Announcements for 2008

December 9, 2008 (historical)

NIAMS Makes the First BIRT Awards

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) has made the first Building Interdisciplinary Research Teams (BIRT) Awards. The BIRT awards are designed to promote collaborations among groups of investigators in disciplines that have not traditionally interacted. The awards will allow the investigators to pursue clear scientific opportunities in areas of their shared interest and of relevance to NIAMS. These awards are supplements to provide up to one year of research support to active NIAMS R01 grants.

Eleven grants have been awarded for the following areas of collaboration:

  • Developmental biology - Systems biology
  • Soft tissue biology - Imaging technologies
  • Tissue engineering - Immunology
  • Tissue engineering - Developmental biology

The scale and complexity of today's biomedical research problems demand that scientists move beyond the confines of their individual disciplines and explore new organizational models for team science. Integrating different disciplines holds the promise of opening up scientific avenues of inquiry and, in the process, may form new disciplines with which to address increasingly complex questions. Through the BIRT awards, NIAMS intends to build interdisciplinary research teams that will lead to new scientific advances that go beyond the progress that is possible without collaboration.

More details on the awards as well as their abstracts can be found at The institute is continuing the BIRT program and the recently released Requests for Applications can be found at and

The mission of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), a part of the Department of Health and Human Services' National Institutes of Health, is to support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases; the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research; and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases. For more information about NIAMS, call the information clearinghouse at (301) 495-4484 or (877) 22-NIAMS (free call) or visit the NIAMS Web site at