NIH Research Education: Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) Program (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 

The over-arching goal of this NIGMS R25 program is to support educational activities that enhance the diversity of the biomedical workforce. To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on research experiences and courses for skills development.

IMSD grants are awards to institutions that confer the baccalaureate and/or doctoral degree in biomedical fields, have a demonstrated commitment to encourage and assist students from backgrounds underrepresented in these scientific areas, and have a research-intensive environment with a large pool of mentors with R01 or equivalent grants. The IMSD program supports institutions to develop a research education program in basic biomedical sciences relevant to the NIGMS mission, with the overarching goal of significantly increasing the number of students from underrepresented groups who successfully complete a Ph.D. degree in biomedical sciences. Ultimately, the program goal is to increase the diversity of the biomedical research workforce. Applicant institutions must conduct an institutional self-assessment of their research environment and student outcomes to inform the design of their proposed IMSD program, to include:

  • Demographics of students enrolled in biomedical science departments.
  • Number of students that complete the baccalaureate and/or Ph.D. degree, as applicable.
  • Challenges/impediments that the students encounter in completing the baccalaureate and/or Ph.D. degree, as applicable.

As a result of the self-assessment, each applicant must establish the program's goals and specific measurable objectives, which should be consonant with NIGMS IMSD program expectations. The proposed program should be interdisciplinary in design and should emphasize the skills, abilities and knowledge needed to prepare a strong and diverse biomedical research workforce. Programs are encouraged to integrate quantitative biology or advanced statistical approaches in their research education curriculum to develop a quantitative fluency among all trainees. This curriculum may include quantitative problem-solving, statistical analysis, and/or other didactic or hands-on activities that will enhance student understanding of the value of quantitative approaches to answering scientific questions. Programs should also provide students with outstanding mentoring and education in other critical skills such as written and oral presentation, leadership, grant and manuscript writing, and time management.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST November 13, 2018

Sponsor Application Deadline: 5:00pm MST January 28, 2019

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Project Summary (up to 3 pages): Please include the following elements: proposed research education program, program PI/faculty/participants, institutional environment and commitment, recruitment plan to enhance diversity, and evaluation plan. See solicitation for additional details on each of these elements.
  • Project Team (up to 2 pages): PI, program faculty, program participants – include title, institution, department, and project role for each.
  • 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 applicant institution must be a research-intensive institution that has a significant number of faculty mentors with active and extramurally funded (such as R01 or equivalent) research programs to support adequate research and academic training of the participants.  It must be an institution with strong PhD and/or MD-PhD degree programs in biomedical sciences that could provide excellent, challenging, and supportive, peer groups for the IMSD participants to interact and network with and also serve as peer mentors. These research-intensive institutions typically offer a wide range of baccalaureate programs, and they are committed to graduate education through the doctorate.

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: Although the size of award may vary with the scope of the research education program proposed and there are no specific budget limitations, the requested direct costs must be reasonable, well documented, fully justified and commensurate with the scope of the proposed program. All awards are subject to the availability of funds.

Award Duration: May not exceed 5 years.