PDHP New Investigator Mentoring Program

2024 Call for Applications

Deadline: 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30, 2024


The University of Michigan’s Population Dynamics and Health Program (PDHP), part of the Population Studies Center at the Institute for Social Research, is pleased to accept applications for its 2024 New Investigator Mentoring Program (NIMP). The program offers significant support to 2–4 new investigators each year while they prepare a research proposal for NIH (specifically targeting NICHD’s Population Dynamics Branch). Each new investigator is connected with a senior faculty member who has a track record of successful NIH support. The NIMP provides salary support to the new investigator for a full month and to the senior faculty mentor for an overlapping week, in addition to other supportive resources.

We are soliciting applications for proposals that fall within PDHP’s three primary research areas:

  1. Family and intergenerational influences on health and wellbeing
  2. Reproductive health, fertility, and romantic relationships
  3. Population health, life course, and biosocial processes

If you’d like to see how your project fits with these areas, email us at: pdhp-info@umich.edu.


Resources Provided by the Program

  • Salary support: The new investigator will receive one month of summer salary support to prepare the NIH proposal, while the senior faculty mentor will receive one week of effort to compensate for advising time.
  • Outside consultant: If the proposal requires expertise not available at the University of Michigan, the new investigator will be provided with support for engaging a consultant from another institution.
  • Seed funding: If additional research is necessary to increase the chances of writing a successful NIH proposal, the new investigator will be given priority status for a PDHP small grant.
  • Methodological Support: PDHP includes a Scientific and Technical Core that can provide methodological and statistical support to mentees as needed.
  • Administrative support: PDHP staff will support the new investigator in preparing a budget, generating a Project Approval Form (PAF), and submitting the NIH proposal.

Terms of Support

  • The new investigator must agree to submit a competitive extramural research grant application to NIH (R-series) within 12 months of the intensive mentoring period targeting NICHD’s Population Dynamics Branch, sponsor of the PDHP
  • If their NIH proposal is declined, new investigators must agree to submit a revised proposal within 12 months of the initial review
  • The new investigator must complete a progress report by April 1, 2025 that provides a clear picture of progress made and includes the following: the frequency of meetings, general areas of discussion, funding opportunities reviewed, the type and frequency of feedback received, proposal review and critique, etc

Role of the Faculty Mentor

  • The new investigator may nominate a mentor with their NIMP application or request that the committee pair the applicant with a mentor, but all mentee-mentor matches must be approved by the review committee.
  • The mentor will be asked to review the terms of support and provide their agreement prior to award.
  • The faculty mentor is responsible for ensuring that the new investigator works steadily towards submission of a competitive grant application during the year of the intensive mentoring period.
  • The faculty mentor must commit to working with the new investigator intensively during a mutually selected four-week mentoring period and in an ongoing way until the application for funding is submitted to NIH.
  • The faculty mentor must schedule time to review drafts of the new investigator’s proposal and provide constructive feedback and guidance on long-term career goals.
  • The faculty mentor may serve as a co-Investigator on the research proposal being developed or may serve as an engaged advisor without being a named collaborator.

Application and Submission

Applications for the 2024 NIMP are completed by the new investigator and submitted electronically. Applicants will be asked to upload the following components (Format: 11 pt. Arial font; margins of at least ½ inch):

  1. A 2-3 page project description that includes:
  2. A short (<1 page) summary of the research project, including a list of the aims, the significance of the topic and the project, and the planned approach
  3. Indication of why your research is a good match with the NICHD’s Population Dynamics Branch priorities
  4. Discussion of how the proposed work links to one or more of the PDHP’s three thematic areas
    1. Family and intergenerational influences on health and wellbeing
    2. Reproductive health, fertility, and romantic relationships
    3. Population health, life course, and biosocial processes
  5. Articulation of the benefit and value of the intensive mentoring at this stage in the new investigator’s career
  6. Plan for a meaningful mentoring relationship and justification of any proposed mentor
  7. A commitment to submitting a proposal to NICHD’s Population Dynamics Branch and resubmitting if declined
  8. Optional: any additional information you would like to convey to the selection committee
  • Project Timeline for the mentoring period of the NIMP
  • Mentee curriculum vitae
  • Optional: nomination of potential candidates for the faculty mentor role. If a mentor is nominated, include the proposed mentor’s curriculum vitae. Include grants awarded to mentor (as PI) that demonstrate experience with the funding agency to which the mentee will apply.

Submit the application via the PDHP website by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30, 2024.

Review and Evaluation Process

Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Research Focus: Does the mentee have a research focus that can be translated into an NIH proposal submission to the NICHD’s Population Dynamics Branch?
  • Benefits: Does the application articulate the benefit and value of the intensive mentoring at this stage in the new investigator’s career?
  • Commitment: Does the application show the mentee is willing to dedicate time and effort to the process and has a high likelihood of submitting a competitive grant application? Does the mentee convey willingness to commit the time and effort to get the most benefit from the intensive mentoring relationship?

For questions about the NIMP please write to pdhp-info@umich.edu.