Schwetz, NIH Delegation Visit Bowie State University
NIH Acting Deputy Director Dr. Tara Schwetz visited Bowie State University earlier this year to get a first-hand look at the nursing and natural life science departments. Several other NIH leaders joined her on the campus tour.
The trip enabled Schwetz and colleagues to assess the school’s biomedical capabilities and capacity to pursue federal procurements and grants. NIH has a goal of awarding 2% of all contracts to historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
Bowie State is the oldest HBCU in Maryland and has been developing a relationship with NIH through the Path to Excellence and Innovation (PEI) Initiative, which is administered by the Small Business Program Office.
The PEI initiative provides HBCUs with resources for developing an infrastructure to support and sustain contracting by specifically targeting NIH acquisition opportunities with a focus on biomedical research and other activities central to the NIH mission. The program started as a pilot with six participating HBCUs. Currently, there are 19 institutions in the PEI 2.0 cohort, including Bowie State.
Last year, Bowie State was awarded an IDIQ contract with Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc., which operates the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research. The university also was among five recipients of an NINDS Scientific Research Preparatory Program contract to train and mentor undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds and prepare them for biomedical careers.
This was NIH’s second visit to Bowie State. In May 2022 NIH Deputy Director for Management Dr. Alfred Johnson took a delegation that included the NIH UNITE committee for extramural research for an introduction to Bowie State’s Entrepreneurship Academy.