(CLOSED) HEAL Initiative Partnerships to Advance INterdisciplinary (PAIN) Training in Clinical Pain Research: The HEAL PAIN Cohort Program (T90/R90 Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed) (RFA-NS-24-015)

Sponsor Name: 
Description of the Award: 

This NOFO seeks applications to establish a cohort of up to four T90/R90 institutional postdoctoral training programs across various institutions as part of this NIH HEAL Partnerships to Advance INterdisciplinary Training for Clinical Pain Research (the HEAL PAIN Cohort Program). The NIH T90/R90 mechanism is a Kirschstein-NRSA institutional training program designed to support interdisciplinary research. This program is responsive to the IPRCC and needs assessment survey by providing protected research time and formal research training opportunities to clinical pain researchers at an early stage of their careers while broadening the foci of research mentorship. Since the goal is to increase the clinical pain research workforce, the T90/R90 Trainees/Participants must be in a clinical program or demonstrate an interest in clinical pain research. Investment at an early career stage aligns with the NIH HEAL Initiative’s® goals by facilitating the retention of junior investigators in clinical pain research. Because limited opportunities exist for postdoctoral training in clinical pain research, the HEAL PAIN Cohort Program will play a critical role in meeting this programmatic goal.

The HEAL PAIN Cohort Program will promote retention in the clinical pain workforce by providing a cohort experience among T90/R90 program Trainees/Participants. A cohort refers here to a group of trainees/participants that enter together and remain together throughout the program’s duration. Other NIH Initiatives have used a cohort model citing evidence that it fosters a supportive group of talented peers and provides institutional support, ultimately enhancing the success of adult learners and promoting diversity and retention among candidates. The cohort model will be enhanced through the existing NOFO, RFA-NS-22-060, HEAL R24 Coordinating Center for National Pain Scientists (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-NS-22-060.html ; https://painresearchers.com/ ), which will provide high-quality training through webinars, networking opportunities, and other events tailored to the T90/R90 programs. However, each T90/R90 program will also be responsible for offering training opportunities to their Trainees/Participants locally at their institution.

HEAL PAIN Cohort Program Objective

The goal of the HEAL PAIN Cohort Program is to expand and enhance the pool of early career stage investigators (either those who have participated in a clinical program or who demonstrate an interest in clinical pain research) who are sufficiently prepared and trained to launch and maintain successful careers addressing the nation’s scientific needs in clinical pain research. In addition to providing protected research time and dedicated training, the program’s unique cohort approach aims to increase retention of these early career stage investigators in the clinical pain research workforce. The cohort experience also will provide networking opportunities to build partnerships between investigators in fields that are both traditionally and not traditionally represented in the field of pain, with the goal of leading to future scientific collaborations. Finally, the focus on broadening training foci to include fields outside of those traditionally represented in the field of pain – as well as recruiting prospective Training PD/PIs, mentors, and Trainees/Participants from diverse backgrounds – are expected to promote innovative solutions for pain management.

Limit (Number of applicants permitted per institution): 
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Sep 26, 2023
OSVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

If you intend to submit complete the notification form to provide your contact information and the title and brief description of your project.

To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
Penn State OSVPR NOI Deadline: 
Wednesday, August 23, 2023 - 4:00pm
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:
For help or questions: 

Questions concerning the limited submissions process may be submitted to limitedsubs@psu.edu.

Aleksandra Zgierska (CoM)