The goal of the RCMI program is to expand the research capacity of the nation by improving the human and physical research resources at doctoral degree granting institutions that have a 50% or greater enrollment of students who are underrepresented in the biomedical sciences. The RCMI program (http://www.nimhd.nih.gov/programs/extra/rcmi.html) was transferred to the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) following the passing of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012, which dissolved the National Center for Research Resources, the former home of the RCMI program.
Meharry Medical College successfully competed for one of the first RCMI awards and since then has had over 29 years of uninterrupted funding. The RCMI Program at Meharry has supported the infrastructure of shared resources across the campus including the Office for Research Support Services, Information Technology, and various research core facilities. Of the current Meharry faculty, 18 were hired through the RCMI Program.
Through its 29 years of funding, the RCMI program has also supported Meharry’s research infrastructure in multiple scientific areas including neuroscience, cancer, cell biology, environmental health and toxicology, infectious diseases, and oral biology. The focus of the current proposal is women’s health.
The three components funded by the RCMI program are: 1) Recruitment Core, 2) Pilot Projects, and 3) Core Facilities. Pilot grant proposals were solicited from Meharry faculty whose research focused on women’s health research. To be considered for pilot funding, faculty were asked to write a brief letter of intent. Upon consideration of the letters of intent by the Research Council (IAC), those deemed competitive were then asked to write full proposals that were sent out for external pre-review. Finally the most competitive applications were included in the Parent Application.