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Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Awards (IRACDA) (K12)

Modified: February 29, 2016

The purpose of the Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA) Program is to develop a group of highly trained biomedical scientists to address the Nation’s biomedical workforce needs. The strategy is to promote effective partnerships between research-intensive institutions (RII) and partner institutions that have a historical mission or a demonstrated commitment to educating students from backgrounds underrepresented in the biomedical research enterprise of the nation. The IRACDA program provides support for a traditional mentored postdoctoral research experience at an RII combined with an opportunity for these fellows to develop critical academic skills, including teaching, through workshops and mentored teaching assignments at a partner institution.

The primary goals of the IRACDA program are to (1) develop a group of highly trained biomedical scientists who have the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue independent research and teaching careers in academia; and (2) enhance science educational offerings at partner institutions, and promote links between RIIs and partner institutions through research and teaching collaborations. The specific objectives of this initiative are to:

  • Develop the research, teaching, and other skills that are needed by postdoctoral scholars in order to conduct high-quality research and pursue an independent research and teaching career in an academic environment;
  • Foster the development of research-oriented science curricula, using contemporary teaching strategies, at partner institutions; and
  • Promote links between RIIs and partner institutions that can lead to further collaborations in faculty research and student training.

The scholars may be supported full-time on IRACDA funding for up to three years provided their progress toward an independent academic career is on track and satisfactory. NIGMS anticipates that most programs will have three-four fellows per cohort for an average size of 9-12 active scholars supported by the IRACDA funding at any one time.

The Program must have a strong research base, comprised of established scientists who will provide expertise, resources, and mentoring to the IRACDA scholars. The mentored research experience must fall within the scope of the NIGMS mission, which is to support research that increases understanding of life processes and lays the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention. NIGMS-funded researchers seek to answer important scientific questions in fields such as cell biology, biophysics, genetics, developmental biology, pharmacology, physiology, biological chemistry, bioinformatics, computational biology, selected aspects of the behavioral sciences and specific cross-cutting clinical areas that affect multiple organ systems. Further details on the NIGMS-supported major research and research training areas can be found here.

The proposed institutional research career development program may complement other, ongoing research training and career development programs at the applicant institution, but the proposed career development experiences must be distinct from those career development programs currently receiving Federal support.


  • An IRACDA program involves a consortium of multiple institutions. The lead applicant institution must be an RII, and it must serve as the primary site of the postdoctoral research experience.
  • The consortium must include one or more partners that are institutions which, for the purposes of this FOA, are defined as public or private nonprofit universities, two-year or four-year colleges or universities, offering associate and/or baccalaureate degrees with a historical mission or a demonstrated commitment to educating students from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical research as defined in NOT-OD-15-053.

Only one application per institution is allowed and an institution may only hold one IRACDA grant award.

Internal Letter of Intent Due: March 21, 2016 (by midnight)
Sponsor Proposal Due: September 19, 2016 (by 5 pm)

Faculty members interested in applying are required to submit a letter of intent (LOI) by the deadline specified above. If interest exceeds the number of submissions the university is allowed, an internal competition will be held. Typically, all investigators that submit an LOI will be invited to submit an internal proposal. Occasionally, as appropriate, based on the LOI, only selected applicants will be invited to submit an internal proposal.

  1. Click here to access the form.
  2. Name the LOI as follows:  “LastName-FirstInitial- NIH-IRACDA-2016”, replacing “LastName”, replacing “LastName” with your last name and “First Initial” with your first initial.
  3. Click on this link.
  4. Login with your NU NetID and password.
  5. Under the “Limited Submissions - Office of Research Development” heading, click “Apply” next to the “Letter of Intent: NIH Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Awards (IRACDA)(K12)(PAR-16-103)”.
  1. Update your profile.
    1. a. Populate the following fields: Phone, Title, and Department.
      1. b. Click on “Save draft and continue” to save your profile and move to the competition application page.
  1. Insert proposal title.  Click on “Save draft and continue.”
  2. Click the Browse or Choose File button and navigate to your file on your hard drive or network.  Select your file and click “Submit”.  No supplemental documents are accepted.

You will receive a confirmation email from ORD indicating that your application was received.

The Training Grant Support Office assists faculty in the preparation of institutional training grant applications, including: Data table production involving institution-wide and Training Grant Support Office-tracked data; Proposal development aids; Advice, sharing of best practices, tips and traps; Coordination of special funding/ commitment requests made to The Graduate School in support of the training grant;  and Special training grant-related projects. Please contact Jennifer E. Hobbs, PhD, Assistant Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Training and Development.

The Office of Research Development offers assistance in identifying and facilitating collaborations, putting together interdisciplinary teams, programmatic and administrative development of large, cross-school proposals, and leveraging institutional resources for outreach and education. Contact Fruma Yehiely, Associate Vice President for Research, for more information.

Fruma Yehiely, Associate Vice President for Research, 847-491-1074
Limited Submissions web site

Training Grant Director