Tag: Early Stage Investigator

Intent to Reissue MIRA Funding Opportunity Announcement for Early Stage Investigators (R35)

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I’m pleased to announce that the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for the Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) for early stage investigators (ESIs) will be reissued in the spring of 2023. MIRA provides support for a research program in an ESI’s laboratory that falls within the NIGMS mission. For details, see NOT-GM-23-017

The reissued FOA will essentially be the same as the previous one, with a couple of minor changes:

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NIGMS Continues and Expands Its MIRA Program

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We’ve issued a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) (PAR 22-180) to provide sustained support for biomedical research through our Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) program. This FOA allows applications from eligible NIGMS-funded investigators and from New Investigators proposing research within the scientific mission of NIGMS. The FOA also allows renewal applications from all eligible MIRA grantees (established and ex-Early Stage Investigators). Program directors (PDs)/principal investigators (PIs) who are currently Early Stage Investigators (ESIs) should apply through the ESI MIRA FOA and not to this announcement.

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Webinar and Other Resources for New MIRA ESI Funding Opportunity

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

We recently reissued the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for the Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) for Early Stage Investigators (PAR-20-117). The first application due date is October 2, 2020.

We’re hosting a webinar to discuss this FOA and to answer your questions about the program on Thursday, August 6, 1:00-2:30 p.m. ET. To access the webinar, visit the WebEx meeting page (link no longer available). We plan to post the archived webinar and slides on the MIRA webpage after the event.

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How do I know if my work fits in the mission of NIGMS?

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Ninety percent of the applications to our Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award for Early Stage Investigators (known as the ESI MIRA program) that were submitted in October are about to undergo peer review. The remaining 10% were administratively withdrawn, mostly because the research proposed fell outside the NIGMS mission. This is comparable to the proportion that was withdrawn over the past 3 years.

Withdrawn applications represent a lot of wasted time and effort on the part of affected PIs and are the source of considerable frustration. So what can you do to minimize the chance of this happening to your ESI MIRA application in the future?

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NIGMS Continues Its MIRA Program

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We’ve issued a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) PAR-19-367 to maintain continued support of our Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) program. Under this new FOA, investigators with an active NIGMS R35 grant (both early-stage and established investigator MIRA) can submit renewal MIRA applications, and investigators with a single-PI R01-equivalent NIGMS award (DP1, DP2, R01, R37, SC1) can submit new MIRA applications.

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Planning for Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) Renewals

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As we work on issuing a new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for the established investigator (EI) MIRA program, we thought it would be useful to address a few common questions we’ve been hearing. The new FOA will allow applications from NIGMS grantees who have one or more single-Principal Investigator (PI) R01-equivalent awards, just as the current FOA does. In addition, the new FOA (to be published by Fall 2019) will allow renewal applications from PIs who already have MIRA grants.

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Supplements for MIRAs: Clarifying the Policy

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UPDATE: The chart below was updated in June 2020. Revisions to the R35 program are allowable to address special research priorities, e.g. COVID-19.

Since supplemental grant funding comes in a variety of flavors, with different purposes, it’s not surprising that there’s confusion about which kinds of supplements MIRA grantees may apply for and which they may not. Here’s a quick run-down.

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Early-Career Speaker Describes Genomic Antics of Ancient Vertebrate, Answers Questions from Undergrads

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The videocast from our April 17 Early-Career Investigator Lecture with Jeramiah Smith is now available. Jeramiah, an associate professor at the University of Kentucky, gives a fascinating talk about his genomic research with sea lampreys. He then offers advice for students interested in biomedical research careers. I encourage you to take a look and share the video with students and postdocs in your labs and departments.

We launched this annual lecture series three years ago both to highlight the achievements of our early-career grantees, and to encourage undergraduates and other students to pursue careers in biomedical research. This year, a group of nearly 30 students from the ASCEND program Link to external web site at Morgan State University attended in person (and asked some outstanding questions!).

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Attention NI/ESI MIRA Recipients: This Webinar Is for You.

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UPDATE: The video and slides from the NI/ESI MIRA Webinar have been posted.

If you are a new investigator (NI) or an early stage investigator (ESI) who received a Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) in 2016 or 2017, you may be wondering how having a MIRA affects your ability to initiate collaborations or apply for other grants. Or, you may be curious how much flexibility you really have to deviate from your original research plans. You may also be thinking a few years ahead about a competing renewal application. Because MIRA is a new grant mechanism, NIGMS will host a webinar designed specifically to address these and other topics of interest to NI/ESI MIRA principal investigators (PIs). NIGMS program, grants management and review staff will be on hand to provide information and answer your questions. We invite NI/ESI MIRA PIs and their business officials to participate.

The webinar (link no longer available) will be held on Tuesday, September 26, from 2:00 to 3:45 p.m. EDT. The site is compatible with mobile devices. Participants will be able to submit questions through the chat function. For an audio-only presentation, call 1-866-815-0443 and enter passcode 3268089. We will post the archived webinar and slides on the MIRA webpage after the event.

NIGMS Staff Participating in the September 26 Webinar

Vernon Anderson, Program Director

Oleg Barski, Program Director

Lisa Dunbar, Scientific Review Officer

Judith Greenberg, Deputy Director

Lisa Moeller, Grants Management Officer

Peter Preusch, Acting Director, Division of Cell Biology and Biophysics

Kristine Willis, Program Director

Five MIRA Myths

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Our Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) program is still relatively new, so it’s not surprising that NIGMS staff frequently hear misconceptions about it. This post dispels five common MIRA myths.

Myth 1: Once an investigator is awarded a MIRA, the budget will never increase.

MIRA budgets may increase. At the time of the competing renewal application, a principal investigator (PI) may request an increase in funding. MIRAs with modest budgets that have been very productive and score very well could receive budget increases. Study sections will be asked to look at budget requests, and NIGMS staff will make determinations based on the reviewers’ recommendations and available funds.

Myth 2: Early stage investigators will receive more funding for their labs if they get an R01 than if they get a MIRA.

A MIRA PI who is an early stage investigator (ESI) has a higher probability of receiving more NIGMS funding than a non-MIRA ESI. Most ESI MIRA investigators receive $250,000 in direct costs per year. A recent analysis found that the vast majority of ESIs who have received an NIGMS R01 are initially awarded $200,000 or less, and most do not go on to receive a second NIGMS R01 during the first five years of their initial award. Thus, the total NIGMS funding for most relatively new investigators is higher with a MIRA.

Myth 3: MIRA discourages collaborative research.

NIGMS strongly endorses collaborative research, and this extends to the MIRA program. However, the MIRA concept is based on the idea that NIGMS will provide support to individual investigators’ research programs. Collaborators are expected to work together because of their mutual interest in a problem. The collaborator, in most cases, will support his or her efforts with independent funding, not through a subcontract from the MIRA. In cases where a collaborator’s efforts are well-justified, essential to the research program of the MIRA and cannot be supported by the collaborator, a consortium agreement can be included in the competing application.

NIGMS also encourages scientifically productive international collaborative research efforts. However, NIGMS will only provide funding for a foreign consortium arrangement when the collaboration is essential to the PI’s research program, represents a unique scientific opportunity and cannot be supported by the collaborator.

Myth 4: MIRA PIs cannot apply for administrative supplements.

MIRA PIs are eligible for Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research and may be eligible for other types of administrative supplements, such as equipment supplements offered by NIGMS through notices in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. In rare situations, NIGMS may provide a supplement for a piece of equipment that could not have been anticipated at the time the application was submitted.

Myth 5: MIRA PIs cannot apply for NIGMS training grants or conference grants.

MIRA PIs are eligible to apply for grants that support research resources, training, workforce development or diversity building, clinical trials, selected cooperative agreements, SBIR/STTRs, conference grants and the portion of a center grant or a P01 that is strictly a core. In addition, a MIRA PI may receive grants from other NIH institutes or centers, although when making funding decisions NIGMS always considers an investigator’s other support, as described on our Funding Policies page.

More information, including answers to frequently asked questions, is on the MIRA page.