October 18-20, 2021 (tentative)
Bozeman, Montana

Originally scheduled for June 8-10, 2020, but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the PIRL workshop has been rescheduled tentatively for October 2021. We are in the process of notifying all selected participants. Please contact James Burroughs at [email protected] with any questions.

aerial view of MSU and Bozeman, MT

Bozeman, MT, and Montana State University. (Photograph by Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez, MSU)


Sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and hosted by the Center for American Indian and Rural Health Equity (CAIRHE) at Montana State University and the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Promoting Indigenous Research Leadership (PIRL) is a three-day workshop designed to promote the research careers of Indigenous and other early-career faculty working with Indigenous communities. Its particular focus is preparing faculty to apply for the "Intervention Research to Improve Native American Health" (IRINAH) funding opportunity (R01/R21) at the National Institutes of Health. The workshop also helps faculty investigators foster a sense of community, improve leadership and grant application skills, and receive the career support they need.

Online applications ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED. Applications were last due on February 16, 2020. Notification of selection occurred in March 2020 for the workshop originaly scheduled for June 2020. Postponed due to COVID-19, PIRL is now rescheduled tentatively for October 18-20, 2021.

Promoting Indigenous Research Leadership (PIRL) includes:

  • Presentations from leading experts in Indigenous health, including Donald Warne, M.D., MPH (University of Donald Warne and Alex AdamsNorth Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences), and Alexandra Adams, M.D., Ph.D. (Director of CAIRHE).
  • One-on-one consultation with program officers from the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.
  • Focused mentoring with senior NIH-funded faculty from across the country, and with peers who share similar research interests.

Approximately 20 investigators from across the United States have been selected to participate. For those selected, there is no cost to participate, and the workshop will pay for all travel, lodging, and meal expenses.


  • Applicants must be able to attend the workshop in Bozeman, Montana.
  • Applicants must hold a doctoral degree and have a faculty appointment or comparable research appointment at a U.S. 2- or 4-year college or university.
  • Applicants must meet the NIH definition for new investigator.
  • Applicants must already be working with an American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian community or have a stated career goal to do so.
  • Special consideration is given to faculty who are actively amending a previously submitted NIH research grant application that was not funded.
  • We regret that participants who attended the 2019 “Bridging the Gap: From Application to Funding” workshop in Bozeman, MT, are not eligible to participate.

Selection Criteria:

In addition to completing the brief online application, applicants must submit the following as attachments to the application:

  • An NIH Biosketch (preferred) or Curriculum Vitae.
  • A description (300 words or less) of the Indigenous community-based research currently underway or planned within the next three years.
  • A letter from the chair or dean of the applicant's department/school/college outlining the applicant's readiness for the workshop. The letter should indicate how participation in the workshop will advance the investigator's research plans, as well as offer a vision for her or his research progress over the next three years.

For questions or more information, please email James Burroughs, program coordinator for CAIRHE, at [email protected].

Past Participants:

You can read about alumnae/-i of the PIRL program on our PIRL Participants page.



CAIRHE and UND logos

Landscape with horses