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R25 Programs for Clinician-Scientists: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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NIDCD R25 Programs for Clinician-Scientists: At a Glance

Grant name and mechanism Grantee organization or group Target audiences and career stages Inclusion of underrepresented minority scientists and trainees and those with disabilities (including hearing loss) Program specifics
NIDCD's Mentored Research Pathway for Otolaryngology Residents and Medical Students (R25-Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • Otolaryngology residency training program.
  • Otolaryngology residents.
  • Medical students interested in otolaryngology research in NIDCD mission areas.
Expected. Encourage development of research experiences in otolaryngology residency programs. These include mentored research experiences at a principal investigator’s lab, customized individual mentoring, research supplies, travel to scientific meetings, and scientific development activities. Complementary to the current T32 institutional training grants and transition to R25 mechanism required for training of otolaryngology residents and medical students.
Research Experiences to Enhance Clinician-Scientists' Participation in NIDCD’s Research (R25-Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • Academic institutions.
  • Professional organizations.
  • Collaborations between eligible organizations/institutions.
  • Clinician-scientists (including but not limited to otolaryngologists) with interest in research in NIDCD mission areas, at career stage postbaccalaureate and above.
Expected, and may be the focus of the program. Encourage development of research experiences in NIDCD mission areas. These include mentored research experiences at a principal investigator’s lab, customized individual mentoring, research supplies, travel to scientific meetings, and scientific development activities.
NIDCD’s Mentoring Networks to Enhance Clinician-Scientists’ Participation in Research
  • Academic institutions.
  • Professional organizations.
  • Collaborations between eligible organizations/institutions.
  • Clinician-scientists (including but not limited to otolaryngologists) with interest in research in NIDCD mission areas, at career stage postbaccalaureate and above.
Expected, and may be the focus of the program. Encourage development of regional and national mentoring networks that enhance the scientific and research competitiveness, as well as, clinician-scientists’ interest in research careers in NIDCD mission areas through professional career development activities. Networks can include collaborations between high-resources and lower-resource institutions, and efforts to develop and support a scientifically diverse workforce.

NIDCD's Mentored Research Pathway for Otolaryngology Residents and Medical Students: R25 Program

Q. Where can I find a comprehensive overview of the R25 clinician-scientist programs?

A. Watch a recorded webinar about the R25 clinician-scientist programs and read about the programs on our website.

Q. What is the purpose of the program?

A. The program aims to support institutional programs that can provide research experiences and outstanding educational activities to medical students and resident-investigators in otolaryngology and foster their ability to transition to individual career development research awards. It is expected that after completing the program, participants continue in the next appropriate step to prepare for a research career, which may include an appointment to an institutional training grant or career development award, fellowship, or individual career development award.

Q. Why did the NIDCD create this program?

A. During the January 2020 Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO) meeting, the NIDCD hosted discussion groups to explore strategies that facilitate research training in otolaryngology residency programs. The discussion groups included department chairs, T32 principal investigators (PIs), and individuals with vast experience providing mentoring and research training to otolaryngology residents. It was concurred that the NRSA policies that govern the institutional research training T32 program restrict research in residency program implementation. Some of these restrictions include: trainees are required to be appointed full-time on 1-year increments; postdoctoral payback requirements; predetermined stipends; and limited training-related expenses. The recommendation from the meetings was to create a program that allows research in residency programs that is customized to (1) work effectively in institutional settings; (2) align with residency program format and structure; (3) reflect the research experience level of the residents; and (4) provide flexibility in research experience duration, programmatic implementation, and budget.

Q. Will the otolaryngology T32 program disappear?

A. No. T32 programs may support otolaryngology post-residency research trainees, as well as predoctoral trainees, postdoctoral Ph.D. trainees, and postdoctoral non-otolaryngology M.D. trainees.

Q. What will happen to the current T32 otolaryngology programs?

A. The NIDCD expects all active T32 programs supporting research training in otolaryngology residency to transition to the R25 program as they submit renewal applications. This will require institutional planning and coordination with the NIDCD. Institutions can have multiple programs to support otolaryngology research education and training: an R25 program to provide research experiences for otolaryngology residents, and a T32 otolaryngology post-residency research training program.

Clinician-Scientists Mentoring Networks and Research Experiences: R25 Programs

Research Education Program

Q. Can I propose research training and experiences as part of the mentoring networks program supported by the PAR-21-187 NIDCD’s Mentoring Networks to Enhance Clinician-Scientists’ Participation in Research?

A. No. The mentoring network R25 program only supports focused and customized scientific career development activities and research-related professional development activities. Applicants interested in programs that support research experiences must apply to the PAR-21-188 Research Experiences to Enhance Clinician-Scientists' Participation in NIDCD’s Research that supports (1) hands-on mentored research experiences at investigators’ labs during the summer and/or academic semester; (2) complementary scientific developmental activities; (3) attendance and presentation of findings at scientific professional meetings; and (4) individualized mentoring.

Q. What type of activities are supported by the PAR-21-187 NIDCD’s Mentoring Networks to Enhance Clinician-Scientists’ Participation in Research?

A. Below are some examples of activities that may be supported by the mentoring networks programs. These activities are not limiting, and programs must be designed and customized to the participants they will support in the networks.

  • From-clinician-to-researcher workshops
  • Research concept development activities
  • Networking development activities
  • Distance and virtual mentoring
  • Basic research workshops
  • Clinical research workshops
  • Translational research workshops
  • Team-science activities
  • Scientific writing workshops
  • Grantsmanship training workshops
  • Publishing in peer-reviewed journals
  • Obtaining research funding workshops
  • Management skill development workshops
  • Career transitions workshops
  • Scientific independence activities
  • Mentoring training
  • Mentors’ development
  • Research funding sustainability
  • Entrepreneurship workshops
  • Careers in biomedical research
  • Academic research activities
  • Industry research activities

Q. Can I partner with other organizations and institutions?

A. Yes. If collaborations or partnerships are proposed, provide detailed information of an integrated plan across the partnering organizations to improve academic and research competitiveness for the participants. The plan must be logistically sound.

Q. Do I need an evaluation plan?

A. Yes, a thorough plan for program evaluation must be provided.

Q. How large should my pool of trainees be?

A. The size of the pool must be appropriate to the environment and resources available. Strong institutional support must be documented (see the appropriate funding opportunity announcement).

Q. What if there are similar NIH-funded programs in my institution?

A. The proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those research training and research education programs currently receiving federal support. When research training programs are ongoing in the same department, the applicant organization should clearly distinguish between the activities in the proposed research education program and the research training supported by the training program.

Program Principal Investigator(s)

Q. Can the R25 be a multi-PI application?

A. Yes, but the role of each PI must be clearly delineated. The complementary and integrated expertise of each PI must be described (see the appropriate funding opportunity announcement).

Program Faculty

Q. In the PAR-21-188 Research Experiences to Enhance Clinician-Scientists' Participation in NIDCD’s Research, can the research of participating faculty be in other areas not covered by the NIDCD?

A. The majority of the scientific research experiences must be specifically relevant to the NIDCD mission areas: hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech, and language. Researchers listed as a part of the application may be funded by other NIH institutes/centers, other federal agencies, non-profit entities, and/or foundations.

Participants

Q. Can I include high school and undergraduate students in my program?

A. No, high school and undergraduate students are not allowed as participants. Programs can be targeted to postbaccalaureate students, master’s level students, graduate students (including Au.D. and M.D. students), postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty.

Q. Can the program span multiple career stages?

A. Yes, you can design a program with participants from multiple career stages.

Q. Can I include international students as participants?

A. No. All program participants receiving support from the R25 must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Letter of Intent (Applicable to All R25 Programs)

Q. Is a letter of intent required?

A. Even though the program announcements’ guidance indicates that a letter of intent is not required, we strongly encourage applicants to work with their institutional business office to submit a letter to Alberto Rivera-Rentas, Ph.D., as described in the announcements. Letters of intent help the NIDCD anticipate the possible number of applications that will be received. They also help the NIDCD anticipate and manage possible conflicts with potential reviewers. Lastly, communicating with Dr. Rivera-Rentas early in the planning process ensures that the proposed project is aligned with program expectations.

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