RM1 Biomedical Technology Optimization and Dissemination (BTOD) FAQs


What is the current Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)?

The current BTOD NOFO is PAR-23-110​. This NOFO is an update of Biomedical Technology Development and Dissemination (BTDD) NOFO, which expired on January 27, 2023.

How long can a BTOD Center be supported?

A new BTOD Center can be initially funded for a maximum project period of five years, and may be funded for no more than a total of 15 years (2 renewals). For a BTOD Center that has transitioned from a P41 Biomedical Technology Research Resource (BTRR) or a BTDD Center, this 15-year limit includes the total support under all (BTRR/BTDD/BTOD) mechanisms. NIGMS will not concurrently support scientifically overlapping BTRR, BTDD Center, and BTOD Center awards.​

When are the due dates for BTOD RM1 applications?

There are two receipt dates per year: May 26, 2023, January 26, 2024, May 29, 2024, January 28, 2025, May 28, 2025, and January 27, 2026.

Do you have a BTOD Program website?

Yes. The link to the website with information and a list of BTDD and BTOD Center Awardees is https://www.nigms.nih.gov/about/overview/BBCB/biomedicaltechnology/Pages/btdd.aspx.

When will funding decisions be made?

Pending applications will be presented at the NIGMS Advisory General Medical Sciences Council meeting following their review. Relevant Council meetings occur in January/February and September/October of each year, and final funding decisions are made approximately one month after the Council meeting.

Do applications submitted to this NOFO qualify for the Continuous Submission Policy?

No. Continuous Submission only applies to applications submitted in response to R01, R21, and R34 NOFOs with Standard Due Dates. Since this NOFO (PAR-23-110) does not meet these criteria, applications responding to this NOFO are not eligible for the Continuous Submission Policy.

Is a Letter of Intent (LOI) required to submit an RM1 BTOD application?

No. However, potential applicants are strongly advised to contact NIGMS staff at least 10 weeks before the application due date to discuss the suitability of a proposed project for the NIGMS BTOD Program.

Scope of Research

How do I determine if my proposed technology (or technologies) is appropriate for a Technology Development Project (TDP)?

The BTOD Program supports the optimization of state-of-the-art, late-stage technologies that address challenging biomedical questions in NIGMS mission-related areas. These technologies should have the following characteristics:

  • be at the forefront of their respective fields,
  • be unique and not yet widely available to the biomedical research community,
  • have demonstrated the feasibility and/or utility of established robust prototypes.

And once optimized, be ready for broad dissemination.

Can my application include a short-term partnership to accelerate or enhance the TDPs? How long should the established partnership last?

Yes. A partnership with another research group and/or industrial entity can be included to accelerate the technical optimization of a TDP. Industrial partnerships should be funding-neutral and characterized by in-kind contributions of effort and equipment. These partnerships should be of short duration, generally one to two years.

What are appropriate Driving Biological Projects (DBPs) for a BTOD Center?

DBPs are biomedical research projects that serve as test beds for iterative TDP optimization. The DPBs should be independently funded, focusing on various NIGMS mission-relevant biomedical research topics and reflecting the breadth of the technologies' potential impact. The DBPs should be drawn from institutions that are nationally distributed, and their turnover should occur during the project period.

How important is the Community Engagement (CE) section of the proposal to the overall success of the BTOD Center?

The technology dissemination activities outlined in the Community Engagement section of the proposal are central to the success of a BTOD Center. Community engagement describes the processes used to provide the broadest possible biomedical research community access to the technologies developed by the Center. Such access can occur within and beyond the Center moving the technologies into the community as quickly and effectively as possible. Examples of CE activities may include, but are not limited to user training, software distribution, direct technology transfer, patenting inventions, licensing technologies to industry, and partnering with small businesses in SBIR/STTR proposals. All BTOD centers require a robust web presence.

What is the meaning of sustainable dissemination in the context of a BTOD Center?

Sustainable dissemination of technologies is a major goal of the BTOD Program. BTOD-supported technologies should eventually be broadly adopted by the biomedical research community and continue their impact beyond the life of the BTOD Center. Plans to sustainably disseminate these technologies may include but are not limited to directly providing user service and training, open-source software, laboratory reagents, and protocols and commercialization.


Can I submit a BTOD RM1 if I have MIRA or vice versa?

Yes. NIGMS PD(s)/PI(s) holding a Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (MIRA) are eligible to apply.

Can I submit a MIRA and a BTOD RM1 at the same time?

Yes, a PD/PI can submit a MIRA and BTOD RM1 simultaneously. If MIRA and BTOD RM1 are awarded, the PD/PI must divide the technologies between the two awards to minimize overlap. For example, optimization of technologies similar to BTOD should be removed from the R35 MIRA.


Do investigators retain their NIH New Investigator (NI) status if they serve as project leads under BTOD?

Yes. a researcher listed as a project lead and not designated as a PD/PI or MPI for the BTOD will retain NI status.

What is the minimum effort required for the PD/PI? What is the minimum effort requirement for MPIs?

A BTOD PD/PI must provide a minimum of 3 person-months effort to the BTOD project. Each PD/PI must dedicate a minimum of 3 person-months effort for MPI applications. A BTOD PD/PI or MPI who is a current MIRA holder must maintain 51% research effort toward their MIRA and 3 person-months effort toward the BTOD. Subsection leads for TDPs and CE should be identified and provide a minimum of 1 person-month effort to the project. This should be noted if the effort proposed is greater than the support requested.


How do subcontracts factor into the maximum direct cost limit?

The maximum direct cost budget for PAR-23-110 is $850,000 per year, excluding equipment, subcontract facilities, and administrative (F&A) costs. PDs/PIs are encouraged to discuss equipment costs associated with technology development with the Scientific/Research Contact listed in the NOFO before submission. F&A costs associated with consortia/subcontracts are not considered direct costs for the grantee institution: Per NIH policy, maximum direct cost amounts listed in NOFOs are direct costs, excluding facilities and administrative (F&A) costs on consortia/subcontracts. Exceeding the direct costs limit because of F&A associated with consortia/subcontracts is allowable.

Can an MPI supported by an NIGMS R35 award receive any funds for their lab from the RM1 BTOD award?

Yes. The BTO​D technology development is not considered a research project.​