Research Centers in Minority Institutions Program
The Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) program develops and strengthens the research infrastructure necessary to conduct state-of-the-art biomedical research and foster the next generation of researchers from underrepresented populations. The RCMI program provides grants to institutions that award doctoral degrees in the health professions or health-related sciences and have a historical and current commitment to serving students from underrepresented populations.
The RCMI program supports NIMHD’s vision to advance the science of minority health and health disparities research by enabling all investigators within the program the opportunity to engage in rigorous, mentored research experiences focused on diseases that disproportionately affect minority and other health disparity populations.
The RCMI program currently consists of three separate activities, with eligibility and program requirements varying for each:
- RCMI Specialized Centers
- Clinical Research Education and Career Development (CRECD)
- RCMI Translational Research Network (RTRN)
RCMI Specialized Centers
The purpose of the RCMI Specialized Centers program is to expand the national capacity for research in the health sciences by providing cooperative agreement support to institutions that offer doctoral degrees in the health professions or in a health-related science and have a historical and current commitment to educating underrepresented students, and for institutions that deliver healthcare services, providing clinical services to medically underserved communities.
- Enhance institutional research capacity within the areas of basic biomedical, behavioral, and/or clinical research
- Enable all levels of investigators to become more successful in obtaining competitive extramural support, especially from NIH, particularly for research on diseases that disproportionately impact minority and other health disparity populations
- Foster environments conducive to career enhancement with a special emphasis on development of new and early career investigators
- Enhance the quality of all scientific inquiry and promote research on minority health and health disparities
- Establish sustainable relationships with community-based organizations that will partner with the RCMI institution
The RCMI Specialized Centers program supports projects at domestic public and private institutions of higher education located in the United States and its territories which:
- Have received an average of less than $50 million per year of NIH support for the past three fiscal years;
- Award doctoral degrees in the health professions or the sciences related to health;
- Have a historical and current mission to educate students from any of the populations that have been identified as underrepresented in biomedical research as defined by the National Science Foundation (NSF), see http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/ (i.e., African Americans or Blacks, Hispanic or Latino Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and persons with disabilities); and
- Have a documented track record of: (1) recruiting, training and/or educating, and graduating underrepresented students as defined by NSF (see above), which has resulted in increasing the institution's contribution to the national pool of graduates from underrepresented backgrounds who pursue biomedical research careers and, (2) for institutions that deliver healthcare services, providing clinical services to medically underserved communities.
Clinical Research Education and Career Development (CRECD)
The CRECD awards help minority-serving institutions develop and implement curriculum-dependent degree programs to train doctoral and postdoctoral candidates in clinical research. The awards provide didactic training and mentored clinical research experiences to early-career investigators.
CRECD awards aim to support creative and innovative research education programs that promote the development of well-trained clinical researchers who can lead clinical and translational research. Supported programs must lead to a master of science degree in clinical research or a master of public health degree in a clinically relevant area.
The CRECD program is funded by NIMHD, the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
- Expand the national capability to improve diversity for research in the health sciences by developing the research workforce in clinical and translational sciences
- Develop a diverse group of clinical researchers who have the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue clinical research and can become part of translational and/or patient-oriented research, particularly on diseases that disproportionately affect minority populations
The CRECD program supports projects at private and public academic institutions and nonprofit organizations.
Applicants must be minority institutions that award doctoral degrees in the health professions or the sciences related to health. Applicant institutions must demonstrate that their historical mission is to educate individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in biomedical research (i.e., African Americans or Blacks, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, Hispanic or Latino Americans, and persons with disabilities) and that the majority of the health professional graduates provide health-related care to minority communities.
The eligible minority institutions must include medical, dental, nursing, or pharmacy schools accredited to award master's and doctoral graduate degrees or research institutions with graduate education programs that have ongoing clinical research and clinical research training programs.
The institution must be accredited to award a master of science degree in clinical research or a master of public health degree in a clinically relevant area or demonstrate the commitment and capability to develop a core curriculum leading to an accredited master of science degree in clinical research or an accredited master of public health degree in a clinically relevant area.
RCMI Translational Research Network (RTRN)
The RTRN is a national consortium comprised of clinical and translational researchers from RCMI Centers working in collaboration with investigators from other academic health centers, community healthcare providers, community organizations, and a central Data and Technology Coordinating Center that provides secure Web services and data sharing tools. Through linking these various groups, RTRN provides opportunities for multi-site clinical and translational research among minority-serving and other collaborating institutions throughout the nation to focus their collective efforts on addressing health disparities.
By providing computer-based tools for analyzing and managing clinical research data, recruiting for clinical trials, and sharing information with patients, the network enables clinical and translational researchers to collaborate more efficiently with each other and with their communities.
The program encourages the sharing of resources and expertise related to diseases such as cancer, diabetes, infant mortality, HIV/AIDS, and renal and cardiovascular diseases that disproportionately affect minorities and other medically underserved populations.
- Increase the efficiency of clinical and translational research through a single network that leverages shared infrastructure for NIH studies
- Facilitate study participant recruitment and retention
- Increase the efficiency of the implementation and dissemination of research advances to improve health outcomes
The RTRN program supports projects at private and public academic institutions and nonprofit organizations.
Eligibility is limited to those institutions currently funded via the RCMI program.