NIGMS logoNIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) has issued a new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for the second year of its Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) program.

The new FOA continues the pilot phase of the MIRA program and is limited to established investigators with two or more R01 equivalent awards or a single award of greater than $400,000 in direct costs. However, NIGMS has indicated its intention to expand the program to all NIGMS-funded investigators within the next year or so.

The new FOA makes several changes from the first round. Most significantly, NIGMS has broadened the eligibility window so that investigators will have the opportunity to submit renewal applications for their R01 if their MIRA application is unsuccessful—or if they choose to decline the award.

Specifically, investigators must have one or more current NIGMS awards expiring in fiscal year (FY) 2017, FY 2018, or FY 2019.

Additional background information about the MIRA program is below.



NIGMS will hold a webinar on Monday, March 21, 12:30–1:30 pm ET to discussion the new FOA, the first group of awards, and the institute’s future plans for the program. The webinar will be recorded and available for later viewing if you are not available on the 21st.


Your Feedback on the MIRA Program

GSA has begun to receive feedback from our members about the MIRA program. We encourage members of our community to share your experience with us, especially if you applied for or have been offered a MIRA award.

  • How was the application and review process? Could you fit your research program into the criteria?
  • If you were eligible but did not apply, why not?
  • If offered an award, was the level of funding offered appropriate, especially considering the increased level of stability offered by the MIRA program?
  • Do any of the conditions or policies associated with the MIRA program constrain your ability to continue your current activities?
  • If you plan to accept the MIRA award, what are the major reasons? If you plan to decline the award, why?

Feel free to leave a comment below or send by e-mail to


Background on MIRA

The MIRA program is intended to increase the stability and flexibility of NIGMS funded investigators by funding a laboratory’s entire NIGMS-supported program, rather than individual projects. MIRA investigators will not be bound to specific aims proposed in advance but will be able to follow new directions as opportunities arise.

All awards will have an initial five-year funding period, and the institute expects a higher success rate for renewals than current research project grants. In addition, NIGMS anticipates ramping down funding for unsuccessful renewals rather than terminating support immediately in most instances.

PIs must devote at least 51% of their research effort to the MIRA, not including teaching, administration, or clinical duties.


Application Information


Adam Fagen was formerly Executive Director of the Genetics Society of America.

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