Research on Interventions that Promote the Careers of Individuals in the Biomedical Research Enterprise (R01/R35)

NIGMS has long encouraged the use of evidence-informed practices to improve research education, training, and career development. The Institute recognizes that there is need for more hypothesis-driven research to test biomedical training, mentoring and networking interventions for efficacy and replicability across career stages and at a range of institution types.

Program Goals & Structure

The goal of the ’Research on Interventions’ research program is to support research to test interventions to enhance research-oriented individuals' interest, motivation, persistence, and preparedness for careers in the biomedical research workforce. Funded projects are expected to produce research findings that will guide the implementation of interventions in a variety of academic settings and career levels to enhance the diversity of the biomedical research workforce.

  • Projects are expected to include the use of robust experimental designs, including randomized control trial approaches, case controls, matched pair design or other rigorous designs appropriate to the research questions.
  • The research results are expected to move beyond participant satisfaction, self-reporting of perceived skills gained, or self-reporting of effectiveness.
  • Interventions are to be centered not only on psychosocial factors, but also on outcomes so that the results will inform the biomedical community regarding the factors and mechanisms that are most likely to influence and foster a sustained career in the biomedical research workforce.

NIGMS strives to ensure that future generations of researchers will be drawn from the entire pool of talented individuals, bringing different aptitudes, perspectives, interests, and experiences to address complex scientific problems. Accordingly, NIGMS encourages applications designed to understand and inform interventions that promote the research careers of individuals from underrepresented groups (see NIH’s Interest in Diversity).

Possible Areas of Research

Applications describing a variety of research areas are encouraged. Examples include training, networking and mentoring, psychosocial factors, navigation of critical transition points, institutional factors that influence persistence, harassment, and structural racism and discrimination.

Other possible areas of research are described in two Notices of Special Interest (NOSI). NOT-GM-21-033 informs applicants of potential topic areas to address the impacts of structural racism and discrimination on biomedical career progression and the biomedical research enterprise. NOT-OD-21-150​ informs potential applicants of the NIH’s interest in supporting research on interventions designed to change the culture to mitigate or eliminate sexual harassment in the biomedical research enterprise.

For applicants interested in science and innovation policy as it relates to interventions, NIGMS and the Science of Science: Discovery, Communication, and Impact program at the National Science Foundation (NSF) jointly support the Science of Science Policy Approach to Analyzing and Innovating the Biomedical Research Enterprise (SCISIPBio) Program. For those interested, please visit the program webpage.

Research on Interventions Awardees

Applications

Applications should include:
  • a plan to provide a training, mentoring, or networking service with a testable hypothesis, intervention framework, and/or clearly articulated population with the appropriate controls.
  • an intervention that is scalable or practical in a range of settings applicable to the broader biomedical research community.
  • a Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives

Investigators interested in addressing these objectives may apply in response to PAR-21-269, Research on Interventions that Promote the Research Careers of Individuals in the Biomedical Research Enterprise (R01 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed). This research may also be supported by the Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) R35 grant, which will support both established investigators and early stage investigators.

All potential applicants are highly encouraged to contact the Research on Interventions Program Officers for feedback on appropriateness far in advance of submitting an application.

For additional information, please contact Drs. Shakira Nelson and Sydella Blatch.