TSC Alliance Chief Scientific Officer Steve Roberds, PhD, serves on the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. During the open session of the Advisory Council meeting on September 7, 2017, NINDS staff discussed several upcoming funding opportunities:

  • As part of an NIH-wide initiative to enhance diversity in the research workforce, NINDS soon plans to reissue a RFA for NIH Blueprint D-SPAN (F99/K00) award with a due date in December (see the previous RFA for reference). The purpose of the D-SPAN program is to support a defined pathway across career stages for outstanding graduate students who are from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in neuroscience research. This two-phase award will facilitate completion of the doctoral dissertation and transition of talented graduate students to strong neuroscience research postdoctoral positions. Non-neuroscience graduate students should look for similar opportunities at relevant NIH institutes.
  • NINDS R25 (research education) mechanism will soon include opportunities for funding to cover enrollment in PhD programs of physicians immediately after completing residency. Some individuals who know as undergraduates they want to pursue careers as physician-scientists will enroll directly in MD/PhD programs. However, for those medical students who develop a research interest later, this new R25 opportunity is intended to allow MDs who get “hooked” on research during medical school or residency to pursue PhD degrees.
  • NINDS will withdraw from the “parent” R21 funding opportunity PA-16-161 effective January 8, 2018. NINDS will issue its own funding opportunity announcement for its own R21 soon thereafter.
  • NINDS will decrease the number of neuroscience core grants awarded (RFA-NS-17-011) because BRAIN Initiative funding is taking over much of the role covered by these core grants in the past.