Division for Research Capacity Building

The Division for Research Capacity Building (DRCB) supports research, research training, faculty development, and research infrastructure improvements in states that historically have not received significant levels of research funding from NIH. It also supports faculty research development at institutions that have a historical mission focused on serving students from underrepresented groups, research and research capacity building directed by Native American and Alaska Native tribal organizations, and conducts a science education program designed to improve life-science literacy.

DRCB is composed of four programs: Institutional Development Award (IDeA), Native American Research Centers for Health (NARCH), ​Science Education Partnership Awards (SEPA), and Support of Competitive Research (SCORE).The Division also participates in the STTR initiative to build and strengthen entrepreneurship and regional collaboration among IDeA states.

Contact names for these programs are listed on the Contacts by Research Area page. For a list of all DRCB staff and links to their biographical sketches, see the Division Staff Contacts page.


This program broadens the geographic distribution of NIH funding for biomedical research. IDeA fosters health-related research and enhances the competitiveness of investigators at institutions located in states in which the aggregate success rate for applications to NIH has historically been low. The program also increases the competitiveness of investigators by supporting faculty development and research infrastructure enhancement at institutions in 23 states and Puerto Rico.​

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This initiative supports partnerships between American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) tribes or tribally based organizations and institutions that conduct intensive academic-level biomedical research. NARCH supports research, research training, and faculty and infrastructure development to meet the needs of AI/AN communities.

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This program is designed to improve life science literacy throughout the nation through innovative educational programs. SEPA-supported projects create partnerships among biomedical and clinical researchers and K-12 teachers and schools, museums and science centers, media experts, and other educational organizations.

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This program seeks to increase the research competitiveness of faculty at institutions that have a historical mission focused on serving students from underrepresented groups. SCORE supports faculty research development at three formative stages of an investigator's research career.

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STTR Regional Technology Transfer Accelerator Hubs for IDeA States

This is a new initiative designed to promote biomedical entrepreneurship by creating one shared STTR regional technology transfer accelerator hub in each of the four IDeA regions (Central, Northeastern, Southeastern, and Western).

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For more information about the NIGMS Division for Research Capacity Building, contact:

Dr. Ming Lei
Director, Division for Research Capacity Building
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
National Institutes of Health
45 Center Drive MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200