Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) Program (T32)

Program Goal & Structure

The goal of the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) research training program is to strengthen research training environments and promote broader participation in the biomedical research workforce by expanding the pool of well-trained scientists earning a Ph.D., for example, encouraging the inclusion of individuals from underrepresented groups (see Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity). Training grants offset the cost of stipends, tuition and fees, and training related expenses, including health insurance. Training grants are usually awarded for five years and are renewable. Full details are found in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) PAR-24-031.

Institutional Eligibility

IMSD provides support to eligible, domestic institutions to develop and implement effective, evidence-informed approaches to biomedical research training and mentoring that will keep pace with the rapid evolution of the research enterprise. This program is limited to applications from doctoral degree-granting research-intensive institutions (i.e., those with an average of NIH Research Project Grant (RPG) funding greater than or equal to $7.5 million total costs over the last 3 fiscal years). RPG data are available through NIH RePORTER (see additional guidance here [PDF]). Only one IMSD application per institution is allowed.

Trainee Eligibility and Participation

The applicant organization will select the trainees to be supported by the research training program. The individual to be trained must be a citizen or a noncitizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of appointment. Additional details on citizenship, training period, and aggregate duration of support are available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Predoctoral trainees must be enrolled in a program leading to a Ph.D. in a biomedical discipline.

All trainees are required to pursue their research training full time, normally defined as 40 hours per week, or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies. Students are typically provided full-time support for two to three years of graduate studies. Use of training grant support in the first three years of graduate research training is strongly encouraged to provide maximum flexibility in the participation in courses, laboratory rotations, professional development, and cohort-building activities.

Information for Applicant Institutions

Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the NOFO (including Related Notices in the Overview Section), Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and consult NIGMS staff to discuss eligibility and application requirements prior to submission. When submitting an application, it's important to follow all instructions and avoid issues that lead to noncompliance and withdrawal prior to review. NIGMS does not require applications requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs for any year to contact staff to obtain agreement that the IC will accept the application.

Potential applicants for IMSD should contact either Dr. Joyce Stamm or Dr. Jeremy McIntyre.