The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research educational activities that complement other formal training programs in the mission areas of the NIH Institutes and Centers. The over-arching goals of the NIH R25 program are to: (1) complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs; (2) enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce; (3) help recruit individuals with specific specialty or disciplinary backgrounds to research careers in biomedical, behavioral and clinical sciences; and (4) foster a better understanding of biomedical, behavioral and clinical research and its implications.
The over-arching goal of this NINDS R25 program is to support educational activities that complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs. To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on:
- Courses for Skills Development: Programs may include immersive coursework for learning new skills and knowledge related to a research area. However, this coursework must be integrated into the primary activity of these research education programs, which is to gain rich, practical, hands-on research experiences (see below).
Research Experiences: Programs should center around intensive research experiences that will produce a mastery of advanced skills within a research area together with activities that provide expert knowledge associated with those skills. Whereas immersive coursework and extensive discussion might be critical programmatic components, the primary focus of programs submitted under this FOA should be on intensive hands-on activities that will provide research experience, an in-depth and practical understanding of techniques and analytic approaches, and expertise that is only possible with a nationally organized program overseen by a nationally recognized faculty.
NINDS considers a limited number of targeted, outstanding research education programs to be invaluable to the furtherance of its mission. Educational programs in all areas of research (basic, clinical and translational) are eligible. Programs must provide a critical educational experience not already available at a local or national level. These research education programs would be expected to bring together national and international leaders in a field, or multiple fields, to provide intellectual, technical, theoretical and practical knowledge to participants and thus promote the conduct of cutting-edge scientific inquiry. These research education programs might be narrowly focused on a specific research area, to provide a broad and deep understanding of, and practical experience required for, that specific research area. Alternatively, these programs may be applicable to many research areas, but focus on developing expertise in classes of new technologies, analytical approaches, clinical trial design or translational research. Regardless of focus, to be competitive, programs submitted to this FOA must center on practical, hands-on activities, integrated with activities to provide an understanding of theoretical aspects of the subject. In all cases, programs must include well-designed components that will instill in the participants a keen understanding of the principles of rigorous study design and transparent reporting, and address the problems associated with inadequate attention to practices that lead to unconscious bias.
Program leaders and faculty should be nationally regarded as leaders in the topic they are contributing to, should have a strong reputation as educators in their field, and, where appropriate, should have current, vibrant research activities. The PD/PI should have similar credentials, except in circumstances where he/she is in an administrative position specifically designated for coordination of such programs. Proposed programs should have clear practical content, with an expectation that participants will leave the program with a strong, working knowledge of the subject matter. Whereas coursework, lectures and/or discussion will likely play critical roles in these programs, programs that focus primarily on coursework, lectures or discussion are not appropriate for this FOA. Thus, faculty should have strong technical expertise, and be practitioners of cutting-edge research related to the programmatic subject. Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss potential programs with the Director, NINDS Office of Training and Workforce Development, to evaluate the level of NINDS programmatic interest.
Proposed research education programs submitted to this FOA are expected to be designed for, and available to, a national audience. Programs intended for a local or regional audience are not appropriate for this FOA. R25 programs may complement ongoing research training and education occurring in the U.S., but the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those research training and research education programs currently receiving federal support. The R25 is not a substitute for an institutional research training program (T32, T35 or T90) and cannot be used to circumvent or supplement Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) mechanisms. For example, summer research experiences targeted to medical students are not appropriate for this FOA, as the T35 is intended to support those types of programs. This FOA is not appropriate for diversity-targeted or mentorship-focused programs, as other R25 FOAs are available for those purposes (see https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Funding/Training-Career-Awards/Institutional-Awards#R25 for other NINDS R25 FOAs). Moreover, this FOA is not intended to fund conferences or other workshops that were previously funded by, or are appropriate for support by, the R13/U13 mechanism.
Programs submitted to this FOA should include, in the context of the subject matter of the proposed research education program, comprehensive education and practical consideration of issues related to transparency and rigor in science (see the NIH guidance on rigor and reproducibility in grant applications: https://grants.nih.gov/reproducibility/index.htm and related materials: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Current-Research/Trans-Agency-Activities/RigorAndReproducibility).
Research education grants are intended to be novel and innovative, and be designed to accomplish a specific goal. Consequently, they require a well-conceived evaluation plan in order to determine their effectiveness. Each application must include a detailed plan to evaluate the effectiveness of the activities proposed (see Section IV, Evaluation Plan). For some types of projects, a plan for disseminating results may also be required (see Section IV, Dissemination Plan).
Deadlines: August 27, 2018, August 27, 2019, August 27, 2020 (letters of intent due 30 days prior to the deadline)
Filed Under: Funding Opportunities