Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Materials to Enhance Training in Experimental Rigor (METER) (UE5 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:
June 08, 2021
Estimated Publication Date of Funding Opportunity Announcement:
August 01, 2021
First Estimated Application Due Date:
October 21, 2021
Earliest Estimated Award Date:
June 01, 2022
Earliest Estimated Start Date:
July 01, 2022
Related Announcements

NOT-NS-21-074 - Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Creating an Educational Nexus for Training in Experimental Rigor (CENTER) (UC2 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Issued by

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)


The purpose of this Notice is to alert the community that the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) plans to publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to solicit applications for Materials to Enhance Training in Experimental Rigor (METER), which will support the compilation and refinement of educational materials that will be incorporated into a new cutting-edge online resource that aims to promote awareness, understanding, and practice of fundamental principles of rigorous biomedical research for researchers and other scientists in various career stages and learning environments. These materials will enable acquisition of knowledge and skills to recognize and conduct rigorous experimental research. A companion FOA will solicit applications for Creating an Educational Nexus for Training in Experimental Rigor (CENTER) to build the final web-based platform and produce the digital elements (e.g. videos, graphics, and interactive components) of the online resource (see related Notice). It is expected that METER and CENTER awardees will work collaboratively to evaluate, improve, and disseminate the educational resource.

This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful collaborations and responsive projects. The FOA is expected to be published in Summer 2021 with an expected application due date in Fall 2021. This FOA will utilize the UE5 activity code. Details of the planned FOA are provided below.

Research Initiative Details

The objective of METER is to support subject matter experts who will compile and refine scholarly material pertaining to one or more principle(s) of rigorous experimental research and provide these materials to CENTER for incorporation into educational units as part of a cutting-edge online educational resource that aims to transform training and education in the practice of biomedical research. A typical METER award is expected to propose content for 2-5 educational units to be developed over a 3-year award period. An educational unit is defined as an assortment of educational materials, lessons, and activities that collectively address a single principle of rigorous research. It is estimated that one educational unit, at its maximal breadth and depth of material, will provide the equivalent of one week of instructional material if used as part of a traditional undergraduate or graduate course, although real-world users will also be able to select short, individual components of the unit with which to interact (e.g. a single 5-minute video or set of step-by-step instructions). As digital components of the educational units are developed, METER awardees will collaborate with CENTER to ensure accuracy and efficacy of the learning materials produced and recommend modifications as necessary. After the educational units are refined enough to begin formal evaluation, METER awardees will participate in evaluation and dissemination efforts organized by CENTER (see related Notice).

Principles of rigorous biomedical research are cross-cutting concepts, processes, and practices that promote rigorous, transparent, and robust scientific experiments. Applicants should demonstrate expertise in each principle/educational unit proposed. Illustrative examples of principles of rigorous research that could be developed into individual educational units include, but are not limited to:

  • Identifying assumptions and sources of error
  • Formulating hypotheses and plans to refute them through experimentation
  • Discerning differences between hypothesis-generating (exploratory) and hypothesis-testing (confirmatory) research
  • Identifying and implementing proper controls
  • Calculating sample size
  • Randomizing subjects or samples to treatment groups
  • Blinding investigators during experimentation and analysis
  • Identifying and minimizing confounding variables
  • Choosing inclusion and exclusion criteria
  • Handling outliers
  • Making inferences from data
  • Conceptualizing probability and uncertainty
  • Understanding null hypotheses, p-values, and statistical significance
  • Sharing data and practicing open science
  • Identifying experimental details that are important to report
  • Using emerging technologies to improve rigor and transparency
  • Reducing publication bias

A successful METER application will have strengths in four major areas: (1) identification of important elements of rigorous biomedical research practice that can be developed into individual educational units, (2) expertise in implementing or applying relevant rigorous research principles, (3) evidence of effective communication to a variety of audiences, and (4) development of effective educational materials. Each METER application should include expertise in the biomedical research environment, one or more principle(s) of rigorous research, application of the principle(s), effective pedagogy, and evaluation of educational interventions.

Funding Information
Estimated Total Funding


Expected Number of Awards
Estimated Award Ceiling

$250,000 direct costs

Primary Assistance Listing Number(s)


Anticipated Eligible Organizations
Public/State Controlled Institution of Higher Education
Private Institution of Higher Education
Nonprofit with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institution of Higher Education)
Small Business
For-Profit Organization (Other than Small Business)
State Government
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Federally Recognized)
County governments
Independent school districts
Public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities
Indian/Native American Tribally Designated Organization (Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
U.S. Territory or Possession
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Other than Federally Recognized)
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entity (Foreign Organization)
Regional Organization

Applications are not being solicited at this time. 


Please direct all inquiries to:

Shai Silberberg

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)


Devon Crawford
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Telephone: 301-496-1917

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices