Creating Biomedical Technologies to Improve Health


Team-Based Design in Biomedical Engineering Education (R25)

With this program, NIBIB supports courses focused on team-based biomedical design projects that prepare future engineers who can address NIBIB’s mission of leading the development and accelerating the translation of biomedical technologies to improve health. NIBIB encourages applications from institutions that propose to establish new or to enhance existing team-based design courses in Biomedical Engineering departments or programs. This funding opportunity targets undergraduate students at the senior level but may also include junior undergraduates and first-year graduate students. Courses that address innovative and/or ground-breaking development, multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary training, and diversity recruitment are especially encouraged. Also encouraged are courses that offer a clinical immersion period or emphasize the specific issues related to the translation and commercialization of developed products.  Programs that involve students in the needs assessment and project identification/selection rather than assign them to predetermined projects will be given priority.

For the purposes of this program, clinical immersion is defined as a 6- to 10-week program, where students engage full-time in the hospital or other clinical environment becoming familiar with the language, issues, and problems that can benefit from an engineering approach. The clinical immersion period which is expected to be carried out under the supervision of (a) clinical mentor(s), will typically involve rotations at various departments of the hospital. Although students may be involved in solving some clinical problems during this time, the main purpose of the clinical immersion period is to observe the clinical activities, acquire communication skills necessary to interact with clinicians, and identify unmet needs that can subsequently be addressed in biomedical design projects.

Direct costs of up to $20,000 per year may be requested for parts and supplies, machine shop or prototyping costs, speaker fees, technical support, travel and other project- or course-related expenses. Faculty salary may not be requested, either for the academic year or the summer.  No more than $5,000 of the $20,000 may be used for technical/administrative salary support. Programs that include a full-time clinical immersion program outside the academic year (typically in the summer) may additionally request up to $20,000 in student stipends (at no more than $10 per hour, with $4,000 max per student). Participant costs other than these summer stipends are not allowed.  Travel costs may only be requested for PD(s)/PI(s) or mentor(s) of the program to attend scientific meetings specifically to present activities and outcomes of the course/program supported by the FOA. In summary, a direct cost maximum of $40,000 per year can only be requested if a qualifying clinical immersion period is proposed in the application; if no clinical immersion period is proposed, the direct cost may not exceed $20,000 per year. Program durations of up to 5 years may be supported.

Programs that foresee student design projects that will require testing on a human subject (for instance, a client with a specific need for whom the device is developed) must respond “Yes” to the Human Subjects question in the application. If the details of the project and the required Human Subjects testing are not known at the time of the application, the applicant may indicate "delayed onset human subjects research". After award and prior to the involvement of human subjects, such grantees must submit a detailed human subjects section to the NIBIB for approval. Please see NOT-OD-12-130.

If no testing of any outside human subjects will take place, and any devices built will be tested by the students as a part of the course, then the application may qualify for an exemption based on category 1 (E1), research conducted in an educational setting involving normal educational practices.

If no devices that might require testing on a human subject will ever be built as part of this course, the applicant may answer “No” to the Human Subjects question.

PAR-16-108 Released February 22, 2016