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Limited Submission: Mentored Research Experiences for Genetic Counselors (R25)

The goal of this program is to support educational activities that help recruit individuals with specific specialty or disciplinary backgrounds to research careers in biomedical, behavioral and clinical sciences.


The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research education activities in the mission areas of the NIH.  The overarching goal of this NHGRI R25 program is to help recruit individuals with specific specialty or disciplinary backgrounds to research careers in biomedical, behavioral and clinical sciences.       

To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) will support innovative educational activities with a primary focus on Research Experiences.

The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research educational activities that complement other formal training programs in the mission areas of the NIH Institutes and Centers. The overarching goals of the NIH R25 program are to: (1) complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs; (2) encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, to pursue further studies or careers in research; (3) help recruit individuals with specific specialty or disciplinary backgrounds to research careers in biomedical, behavioral and clinical sciences; and (4) foster a better understanding of biomedical, behavioral and clinical research and its implications.

The over-arching goal of this National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) R25 program is to support educational activities that help recruit individuals with specific specialty or disciplinary backgrounds to research careers in biomedical, behavioral and clinical sciences. To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on:

Research Experiences: The program needs to provide research experiences with the intention to extend the skills, experiences, and knowledge of genetic counselors. The program should provide experiences that allow the genetic counselors to enhance skills necessary to formulate and conduct genomic research independently and that is not available through other formal NIH training mechanisms. Research experiences should be in one or more of the areas relevant to NHGRI’s research programs – genome sciencesgenomic medicine, and ethical, legal, and social implicaions  in genomics research.

The nature of the research experiences should be tailored to the needs of the participants. It is expected that mentoring will be provided in conjunction with a planned research experience. Programs are required to have an individual development plan (IDPs) for each trainee that is compatible with their needs and prior experience. The programs should provide educational/research experiences that enhance the participation and productivity of participants from diverse backgrounds, including participants from underrepresented groups. Research on NHGRI mission-relevant health disparities is also encouraged.

In addition to hands-on research experiences, programs are expected to include complementary activities that support the participants’ scientific development, such as scientific writing, presentation skills, grantmanship, etc.

This FOA is explicitly intended to support the entry of genetic counselors into the genomics research workforce. Genetic counselors with considerable research experience cannot be supported under this announcement. Participants cannot be enrolled in a doctoral program. Doctoral research will not be supported under this funding opportunity announcement.

Support is for individuals who have graduated from an accredited master’s degree in genetic counseling program. The research experience cannot be a continuation of a research project that was the focus of the master’s degree program. 

Research education programs may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, but the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those training and education programs currently receiving Federal support. R25 programs may augment institutional research training programs (e.g., T32, T90) but cannot be used to replace or circumvent Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) programs.

Please read the full program announcement before preparing your internal application.

Award Amount

  • Application budgets are limited to $250,000 direct cost.
  • The maximum project period is five years.
  • The number of awards is contingent upon NHGRI appropriations and the receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.


  • Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and women are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.
  • For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. 
  • The PD/PI should be an established investigator with funded research in fields of genomics such as genomic medicine, ethical, legal, and social issues in genomics, genomic epidemiology, etc. can provide both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program. The PD/PI will be expected to monitor and assess the program and submit all documents and reports as required.
  • Program Faculty: Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as preceptors/mentors. Mentors should have research expertise and experience relevant to genomics. Mentors must be committed to continue their involvement throughout the total period of the mentee’s participation in this award.
  • Participants:
    • Participants must have graduated from an accredited master’s degree in genetic counseling program.  This program does not support doctoral students.  
    • A research experience from 12 months to 24 months may be requested. Candidates are required to commit a minimum of 50% of full-time professional effort (with a minimum of 6 person-months up to a maximum of 12 person-months) to the program. Candidates may engage in other duties as part of the remaining 50% or less of their full-time professional effort not covered by this award, as long as such duties do not interfere with, overlap with, or detract from the proposed research experience.
    • Participants must have graduated from an Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling accredited master’s degree genetic counseling program and have limited experience in genomic research.
    • It is hoped that this experience will encourage participants to pursue a career in a field of genomics research such is genomic medicine, genetic epidemiology, ethical, legal, and social issues of genomics, etc.
    • Unless strongly justified on the basis of exceptional relevance to NIH, research education programs should be used primarily for the education of U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

Selection Criteria

  • Significance: Does the proposed program address a key audience and an important aspect or important need in research education? Is there convincing evidence in the application that the proposed program will significantly advance the stated goal of the program? 
  • ·       Investigator(s): Is the PD/PI capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program? Is there evidence that an appropriate level of effort will be devoted by the program leadership to ensure the program’s intended goal is accomplished? If applicable, is there evidence that the participating faculty have experience in mentoring students and teaching genomics? If applicable, are the faculty good role models for the participants by nature of their scientific accomplishments? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?  Are individuals with the right expertise in genetic counseling and genomics research involved in the development and management of the program? Do the PD/PI and key personnel maintain an appropriate level of involvement? 
  • ·       Innovation: Taking into consideration the nature of the proposed research education program, does the applicant make a strong case for this program effectively reaching an audience in need of the program’s offerings? Where appropriate, is the proposed program developing or utilizing innovative approaches and latest best practices to improve the knowledge and/or skills of the intended audience?   
  • Approach: Does the proposed program clearly state its goals and objectives, including the educational level of the audience to be reached, the content to be conveyed, and the intended outcome?  Is there evidence that the program is based on a sound rationale, as well as sound educational concepts and principles? Is the plan for evaluation sound and likely to provide information on the effectiveness of the program?  If the proposed program will recruit participants, are the planned recruitment, retention, and follow-up (if applicable) activities adequate to ensure a highly qualified participant pool? Are the activities commensurate with the program goals?  Does the applicant employ modern, evidence-based approaches to achieve diversity? Will the program activities facilitate participants’ taking a future role in leading genomics research? Are the types of research experiences and education clearly articulated for the appropriate career level of the participant? Are genomic research topics prominently integrated into planned activities? How does the plan take advantage of the research infrastructure of the applicant institution and other similar programs supported by NIH and the PD’s/PI’s institution? What is the value added and how does this program differ from ongoing activities at the applicant institution? 
  • ·       Environment: Will the scientific and educational environment of the proposed program contribute to its intended goals? Is there a plan to take advantage of this environment to enhance the educational value of the program? Is there tangible evidence of institutional commitment? Is there evidence that the faculty have sufficient institutional support to create a sound educational environment for the participants?  Where appropriate, is there evidence of collaboration and buy-in among participating programs, departments, and institutions? 

Limitation Details

An Institution may submit one proposal

If you are interested in submitting for this program, you must first submit an internal application to limsub@uga.eduaccording to the required instructions below.

Internal Applications must include the following:

  • A cover page listing
    • The name of this funding opportunity and title of your proposal
    • Your name, UGA position, home department, email, and UGA contact information
    • Collaborator names, positions, and institutions (if any)
    • Indicate whether or not you have submitted to this program in the past. If so, please provide a copy of the review at the end of the internal application.
  • A (maximum two-page) proposal summary that addresses the program’s specific selection criteria.
  • One paragraph describing why this proposal should be UGA’s submission (i.e., why it will be the most competitive for this program)
  • PI’s Curriculum vitae

Internal Selection

Limited Submission announcements often generate multiple competing proposals.  UGA reviewers judge proposals as they would in any peer review process, so PIs are urged to put their best foot forward.  Along with typical criteria, reviewers will evaluate internal proposals based on their fit with the sponsor’s articulated goals and criteria. 

Internal Submission Instructions

The above internal application materials should be submitted via email as a single .PDF file to by the internal deadline listed above. 


Please submit questions regarding the internal competition to

For questions directly related to this program, please contact the following program officers:

Ebony B. Madden, Ph.D.
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
Phone: 301-503-5620

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