The mission of the Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) Program of NIGMS is "to increase the numbers of minority faculty, students, and investigators engaged in biomedical research and to broaden the opportunities for participation in biomedical research of minority faculty, students, and investigators, by providing general support for biomedical research programs at eligible institutions." In 1996-1997 and following the creation of the MORE Division, the MBRS programs were revamped into the current Support of Continuous Research Excellence (SCORE), Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE), and Initiative for Minority Student Development (IMSD). Although these revisions improved program accountability and separated research funding from student development, they were not fully upgraded to meet the changing needs of the national biomedical research endeavor and the variety of minority-serving institutions (MSI) that are eligible for MBRS support.
The current SCORE Program resembles the original MBRS research program in that it supports meritorious, investigator-initiated research projects from a wide range of scientific disciplines submitted as part of a program project. The number of subprojects may range from 1 to 28 subprojects and pilot projects per grant, and eligible institutions vary considerably in size, resources and research capabilities from small, non-research intensive ones to very large, research-intensive ones. Given this diversity in the SCORE Program, it is important to periodically examine it and seek ways by which the program structure and management might be modified to most effectively serve the changing research development needs of the varied participant institutions and the individual research investigators. This is the goal of the current assessment of the structure and management of the MBRS SCORE mechanism by NIGMS.
The re-examination of the SCORE Program was done by an internal committee with representation from the scientific divisions, scientific review office, grants management, and budget office at NIGMS. The re-examination of the SCORE Program was performed with the goal of making recommendations for upgrading the program to:
The above major goal was approached with three aims in mind and taking into consideration the Congressional mandate for MBRS:
To achieve the above goals, the general approach recommended is to replace the current single application with an institutional/administrative application prepared by a program director and three types of research applications that can be submitted separately by individual investigators. This uncoupling of the SCORE components would allow the program director to focus on and provide vision for development of the global institutional research effort and the principal investigators of the subprojects to independently pursue and develop their research programs and interact directly with NIGMS/NIH scientific staff. The committee’s specific recommendations are presented in more detail below.
For this award, the merit (vision, appropriateness, quality of organization) of the proposed administration (director/structure) and activities, and the plan for their implementation and evaluation would be key review criteria. Research projects/grants would be considered in a general manner as to how well they are planned to fit into the overall effort to implement, develop, and evaluate the institutional plan for the research infrastructure/environment.
For renewals, key criteria will be progress accomplished and how future plans utilize evaluation of past efforts in proposing to continue to promote an intellectual research environment for the institution and the investigators.
Jean Chin, Ph.D., Division of Cell Biology and Biophysics
Anthony Carter, Ph.D., Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology
Alison Cole, Ph.D., Division of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biological Chemistry
Antoinette Holland, Grants Management Office
Nancy Vess, Budget Office
Paula Kuykendall Powell, Budget Office
Ann Hagan, Ph.D., Division of Extramural Activities
Shiva Singh, Ph.D., Office of Scientific Review
Arthur Zachary, Ph.D., Office of Scientific Review
Hinda Zlotnik, Ph.D., Division of Minority Opportunities in Research
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This page last reviewed on
1/9/2020 11:01 AM
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