Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) (T32 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health

The goal of the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) 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).

Specifically, this funding announcement provides support to eligible, domestic organizations to develop and implement effective, evidence-informed approaches to biomedical graduate training and mentoring that will keep pace with the rapid evolution of the biomedical research enterprise. NIGMS expects that the proposed research training programs will incorporate didactic, research, and career development elements to prepare trainees for careers that will have a significant impact on the health-related research needs of the nation.

This program is limited to applications from training programs at research-intensive institutions (that is, those with NIH Research Project Grant (RPG) funding averaging greater than or equal to $7.5 million in total costs (direct and F&A/indirect) per year over the last three fiscal years (FY)). 

This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) does not allow appointed Trainees to lead an independent clinical trial, but does allow them to obtain research experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor or co-mentor.

Application Deadlines: Jan. 29, 2024; Jan. 29, 2025; Jan. 29, 2026

PAR-24-031 Expiration Date January 30, 2026

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

For programs to promote broader participation in the biomedical research workforce, NIGMS recognizes separate organizational eligibility tracks:

  • Research-intensive, that is, those with an average of NIH research project grant (RPG) funding greater than or equal to $7.5 million total costs per year over the past 3 fiscal years, and
  • Research-active, that is, those with an average of RPG funding less than $7.5 million total costs per year over the past 3 fiscal years (RPG data are available through NIH RePORTER).

For example, applications submitted in FY2024 will use data from FY 2021, FY 2022 and FY 2023. 

Organizational eligibility for this NOFO is limited to research-intensive, Ph.D.-granting organizations as defined above. Research-active organizations are not eligible to apply for or receive IMSD grants, but may be eligible to apply for G-RISE grants (see Part 1, Companion Funding Opportunity).   

The application must be submitted by the eligible organization with a unique entity identifier (UEI) and a unique NIH eRA Institutional Profile File (IPF) number. For organizations with multiple campuses (e.g., main, satellite, etc.), eligibility can be considered for an individual campus only if a UEI and a unique NIH eRA IPF number are established for the individual campus. For organizations that use one UEI or NIH IPF number for multiple campuses, eligibility is determined for the campuses together.

An organization funded through this NOFO that changes category due to changes in research project grant funding during the grant cycle should apply to the appropriate program based on their eligibility at the time of the renewal application. Programs that change category will report on the program outcomes of the prior funding period(s), up to 15 years, using the appropriate tables.

Organizations funded through this NOFO are eligible for other NIGMS Training programs provided the other eligibility criteria are met. To avoid any potential for overlap, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the program officers of each program before applying.

The sponsoring organization must assure eligibility and support for the proposed program. Appropriate information about eligibility and organizational commitment to the program should be detailed according to the Letters of Support attachment instructions in Section IV.

As described in the instructions for the Training Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) in Section IV.2 below, NIGMS encourages multiple PDs/PIs, particularly when each brings a unique perspective and skill set that will enhance training. Note the following:

  • To provide research training leadership for the program, at least one of the training PDs/PIs should have a record of using rigorous and transparent methods in experimental design, data collection, analysis, and reporting in a biomedical research field applicable to the program.
  • Additional PDs/PIs may be included to strengthen the expertise of the PD/PI team. Examples include individuals such as program directors who regularly interact with students, or individuals with expertise in education, relevant social sciences, program evaluation, mentoring,  efforts to promote broader participation in the biomedical sciences, or university administration. 

Any of the PDs/PIs may serve as the contact PD/PI. The contact PD/PI is expected to have a full-time appointment at the applicant organization unless extremely well-justified. If the full-time status of the contact PD/PI changes after the award, the organization must obtain prior program approval to appoint a new PD/PI or request a deviation from the full-time rule. The PD(s)/PI(s) will be responsible for:

  • The overall direction, management, and administration of the program, including ensuring the training program is appropriately evaluated. 
  • The day-to-day administration of the program, including direct involvement with trainees.
  • The selection and appointment of trainees to the research training program.
  • The selection of faculty mentors for the program, assessment of mentor performance, and ensuring the program deals appropriately with substandard mentor performance.
  • Monitoring and assessing the program and submitting all documents and reports as required.
  • Appointing members of the Advisory Committee (when applicable) and implementing their guidance as appropriate.

    Funding Type





    Curriculum Development
    Engineering and Physical Sciences
    Environmental & Life Sciences
    Medical - Basic Science
    Medical - Clinical Science
    Medical - Translational
    Social Sciences

    External Deadline

    January 29, 2024