NIGMS has several activities that are designed to increase the number of

researchers who are members of minority groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical sciences. The largest of these is MBRS, which awards grants to educational institutions with substantial minority enrollments to support research by faculty members; strengthen the institutions' biomedical research capabilities; and increase the interest, skills, and competitiveness of students and faculty in pursuit of biomedical research careers.

MBRS awards are made to 2- or 4-year colleges, universities, and health professional schools with 50 percent or more enrollments of minorities that have been determined by the grantee institution to be underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral research. Historically, individuals who have been found to be underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral research include, but are not limited to, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans (including Alaska Natives), and natives of the U.S. Pacific Islands. In some cases, awards are made to institutions that have a demonstrated commitment to the special encouragement and assistance of minority students and faculty, although the minority student population at these institutions, while still high, is under 50 percent.

MBRS has three major grant mechanisms: Support of Continuous Research Excellence (SCORE), Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE), and Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD).

For additional information about MBRS awards, call Dr. Hinda Zlotnik at 301-594-3900 or email her at: zlotnikh@nigms.nih.gov.

Support of Continuous Research Excellence

The purpose of the SCORE Program (S06) is to develop biomedical research faculty at minority-serving institutions who are committed to improving competitive research programs and increasing the number of underrepresented minorities professionally engaged in biomedical research. This is achieved by providing financial assistance to competitive developing research programs in all areas of biomedical and behavioral research at institutions with significant underrepresented minority student enrollments. The program supports faculty-initiated, scientifically meritorious research projects, including pilot research projects. Support for faculty participating in pilot research projects is preparatory to seeking more substantial funding from other NIH research grant programs (such as the MBRS SCORE Program, Academic Research Enhancement Awards, and R01 research project grants).

The SCORE Program includes such allowable costs as faculty salaries (reimbursed according to percent effort), salaries for technicians, limited administrative support, consultant fees, equipment, research supplies, scientific seminar series, travel, and support for evaluation activities. Funds are also available for up to $40,000 in alterations and renovations when necessary to carry out the proposed research. Applicants may request support for 1 to 20 research projects and 1 to 8 pilot research projects per program. An institution may hold only one active SCORE award and may not be currently receiving support from the IMSD Program. In addition, institutions are expected to set specific goals and measurable objectives against which they will be evaluated when they recompete for continued funding.

For additional information about SCORE awards, see the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, October 1, 2003 PAR-04-001 and Participating Institutions, or call Dr. Hinda Zlotnik at 301-594-3900 or by email: Hinda Zlotnik

Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement

The RISE Program (R25) seeks to enhance the research environment at minority-serving institutions. The overall goal is to increase the interest, skills, and competitiveness of students and faculty in pursuit of biomedical research careers. The program offers support for faculty and student development activities, which can include on- or off-campus workshops, specialty courses, travel to scientific meetings, and research experiences at on- or off-campus laboratories. Support is available for evaluation activities, as well.

Applications may be submitted by domestic post-secondary minority-serving institutions that have more than 50% student enrollment from groups underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral research. A RISE application must include goals and specific measurable objectives, a proposed institutional plan for the development of the student activities, and an evaluation plan.

An institution may apply for and hold only one RISE grant, and may not be currently receiving support from the IMSD Program. The total requested project period for these awards may not exceed 4 years. Awards are renewable. Applicants requesting direct costs of $500,000 in any one year must obtain written agreement from NIGMS that the application will be accepted, in accordance with NIH policy, which is available at NOT-OD-02-004.

For additional information about RISE awards, see the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, June 22, 2005 PAR-05-127, and the RISE Participating Institutions, or call Dr. Hinda Zlotnik at 301-594-3900.

Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity

The IMSD Program (R25) seeks to encourage the development and/or expansion of innovative programs to improve the academic and research competitiveness of underrepresented minority students at the undergraduate, graduate, or postdoctoral levels and to facilitate their progress toward careers in biomedical research.

Awards are made to domestic, private and public educational institutions that are involved in biomedical research and training. The institutions select the students to be supported. These students must be majoring in biomedically relevant sciences or be in medical, dental, or veterinary training and have an interest in pursuing research careers.

The total requested project period for these awards may not exceed 4 years. Awards are renewable. Applicants requesting direct costs of $500,000 in any one year must obtain written agreement from NIGMS that the application will be accepted, in accordance with NIH policy, which is available at: not96-003. Allowable costs include, but are not limited to, graduate student tuition remission; supplies; equipment; travel; other expenses; and salary, wages, and fringe benefits for students and faculty. Applicants should describe the systems by which they would monitor and track the student participants in their programs, including the careers students choose after graduation and the benefits of the programs on student retention and graduation rates.

Frequently Asked Questions: IMSD FAQ

For additional information about IMSD awards, see the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, June 28, 2005 (PAR-05-132), and the IMSD Participating Institutions, or call Dr. Hinda Zlotnik at 301-594-3900.

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