Division for Research Capacity Building (DRCB)

DRCB supports research, faculty development, research training, and research infrastructure improvements in states where levels of NIH research funding have historically been low through Institutional Development Award (IDeA) grants. It also supports research directed by and research capacity building in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) tribal organizations through the Native American Research Centers for Health (NARCH) program, faculty development at institutions that primarily serve students from underrepresented groups in biomedical research through the Support for Research Excellence (SuRE) program, and science education through the Science Education Partnership Awards (SEPA) program. The division also oversees the IDeA Regional Entrepreneurship Development (I-RED) Program for IDeA States.


IDeA is a congressionally mandated program that builds research capacity in states with low levels of NIH funding. It supports competitive basic, clinical, and translational research, faculty development, and infrastructure improvements. The program aims to strengthen an institution’s ability to support biomedical research, enhance the competitiveness of investigators in securing research funding, and catalyze clinical and translational research that serves the needs of medically underserved communities.

Learn More


NARCH supports research, research training, and faculty and infrastructure development, often through partnerships between AI/AN tribes or tribally based organizations and research-intensive academic institutions to meet the needs of AI/AN communities.

Learn More


SuRE seeks to strengthen research capacity and provide research support to the faculty at institutions that receive limited NIH research support and serve students from groups underrepresented in biomedical research​.

Learn More


SEPA is designed to improve national STEM literacy through innovative educational programs. SEPA-supported projects develop partnerships between biomedical and clinical researchers and pre-kindergarten to grade 12 (P-12) teachers and schools, museums and science centers, media experts, and other educational organizations.

Learn More

For more information​, contact:

Ming Lei, Ph.D.
Director, Division for Research Capacity Building
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
National Institutes of Health
45 Center Drive MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200

For DRCB staff contact information and their biographical sketches, please see the Division Staff Contacts page.