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 Tuhina Neogi, MD, PhD & Richard Wainford, PhD


PRIME now entering its 2nd year at BUMC has been modeled on successful programs at other leading institutions that have shown high success rates in transitioning K investigators to independent R01 funding. The PRIME Program is designed to help you successfully transition to independent funding, aiming for stronger and earlier grants. In joining the program, we will provide you with an interdisciplinary peer supported network, peer led and reviewed works-in-progress sessions to optimize your work, and interactive presentations and research resources to boost your efforts for successful transition from K funding to independent R01 funding.

The PRIME Program will occur every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month, 12-1pm, starting October 16, 2018, ending in June, 2019. The 1st Tuesday of each month will feature interactive presentations of direct relevance to your research endeavors; the 3rd Tuesday of each month will provide an opportunity for you to have your works-in-progress reviewed by your PRIME peers and directors for constructive interdisciplinary feedback, including abstracts, papers, posters, presentations, and importantly, review of your grants’ specific aims and other sections. We will also hold mock grant review panels, scheduled at least six weeks before your intended NIH submission deadline, with insightful feedback by seasoned faculty. Each session will also have time built-in to provide a “safe space” for you to brainstorm and troubleshoot with your PRIME peer network about the challenges and issues that you may be facing in your research trajectory.


The Goal of the program is to develop a supportive research environment, community and peer cohort, and mentoring culture for BUMC NIH K Funded Investigators. Additionally to improve the success rates of independent R01 funding by BUMC NIH K funded early career researchers, particularly of women and under-represented minorities.

The in-person sessions will be 2 hours per month for 7 months. There will be additional prep time for reviewing each other’s work once a month, typically no more than an hour. Faculty who are early on in their K awards will receive an invitation to the PRIME program.

Specific activities of the program:

  1. Interactive Information Sessions (1st Tuesday of Month)
  2. Works-In-Progress Session (3rd Tuesday of Month)
  3. Mock Grant Review (As needed 6 weeks prior to NIH submission deadline)

Additional Resources exclusively available to PRIME participants

  • Password-protected online repository of peer-reviewed 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 specific PRIME Pilot grant funding will be made available through the CTSI

For information on the PRIME Program please contact