New NIH Opportunity Will Engage Non-Research-Intensive Institutions
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced the pending release of a solicitation for planning grant applications under the Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Initiative. The program is currently under development; deadlines are expected to be March for optional letters of intent and April for full applications, and NIH plans to hold a webinar for potential applicants in February or March.
The goal of BUILD is to fund career-spanning biomedical research training, beginning with undergraduate students, and to promote faculty development at institutions that, in spite of being comparatively under-resourced, have built a successful track record producing successful researchers from groups under-represented in biomedical sciences. Institutions that receive less than $7.5 million in NIH research project grant support annually and have an undergraduate population made up of at least 25 percent Pell grantees are eligible to apply. Applicants should note that this is a limited submission competition; each eligible institution may submit only one application.
BUILD grew out of the 2012 release of data showing that minority investigators received a significantly smaller proportion of funding than other groups. NIH responded to the findings by establishing a Working Group on Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce, which first launched the Increasing Diversity of the NIH-Funded Workforce program within the NIH Common Fund and, now, the BUILD initiative.
Under the pending competition, planning grants will be available to help prepare institutions to contribute to the broader BUILD initiative, which has five components:
1) Rigorous one-to-one mentored research experiences for undergraduate students during two summers while in college and up to two years post-graduation;
2) Tuition scholarships, including stipends, for up to two years of undergraduate studies, and the possibility of loan repayment for students accepted into a PhD program;
3) Salary offsets and other infrastructure support (such as the acquisition of equipment for research training purposes, support for summer student research, and supplements for sabbatical training to augment the research environments) for key faculty responsible for research training;
4) Resources for highly effective mentors to train new mentors; and
5) Support for an "innovation space" for BUILD awardee institutions to develop creative and novel approaches to increase the diversity of the student pool that enters the PhD training pathway relevant to biomedical and behavioral research. Approaches may include novel curricula, training, mentoring, faculty-led research, and other activities that the institution considers fundamental to its ability to prepare students for research careers.
It is expected that the one-time, one-year planning grants will encourage the development of partnerships including two- and four-year colleges, research-intensive universities, independent medical and graduate institutions that do not have undergraduate programs, industry, NIH intramural research laboratories, and/or other types of research institutions. The grants will also support awardees' efforts to assess faculty research support needs across departments, develop plans to enhance mentoring skills and tutoring programs, and establish processes for the selection of undergraduates who might be good candidates for future BUILD scholarships.
GRC is gratified by NIH's growing emphasis on the strengths and needs of the primarily-undergraduate institutions that provide initial support and training to a large proportion of the nation's future scientists. The hard work of the GRC Health Research and Education Task Force and its interactions with NIH are having a positive impact, as evidenced by an increase in the number of grant competitions that limit the amount of NIH funding an applicant institution can have received, and/or to focus on "comparatively under-resourced institutions." Direct specific questions about BUILD to Joyce Hunter at 301/402-1366 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Humanities Research Awards Available
The Division of Research Programs at the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has announced a new round of competition for researchers at officially-designated Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions (which must have at least 25 percent Hispanic enrollment according to the U.S. Department of Education's College Navigator), and Tribal Colleges and Universities. Applications are due by April 16, 2013.
These NEH Awards for Faculty provide up to $50,400 to support the production of research that will be valuable to humanities scholars, students, and general audiences. The grants are designed to be flexible, allowing applicants to define the audience, type of research, award periods, and administrative arrangements that best fit their projects. A wide range of projects are eligible, including those involving the conduct of research in primary and secondary materials; production of articles, monographs, books, digital materials, archaeological site reports, translations, editions, or other scholarly resources; and conduct of basic research leading to the improvement of an existing undergraduate course or the achievement of institutional or community research goals.
New for FY 13, the program's eligibility criteria have been expanded to include not just faculty but also staff (including retirees but excluding pre-PhD graduate students) affiliated with eligible minority-serving institutions. Frequently-asked questions clarify the program's intent to support individual research projects. Team members proposing collaborative research should each submit an application for a faculty award; apply for an NEH Collaborative Research grant; and/or submit an application to the appropriate NEH Humanities Initiatives program.
On Wednesday, April 17, the UW System will host "UW Research Powers Wisconsin," the 10th annual Posters in the Rotunda at the State Capitol in Madison. Hundreds of outstanding student researchers and their faculty advisors from across the UW System will showcase their research and join other UW representatives in making legislative visits.
We look forward to having you join us at the Capitol on April 17. More details will follow.
The event is currently full, however those interested in joining the waiting list may contact Julie Dresen.