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NCRR Issues IDeA, High-End Instrumentation Requests

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Center for Research Resources has issued its requests for applications for its Institutional Development Award (IDeA) and High-End Instrumentation Grant (HEI) programs for 2012.

The IDeA awards provide funding to enhance biomedical research activities in states that have a historically low rate of receiving National Institutes of Health grants, and the HEI program provides funds for groups of NIH-supported investigators to buy high-cost scientific tools.

Both of these programs next year will be moved from the NCRR, which is being disbanded to make way for the creation of a translational center at NIH, with HEI landing at the Office of the Director, and IDeA moving to the National Institute for General Medical Sciences.

The IDeA grants currently fund projects in 23 states and in Puerto Rico, and next year they will award grants of up to $4 million per year for five years, including an additional one-time cost of $300,000 for alterations and renovations. The total amount it will award for the program next year will depend on NIH's 2012 appropriations.

The HEI program will use $20 million in 2012 to fund purchases of major research items that cost between $750,000 and $2 million each. NCRR said it plans to fund between 10 and 15 new HEI awards.

The IDeA awards are granted through two programs: the Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) and the IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) programs. They are aimed at fostering development of capacity and infrastructure in order to enable IDeA state investigators to become more competitive for traditional NIH grants.

The program's goals include funding studies of the underlying causes of diseases that affect medically underserved populations; development of preventative, diagnostic, and therapeutic measures; integration of basic, clinical, and translational research; and support for mentoring and career development programs.

The HEI awards will fund the purchase of a range of big-ticket tools including, but not limited to, mass spectrometers, supercomputers, biomedical imagers, nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers, and electron microscopes.

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