NIH Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Awards (IRACDA) (K12)

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 Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA) Program provides support for a mentored postdoctoral research experience at a research-intensive institution combined with an opportunity to develop critical teaching and mentoring skills at a teaching-intensive partner institution with a diverse student population.  Accordingly, the IRACDA program requires effective partnerships between a research-intensive institution and a teaching-intensive partner institution that has a historical mission or a demonstrated commitment to educating students from groups underrepresented in the biomedical research workforce.

The primary goal of the IRACDA program is to develop a diverse pool of well-trained biomedical scientists who have the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue independent academic teaching and research careers.  An additional goal of the IRACDA program is to benefit the teaching-intensive partner institutions, e.g., by providing research-oriented, early career teachers, mentors, and role models for the students; enhancing science educational offerings; providing research opportunities for the faculty and students; and/or bringing expertise with state-of-the-art research methods and technologies.

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) does not allow appointed scholars to lead an independent clinical trial but does allow them to obtain research experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor or co-mentor.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST August 9, 2021

Sponsor Application Deadline: 5:00pm MST October 1, 2021

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Project Summary (3 pages maximum): Please include details on the following: training program plan, research career development program, program administrators, and the recruitment plan to enhance diversity.   
  • 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:


An IRACDA program involves a partnership involving a research-intensive, applicant institution and one or more teaching-intensive partner institutions.

Research-Intensive, Applicant Institution

The applicant institution must:

  • Serve as the primary site of the mentored postdoctoral research experience;
  • Possess the requisite facilities and partnerships to conduct the proposed career development program;
  • Have research mentors within the scope of the NIGMS mission; and
  • Be classified as research-intensive (see criterion below).

NIGMS defines research-intensive as institutions with an average of NIH research project grant (RPG) funding greater than or equal to $7.5 million total costs (both direct and F&A/indirect costs) per year over the past 3 fiscal years (RPG data are available through NIH RePORT). For example, take the average of FY 2016, FY 2017 and FY 2018 for applications submitted in October 2019.

Teaching-Intensive Partner Institution(s)

The teaching-intensive partner institution(s) must:

  • Be public/state or private controlled institutions of higher education;
  • Offer associate and/or baccalaureate degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) fields;
  • Have a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching; and
  • Have a historical mission or a demonstrated commitment to educating students from diverse backgrounds, e.g., individuals from underrepresented groups (see NIH's Interest in Diversity);

A signed letter is required from each Provost or similar official with institution-wide responsibility verifying the eligibility of the institutions at the time of application submission according to the eligibility criteria indicated above. See the application instructions for the required “Letters of Support” attachment in Section IV.2.

Mentors (Participating Faculty)

When building a participating faculty team, programs should include individuals who are committed to training, mentoring, and providing supportive, safe and inclusive research environments. Programs are encouraged to build a diverse team of preceptors/mentors that includes, for example, faculty from underrepresented groups (NIH's Interest in Diversity), women, and faculty at different career stages (i.e., early stage as well as senior faculty).

Participating faculty at the research-intensive institution who are directly supervising the IRACDA fellows’ mentored research experience must have active, externally funded research projects relevant to the NIGMS mission. Participating faculty must be committed to continuing their involvement throughout the total period of the award. Participating faculty may be added as appropriate to the roster of an ongoing funded IRACDA program without prior NIGMS approval.

The mentors from the partner institution(s) must have a strong record of teaching and mentoring. They are expected to facilitate the postdoctoral scholars' adjustment to the academic environment of the partner institution and provide guidance and mentoring on teaching skills as well as teaching-related challenges and opportunities at the partner institution.


Postdoctoral scholars to be supported by the institutional career development program must be at the career level for which the planned program is intended. IRACDA scholars are expected to devote 9-person months (75% of full-time professional effort) to the mentored research and the remaining 3-person months (25% of full-time professional effort) to the mentored teaching and other mentored and/or didactic experiences, during their appointment on the K12 award.

By the time of appointment, each scholar must be a citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States who has been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., possess a currently valid Permanent Resident Card USCIS Form I-551, or other legal verification of such status). Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible.

Details on citizenship requirements are available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Postdoctoral scholars must have received, as of the beginning date of the IRACDA appointment, a Ph.D., M.D., D.D.S., or comparable doctoral degree. Candidates should be early in their postdoctoral stage, with no more than 2 years since the date of their doctoral degree. Candidates must be committed to teaching the next generation of biomedical researchers, and to the biomedical research enterprise.

Limited Submission Guidelines

Only one application per institution is allowed.

Award Information

Application budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period. The maximum project period is 5 years.

Review Criteria

Please note the criteria by which NIH will review applications as you develop your internal proposal.