Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Planning Grants for the NIH Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Initiative (P20)

Notice Number: NOT-RM-13-008

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

  • March 7, 2013 - See Issuance of RFA-RM-13-001; Planning Grants for the NIH Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Initiative (P20).

Key Dates
Release Date: : February 6, 2013
Estimated Publication Date of Announcement: February 28, 2013
First Estimated Application Due Date: April 30, 2013
Earliest Estimated Award Date: September 15, 2013
Earliest Estimated Start Date: September 15, 2013

Related Announcements

Issued by
Office of Strategic Coordination (Common Fund)


In 2012, the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director Working Group on Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce provided concrete recommendations toward improving the recruitment and retention of individuals from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research, including persons from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, people with disabilities, and people from disadvantaged backgrounds across the lifespan of a research career from undergraduate study to acquisition of tenure in an academic position or the equivalent in a non-academic setting. In response to these recommendations, NIH is establishing the "Increasing the Diversity of the NIH-Funded Workforce" program to unify and strengthen institutions and faculty that are dedicated to the recruitment and retention of diverse scientists.

This program, to be launched and piloted through the NIH Common Fund, will extend from and enhance the many existing programs that currently support students, faculty, and institutions. It is to create an integrated consortium of institutions and organizations working together to establish a community of diverse scientists, strengthening ties between mentors and mentees at all career stages, and building effective collaborative networks.

The program will consist of a series of coordinating initiatives: the Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Initiative, the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) Initiative and a Coordination and Evaluation Center. This Notice announces the intent to publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Planning Grants for the BUILD initiative. Planning Grant applications are expected to be due in April, 2013.

The BUILD Initiative, will support training at multiple career stages and promote faculty development at comparatively under-resourced institutions with a track record of producing and supporting scientists from backgrounds nationally underrepresented in biomedical research.

The Planning Grants will be issued in preparation for the BUILD Initiative that is expected to develop and implement strategies that encompass 5 integrated components:
1) Rigorous one-on-one mentored research experiences for undergraduate students during two summers while in college and up to two years post graduation.
2) Tuition scholarships, including stipend, for up to two years of undergraduate studies, and once accepted to a PhD program of their choice, the possibility for additional loan repayment funds to enable these students to pay off any additional educational-related debt.
3) Salary offset and other infrastructure support (e.g., acquisition of key equipment for research training purposes, support for summer student research, and supplements for sabbatical training to augment the research environments) for key faculty responsible for research training.
4) Resources for highly effective mentors to train new mentors.
5) Support for an innovation space environment for BUILD awardee institutions to develop creative and novel approaches to increase the diversity of the student pool that enters the PhD training pathway relevant to biomedical research. These innovative approaches may include novel curricula, training, mentoring, faculty-led research, or other activities that the institution considers fundamentally important for their ability to prepare students for research careers.

BUILD awardee institutions (Primary Institutions) may choose to form partnerships with Pipeline Partner Institutions such as two-year or four-year colleges to further supplement the overall pool of talented future PhD students eligible for support in the award. Awardees will also be expected to form partnerships with Research Partner Institutions (e.g., research-intensive universities) to expand research opportunities available to participating students. Primary Institutions may also partner with independent medical and graduate institutions that do not have undergraduate programs (co-Primary Institutions). Partnerships with industry, NIH intramural research laboratories, or other research institutions may also be considered.

Planning Grants:
In preparation for the release of the BUILD initiative, the NIH intends to support planning grants which will facilitate the development of necessary partnerships and which will otherwise enable the awardees to plan for the successful execution of the goals stated above. This Notice encourages institutions with expertise and insights in providing research and mentoring opportunities to undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research to begin to consider developing relevant partnerships and applying for the planning grants.

Research Initiative Details

The Planning Grant FOA will support planning for the development of multi-institution networks in which undergraduate students from Primary or Pipeline Partner Institutions are provided support for their entry into research careers. Faculty in the Primary Institutions are provided support to enhance their research and mentoring capabilities.

These one-time, one-year planning grants will support planning activities necessary for developing consortium partnerships, identifying research support needs of faculty across departments, establishing plans for the enhancement of mentoring skills at the Primary and Research Partner Institutions, establishing plans for enhanced tutoring programs, establishing processes for the selection of undergraduates that might be supported via BUILD scholarships if BUILD awards are obtained, initiating other planning activities that may be necessary to implement novel and creative activities for student recruitment and retention, and establishing the administrative structure that will be necessary to manage a BUILD award. Student support and research activities will not be supported through these planning grants.

Eligible applicant institutions (Primary Institutions) are those that receive less than $7.5 million in NIH research project grant (RPG) support annually and have at least 25% of their undergraduate students supported by Pell grants. Eligible institutions will be limited to a single application.

The Planning Grant FOA is expected to be published in February 2013. Letters of Intent are encouraged and will be due in March 2013. The application receipt date will be in April 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.



Please direct all inquiries to:

Joyce A. Hunter, Ph.D.
Deputy Director
Extramural Research Activities
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 800
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-5465
Phone: (301) 402-1366