Creating Biomedical Technologies to Improve Health

FAQs for ESTEEMED Program

Program Announcement: PAR-17-221

What are the requirements for institutions applying to this program?
Institutions must have four-year bachelor’s degree programs in one or more STEM fields
Applications must be from U.S. institutions with a sufficient number of underrepresented students and must identify as a:

  • Minority Serving Institution (MSI) such as a Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) or Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI)
  • Public or private university
  • Research intensive institution

At the time of application, institutions must have an active Advanced Honors Program, such as a MARC U-STAR (T34), a RISE (R25), or IMSD (R25) program for undergraduate students, or similar institutional program that supports underrepresented juniors and seniors.

What are the required elements of the program?
Program Structure: the ESTEEMED program provides research experiences and mentoring at multiple levels for undergraduate students throughout the summer before freshman year to the summer after sophomore year. The program must contain the following three components and act as a feeder program for an Advanced Honors Program, like the NIGMS T34 MARC U-STAR program. Programs will be evaluated based on students’ successful completion of a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. program and entry into a biomedical research career.

  1. Summer Bridge Program: a 5-week (minimum) summer program before the freshman year that emphasizes basic sciences, computation, and science communication
  2. Academic year activities: should occur throughout the freshman and sophomore year which continue to emphasize basic science, computation, and science communication. These activities should prepare students for summer research experiences and advanced honors programs.
  3. Summer research experiences: an 8-week (minimum) on- or off-campus research experience at the end of the sophomore year which should conclude in an oral presentation and written report of their work.

Linkage to Honors: all three components listed above should prepare students for an Advanced Honors Program. Each student is expected to enter an advanced honors program at the end of the ESTEEMED program.

Does each program need to have all the three components?
Yes. Each ESTEEMED program must have all three components.

Do training tables need to be submitted in the application?
Yes. Undergraduate Training Tables 2, 3, and 4 need to be filled out for the faculty mentors in the program. For existing institutional programs, Undergraduate Training Tables 5C and 8D need to be filled out for graduates of the program, if any. Undergraduate Training Tables can be found at Instructions for New Undergraduate Training

What is the maximum amount that can be requested per year?
This will be based on the number of students to be funded by the program and the specific funding model used. A program should not request more than $500,000 per year in direct costs. 

How many programs will be funded?
This will depend on the availability of funds and the number of meritorious of applications.

How many students can be funded per program?
We envision a program will support up to a total of 20 participants in any grant year.

Do applicants need to have an existing ESTEEMED-like program at their institution?
No. New programs are welcome to apply.

Can programs without a federally funded Advanced Honors Program apply?
Yes. Any internally or externally funded honors program that meets the above criteria is acceptable.

Can institutions with a pending MARC application still apply?
Yes, but we will need confirmation that the institution has an active Advanced Honors Program before we issue an award.

Are partnerships with other institutions required for this program?
No, they are not required but new programs and smaller institutions are strongly encouraged to have such partnerships to maximize research opportunities for participants.

Are letters of intent required before application submission?
Yes. Letters of intent should be submitted no later than April 24th by email to Dr. Tiffani Bailey Lash. It would also be helpful to discuss your application with Dr. Lash before you apply.

What letters of support need to be submitted in the application?
We request letter of support indicating institutional commitment to the program and letters from the directors of the Summer Bridge Program and Advanced Honors Program. If you are partnering with other institutions, they should also provide a letter of support.

Are faculty salaries allowed?
No. As the activities associated with this FOA are considered a regular part of an academician's activities, salary for mentoring faculty for the academic year or the summer is not allowed.

Are funds available for Administrative Coordinator(s) and or / Evaluator(s)?
Yes, funds can be requested for an Administrative Coordinator(s) and/or Evaluator(s) up to $5,000 annually. Administrative Coordinator(s), Evaluator(s), Manager(s), and/or other similar positions are defined by an individual “designing, directing, and implementing the research education program.” 

What is a reasonable amount to allocate for travel of speakers, workshop presenters, etc.?
The recommended cap for travel for speakers, workshop presenters, etc. is $500 per local speaker and $1,500 per non-local speaker, although this can be adjusted if strong justification is provided based on the uniqueness of speaker expertise, number of days and flight locations.  However, please note that exceptionally strong justification must be provided for travel of a speaker where similar expertise could be identified locally.

What is a reasonable amount to allocate for travel for PIs?
Travel for PI is allowed only to attend meetings specifically with the goal of disseminating outcomes of the ESTEEMED program and learn about similar educational programs’ best practices. The recommended cap for travel is $5,000/year for each PI, not to exceed $10,000/year for PI/multi-PI travel for the whole program.

Can $5,000 be requested for each administrator or evaluator if several such individuals are involved?
No, the $5,000 cap is for the whole program.  The sum of funds requested for all administrators or evaluators of the program must not exceed $5,000 annually.

What items can be requested under Other Program-Related Expenses?
These are unique expenses that are required by the proposed program.  Items such as supplies and equipment (such as printing paper or computers) generally available at the applicant institution must not be requested. Unique materials and resources that are not available and will only be used for the ESTEEMED program may be allowed at the discretion of the NIBIB Program Official. The total costs under this category per program is recommended to not exceed $20,000 per year.

For further information contact:
Tiffani Lash, Ph.D.
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Office: (301) 451-4778
Fax: (301) 480-1614