University of Southern California


RFA-RM-20-022: NIH Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation (FIRST) Program: FIRST Cohort (U54 Clinical Trial Optional)

Slots:                                                     1

Internal Deadline:                             January 8, 2021, 5pm PT

LOI:                                                        30 days prior to the application due date

External Deadline:                            March 1, 2021

Award Type:                                       Cooperative Agreement

Estimated Number of Awards:     4

Anticipated Amount:                     $70.5 million

Who May Serve as PI:                     Standard requirements.

Link to Award:

Submission Process: PIs must submit their application as a Limited Submission through the Office of Research Application Portal: Materials to submit include:

(1) Single Page Proposal Summary (0.5” margins; single-spaced; font type: Arial, Helvetica, or Georgia typeface; font size: 11 pt). Page limit includes references and illustrations. Pages that exceed the 1-page limit will be excluded from review.

(2) CV – (5 pages maximum)

Purpose:                                             The FIRST Cohort program aims to transform culture at NIH-funded extramural institutions by building a self-reinforcing community of scientists committed to inclusive excellence, through recruitment of a diverse group of early-career faculty who are competitive for an advertised research tenure-track or equivalent faculty position and who have demonstrated strong commitment to promoting diversity and inclusive excellence. Any individual who is competitive for a research tenure-track or equivalent faculty position and who has demonstrated a strong commitment to promoting diversity and inclusive excellence is eligible for FIRST faculty positions.


The overall goals and specific measurable objectives that the program expects FIRST Cohort awardee institutions to accomplish are:


Goal 1: FIRST Cohort awardees must demonstrate institutional support and develop or modify a strategic plan with specific goals and strategies, interventions, and organizational policies that will be implemented to achieve significant systemic and sustainable institutional culture change over baseline toward inclusive excellence (at the faculty, department, and institution level). FIRST Cohort awardees are also expected to develop an evaluation plan to assess the impact on their institution of action taken toward FIRST program goals.


Goal 2: FIRST Cohort awardees must conduct recruitment activities for new faculty, outline institutional commitments, and develop recruitment committees based on past interests and commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion. FIRST Cohort awardees are also expected to establish a retention plan to secure institutional commitment and supportive environment for new faculty hires.


Goal 3: FIRST Cohort awardees must develop strategies for the institution to establish individual research and career development plans and mentorship plans for all new faculty hired under this award. The applicants must describe how the program will reduce isolation, increase community building, and foster career development for the new faculty.

Budgetary Requirements:              This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Visit our Institutionally Limited Submission webpage for more updates and other announcements.