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Engagement and Access for Research-Active Institutions (EARA)

Engagement and Access for Research-Active Institutions (EARA)

EARA is a navigation and communication-focused initiative that enhances outreach and connections between Research-Active Institutions (RAIs) and NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices (ICOs) to: 

  • Provide information about, and aid RAIs in navigating existing NIH resources and opportunities
  • Foster bilateral engagement and communication between RAIs and NIH ICOs. 

Specifically, EARA aims to: 

  1. Strengthen RAI awareness and utilization of NIH resources and funding opportunities
  2. Enhance information-sharing and collaboration for RAI engagement and support across NIH ICOs
  3. Build relationships between NIH and RAIs and broaden participation of RAIs in the NIH ecosystem
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Research-Active Institutions (RAIs)
EARA Pilot Project

RAIs are defined as institutions that: (1) have a documented mission to serve populations underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research, (2) award degrees in the health professions or the sciences related to health, or in STEM fields including social and behavioral sciences, and (3) have received an average of no more than $25 million (total costs) of NIH Research Project Grant (RPG) support for the past three fiscal years.

In calendar years 2024 and 2025, COSWD, with the help of NIH ICO partners, will work intensively with a group of approximately 50 selected RAIs that volunteer to engage in enhancing their knowledge and utilization of NIH funding opportunities. These RAIs can include rural institutions in IDeA states as well as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), in keeping with the CHIPS and Science Act.

Resources for RAIs

COSWD will periodically share information on announcements, news and resources related to NIH Research Project Grants processes and Notices of Funding Opportunities. To access a full list of NIH funding opportunities, visit

News You Can Use

Get the latest information on upcoming application deadlines and webinars related to the NIH grants processes.

Grants Policies, Study Sections, Application Revisions, and More

Keep up with the most recent information on grants policies, application reviews, and other related topics.

NOFO's and Other Funding Mechanisms

Grants Application and Awards Process

Explore resources to understand the grants application process and peer review of awards.

Writing Grants Applications and Specific Aims

Get guidance for writing successful grant applications and drafting specific aims that will test your hypothesis.

NEW: EARA Info Plus Newsletter

Sign up to receive our new EARA newsletter and other updates on scientific workforce diversity from COSWD.

Why EARA Was Created

The NIH acknowledges that enabling full, innovative contributions to the biomedical and behavioral research enterprise requires that a broad and diverse range of institutions have the appropriate foundation for success. The basis of an institution’s success depends on having sufficient resources, awareness of funding opportunities, and knowledge about how to secure such funding.

The NIH also recognizes the important role RAIs play in supporting scientific research and providing health care in underserved communities. These institutions are uniquely positioned to engage these populations in research and support the translation of research advances into culturally competent, measurable, and sustained improvements in health outcomes, but often lack the research infrastructure and capacity to conduct cutting edge health-related research.

Developed in response to a recommendation from the NIH UNITE E Committee, EARA aims to address awareness and access barriers that RAIs face in enhancing research capacity and infrastructure, accelerating research progress, and addressing disparities in research opportunities and outcomes. View our Scientific Workforce Diversity Seminar Series (SWDSS) event that discussed how RAIs impact the scientific workforce.

Questions? Please contact us at

Page Last Reviewed
11 July, 2024