NIH Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation (FIRST)

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

The purpose of the FIRST Cohort is to transform culture at NIH-funded extramural institutions by building a self-reinforcing community of scientists committed to diversity and inclusive excellence (defined below). Implementing and sustaining cultures of inclusive excellence within the program has the potential to be transformational for biomedical research at the recipient institutions and beyond.

This community will be built through recruitment of individuals who:

  • are competitive for an advertised research tenure-track or equivalent faculty position (positions must be at the Assistant Professor (or equivalent) level),
  • meet the criteria for NIH-defined Early Stage Investigators, and
  • have demonstrated a strong commitment to promoting diversity and inclusive excellence.

For Highly Resourced Institutions (HRI), the faculty cohort must be comprised of no fewer than 10 scientists. Both HRI and LRI institutions can apply to form mutually beneficial partnerships. The number of scientists supported in a partnership must be based on prior planning and what was proposed and justified in the application. If a partnership includes an HRI, it must hire no fewer than 10 scientists.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST April 4, 2022

Sponsor Letter of Intent Deadline: 5:00pm MST June 12, 2022

Sponsor Application Deadline: 5:00pm MST July 12, 2022

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Project Summary (3 pages maximum): Please describe leadership and key personnel, strategy and methodology, and address the following referencing NIH solicitation Section IV for full details about components to include for each goal:
    • Goal 1: Fostering Sustainable Institutional Culture Change
    • Goal 2: Hiring a Diverse Cohort of New Faculty
    • Goal 3: Faculty Development, Retention, Progression, and Promotion
  • PI Curriculum Vitae
  • Budget Overview (1 page maximum): A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; detailed OCG budgets are not required.

To access the online application, visit:


There are no special eligibility requirements.

Limited Submission Guidelines

Only one application per institution is allowed.

Award Information

Application budgets per award are limited to $300,000 direct costs for all cores combined in year one; $3,275,000 direct costs each year in years 2-4; and $120,000 direct costs for all cores combined in year 5 and need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

Review Criteria

Please refer to evaluation criteria in the NIH solicitation.