(CLOSED) NIH Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation (FIRST) Program: FIRST Cohort (U54 Clinical Trial Optional)

Sponsor Name: 
Description of the Award: 

The FIRST Cohort program aims to transform culture at two types of NIH-funded extramural institutions by building a self-reinforcing community of scientists committed to inclusive excellence, through recruitment of a diverse group of individuals who:

  • are competitive for an advertised research tenure-track or equivalent faculty position (positions must be at the Assistant Professor (or equivalent) level,
  • meet the criteria for NIH-defined Early Stage Investigators, and
  • have demonstrated a strong commitment to promoting diversity and inclusive excellence.

Any individual who meets all of these criteria is eligible to be hired for FIRST faculty positions.

The overall goals and specific measurable objectives that the program expects FIRST Cohort awardees to accomplish are:

Goal 1: Demonstrate institutional support and develop or modify a strategic plan with specific goals and strategies, interventions, and organizational policies that will be implemented to achieve significant systemic and sustainable institutional culture change over baseline toward inclusive excellence (at the faculty, department, and institution level). FIRST Cohort awardees are also expected to develop an evaluation plan to assess the impact of actions taken towards these goals at their institution.

Goal 2: Conduct recruitment activities for new faculty, outline institutional commitment, and develop recruitment committees based on past interests and commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion. FIRST Cohort awardees are also expected to establish a supportive environment for new faculty.

Goal 3: Develop strategies to establish individual research and career development plans and mentorship and sponsorship plans for all new faculty hired under this award. The applicants must describe how the program will reduce isolation, increase community building, foster career development, and ensure retention of the new faculty.

Applicant institutions must be conducting research in any NIH mission area. This funding opportunity will accept applications from eligible Highly Resourced Institutions (HRI), Limited-Resourced Institutions (LRI), or Partnerships (any composition of HRI and/or LRI) to develop faculty cohort models. All eligible institutions are categorized into these two types to encourage inclusion and broaden participation.

Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Jul 12, 2022
To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
This limited submission is in downselect: 
Penn State may only submit a specific number of proposals to this funding opportunity. The number of NOIs received require that an internal competition take place, thus, a downselect process has commenced. No Penn State researchers may apply to this opportunity outside of this downselect process. To apply for this limited submission, please use this link:
OSVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Thursday, February 24, 2022 - 4:00pm
Craig Newschaffer (HHD)