Tag: Research Resources

Funding Opportunity: Modules for Enhancing Biomedical Research Workforce Training

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We’re pleased to announce a new notice of special interest (NOSI) calling for applications developing training modules for creating safe, inclusive, and supportive research environments (NOT-GM-20-047). The proposed modules should impact individuals from a broad range of scientific disciplines and career stages and cover material not typically taught as part of current institutional coursework. The modules can take many different formats and approaches and should be timely, informative, engaging, easily accessible, and free to everyone. Applications must address how the modules will catalyze either of the following:

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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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Equipment Funding Opportunities for NIGMS Research

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NIGMS recognizes the need to provide support to grantees for equipment, particularly to replace essential instrumentation that breaks down, or to expand into rapidly growing research areas. As an example, advances in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) detectors, microscopes, and methods have made acquisition of atomic resolution structural data a reality, and investigators need these to prepare viable specimens and process data in their home labs to successfully utilize cryo-EM data collection resources elsewhere.

We’re pleased to share with you recent funding opportunities for equipment support.

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Developing a Culture of Safety in Biomedical Research Training

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NIGMS is committed to supporting safety in the nation’s biomedical research and training environments. Last April, we shared with you resources for enhancing lab safety in biomedical research training environments. Now, in a perspective in the current issue of Molecular Biology of the Cell (MBoC), we focus on strategies for improving laboratory safety. Some of these strategies are also applicable to other forms of safety including the prevention of harassment, intimidation, and discrimination. We frame the problem of laboratory safety using a number of recent examples of tragic accidents, highlight some of the lessons that have been learned from these and other events, discuss what NIGMS is doing to address problems related to laboratory safety, and outline steps that institutions can take to improve their safety cultures.

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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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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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