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

GSA has begun to receive feedback from our members about the Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) program from NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). And we are interested to hear your perspective, especially if you were eligible to apply for MIRA.

Got Feedback?

Got Feedback? (Credit: Alan Levine) CC BY 2.0


Please let us know what you consider the strengths and weaknesses of MIRA so that we can suggest improvements in the program for the future. Among the areas that we would welcome your reaction are the following (you may answer as many of these as you wish):

  • If you were eligible for MIRA in the first round, but did not apply, why not?
  • How was the application and review process? Could you fit your research program into the criteria?
  • 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 your major reasons for accepting?
  • If you plan to decline the MIRA award, what are your major reasons for declining?


Please feel free to share this call for feedback with colleagues who were eligible to apply for this program, even if they are not GSA members. We are interested in a broad cross-section of responses.


You may post comments publicly below or send them confidentially to the Society at


Related post:


    Leave a Reply to Mark Johnston Cancel reply

  1. […] “Please share your feedback on the MIRA program” (March 23, 2016) […]

  2. Arthur Lustig says:

    In my view, this grant supports PIs who were funded at the worst time inNIH funding history. To have still received two or more grants at that time, they likely came from a pool of the best funded before that time, in other worst those who Initial I ally were rich. This rigged against the average PI and will do nothing for most members of GSA.

    • Arthur Lustig says:

      Clarification: in other words….those who initially were well funded. The program is not intentionally rigged but will have the effect of not helping the average PI. My apologies’

  3. James B. Jaynes says:

    I don’t like the idea of overlapping responsibilities and/or competing purposes that may be at odds with each other. If money at NIGMS is being spread too thinly, for example, it makes more sense to try to address that problem at the source, rather than layer another mechanism over it that exacerbates the root of the problem, which is that there is not enough money overall to go around. Having yet another program inevitably involves more administrative costs, further exacerbating the problem.

  4. Mark Johnston says:

    I had high hopes for MIRA, mostly based on what I learned about it from Jon Lorsch. But I’m now concerned it will have the opposite of its intended effect.

    A colleague with 2 R01 grants received a MIRA, but it was only funded to ~ $320K/year (direct costs). That’s not the size of 2 R01 grants, and indeed is not enough to fund two projects. So my colleague now has less money to run his lab, and he no longer has a chance to apply for a grant from NIGMS (the agency most likely to fund his work). He will now have to work harder to get the funds to run his lab, because he can only apply to Institutes less likely to fund him. Based on this example, MIRA looks like a bait-and-switch strategy to me.

    My colleague lost by applying for a MIRA. I fear we’ll all lose if NIGMS spreads the money so thinly that nobody can succeed.