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Biomedical / Biobehavioral Research Administrator Development (BRAD) Program

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Research Administration: The Bridge to Sustainable Research

(Formerly the Extramural Associates Research Development Program)

Diversifying the scientific workforce is a priority for the NIH. In the support of this priority, NICHD is continuing to make the BRAD Program available to emerging research institutions (EMIs) and primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs), including women's colleges, with diverse student enrollments.

The BRAD Program integrates the long-standing Extramural Associates Research Development Award (EARDA) program and the newer International Extramural Associate Research Development Award (IEARDA) program.


Through the BRAD Program, eligible institutions are provided a window of opportunity to establish new Offices of Sponsored Programs (OSPs) or strengthen existing OSPs (or similar entities). Enhanced OSPs in non-research intensive institutions are essential for the development of enabling, supportive environments in which faculty can develop robust research programs and provide research experiences for students. Studies show that the provision of early, intensive research experiences can attract students into academic research careers.


From a programmatic perspective, comprehensive and effective research administration is the bridge to a sustainable research enterprise at ERIs and PUIs. Accordingly, the BRAD Program objectives are to:

  • Encourage and support continuous professional development of directors of OSP research administrators and grants managers at all levels.
  • Increase the effectiveness and productivity of OSPs (or similar entities) by promoting the use of best practices in research administration.
  • Promote OSP sustainability by identifying and addressing barriers to research and by supporting targeted faculty professional development that focus on increasing competitiveness in obtaining external research support.

Institutional Eligibility

Domestic Institutions Foreign Institutions
  • Emerging research institutions and primarily undergraduate institutions, including women's colleges that have not been major recipients of NIH support.
  • When aggregated, the applicant institution's NIH research grant awards must total no more than $6 million during each of 4 or more of the last 7 years.*
  • The applicant institution must have a diverse student enrollment, with significant representation of students from groups underrepresented in the scientific workforce, particularly in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. **
  • Academic institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa, India, and Latin America—the latter includes low-income, lower middle income, and upper middle income countries only.
  • The applicant institution must have at least three (3) NIH awards/subcontracts.
  • The applicant institution must have the required electronic connectivity and Internet access for NIH electronic grant submission and post-award administration.

*Visit the NIH Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) website to confirm that your institution meets the "level of support" eligibility criteria. Institutions that are not included on the "List of Ineligible Institutions" meet the first of two eligibility criteria.

**Visit the Eligible Applicant section of the BRAD Program funding opportunity announcement (FOA) (Section III, Sub-section 1) for a detailed description of "diverse student enrollment."

Program Scope

The "Program Scope" section in the BRAD Program FOA (Section I. Funding Opportunity Description, Program Overview) lists the areas of emphasis, which may also be described within the context of the three foundational pillars of the BRAD Program:

  • Leadership and Competency in Research Administration encompasses activities such as leadership development in research administration, certification-guided training for the Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) and research administrator, and other staff training activities in the area of regulatory compliance.

  • Organizational Development focuses on identifying strategies for strengthening existing and/or implementing new components of the infrastructure for research administration, and accordingly foundational pillar encompasses a range of activities that include but is not limited to: pre- and post-award service delivery, development of "enabling" policy solutions that reduce or eliminate barriers to faculty research, as well as other types of context-specific approaches that increase the breadth of organizational capabilities for facilitating the development of and/or successful management of externally supported research.

  • Teacher/Scholar Core Competencies encompass targeted professional development activities that assist faculty, with an interest in research, to develop or enhance a core set of capabilities enable their incremental transition from Teacher to Teacher/Scholar. In addition to a commitment to teaching, Teacher/Scholars develop research programs and submit competitive applications for external research support, engage students in the conduct of meritorious research, and disseminate research outcomes in scientific journals.

To learn more about the BRAD Program, visit the program announcement: Biomedical/Biobehavioral Research Administration Development (BRAD) Award [G11].

Last Reviewed: 09/22/2014

Contact Information

Name: Dr. Jean Flagg-Newton
Acting Director
Office of Health Equity
Phone: 301-435-2722

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