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Helping to Accelerate Research Potential (HARP)


The goal of this program is to facilitate the development and mentorship of a cohort of NIDDK-funded postdoctoral scholars and junior faculty from diverse backgrounds so that they may transition to research independence.

Most recent NIDDK funding announcement: RFA-DK-22-002.

Program Description

HARP recipients are expected to provide professional development and enhance the professional networks of the HARP scholars conducting research in areas specific to the mission of the NIDDK. The total project period for an application may not exceed 5 years. Although the size of award may vary with the scope of the research education program application, the total direct costs are limited to $150,000 annually.

Active Sites

Accelerating Research Advancement for Investigators Underrepresented in Academia

This program has three aims for underrepresented scholars:

  1. Providing comprehensive, multi-level mentoring that includes both robust faculty mentorship and peer and near-peer mentorship.
  2. Providing guidance and skill-building for research advancement, including preparation of R01 or equivalent grant applications at the end of the mentoring experience.
  3. Preparing scholars to be mentors and academic leaders. 

Principal Investigators: Fatima Cody Stanford, M.D. and Takara Stanley, M.D.

Institution: Massachusetts General Hospital

Funded: 2023

Empirically Based Career Development Program for Historically Under-Represented Early Career Trainees Supported by NIDDK

The purpose of this project, in partnership with NIDDK, is to offer a career development program to early career trainees who are funded by NIDDK grants. The overall goal is for program scholars to report a strong sense of belonging and self-efficacy in the field; sustain and advance in their current career trajectory; and obtain the next appropriate level of funding to establish their independent program of research.

Principal Investigator: Elena Flowers, Ph.D.

Institution: University of California, San Francisco
Funded: 2023

Workshops and Coaching to Foster Career Skills in Newly Funded NIDDK Scholars

The broad goal of the University of Miami's Advanced Workshops and Coaching Network (AWACN) is to enhance the stage-specific career development skills of newly funded NIDDK researchers at the postdoctoral and junior faculty levels. This workshop and coaching program aim to support and advise NIDDK awardees from underrepresented backgrounds at early career stages to foster their professional development and promote their impactful careers addressing disease mechanisms and therapeutic interventions.

Principal Investigators: Ranjith Ramasamy, M.D. and Alessia Fornoni, M.D., Ph.D.

Institution: University of Miami School of Medicine
Funded: 2023

Medical University of South Carolina Mentoring Program in Digestive and Liver Diseases

The overall objective of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) contribution to the HARP Program in NIDDK related disease areas is to provide ready access to quality mentoring and training - thereby enabling outstanding research in NIDDK related disease areas. Their vision is to establish the HARP program as a sustainable resource for NIDDK related disease areas throughout the U.S. Through the HARP Program in Digestive and Liver Disease, they have hypothesized that a mentoring network for UIMs and persons with disabilities to supplement that which is present in the mentee's university will provide additional critical and valuable mentorship.

Principal Investigator: Don Rockey, M.D.

Institution: Medical University of South Carolina 
Funded: 2023

Accelerating URiA Independent Research Potential in Nutrition Sciences

The specific aims of this program are:

  1. To engage the participation of at least three cohorts of 3-4 junior scientists (postdoctoral fellows, assistant professors), preferably from underrepresented groups to spend 3 years each in a program aimed to enhance and develop skills for success as an independent researcher/principal investigator in academia.
  2. To provide a 3-year educational and mentoring program that will focus on the development of intrapersonal, interpersonal and team-development skills.
  3. To establish mentoring teams for each program participant that include a scientist mentors, academic/institutional navigators, and a wellness coach.
  4. To develop a comprehensive plan for evaluating and potentially expanding the program.

Principal Investigators: Jose Fernandez, Ph.D. and James Hill, Ph.D.

Institution: University of Alabama at Birmingham

Funded: 2023

NIDDK Program Staff 
Last Reviewed November 2023