NIH GUIDE, Volume 21, Number 12, March 27, 1992

PA:  PA-92-63

P.T. 44


  Biomedical Research Training 

  Chemistry, Organic 

  Medicinal Chemistry 

  Chemical Synthesis 

National Institute of General Medical Sciences


The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) announces a

new predoctoral institutional training grant program directed towards

training at the interface of the scientific disciplines of chemistry

and biology. Chemists play a major role in the basic research supported

by the NIGMS.  However, their participation in NIGMS predoctoral

training programs has not been at a level commensurate with the support

of chemistry research by the NIGMS.  The purpose of the new program is

to promote interdisciplinary training and, especially, to encourage

greater participation of faculty in chemistry, pharmaceutical

chemistry, and medicinal chemistry departments in the predoctoral

training efforts of the NIGMS.

In addition, there is a compelling economic argument in support of the

creation of this new training program.  The diminishing pool of

scientists trained in chemistry is considered a problem of considerable

urgency by the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.  Modern

research in those industries is accomplished by interdisciplinary teams

and, currently, industry must provide the interfacial training.  One of

the goals of this program is to provide those industries with

critically needed new scientific talent trained at the interface of

chemistry and biology.


Applications may be submitted by domestic public and private

institutions with established programs leading to the Ph.D. degree.  It

is anticipated that applications will represent a joint effort between

faculty in departments of chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, and/or

medicinal chemistry, on the one hand, and departments of biochemistry,

biological chemistry, molecular biology, molecular pharmacology,

immunology, and structural biology, on the other.  On the chemistry

side, the mechanistic/synthetic focus of the program would most likely

be relevant to the fields of bio-organic, bio-inorganic,

bio-analytical, and medicinal chemistry.


The mechanism of support for this program announcement is the National

Research Service Award (NRSA) institutional training grant (T32).  The

stipend level for predoctoral trainees is $8,800 per annum.  In

addition, the applicant institution may request up to $1,500 per year

for each predoctoral trainee for essential direct support costs

(including fees and health insurance) to the training program and $300

per year for each trainee for travel.  Tuition support for each trainee

may be requested in accordance with amounts charged to other graduate

students, regardless of the source of support.  Indirect cost will be

paid at eight percent of total allowable direct costs less tuition,

fees, and health insurance.  Institutional training grants are made for

project periods of up to five years and are renewable.  However, no

single predoctoral trainee may receive more than five years of

aggregate NRSA support unless a special waiver is obtained.  More

detail on the policies governing the institutional predoctoral training

grant awards can be found in the National Research Service Awards

Guidelines published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Vol.

21, No. 11, March 20, 1992.  Awards will be administered in accordance

with the PHS Grants Policy Statement (10/1/90) and interim updates.


The NIGMS currently supports predoctoral research training through NRSA

institutional training grants in six major programs:  Cellular,

Biochemical, and Molecular Sciences; Genetics; Molecular Biophysics;

Pharmacological Sciences; Systems and Integrative Biology; and

Biotechnology.  The goal of the NIGMS in supporting these programs is

to provide trainees with broad access to research opportunities across

disciplinary and departmental lines, while not sacrificing the

standards of demanding scientific depth and creativity, which are

characteristic of the best Ph.D. programs of individual departments.

Cooperative involvement of faculty members from several departments as

research mentors and didactic lecturers is considered evidence of such


This program differs from existing NIGMS training programs in its focus

on mechanistic and synthetic aspects of the chemistry-biology

interface.  The need for chemists who can design, synthesize,

manipulate, and characterize molecules, including macromolecules, is

increasing as molecular biology has uncovered a host of new targets and

opportunities for chemical approaches to their study.  An objective of

this program is to provide chemists with training in biological science

so that they can foresee the biological potential of the compounds with

which they work and apply chemical principles for the design of new

compounds to answer biological questions.  There is also a clear need

for biologists, who increasingly pursue biological problems of interest

at the molecular level, to complement their primary expertise with a

greater understanding of fundamental chemistry.  Additional training in

molecular recognition, design, synthesis, and reactivity, coupled with

additional experience in chemical investigative approaches, should

expand the range of tools available to biologists and enable them to

explore molecular bioscience to a greater depth.  This new program is

intended to provide significant training in the biological sciences to

chemists and significant training in chemistry to biologists and to

foster a greater level of interaction between practitioners of the two


Applications requesting support should reflect the following

programmatic considerations:

o  Significant cross-training between chemistry and biology as the

essential criterion:  This must not be at the expense of training in

depth in a core discipline.  It is expected that training of the

desired breadth and the necessary depth can be accomplished without

lengthening the period of time required to obtain the doctorate degree.

o  An identity of the proposed program separate from those of the

individual departments that comprise them:  Programs should produce

graduates that have identifiable skills, knowledge, and abilities

unique to graduates of that program within the university setting.

Programs will not be supported that are judged to exist mainly to

procure additional departmental funding for predoctoral training.

o  Laboratory rotations for students prior to selection of a thesis

mentor:  Although not commonly required by chemistry departments, these

should be considered as an approach for trainees to expand the breadth

of their training.  Especially encouraged is a cross-training

experience outside the mentor's laboratory for a period of three to six

months.  Such an experience could be obtained through an extended

rotation in a different academic laboratory or an internship in an

industrial setting, before or after selection of a mentor.

o  A mechanism whereby trainees develop a common language: Biologists

and chemists do not routinely speak the same language.  For example,

the word "molecular" has different meanings to each group.  Encouraged

is the implementation of a mechanism for trainees to develop a common

language, such as a joint seminar program.

o  A strong institutional commitment:  This is an important review

criteria.  One measure of the institutional commitment is cost-sharing,

such as through stipend supplementation.

o  Complementarity to existing institutional training grants:  Staff

making awards will give attention to other existing predoctoral

programs at the applicant's institution.  Overlap will be considered as

well as the impact of the proposed program on the existing programs.

It is expected that a program with a mechanistic/synthetic focus can be

implemented that will complement existing programs without significant

overlap in the trainee pool or research opportunities.


Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS 398

(rev. 9/91).  Applicants must indicate in item 2a on the face page that

the application is being submitted in response to this program

announcement.  Application materials are available from most university

business offices and from the Office of Grants Inquiries, Division of

Research Grants, National Institutes of Health, Westwood Building, Room

449, Bethesda, MD  20892, telephone 301/496-7441.

Deadlines for receipt of applications are January 10, May 10, and

September 10.  It is anticipated that a limited number of awards will

be made as early as September 1993.  Therefore, those interested in FY

1993 awards should plan to submit applications no later than January

10, 1993.  Thereafter, the latest date for applications seeking support

for a given fiscal year will be May 10 of the preceding year, and start

dates for awards will be July 1.

The signed original and five copies of the application must be sent to:

Application Receipt Office

Division of Research Grants

National Institutes of Health

Westwood Building, Room 240

Bethesda, MD  20892 **


Applications will be assigned on the basis of established Public Health

Service referral guidelines and reviewed for scientific and technical

merit by an existing or ad hoc study section within the assigned ICD.

The applications will also receive a second level review by an

appropriate national advisory council.


In making funding decisions, the following will be considered:  quality

of the proposed program as determined by peer review, availability of

funds, and program balance among training areas of the announcement.


Written and telephone inquiries are encouraged.  The opportunity to

clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is welcomed.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Michael E. Rogers, Ph.D.

Deputy Director, Pharmacological Sciences Program

National Institute of General Medical Sciences

5333 Westbard Avenue, Room 919

Bethesda, MD  20892

Telephone:  (301) 496-7181

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal issues to:

Toni K. Holland

Supervisory Grants Management Specialist

Office of Program Affairs

National Institute of General Medical Sciences

5333 Westbard Avenue, Room 933

Bethesda, MD  20892

Telephone:  (301) 496-7897


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

No. 93.859.  Awards are made under the Public Health Service Act, Title

IV, Part A (Public Law 99-158, as amended) and administered under PHS

grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 66.  This program

is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of

Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.


Return to 1992 Index

Return to NIH Guide Main Index

Office of Extramural Research (OER) - Home Page Office of Extramural
Research (OER)
  National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Home Page National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Home Page Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS) - Government Made Easy

Note: For help accessing PDF, RTF, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Audio or Video files, see Help Downloading Files.