Last month, 10 scholars hailing from colleges and universities across the nation came together at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus to begin their participation in the 5-month-long NRMN Preparation Program (P3). This cohort of P3 scholars have diverse research interests, including epigenetic regulation of neurodegenerative disorders, the impact of racism-related stressors on cardiovascular health, and the effects of environmental toxins on gamete function, just to name a few. Their research may differ, but all share the common goal of acquiring NIH funding to advance their area of science.
An essential component of P3 is the engagement of senior scientists as grantsmanship coaches, who this year include Drs. Eric Everett (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Joseph Stanford (University of Utah), Roland Thorpe (Johns Hopkins University), and Loren Wold (The Ohio State University), in addition to P3 Directors Drs. Anne Marie Weber-Main and Clifford Steer (University of Minnesota). These committed coaches bring a wealth of experience in NIH study section service and proposal writing, bundled with a passion for facilitating the success of early-career investigators, particularly those from underrepresented groups in the biomedical sciences.
The July 17-18, 2017 program launch introduced scholars to the type of coaching they will be receiving in subsequent biweekly virtual sessions while giving them real-time practice in their roles as peer reviewers of each another’s work-in-progress. A highlight of the two-day kickoff was a panel discussion with early-/mid-career investigators at the University of Minnesota who share their stories of persistence (and ultimately success) in the quest for research funding. New this year was the inclusion of a virtual panel discussion with two NIH officials, Dr. Tracy Rankin director of Career Development and Training for Kidney and Urologic Diseases, and Dr. Gene Carstea the current Chief of the Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences IRG at NIH’s Center for Scientific Review (CSR) Dr. Wold put together and facilitated this event, held in collaboration with another of NRMN’s coaching groups for grant proposal writing, the Steps Towards Academic Research Fellowship Program (STAR).
48 scholars have completed the NRMN-P3 since its launch in late 2015. Applications for the next P3 cohort will open in early fall 2017, targeting junior faculty preparing K- or R-series proposals for the June 2018 submission deadline.