HHMI-NIBIB Partnership for Interdisciplinary Graduate Research Training

Notice Number: NOT-EB-05-002

Key Dates
Release Date: February 3, 2005

Issued by
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), (http://www.nibib.nih.gov/)
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), (http://www.hhmi.org/)

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) have launched a new program to develop and sustain interdisciplinary research graduate training programs. The primary goal of this initiative is to facilitate the development of new training opportunities in emerging interdisciplinary research environments. It represents an innovative new partnership between the HHMI and the NIBIB that takes advantage of the strengths of the two organizations.

Progress in the biomedical sciences increasingly relies on the input of new ideas, methodologies, and investigative strategies from the physical sciences, engineering, and mathematics. The recent development of techniques that produce large quantities of data and a detailed understanding of the numerous elements of complex biological systems has further emphasized the need to translate useful data management and systems analysis tools from physical science, engineering, and computational disciplines. As these approaches become more central to biology, it is increasingly important for biologists to have a clear understanding of the power and limitations of these approaches, as well to collaborate with individuals from the relevant disciplines. It is similarly important that physical, quantitative and engineering scientists develop a deep understanding of the breadth and nature of biological scientific questions. The importance of interdisciplinary research for the advancement of biomedical science is widely recognized in the scientific community. In order to achieve this, interdisciplinary approaches need to be applied to training as well.

The initiative will consist of two phases. Phase I, described in the HHMI program announcement (see: http://www.hhmi.org/grants/institutions/nibib.html), will be funded by HHMI and will support the establishment of new interdisciplinary graduate training programs. The objective of Phase I is to assist institutions to achieve specific core program goals in the following areas: 1) Program Leadership, 2) Curriculum and Educational Resources, 3) Faculty, 4) Graduate Students, 5) Program Administration, and 6) Program Assessment (see the HHMI program announcement for details in each area). As detailed in the HHMI program announcement, a review panel consisting of extramural scientists will evaluate all applications. The NIBIB will be involved in the reviewer selection. After Phase I review, the final selection of awardees will be made by HHMI, following consultation with NIBIB and taking into account the partnership's goals and objectives.

Phase II, to be funded by the NIBIB, will sustain the graduate training programs through their critical early years. The NIBIB will conduct the Phase II competition in early 2008 through the issuance of an announcement for training grant applications. To achieve continuity across the two Phases, efforts will be made to include some Phase I reviewers for the Phase II peer review conducted by the NIBIB.

The Phase II review will use the standard criteria for NIH Institutional Training Grant programs (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-02-109.html)and may include some additional review criteria. The additional requirements will reflect the program areas described in the Phase I program announcement (http://www.hhmi.org/grants/institutions/nibib.html). Grantee institutions supported for Phase I are expected to apply for Phase II. In addition, any institution that can clearly demonstrate meeting the criteria for the NIH institutional training program and the program areas described in Phase I will be eligible to apply.


Meredith D. Temple-O'Connor, Ph.D.
Acting Director, Division of Interdisciplinary Training
Extramural Science Programs
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
National Institutes of Health/DHHS
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 200, MSC 5477
Bethesda, MD 20892-5477
Email: templeocm@mail.nih.gov
Phone: (301) 451-4792
Fax: (301) 480-1614

Maryrose Franko, Ph.D.
Senior Program Officer, Graduate Science Education
Office of Grants and Special Programs
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
4000 Jones Bridge Road
Chevy Chase, MD 20815-6789
Email: interdisc@hhmi.org
Phone: (800) 448-4882, ext. 8880
Fax: (301) 215-8888

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