National Cancer Institute (NCI)
The purpose of this Notice is to announce the NCI's intention to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) as a Request for Applications (RFA) for the Transformative Educational Advancement and Mentoring Network (TEAM) (R25). The overarching goal of this R25 program is to support research and educational activities that complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. We seek to do this by supporting and providing training navigation and mentorship to support scholars from diverse backgrounds, including individuals from groups known to be underrepresented in the cancer biomedical workforce.
To accomplish the overarching stated goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on: (1) Courses for Skills Development and (2) Mentoring Activities.
The TEAM program will pilot test the use of training champions (TCs) at minority serving institutions (MSIs), to support the development of educational activities and scientific career development programs to enhance the preparation, productivity, and progress of scholars from diverse backgrounds, including individuals from underrepresented groups. See, Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity, NOT-OD-20-031. The career development levels of focus for this FOA will include predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows, and early-stage investigators (ESIs). TCs are defined as personnel located within the MSI who can assist potential applicants with their plans to apply, attain, or transition to an independent grant award. TC(s) should have exceptional administrative and networking skills, sufficient time to commit to scholars, and be knowledgeable of the NIH grantsmanship process. This RFA will leverage TCs to assist scholars in identifying funding opportunities, networking with appropriate NCI/NIH program directors, and locating resources for competitive application preparation. TCs will provide additional training support, navigation, and appropriate resources to enhance the skills required for scholars to successfully identify, submit, and obtain grants and career development opportunities.
The TEAM program will also leverage institutional and core academic resources to enhance scholar expertise, and mentor-mentee relationships, both in conventional and peer-to-peer settings. Additionally, this program will adapt or adopt culturally appropriate activities, short courses, and scientific writing to enhance the competitiveness and professional career development of scholars of this program.
This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop a responsive, multicomponent TEAM application.
The FOA is expected to be published in October 2022, with an anticipated application due date in February 2023. Details of the planned pre-application webinar will be announced in the Guide after the publication of the FOA.
The FOA will utilize the R25 (Education Projects) activity code.
Details of the planned FOA are provided below.
Over the past 5 years, NIH/NCI has provided training navigation support to scholars to assist with their successful entry, transition, and advancement through the cancer training pipeline to independent research careers. Training navigation leverages strategies, resources and stakeholders to: (1) increase scholars' knowledge of NIH and other federal funding announcements, (2) improve scholars’ awareness of career development and professional enhancement opportunities, and (3) provide additional mentorship and opportunities for supported engagement in career development, training and networking.
Considering the benefits of training navigation in addressing scholar training limitations by supporting, connecting, and guiding students, trainees, and ESIs to qualified mentors and NIH program support, targeted training navigation support at MSIs is needed. These institutions have significant variability in research infrastructure; furthermore, their success and sustainability are critical to NIH's mission to enhance the participation of diverse scientists in the biomedical research enterprise. These efforts will ensure that institutions with a demonstrated or historical commitment and track record of training scholars from underrepresented groups receive personalized technical training coordination, education, and career development support to advance and grow a competitive next generation of cancer researchers.
The TEAM Program will pilot the use of TCs to provide education and career development support to increase awareness and readiness among an identified scholar group (e.g., predoctoral or postdoctoral fellows or ESIs). The ultimate goal is to better position these scholars to improve grant applications and award competitiveness. Applicants should outline specific proposed activities and expectations of the proposed TC’s.
The TEAM program's strength also depends on resources and infrastructure that will be provided to the scholars at the institutional level. TEAM applicants are expected to propose programs that develop, adapt, or leverage existing technical and scientific short courses, promote grantsmanship and peer networking, provide structured mentored support, and encourage thoughtful collaborations and partnerships. TEAM will benefit NCI programs by increasing the pool of talented, well-prepared researchers. Additionally, widespread dissemination of the informational resources and curriculum developed through this FOA may enhance ongoing, and future NCI supported training programs. These include programs such as the Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE), the Comprehensive Partnerships to Advance Cancer Health Equity (CPACHE), and the Early Investigator Advancement Program (EIAP), along with both extramural and intramural scholars engaged in cancer and cancer health disparities research.
To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on:
Every proposal should work to: (1) identify a scholar group or groups (defined by career-stage (specifically predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows, and ESIs), (2) define a recruitment, implementation, and tracking plan tailored to the career level and population identified,(3) detail how the TC will be leveraged to promote integration and links among program components, mentors, and scholars, such that the goal of increased applications and awards are realized, (4) describe the partnerships, institutional support and existing infrastructure and resources that will be developed and/or leveraged (e.g., core facilities, biostatistical support, institutional resources), (5) outline specific plans to promote career development sustainability within the institution post-funding, and (6) describe institutional leadership support and endorsement of the program supplemented with letters of support.
To be eligible for this FOA, the applicant institution must be a domestic institution located in the United States and its territories which:
More details will be outlined in the forthcoming FOA.
$2.55 million total costs per year for 5 years for the entire program
Direct costs not to exceed $300,000 per year
Applications are not being solicited at this time.
Please direct all inquiries to:
Whitney Barfield, Ph.D.
Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities
National Cancer Institute (NCI)