Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Initiative

BUILD awards consist of linked grants issued to undergraduate institutions to implement and study innovative approaches to engaging and retaining students from diverse backgrounds in biomedical research, potentially helping them on the pathway to become future contributors to the NIH-funded research enterprise. BUILD awards differ from other NIH-funded training grants in that they aim to achieve simultaneous impact at the student, faculty, and institutional levels. Through implementing a variety of innovative approaches to research skill building and training, mentorship, and institutional change, the BUILD-funded institutions address various challenges faced by students, faculty and institutions. In addition, by disseminating effective interventions and strategies to diversify biomedical research, BUILD institutions contribute to broader transformational impact at an institutional level.

Eligibility for BUILD primary institutions included having fewer than $7.5 million in total NIH research project grant funding, and a student population with at least 25 percent Pell Grant recipients. BUILD institutions serve a geographically and racially diverse population, and include historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, Asian American/Native American/Pacific Islander-serving institutions, and projects with targeted outreach to special populations.

Funded BUILD institutions partner with nearly 100 institutions, both pipeline and research-intensive, to broaden the pool of students participating in biomedical research training and maximize opportunities for faculty/staff development. As part of the Diversity Program Consortium, BUILD is a cooperative agreement, thus, NIH project scientists and program officials work closely with each BUILD institution, and the institutions collaborate with each other on planning and sharing ideas for new, creative ways to address their students’ needs. Each site has a core for administration, institutional development, student training, and research enrichment, which helps ensure programming is targeted to each of the three levels.

The BUILD sites are encouraged to increase their focus on sustaining interventions developed during the funding period, and to disseminate their findings to a broader audience. This will contribute to the impact of the Diversity Program Consortium because institutions throughout the United States will be able to benefit from the consortium’s research findings.

The Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Initiative is funded by the NIH Common Fund and administered by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. For more information about BUILD, see the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, April 3, 2018 (RFA-RM-18-006, reissuance of RFA-RM-13-016), or contact Dr. Laurie Stepanek, Dr. Lameese Akacem, Dr. Marie Harton​, Dr. Kalynda Gonzales Stokes​, or Dr. Alison Gammie.

The BUILD sites and their programs are:

  • California State University, Long Beach: CSULB BUILD.
    PIs: Chi-Ah Chun, Ph.D., Jesse Dillon, Ph.D., and Panadda Marayond, Ph.D.
  • California State University, Northridge: BUILD PODER (Promoting Opportunities for Diversity and Education and Research).
    PI: Gabriela Chavira, Ph.D.
  • Morgan State University: BUILD ASCEND (A Student-Centered, Entrepreneurship Development Training Model to Increase Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce).
    PI: Payam Sheikhatari, M.D.
  • Portland State University: BUILD EXITO (Enhancing Cross-Disciplinary Infrastructure Training at Oregon).
    PI: Carlos J. Crespo, Dr.PH.
  • San Francisco State University: SF BUILD : Enabling Students to Represent in Science.
    PI: Leticia Márquez-Magaña, Ph.D.
  • University of Alaska, Fairbanks: BUILD BLaST (Biomedical Learning and Student Training).
    PI: Karsten Hueffer, D.V.M, Ph.D.
  • University of Detroit, Mercy: ReBUILD Detroit.
    PI: Katherine Snyder, Ph.D.
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County: STEM BUILD at UMBC.
    PI: Philip Rous, Ph.D.
  • The University of Texas at El Paso: BUILDing SCHOLARS (Southwest Consortium of Health-Oriented Education Leaders and Research Scholars).
    PIs: Thomas Boland, Ph.D., Lourdes E. Echegoyen, Ph.D., and Amy Wagler, Ph.D.​
  • Xavier University of Louisiana: Project Pathways​.
    PI: Maryam Foroozesh, Ph.D.

The Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) TL4 program is part of the NIGMS undergraduate program umbrella cited in 42 CFR 66.102.