tioned that DOD had some technical assistance programs to assist institutions with contracting basics, and that these were already in place.
Some workshop participants noted that the Department of Energy (DOE) also has a mentor-protégé program with similar eligibility requirements. The difference is that DOE does not fund the partnerships directly. Instead, “they expect the research dollars that go to their facilities, particularly research labs, to create these mentor–protégé agreements and partnerships as part of their research programs. This arrangement provides great opportunities for the schools, and it is a true partnership.”
The Program Director of NIH’s Extramural Associates Program, Regina James, was not available to give a presentation about the program, and Jean Flagg Newton, the cognizant program officer, substituted in this capacity. She described the mission of the office as follows:
[to] increase research capacity, training and outreach at minority serving institutions and women’s colleges and expand global research infrastructure that will lead to diverse contributions to biomedical and behavioral research.
She then described the program’s primary award, the Extramural Associates Research and Development Award (EARDA) as, “[a] comprehensive approach to establishing research infrastructure and providing the appropriate training that will allow institutions to contribute to research.”
The domestic EARDA award targets women’s colleges and institutions serving minorities. The award provides $70,000 a year for five years, primarily allocated to strengthening research administration infrastructure. The award provides staff training that focuses on NIH policies and procedures, grants management, and knowledge of federal and non-federal funding opportunities. In addition, it supports staff and training in research administration, the creation of databases, collaborative opportunities with other institutions, and workshops on research ethics.
The EARDA program sponsors the creation of pilot research projects (up to $40,000 in the fourth and fifth years of the grant) and professional development activities, including technical assistance workshops in grantsmanship and research methodologies. These activities are designed to enhance knowledge related to the development of competitive research grant applications, as well as provide networking opportunities among colleagues.