Research Centers in Minority Institutions

Research Centers in Minority Institutions

National RCMI Program


The Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) program is a congressionally mandated 'research infrastructure' program of the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The RCMI grant award is a competitive, NIH peer-reviewed G12 type grant. The authorizing legislation for this program acknowledges the important role that minority educational institutions have traditionally played in training professionals who provide health care to the minority community. Implicit in the legislative language is the major role which minority institutions must play in order for the NIH to address the health needs of the entire U.S. citizenry. This mandate is best achieved through the enhancement of the research capacity of RCMI-eligible institutions for the conduct of state of the art biomedical and clinical research.

Mission Statement

The mission of the RCMI program is to expand the national capacity for research in the health sciences by assisting, through grant support, predominantly minority institutions that offer doctorate degrees in the health professions and/or health-related sciences to strengthen their research environment. The primary goal is to enable these institutions to become more competitive in obtaining support for the conduct of biomedical and/or clinical research relevant to the mission of the Public Health Service.


Message From the Director

Dr. Sidney A. McNairy, Jr., Ph.D.
Director, Division of Research Infrastructure
National Center for Research Resources
National Institutes of Health


The NCRR Mission:

The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) serves as a "catalyst for discovery" by creating and providing critical research technologies and shared resources. This infrastructure underpins biomedical research and enables advances that improve the health of our Nation's citizens.

Biomedical research investigators supported by the Institutes and Centers of the National Institutes of Health require a broad array of technologies, tools and materials critical to their research efforts. From the models required for research on diseases and disabilities, to the biomedical technology and instrumentation necessary to elucidate cellular and molecular structure, to the clinical settings in which to conduct studies to discern the cause of disease and in which novel clinical trials of new therapies can be developed, biomedical researchers must have access to the necessary resources in order to continue to make progress against human disease and disability.
The NCRR has a unique responsibility at the National Institutes of Health: to develop critical research technologies and to provide cost-effective, multidisciplinary resources to biomedical investigators across the spectrum of research activities supported by the NIH. This has four major facets:

Create resources and develop technologies that are cost-effective, accessible and responsive to the research needs of the biomedical research community. To meet these needs the NCRR must be in the vanguard of evolving trends in basic and clinical research so that resources will be available to facilitate that research. Provide shared clinical, primate and biotechnology resources for use by investigators supported by all the NIH Institutes and Centers. These resources, primarily centers, serve more than 10,000 researchers, supported through well over $1 billion of categorical research resource Institute funds, thus leveraging those funds for more cost-effective and efficient research. Develop quick, flexible approaches to new and emerging biomedical research needs and opportunities. These innovations often involve high-risk research, but the payoffs may be substantial.

Strengthen the nation's biomedical research infrastructure through programs to develop and enhance the capacity of minority institutions and centers of emerging excellence to participate in biomedical research, to increase the exposure of K-12 students and their teachers to the life sciences, to improve the condition of research animal facilities, and to construct or renovate facilities for biomedical and behavioral research.

The NCRR plays a key role in addressing pressing trans-NIH research issues, such as access to state-of-the-art instrumentation and biomedical technologies; containment of the escalating costs of highly sophisticated clinical research; development of appropriate, specialized research models both animal and non-animal; and remedying the shortage of independent clinical investigators and the under-representation of minority investigators. Present and future program directions emphasize "smart," network-connected technologies, computer-aided drug design, development and testing of gene and molecular therapies, bioengineering approaches to decrease health care costs, and enhanced training and career development for patient-oriented research.