NIH Announces Funding Opportunities

NIH Announces Funding Opportunities Aimed at Increasing the Diversity of the NIH-Funded Workforce

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is launching a new Common Fund program: Increasing the Diversity of the NIH-Funded Workforce ( This program will support novel and innovative approaches to improve recruitment and retention of individuals from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical, behavioral, clinical, and social science (referred to as “biomedical”) research. This program will unify and strengthen institutions and faculty dedicated to the recruitment and retention of these scientists across the lifespan of a research career by supporting under-resourced institutions with high concentrations of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The long-term goal of this program is to catalyze a systematic change in the biomedical research culture to have a broad impact on scientists from underrepresented backgrounds. To achieve this goal, this program is intended to synergize with ongoing efforts to increase the diversity of the biomedical research workforce, and successful approaches developed by this program will be broadly disseminated to have an impact at a national level.

The NIH announces two Funding Opportunity Announcements for Planning Grants to facilitate the initiatives described below. These planning grants are intended to allow institutions to establish partnerships as necessary and to develop plans for highly innovative strategies that address the goals of each initiative.

NIH Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD):

The BUILD initiative will establish and test new models for student recruitment and development within the biomedical sciences. BUILD awards are intended to transform the environment at the recipient institutions, enabling them to dramatically improve their ability to draw students into research career paths and to prepare them for success. These awards will allow institutions to develop their research infrastructure and foster the career development of scientists from underrepresented backgrounds at multiple career stages (from undergraduate students to faculty).  The current Funding Opportunity will support six month Planning Grants (P20) to enable institutions to form partnerships and develop novel approaches to enhance diversity in biomedical research, positioning them to prepare applications for the multi-year BUILD implementation Funding Opportunity anticipated in 2014. Applicant institutions (Primary Institutions) must be baccalaureate-granting colleges/universities that receive less than $7.5 million (total costs) in NIH research project grant (RPG) (average of three preceding fiscal years) and have a pool of undergraduate students, at least 25% of whom are supported by Pell grants. Partnerships will be encouraged to provide the best environment for research training, and the Primary institution will determine the configuration of these partnerships. Partnerships can be between Primary Institutions and either:  1) Research Partner Institutions (research-intensive institutions), 2) Pipeline Partner Institutions (two- or four-year colleges), and/or 3) Graduate/Medical Partner Institutions (institutions without undergraduate students that receive less than $7.5 million in NIH RPG total costs per year averaged over three preceding fiscal years).  Read the Funding Opportunity Announcement for BUILD Planning Grants here:


Budget: not to exceed $150,000 in direct costs

Letter of Intent Due Date: April 10, 2013

Application Due Date: May 10, 2013

Earliest Start Date: September 2013


NIH National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN):

The NRMN initiative is intended to facilitate the development of robust mentoring relationships by coordinating nationwide pairings of scientific leaders and early career scientists (undergraduate students through junior faculty members) who may benefit from additional mentoring, including but not limited to individuals from underrepresented backgrounds. This initiative will also support development of novel tools and training activities to improve mentoring skills. NRMN is intended to synergize with BUILD, expanding the impact of BUILD by linking trainees to mentors across the country. Additionally, the NRMN network will extend beyond BUILD to incorporate mentees from existing programs that aim to recruit and retain scientists from diverse backgrounds, thus expanding and enhancing local efforts to reach mentees across the country. The current Funding Opportunity will support six month Planning Grants (P20) to prepare awardees to submit applications for the multi-year NRMN implementation Funding Opportunity anticipated in 2014. Planning grants are expected to include development of partnerships between relevant organizations, assessment of existing mentoring and training capacity of organizations within the proposed network, identification of new mentorship activities, development of strategies to adapt small-scale activities for use at a national scale, and identification of needed infrastructure to coordinate mentorship activities.  Read the Funding Opportunity Announcement for NRMN here:


There will be a NRMN Planning Grant Informational Webinar on Friday, April 5 from 12:30-2:00pm EDT. For more information and to register, please visit To submit questions to be answered during the webinar, please send your questions to: Please indicate that your question is related to the NRMN planning grant webinar in the subject line. The webinar will be archived and available for viewing after the live broadcast at


Budget: not to exceed $130,000 in direct costs

Letter of Intent Due Date: April 10, 2013

Application Due Date: May 10, 2013

Earliest Start Date: September 2013


Subscribe to the “Increasing the Diversity of the NIH-Funded Workforce” E-mail list to receive updates on Funding Opportunities and program information; sign up is available here:


Please distribute this information to colleagues who may be interested in the program.


The NIH Common Fund supports goal-driven, research networks in which investigators generate data, solve technological problems, and/or otherwise pilot resources and tools that will be stimulatory to the broader research community. Common Fund programs are designed to achieve their goals within a maximum of 10 years. More information about the programs currently supported by the Common Fund can be found at

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