Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) Program (T32)

IMSD is a graduate student training program for institutions with research-intensive environments. Eligible institutions must have a 3-year average of NIH research project grant (RPG) funding greater than or equal to $7.5 million in total costs.

The goal of the IMSD program is to develop a diverse pool of scientists earning a Ph.D., who have the skills to successfully transition into careers in the biomedical research workforce. The overarching objective of this institutional research training program is to develop a diverse pool of well-trained Ph.D. biomedical scientists, who have the following technical, operational, and professional skills:

  • A broad understanding across biomedical disciplines and the skills to independently acquire the knowledge needed to advance their chosen fields;
  • The ability to think critically and independently, and to identify important biomedical research questions and approaches that push forward the boundaries of their areas of study;
  • A strong foundation in scientific reasoning, rigorous research design, experimental methods, quantitative and computational approaches, and data analysis and interpretation;
  • A commitment to approaching and conducting biomedical research responsibly, ethically, and with integrity;
  • Experience initiating, conducting, interpreting, and presenting rigorous and reproducible biomedical research with increasing self-direction;
  • The ability to work effectively in teams with colleagues from a variety of cultural and scientific backgrounds, and to promote inclusive and supportive scientific research environments;
  • The skills to teach and communicate scientific research methodologies and findings to a wide variety of audiences (e.g., discipline-specific, across, disciplines, and the public); and
  • The knowledge, professional skills and experiences required to identify and transition into careers in the biomedical research workforce (i.e., the breadth of careers that sustain biomedical research in areas that are relevant to the NIH mission).

IMSD grants are institutional awards. Applications may be submitted by domestic public/state institutions of higher education, and private institutions of higher education that have a significant number of mentors with NIH or other extramural research support. The institution must award the doctoral degree in the biomedical sciences.

Applicant organizations may submit only one application (normally identified by having a unique DUNS number or NIH IPF number). An institution can hold only one IMSD program at a given time regardless of the activity code (R25 or T32). Institutions with currently funded IMSD programs (R25) for support of graduate students are eligible to apply for this FOA only at the end of their current R25 IMSD funding period. The total requested project period for these awards may not exceed 5 years. Awards are renewable. While there are no budgetary caps for this award, all requested costs must be reasonable, well documented, and fully justified and commensurate with the scope of the proposed program.

Applicants requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs in any year are not required to contact a Scientific/Research Contact prior to submitting an application.

For more information about the IMSD program, please see the links below, and consult the IMSD program announcement (PAR-21-025).

NIGMS strongly encourages all applicants for IMSD grants to contact Patrick Brown and Shakira Nelson.

NIH Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR)

IMSD Participating Institutions

Guidance for Interim Funding

IMSD R25 Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

IMSD T32 Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

R25 Grants Receive Up to $3,000 for Evaluation Support per Project Period: Slides [PDF]