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NIDA Home > Recovery > Pathfinder Award to Promote Diversity in the Scientific Workforce

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act)

Recovery Act Limited Competition: The NIH Director's ARRA Funded Pathfinder Award to Promote Diversity in the Scientific Workforce (DP4)
(RFA-OD-10-013)
National Institute on Drug Abuse

This NIH Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), supported by funds provided to the NIH under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 ("Recovery Act" or "ARRA"), Public Law 111-5, invites applications for the NIH Director's ARRA Pathfinder Award to Promote Diversity in the Scientific Workforce. The NIH recognizes a unique and compelling need to promote diversity in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences research workforce. The NIH expects all of its efforts to diversify the workforce to lead to the recruitment of the most talented researchers from all groups; to improve the quality of the educational and training environment; to balance and broaden the perspective in setting research priorities; to improve the ability to recruit subjects from diverse backgrounds into clinical research protocols; and to improve the Nation's capacity to address and eliminate health disparities. This new FOA introduces a new research grant program to encourage exceptionally creative individual scientists to develop highly innovative and possibly transforming approaches for promoting diversity within the biomedical research workforce. To be considered highly innovative, the proposed research must reflect ideas substantially different from those already being pursued or it must apply existing research designs in new and innovative ways to unambiguously identify factors that will improve the retention of students, postdocs and faculty from diverse backgrounds. Awardees must commit a major portion (generally 30% or more) of their research effort to activities supported by the Director's Pathfinder Award and the proposed research must be endorsed by the highest levels of institutional management.

This initiative is one of several being offered to help fulfill the goals of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to help stimulate the economy through support of biomedical and behavioral research. Additional information the Recovery Act and related NIH opportunities is available through the Office of Extramural Research (http://grants.nih.gov/recovery/ )

Additional Information:

The NIH Director's ARRA Pathfinder Award to Promote Diversity in the Scientific Workforce is designed to foster new ways of thinking about research related to scientific workforce diversity. It is expected to fill fundamental knowledge gaps and to encourage the development of new approaches to this complex problem that has eluded solution for decades

Biomedical research is defined broadly in this announcement as encompassing scientific investigations in the biological, behavioral, clinical, social, physical, chemical, computational, engineering, and mathematical sciences that have the potential to improve public health. The scientific workforce includes all individuals who work in biomedical research including undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctorates, and faculty. Interventions designed to improve diversity can include these populations as well as populations that feed into these levels. For the Director's Pathfinder program, diversity can address the participation of individuals currently underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences on a national basis including: individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups; individuals with disabilities; individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds that have inhibited their ability to pursue a career in health-related research; and women at the faculty level. The research conducted with support by Director's Pathfinder Award can address diversity on a national or institutional basis.

The Director's Pathfinder initiative is designed to support investigators who intend to pursue new research directions related to workforce diversity. Applications for projects that are extensions of ongoing research should not be submitted. Director's Pathfinder awardees are required to commit a major portion (generally 30% or more) of their research effort to activities supported by the Director's Pathfinder Award. Those with effort levels less than 30% must provide evidence that the effort committed will be sufficient to carry out the proposed research.

Funding Information:

This initiative is supported by funds provided to the NIH under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 ("Recovery Act" or "ARRA"), Public Law 111-5. NIH has designated approximately $10 M to provide up to 5 awards, contingent upon the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Budget proposals are limited to $2,000,000 in total costs over a three year project period. Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs are included within this total award amount.

This program is supported by funds provided to the NIH under the Recovery Act. The purpose of the Recovery Act is to stimulate the American economy through job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, and other means. Consistent with these goals, domestic (United States) institutions/organizations planning to submit applications that include foreign components should be aware that requested funding for any foreign component should not exceed 10% of the total requested direct costs or $25,000 per year (aggregate total for a subcontract or multiple subcontracts), whichever is less.

Eligible Institutions: Consistent with the purposes of the Recovery Act (in particular, to preserve and create jobs and promote economic recovery in the United States, and to provide investments needed to increase economic efficiency by spurring technological advances in science and health), applicants must be a domestic (United States) institution/organization. Foreign organizations/institutions are not permitted as the applicant organization.

Other Information:

  • Only one PD/PI (i.e., no multiple PDs/PIs) may be designated on the application.
  • Because this is a one-time-only solicitation, resubmission applications are not permitted in response to this FOA. Future Director's Pathfinder announcements depend on the success of this program.
  • Renewal applications are not permitted in response to this FOA.
  • The DP4 application Research Strategy section may not exceed 6 pages, including tables, graphs, figures, diagrams, and charts.
  • Appendices are not allowed and will not be accepted. Applications that contain attachments other than those specified may be rejected during the agency validation process.

Key Dates:

Release/Posted Date: March 5, 2010
Opening Date: April 4, 2010 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): April 5, 2010
Application Due Date(s): May 4, 2010
Peer Review Date(s): July 2010
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): August 31, 2010
Expiration Date: May 5, 2010

Letter of Reference:

Letters of reference are an important component of the Director's Pathfinder application. Applicants must arrange to have three (and no more than three) letters of reference submitted on their behalf.

Contact Information:

Program Contact(s):

Pre and Post-award
Clifton Poodry, Ph.D.
Division of Minority Opportunities in Research
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Room 2AS.37 MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone: (301) 594-3900
FAX: (301) 480-2753
Email: poodryc@nigms.nih.gov
Email: arrapathfinder@mail.nih.gov (e-mail is the strongly preferred method for
inquiries)

Peer Review Contact(s):

John Firrell Ph.D.
Scientific Review Officer
Surgical Sciences, Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering IRG
Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Dr, Room 5118
Bethesda, MD 20892
Phone: (301) 435-2598
Fax (301) 480-2241
firrellj@csr.nih.gov
Email: arrapathfinder@mail.nih.gov (e-mail is the strongly preferred method for inquiries)

Grants Management Contact(s):

Mr. E.C. Melvin
Grants Management Officer
Cell Biology and Biophysics
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Rm 2As.32E, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone: 301-594-3912
FAX: 301-480-2554
Email: melvine@nigms.nih.gov

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