It’s with mixed emotions that I share that Ming Lei left our Division for Research Capacity Building (DRCB) earlier this month to become senior associate vice president for research and graduate education at West Virginia University (WVU) Health Sciences. Ming also joined the faculty in WVU’s School of Medicine as vice dean for research and a professor in the department of microbiology, immunology, and cell biology.Continue reading “Ming Lei Departs Division for Research Capacity Building”
Category: Director’s Messages
UPDATE: The video from this webinar is available.
NIGMS supports basic research that increases our understanding of biological processes and lays the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. NIGMS also supports research in specific clinical areas that affect multiple organ systems: anesthesiology and peri-operative pain; clinical pharmacology common to multiple drugs and treatments; and injury, critical illness, sepsis, and wound healing. We have five scientific divisions that support research, research training, and capacity building in a range of scientific fields.Continue reading “Give Us Your Input on NIGMS’ Reorganization”
NIGMS continues to support a wide range of topics and investigators, maintaining a broad biomedical research portfolio. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2022, NIGMS received a congressional appropriation of $3,092,373,000. Consistent with the Institute’s mission, a large portion of these funds support investigator-initiated research project grants (RPGs) at institutions throughout the country. As part of its commitment to transparency, NIGMS publishes data on annual trends in its grant portfolios. In this post, we describe investigator-level trends for RPGs and review the trends associated with competing RPGs as well as those in the Institute’s Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) program.
NIGMS Investigator-Level Trends for Research Grants
At NIGMS, we focus on supporting a broad group of investigators. As a result, we monitor two statistics that describe our investigator pool: the cumulative investigator rate and the number of funded early stage investigators (ESIs). The number of newly funded ESIs has notably increased over recent years, and continued support for ESIs is integral to the success of the biomedical research enterprise and is a priority for the Institute. Figure 1 illustrates the number of ESIs who received their first competing NIGMS R01-equivalent grants each year between FY 2013 and FY 2022. In FY 2022, NIGMS awarded R01-equivalent grants to 319 ESIs in total: 31 investigators received R01 awards, 268 investigators received R35 (MIRA) awards, and 20 investigators received NIH Director’s New Innovator Awards (DP2s). These data include DP2s (four awards) administered by NIGMS on behalf of the NIH Office of the Director. The number of funded ESI MIRAs in FY 2022 was the largest to date, and more than four times larger than in the program’s first year. Overall, the number of funded ESIs has risen almost every year since FY 2013, with the slight decrease in the number of awards between FY 2017 and FY 2018 due in part to the introduction of the MIRA program in FY 2016 and a temporary reduction in the built-up ESI applicant pool as more ESIs received funding.Continue reading “Application and Funding Trends in Fiscal Year 2022”
I’m pleased to announce the selection of Shawn Drew Gaillard, Ph.D., as the new director of our Division of Genetics and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (GMCDB). Shawn has been the acting director of the Division since February 2022. She will begin in this new role on January 15.
Shawn joined GMCDB as chief of the Developmental and Cellular Processes Branch in 2019, overseeing grants focused on organismal response to environmental stressors. Prior to this role, she was the research training officer at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and before that, she was a program director in our Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity and former Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology. Her experience also includes serving as a science education fellow at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and directing what is now the NIH Academy on Health Disparities.Continue reading “Shawn Drew Gaillard to Direct GMCDB”
Since the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) began in 1975, it has supported more than 14,000 clinician-scientist trainees. The program provides predoctoral training grants (T32) to institutions to develop and implement effective, evidence-informed training for students pursuing both a clinical and a research doctorate degree (i.e., M.D.-Ph.D.).Continue reading “Increasing Diversity in NIGMS’ Medical Scientist Training Program”
NIGMS maintains a diverse biomedical research portfolio, supporting a wide range of topics and investigators. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, NIGMS received a congressional appropriation of $2,991,417,000. As part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022, this budget increased by 3.4% to $3,092,373,000 for FY 2022. The majority of these funds support research project grants (RPGs) at research institutions throughout the country. In alignment with its commitment to transparency, NIGMS publishes data on annual trends in its grants portfolio. In this post, we first describe investigator-level trends for RPGs, then review the trends associated with competing RPGs, and lastly examine trends in the Institute’s Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) program.Continue reading “Application and Funding Trends in Fiscal Year 2021”
NIGMS’ Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) provides investigators with flexibility and stability for their research programs. Investigators who receive MIRA support must dedicate 51% of their research effort toward the grant and are ineligible to apply for or receive other NIGMS research support (with some exceptions). One question frequently asked is whether the NIGMS funding restriction changes the likelihood that MIRA grantees will submit applications to other NIH institutes and centers (ICs). In this post, we compare data on post-award grant applications from NIGMS-funded investigators.
To compare application behavior between MIRA and R01-funded investigators, we created sets of both established (EI) and early stage (ESI) investigators supported by NIGMS R01s (called the comparator group) who have not received a MIRA. The EI comparators were matched according to race/ethnicity, gender, time since acquisition of first R01, and average annual NIGMS funding. For the ESI comparator group, we used all ESI NIGMS R01 awardees.Continue reading “Do MIRA Investigators Apply for More Grants From Other NIH Institutes and Centers Than R01 Investigators?”
NIGMS funded its first round of renewals for the Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) program in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. In this post, we compare data on the award rates and award sizes of MIRA renewals and R01 renewals to provide some insights into the early outcomes of MIRA renewals. We also examine award rates and budget changes for investigators applying to convert their NIGMS R01s to MIRAs.
In the first section, we present award rates (the percentage of reviewed applications that receive funding), considering both programs overall and then FY 2021 renewal applications specifically. The second section describes the award sizes for the two types of grants collectively, followed by award size changes for FY 2021 renewals. Where sample sizes and privacy concerns allow, we distinguish between established investigators (EIs) and early stage investigators (ESIs) renewing their first grants (“ex-ESIs”) as they often have different characteristics for award rates and sizes. All budget values shown in the post are yearly direct costs.Continue reading “MIRA Renewals: Award Rates and Budget Changes”
I’m pleased to share that Dorit Zuk has been selected as NIGMS’ new deputy director.
Dorit has been a vital member of the NIGMS leadership team for many years, including serving as acting deputy director for the past year, and as director of our Division of Genetics and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology since January 2016. During her tenure at NIGMS, she’s made valuable contributions to our 2021-2025 strategic plan [PDF] and reorganization of the Institute’s divisions in 2018, and has led efforts to build a stronger, more diverse, and collaborative workforce—both within NIGMS and beyond.
Please join me in congratulating Dorit on her selection for this position. We can all look forward to benefitting from her continued leadership.
UPDATE: The videocast of the ARPA-H session on August 4 is now available.
President Biden recently called for the establishment of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) to improve our capabilities to speed research that can improve the health of all Americans. The proposed mission of ARPA-H could include investments in breakthrough technologies and broadly applicable platforms, resources, and solutions that can’t be readily accomplished through traditional research or commercial activity. Such innovations could transform important areas of medicine and health for the benefit of all patients.Continue reading “NIGMS to Co-Host ARPA-H Listening Session”