Tag: Research Resources

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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New NIGMS Web Resource on Safety in the Lab and Other Training Environments

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The safety of trainees and other lab workers from accidents, violence, harassment, and inappropriate behavior is a high priority for NIGMS. Because the Institute has such a large training and workforce development portfolio, we feel that we should play a central role in promoting the development of a robust culture of safety in biomedical research training environments.

As part of this effort, we recently announced the availability of supplements for research education, training, and career development grants to enhance laboratory safety curricula and to build a culture of safety in biomedical research training environments (NOT-GM-20-016). To provide additional resources to enhance safety, we have now launched an NIGMS website highlighting laboratory safety training and guidelines. On this page, you’ll find links to a number of online resources including:

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Webinar on Recently Released Funding Announcements: Team Science and Biomedical Technology Centers

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If you’re considering applying to the Collaborative Program Grant for Multidisciplinary Teams (PAR-20-103) or to the Biomedical Technology Development and Dissemination Center (PAR-20-104) funding opportunity announcements (FOAs), you’ll want to join our webinar:

Thursday, March 5, 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET

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NIGMS Support for Biomedical Data Repositories and Biomedical Knowledgebases

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NIH has published two new funding opportunity announcements (FOAs): PAR-20-089, Biomedical Data Repository (U24 – Clinical Trials Not Allowed) and PAR-20-097, Biomedical Knowledgebase (U24 – Clinical Trials Not Allowed). As noted in the FOAs, data repositories and knowledgebases have distinct functions, metrics for success, and sustainability needs. In order to support these resources most effectively, NIGMS intends to fund them as separate cooperative agreement grants. NIGMS applications proposing a free-standing data repository or knowledgebase resource must apply under one of these FOAs. Thus, applications submitted as R01s or R35s will not be considered for funding.

For questions about NIGMS’ support for these resources, please contact Veerasamy Ravichandran.

Webinar for NIGMS National and Regional Resources Program Applicants

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UPDATE: The slides [PDF, 296KB] from the National and Regional Resources Webinar have been posted.

If you’re considering applying for our Limited Competition: NIGMS National and Regional Resources (R24 – Clinical Trial Not Allowed) announcement (PAR-19-301) for the September 26 receipt date, don’t miss our upcoming webinar:

Monday, August 5, 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET

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Funding Opportunity: NIGMS National and Regional Resources

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UPDATE: The slides [PDF, 296KB] from the National and Regional Resources Webinar have been posted.

Research resources provide access to technologies, methods, and expertise that are not generally available to individual laboratories. Large-scale research resources can significantly broaden access to cutting-edge technologies and can achieve economies of scale not possible for facilities serving individual institutions.

We have just published a new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) to support national and regional (multistate) resources for biomedical research that will provide access to state-of-the-art facilities, equipment, technologies, research tools, and software to many users. We expect the impact of these resources and the number of users to be on a similar scale to what is achieved by synchrotron beamlines and cryo-electron microscopy centers.

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