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Limited Submission: Research Experience in Genomic Research for Data Scientists (R25)

The goal of this program is to support educational activities that encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds to pursue further studies or careers in research.

Summary

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 support educational activities that encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, to pursue further studies or careers in research.

To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) will support creative 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 NHGRI R25 program is to support educational activities that      encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, to pursue further studies or careers in research. To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on:

  1. Research Experiences: For students currently enrolled in master’s degree programs in data science (including programs in statistics/biostatistics, mathematics, computer science or equivalent fields) to provide hands-on exposure to genomics data sets as a substrate for their analytical skills. Through this announcement, NHGRI hopes to attract such students to the genomics workforce. NHGRI also seeks to both encourage data scientists who plan to opt for a terminal master’s degree to join genomics research, as well as reinforce the intent of current master’s degree students who are considering entering a doctoral program with an eventual dissertation focused on genomic data science.

This FOA is explicitly intended to support the entry of master’s degree students in data science into the genomics workforce. Undergraduate or doctoral students will not be supported under this FOA. The following groups explicitly cannot be supported under this announcement:

  1. Data scientists who have completed an undergraduate degree but are not enrolled in a data science master’s degree.
  2. Data scientists currently with extensive genomics research experience.
  3. Master’s degree students currently enrolled in genomics programs who are interested in gaining exposure to data science.

For this FOA, “genomics research” is defined as biological investigation at the scale of the complete genome without having a focus on a single gene, a group of genes, a particular genomic locus, or a specific disease or organ system. “Genomics programs” are defined as research or educational programs that have a complete or substantial focus on genomics research, including both experimental and computational approaches towards genomics. Programs that focus on biological research or education with genetics topics included without a specific focus on genome-scale topics will ordinarily be considered outside the scope of “genomics programs”. 

“Data science programs” are defined as those training students to obtain master’s degrees in statistics, mathematics, computer science or equivalent quantitative or analytical fields, but without an existing genomics component. Existing master’s degree programs which focus on bioinformatics (or more specifically, genome informatics) are outside the scope of this funding opportunity announcement, which is intended to bring more data scientists into the genomics community who have very little or no previous experience working with genomics data sets.

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 per year.
  • The project period is limited to five years.
  • The number of awards is contingent upon NHGRI appropriations and the receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Eligibility

  • The sponsoring institution must assure support for the proposed program. Appropriate institutional commitment to the program includes the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned program.
  • Institutions with existing Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) institutional training grants (e.g., T32) or other Federally funded training programs may apply for a research education grant provided that the proposed educational experiences are distinct from those training programs receiving federal support. In many cases, it is anticipated that the proposed research education program will complement ongoing research training occurring at the applicant institution. 
  • 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 must be an established investigator with significant research funding from NIH (e.g. multiple research grants, a large center grant, or cooperative agreement, etc.) in genomics data science and capable of providing 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 the proposed program. Mentors must be committed to continue their involvement throughout the total period of the mentee’s participation in this award.
  • Participants
    • Participants must be master’s degree data science students, who may have limited previous genomics research exposure, who will benefit from the proposed Research Education program.  
    • This program does not support undergraduate or doctoral students.  
    • Participants may receive support for 10-15 hours a week during the academic year and while they are fulfilling their course requirements, and 40 hours a week during the summer if no courses are being taken. Participants are allowed tuition remission as part of a compensation package.
    • Program-supported students may not concurrently hold another federally sponsored stipend or fellowship, other federal award that duplicates support, or supplemental salary support, e.g., from a mentor’s federal research grant. However, concurrent with support, students may make use of federal educational loan funds and assistance under the Veterans Readjustment Benefits Act (G.I. Bill) or may receive funds from a Pell Grant, based on financial need. Such funds are not considered supplementation or compensation.
    • 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; is the leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?  Are individuals with the right expertise in genomic data science 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 activities facilitate participants’ entry into the genomics workforce? Are the types of research experiences and education clearly articulated for the appropriate career level of the participant? Are genomic data science 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 limsub@uga.edu by the internal deadline listed above. 

Questions?

Please submit questions regarding the internal competition to limsub@uga.edu.

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

Shurjo K. Sen, Ph.D.
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) 
Phone: 301-827-7028
Email: sensh@mail.nih.gov


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