202305 Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) for Undergraduate-Focused Institutions (Mukhopadhyay/DBCAB)

Program seeks Council approval for renewal of a parent initiative titled “Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) for Undergraduate-Focused Institutions (Clinical Trial Required)”. 

NIH is continuing to make a special effort to stimulate research at educational institutions that provide baccalaureate and/or advanced degrees for a significant number of the Nation's research scientists but that have not been major recipients of NIH support.  Since Fiscal Year (FY) 1985, Congressional appropriations for the NIH have included funds for this initiative, which NIH has implemented through the Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) program.  This program uses the R15 grant mechanism to support small scale research grants at institutions that do not receive substantial funding from the NIH, with an emphasis on providing biomedical research experiences primarily for undergraduate students and enhancing the research environment at applicant institutions.

Through the NIH R15 Program Advisory Committee (RPAC), NICHD has been given responsibility for renewing the parent AREA program that supports clinical trials.  In parallel, NIGMS is tasked with reissuing the companion ‘Clinical Trial not allowed’ AREA parent program.

The Clinical Trial-required AREA program supports investigator-initiated mechanistic and/or minimal risk clinical trials addressing the mission and research interests of the participating NIH institutes. Minimal risk clinical trials are defined as those that do not require FDA oversight, do not intend to formally establish efficacy, and have low risks to potentially cause physical or psychological harm.  A mechanistic clinical trial is designed to explore or understand a biological or behavioral process, the pathophysiology of a disease, or the mechanism of action of an intervention.  Proposed studies should be hypothesis-driven and produce research data that informs the core scientific postulate and advances scientific knowledge.

Program seeks Council approval to renew the Clinical Trial-required AREA program.

Program Contact

Mahua Mukhopadhyay
Developmental Biology & Congenital Anomalies Branch (DBCAB)


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