New FOA Seeks To Expand Diversity in Extramural Scientific Workforce

Funding News Edition: August 18, 2021
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“To support educational activities that encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, to pursue further studies or careers in research.”

Such is the overarching goal of the new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) NIAID Research Education Program Advancing the Careers of a Diverse Research Workforce (R25, Clinical Trial Not Allowed).

NIAID encourages applications that 1) propose innovative courses for skills development, research experiences, and mentoring activities and 2) focus on scientific networks, mentoring, attention to structural and institutional environments regarding inclusion, and other factors that have been shown to affect retention of groups nationally underrepresented in biomedical research.

We also strongly encourage programs that focus on more than one career stage and/or career transitions for career progression and advancement. Programs should focus on asset models and leadership opportunities, rather than solely on deficit models of approach and remediation.

FOA Focus

To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on the following. For complete details, check the FOA.

  • Courses for Skills Development
    • Provide advanced courses or curricula in a specific discipline, research technique, or research area; clinical procedures for research; specialized research techniques; grant writing, scientific writing, or research methodology; and/or courses or workshops.
    • These courses should facilitate scholarly potential to prepare participants for admission to graduate school, successful completion of a research-focused doctoral-level degree, and pursuit of careers in the biomedical research workforce that will ultimately lead to the development of a sophisticated cadre of investigators with the requisite scientific research skills to advance NIAID’s mission.
  • Research Experiences
    • Provide hands-on exposure to research to prepare participants for admission to graduate and health professional school, successfully completing research-focused doctoral-level degrees, and pursuing careers in the biomedical research workforce.
    • This hands-on approach is also for graduate and medical, dental, nursing, and other allied health professional participants who want to acquaint themselves with the important role of health professionals in the biomedical research enterprise, and to enhance knowledge, interest, and entrance into basic biomedical, translational, or applied clinical research as a career related to NIAID’s mission.
  • Mentoring Activities
    • NIAID expects proposed programs to contribute to building a skilled cadre of investigators in requisite areas to advance the Institute’s mission.
    • Mentoring may include dedicated efforts at providing not only technical expertise, but also advice, insight, and professional guidance on the development of career skills. Such activities may include periodic scheduled contacts with participants through a variety of methods, for example:
      • Using various mentoring materials, webinars, developing mentoring networks that facilitate scholarly writing and grantsmanship, and providing leadership development
      • Helping to establish multidisciplinary, translational collaborations to foster and nurture a career trajectory towards an independent research career within an NIAID-related mission area.

Pre-Application Check-In With FOA Contact

Before starting to prepare your application, strongly consider getting information about the FOA’s priorities and policies. Contact Dr. Deborah Philp in our Office of Research Training and Special Programs at

Annual Workshop

Program participants, including the program director/principal investigator and one key person, will be required to attend an annual awardee workshop at NIH to further foster networking, collaboration, mentorship, and career development of each cohort in preparing for research independence.

Award Info, Deadlines, and Contact

The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Application budgets are limited to $325,000 in direct costs per year, and must reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period, the maximum being five years.

The first of five application due dates is September 10, 2021. If you have questions, direct them to Dr. Deborah Philp.

R25-Related Items of Interest

For a related article, read “Research and Education Come Together in Reissued Funding Opportunity” from our October 8, 2020 issue. Also see the November 20, 2019 Reader Question “What is an R25? Who is meant to apply for it?”

Contact Us

Email us at for help navigating NIAID’s grant and contract policies and procedures.

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