Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) support thematic, multidisciplinary centers that augment and strengthen institutional biomedical research capacity. This is accomplished by expanding and developing biomedical faculty research capability and enhancing research infrastructure, including the establishment of core facilities needed to carry out the objectives of a multidisciplinary, collaborative program.
These centers are led by NIH-funded investigators with expertise central to the theme of the grant proposal. The centers promote collaborative, interactive efforts among researchers with complementary backgrounds, skills and expertise. In some instances, COBRE support facilitates the development of new, disease-specific research centers or augments the capability of existing centers. Researchers supported through COBRE are expected to compete independently for external peer-reviewed grant support.
Each COBRE includes:
- A principal investigator who is an established biomedical research scientist with expertise central to the research theme of the center, has an active research laboratory, has relevant peer-reviewed funding and has demonstrated administrative leadership and mentoring experience.
- Three to five individual research projects—each supervised by a single junior investigator—that stand alone but share a common thematic scientific focus.
- At least one mentor for each junior investigator, and a development and mentoring plan addressing how the junior investigators will transition to competitive grant support from NIH institutes and centers or other Federal or non-Federal agencies or organizations.
COBRE support comes in three sequential 5-year phases:
Phase I focuses on developing research infrastructure and providing junior investigators with formal mentoring and research project funding to help them acquire preliminary data and successfully compete for independent research grant support.
Phase II seeks to strengthen each center through further improvements in research infrastructure and continuing development and support of a critical mass of investigators with shared scientific interests. After 10 years of COBRE support, centers are expected to be able to compete successfully for other sources of research funding, such as program project or center grants from other NIH institutes and centers or other funding sources.
Phase III transitional centers provide support for maintaining COBRE research cores developed during Phases I and II, and sustain a collaborative, multidisciplinary research environment with pilot project programs and mentoring and training components.
Another COBRE activity is the IDeA Program Infrastructure for Clinical and Translational Research (IDeA-CTR) initiative. The IDeA-CTR encourages consortium applications from IDeA states to develop regional infrastructure and capacity to conduct clinical and translational research on diseases that affect medically underserved populations and/or diseases prevalent in IDeA states. IDeA-CTR awards support mentoring and career development activities in clinical and translational research and facilitate collaboration with clinical researchers in non-IDeA states.
For more information about COBRE Phase I and II awards, see the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, August 25, 2016 (Phase I, PAR-16-415) or May 9, 2016 (Phase II, PAR-16-241), or contact Dr. Yanping Liu at 301-451-4217. For information about COBRE Phase III awards, see the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, April 4, 2017 (PAR-17-249), or contact Dr. Rashada Alexander at 301-451-6416. For information about IDeA-CTR awards, see the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, July 31, 2014 (PAR-14-303), or contact Dr. Rafael Gorospé at 301-435-0832.