University of Southern California


RFA-NS-20-015: NIH Blueprint Program for Enhancing Neuroscience Diversity through Undergraduate Research Education Experiences (BP-ENDURE) (R25 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Slots:                                                     1

Internal Deadline:                           Thursday, December 19, 2019, noon PT

LOI:                                                        January 19, 2020

External Deadline:                          February 19, 2020

Award Information:                        Type: Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

The NIH Blueprint Institutes intend to commit $1 million in FY2020 to fund 3-4 awards. Awards issued under this FOA are contingent upon the availability of funds and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications. Because the nature and scope of the proposed research education program will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary. The total amount awarded and the number of awards will depend upon the quality, duration and costs of the applications received.

Anticipated Amount: The average cost per program is estimated between $250K – $300K. The total project period for an application submitted in response to this funding opportunity may not exceed 5 years.

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

Materials to submit:

Link to Award:                         ‎

Who May Serve as PI:                   

The PD/PI should be an established investigator in the scientific area in which the application is targeted and capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program. The PD/PI will be expected to monitor and assess the program and submit all documents and reports as required.

The proposed PD/PI should hold a basic or health professional degree (e.g., Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent), and have clearly demonstrated training/mentoring credentials. The PD/PI must have a regular, full-time appointment (i.e., not adjunct, part-time, retired, or emeritus) at the applicant institution and should have research, teaching, and/or academic administrative experience. Early stage investigators are eligible to serve as PD/PIs, as long as doing so will not detract from their research program and career advancement.

Program Faculty 

Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as preceptors/mentors. Mentors should have research expertise and experience relevant to the proposed program. Mentors must be committed to continue their involvement throughout the total period of the mentee’s participation in this award.


Applications must describe the intended participants, and the eligibility and/or specific educational background characteristics that are essential for participation in the proposed research education program. It is the responsibility of the institutions to establish the selection criteria for the students before they are allowed to participate in the program, and to establish selection criteria that will ensure a highly qualified applicant pool. Selection of program-supported participants is expected to take into consideration whether the participation would help achieve the overall goals/objectives of the NIH Blueprint ENDURE Program, which is to support a diverse pool of undergraduate participants to help them successfully enter and complete Ph.D. degree programs in the neurosciences.

Undergraduate students from engineering, mathematics, computer science, physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, nursing and other relevant science programs who have an interest in the neurosciences should be encouraged to participate in the program.

To receive salary/wages from this initiative, individuals must be (a) U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, or permanent residents,     and (b) must be full-time matriculated and be sophomores, juniors and/or seniors in a baccalaureate degree program at one of the partnering institutions.


The overall objective of this funding opportunity is to support a diverse pool of undergraduates, including those from underrepresented groups, to help prepare them to successfully enter and complete Ph.D. degree programs in the neurosciences and become available to participate in NIH-supported neuroscience research. Individuals currently underrepresented in neuroscience research on a national basis ( for example see surveys conducted by the Society for Neuroscience Committee on Neuroscience Departments and Programs), include: individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups or individuals with disabilities (see also Evidence from several reports demonstrate that an intervention designed to facilitate successful transitions along the pathway from undergraduate to graduate school would benefit the research community (Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads, From College to Careers: Fostering Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in STEM, 2014 National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine 2011 and Advancing the Nation’s Health Needs: NIH Research Training Programs).

Programmatic Approach
The overarching objective of this funding opportunity is to encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research workforce, to pursue further studies or careers in neuroscience research. To achieve this goal, the initiative will support two-year neuroscience research education programs comprised of year-round authentic neuroscience research experiences, research and career development, and establishment of professional networks, implemented through collaborative partnerships integrated across different educational institution types. Proposed program interventions in response to this FOA should focus on asset models and leadership opportunities, rather than solely deficit models and remediation (recommendations from 2017 NINDS Activating a Neural Network and 2016 NINDS Forming a Neural Network Workshops).

Participating components of the collaborative research education partnerships must include:

To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on:

Budgetary Requirements:          


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

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