Research Training and Career Development Branch
Division of Extramural Activities
Diverse groups foster critical thinking, intellectual engagement, and scientific innovation and advances. NIH is committed to diversifying the scientific research workforce and providing opportunities for individuals from groups underrepresented in health-related research to bring their diverse experiences and ideas to address biomedical research questions. The goal of the NIDCR Mentored Career Development Award to Promote Diversity in the Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Research Workforce (K01) is to provide mentored research career development experiences for postdoctoral and early career faculty researchers who are underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences. Intensive mentored research career development experiences are expected to fully engage these individuals in the biomedical research community, enhance the likelihood of their career advancement and of success in obtaining independent NIH/NIDCR funding. The expected outcome of this initiative will be the increased recruitment and retention of individuals from groups underrepresented in biomedical research into academic research careers. Their diverse experiences and perspectives will contribute to creative and innovative approaches to improving dental, oral, and craniofacial health.
The objective of this initiative is to continue the NIDCR K01 program to maintain a continuum of funding opportunities and ensure a career pathway of mentored research training in dental, oral, and craniofacial research for individuals who are from groups underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences research workforce, see NIH’s interest in diversity NOT-OD-20-031.
The goal of this initiative is to provide protected time for a mentored research career development experience for early career investigators at the postdoctoral and junior faculty (non-tenured) levels who are from groups under-represented in biomedical research, see NIH’s interest in diversity NOT-OD-20-031. The intent is to encourage individuals who have demonstrated research interests and accomplishments to conduct research under the guidance of an experienced mentor, or team of mentors, to increase the likelihood of continuing in an academic or other research career and successfully competing for independent research support.
Gaps and Opportunities
The specific objectives of the NIDCR K01 mentored career development award are to: (1) advance the awardee’s career development trajectory by strengthening research capacity, publishing, and by participating in other scholarly activities; (2) improve success and retention in a research career; (3) promote scientific collaborations that lead to acquisition of new skills or research in other fields of scholarly interest; and (4) enhance the pool of highly trained investigators from nationally underrepresented backgrounds in research areas of interest to the NIDCR.
The NIDCR funded AADR Mentoring an Inclusive Network for a Diverse Workforce of the Future provides an additional opportunity for postdoctoral scientists and junior faculty to develop professional skills to succeed in the academic environment and to engage in a mentoring grant writing experience with established investigators. The network engages a yearly cohort of early career investigators that also provides peer support.
An overarching goal of the NIDCR research training and career development programs is to provide dental, oral, and craniofacial mentored research training pathways that accommodate the unique needs of the workforce. Predoctoral students, postdoctoral researchers and junior faculty from groups under-represented in biomedical research are welcome and encouraged to apply to any of the NIDCR research training and career development programs.
The NIDCR Mentored Career Development Award to Promote Diversity in the Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Research Workforce (K01) award provides mentored research career development opportunities for individuals from groups underrepresented in research with research doctoral degrees or clinical doctoral degrees. Additionally, the NIDCR K01 is intended for those who may not meet the K99/R00 four-year eligibility limit on postdoctoral research experience or for those who may benefit from a longer (3-5 years) mentored research experience than provided by the K99/R00 transition awards.
Since approval of the initial concept by January 2014 Council and issue of the first Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) PAR-16-321 this FOA has been re-issued as three companion FOAs:
- PAR-19-160 NIDCR Mentored Career Development Award to Promote Diversity in the Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Workforce (K01 Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed);
- PAR-18-359 NIDCR Mentored Career Development Award to Promote Diversity in the Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Research Workforce (K01-Clinical Trial Required) and
- PAR-19-161 NIDCR Mentored Career Development Award to Promote Diversity in the Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Workforce (K01 Independent Basic Experimental Studies with Humans Required).
Between 2017-2021, 12 individuals applied to the NIDCR Mentored Career Development Award to Promote Diversity in the Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Workforce program in response to PAR-19-160 and PAR-16-321. Excluding pending applications, 5 of 7 (71%), applicants received K01 awards. These awards are currently active.
NIDCR is seeking approval to re-issue this program to continue a dedicated mentored career development pathway for individuals from groups under-represented in dental, oral, and craniofacial research.
NIDCR Diversity Targeted Programs:
Three administrative supplement programs provide support for candidates over a range of career stages who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents and from groups underrepresented in health research (see NIH’s interest in diversity NOT-OD-20-031): Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Admin Supp - Clinical Trial Not Allowed) and Notice of Special Interest to Encourage Eligible NIH HEAL Initiative Awardees to Apply for PA-20-222 Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Admin Supp - Clinical Trial Not Allowed) support candidates at the high school to investigator career levels. In addition, Administrative Supplements to Promote Diversity in Research and Development Small Businesses-SBIR/STTR (Admin Supp Clinical Trial Not Allowed) supports candidates from the undergraduate to the faculty level. In fiscal year 2020, NIDCR funded 30 new and 10 continuing diversity supplement awards; 28 awards were to predoctoral, postdoctoral and investigator level candidates.
Predoctoral, postdoctoral and investigator candidates supported on diversity supplements are strongly encouraged to apply for independent support prior to the end of their supplement. It is envisioned that these individuals would transition from diversity supplement support to independent fellowship (F) or mentored career development (K) or career transition (F99/K00) or (K99/R00) awards. NIDCR has developed programs, including the NIDCR Mentored Career Development Award to Promote Diversity in the Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Research Workforce (K01) specifically to meet this need.
Predoctoral students may apply to the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Parent F31-Diversity) PA-21-052. For predoctoral dual degree DDS/DMD-PhD students and PhD students who are more advanced in their graduate programs, NIDCR supports two predoctoral (F99) to postdoctoral (K00) transition awards: the NIDCR Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Transition Award for a Diverse Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Research Workforce (F99/K00 Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed) PAR-21-060 and NIH Blueprint Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience (D-SPAN) Award (F99/K00 Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed) (RFA-NS-19-011).
Postdoctoral scientists with less than four years of research experience, NIDCR participates in the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Maximizing Opportunities for Scientific and Academic Independent Careers (MOSAIC) Postdoctoral Career Transition Award to Promote Diversity (K99/R00 - Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed) PAR-19-343 with the goal to facilitate a timely transition of promising postdoctoral researchers from diverse backgrounds from mentored, postdoctoral research positions (K99) to independent, tenure-track or equivalent faculty (R00) positions at research-intensive institutions. In addition, the MOSAIC K99/R00 scholars will be part of organized scientific cohorts and participate in mentoring, networking, and professional development activities coordinated by MOSAIC Institutionally-Focused Research Education Award to Promote Diversity (UE5) funded programs.
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