Grant Program Applicants

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UPDATE: The slides [PDF, 794KB] and video Link to external web site from the NIGMS Institutional Predoctoral Training Grant Program Webinar have been posted.

If you’re preparing an application for the NIGMS Institutional Predoctoral Training Grant (T32) program in either the Basic Biomedical Sciences (PA-17-341) or the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) (PAR-19-036) for the May 25 receipt date, don’t miss our upcoming webinar:

Monday, March 18, 1:00-2:30 p.m. ET

During the webinar, we’ll provide an overview of our expectations for NIGMS-funded training grant applications, share our observations from the first round of review of new T32 applications in basic biomedical sciences, and answer any questions you may have. You can send questions before the webinar or post them in the chat box during the event.

To join the webinar, visit the WebEx Meeting page (link no longer available) and enter the meeting number 626 141 685 and the password vPPwB3ZT. If you’re unable to attend online, you can join by phone by calling 1-650-479-3208 from anywhere in the United States or Canada and entering the meeting number above.

NIGMS Staff Participating in the March 18 Webinar:

Jon Lorsch, Director
Alison Gammie, Director, Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity
Shiva Singh, Chief, Undergraduate and Predoctoral Training Branch
Stephanie Constant, Chief, Office of Scientific Review

In addition, other NIGMS staff will be available to answer programmatic, review, and grants management questions.

We look forward to talking to you about the NIGMS-sponsored predoctoral T32 training programs. Slides and videos will be posted on the Predoctoral Training Grant website following the event.

Administrative Supplements for NIGMS Predoctoral T32 Grants to Develop Curricular and Training Activities

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To continue our efforts to catalyze the modernization of biomedical graduate education, we invite eligible NIGMS-funded T32 predoctoral training programs to submit administrative supplement requests (NOT-GM-19-015) to develop new curricular and training activities that enhance the program’s ability to: 1) provide graduate trainees with a strong foundation in research design and methods in areas related to conducting rigorous and transparent research to enhance reproducibility; 2) prepare students for diverse careers in the biomedical research workforce; 3) develop the knowledge and skills of trainees to enhance laboratory safety; and 4) develop the technical, operational, and professional skills of predoctoral biomedical researchers.

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Revised Instructions for Predoctoral T32 Applicants

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Are you applying for the NIGMS Predoctoral Institutional Research Training Grant (T32) – PAR-17-341? If so, it’s important you note revisions to our FOA instructions that clarify application requirements. We have also added a new requirement concerning institutional responsibilities related to harassment. We encourage you to read the full NIH Guide notice, published on August 23, 2018. Key points include:

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Early Notice: Concept Clearance for the Reorganization of Undergraduate and Graduate Programs to Enhance Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce

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UPDATE: The Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC), Undergraduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement (U-RISE), Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD), Graduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement (G-RISE), Bridges to the Baccalaureate, and Bridges to the Doctorate funding opportunity announcements are now available.

NIGMS has a longstanding commitment to developing a diverse pool of biomedical scientists through a variety of institutional training and student development programs. Based on stakeholders’ feedback through Requests for Information (NOT-GM-15-108; NOT-GM-17-017), as well as extensive analyses and discussions with NIH staff and the community, we intend to make adjustments to our programs designed to enhance the diversity in the biomedical research workforce. The modifications, which the NIGMS Council recently approved, are designed to: 1) provide equity of trainee support across programs; 2) prevent programmatic overlap; 3) align the funding strategies with the programmatic goals; 4) tailor expectation of outcomes, support mechanisms, and review considerations according to the institution’s level of research activity; and 5) strengthen our ability to evaluate the success of the programs. The changes, described in more detail in the recent Videocast of the Council Open Session, will impact the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD), the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) program, and the Maximizing Access to Research Careers – Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (MARC U-STAR) programs. We don’t anticipate any immediate changes to our Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP). Possible adjustments to the Bridges to the Baccalaureate and Bridges to the Doctorate programs are currently under discussion.

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Administrative Supplements for NIGMS Predoctoral T32 Grants to Develop Curricular and Training Activities

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To continue our efforts to catalyze the modernization of biomedical graduate education, we invite eligible NIGMS-funded T32 predoctoral training programs to submit administrative supplement requests to develop new curricular and training activities to enhance the program’s ability to: 1) provide graduate trainees with a strong foundation in research design and methods in areas related to conducting rigorous and transparent research to enhance reproducibility (PA-18-756); 2) prepare students for diverse careers in the biomedical research workforce (PA-18-757); 3) develop the knowledge and skills of trainees to enhance laboratory safety (PA-18-758); and 4) develop the technical, operational, and professional skills of predoctoral biomedical researchers (PA-18-759).

Grantees should consider the following before applying:

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Webinar on NIGMS Institutional Predoctoral Training Grant Program in Basic Biomedical Sciences

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UPDATE: The slides [PDF 1.38MB], video Link to external web site, and FAQs from the Predoctoral Training Grant (T32) Webinar have been posted.

If you’re preparing an application for the NIGMS Institutional Predoctoral Training Grant (T32) program for the May 25 receipt date, don’t miss our upcoming webinar:

Monday, March 5, from 3:00-4:30 p.m. ET.

During the webinar, we’ll provide an overview of the new funding opportunity announcement and answer any questions you may have. You can send questions before the webinar or post them in the chat box during the event.

To join the webinar, visit the WebEx Meeting page (link no longer available) and enter the meeting number 627 943 381 and the password W7pyYXW4. If you are unable to attend online, you can join by phone by calling 1-650-479-3208 from anywhere in the United States or Canada and entering the meeting number above.

NIGMS Staff Participating in the March 5 Webinar:

Jon Lorsch, Director
Alison Gammie, Director, Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity
Shiva Singh, Chief, Undergraduate and Predoctoral Training Branch
John Laffan and Lisa Newman, Scientific Review Officers
Lisa Moeller, Grants Management Officer

We look forward to talking to you about the NIGMS-sponsored T32 program.

Discontinuing Our Participation in the NRSA Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (Parent F31) Program

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We recently issued an NIH Guide notice informing the community that we will discontinue participation in the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (Parent F31) (PA-16-309). As stated in the notice, we will not accept new or resubmission applications for this program, and its subsequent reissuances, starting with the April 8, 2018, receipt date. We will continue to accept NRSA Individual Predoctoral Fellowships to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (F31) (PA-16-308) and NRSA Individual Predoctoral MD/PhD or Other Dual-Doctoral Degree Fellowships for Students at Institutions Without NIH-Funded Institutional Predoctoral Dual-Degree Training Programs (F30) (PA-16-306). This decision does not affect those F31 (parent) applicants who have already received an award from NIGMS or whose applications have already been received by NIH and have been reviewed or are currently pending review.

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New Area for NIGMS Predoctoral Training

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NIGMS has a longstanding commitment to graduate training and has for many years supported research training in 11 broad areas of basic biomedical science, including Behavioral-Biomedical Sciences Interface; Bioinformatics and Computational Biology; Biostatistics; Biotechnology; Cellular, Biochemical, and Molecular Sciences; Chemistry-Biology Interface; Genetics; Molecular Biophysics; Molecular Medicine; Pharmacological Sciences; and Systems and Integrative Biology.

With publication of the NIGMS’ new predoctoral training grant funding opportunity announcement, the list now includes Transdisciplinary Basic Biomedical Sciences. This new area is designed to broaden the scope of disciplines supported by an NIGMS training grant and increase the geographical distribution of institutions that might apply.

The transdisciplinary area is open only to a) institutions that currently do not have an NIGMS-funded institutional predoctoral T32 training program in any of the basic biomedical science disciplines listed above (with the exception of Behavioral-Biomedical Sciences Interface or Biostatistics), or b) institutions with current NIGMS-funded predoctoral T32 training programs that propose to merge two or more of their existing NIGMS-funded predoctoral training programs into a single program. Training supported in this area is expected to be broadly-based and multidisciplinary in nature and may be covered by the other NIGMS-supported areas of basic biomedical science disciplines, or may include other emerging area(s) within the NIGMS mission.

Applications for the Transdisciplinary Basic Biomedical Sciences area will be accepted for the May 25, 2018, receipt date and thereafter.

We welcome your comments and questions—they can be posted here, emailed to me, or you may call 301-594-3900.