Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for NIH Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation (FIRST) Program: FIRST Coordination and Evaluation Center (U54 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:
July 29, 2020
Estimated Publication Date of Funding Opportunity Announcement:
September 09, 2020
First Estimated Application Due Date:
November 09, 2020
Earliest Estimated Award Date:
July 15, 2021
Earliest Estimated Start Date:
August 01, 2021
Related Announcements

NOT-RM-20-023 - Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for the NIH Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation (FIRST) Program: FIRST Cohort (U54 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Issued by

Office of Strategic Coordination (Common Fund)


The purpose of this Notice is to inform the research community that the NIH Common Fund, along with its partner NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices, is planning to issue a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) to support the NIH Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation (FIRST) Program: FIRST Coordination and Evaluation Center. This will be an open competition.

This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful plans for robust applications to this opportunity.

The FOA is expected to be published in Fall, 2020 with an expected application due date in November 2020.

This FOA will utilize the U54 activity code. Details of the planned FOA are provided below.

Research Initiative Details

The NIH supported biomedical research workforce is more likely to thrive in environments that support equity, diversity, and social justice. The overall program objective of Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation (FIRST) is to create cultures of inclusive excellence at NIH-funded institutions by implementing a set of well-integrated, evidence-based strategies and evaluating their impact on prespecified metrics of institutional culture, inclusion, and diversity. Inclusive excellence is a philosophical approach to higher education administration and processes that means attending to both the demographic diversity of faculty/students and the need for developing climates and cultures in institutions so that all have a chance to succeed in STEMM (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2019. The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM). STEMM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine.

 The purpose of the FIRST Coordination and Evaluation Center (CEC) is to coordinate and facilitate consortium-wide activities, lead the development of evaluation strategies, instruments, metrics, common data elements, and to assess the impact and outcomes of the FIRST initiative overall.

The FIRST CEC will work collaboratively with awardees to: (1) identify fundamental attributes of promoting inclusive excellence by successful faculty cluster and cohort hiring, development, and retention efforts; (2) identify metrics for site-specific sustainable institutional culture change goal; (3) coordinate data acquisition across sites and harmonize basic measures to be used; (4) evaluate the impact of approaches implemented by each site on the attainment of inclusive excellence, including diversity and equity measures; and (5) disseminate evidence-based practices implemented by each site and lessons learned to transform and adapt models nationwide. CEC functions will be operationalized through four cores: Administrative, Evaluation, Data Coordination, and Communication and Dissemination Cores.

The FIRST CEC will be responsible for evaluating the attainment of FIRST goals consortium wide, rather than evaluating individual FIRST Cohort awardees. The overall goals and specific measurable objectives that the program expects to accomplish are in the areas of: (1) sustainable institutional culture change;

(2) promote institutional inclusive excellence by hiring a diverse cohort of new faculty; and (3) faculty development, mentoring, sponsorship, and promotion.


Technical Assistance Webinars

Technical assistance workshops regarding application expectations and program goals will be convened after the FOA is published.

Funding Information
Estimated Total Funding

$9.4M total costs for 5 years of the award.

Expected Number of Awards


Estimated Award Ceiling

$1.4M total costs FY 21, 2.0M total costs FYs 22-25.

Primary CFDA Numbers


Anticipated Eligible Organizations
Regional Organization
Public/State Controlled Institution of Higher Education
Private Institution of Higher Education
Small Business
Nonprofit with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institution of Higher Education)
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)

Applications are not being solicited at this time. 


Please direct all inquiries to:

Rina Das, Ph.D.

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)


Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices