Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Planning Grants for the NIH National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) (P20)

Notice Number: NOT-RM-13-009

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

  • March 7, 2013 - See Issuance of RFA-RM-13-002; Planning Grants for the NIH National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) (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 will 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 coordinated initiatives: the Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Initiative, the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN), and a Coordination and Evaluation Center. This Notice announces the intent to publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Planning Grants for the NRMN initiative. Planning Grant applications are expected to be due in April, 2013.

The NRMN is intended to augment local mentoring efforts for undergraduate students through junior faculty members by creating a national group of scientific leaders who are willing to serve as external mentors. The NIH intends to identify an organization that will engage and assemble multiple persons and/or professional organizations into a single, Nation-wide, consortium.

Goals for the NRMN include:

1) Develop standards for good mentorship

2) Connect diverse students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral research to experienced mentors both in person and through online networks

3) Provide training to individuals interested in learning how to become better mentors

4) Provide or arrange for relevant workshops and training opportunities in grantsmanship (grant writing; mock study sections; feedback on grant applications) and career survival strategies

5) Link to mentees from diverse backgrounds across the "Increasing the Diversity in the NIH-Funded Workforce" program as well as mentees outside the consortium

6) Create networking opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty with the larger biomedical research community

The NRMN grantee will be expected to establish robust partnerships with various organizations through which mentors may be recruited.

Planning grants:

In preparation for the release of the NRMN initiative, the NIH intends to support planning grants which will facilitate the development of necessary partnerships and which will otherwise enable the primary NRMN site to plan for the successful execution of the goals stated above. This Notice encourages institutions or organizations with expertise and capabilities appropriate for NRMN leadership to begin to consider developing relevant partnerships and applying for a planning grant.

Research Initiative Details

The Planning Grant FOA will support planning for the development of multi-institution networks through which mentors from all disciplines relevant to biomedical/behavioral research may be recruited. Planning for the development of novel mentoring courses, online tools, or other relevant activities will also be supported. These onetime, 1-year awards will support planning activities necessary to pursue the goals described above, but will not support direct mentoring activities.

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