Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for the Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) (T34) Program

Notice Number: NOT-GM-18-031

Key Dates

Release Date: May 30, 2018
Estimated Publication Date of Funding Opportunity Announcement: 11/01/2018
First Estimated Application Due Date: 05/28/2019
Earliest Estimated Award Date: 06/01/2020
Earliest Estimated Start Date: 06/01/2020

Related Announcements





Issued by
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)


The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) intends to publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) program

NIGMS has a longstanding commitment to developing a diverse pool of biomedical scientists through a variety of institutional training and student development programs. Based on stakeholders feedback through requests for information (NOT-GM-15-108; NOT-GM-17-017) as well as extensive analyses and discussions with NIH staff and the community, NIGMS intends to make changes to the programs designed to enhance the diversity in the biomedical research workforce. The changes are designed to (1) provide equity of trainee support across programs; (2) prevent programmatic overlap; (3) align funding strategies with the programmatic goals; (4) establish goals, support mechanisms, and review considerations tailored to an institution’s level of research activity; and (5) strengthen NIGMS' ability to evaluate the success of the programs. The changes will impact the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD), the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) program, and the Maximizing Access to Research Careers - Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (MARC) programs.

The changes are intended to do the following:

  • Align the programmatic goals of the training programs with the funding approach by transitioning from the Research Education (R25) mechanism to Training (T) mechanisms.
  • Create separate institutional eligibility tracks for review and funding based on NIH research project grant (RPG) funding levels (available at NIH RePORTER). The two tracks include Research-Intensive, i.e., those with a 3-year average of RPG funding equal to or above $7.5M, and Research-Active, i.e., those with a 3-year average of RPG funding below $7.5M.
  • Continue the MARC program to support training of research-oriented undergraduates at Research-Intensive institutions.
  • Convert the current RISE research education program into two separate training programs - one for support of training of undergraduates called the Undergraduate Research Initiative for Student Enhancement, or U-RISE (NOT-GM-18-030) and the other for support of predoctoral trainees called the Graduate Research Initiative for Student Enhancement, or G-RISE (NOT-GM-18-029). RISE Masters programs are encouraged to apply for the NIGMS Bridges to Doctorate program. RISE programs are intended for Research-Active institutions.
  • Convert the current IMSD research education program into an IMSD (NOT-GM-18-028) training program that supports predoctoral training at Research-Intensive institutions. IMSD programs that currently support undergraduates are encouraged to apply for the MARC or U-RISE program depending on institutional eligibility.
  • Minimize the duplication of diversity-focused NIGMS programs. Each institution will be eligible for one diversity-focused undergraduate program (either MARC or U-RISE) and one diversity-focused graduate program (either IMSD or G-RISE).
  • Allow the programs and review considerations to be tailored to the specific strengths and needs of research-active and research-intensive institutions and their students.

The FOA is expected to be published in Fall 2018 with an expected application due date in Spring 2019.

This FOA will utilize the T34 mechanism. Details of the planned announcement are provided below.

Research Initiative Details

As part of the restructuring plan, the MARC program will employ the T34 mechanism for the support of undergraduate trainees from diverse backgrounds, including those from underrepresented groups in biomedical research. The MARC T34 funding announcement will encourage applications from training programs at research-intensive institutions (i.e., those with a 3-year average of NIH RPG funding equal to or above $7.5M that will:

  • focus on skills development, rigor and reproducibility, the responsible and safe conduct of research, and promote inclusive research environments;
  • use evidence-based, innovative educational practices;
  • promote cohort-building activities and interventions that enhance the trainees science identity and self-efficacy;
  • provide individualized mentoring and oversight throughout the trainees undergraduate career
  • introduce trainees to a variety of scientific research areas and career trajectories;
  • encourage Program Director/Principal Investigator teams to broaden program leadership and provide complementary expertise;
  • display coordinated interactions and synergies with other NIGMS-funded training programs at the institution; and
  • improve long-term tracking and posting of program trainee outcomes.

Funding Information

Estimated Total Funding TBD
Expected Number of AwardsTBD
Estimated Award Ceiling TBD
Primary CFDA Numbers 93.859

Anticipated Eligible Organizations

Public/State Controlled Institution of Higher Education
Private Institution of Higher Education

Applications are not being solicited at this time.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Sailaja Koduri, Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Luis A. Cubano, Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences