NIH Enhancing Science, Technology, EnginEering, and Math Educational Diversity (ESTEEMED) Research Education Experiences (R25) Solicitation

Please see the full solicitation for complete information about the funding opportunity. Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO).

Program Summary 

To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on Research Experiences and Mentoring Activities for underrepresented undergraduate freshmen and sophomores in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) field, especially those fields which broadly impact bioengineering. The ESTEEMED program is intended to support underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. It will prepare these participants for an Advanced Honors Program, such as a MARC U-STAR (T34) program and institutional program with similar goals, in the junior and senior years and subsequently, to pursue a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. degree and a biomedical research career in academia or industry.

The program supported by this FOA must contain at least three elements: a summer bridge program that occurs before the start of the freshman year, a program for freshmen and sophomores during the academic year, and a summer research experience after the sophomore academic year. Ideally, at the completion of this program, participants will enter into an independent Honors Program for juniors and seniors at the applicant institution.

1. Summer Bridge Program: The main focus of the Summer Bridge Program is to prepare participants for their first year of college, introduce them to this R25 program, and to provide remedial instruction to participants to bridge gaps in their knowledge. It must take place during the summer before the freshman year, last at least five weeks, and emphasize basic sciences, computation, and science communication. Rising sophomores are encouraged to mentor incoming participants in the Summer Bridge Program in the summer between their freshman and sophomore years.

2. Academic Year Activities: In addition to continuing to emphasize basic sciences, computation, and science communication, the Academic Year Activities should help participants maximize their academic performance and prepare them for summer research experiences and eventual entry into an Advanced Honors Program. Academic year activities should include, but are not limited to, courses, journal clubs, individual development plans for each participant, seminars/workshops, professional development programs, and travel to national meetings. Activities such as workshops on scientific presentation and writing, that promote scientific communication skills, are highly encouraged. There should be an increasing sophistication in these activities as participants proceed from the freshman to the sophomore year.

3. Summer Research Experience: At the end of their sophomore year, each participant is expected to take part in a hands-on summer research experience that involves a defined research project and includes a final oral presentation and written report of their work. This could take place in an on-campus laboratory or be an off-campus research experience for high achieving undergraduate students, such as the National Science Foundation (NSF)-sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates Summer Programs (REU) program, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)-sponsored Janelia Undergraduate Scholars Program, or an industry internship. The Summer Research Experience is expected to last at least eight weeks or the majority of the summer.

Linkage to Advanced Honors Program

The program to be supported with this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is intended as a feeder program that prepares participants for entry into an Advanced Honors Program for underrepresented juniors and seniors in STEM fields. This ensures that participants will have a full four years of support throughout their undergraduate education. Applicants are therefore required to describe the feeder program, the existing Advanced Honors Program, and the linkage between the two programs.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST February 12, 2019

Sponsor Letter of Intent Deadline: 5:00pm MST April 24, 2019

Sponsor Application Deadline: 5:00pm MST May 24, 2019

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Research Education Program Plan Summary (up to 2 pages): Please describe the proposed research education program (including plans for the summer bridge program, academic year activities, and summer research experience), program participants, institutional environment and commitment, recruitment plan to enhance diversity, and evaluation plan.
  • Project Team Description (up to 2 pages): Please identify the program director/PI (and describe their history of mentoring, especially of students/trainees from underrepresented backgrounds and their experience in developing and leading similar programs), identify program faculty, and describe plans for program administration.
  • PI CV / Biosketch
  • Budget Overview (up to 1 page): A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; detailed OCG budgets are not required.

To access the online application, visit:


The sponsoring institution must have an Advanced Honors Program at the time of application targeting students in their junior and senior years and geared towards enhancing diversity in the STEM workforce. CU Boulder does not currently have an Advanced Honors Program. If interested in applying or selected to apply, please contact Barbara Kraus in the Office of Diversity, Equity & Community Engagement to discuss this requirement, and potential options.

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.

Limited Submission Guidelines

Only one application per institution is allowed.

Award Information

Award Amount: Application budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project. Applicants requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs in any year (excluding consortium F&A) must contact a Scientific/ Research Contact at least 6 weeks before submitting the application and follow the Policy on the Acceptance for Review of Unsolicited Applications that Request $500,000 or More in Direct Costs as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Award Duration: Up to 5 years.