INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH AND ACADEMIC CAREER DEVELOPMENT AWARD

RELEASE DATE:  August 22, 2002

PA NUMBER: PAR-02-152

RECEIPT DATE: October 1

EXPIRATION DATE: June 30, 2005

Update:
-June 16, 2006 (PAR-06-470) - This PAR has been reissued, see PAR-06-470

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
 (http://www.nigms.nih.gov/)

THIS PA CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION

o Purpose of the PA
o Research Objectives
o Mechanism(s) of Support 
o Eligible Institutions
o Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators
o Special Requirements 
o Where to Send Inquiries
o Submitting an Application
o Peer Review Process
o Review Criteria
o Award Criteria
o Required Federal Citations

PURPOSE OF THIS PA  

The Minority Opportunities in Research (MORE) Division of the National 
Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) re-announces the 
Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA) 
Initiative that seeks to combine a traditional mentored postdoctoral 
research experience at a research-intensive institution with an 
opportunity to allow the candidate to develop teaching skills through 
innovative programs that involve mentored assignments at a Minority 
Serving Institution (MSI).  The combined program would facilitate the 
progress of underrepresented minority postdoctoral candidates into 
research and teaching careers in academia.  It is expected that this 
initiative will provide an important new resource to motivate the next 
generation of scientists at MSIs. It could also enhance linkages between 
faculty at MSIs and their counterparts at research intensive 
institutions. 

The objectives of this initiative are three-fold: 1) to enhance 
research-oriented teaching at MSIs, 2) to increase or enhance the 
research and other skills needed in developing scientists to conduct 
high quality research in an academic environment, and 3) to promote 
linkages between research-intensive institutions and MSIs that can lead 
to further collaborations in research and teaching.  Another desired 
long-term outcome is to increase the number of well-qualified 
underrepresented minority students entering competitive careers in 
biomedical research.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

Underrepresented minorities constitute a small fraction of the 
postdoctoral fellows in the life sciences and an even smaller fraction 
of the principal investigators of NIH research grants.  In addition, the 
number of underrepresented minority applicants for research grants and 
training positions is very low.  In the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, 
NIH was encouraged to increase the number of underrepresented minorities 
participating in biomedical and behavioral research.  In response to the 
Act, NIGMS seeks innovative ways to enhance the training of students at 
MSIs.  This mission is important because there are declining numbers of 
underrepresented minority group members entering graduate school and 
even fewer who choose careers in biomedical science.  The reasons for 
this are numerous and complex.  Exposure to research-oriented courses is 
desirable to motivate minority students to consider research careers.  
While teaching is, in general, a strength of the MSIs, it is a challenge 
to enrich the curriculum with the most contemporary research topics and 
laboratory experiences that faculty who are  actively engaged in 
research have to offer.  Many MSIs, in part because of their small size, 
are limited in the number of advanced courses in the biomedical sciences 
that they are able to offer.  Furthermore, if faculty turnover is low, 
students may have less access to faculty who are steeped in their 
respective research areas.  

A separate but contemporary problem is that many new scientists find 
that the traditional post-doctoral research experience does not give 
them the best preparation for entering an academic environment in which 
teaching and other problem-solving skills are essential.  This program 
establishes an opportunity for universities and other eligible 
institutions that are involved in cutting edge biomedical research and 
training to design research career development programs that include and 
build upon a teaching experience at an MSI.

The primary objective of the research career development program is to 
prepare qualified individuals for careers that significantly impact the 
nation"s research agenda.  Within the framework of the program"s 
commitment to excellence and projected need for investigators in 
particular areas of research, attention must be given to recruiting 
postdoctoral candidates from minority groups underrepresented nationally 
in the biomedical and behavioral sciences.  For the purposes of this 
program announcement, underrepresented minorities are individuals 
belonging to a particular ethnic or racial group that has been 
determined by the applicant institution to be underrepresented in 
biomedical or behavioral research.  Historically, individuals who have 
been found to be underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral research 
include, but are not limited to, U.S. citizens who are Hispanic 
Americans, African Americans, Native Americans (including Alaska 
Natives) and natives of the U.S. Pacific Islands.  However, the program 
is not intended to be limited to underrepresented minorities.

The traditional postdoctoral research experience must fall within the 
scope of the NIGMS mission as detailed in the publication, "Divisions 
and Grant Award Mechanisms," available from the NIGMS Public Information 
Office (301-496-7301), additional information can be found on the NIGMS 
home page at http://www.nih.gov/nigms/.  In brief, NIGMS supports 
research in: (a) cell biology and molecular biophysics, including basic 
studies of the structure and function of cells, cellular components, and 
the biological macromolecules that make up these components, (b) 
fundamental mechanisms of inheritance and development that typically 
utilize non-human model systems, (c) basic studies in pharmacology, 
physiology, biochemistry, and bio-related chemistry, (d) basic studies 
in anesthesiology, (e) basic studies in biotechnology, including 
biocatalysis and metabolic engineering, (f) bioengineering, including 
instrumentation development and refinement and development of 
bioanalytical methods and biomaterials, and (g) trauma and burn injury.

MECHANISM(S) OF SUPPORT 

This PA will use the Institutional Research and Academic Career 
Development Award (K12).  As an applicant, you will be solely 
responsible for the planning, direction, execution, and tracking for 
evaluation of the proposed project.  The total project period for an 
application submitted in response to this program announcement may not 
exceed five years and is renewable.

This PA uses just-in-time concepts.  

ELIGIBLE INSTITUTIONS 

You may submit (an) application(s) if your institution is domestic and 
has any of the following characteristics:  

o For-profit or non-profit organizations 
o Public or private institutions, such as universities, colleges, 
hospitals, and laboratories 
o Units of State and local governments
o Eligible agencies of the Federal government

An application must be submitted on behalf of a consortium of domestic 
private or public, educational institutions.  The applicant institution 
should be the primary site of the postdoctoral research experience. An 
institution may not submit more than one application.  A consortium must 
include one or more partners that are MSIs as defined below:

o  A public or private nonprofit university, two-year or four-year 
college, or other institution offering undergraduate, graduate, or 
health-professional degrees, with a traditionally high (more than 50 
percent) underrepresented minority student enrollment, or 

o  A public or private nonprofit university, two-year or four-year 
college, or other institution offering undergraduate, graduate, or 
health-professional degrees with a student enrollment, a significant 
proportion of which (but not necessarily more than fifty percent) is 
derived from underrepresented minorities, provided the Secretary of the 
Department of Health and Human Services determines that said institution 
has a demonstrated commitment to the special encouragement of, and 
assistance to, underrepresented minority faculty, students, and 
investigators, or an Indian tribe that has a recognized governing body 
and that performs substantial governmental functions, or an Alaska 
Regional Corporation (ARC), as defined in the Alaska Native Claims 
Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.).

INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS

Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to 
carry out the proposed research is invited to work with their 
institution to develop an application for support.  Individuals from 
underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with 
disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH programs.

ELIGIBLE CANDIDATES

Institutions with an IRACDA may recruit and select candidates directly 
into their programs rather than submitting a separate application on 
behalf of each prospective candidate. The candidates need not be 
identified at the time the application is submitted.  Candidates 
appointed under this program award must be U.S. citizens or non-citizen 
nationals, or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence and 
possess an Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-151 or I-551) or some 
other verification of legal status as a permanent resident. Non-citizen 
nationals, although not U.S. citizens, owe permanent allegiance to the 
U.S. They are generally born in lands which are not states but are under 
U.S. sovereignty, jurisdiction, or administration.  Individuals on 
temporary or student visas are not eligible.

Postdoctoral candidates must have received, as of the beginning date of 
the appointment to the program, a Ph.D., M.D. or comparable doctoral 
degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution.  Eligible 
doctoral degrees include, but are not limited to, the following: D.D.S., 
D.M.D., D.O., D.V.M., O.D., D.P.M., Sc.D., Eng.D., Dr. P.H., D.N.Sc., D. 
Pharm., D.S.W., and Psy.D. Documentation by an authorized official of 
the degree-granting institution certifying all degree requirements have 
been met prior to the beginning date of their appointment is acceptable.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

This initiative encourages innovative solutions to the problems of 
attracting and training post-doctoral candidates in both research and 
academic skills, and also of increasing opportunities for students at 
MSIs.  Applicant institutions therefore have wide latitude in the design 
of the program. However, career development activities, which should 
last two to four years, must include the following components:

1) A research experience typical of other competitive postdoctoral 
opportunities.  The research mentor will sponsor and oversee the 
proposed research development program and will ensure that the candidate 
receives the proper experience for a future research career.  The mentor 
is expected to be a collaborator on the candidate"s research project.  
However, the candidate may conduct collaborative research with other 
experienced researchers, subject to approval of the mentor.

2) A mentored teaching experience, the practicum of which will take 
place at a MSI.  At least 25% of the effort must be spent on this 
activity, the timing of which may be flexible over the duration of the 
award. The activity must emphasize modern pedagogy.  The teaching mentor 
will sponsor and oversee the proposed academic development program and 
will ensure that the candidate receives the proper experience for the 
future academic career.

3) Other mentored and/or didactic experiences to improve problem solving 
or management skills deemed important for an individual to prosper in an 
academic research environment.

4) Flexibility in program design may include flexibility in scheduling.  
For example, a plan might involve large blocks of time devoted to 
research separated by a large block of time devoted to teaching (e.g., 
research for one year, teach for one year, research for one year). 
Alternatively, for institutions in close proximity, the teaching may 
represent a 25% effort throughout the award.

5) Combining research and teaching in a single career development 
program offers certain challenges.  Designing a program that moves a 
post-doctoral candidate between partners of a consortium offers other 
challenges.  A strong application will evidence a solid working 
relationship among partners of the consortium and will include plans 
that anticipate and mitigate the challenges.  It should involve all 
partners in the planning and execution of the elements of the career 
development program.

APPLICATION CONTENT

Applicants should describe their proposed program in detail.  They 
should explain how the program will meet their institutional and 
consortium goals, define specific measurable objectives and explain how 
meeting these goals will fulfill the objectives of this program 
announcement.

The applicant should address the following issues:

(1) Provide information establishing the commitment of the applicant 
institution and the consortium partners, the program director, and the 
faculty mentors to provide developmental experiences that lead to 
independence in biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research and 
teaching.
 
(2) Summarize the immediate and long-term career objectives of the 
program, explaining how the program and the IRACDA will contribute to 
their attainment.

(3) Describe the career development plans for prospective candidates.  
Considering the program goals and the likely goals of prospective 
candidates, describe a plan to provide the necessary basic science 
background and research experiences considering the expected range of 
prior research training in the applicant pool.

(4) Describe the plan for enhancing teaching and management skills of 
the candidates.

(5) Describe the pool of potential candidates including information 
about the types of prior clinical and research training.  Describe how 
the appointments will be made to the IRACDA.  Describe the composition 
of the selection committee and the criteria to be used for selection.  
Describe plans to recruit candidates from racial or ethnic groups that 
are currently underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral sciences.
 
(6) Describe to the extent possible the types of research experiences 
available to the candidates.  The research experiences may include 
either basic or clinical science approaches to biomedical or behavioral 
problems.

(7) Describe the types of activities, courses or workshops that will be 
used to enhance academic skills.  Describe the range of teaching 
opportunities and how teaching duties will be assigned.

(8) Applications must include plans for instruction in the responsible 
conduct of research, including the rationale, subject matter, 
appropriateness, format, frequency and duration of instruction, and the 
amount and nature of faculty participation.  No award will be made if an 
application lacks this component.

(9) Describe the plan and criteria to be used for program evaluation.

Evaluation is central to activities supported by the MORE Division.  
Therefore, the entire career development award must be evaluated in 
terms of goals and specific measurable outcomes as explicitly stated in 
the application.  Outcomes should include, but are not limited to, 
progress of the candidates toward a productive research career, 
documented enhancement of academic skills, and importantly, a measurable 
value for the MSI.  Examples of a measurable value might include, but 
are not limited to: an increase in the revised or upgraded lecture or 
laboratory courses at the MSI, an increased awareness and use of 
teaching tools such as intranet or internet-based tools, an increase in 
the number or diversity of research-oriented courses in the MSI 
curriculum, an increase in the number of MSI students who have research 
experiences at the research institution, and/or an increase in the 
number of collaborations between faculty at the MSI and the research 
institution.  Annual progress reports and renewal applications will 
report on the program"s ongoing evaluation.

ALLOWABLE COSTS

Candidates:  The budget request may include salary/wages and fringe 
benefits to support full-time effort of the IRACDA candidates.  The 
total salary requested for each candidate must be based on a full-time, 
12-month staff appointment.  It must be consistent both with the 
established salary structure at the applicant institution and with 
salaries actually provided by the institution from its own funds to 
other staff members of equivalent qualifications, rank, and 
responsibilities in the department concerned.  If full-time, 12-month 
salaries are not currently paid to comparable staff members, the salary 
proposed must be appropriately related to the existing salary structure.

Research Development Support:  Grant funds may be used to support the 
following expenses: (a) salary as above, (b) tuition, fees and books 
related to career development, (c) research expenses, such as supplies, 
(d) travel to one training or scientific meeting per year, and (e) 
statistical services including personnel and computer time.

Academic Development Support:  Funds may be used to support mentoring 
activities in academic skills development and teaching practicum at the 
MSI.  That is, release time may be granted for teaching mentors at the 
MSI.  Funds may be requested for supplies and small equipment necessary 
for course development at the MSI.

Program Administration:  Funds may be used for program administration 
and for evaluation of the overall program.  Up to 10% of the program 
director"s time and up to 50% of a program assistant may be supported if 
specifically and strongly justified.

Facilities and administrative costs will be reimbursed at 8% of the 
modified total direct costs or at the actual facilities and 
administrative costs, which ever is less.

Grant funds may not be expended on the following: (a) compensation for 
the Principal Investigator or research mentors, (b) direct support of 
the mentors" laboratories, (c) compensation of administrative personnel 
normally paid from institutional overhead charges, (d) administrative 
activities such as public relations, (e) health or educational services, 
(f) travel of the Principal Investigator, Program Director or mentors to 
scientific meetings, or (g) costs of clinical care, alterations and 
renovations.

WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES

We encourage your inquiries concerning this PA and welcome the 
opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.  Inquiries 
may fall into two areas:  scientific/research and financial or grants 
management issues:

o Direct your questions about scientific/research issues to:

Clifton Poodry, Ph.D.
Division of Minority Opportunities in Research
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Room 2AS.37 MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594-3900
FAX:  (301) 480-2753
Email:  poodryc@nigms.nih.gov

o Direct your questions about financial or grants management matters to:

Ms. Antoinette Holland
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Room 2AN.50B MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594-5132
FAX:  (301) 480-3423
Email:  hollanda@nigms.nih.gov

SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION

Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant 
application instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001).  The PHS 398 is 
available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in 
an interactive format.  For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, 
Telephone (301) 435-0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

APPLICATION RECEIPT DATES:  Applications submitted in response to this 
program announcement will be accepted at the receipt date listed on the 
front page of this announcement.

SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLICATIONS REQUESTING $500,000 OR MORE PER 
YEAR:  Applications requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs for any 
year must include a cover letter identifying the NIH staff member within 
one of NIH institutes or centers who has agreed to accept assignment of 
the application.   

Applicants requesting more than $500,000 must carry out the following 
steps:

1) Contact the IC program staff at least 6 weeks before submitting the 
application, i.e., as you are developing plans for the study, 

2) Obtain agreement from the IC staff that the IC will accept your 
application for consideration for award, and,
  
3) Identify, in a cover letter sent with the application, the staff 
member and IC who agreed to accept assignment of the application.  

This policy applies to all investigator-initiated new (type 1), 
competing continuation (type 2), competing supplement, or any amended or 
revised version of these grant application types. Additional information 
on this policy is available in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, 
October 19, 2001 at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-004.html. 

SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH:  Submit a signed, typewritten 
original of the application, including the checklist, and five 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)

APPLICATION PROCESSING:  Applications must be received by or mailed on 
or before the receipt dates described on the first page of this 
document.  The CSR will not accept any application in response to this 
PA that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial review 
unless the applicant withdraws the pending application.  The CSR will 
not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already 
reviewed.  This does not preclude the submission of a substantial 
revision of an application already reviewed, but such application must 
include an Introduction addressing the previous critique.

PEER REVIEW PROCESS

Applications submitted for this PA will be assigned on the basis of 
established PHS referral guidelines.  An appropriate scientific review 
group convened in accordance with the standard NIH peer review 
procedures (http://www.csr.nih.gov/refrev.htm) will evaluate 
applications for scientific and technical merit.  

As part of the initial merit review, all applications will:

o Receive a written critique
o Undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to 
have the highest scientific merit, generally the top half of 
applications under review, will be discussed and assigned a priority 
score
o Receive a second level review by the appropriate national advisory 
council or board.

REVIEW CRITERIA

Applications are evaluated for merit by NIH initial review groups based 
on the following criteria:

(1) Program Director  

o The program director"s experience in managing career development 
programs and success in preparing investigators for independent research 
careers.

(2) Candidates

o Availability of high quality potential candidates,

o Plan for recruiting and selecting candidates (including minorities and 
women),
 
o Plan to identify candidates with a commitment to research and the 
potential to develop as an independent researcher.

(3) Research Career Development Plan

o Likelihood that the career development plan will contribute 
substantially to the scientific development of the candidates,

o Appropriateness of the content, the phasing, and the proposed duration 
of the career development plan for achieving scientific and academic 
independence for the prospective candidates, and objectives, design, and 
direction of the research career development program,  

o Quality of the training in the responsible conduct of research,

o Usefulness of the plans for enhancing the academic skills as described 
in the career development plan.

(4) Academic Skills Development Plan

o Technical merit of the mentored teaching experience, including design 
and methodology for enhancing skills,

o Relevance of the proposed activities to the career objectives of the 
potential candidate,

(5) Mentors

o Appropriateness of the research faculty mentors" qualifications in the 
scientific area of this application,

o Appropriateness of the teaching faculty mentors" qualifications,

o Quality and extent of the mentors" proposed role in providing guidance 
and advice to candidates,

o Previous experience of the mentors in fostering the development of 
academic researchers.

(6) Environment

o Applicant institution"s commitment to the scientific development of 
the candidate and assurances that the institution intends that the 
candidate to be an integral part of its research program,

o Adequacy of research facilities and training opportunities,

o Quality of the environments for scientific and professional 
development,

o Applicant institution"s commitment to the appropriate weighing of 
research and teaching responsibilities of the candidates,

o Evidence of a functional consortium, with commitment and involvement 
in planning on the part of all partners, to foster career development 
and skills necessary for success in the biomedical sciences,

o Evidence of institutional commitment, and strength of the efforts of 
the partner institutions, to foster the professional development of 
underrepresented minorities.

AWARD CRITERIA

Applications submitted in response to a PA will compete for available 
funds with all other recommended applications.  The following will be 
considered in making funding decisions:  

o Scientific merit of the proposed project as determined by peer review
o Availability of funds 
o Relevance to program priorities.

REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS 

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.  Furthermore, we caution reviewers that their 
anonymity may be compromised when they directly access an Internet 
site.

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 PA 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.

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS:  This program is described in the Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance No. 93-375.  Sections 301 and 405 of the 
Public Health Service Act, as amended authorize awards, and these are 
administered under PHS grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 
part 52c, 45 CFR part 74, and 45 CFR part 92.  See also Senate 
Appropriations Committee Report, No. 92-316, July 29, 1971, Executive 
Order 12900 , Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans February 22, 
1994, Executive Order 12876, Historically Black Colleges and 
Universities, November 1, 1993, and Executive Order 13021, October 21, 
1996 and Outline of Work Plan, August 18, 1998, White House Initiative 
on Tribal Colleges and Universities.  Applications are not subject to 
the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or 
Health Systems Agency review.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free 
workplace and discourage the 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, any 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.



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