Innovative Programs to Enhance Research Training (IPERT) (R25)

The IPERT program (PA-17-070) supports creative and innovative research educational activities designed to complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical research needs. Each IPERT program must address the NIGMS goals of creating a highly skilled and diverse biomedical workforce.

NIGMS anticipates that the scope, purpose and objectives of IPERT programs will vary considerably due to the heterogeneity of institutional/organizational settings and missions. The programs can be designed to support stages of research career development from the undergraduate to the faculty level and must be ancillary or complementary to those research training and research education programs in which they currently participate, regardless of the source of support. In each case, while the balance of activities may vary, an IPERT application must effectively integrate three core elements:

  • Short courses/workshops for skills development: Support activities to develop scientific research skills, problem-solving skills, communication skills, emerging technologies.
  • Mentoring: Support activities to provide technical expertise, professional development, biomedical research career planning advice and insight to students, postdoctorates or early-career faculty.
  • Outreach: Support activities including contemporary, research-based science/health education or dissemination of biomedical research findings to individuals, especially those from underrepresented groups, in preparation for careers in research. Outreach could include support of travel to enable students and faculty to participate in conferences, symposia and workshops, provided that the other core activities are included as part of the award.

Applicants should address how the proposed activities will complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical research needs by discussing 1) the rationale underlying the balance of effort and resources dedicated to each activity; 2) how the three activities integrate; and 3) objective indicators that can measure the effectiveness of the program. NIGMS strongly prefers that organizations seeking support for a range of related activities across various thematic components or divisions coordinate and organize their efforts and submit a single IPERT application.

The IPERT is not intended to support development of courses that are or would become part of the standard/required curriculum of an academic degree program or institution. Participation in an IPERT must be open to the biomedical research community and not restricted to potential participants (students, postdocs, early career faculty) from one program, department or institution.

Institutions or organizations seeking support solely for scientific meetings that fall within the NIGMS mission (including conferences, seminars or travel awards similar activities) without integral research training activities should refer to the NIGMS R13 Support for Scientific Meetings.

For more information about IPERT, see the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, December 7, 2016 (PA-17-070), or contact Dr. Michael Sesma, Dr. Desirée Salazar, and Dr. Edgardo Falcón-Morales.