NINDS MEDICAL STUDENT DUAL-DEGREE MD/PHD OR MD/MPH FELLOWSHIPS

Release Date:  May 23, 2001

PA NUMBER:  PA-01-100 (This PA has been replaced, see PA-05-151)

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

PURPOSE

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) invites 
applications for individual National Research Service Award (NRSA) fellowships 
for MD/PhD and MD/MPH students.  There is a critical need for 
clinician-scientists with the medical training and research experience to 
investigate problems of disease in humans.  Yet, the enormous complexity of the 
neurological disorders prevents the standard course of study at most medical 
schools from providing the experience necessary to develop researchers.  Support 
for NRSA MD/PhD and MD/MPH fellowships is designed to help ensure that highly 
trained clinician-scientists will be available in adequate numbers to conduct 
basic and clinical research in disorders relevant to the mission of the NINDS.  
While this program is primarily focused on individuals pursuing the MD degree, 
other health professional students (e.g., D.O., D.D.S.) may also apply.  For 
additional information about NINDS programs please consult the following 
Website:  http://www.ninds.nih.gov

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010

The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health promotion 
and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2010," a PHS-led national 
activity for setting priority areas.  This program announcement, NINDS MEDICAL 
STUDENT DUAL-DEGREE MD/PHD OR MD/MPH FELLOWSHIPS, is related to one or more of 
the priority areas.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 
2010" at http://www.health.gov/healthypeople.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Citizenship:  By the time of award, individuals must be citizens or non-citizen 
nationals of the United States, or must have been lawfully admitted to the 
United States for permanent residence (i.e., possess a currently valid Alien 
Registration Receipt Card I-551, or other legal verification of such status).  
Non-citizen nationals are generally persons born in outlying possessions of the 
United States (i.e., American Samoa and Swains Island).  Individuals on 
temporary or student visas are not eligible. 

Degree Requirements:  The applicant must have a baccalaureate degree and show 
evidence of both high academic performance in the sciences and substantial 
interest in research in areas of high priority to the sponsoring Institute.  The 
applicant must be enrolled in an MD (or other clinical) program at an accredited 
medical/health professional school, accepted in a related scientific PhD or MPH 
program, and supervised by a mentor in that scientific discipline when the 
application is submitted.  The typical applicant will apply during the first year 
of medical school for funding to begin in the second year; however, applications 
may be submitted at any stage of medical school.

Sponsor:  Before submitting a fellowship application, the applicant must 
identify a sponsoring institution and an individual who will serve as a sponsor 
(also called mentor or supervisor) and will supervise the training and 
research experience.

The applicant's sponsor should be an active investigator in the area of the 
proposed research who will directly supervise the candidate's research. The 
sponsor must document the availability of staff, research support, and 
facilities for high-quality research training.

The institutional setting must be domestic, and may be private (profit or 
nonprofit) or public, including the NIH Intramural Programs and other 
Federal laboratories.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Awards made under this program announcement will use the F30 Individual 
Predoctoral MD/PhD or MD/MPH fellowship mechanism to provide combined medical 
school and predoctoral PhD or MPH support for a maximum of six years; no other 
NRSA support may be received during this time.  Any exception to these 
limitations requires a waiver from the sponsoring Institute based on a review of 
the justification provided by the individual awardee and his or her sponsor.  
Continued support beyond the first year is dependent upon satisfactory progress 
toward both degrees.  Annual reports are to be provided by the fellow, the PhD 
or MPH department and sponsor, and the medical school.

Although NRSAs are not usually made for training leading to a health 
professional degree, or for training that is part of a clinical residency, this 
program is specifically designed to support training in an established, combined 
MD/PhD or MD/MPH program.

NINDS intends to award up to five fellowships per year.

Allowable Costs

Stipends: The annual stipend for predoctoral individuals will remain fixed for 
the period of support, unless the stipend level is changed in the NIH annual 
appropriation.  Applicants should consult with Institute Program Staff for the 
latest stipend level.  Alternatively, applicants may obtain information about 
current stipend levels and other policy documents from the URL for "NIH Training 
Related Policy Documents":  http://www.nih.gov/training/nrsa.htm

Tuition and Fees and health insurance:  The NINDS will offset the combined cost 
of tuition and fees at the following rate:  100 percent of all costs up to 
$3,000 and 60 percent of costs above $3,000.  Costs associated with tuition and 
fees are allowable only if they are required for specific courses in support of 
the research training experience supported by the fellowship.  A full 
description of the tuition policy is contained within the NRSA Policy Guidelines 
on the NIH website at http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsa.htm

Institutional Allowance:  An allowance of up to $2,500 per predoctoral fellow 
per twelve month period will be provided to the sponsoring institution to help 
defray such expenses as research supplies, equipment, travel to scientific 
meetings, and related items for the individual fellows, and to otherwise offset, 
to the extent possible, appropriate administrative costs of graduate research 
training.  The allowance is provided only upon official activation of the award, 
and the sponsoring institution is expected to administer the allowance and 
disburse the funds.  If an individual fellow is in a training status for less 
than six months of the award year, only one-half of that year's allowance may be 
charged to the grant.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Applicants for NINDS MD/PhD and MD/MPH fellowship awards must propose to conduct 
biomedical research in areas of high priority/public health significance to 
neurological sciences and document that the proposed graduate program and 
proposed research project offers them an opportunity to develop expert research 
skills and knowledge leading to a research career in neurological sciences.

The research training experience must provide a strong foundation in research 
design, methods and analytic techniques; the development or enhancement of the 
fellow’s ability to conceptualize and think through research problems with 
increasing independence; experience in conducting, presenting and publishing 
independent research; the opportunity to interact with members of the scientific 
community at meetings and workshops (including NIH sponsored meetings); and the 
development and documentation of a well thought-out career plan to increase the 
applicant's ability to secure federal support for his/her research.  The 
applicant’s experience should be under the guidance and supervision of a 
committed sponsor who is an active and established investigator in the area of 
the applicant's proposed research.  The research training program should be 
carried out in a research-intensive environment that includes appropriate human 
and technical resources and is demonstrably committed to research training in 
the particular program proposed by the applicant so that the applicant can grow 
as a creative scientist.

The application must include evidence that instruction in the principles of 
responsible conduct of research will be incorporated into the proposed research 
training plan.  Applications without plans for training in responsible conduct 
of research will be considered incomplete and will be returned without review.

The NRSA legislation requires that the Nation's overall need for biomedical 
research personnel be taken into account by giving special consideration to 
training physicians who propose to become active biomedical researchers.  The 
sponsoring Institutes recognize the critical importance of training physicians 
to become researchers as well as training clinicians to conduct 
patient-oriented research.

Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons with disabilities are 
encouraged to apply.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Awards must be activated within six months of receipt of award notice (see below 
for application receipt, review, and start dates).  No funds may be disbursed 
until the individual has started training under the award and an Activation 
Notice (PHS 416-5) has been submitted to and accepted by the 
sponsoring Institute.

Individuals are required to pursue their MD/PhD or MD/MPH training program on a 
full-time basis, devoting at least 40 hours per week to the training program.

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their 
sub-populations must be included in all NIH-supported biomedical and behavioral 
research projects involving human subjects, unless a clear and compelling 
rationale and justification are provided indicating that inclusion is 
inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of the 
research. This policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 
492B of Public Law 103-43).All investigators proposing research involving human 
subjects should read the UPDATED "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and 
Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research," published in the NIH Guide for 
Grants and Contracts on August 2, 2000 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-048.html); a complete 
copy of the updated Guidelines are available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_update.htm:  The 
revisions relate to NIH defined Phase III clinical trials and require:  a) all 
applications or proposals and/or protocols to provide a description of plans to 
conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by sex/gender and/or 
racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable; and b) all 
investigators to report accrual, and to conduct and report analyses, as 
appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group differences.

INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

It is the policy of NIH that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) 
must be included in all human subjects research, conducted or supported by the 
NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them.  This 
policy applies to all initial (Type 1) applications submitted for receipt dates 
after October 1, 1998.  All investigators proposing research involving human 
subjects should read the "NIH Policy and Guidelines on the Inclusion of Children 
as Participants in Research Involving Human Subjects" that was published in the 
NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, March 6, 1998, and is available at the 
following URL address:  
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-024.html  Investigators 
also may obtain copies of these policies from the program staff listed under 
INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide additional relevant information 
concerning the policy.

URLs IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES

All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within 
specified page limitations. Unless otherwise specified in an NIH solicitation, 
internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide information necessary to 
the review because reviewers are under no obligation to view the Internet sites.  
Reviewers are cautioned that their anonymity may be compromised when they 
directly access an Internet site.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Prospective applicants are encouraged to  contact the Program Staff listed under 
INQUIRIES, for pre-application consultation.  The Individual National Research 
Service Award application kit PHS 416-1 must be used in applying for fellowships.  
These forms are available at most institutional offices of sponsored research 
and may be obtained from the Division of Extramural Outreach and Information 
Resources, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, 
Bethesda, MD  20892-7910, Telephone:  (301) 435-0714, FAX:  (301) 480-0525, 
Email:  GrantsInfo@nih.gov.  Application kits are also available on the Internet 
at:  http://www.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm

The number and title of this program announcement must be typed in Item 3 on the 
face page of the application form.

At least three completed letters of reference in sealed envelopes must be attached 
to the application.  Applications without the required number of reference 
letters will be returned without review.

Application Receipt and Review Schedule:

Applications responding to this Program Announcement will be accepted and 
reviewed three times a year according to the following schedule:

Application Receipt Date:      April 5, August 5, and December 5
Review Meeting:                June/July, October/November, and February/March
Notification:                  August/September, December/January, and April/May
Earliest Possible Start Date:  August/September, December/January, and April/May

Applications received after these receipt dates are subject to assignment to the 
next cycle, or may be returned to the applicant upon request by the applicant.

An original and one copy of the completed and signed application are to be 
submitted to:

CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC REVIEW
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 1040 - MSC 7710
BETHESDA, MD  20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)

At the time of submission to the Center of Scientific Review, one additional 
copy of the completed and signed application and all copies of the appendix 
materials (if any) to:

Chief, Scientific Review Branch
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 3201
Bethesda, MD  20892
(For courier mail:  Rockville, MD 20852)
ATTN:  NRSA F30 Fellowships

Applicants are advised to pay special attention to the following important items 
in PHS 416-1:

Part I (Prepared by Applicant):

Item 5. Training Under Proposed Award. Identify the PhD discipline according to 
the NIH Lexicon of NRSA disciplines on page 27 of the instructions.  Candidates 
who expect to receive a PhD in Neuroscience should enter a code number of 
188 (Neurobiology).

Item 22. Scholastic Performance.  In addition to the information requested in 
the application, applicants should provide scores for MCAT, GRE, and other exams 
relevant to medical and graduate school that they have taken recently.

Item 29a. Activities Under Award.  Typically, an MD/PhD or MD/MPH student spends 
the first 2 years of the program in medical school courses with a limited amount 
of time devoted to PhD or MPH work; the third and fourth years of support are 
spent on PhD or MPH work; and the last 2 years are used to complete medical 
school.  Applicants should describe how they expect to divide their time between 
medical and graduate school, e.g., medical school courses, graduate school 
courses, research, research training, etc., during both the school year and the 
summer for each year of the program.  A minimum of 40 hours/week are required 
for support under the NRSA program.

Item 29b. Research Proposal.  All applicants should provide a research plan, 
including a description of a research proposal in which they will be involved as 
part of their training.  The plan should include substantive detail that adds to 
the information about time allocations requested in Item 29a.

Part II (Prepared by Sponsor):

Items 32 and 33. Sponsor's Previous Fellows/Trainees, Training Plan, Environment, 
and Research Facilities.  The sponsor must currently be funded to conduct 
independent research (e.g., Principal Investigator on an R01 or equivalent) and 
must describe past experience in the guidance of other research trainees and 
fellows.  In addition, the sponsor must describe in detail his/her commitment to 
and proposed role in guiding the individual applicant.  The chairman of the 
graduate committee for the PhD or MPH program must also describe the 
department's commitment to and proposed role in guiding the individual applicant 
and any modifications to the department's usual PhD requirements that are 
necessary to facilitate this trainee's special needs.

The application must include evidence that training in the principles of 
responsible conduct of research will be incorporated in the research experience 
of each fellow.  This should be presented under Item 33.  Issues such as 
conflict of interest, data recording and retention, professional standards and 
codes of conduct, responsible authorship, and ethics in biological and 
behavioral research can provide the substantive base of such training.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, all F30 fellowship applications will be reviewed for completeness 
by the Center for Scientific Review.  Incomplete applications will be returned 
to the applicant without further consideration.

Fellowship applications that are complete will be evaluated for merit by an 
appropriate peer review group convened by the NINDS Scientific Review Branch.  
As part of the merit review, all applications will receive a written critique 
and will be assigned a priority score.

Review Criteria

The F30 individual MD/PhD or MD/MPH predoctoral fellowship is designed to train 
future generations of outstanding clinician-scientists committed to pursuing a 
research career in the neurological and communication sciences.  The review of 
an application will focus on the following: the applicant, the research training 
plan, the sponsor, and the institutional environment/commitment.  Information 
from the letters of reference will be used to inform considerations of these 
factors, and the final priority score will reflect the overall evaluation of the 
entire application.

Applicant:

o  The applicant's potential for, and commitment to, a productive scientific 
career.  The reviewers may take into account the applicant's history as a 
student, as well as past and current involvement in research activities

Research Training Plan:

o  Objectives, design, and direction of the proposed research program

o  Specificity and clarity of the description of the research skills and 
knowledge to be acquired and objective evaluation of progress in each area

o  Clarity, completeness, originality, and significance of the goals of the 
proposed research training plans

o  Adequacy of knowledge of relevant literature and current methods in the 
proposed research area

o  Potential of proposed research training to serve as a sound foundation that 
will lead the applicant to a productive career in neurological sciences research

o  Adequacy of plans for the protection of human subjects, animals, or the 
environment, to the extent they may be adversely affected by the 
research proposed

o  Adequacy of plans to include women, children and minorities as subjects in 
research, if applicable

Sponsor:

o  Caliber of the sponsor as a researcher, including successful competition for 
research support

o  Evidence of the proposed sponsor's understanding of and commitment to 
fulfilling the role of sponsor and mentor

o  Evidence of an understanding of the applicant's research training needs and a 
demonstrated ability, on the part of the sponsor, to assist in meeting 
those needs

o  Past research training record of the sponsor in terms of the rate at which 
former predoctoral trainees obtain their doctoral degree and go on to 
postdoctoral or other scientific careers

o Plan to provide the fellow with individualized supervised experiences that 
will develop his/her research skills

Institutional Environment/Commitment:

o  Training environment including the institutional commitment to research 
training and career development,  the quality of the facilities and related 
resources (e.g., equipment, laboratory space, computer time, subject 
populations) and the availability of research support.

o  Adequacy of plans to provide training in the responsible scientific conduct 
of research.  This belongs in sponsor or environment

AWARD CRITERIA

The responsibility for award decisions resides solely with authorized program 
staff of the sponsoring Institute.  The following criteria will be used in 
making award decisions: (1) overall merit of the application; (2) relevance of 
the application to the mission and research priorities of the awarding 
institute; (3) program balance; and (4) availability of funds.

INQUIRIES

Inquiries are encouraged.  Prospective applicants are encouraged to visit the 
NINDS Research Training and Career Development website in order to obtain 
current information about program priorities and policy guidelines:  
http://www.ninds.nih.gov/funding/research_training.htm

Inquiries regarding programmatic issues may be directed to:

NINDS Training and Career Development Officer
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2154, MSC 9531
Bethesda, MD  20892 (for courier: Rockville, MD 20852)
Phone:  (301) 496-4188
FAX:  (301) 594-5929
Email:  NINDSTrainingOffice@ninds.nih.gov


Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Joellen M. Harper
Chief, Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
6001 Executive Blvd, Room 3290
Bethesda, MD  20892-9537
Telephone:  (301) 496-9231 
FAX:  (301) 402-0219
EMail:  jh41m@nih.gov


AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 
93.853.  Awards are made under authorization of sections 301 and 405 of the 
Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and administered under 
NIH grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.  
This program is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of 
Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide a 
smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products.  In 
addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in 
certain facilities (or in some cases, and portion of a facility) in which 
regular or routine education, library, day care, health care or early childhood 
development services are provided to children.  This is consistent with the PHS 
mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of the American people.


Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices


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