News & Updates

FOA: NIH IDeA

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The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) invites applications for Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) from investigators at biomedical research institutions that award doctoral degrees in the health sciences or sciences related to health or at independent biomedical research institutes within Institutional Development Award (IDeA) eligible states. 

The objective of the COBRE initiative is to strengthen an institution's biomedical research infrastructure through the establishment of a thematic multi-disciplinary center and to enhance the ability of investigators to compete independently for complementary National Institutes of Health (NIH) individual research grant or other external peer-reviewed support. COBRE awards are supported through the IDeA Program, which aims to foster health-related research by increasing the competitiveness of investigators at institutions located in states with historically low aggregate success rates for grant awards from the NIH.

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FOA: NSF EPSCoR

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The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is designed to fulfill the mandate of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to promote scientific progress nationwide. A jurisdiction is eligible to participate in EPSCoR programs if its level of NSF research support is equal to or less than 0.75 percent of the total NSF research and related activities budget for the most recent three-year period. Through this program, NSF establishes partnerships with government, higher education, and industry that are designed to effect sustainable improvements in a jurisdiction's research infrastructure, Research and Development (R&D) capacity, and hence, its R&D competitiveness.

RII Track-2 FEC builds interjurisdictional collaborative teams of EPSCoR investigators in scientific focus areas consistent with NSF priorities. Projects are investigator-driven and must include researchers from at least two RII-eligible jurisdictions. The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) research and education activities should seek to broaden participation through the strategic inclusion and integration of different types of individuals, institutions, and sectors throughout the project. Proposals must describe a comprehensive and integrated vision to drive discovery and build sustainable STEM capacity that exemplifies diversity of all types (individual, institutional, geographic, and disciplinary). The development of diverse early-career faculty is a critical component of this sustainable STEM capacity. 

A single proposal is submitted for a project. Support for non-lead collaborating institutions should be requested as subawards. Separately submitted collaborative proposals are not allowed. Each participating EPSCoR jurisdiction must have at least one co-PI on the project.

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New York Times Article Features UW Doctoral Candidate Brandon Overstreet

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The midnight sun still gleamed at 1 a.m. across the brilliant expanse of the Greenland ice sheet. Brandon Overstreet, a doctoral candidate in hydrology at the University of Wyoming, picked his way across the frozen landscape, clipped his climbing harness to an anchor in the ice and crept toward the edge of a river that rushed downstream toward an enormous sinkhole.

If he fell in, “the death rate is 100 percent,” said Mr. Overstreet’s friend and fellow researcher, Lincoln Pitcher.

But Mr. Overstreet’s task, to collect critical data from the river, is essential to understanding one of the most consequential impacts of global warming. The scientific data he and a team of six other researchers collect here could yield groundbreaking information on the rate at which the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, one of the biggest and fastest-melting chunks of ice on Earth, will drive up sea levels in the coming decades. The full melting of Greenland’s ice sheet could increase sea levels by about 20 feet.

The research could yield valuable information to help scientists figure out how rapidly sea levels will rise in the 21st century, and thus how people in coastal areas from New York to Bangladesh could plan for the change.

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Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to two long-time NIGMS grantees

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Long-time NIGMS grantees Aziz Sancar, M.D., Ph.D., and Paul Modrich, Ph.D., along with Tomas Lindahl, M.D., Ph.D., will share the 2015 Nobel Prize in chemistry "for mechanistic studies of DNA repair."

Every day, our DNA is damaged by environmental assaults, as well as copy errors during cell division. And yet, despite this constant barrage of insults, our genomes remain largely intact. This year’s Nobel laureates in chemistry are recognized for detailing, at the molecular level, how cells repair DNA to preserve the genome.

“By following their curiosity about basic cellular processes, these scientists have given us a detailed understanding of molecular repair mechanisms that are essential to life,” said Kristine Willis, Ph.D., a geneticist who manages NIGMS research grants on DNA repair.

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NIH invests $85m for BRAIN Initiative research - MSU Project Receives 2015 Funding

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The National Institutes of Health announced its second wave of grants to support the goals of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, bringing the NIH investment to $85 million in fiscal year 2015.

Sixty-seven new awards, totaling more than $38 million, will go to 131 investigators working at 125 institutions in the United States and eight other countries. Montana State University (MSU) is a recipient of BRAIN Initiative funding in 2015 while West Virgina University (WVU) and Gray Matter Research in Bozeman, MT received awards in 2014. These awards expand NIH’s efforts to develop new tools and technologies to understand neural circuit function and capture a dynamic view of the brain in action. Projects include proposals to develop soft self-driving electrodes, ultrasound methods for measuring brain activity and the use of deep brain stimulation to treat traumatic brain injuries.

In 2014, President Obama launched the BRAIN Initiative as a large-scale effort to equip researchers with fundamental insights necessary for treating a wide variety of brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, autism, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury. These new tools and this deeper understanding will ultimately catalyze new treatments and cures for devastating brain disorders and diseases that are estimated by the World Health Organization to affect more than one billion people worldwide.

Planning for the NIH component of the BRAIN initiative is guided by the long-term scientific plan, BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision that details seven high priority research areas. Last year NIH awarded $46 million to BRAIN Initiative research.

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300 scientists, students, and federal officials gather in Bar Harbor

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More than 300 scientists, students, and research administrators from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Delaware will gather in Bar Harbor, Maine September 24–26. The meeting will highlight the success of the Institutional Development Award (IDeA), a federal research program to enhance the research capacity of states that have had historically low levels of research funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Since 2001, the IDeA program has brought more than $200 million in funding to Maine and created more than 200 new jobs at the MDI Biological Laboratory, Maine Medical Center Research Institute, University of New England, and 12 undergraduate institutions throughout the state.

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FOA: NIH IDeA

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The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) invites renewal applications from eligible Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE). The objective of the COBRE initiative is to strengthen an institution's biomedical research infrastructure through the establishment of a thematic, multi-disciplinary center and to enhance the ability of investigators to compete independently for National Institutes of Health (NIH) individual research grants or other external peer-reviewed support. COBRE awards are supported through the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Program, which aims to foster health-related research by increasing the competitiveness of investigators at institutions located in IDeA states.

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