THE NIDA SCHOLARS PROGRAM

Release Date:  May 8, 2000

PA NUMBER:  PAR-00-092

National Institute on Drug Abuse

PURPOSE

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is announcing a two phase (one 
intramural, the other extramural) program, the “NIDA Scholars Program.”  The 
purpose of this program is to provide an opportunity for outstanding new 
investigators to begin their independent research careers (the intramural 
phase) first within the collaborative and mentoring environment of the NIDA 
intramural research program (IRP) and then to continue their careers (the 
extramural phase) at an institution of their choice. This program is also 
intended to continually enhance and invigorate the NIDA intramural community 
by providing a cadre of new, creative scientists who will interact with and 
expand the collaborative research opportunities of NIDA intramural scientists. 
During the intramural phase of the program, the IRP will provide the Scholar 
the necessary resources to progress to a stage of research independence 
through a mentored 2-4 year experience within the NIDA IRP.  

For the extramural phase of the program, which will directly follow the 
intramural phase, Scholars will receive 2 years of additional support for 
continuation of the research program at an extramural institution.  The 
extramural phase of the program will be supported by the National Institutes 
of Health (NIH) Career Transition Award (K22).  Selection for the intramural 
phase does not guarantee selection for the extramural phase.  For individuals 
who are interested in remaining in an extramural environment, NIDA supports a 
number of other mechanisms to support career development including the 
Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01), the Mentored Clinical 
Scientist Development Award (K08) and the Mentored Patient-Oriented Research 
Career Development Award (K23).

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, the NIDA 
Scholars Program, is related to the priority area of human resource 
development. Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" 
at http://www.health.gov/healthypeople.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

1. Eligibility for Entry into the Intramural Component

Individuals with a research or health professional doctoral level degree or 
equivalent who are recognized by their peers and mentors as exceptional, but 
with no more than 5 years of postdoctoral research training at the time of 
receiving the award, are eligible. These individuals should possess 
outstanding potential for independent research in basic biomedical, clinical, 
or population-based (e.g., epidemiological, behavioral, prevention, or 
control) studies. This includes individuals with research experience in any 
environment (e.g., academic, industry, government). Individuals who have had 
more than 5 years of postdoctoral research training at the time of application 
are NOT eligible; however, clinical training does not count toward the 5 years 
of research experience. Individuals who have been principal investigators on 
either PHS research grants (e.g., R29, RO1, P-mechanisms, or P-mechanism 
subprojects) or non-PHS peer reviewed research grants are NOT eligible for 
this award program. However, an exception is that recipients of R03 or R21 
awards remain eligible. Postdoctoral fellows in intramural programs at NIDA 
who meet the Eligibility Requirements are also eligible.

Minorities and women are encouraged to apply. All individuals interested in 
the NIDA Scholars Program must contact NIDA IRP staff to secure an agreement 
for mentoring. Individuals with questions regarding their eligibility for this 
program should call NIDA's IRP contact (see INQUIRIES section).

2. Eligibility for the K22 Extramural Award

Eligibility to apply for the extramural component (K22) of the NIDA Scholars 
Program will require (1) admission to the Scholars Program's intramural 
component and successful completion of 2-4 years of research in the intramural 
component, and (2) endorsement for continuation by the Director of NIDA's 
Intramural Program. Postdoctoral fellows currently in the intramural program 
who apply for the intramural NIDA Scholars experience may, with the consent of 
the IRP Director, count experience already gained there towards the 
requirement for 2-4 years of research in the intramural setting.  Therefore, 
the length of time such persons must spend as intramural NIDA scholars will be 
negotiated for each individual and may be less than two years. 

Candidates must be U.S. citizens or non-citizen nationals, or must have been 
lawfully admitted for permanent residence and possess an Alien Registration 
Card (I-151 or I-152) or some other verification of legal admission as a 
permanent U.S. resident, at the time of the extramural award. Non-citizen 
nationals, although not U.S. citizens, owe permanent allegiance to the U.S. 
They are usually born in lands that are not states, but are under U.S. 
sovereignty, jurisdiction, or administration. Individuals on temporary or 
student visas are NOT eligible to apply.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

The NIDA Scholars Program consists of two Phases:  an Intramural Support Phase 
and an Extramural Support Phase. The maximum total period of combined 
intramural support at NIDA and at the extramural institution as a NIDA Scholar 
will be 6 years. Initially, from 2-4 years of the Scholar's research program 
will be an Intramural Support Phase in which the salary and the research costs 
of the successful Scholar will be derived entirely from NIDA intramural 
resources. (As noted, this phase may be less than two years for exceptional 
candidates who already have intramural experience.)  The budget cannot exceed 
$150,000 total costs per year (excluding equipment) and cannot exceed $600,000 
total costs over a 4-year period (excluding equipment) which is the maximum 
duration of the Intramural Support Phase.

The final 2 years of the Scholar's research program will be supported by a 
competitive K22 award to the extramural institution to which the Scholar is 
recruited. The budget cannot exceed $140,000 plus fringe benefits in direct 
costs per year, or $280,000 plus fringe benefits in direct costs over a 2-year 
period, which is the maximum duration of the Extramural Support Phase. 
Transition from the intramural phase of support to the extramural phase is not 
automatic. Candidates eligible for the K22 extramural support will submit a 
competing application (PHS 398), and transition will depend on (1) the outcome 
of NIH peer review of the competing application, and (2) a decision of the 
NIDA extramural program staff to support funding. The application should be 
submitted approximately 1 year before the applicant intends to leave the IRP.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

The intramural scientists and facilities of NIDA have provided a research 
environment for the training of new scientists who have subsequently entered 
the extramural biomedical and behavioral research community and have become 
leaders in their fields of investigation. This has been accomplished primarily 
through staff fellow and senior staff fellow programs that, to varying 
degrees, have afforded independent research opportunities to new scientists. 
With the continuing effort of NIDA to develop an intramural research 
environment of the highest scientific quality, there is a new opportunity to 
use the unique intramural environment of NIDA to effectively foster the 
research careers of individuals who will pursue their careers as extramural 
scientists.

Goals and Scope

The NIDA Scholars Program is designed for promising new investigators in 
basic, clinical, or population-based biomedical and behavioral research who 
have demonstrated outstanding scientific potential during their training. The 
NIDA Intramural Research Program invites applications for the support of 
scholars who wish to develop independent research programs in a wide range of 
scientific areas relevant to NIDA's mission. The major objective of the 
Scholars Program is to sustain and advance the early research careers of the 
most promising investigators while they consolidate and focus their research 
programs. NIDA Scholars will, in collaboration with NIDA IRP staff, design and 
pursue research projects in their area of interest for which they would be 
provided with facilities, operating budget, salary, and personnel. Although 
the Intramural component of the program is a mentored experience, NIDA 
Scholars will essentially function as principal investigators while in the 
intramural program in terms of their research.

Allowable Costs

1.  Intramural Support Phase: The budget for the Intramural Support Phase will 
be approximately $150,000 per year in total costs excluding equipment. The 
final budget for this phase of the award will be negotiated with the 
sponsoring NIDA intramural laboratory and will depend upon the nature and 
scope of the research.

Salaries will be provided for the Scholar and up to two additional support 
positions. Salaries of the Scholar and other personnel must be commensurate 
with the level of training and experience Applicants should contact NIDA IRP 
staff listed under INQUIRIES for specific salary information.

Up to $25,000 per person will be provided for annual operating expenses (e.g., 
supplies, disposables, copying, etc.). Up to $50,000 in the first year will be 
provided for laboratory equipment. Additional budget expenses, such as 
animals, will be provided as necessary and negotiated with NIDA.

2.  Extramural Support Phase: The budget for the 2-year extramural transition 
phase may not exceed $140,000 plus fringe benefits per year in direct costs.

At the extramural institution, Scholars will be provided salary support 
consistent with the salary structure and benefits for Career Development (K) 
Awards. At the time of release of this NIDA Scholars Program announcement, the 
salary structure provides varying proportions of the institutional base 
salary, with the upper limit being 75% of a base salary of $90,000. Applicants 
should check for updated information prior to completing an application. The 
total salary requested must be based on a full-time, 12-month staff 
appointment, and there should be no less than 75 percent effort devoted by the 
Scholar specifically to the proposed research program. The institution may 
supplement the NIDA contribution. However, supplementation may not be from 
federal funds unless specifically authorized by the federal program from which 
such funds are derived. In no case may Public Health Service funds be used for 
salary supplementation. Institutional supplementation of salary will not 
require extra duties or responsibilities that would interfere with the purpose 
of this award. Under expanded authorities, institutions may carry over 
unexpended funds into the next budget period and re-budget funds within the 
total costs awarded but may not re-budget funds involving the salary component 
of the budget. The total salary requested must be based on a full-time, 
12-month staff appointment.

Up to $50,000 per year in direct costs will be provided to partially support 
ancillary personnel, supplies, equipment, travel, tuition, and other costs 
which are deemed essential for the individual's research program.

Indirect costs are now reimbursed at 8 percent.

Special Restrictions

Acceptance into the NIDA Scholar's Program does not convey any commitment or 
intent of NIDA to consider the Scholar for a tenure track position within 
NIDA. The NIDA Scholars Program is specifically intended to help develop 
scientists who will pursue their careers in the extramural biomedical research 
community. However, NIDA Scholars are not explicitly precluded from applying 
for available tenure track positions at the NIH.

The K22 extramural award is not renewable. K22 recipients are not eligible for 
any NIDA supported Mentored K Awards (K01, K08, K23, K25). It is expected that 
by the time the candidate leaves the IRP or spends a year or so in an 
extramural site, the candidate will be able to secure independent funding.

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 subpopulations must be included in all NIH-supported biomedical and 
behavioral research projects involving human subjects unless a clear and 
compelling rationale and justification is provided 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 (Public 
Law 103-43).

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical 
Research which were published in the Federal Register of March 28, 1994 (FR 59 
14508-14513) and in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Volume 23, Number 
11, March 18, 1994.

Investigators may obtain copies from these sources or from the program staff 
or contact person listed under INQUIRIES. Program staff may also provide 
additional relevant information concerning the policy.

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 2 1) 
must be included in all human subjects research conducted or supported by NIH 
unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them. This 
policy applies to all applications submitted in response to this RFA. 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.

NATIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL ON DRUG ABUSE RECOMMENDED GUIDELINES FOR THE 
ADMINISTRATION OF DRUGS TO HUMAN SUBJECTS

The National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse recognizes the importance of 
research involving the administration of drugs to human subjects and has 
developed guidelines relevant to such research. Potential applicants are 
encouraged to obtain and review these recommendations of the Council before 
submitting an application that will administer compounds to human subjects. 
The guidelines are available on NIDA's Home Page at www.nida.nih.gov under 
"Funding" or may be obtained by calling (301) 443-2755.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

1.  Entry into the NIDA Scholars Program and the Intramural Research Program 
Phase

To apply for the initial IRP experience, applicants should first contact the 
IRP representative listed in the INQUIRIES section. The purpose of this 
initial contact is to determine the availability of a position given the 
applicant's research interest.  The initial contact may be made at any time; 
there is no specific receipt date for the intramural phase of the program.

If a position is available, the applicant will be instructed to send the 
following to the IRP contact:

o 1-2 page letter of interest providing a detailed accounting of the research 
to be done in the IRP.

o Curriculum Vita.

o 2-3 letters of recommendation from predoctoral and postdoctoral mentors.

Entry into the Intramural Phase of the program does not require the completion 
of the grant application form PHS 398 application.  

2.  Application for the Extramural Phase

The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) is to be used. These 
forms are available at most institutional offices of sponsored research; 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, Email: grantsinfo@nih.gov, and on the Web at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm.  Follow the instructions for the "K" 
series applications. The candidate must identify an extramural institution 
that serves as the applicant institution and co-signs the application. The 
form PHS 398 kit describes the obligations of the applicant organization.  The 
standard receipt dates described in the form PHS 398 for the "K" series 
applies for the extramural phase of the program.

The PA title (NIDA Scholars Program) and PA number must be typed on line 2 of 
the face page of the application, and the YES box must be marked.

The "K Table of Contents" should be completed.

Enter in item 6 (Dates of Proposed Period of Support) the 2 years of support 
needed to complete the Extramural Support Phase of the NIDA Scholars Program.

Letters from the applicant's IRP mentor and the Scientific Director of the IRP 
must be included. The letters should address the following issues:

o  Potential for conducting independent research,

o  Evidence of originality,

o  Adequacy of scientific background,

o  Quality of research endeavors and publications to date, and

o  Commitment to health-oriented research.

Career Development Plan:

Applicants should describe their career goals and plans to continue an 
independent research career.

Plans to ensure the candidate's continued understanding of responsible conduct 
of research should be provided in detail, citing experiences obtained during 
the Intramural phase and experiences planned in the extramural phase.

Research Plan:

The scientific objectives and specific aims should describe research plans 
that are sufficient to justify up to 2 years of support. Describe the research 
plan as outlined in form PHS 398 including sections on the Specific Aims, 
Background and Significance, Progress Report/Preliminary Studies, Research 
Design and Methods.

Budget:

Budget requests must be provided according to the instructions in the form PHS 
398.

Follow the instructions for submitting an application and appendix materials 
as provided in the form PHS 398 packet. Submit a signed, typewritten original 
of the application and three signed photocopies in one package 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)

Send an additional copy of the application directly to:

National Institute on Drug Abuse
Office of Extramural Affairs
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 3158, MSC 9547
Bethesda, MD 20892-9547
Rockville, MD 20852 (for express/courier service)

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

1. Review of the Intramural Application

Once a completed application is received, it will be reviewed by a committee 
chaired by the IRP Associate Director for Education and Training. Promising 
candidates will be invited for an interview during which they will present 
their current research in a seminar.

Acceptance into the NIDA Scholars Program will be based on the following 
criteria:

o Quality of present research and proposed research

o Quality of curriculum vita

o Letters of recommendation from mentors

o Seminar presentation

o Interview

2. Review of the K22 Extramural Application

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed by the Center for Scientific 
Review (CSR) for completeness. Incomplete applications will be returned to the 
applicant without further consideration. Applications also will be evaluated 
for responsiveness to this PA. Applications that are not responsive will be 
returned to the applicant without review.

Applications that are complete and responsive to this PA will be evaluated for 
scientific and technical merit in accordance with the review criteria stated 
below, by an appropriate extramural scientific review group (SRG) convened in 
accordance with standard NIH peer review procedures. As part of the initial 
merit review, all applications will receive a written critique and undergo a 
process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific 
merit will be discussed and assigned a priority score. All applications will 
receive a second level of review by the National Advisory Council on Drug 
Abuse.

The following review criteria will be applied:

Candidate -

o Capacity to carry out independent research;

o Potential to become an outstanding scientist who will make significant 
contributions to the field;

o Past and present research productivity as evidenced by contributions to the 
scientific literature, and success in obtaining independent funding;

o Ability to conceptualize and organize a long-term research approach; and

o Level of training, experience, and competence commensurate with the purposes 
of the award.

Career Development Plan -

o Likelihood that the award will contribute substantially to the continued 
scientific development and productivity of the candidate;

o The extent to which the award will enable a candidate to devote full time to 
research and related duties by release from teaching, administration, clinical 
work, and other responsibilities;

o Consistency of the career development plan with the candidate's career 
goals; and

o Collaboration with other active investigators and opportunities for 
professional growth.

Research Plan

o Quality of research plan and significance for contributing to the scientific 
literature;

o Scientific and technical merit of the proposed research plan; and

o Adequacy of plans to include both genders and minorities and their subgroups 
as appropriate for the scientific goals of the research. Plans to include 
children and plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be 
evaluated.

Budget

o Justification of budget requests in relation to career development goals and 
research aims and plans.

SELECTION AND AWARD CRITERIA

1. Intramural Support Phase

Candidates will be evaluated by an IRP committee based on the criteria 
outlined in the REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS. Acceptance decisions will be made 
within 30 days of the candidate's interview.

The specific terms of the Intramural Support Phase with be finalized in a 
"Scholars Agreement." The applicant indicates his/her acceptance of the 
Scholar's Award and the specific intramural appointment terms by signing the 
Scholar's Agreement.

2. Extramural Support Phase

K22 applications will compete for available positions/funds with all other 
recommended applications submitted in response to this PA. The following will 
be considered in making award decisions: 1) qualifications and potential of 
the applicant, and quality of the proposed research project as determined by 
peer review; 2) programmatic priorities; and 3) availability of funds.

INQUIRIES

Inquiries concerning this PA are encouraged, especially during the planning 
phase of the application, to clarify any issues or questions from potential 
applicants. NIDA contacts for specific areas of expertise are listed below:

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:


Lucinda L. Miner, Ph.D.
Office of Science Policy and Communications
National Institute on Drug Abuse
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 5230, MSC 9591
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-9591
Telephone: (301) 443-6071
FAX: (301) 443-6277
E-mail:  cm171W@nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding the Intramural Research Program Phase to:

Stephen J. Heishman, Ph.D.
Associate Director for Education and Training
Intramural Research Program
National Institute on Drug Abuse
5500 Nathan Shock Drive
Baltimore, MD 21224
Telephone: (410) 550-1547
FAX: (410) 550-1849
Email: sheish@intra.nida.nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Gary Fleming, J.D., M.A.
Grants Management Branch
National Institute on Drug Abuse
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 313 1, MSC 9541
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-9541
Telephone: (301) 443-6710
FAX: (301) 594-6847
Email: gf6s@nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding eligibility for the K22 extramural award to:

Rita Liu, Ph.D.
Office of Extramural Affairs
National Institute on Drug Abuse
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 3158, MSC 9547
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-9547
Telephone: (301) 443-2755
FAX: (301) 443-0538
Email: rl62i@nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding review of the K22 extramural award to:

Teresa Levitin, Ph.D.
Office of Extramural Affairs
National Institute on Drug Abuse
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 3158, MSC 9547
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-9547
Telephone: (301) 443-2755
FAX: (301) 443-0538
Email: t125u@nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Nos. 
93.855 and 93.856. Awards are made under the authority of Title 111, Section 
301 of the PHS Act as amended. The Code of Federal Regulations, Title 42 Part 
52 and Title 45 Part 74, are applicable to this program. This program is not 
subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 
to Health Systems Agency review.

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


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