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Office of Training, Career Development and Workforce Diversity

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Individual Programs

Plus Sign   F31 – Individual NRSA for Diversity PhD Students

  • Application due dates: April 13, August 13, and December 13

    Provides up to five years of support for research training leading to the PhD or equivalent research degree, the combined MD/PhD degree, or another formally combined professional degree and research doctoral degree in biomedical, behavioral, health services, or clinical sciences.

Plus Sign   K01 – NINDS Faculty Development Award to Promote Diversity in Neuroscience Research

  • Application due dates: February 12, June 12, and October 12

    Provides support and protected time (three years) for promising junior investigators (≤ 3 years in faculty position) for an intensive, supervised career development experience in the biomedical, or behavioral sciences leading to research independence.

Plus Sign   K22 – NINDS Advanced Postdoctoral Career Transition Award to Promote Diversity in Neuroscience Research

  • Application due dates: February 12, June 12, and October 12

    Provides support for neuroscience researchers with a Ph.D., Ph.D./M.D. or equivalent, who have between 2 and 5 years of postdoctoral research training and who are not in a tenure-track (or equivalent) faculty position. This is a two-phase award that provides a maximum of 5 years of support: up to 3 years of support may be obtained during the advanced postdoctoral training period and up to 3 years of support may be obtained during a subsequent first faculty position.

Plus Sign   Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research

  • Provides supplements to existing NIH-funded active grants (see full announcement for specific mechanisms) to improve the diversity of the research workforce by supporting and recruiting students, postdoctorate, and eligible investigators from groups that have been shown to be underrepresented.


Institutional Programs

Plus Sign   NINDS Neuroscience Development for Advancing the Careers of a Diverse Research Workforce (R25)

  • The goal is to support NINDS mission relevant programs to: (1) increase the pool of Ph.D.-level research scientists from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical research who are neuroscience researchers (participation is limited to graduate, post-doctoral and/or junior-faculty career levels only); and (2) facilitate career advancement/transition of the participants to the next step of their neuroscience careers. The first receipt date is Jan 25, 2014 – applications are only accepted once a year

Plus Sign   NIH Blueprint initiative “Enhancing Neuroscience Diversity through Undergraduate Research Education Experiences (ENDURE)”

  • Aims to raise interest and opportunities in neuroscience research for individuals who are typically underrepresented in the field at the undergraduate level, so that they are prepared to enter and successfully complete neuroscience Ph.D. programs.

Plus Sign   Support to Competitive Research (SCORE) Research Advancement Award (SC1)

  • Fosters the development of faculty at minority serving institutions (MSIs) in order to increase their research competitiveness and promote their transition to non-SCORE external sources of funding.
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Pre-Doctoral Fellowships (F)

Mentored Career Development (K)

Institutional Programs (T32, K12, R25)

All Mechanisms

NINDS Funding to Promote Reentry into the Biomedical Research Workforce

Dr. Susan Marino

The “Reentry to Neurological Sciences” program and the sound advice I received from training and program officers such as Henry Khachaturian, David Jett, Steve Korn, Margaret Jacobson, and Debra Babcock were critically helpful in getting me where I am today: a tenure-track faculty member at the University of Minnesota, the principle investigator (PI) of an R01 grant, and director of a unique center, doing cutting edge research in clinical neuropharmacology and cognition.

Following a long absence from the world of academia that included multiple postdoctoral positions and a stint teaching high school science (see side bar for more details about my journey), I landed a non-research position as the director of the Program for Women in Science at the University of Minnesota. I was fortunate enough to find a funded neuropharmacology group at the university willing to hire me as a research associate. NINDS staff guided me through the application process for a supplement (“NIH Supplement to Promote Reentry into Biomedical and Behavioral Research Careers”), which I used to update my skills and obtain training in clinical research. Afterwards, they helped shepherd me through the process of what turned out to be a successful application for an NIH/NINDS K01 Mentored Career Development Award.

Dr. Susan Marino, completed successful application for an NIH/NINDS K01 Mentored Career Development Award through The Reentry to Neurological Sciences Program.

Dr. Susan Marino

A Geographical Move Away from Science

Like many academic women who are part of a dual-career couple, family concerns influenced the direction of my research career.

Since positions for people with philosophy PhDs are rare, I was always confident that no matter where my philosopher husband landed, I could find, at the very least, a fruitful postdoctoral fellowship that would deepen my knowledge while broadening my skill at the bench, all toward the eventual goal of procuring a faculty position and establishing my own lab. I was even able to garner an NRSA postdoctoral fellowship while we lived in Copenhagen during the two years my husband was on a Woodrow Wilson fellowship studying the Danish philosopher Kierkegaard.

After a few years, unexpected personal circumstances brought us to rural Maine where the only science position I could find was teaching high school biology and physics. For all kinds of reasons, this foray into the American education system was life changing – but one thing was certain: it was not moving me any closer to a university appointment. And that dream seemed on its way to evaporating upon our move to Minnesota where my husband finally was offered a tenure-track position in a small liberal arts college.

Therefore, when offered the director’s position for the Program for Women in Science at the University of Minnesota, I accepted, knowing full well that I was now too far removed from the bench and had too sparse a publication record to hold out any hope of a faculty position, especially since I was geographically grounded.

I worked hard to establish successful precollege outreach programs and build strong ties with women students and faculty. But as satisfying as that work was, I couldn’t help but regret that I wasn’t making use of all the excellent training I received throughout my graduate and postdoctoral years, funded almost solely by NIH. And after more than eight years of being away from the lab, I missed it sorely1. It was clearly time to look for a research position.

1 Currently, the window for re-entry supplements is limited to between one and five years away from active research.

Though it is understatement to say that the path I took to get where I am today is not the most expeditious way to achieve an academic research position, I do believe that the broad, interdisciplinary palette of skills and knowledge I procured along the way is exactly what was required to tackle the complex challenges inherent in studying what I am now focused on—drug effects on cognition. But it was the additional training underwritten by my K01 that allowed me to lay the foundation for my current, NIH-funded, independent research program.

Though I am now at an age when many of my contemporaries are beginning to contemplate retirement, I just submitted my dossier for promotion to associate professor with tenure! So, I encourage other women who might think it’s too late to resurrect a research career to reconsider their options, be proactive, and contact an NIH Training Officer. I am truly fortunate to be finally doing what I love, and for the opportunity to participate in the endeavor to improve the health and wellbeing of people though my science. Needless to say, I am deeply indebted to the NINDS Diversity Training/Reentry to Neurological Sciences Program for making that possible.

Current Research: Drug Effects on Cognition 

By integrating the tools of clinical pharmacology, computational linguistics, neuroscience, and engineering into a multi-system approach, we seek to account for, and eventually predict, how a drug’s mechanism(s) of action in the brain and its disposition in the body affect an individual’s cognitive function. Development of this comprehensive, multidisciplinary framework for delineating and quantifying effects of drug administration on cognition enables us to effectively address clinical questions while elucidating mechanism.

Image reflecting the comprehensive, multidisciplinary framework for delineating and quantifying effects of drug administration on cognition

2014 NINDS Grant Writing Workshop for Diverse Researchers

Intensive Workshop on Grant Writing, Preparation and Submission in Neuroscience Research

NINDS provides biannual workshop focused on grant writing to improve the outcomes of the grant submissions from diversity investigators (see previous workshop)

The next workshop will be held July 21 - 22, 2014 at the Double Tree in Bethesda, MD.

Workshop Goals

Enable promising diverse postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty to finalize and highly competitive proposal to the NINDS for neuroscience research (e.g. K22, K01, R01, etc.) by the end of the workshop. We also welcome those NINDS diverse investigators who are currently working on resubmissions of K22, K01 or R01 applications. All participants MUST bring a copy of their draft research plan to the workshop, the goal is to help polish and provide advice on an already written high quality document.

In addition, the meeting will facilitate interaction among minority, disabled and disadvantaged investigators and also the development of scientific networks with established and experienced investigators who will serve as onsite mentors/coaches during the grant development sessions.

Key Dates

  • The application deadline has been extended to April 22, 2014.
  • February 24 - April 22, 2014: Applications to participate in this meeting will be accepted
  • April 14, 2014: All successful applicants notified
  • April 30, 2014: Accepted applicants MUST CONFIRM ATTENDANCE by this date, unconfirmed slots will open to alternates
  • July 21-22, 2012: NINDS Diversity Grant Writing Workshop

***A limited amount of funding is available for travel awards.***

Travel awards (up to $1100) will be available to attendees residing outside of a 50 mile radius of Bethesda, MD.

Selection Criteria

  • All aspects of neuroscience research are eligible; however priority will be given to those research topics that have primary NINDS mission relevance.
  • Participation in this workshop is limited to U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents of the U.S. and emphasis will be placed on members of groups that fit NIH diversity definitions (see

To be considered please send a compiled PDF attachment with all the required items below:

  1. Cover letter (should explain intent to submit the K or R01 submission within 3-8 months after the workshop, describe institutional support and list current funding)
  2. Biosketch/CV
  3. Publication list
  4. Written draft of abstract with specific aims for the potential K or R01 submission (no more than 2 pages)
  5. Letters of support* (see description below)

*Letters of Support

Each applicant is required to obtain at least one letter of support for their application which must be submitted by the following persons:

  1. Department Chair or Division Head in registrant's institution or, if senior trainee, in institution where faculty position is anticipated. The letter of support should contain the following information:
  • Statement of commitment to allow protected time for registrant to prepare for and participate in the workshop, to complete and submit NIH proposal, and, if funded, to execute the proposed research
  1. Registrant's research or senior faculty mentor (appropriate for those in mentored programs like the Diversity K22 or K01). The letter of support should contain the following information:
  • Potential of registrant as an academic and as a researcher
  • Adequacy of training and research experience to be competitive for an NIH research or research training award
  • Mentor's qualifications (e.g. NIH or comparable funding track record) and plans for supporting the registrant in planning and writing a competitive research proposal

Please send all requests directly to the email box below:

Once accepted, participants must agree to complete the Specific Aims and Research Strategy of the SF 424 as preparatory work prior to the Workshop. Participants will bring a laptop to revise and edit the document during the two day meeting.

Please feel free to email me directly with further questions (


Last Modified May 23, 2016