NIH Neuroscience Development for Advancing the Careers of Diverse Research Workforce (R25) FAQs

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The overarching goal of this NIH Neuroscience Development for Advancing the Careers of a Diverse Research Workforce R25 program is to support educational activities that enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce by (1) increasing the pool of current and future Ph.D.-level research scientists from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical neuroscience research; and (2) facilitating the career advancement/transition of the participants to the next step of their neuroscience careers.  The NINDS expects applicant institutions to propose programs that will lead to an improvement in the professional development, mentoring and technical expertise of individuals who are nationally underrepresented in neuroscience research across career stages.

Program Participants

Selection of program-supported participants should take into consideration whether the participation would help achieve the overall goals/objectives of the Advancing Neuroscience Diversity R25 Program, which supports educational activities that encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds, including from groups underrepresented in the neuroscience workforce, such as:

  • Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis: Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.
  • Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
  • Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds

No, undergraduates are no longer allowed as participants. 

The inclusion of high school students is outside the scope of this NOFO. Programs can be targeted to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty.

Yes, you can design a program with trainees from, at most, two career stages (i.e. graduate and postdoc or postdoc and junior faculty).

All program participants receiving support from the R25 must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. 


Program PI

Yes, however the role of each PI must be clearly delineated. The complementary and integrated expertise of each PI must be described (see NOFO).


Program Faculty

The majority of the scientific research experiences must be specifically relevant to the NINDS or NIMH missions and not just broad-based neuroscience. Researchers may be funded by other NIH institutes or private foundations as long as the research and training program proposed is NINDS or NIMH-mission relevant. Contact the office with questions.

Research Education Program

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

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

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

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.


The following are allowable Appendix materials (Instructions provided here are in addition to the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide instructions.):

  • Evaluation and Assessment Instruments. Applicants may provide blank surveys, rubrics, and/or forms used to (a) document and monitor trainee progress and (b) determine whether the program and its environment are effective, inclusive, safe, and supportive.
  • Research Education Outcomes (4 pages maximum).The application may provide information in table form on outcomes and subsequent educational/career progress as appropriate to career stage about recent (past 5 years) participants (including participants in a pilot program) and the pool of potential applicants, such as:
    • Aggregate number and demographic characteristics of participants
    • Educational level of participants
    • Successful completion of a graduate degree in neuroscience or neuroscience-related field
    • Subsequent authorship of scientific publications or scientific presentations to outside conferences in a biomedical field
    • Subsequent participation in a formal research training or career development program in a neuroscience field
    • Subsequent participation in research in a neuroscience field
    • Subsequent employment or promotion in a research or research-related biomedical field
    • Subsequent independent research grant support from NIH or another source
  • Participating Faculty (3 pages maximum).The application may provide the following information in table form about participating faculty:
    • Faculty information: name, degree(s), academic rank, primary department or program, research interest, and training role (i.e., PD/PI, preceptor, executive committee member, other committee member, other)
    • Mentoring record of predoctorates and postdoctorates from the last 10 years: number currently in training, graduated/completed training, and continued in research or related careers