During its meeting last week, the Advisory Council to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) approved Concept Clearances for four new programs. Two clearances will support the new Maximizing Opportunities for Scientific and Academic Independent Careers (MOSAIC) program, which aims to fill a key gap in career development support, fostering the postdocs-to-independent-investigators transition of researchers from diverse backgrounds.
Informed by responses to a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input on strategies to enhance these successful career transitions, MOSAIC seeks to address barriers and offer solutions through a pair of funding mechanisms: a research-education cooperative agreement (U25) aimed at independent scientific societies, and a K99/R00 program to foster the career independence of new investigators from diverse backgrounds. This combined strategy uncouples research funding from career development, utilizing organizations such as scientific societies to help establish scientific and professional networks and resources that these investigators can utilize beyond their home institutions.
NIGMS aims to introduce MOSAIC funding opportunities in two stages. The planned release of the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for the research-education U25 mechanism is spring 2019, with three, five-year awards issued in summer 2020.
The FOA for the K99/R00 will be issued in fall 2019, with the first 15 awards issued in December 2020 providing up to five years of total support. An additional 15 K99/R00 awards will be added annually until the programmatic capacity of 75 investigators is reached. The staggered roll-out of the companion programs is intended to give U25 awardees time to set up career development programming after the K99/R00 awards are announced.
NIGMS plans to provide additional information and support – such as pre-application webinars for potential applicants to both new mechanisms – later this year.