NIH Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD)

NIH Graduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement (G-RISE)

Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO). Please see the full solicitations for complete information about the funding opportunities. Per NIH guidelines, CU Boulder is only eligible to apply for IMSD or G-RISE. As such, this is a joint internal call and the internal application deemed most competitive will be the program CU Boulder pursues.

Program Summary

The goal of the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) and Graduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement (G-RISE) programs is to develop a diverse pool of scientists earning a Ph.D., who have the skills to successfully transition into careers in the biomedical research workforce.

Both opportunities provide support to eligible, domestic institutions to develop and implement effective, evidence-informed approaches to biomedical graduate training and mentoring that will keep pace with the rapid evolution of the biomedical research enterprise.

NIGMS expects that the proposed research training programs will incorporate didactic, research, mentoring, and career development elements to prepare trainees for careers that will have a significant impact on the health-related research needs of the Nation. These programs are limited to applications from training programs at research-active institutions (i.e., those with NIH Research Project Grant funding averaging less than $7.5 million in total costs (direct and F&A/indirect) per year over the last three fiscal years).

The Overarching Objective of both programs is to develop a diverse pool of well-trained Ph.D. biomedical scientists, who have the following technical, operational, and professional skills:

  • A broad understanding across biomedical disciplines and the skills to independently acquire the knowledge needed to advance their chosen fields;
  • Expertise in a biomedical scientific discipline and the skills to think critically and independently, and to identify important biomedical research questions and approaches that push forward the boundaries of their areas of study;
  • A strong foundation in scientific reasoning, rigorous research design, experimental methods, quantitative and computational approaches, and data analysis and interpretation;
  • The skills to conduct research in the safest manner possible, and a commitment to approaching and conducting biomedical research responsibly, ethically, and with integrity;
  • Experience initiating, conducting, interpreting, and presenting rigorous and reproducible biomedical research with increasing self-direction;
  • The ability to work effectively in teams with colleagues from a variety of cultural and scientific backgrounds, and to promote inclusive and supportive scientific research environments;
  • The skills to teach and communicate scientific research methodologies and findings to a wide variety of audiences (e.g., discipline-specific, across disciplines, and the public); and
  • The knowledge, professional skills and experiences required to identify and transition into careers in the biomedical research workforce (i.e., the breadth of careers that sustain biomedical research in areas that are relevant to the NIH mission).

Diversity at all levels—from the kinds of science to the regions in which it is conducted to the backgrounds of the people conducting it— contributes to excellence in research training environments and strengthens the research enterprise. This FOA is intended to support outstanding research training programs that will enhance diversity at all levels. As part of a larger initiative to enhance diversity, the IMSD and G-RISE programs will support trainees earning a Ph.D. at research-intensive institutions.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST November 28, 2022

Sponsor Application Deadline: 5:00pm MST January 30, 2023

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • IMSD or G-RISE
  • Project Summary (3 pages maximum): Please include the mission, objectives, rationale and design of the research training program. Highlight key activities in the training plan that promote skills development and successful transitions into careers in the biomedical research workforce.
  • 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:


For diversity enhancing programs, NIGMS recognizes separate institutional eligibility tracks: research-intensive, i.e., those with an average of NIH research project grant (RPG) funding greater than or equal to $7.5 million total costs per year over the past 3 fiscal years, and research-active, i.e., those with an average of RPG funding less than $7.5 million total costs per year over the past 3 fiscal years (RPG data are available through NIH RePORTER). For example, FY 2018, FY 2019 and FY 2020 for applications submitted in January 2021.

Institutional eligibility for this FOA is limited to research-active institutions as defined above. Research-intensive institutions are not eligible to apply for or receive G-RISE grants.  To prevent the duplication of NIGMS diversity enhancing programs, each institution is eligible for one undergraduate program (either MARC or U-RISE) regardless of the activity code (R25 or T34), and one graduate program (either IMSD or G-RISE) regardless of the activity code (R25 or T32).  Institutions with NIGMS MARC, U-RISE, IMSD, or G-RISE funding are eligible for the Bridges to the Baccalaureate and/or Bridges to the Doctorate programs provided the other eligibility criteria are met.

An institution funded through the G-RISE or IMSD program that changes category due to changes in research project grant funding during the grant cycle should apply to the appropriate program based on their eligibility at the time of renewal. Programs that change category will report on the programs outcomes of the prior funding period(s), up to 15 years, using the appropriate tables. 

The sponsoring institution must assure support for the proposed program. Appropriate institutional commitment to the program should be detailed in the Institutional Support Letter in the Letters of Support attachment. Additionally, a signed letter is required from the Provost or similar official with institution-wide responsibility verifying the eligibility of the applicant institution at the time of application submission according to the eligibility criteria indicated above. See the application instructions for the required “Letters of Support” instructions in Section IV.

As described in the instructions for the Training Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) in Section IV.2 below, NIGMS encourages multiple PDs/PIs, particularly when each brings a unique perspective and skill set that will enhance training. At least one of the training PDs/PIs should be an established investigator in the biomedical sciences and capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program.  Additional PD(s)/PI(s), including individuals with experience in the science of education, relevant social science disciplines, program evaluation, mentoring, and university administration may be included to achieve the training goals. Any of the PDs/PIs may serve as the contact PD/PI.  The contact PD/PI is expected to have a full-time appointment at the applicant institution unless extremely well-justified. If the full-time status of the contact PD/PI changes after the award, the institution must obtain prior program approval to appoint a new PD/PI or request a deviation from the full-time rule. The PDs/PIs will be responsible for the selection and appointment of trainees to the approved research training program, and for the overall direction, management, administration, and evaluation of the program. The PDs/PIs will be expected to monitor and assess the program and submit all documents and reports as required. The PDs/PIs have responsibility for the day-to-day administration of the program and are responsible for appointing members of the Advisory Committee (when applicable) and using their recommendations to determine the appropriate allotment of funds.

Limited Submission Guidelines

Only one application per institution is allowed.

Award Information

The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications. Awards may be for project periods up to five years in duration and are renewable.