PRIME: Pathways to Research Independence and Mentoring Excellence

A Research Career Support Program for Faculty Sponsored by the BU Clinical and Translational Science Institute

Directed by:  Natalia E. Morone, MD, MS & Richard Wainford, PhD

Other Faculty:  David Felson, MD, MPH & Tuhina Neogi, MD, PhD



 1. What are the specific goals of the program? 

       a. To develop a supportive research environment, community and peer cohort, and mentoring culture for BUMC  Career Development Funded Investigators. 

       b. To improve the success rates of independent R01 funding by BUMC NIH K funded or equivalent early career researchers, particularly of women and under-represented minorities. 

2. How much time will I have to dedicate to the program? 

The in-person sessions will be 1 hour per month from November-June for two years. 

 3. In what specific activities will I be participating while in the program?

Interactive Information Sessions  

Examples of planned sessions: 

  • Ice breaker session with introductions for all to foster K to R Community  
  • Panel Discussion by recent investigators who have successfully transitioned from a career development award to an R or R-equivalent award. 
  • How to get the most out of your research mentoring network, and how to be an effective mentee and mentor 
  • The nuts and bolts of R-level grants: choosing the right study section, understanding key sections and terminology (e.g., premise, rigor, authentication of key resources), budget, collaborator letters, publications) 
  • How to grow your research program at BU, including reviewing on-campus resources available to you 

Works-In-Progress Session  

     –Safe space time in which issues can be discussed openly and honestly behind closed doors. This year the works- 

       in-program will focus on first-year career development awardees. 

Mock Grant Review (As needed 6 weeks prior to NIH submission deadline) 

  • Full NIH-style review of grant application by PRIME directors and invited funded BUMC faculty  
  • Will receive panel discussion of grant for review 

Additional Resources exclusively available to PRIME participants 

  • Password-protected online repository of peerreviewed example templates of required components of R01 (e.g., Facilities and Resources, Environment, Authentication of Biological Variables, Consultant Letters, Early Stage Investigator environment description), examples of successful Specific Aims pages  
  • PRIME waivers/vouchers for accessing consultative services through the BU CTSI ( that would otherwise incur charges 
  • A dedicated PRIME pilot grant funding opportunity through the BU CTSI 

  4. Is the program flexible enough to provide everything I need? 

You will have opportunities to provide ongoing feedback to the PRIME directors so as to shape this program to make sure you get access to what you need to be successful in your Career Development Award and get you to your R01. There will also be evaluation activities to pause and take stock of the process to make sure it is meaningful and getting to your outcomes.  

 5. Does the program cost me or my department anything? 

No, the program is sponsored by the BU Clinical and Translational Science Institute. 

 6. Does my department and/or section have a role to play in this program? 

Yes, your mentors will be invited to participate in your annual progress review to be scheduled during one of the Works-in-Progress sessions. 

 7. How many other PRIME Scholars will be in the program with me? 

We invite all recent career development awardees to participate in PRIME. 

 8. What happens to me after the program? 

You will continue to be part of an engaging supportive network to support your research activities. The PRIME directors will continue to provide you with support and anticipate that you will be able to help mentor the next generation of early career researchers through the same process. Program evaluators will track success rates over time and the directors will report this back to the research community so as to engage future participants and the leadership to understand how the program is working for our BUMC investigators and to continue to fund this program. 

For information on the PRIME Program please contact