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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I am not sure if my research is "health-related." How do I know?

A: The short answer is: If your research is something that NIH might fund, your research is “health-related.” NIH funds a wide range of Institutes and Centers, and through them, it funds research that has direct or indirect implications for understanding and/or improving human health. NIH-funded researchers might be engaged in a wide range of research from the Biological to Physical, Engineering, Psychological, Social or Clinical sciences.

Another way to think about this question is from the student’s perspective. If the type of training a student would get in your research program prepares them to be competitive for a health-related research Ph.D. program, your program is one we would want to consider. From the perspective of the BUILD program, “health-related research” is research that in its focus and/or skill set training prepares the trainee to successfully enter a doctoral or Ph.D. program and a research career where they would be successful applicants for NIH research funding.

Q: I am pretty early in my career and don’t have past undergraduate students. Does my career stage preclude me from being a Research Mentor?

A: No! As noted in the Interest Form, review of the submission will take into account the faculty member's career stage. We are particularly interested in having early career faculty involved in BUILD to share with them the best practices of mentoring that will support a long and distinguished career and successful participation in the BUILD Program.

Q: Why doesn't BUILD pay Research Mentors through the grant or the overhead?

A: NIH does not permit paying research mentors for their mentoring work as it is considered to be part of their job as faculty. Also, the vast majority of the funding NIH has provided is used to support the student trainees and provide supplies for their research and funds for them to travel to present their research. The overhead rate on this funding is at 8%, so there isn’t overhead return available to us to compensate research mentors. However, we do hope you will consider the dedicated hours and quality of work of the BUILD trainees as a form of reward.

Q: Can lecturers or FERP faculty become BUILD Research Mentors?

A: It is important that the mentor can direct the trainee’s research through their entire participation in BUILD. To this end, a Research Mentor must be permitted by their department to direct research, and they must have at least a three-year contract. For lecturers, there must be an identified co-mentor tenure/tenure track faculty member and research lab where the trainee would be trained.