We first reported on the Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) for New and Early-Stage Investigators (R35) mechanism when it was introduced by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences about a year ago. The pilot program represented a new funding strategy focused on supporting PIs rather than specific projects. The rationale behind this novel funding strategy was to improve funding distribution and invest in scientists, thereby providing them with funding stability to explore new, creative directions in their research.
Pilot testing of this program is now being expanded to target early-stage investigators. NIGMS intends to publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement this summer with an expected application due date in fall 2016. The FOA will be a reissue of the parent announcement with the notable change that new investigators who are no longer early stage investigators will not be eligible. A few additional minor changes to improve clarity are expected. The pre-announcement issued on July 12 encourages early stage investigators engaged in research related to the NIGMS mission to consider applying in the fall. We’ll be tracking the release of this FOA, so stay tuned.