Innovative Programs to Enhance Research Training (IPERT) (R25)

The IPERT program (PAR-21-196) supports creative and innovative research educational activities designed to complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical research needs. Each IPERT program must address the NIGMS goals of creating a highly skilled and diverse biomedical workforce.

NIGMS anticipates that the scope, purpose and objectives of IPERT programs will vary considerably due to the heterogeneity of institutional/organizational settings and missions. The programs can be designed to support stages of research career development from the undergraduate to the faculty level and must be ancillary or complementary to those research training and research education programs in which they currently participate, regardless of the source of support. In each case, while the balance of activities may vary, an IPERT application must effectively integrate the required core elements described below:

  • Courses for skills development: For example, support for short courses designed to develop technical (e.g., appropriate methods, technologies, and quantitative/computational approaches), operational (e.g., independent knowledge acquisition, rigorous experimental design, and interpretation of data) and/or professional (e.g., management, leadership, communication, and teamwork) skills necessary to conduct rigorous and reproducible research, and to transition successfully into careers in the biomedical research workforce. These courses could be in-person or provided electronically. Dissemination of educational materials and outreach activities to benefit individuals from a variety of backgrounds are required components of the program.
  • Mentoring: For example, activities designed to provide career information, advice, and support to research-oriented undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, or independent faculty in biomedical fields. The activities should provide participants with a perspective on the biomedical research training pathway and tools for overcoming challenges, navigating career transition points, and successfully transitioning into careers in the biomedical research workforce.

Applicants should address how the proposed activities will complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical research needs by discussing 1) the rationale underlying the balance of effort and resources dedicated to each activity; 2) how the activities synergize and are designed to accomplish the objectives; and 3) objective indicators that can measure the effectiveness of the program. Please read the FOA for a more comprehensive description of the required components of the Research Education Program Plan. NIGMS strongly prefers that organizations seeking support for a range of related activities across various thematic components or divisions coordinate and organize their efforts and submit a single IPERT application.

The IPERT is not intended to support development of courses that are or would become part of the standard/required curriculum of an academic degree program or institution. Participation in an IPERT must be open to the biomedical research community and not restricted to potential participants (students, postdocs, early career faculty) from one program, department or institution.

Institutions or organizations seeking support solely for scientific meetings that fall within the NIGMS mission (including conferences, seminars or travel awards similar activities) without integral research training activities should refer to the NIGMS R13 Support for Scientific Meetings.

For more information about IPERT, see the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, (PAR-21-196), or contact Dr. Michael Sesma and​ Dr. Shakira Nelson.