Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for NIH Director’s Workforce Innovation Award (DP7)

Notice Number: NOT-RM-13-005

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

  • March 4, 2013 - See Issuance of RFA-RM-12-022; NIH Directors Biomedical Research Workforce Innovation Award: Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) (DP7).

Key Dates
Release Date: December 21, 2012
Estimated Publication Date of Announcement: February 2013
First Estimated Application Due Date: April 30, 2013
Earliest Estimated Award Date: September 2013
Earliest Estimated Start Date: September 2013

Issued by
Office of Strategic Coordination (Common Fund)


The NIH Common Fund intends to publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to solicit applications for NIH Director’s Workforce Innovation Awards. These awards will be available to doctoral degree-granting institutions that propose bold and innovative programs to significantly enhance traditional research-oriented doctoral and postdoctoral training. This initiative is developed in response to advice provided by the Advisory Committee to the Director, NIH. The committee studied the current state of the biomedical research workforce, and NIH’s support of training for this workforce ( The novel programs supported by this initiative should be informed by the anticipated needs of the future biomedical research workforce as described in the above report.

NIH is seeking innovative programs to broaden the training of graduate students and post-doctoral scientists desiring careers in all venues. This training might be in a variety of environments: industry, biotechnology, entrepreneurial enterprises, technology transfer, science policy, governmental regulatory agencies etc. Training may be accomplished by a variety of mechanisms: novel curricula, hands-on work/internships, lecture series, training in management and leadership, etc. The programs also will provide positive and attractive exit pathways early in pre-doctoral training for those individuals choosing careers that do not require the research doctorate. Partnerships with organizations that employ scientists engaged in diverse career paths are highly encouraged to ensure appropriate expertise is brought to bear on proposed coursework and/or that hands-on training experiences within these organizations may be possible.

Institutions (defined by distinct DUNS numbers) will be limited to a single application. These onetime 5 year awards will support administrative infrastructure, needed expertise, or other expenses necessary to accomplish the above goals, but will not support stipends of students or postdoctoral scientists. The maximum amount of the award will be $250,000 total costs per year, with a combined total of 25 awards made in fiscal years 2013 and 2014.

The FOA is expected to be published in February 2013. Letters of Intent are encouraged and are due March 30. The application due date is April 30, 2013.

Program Staff will conduct a webinar for potential applicants to answer questions about the FOA and submission process in February/March 2013. Webinar information will be posted on the Common Fund program website (

This FOA will utilize the new DP7 activity code (NIH Director’s Workforce Innovation Award) which is designed to stimulate transformative approaches to training and/or workforce support, with the intent of promoting culture change.

This Notice encourages investigators with expertise and insights in training predoctoral students and postdoctoral scholars to begin to consider developing relevant partnerships and applying for this FOA.



Please direct all inquiries to:

Dr. Patricia Labosky, PhD
Program Leader
Office of Strategic Coordination
Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives
Office of the Director, NIH
1 Center Drive, Room 214A
Bethesda, MD 20892-0189
Telephone: 301-594-4863

Dr. Rod Ulane, PhD
Director, Division of Scientific Programs
NIH Research Training Officer
Office of Extramural Research
Bethesda, MD 20817
Telephone: 301-496-3255