Participate in Research Education Program to Support a Diverse Workforce

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The overarching goal of our notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) NIAID Research Education Program Advancing the Careers of a Diverse Research Workforce (R25, Clinical Trial Not Allowed) is to support educational activities that complement or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs.

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.

Through these educational activities, NIAID strives to support current and future research investigators from diverse backgrounds, including from groups underrepresented within NIAID’s mission areas, and facilitate their career advancement.

We also strongly encourage programs that focus on multiple career stages 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, as explained in the NOFO. 

To accomplish its aims, this NOFO will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on:

  • Courses for Skills Development, e.g., advanced courses in a specific discipline or research area, clinical procedures for research, or specialized research techniques.
  • Research Experiences
    • For undergraduate students—to provide hands-on exposure to research, to reinforce their intent to graduate with a science degree, and to prepare them for graduate school admissions or careers in research.
    • For graduate and medical, dental, nursing, and other health professional students—to provide research experiences and related training not available through formal NIH training mechanisms.
    • For postdoctorates, medical residents, and faculty—to extend their skills, experiences, and knowledge base.
    • For high school and college science teachers—to enhance their science teaching. 
  • Mentoring Activities, e.g., dedicated efforts at providing not only technical expertise, but advice, insight, and professional career skills to college students, graduate students, postdoctorates, and early-career faculty.

Your application must also include a Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity. The plan should list outreach strategies and activities designed to recruit prospective participants from underrepresented groups as identified in the Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity. It should also describe the specific efforts to be undertaken by the program and how the proposed plan reflects past experiences in recruiting individuals from underrepresented groups.

Keep in mind, NIAID will deem your application nonresponsive and not review it if it:

  • Lacks a plan for instruction in responsible conduct of research.
  • Lacks a recruitment plan to enhance diversity.
  • Does not include plans for all three of the following activities: courses for skills development, research experiences, and mentoring activities. However, the emphasis on each activity need not be equal.

What Are the Differences Between R25 and T35 Grants?

All Research Education Program (R25) awards support creative educational activities to complement, augment, or enhance an institution’s training program for the future biomedical workforce. (NIAID participates in several R25 NOFOs, not only the one detailed above.)

Short-Term (T35) Institutional Research Training Grants (T) provide domestic, nonprofit, graduate-level academic institutions with funds to educate predoctoral and postdoctoral candidates.

More specifically, the R25 supports educational activities as long as the trainees are not full-time, while the T35 specifies the weeks and hours of training. Most R25 awards support the undergraduate through early-career stages, while a T35 award supports only the predoctoral and postdoctoral levels. All T35 awards follow National Research Service Award funding policies and regulations, which cover stipends and tuition; in contrast, R25 awards do not support stipends and tuition unless strongly justified.

For additional details, read Know the Key Aspects That Differentiate R25 and T35 Training Grants.

Practical Matters

Application budgets need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project and are limited to $351,000 in direct costs each year for each award. The maximum project period is 5 years.

The first application deadline is January 25, 2024, at 5 p.m. local time of the applicant organization. Regular due dates follow through September 7, 2026.

If you have questions, direct them to Madelyn Reyes at or 301-594-5945. Address any peer review-related questions to Dr. Thomas Conway at or 240-669-5075.

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