Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Genomics Education Interactive Digital Media Resources (SBIR/STTR)
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

August 26, 2021

First Available Due Date:
January 05, 2022
Expiration Date:
December 31, 2024

Related Announcements

PA-21-259 - PHS 2021-2 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH, CDC and FDA for Small Business Innovation Research Grant Applications (Parent SBIR [R43/R44] Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

PA-21-262 - PHS 2021-2 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH for Small Business Technology Transfer Grant Applications (Parent STTR [R41/R42] Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Issued by

National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)



The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) is issuing this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) to encourage applications focused on developing genomics education interactive digital media products that address the needs of high school, college, advanced degree students and professionals and provide a new avenue for entry and pursuit of genomics careers.


Interactive digital media (IDM) are defined as products and services on digital computer-based systems which respond to the user's actions by presenting content such as text, moving image, animation, video, audio, and video games. There is a large body of evidence that IDM technology has the potential to support learning in a variety of contexts from high school to universities, adult education, and workplace training. NHGRI seeks to leverage advancements in IDM to accelerate genomics knowledge across educational opportunities.

IDM is widely used to train and educate in a virtual world format where progressive learning, feedback on success and user control are combined into an interactive and engaging experience. It is anticipated that this NOSI will facilitate the production of new or existing curricula into educational IDM products that will provide a hands-on, inquiry-based learning-by-doing experience for students and professionals.

IDM is a bridge technology that converts game-based activities from a social pastime to a powerful educational tool that challenges learners with problem solving, conceptual reasoning, and goal-oriented decision making. Well-designed IDM products mimic successful pedagogy and take advantage of learner’s interest in games for learning. IDM science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) products also integrate imbedded learning, e.g., what the learner already knows together with new knowledge gained in the gaming process, into problem-solving skills. IDM products provide real time assessment. Unlike standardized testing where learner’s achievement is a pass-or-fail process, IDM-based assessment is interactive, does not punish the learner, and provides feedback on how to move to the next level. IDM products are intended to generate long-term changes in performance, educational outcomes, and career choices.

The NHGRI recognizes the need to diversify the genomics workforce by enhancing the participation of individuals from diverse groups identified as underserved and underrepresented per NOT-OD-20-031 in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences research workforce. Diversity at all levels from the kinds of science to the regions in which it is conducted to the backgrounds of the people conducting it contributes to excellence in research training environments and strengthens the research enterprise.

Emphasis on IDM-based or -enhanced curricula focused on engaging learners from underserved and underrepresented groups and attracting them into the genomics field is particularly encouraged.

Research Objectives

The research objective of this NOSI is the development of new educational products that will advance our understanding of how IDM gaming can improve education in genomics. It is anticipated that increasing high school, college, advanced degree students and professionals achievement in genomic fields through IDM resources will encourage them to better understand genomics. Work that is not genomics-focused or focused on a different target population is outside of the domain of this NOSI.

Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, those listed below:

  • IDM designed to increase genomics knowledge among high school, undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral trainees, and faculty in biomedical sciences.
  • IDM designed to increase knowledge on genomics, the interpretation of variants and/or genomics tests to be ordered among health care professionals

Application and Submission Information

This Notice applies to due dates on or after January 05, 2022 and subsequent receipt dates through December 31, 2024.

Submit applications for this initiative using one of the following funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) or any reissues of these announcement through the expiration date of this Notice:

For funding consideration, applicants must include NOT-HG-21-038 (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF424 R&R form. Applications without this information in box 4B will not be considered for this initiative.

Applications nonresponsive to terms of this NOSI will not be considered for the NOSI initiative.


Please direct all inquiries to the contacts in Section VII of the listed funding opportunity announcements with the following additions/substitutions:

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Robb Rowley, M.D.
Telephone: 301-827-9126

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Zephaun Harvey
Phone: 301-435-7859

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices