RM1 Biomedical Technology Development and Dissemination (BTDD) FAQs


What is the current Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)?

The current BTDD FOA is PAR-20-104, which will expire on January 27, 2023, and will be reissued with similar receipt dates.

How long can a BTDD Center be supported?

A new BTDD Center can be funded for five years per cycle, up to 15 years. For a BTDD Center that was previously a P41 Biomedical Technology Research Resource (BTRR) Center, this 15-year limit includes the total support under both mechanisms.

When are the due dates for BTDD RM1 applications?

The remaining due date for PAR-20-104 is January 26, 2023. Due dates for the reissuance will be the same January and May dates as those for the current FOA.

Do you have a BTDD Program website?

Yes. The link to the website with information and a list of BTDD Center Awardees is https://www.nigms.nih.gov/about/overview/BBCB/biomedicaltechnology/Pages/btdd.aspx.

When will funding decisions be made?

Pending applications will be presented at the NIGMS Advisory General Medical Sciences Council meeting following their review. Relevant Council meetings occur in January/February and September/October of each year, and final funding decisions are made approximately one month after the Council meeting.

Do applications submitted to this FOA qualify for the Continuous Submission Policy?

No. Continuous Submission only applies to applications submitted in response to R01, R21, and R34 FOAs with Standard Due Dates. Since this FOA (PAR-20-104) does not meet these criteria, applications responding to this FOA are not eligible for the Continuous Submission Policy.

Is a Letter of Intent (LOI) required to submit an RM1 BTDD application?

No. However, potential applicants are strongly advised to contact NIGMS staff at least 10 weeks before the application due date to discuss the suitability of a proposed project for the NIGMS BTDD Program.

Scope of Research

How do I determine if my proposed technology (or technologies) is appropriate for a Technology Development Project (TDP)?

The BTDD Program supports the optimization of state-of-the-art, late-stage technologies that address challenging biomedical questions in NIGMS mission-related areas. These technologies should have the following characteristics:

  • be at the forefront of their respective fields,
  • be unique and not yet widely available to the biomedical research community,
  • have demonstrated the feasibility and/or utility of established robust prototypes.

And once optimized, be ready for broad dissemination.

Can my application include a short-term partnership to accelerate or enhance the TDPs? How long should the established partnership last?

Yes. A partnership with another research group and/or industrial entity can be included to accelerate the technical optimization of a TDP. Industrial partnerships should be funding-neutral and characterized by in-kind contributions of effort and equipment. These partnerships should be of short duration, generally one to two years.

What are appropriate Driving Biological Projects (DBPs) for a BTDD Center?

DBPs are biomedical research projects that serve as test beds for iterative TDP optimization. The DPBs should be independently funded, focusing on various NIGMS mission-relevant biomedical research topics and reflecting the breadth of the technologies' potential impact. The DBPs should be drawn from institutions that are nationally distributed, and their turnover should occur during the project period.

How important is the Community Engagement (CE) section of the proposal to the overall success of the BTDD Center?

The technology dissemination activities outlined in the Community Engagement section of the proposal are central to the success of a BTDD Center. Community engagement describes the processes used to provide the broadest possible biomedical research community access to the technologies developed by the Center. Such access can occur within and beyond the Center moving the technologies into the community as quickly and effectively as possible. Examples of CE activities may include, but are not limited to, Collaboration and Service Projects (CSPs), user training, software distribution, direct technology transfer, patenting inventions, licensing technologies to industry, and partnering with small businesses in SBIR/STTR proposals. All BTDD centers require a robust web presence.

What are Collaboration and Service Projects (CSPs) under the CE section of the proposal?

CSPs are not required but encouraged under CE when appropriate. CSPs utilize the resources provided by a BTDD to accomplish research activities. Unlike DBPs, CSPs do not serve as test beds for the TDPs. CSPs generally exploit the more mature BTDD capabilities and should be associated with researchers outside the applicant institution. Service projects are expected to be offered through an open, peer-reviewed application process.

What is the meaning of sustainable dissemination in the context of a BTDD Center?

Sustainable dissemination of technologies is a major goal of the BTDD Program. BTDD-supported technologies should eventually be broadly adopted by the biomedical research community and continue their impact beyond the life of the BTDD Center. Plans to sustainably disseminate these technologies may include but are not limited to directly providing user service and training, open-source software, laboratory reagents, and protocols and commercialization.


Can I submit a BTDD RM1 if I have MIRA or vice versa?

Yes. NIGMS PD(s)/PI(s) holding a Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (MIRA) are eligible to apply.

Can I submit a MIRA and a BTDD RM1 at the same time?

Yes, a PD/PI can submit a MIRA and BTDD RM1 simultaneously. If MIRA and BTDD RM1 are awarded, the PD/PI must divide the technologies between the two awards to minimize overlap. For example, optimization of technologies similar to BTDD should be removed from the R35 MIRA.


Do investigators retain their NIH New Investigator (NI) status if they serve as project leads under BTDD?

Yes. a researcher listed as a project lead and not designated as a PD/PI or MPI for the BTDD will retain NI status.

What is the minimum effort required for the PD/PI? What is the minimum effort requirement for MPIs?

A BTDD PD/PI must provide a minimum of 3 person-months effort to the BTDD project. Each PD/PI must dedicate a minimum of 3 person-months effort for MPI applications. A BTDD PD/PI or MPI who is a current MIRA holder must maintain 51% research effort toward their MIRA and 3 person-months effort toward the BTDD. Subsection leads for TDPs and CE should be identified and provide a minimum of 1 person-month effort to the project. This should be noted if the effort proposed is greater than the support requested.


How do subcontracts factor into the maximum direct cost limit?

The maximum direct cost budget for PAR-20-104 is $850,000 per year, excluding equipment, subcontract facilities, and administrative (F&A) costs. PDs/PIs are encouraged to discuss equipment costs associated with technology development with the Scientific/Research Contact listed in the FOA before submission. F&A costs associated with consortia/subcontracts are not considered direct costs for the grantee institution: Per NIH policy, maximum direct cost amounts listed in FOAs are direct costs, excluding facilities and administrative (F&A) costs on consortia/subcontracts. Exceeding the direct costs limit because of F&A associated with consortia/subcontracts is allowable.

Can an MPI supported by an NIGMS R35 award receive any funds for their lab from the RM1 BTDD award?

Yes. The BTDD technology development is not considered a research project.​