Part I Overview Information 


Department of Health and Human Services

Participating Organizations
National Institutes of Health (NIH) (http://www.nih.gov)  

Components of Participating Organizations
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) (http://www.nigms.nih.gov
National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) (http://www.ncmhd.nih.gov)  

Title:  Bridges to the Doctorate for Underrepresented Students (R25)

Announcement Type
This is a revision of PAR-02-083 which was previously released on May 24, 2002.

NOTICE: Applications submitted in response to this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for Federal assistance must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov) using the SF424 Research and Related (R&R) forms and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. 

APPLICATIONS MAY NOT BE SUBMITTED IN PAPER FORMAT.

This FOA must be read in conjunction with the application guidelines included with this announcement in Grants.gov/Apply for Grants (hereafter called Grants.gov/Apply).

A registration process is necessary before submission and applicants are highly encouraged to start the process at least four weeks prior to the grant submission date. See Section IV.

Program Announcement (PA) Number: PAR-07-040

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number(s)
93.859

Key Dates
Release/Posted Date: November 7, 2006
Opening Date:  November 18, 2006 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): Not required 
NOTE: On time submission requires that applications be successfully submitted to Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. local time (of the applicant institution/organization). 
Application Submission/Receipt Date(s):  January 18, 2007, May 18, 2007
Peer Review Date(s): June/July 2007, October/November 2007   
Council Review Date(s): October 2007, January 2008  
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): November 2007, February  2008
Additional Information To Be Available Date (Activation Date): Not Applicable
Expiration Date: May 19, 2007

Due Dates for E.O. 12372
 
Not Applicable

Additional Overview Content

Executive Summary

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) solicits Research Education (R25) grants applications from a partnership initiative involving institutions awarding the master’s degree and institutions awarding the doctoral degree.

Table of Contents


Part I Overview Information

Part II Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
1. Research Objectives

Section II. Award Information
1. Mechanism of Support
2. Funds Available

Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants

    A. Eligible Institutions
    B. Eligible Individuals
2. Cost Sharing or Matching
3. Other - Special Eligibility Criteria

Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Request Application Information
2. Content and Form of Application Submission
3. Submission Dates and Times
    A. Submission, Review, and Anticipated Start Dates
          1. Letter of Intent
    B. Submitting an Application Electronically to the NIH
    C. Application Processing
4. Intergovernmental Review
5. Funding Restrictions
6. Other Submission Requirements

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria
2. Review and Selection Process
    A. Additional Review Criteria
    B. Additional Review Considerations
    C. Sharing Research Data
    D. Sharing Research Resources
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices
2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
3. Reporting

Section VII. Agency Contact(s)
1. Scientific/Research Contact(s)

2. Peer Review Contact(s)
3. Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Section VIII. Other Information - Required Federal Citations

Part II - Full Text of Announcement


Section I. Funding Opportunity Description


1. Research Objectives

The overall objective of the Bridges to the Doctorate program is to increase the number of scientists from underrepresented groups and/or health disparities populations engaged in biomedical and behavioral research and to increase the diversity of biomedical/behavioral science research scientific personnel. To accomplish this objective, the Bridges to the Doctorate program supports joint efforts of doctoral degree and terminal Master’s degree-granting institutions to develop integrated joint programs for the seamless transition of students from the Master’s degree institutions to Ph.D. degree-granting institutions.  It is the expectation that Bridges to the Doctorate programs will identify potential candidates and provide them the necessary academic skills to enable them for independent research careers in biomedical and/or behavioral sciences.  Such activities include challenging course work, providing instructional strategies that cultivate critical thinking skills and the ability to recognize gaps in current state of our knowledge, and equipping these students with the essential technical skills to collect the necessary data to close those gaps. 

Public Law 106-525 recognized a national need for increasing the number of well-trained minority scientists in the fields of biochemical, clinical, behavioral and health services research.  This statue also recognized that the inclusion of underrepresented minorities and women in the scientific, technological and engineering workforce will enable the nation to better address its diverse needs of improving the health of the people of the United States and eliminating health disparities in the nation.  There is a severe paucity of research scientists from underrepresented groups and/or health disparities populations who are actively pursuing research careers in biomedical and behavioral sciences.  Yet many students from these groups/populations with the potential to become independent research scientists enter, for a variety of reasons, terminal Master’s degree programs. 

In the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, NIH was encouraged to increase the number of individuals from underrepresented groups participating in biomedical and behavioral research. In response to this Act, the Bridges to the Doctorate program seeks to improve the ability of educational institutions to train and graduate promising individuals from underrepresented groups/health disparities populations in the biomedical sciences, including the relevant behavioral, physical and quantitative sciences.  The goals of the Bridges to the Doctorate program are best accomplished by the development of partnerships that support and facilitate the transition of students from underrepresented groups and/or health disparities populations to a doctoral program, a key step in their educational careers.

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) (http://www.nigms.nih.gov/) and the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) (http://www.ncmhd.nih.gov) of the of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) jointly provide a funding opportunity for a partnership between a terminal Master’s degree granting institution and  a Ph.D. degree granting institution or a consortium composed of more than one of each type of institution, but no more than five in addition to the applicant institution, for developing academic programs for students from underrepresented groups and/or from health disparities populations in terminal Master’s degree programs to transfer and successfully complete Ph.D. degree programs in biomedical and behavioral sciences.

Examples of student development activities to attract and prepare Master’s degree students to pursue doctoral degrees may include, but are not limited to, allowing them to take advanced courses, completing some part of their research, selecting a joint thesis advisor, attending research seminars and journal club meetings, and permitting access to library and other facilities at the doctoral degree granting institution.  Engaging the students as research assistants in the laboratories of active researchers at the doctoral degree granting institution is another type of student development activity.  Similarly, faculty from the doctoral institution may serve as visiting lecturers, or even offer lecture and/or laboratory courses in areas in which expertise is lacking at the partner institution, develop joint team- taught courses, provide expertise in the matter of regulations on use of hazardous materials, vertebrate animals and humans in research, and in responsible conduct of research, etc.  Any other activities to strengthen the training at the Master’s degree institution in general should be beneficial in this context.  Such activities could be establishing a mentoring and academic counseling program for Master’s students with faculty at the doctoral institution, enhancing the curriculum of the Master’s institution, or enabling and encouraging students from either institution to take classes at the other institution.

Bridges grants are institutional and must reflect the plans and priorities of the participating institutions as well as the collective plans and priorities of the partnerships.  These plans have to be consistent with the goals of the program.  Collaborative agreements should fit the needs and situations of the institutions involved. The challenge for the participating partners is to create a partnership program, or to enhance an existing program, that will focus attention and adequate resources on the institution(s) granting Master’s degrees and enhance the academic competitiveness of its (their) science graduates for Ph.D. programs.

The types of student development activities proposed to achieve the objectives of the program are left to the applicant institution, but must be consonant with the objectives of the Bridges to the Doctorate Program.

The outcomes of the programmatic activities supported by this special initiative are expected to strengthen the pipeline for biomedical and behavioral research personnel, increase the number of individuals from underrepresented groups and/or health disparities populations engaged in biomedical research, and add to the diversity of the biomedical research scientist pool.

The proposed research education program may complement other, ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, but the proposed educational experience must be distinct from those research training and research education programs currently receiving federal support.  The R25 is not a substitute for an institutional research training program (T32) and can not be used to circumvent or supplement Ruth L. Kirschstein  National Research Service Award (NRSA) mechanisms.

See Section VIII, Other Information - Required Federal Citations, for policies related to this announcement.

Section II. Award Information


1. Mechanism of Support

This FOA will use the NIH Research Education Grant (R25) award mechanism. As an applicant, you will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project.  

This FOA uses just-in-time concepts. It also uses the non-modular budget format.  Applicants must complete and submit budget requests using the SF424 Research and Related (R&R) Budget Component found in the application package for this FOA. 

Research education grant support is renewable.  It is recommended that applicants contact the scientific/research contact listed in Section VII concerning the submission of a competing renewal (formerly “competing continuation”) application.  Up to two resubmissions (formerly “revisions/amendments”) of a previously reviewed research education grant application may be submitted.  See NOT-OD-03-041, May 7, 2003.  

2. Funds Available

Because the nature and scope of the proposed research education program will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary. Although the financial plans of the NIGMS and the NCMHD provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this funding opportunity are contingent upon the availability of funds and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

The total amount of funding that is anticipated to be awarded for the two Bridges to the Future Programs (Bridges to the Doctorate and Bridges to the Baccalaureate) through this announcement is approximately $14 million in direct costs/year for new, renewal and continuing applications.  A total of six to nine new awards per will be made through this announcement for the Bridges to the Doctorate Program.

The total project period for an application submitted in response to this funding opportunity may not exceed five years. Although the size of award may vary with the scope of the research education program proposed, it is expected that applications will stay within the following budgetary guidelines: total direct costs are limited to $200,000 annually.

The anticipated start dates for new awards are usually January and July.

NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made in response to this funding opportunity announcement. 

Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs requested by consortium participants, if applicable, are not included in the direct cost limitation.  See NOT-OD-05-004.  

Section III. Eligibility Information


1. Eligible Applicants

1.A. Eligible Institutions

You may submit an application(s) if your organization has any of the following characteristics:  

A partnership between one or more terminal Master’s degree-granting institutions with significant numbers of students from underrepresented groups and /or health disparities populations and a doctoral degree-granting institution with programs in the sciences related to the biomedical and behavioral sciences is required to be eligible to apply for support under the Bridges to the Doctorate program.  Institutions with only one or two Ph.D. programs may also participate in the Bridges to the Doctorate program as a Ph.D. degree-granting institution.

Each proposed Bridges to the Doctorate program must consist of a partnership between at least two institutions.  One must be an institution that offers the terminal Master’s degree and a doctoral degree granting institution.

Only one of the participating institutions may be designated as the APPLICANT institution.  The institution must name the Program Director and submit the application.  The institution should be experienced in, and have the infrastructure for managing grants.  Each participating institution must name one individual as its Program Coordinator.

An institution may be involved as a partner in more than one Bridges program, but may be the APPLICANT institution for only one program.  Institutions submitting their own applications may participate in up to five partnerships with other institutions as long as these interactions are consistent with the institution’s resources and plans. 

Institutions that submit applications in response to this FOA may submit separate applications for support for a Bridges to the Baccalaureate grant, PAR-07-039, (http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Research/Mechanisms/BridgesBaccalaureate.htm) if they meet the eligibility requirements.

The activities proposed under this program announcement must contribute to the mission and objectives of the program, i.e., increase the number of individuals from underrepresented groups and/or health disparities populations receiving research doctoral degrees in biomedical and/or behavioral sciences.

Foreign institutions are not eligible to apply in response to this FOA.

If multiple sites are involved in the research education program, the applicant institution must be one of these sites for the program.  The need for and use of multiple sites must be justified.   

1.B. Eligible Individuals



1.B.1. Principal Investigator/Program Director

Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research education program as the Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) is invited to work with his/her organization 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 support.  The PD/PI will be expected to monitor and assess the program, submitting annual reports as required. (See Section VI.3., “Reporting.”)

The Program Director of a Bridges to the Doctorate application must have a full-time academic appointment, not retired, to either the Master’s degree-granting institution or the Ph.D. degree-granting institution and should possess teaching and research experience in the biomedical/behavioral sciences and in administering multidisciplinary programs and research training experience to administer a research education grant. The Program Director must also be capable of providing leadership for the development and implementation of the proposed research education program.

1.B.2.  Student Participants

Programs developed under this initiative must specifically target students from underrepresented groups and/or health disparities populations majoring in the sciences, including the natural, physical, behavioral sciences, information sciences, and mathematics.  For purposes of this program announcement individuals who are underrepresented in biomedical/behavioral research or who belong to health disparities populations include, but are not limited to African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, natives of the U.S. Pacific Islands and rural Appalachians.  If the applicant institution determines other racial or ethnic groups (not nationalities) to be underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral research, such underrepresentation must be validated.  It is the responsibility of the applicant institution to establish the qualifications of students prior to submission of that institution’s Bridges to the Doctorate application.  Only those students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S., not those on visas or seeking asylum, are eligible to participate in the Bridges to the Doctorate program.  Preference should be given to students most likely to pursue biomedical/behavioral research careers that will contribute to improving the health of the people of the United States and to the national need of ultimately eliminating health disparities in this country.

In the application, the applicant institution must describe the criteria for selection and retention of student participants and for the selection of participating faculty.  The Bridges to the Doctorate program does not provide funds to students in the doctoral program.  The application must describe the institutional support that will be available to students who transfer to the doctoral program, and guarantee how these students will be admitted to the doctoral-degree granting institution. 

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

This program does not require cost sharing as defined in the current NIH Grants Policy Statement.

3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria

Sponsoring Institution: The sponsoring institution must assure support for the proposed research education project. Appropriate institutional commitment to the project includes the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned research education project. The sponsoring institution will be responsible for financial matters in grant management and must have the administrative infrastructure to administer NIH grants.

Participants: Describe who the intended participants are, and what eligibility and/or specific educational background characteristics are essential for participation in the proposed program.

Applicants are required to include a plan for Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (see Section IV.6).

Applications must contain an evaluation plan..  Applications submitted without this section may be delayed in the review process or not reviewed.

Participant/Consortium Agreements: These required agreements between eligible Master’s and Doctoral-degree granting institutions defining respective roles in administering the program are part of the application for the Bridges program, limited to five partners.  Each must be aware of the NIH Consortium grant policy and must submit letters signed by the appropriate institution officials acknowledging participation in the program.

An applicant may not submit, or have pending, more than one Bridges to the Doctorate application.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information


To download a SF424 (R&R) Application Package and SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for completing the SF424 (R&R) forms for this FOA, link to http://www.grants.gov/Apply/ and follow the directions provided on that Web site.

A one-time registration is required for institutions/organizations at both:

PD/PIs should work with their institutions/organizations to make sure they are registered in the eRA Commons.

Several additional separate actions are required before an applicant institution/organization can submit an electronic application, as follows:

1) Organizational/Institutional Registration in Grants.gov/Get Started

2) Organizational/Institutional Registration in the eRA Commons

3) Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) Registration in the NIH eRA Commons: Refer to the NIH eRA Commons System (COM) Users Guide.

Note that if a PD/PI is also an NIH peer-reviewer with an Individual DUNS and CCR registration, that particular DUNS number and CCR registration are for the individual reviewer only. These are different than any DUNS number and CCR registration used by an applicant organization. Individual DUNS and CCR registration should be used only for the purposes of personal reimbursement and should not be used on any grant applications submitted to the Federal Government.

Several of the steps of the registration process could take four weeks or more. Therefore, applicants should immediately check with their business official to determine whether their organization/institution is already registered in both Grants.gov and the Commons. The NIH will accept electronic applications only from organizations that have completed all necessary registrations.

1. Request Application Information

Applicants must download the SF424 (R&R) application forms and SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for this FOA through Grants.gov/Apply.

Note: Only the forms package directly attached to a specific FOA can be used. You will not be able to use any other SF424 (R&R) forms (e.g., sample forms, forms from another FOA), although some of the "Attachment" files may be useable for more than one FOA.

For further assistance, contact GrantsInfo: Telephone 301-435-0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

Telecommunications for the hearing impaired: TTY 301-451-5936.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Prepare all applications using the SF424 (R&R) application forms and in accordance with the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (MS Word or PDF).

The SF424 (R&R) Application Guide is critical to submitting a complete and accurate application to NIH. There are fields within the SF424 (R&R) application components that, although not marked as mandatory, are required by NIH (e.g., the “Credential” log-in field of the “Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile” component must contain the PD/PI’s assigned eRA Commons User ID). Agency-specific instructions for such fields are clearly identified in the Application Guide. For additional information, see “Tips and Tools for Navigating Electronic Submission” on the front page of “Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.”

The SF424 (R&R) application is comprised of data arranged in separate components. Some components are required, others are optional. The forms package associated with this FOA in Grants.gov/APPLY will include all applicable components, required and optional. A completed application in response to this FOA will include the following components:

Required Components:
SF424 (R&R) (Cover component)
Research & Related Project/Performance Site Locations
Research & Related Other Project Information
Research & Related Senior/Key Person
Research & Related Budget
PHS398 Cover Page Supplement
PHS398 Research Plan
PHS398 Checklist

Optional Components:
PHS398 Cover Letter File
Research & Related Subaward Budget Attachment(s) Form

Research Education Program

While the proposed research education program may complement other, ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those research training and research education programs currently receiving federal support.

If multiple sites are involved in the research education program, the applicant institution must be one of these sites for the program.  The need for and use of multiple sites must be justified. 

Although research education grants are not typical research instruments, they do involve experiments in education and/or dissemination of research knowledge that require an evaluation plan in order to determine the degree of success or failure. A plan must be provided for program evaluation. Benchmarks should be specified, and specific plans and procedures must be described to capture, analyze and report outcome measures that would determine the success of the research education program in achieving its objectives.  The application should identify the individual who is selected to evaluate the program, including that individual’s credentials.

Allowable Costs 

Allowable costs must be consistent with NIH policy and be reasonable, allocable, well documented and fully justified for the research education program proposed in the application. Grant funds may not be used to supplant funds otherwise available at the applicant institution.

Personnel: Individuals participating in the design and implementation of the research education program may request salary and fringe benefits appropriate for the person months devoted to the program.  These expenses must be itemized in Sections A and B, as appropriate, of the Research & Related Budget.  Salaries requested may not exceed the levels commensurate with the institution's policy for similar positions and may not exceed the congressionally mandated cap. (If mentoring interactions and other activities with students/participants are considered a regular part of an individual's academic duties, then mentoring and other interactions with students/participants are non-reimbursable from grant funds). Limited administrative and clerical salary costs associated distinctly with the program that are not normally provided by the applicant organization may be direct charges to the grant only when specifically identified and justified. 

Administrative costs are determined by the number of student participants involved, the number of institutions involved, the complexity of the program, and the amount of support the institution(s) provides.  For example, salary support for the Program Director required to administer the grant is subject to a maximum 1.2 person months (i.e., 10% of a 12 month academic year) and salary support for a program coordinator at the Master’s institution should not exceed 1.8 person months (i.e., 15% of a 12 month academic year). Both requests must be fully justified by the scope of the proposed program. 

Other Program-Related Expenses: Consultant costs, equipment, supplies, travel for key persons, and other program-related expenses must be justified as specifically required by the proposed research education program and must not duplicate items generally available for educational programs at the applicant institution. These expenses must be itemized, as appropriate, in Sections C. (Equipment), D. (Travel), and F. (Other Direct Costs) of the Research & Related Budget.

The costs (salary and fringes) of an individual selected for evaluation of the program are allowable; however, if that individual is an employee of the applicant institution, the costs must be included in the category of key personnel and listed as person months. The costs of doctoral institution faculty who teach at the partner institution must be reasonable, well-documented and fully justified. Costs for the Master’s degree institution faculty responsible for implementing academic enrichment activities must also be reasonable, well documented, and fully justified by the scope of the proposed program. Travel expenses for the Program Director, program coordinator, and grants management person from the applicant institution to attend the NIGMS organized Bridges Program Directors meeting should be included every other year. The Bridges Program Directors meeting will be held biennially in conjunction with the MORE Program Directors’ meeting.  In addition, travel expenses for a faculty mentor of a student participant presenting a research report at a national scientific society professional meeting is an allowable cost, as is the cost of small equipment, not to exceed $5,000 on a one-time basis, that is necessary to improve laboratory instruction at the Master’s degree institution. 

Participant Costs: Participants are those individuals who benefit from the proposed research education program.  Participant costs must be justified as specifically required for the proposed research education program.  Participant costs must be itemized in Section E. (Participant/Trainee Support Costs) of the Research & Related Budget. 

Student remuneration is limited to student participants from underrepresented groups and/or health disparities populations matriculated at the partner institutions granting Master’s degrees and includes salary or wages paid at the prevailing scale, and/or other forms of compensation paid in lieu of wages for participation in research experiences.  Student tuition at the Master’s institution (or other forms of compensation paid in lieu of wages) is allowable provided the following conditions are met:

Research supplies for students (not in excess of $2,000/participant/year) and limited tuition costs of student participants for taking one course/year at the doctoral degree institution can be requested.  In addition, if students are presenting a research report at a national scientific meeting, travel expenses for this purpose is an allowable cost.

Institutional Commitment: Evidence of institutional commitment to the research educational program is strongly encouraged. 

Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs: F&A costs for the applicant organization and consortium participants will be reimbursed at 8 percent of modified total direct costs.  

3. Submission Dates and Times

See Section IV.3.A for details.

3.A. Submission, Review, and Anticipated Start Dates
Opening Date: November 18, 2006  (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)  
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: Not required
Application Submission/Receipt Date(s): January 18, 2007, May 18, 2007
Peer Review Date(s): June/July 2007, October/November 2007
Council Review Date(s): October 2007, January 2008
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: November 2007, February 2008

3.A.1. Letter of Intent

A letter of intent is not required for the funding opportunity.

3.B. Submitting an Application Electronically to the NIH

To submit an application in response to this FOA, applicants should access this FOA via http://www.grants.gov/Apply and follow steps 1-4. Note:  Applications must only be submitted electronically.  PAPER APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. 

3.C. Application Processing

Applications may be submitted on or after the opening date and must be successfully received by Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. local time (of the applicant institution/organization) on the application submission/receipt date(s). (See Section IV.3.A. for all dates.) If an application is not submitted by the receipt date(s) and time, the application may be delayed in the review process or not reviewed.

Upon receipt, applications will be transferred from Grants.gov to the NIH Electronic Research Administration process for validation. 

Once an application package has been successfully submitted through Grants.gov, any errors have been addressed, and the assembled application has been created in the eRA Commons, the PD/PI and the Authorized Organization Representative/Signing Official (AOR/SO) have two business days to view the application image.

There will be an acknowledgement of receipt of applications from Grants.gov and the Commons. Information related to the assignment of an application to a Scientific Review Group is also in the Commons. 

The NIH will not accept any application in response to this FOA that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial merit review unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. The NIH will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed. This does not preclude the submission of an application already reviewed with substantial changes, but such application must include an “Introduction” (3 pages maximum) addressing the previous critique. Note such an application is considered a "resubmission" for the SF424 (R&R).

4. Intergovernmental Review

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Bridges to the Doctorate applications must present a set of coordinated activities for the development of student participants and the seamless transfer of Master’s degree student participants to Ph.D. granting institutions.  Consequently, a single consolidated budget must be presented and each item should be clearly justified.  Awards for Bridges grants include some restrictions as how funds may be used.  The following statements summarize the unallowable costs under the Bridges to the Doctorate Program.

Unallowable Costs:

Student recruitment expenses, student housing or food expenses, salary support solely for faculty mentoring, student incentives such as computers, calculators, membership fees in scientific societies, subscriptions to research journals, etc., are not allowable costs.

Any costs for student participants who are not from underrepresented groups according to this program announcement and/or health disparities populations, and student participants who are not matriculated at Master’s degree granting institutions or are non-US citizens (or non-US nationals) are not allowable. 

Students who complete the Master’s degree and enter the partner doctoral program should receive financial support, if needed, from the doctoral research training program.  The Bridges to the Doctorate program does not provide funds to students enrolled at the doctoral program.  In the application, the applicant institution should describe the institutional support that will be available to Masters students who transfer into the doctoral program.

Institutions offering both Master’s and doctoral degrees may not use funds from the Bridges program for graduates of their own Master’s degree programs to enter their own doctoral programs, even if a student is moving to another department, school, or college.  The program seeks to promote and enhance partnerships BETWEEN institutions.

Pre-Award Costs are allowable. A grantee may, at its own risk and without NIH prior approval, incur obligations and expenditures to cover costs up to 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new or renewal award if such costs: are necessary to conduct the project, and would be allowable under the grant, if awarded, without NIH prior approval. If specific expenditures would otherwise require prior approval, the grantee must obtain NIH approval before incurring the cost. NIH prior approval is required for any costs to be incurred more than 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new or renewal award.

The incurrence of pre-award costs in anticipation of a competing or non-competing award imposes no obligation on NIH either to make the award or to increase the amount of the approved budget if an award is made for less than the amount anticipated and is inadequate to cover the pre-award costs incurred. NIH expects the grantee to be fully aware that pre-award costs result in borrowing against future support and that such borrowing must not impair the grantee's ability to accomplish the project objectives in the approved time frame or in any way adversely affect the conduct of the project. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

6. Other Submission Requirements

The NIH requires the PD/PI to fill in his/her Commons User ID in the “PROFILE – Project Director/Principal Investigator” section, “Credential” log-in field of the “Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile” component. The applicant organization must include its DUNS number in its Organization Profile in the eRA Commons. This DUNS number must match the DUNS number provided at CCR registration with Grants.gov. For additional information, see “Tips and Tools for Navigating Electronic Submission” on the front page of “Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.”

All application instructions outlined in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (MS Word or PDF) are to be followed, with the following requirements for R25 applications:

Videos, CDs, and/or DVDs specifically related to the science education program. Applicants should contact the SRA for submission instructions after application assignment.

Do not use the Appendix to circumvent the page limitations of the Research Plan. An application that does not observe these limitations may be delayed in the review process.   

Note: While each section of the Research Plan needs to be uploaded separately as a PDF attachment, applicants are encouraged to construct the Research Plan as a single document, separating sections into distinct PDF attachments just before uploading the files. This approach will enable applicants to better monitor formatting requirements such as page limits. All attachments must be provided to NIH in PDF format, filenames must be included with no spaces or special characters, and a .pdf extension must be used.   

Supplementary Research Education Program Application Instructions

Applicants should use the following guidance, in addition to the instructions accompanying the SF 424 (R&R) form.  Applications that do not conform to the specific instructions detailed below will be returned.  

1. SF 424 Research & Related Project/Performance Site Location(s): Include collaborating sites, if appropriate.

If multiple sites are involved in the research education program, the applicant institution must be one of these sites for the program.  A justification must be included for sites other than the applicant institution in the program narrative.

2.  SF 424 Research & Related Other Project Information, Item 9 (Facilities & Other Resources):  Describe the educational environment, including the facilities, laboratories, participating departments, computer services, and any other resources to be used in the development and implementation of the proposed program. List all thematically related sources of support for research training and education following the format for Current and Pending Support.

3.  SF 424 Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile: Key Personnel must include biographical sketches of the PD/PI as well as any other key persons (such as the program coordinator and evaluator in addition to those involved in the development, implementing, directing, monitoring, evaluating, etc., who are integral to the proposed research education program) participating in the research education program. The biographical sketches provide information used by reviewers in the assessment of each individual’s qualifications for a specific role in the proposed program, as well as the overall team. The biographical sketches should include information on other student development/research training projects on which the person(s) is working or has worked that are relevant to the proposed program.  In addition, include research support for faculty who might be coordinating and/or prioritizing research experiences.

4.  Research & Related Budget:  Complete for each budget period requested.

A.  Senior/Key Person: complete for all senior/key persons associated with the research education program.  The PD/PI must be included here.

B.  Other Personnel: complete for all other personnel (including clerical and administrative staff) associated with the research education program.

C.  Equipment: self-explanatory.

D.  Travel: include here any travel funds requested for senior/key persons and other personnel (i.e. those persons identified in Sections A. and B.) associated with the research education program. 

E.  Participant/Trainee Support Costs: include here all allowable categories of funds requested to support participants in the research education program.  If categories in addition to those listed in this section of the 424R&R form are needed, describe in Other. State the number of Participants/Trainees to be supported by the proposed research education program.   The allowable categories of participant support costs are summarized in Section IV.2 for this FOA.

F.  Other Direct Costs: itemize as appropriate and allowed for the research education program.

K.  Budget Justification: provide a detailed justification for each category for which funds are requested.  For Section E, itemize each category of support costs per participant and justify.

5.  PHS 398 Research Plan Attachments:

The Research Plan is divided into five sections.  The first section refers to the PHS 398 section on Introduction and is required only on resubmissions.  Sections 2-5 correspond to the PHS 398 sections on Specific Aims, Background and Significance, Preliminary Studies/Progress Report, and Research Design and Methods.  The total number of pages for Sections 2-5 must not exceed 25 pages, including tables, graphs, figures, diagrams, and charts.

The Bridges to the Doctorate program aims to increase the number of underrepresented biomedical scientists. The program seeks to improve the ability of educational institutions to train and graduate promising students from underrepresented groups and/or health disparities populations in the biomedical sciences, including the relevant behavioral, physical, and quantitative sciences.

The goals of the Bridges to the Doctorate program are best accomplished by the development of partnerships that support and facilitate the transition of these eligible student participants to a doctoral program, a key step in their educational careers. Since Bridges applications are institutional in nature, they must reflect the plans and priorities of the participating institutions as well as the collective plans and priorities of the partnerships.

Details of the information required to be included in a Bridges to the Doctorate application in each of the above sections in the Research Plan are presented below.

In the Bridges to the Doctorate program application the applicant institution will be responsible to for financial matters in grant management and must have the administrative infrastructure to administer NIH grants.  Each participating institution must name one individual as its program coordinator.  Additionally, the applicant must provide documentation that adequate numbers of students from underrepresented groups and/or health disparities population are enrolled in the Master’s degree program of the participating partner institutions.

Specific Aims:  The specific goals (long-term aspirations of the cooperating institutions), milestones (intermediate markers of progress towards the goal) and measurable objectives (qualitative and quantitative measures of improved preparation of students for doctoral studies and percent increase in the number of students applying for and admitted to doctoral programs) must be clearly stated in the section on specific aims.

Background and Significance:  In this section the current status of the academic environment at the applicant institution (faculty and its teaching and research credentials, number of students and their graduation rates and career paths) must be presented to justify the faculty’s suitability to assume the proposed student development activities. Information must be included on the number of student participants from underrepresented groups and/or health disparities populations who transfer to the doctoral institution and receive a Ph.D., and on their subsequent careers. These numerical data presented in the background section of the application will serve as the baseline and help in determining whether the projected improvements match the potential.  Name and describe the partner institutions and why these institutions are involved in this partnership.  The partnership agreement between the Master’s degree granting degree institution and the doctoral degree-granting institution that defines their respective roles in administering the program must be submitted with the application.

Part 4 of this section (Preliminary Studies/Progress Report) should contain information on steps that have led to the proposed research education program. A Progress Report must be included in renewal applications. 

This section should describe any previous and/or current programs at the participating institutions aimed at developing students from underrepresented groups and/or health disparities populations into the next generation of biomedical scientists.  Identify any barriers encountered or anticipated that might impact these programs and the ways or anticipated plans to eliminate the barriers.

In this section, the Progress Report for competing renewal (Type 2) applications should summarize the progress achieved within the overall project period of the grant with respect to the Bridges to the Doctorate goals.  The narrative part and other data may be presented in tabular form of your own design. The report should include:

Part 5 of this section (Research Design and Methods) should be retitled "Research Education Program Plan" and should contain material organized under the following subheadings in a single attachment and as appropriate to the specific program.

Program Director(s): Describe arrangements for administration of the program, provide evidence that the Program Director is actively engaged in research and/or teaching in an area related to the missions of the NIGMS and NCMHD, and can organize, administer, monitor, and evaluate the research education program, as well as evidence of institutional and community commitment and support for the proposed program.

In the Bridges to the Doctorate program, the Program Director is typically responsible for the selection of student participants and the coordination and implementation of developmental education and mentoring activities.  The Program Director is the primary contact with the Bridges program at NIH and is responsible for submitting progress reports and other reports, such as a change in program activities, in a timely manner.  Both the Program Director and evaluator should work together to evaluate the progress of specific program activities, and the overall functioning of the overall program.

The Program Director is also responsible for maintaining student data and for tracking students.

Program Faculty/Staff: Describe the characteristics and responsibilities of the participating faculty; provide evidence that the participating faculty and preceptors are actively engaged in research or other scholarly activities related to the mission of the NIGMS and NCMHD.

Renewal applications should list all faculty and investigators who mentored Bridges to the Doctorate student participants during the past grant period, in addition to including their biographical sketches in the application.

Proposed Research Education Program: Provide programmatic detail on the special activities proposed (e.g., courses, curricula, seminars, workshops).

Under this section, the applicant must describe in detail the nature of teaching and/or research experiences and other academic enrichment activities that are being proposed.  The applicant must identify the faculty mentors who will be implementing these activities and their experience in these types of activities, and the time schedule for their execution. For each activity proposed sufficient information should be provided to allow for a clear understanding of the problem being addressed and how it will be remedied.  There should also be evidence of the acceptance of students from the master’s institution into the doctoral program of the doctoral-degree granting institution.  Note that success of the program will be based on the number of students admitted to the Ph.D. program and eventually obtaining the research doctorate degree. 

If the applicant institution is involved in more than one Bridges to the Future program, the Program Director or the institution’s program coordinator must describe how the various Bridges programs interact and are consistent with overall goals of the program.  Institutions with active or pending NIH grants for the Support of Continuous Research Excellence (SCORE), Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE), or Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) programs, or with other sources of funds, such as the National Science Foundation or the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, may apply to the Bridges Program.  These applicants must describe how the programs complement each other and how the students and faculty supported by each will interact.  Applicants that have another, different transition program must describe that program and explain the relationship of the program to the Bridges to the Doctorate program.

Activities that may be supported include, but are not limited to the following:

Responsible Conduct of Research: Describe plans to provide formal and informal instruction to participants on scientific integrity and ethical principles in research. The plan should be appropriate for the duration and content of the proposed research education program.  Although the NIH does not establish specific curricula or formal requirements, all programs are encouraged to consider instruction in the following areas: conflict of interest, responsible authorship, policies for handling misconduct, data management, data sharing, and policies regarding the use of human and animal subjects. Plans must address: 1) the subject matter of the instruction, the format of the instruction, the degree of program faculty participation, participant attendance, and the frequency of instruction; and 2) the rationale for the proposed plan of instruction. Applications without plans for instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research will be considered incomplete and may be returned to the applicant without review.  If such training is not appropriate for the proposed research education program, then the PD/PI must provide a strong justification for its exclusion.

Program Participants: Provide details about the pool of proposed participants, their qualifications, recruitment strategies and sources of applicant pool, etc.  Describe the procedure used to select the student participants.

Evaluation Plan: Include evaluation plans for assessing the success of the program in achieving its goals and objectives. Benchmarks should be specified, and specific plans and procedures must be described to capture, analyze and report outcome measures that would determine the success of the research education program in achieving its objectives. The inclusion of evaluation instruments is encouraged.  The evaluation plan should include the following:  

Since the Bridges program is interested in the overall Ph.D.s awarded and not just the number of students who have participated in the Bridges program, the application should describe a system for tracking all students in related scientific fields, including their future careers.  Data should show the impact of the program on retention rates, graduation rates, transfer rates to doctoral institution, and graduation rates from the doctoral degree-granting institution.  These data should be compared with those of other students and from underrepresented groups and/or health disparities populations who did not participate in the Bridges to the Doctorate program. 

Give details of how progress in the program will be evaluated:  by whom, when (and frequency) and the types of evaluation plans (process and outcomes) and the types of instruments used in evaluation (interviews, questionnaires, data collections). Tables and figures should be placed at the end of the research design section.  The main purpose of the evaluation is to provide information that could be useful to the Program Director and the institution for improving the Bridges to the Doctorate program.

Applications that lack an evaluation plan will be returned without review.

Consortium Agreements:

Consortium Agreements are a required part of the Bridges Program and is limited to five partners.  The Bridges applicant should delineate appropriate agreements and consortium arrangements with its partner institutions consistent with the applicant institution’s own unified plan. In addition, the doctoral-degree granting partner should describe the plans for guaranteeing the acceptance of the Master’s students into its doctoral program. The following statement, accompanied by signatures of appropriate administrative officials from EACH collaborating institution should be included in the application:

“THE APPROPRIATE PROGRAMMATIC AND ADMINISTRATIVE PERSONNEL OF EACH INSTITUTION INVOLVED IN THIS GRANT APPLICATION ARE AWARE OF THE NIH CONSORTIUM GRANT POLICY AND ARE PREPARED TO ESTABLISH THE NECESSARY INTER-INSTITUTIONAL AGREEMENT(S) CONSISTENT WITH THAT POLICY.”

In addition, the application must include letters from each partnering institution signed by the appropriate institutional official and program coordinator and acknowledging participation in the program.  Place these letters in the Appendix.

Information on the NIH Policy regarding consortium agreements is available at http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps/part_iii_5.htm#consortium.

Plan for Sharing Research Data

Not applicable

Sharing Research Resources

Not applicable

Section V. Application Review Information


1. Criteria 

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process.

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications that are complete will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate review group convened by the Center for Scientific Review in accordance with the review criteria stated below.

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

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

The goals of NIH-supported research training, education, and career development programs are to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in adequate numbers and in appropriate scientific areas to address the Nation’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs.  The goals of NIH-supported science education projects at science centers and museums are to provide public education and outreach on NIH-supported research at these institutions. In their written critiques, reviewers will be asked to comment on each of the following criteria in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed research education program will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals. Each of these criteria will be addressed and considered in assigning the overall score, weighting them as appropriate for each application.

Note that an application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact and thus deserve a high priority score. These criteria are not listed in any order of priority.

Research education program grant applications submitted in response to this funding opportunity announcement should be characterized by innovation, scholarship and responsiveness to the priorities and/or changing needs of the NIGMS and NCMHD in meeting its objectives.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact NIGMS program staff for current information about targeted priorities and policies before preparing an application (see Section VII).

Significance: Does the proposed research education program address scientific/education areas and/or topics important to the mission of the NIGMS and NCMHD? How will implementation of the proposed program advance the objectives of this funding opportunity announcement as well as the mission of the NIGMS and NCMHD?  Does the proposed set of academic educational enhancement activities address the recognized needs at the partnering Master’s institution?  Are these programs likely to achieve the proposed objectives of preparing and encouraging Master’s degree student participants and encourage them to seek admission to research doctoral programs? Does the project address critical barriers that prevent the Master’s students from qualifying for admission to doctoral programs? Will the aims of the program, if achieved, advance the diversity of the scientific workforce?

Approach: Are the conceptual or clinical framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well reasoned, and appropriate to the aims of the project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?  Is there evidence that the program is based on sound research concepts and educational principles?  Is the approach feasible and appropriate to achieve the stated research education goals?  If the proposed program will recruit participants, are the recruitment, retention, and follow-up activities adequate to ensure a highly qualified and diverse participant pool?  Are the roles of the participating institutions well developed, well integrated, and appropriate for the aims of the proposed program?  Does the program provide details and rationale for the academic enhancement activities that are proposed for the preparation of Master’s student participants for doctoral degree programs?  Are potential problem areas acknowledged and alternative strategies proposed?  Does the program make good use of the skills and resources at the participating institutions?

For renewal applications only: Has the research education program successfully achieved its stated objectives during the prior project period? Has the program been adequately evaluated and has the level of success been satisfactory? Do the results of the evaluation document a continued need for support for this program? Is the approach for the next project period responsive to the results of the program's evaluation? Is the track record of the applicant on the transfer rates of Master’s students into research doctoral programs and graduation rates from the doctoral institutions adequate?

Innovation: Is the research education program original and innovative? For example: Does the project challenge existing paradigms or; address an innovative hypothesis or critical barriers to progress in the field? Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools, or technologies for this area?  Does this program duplicate, or overlap with, existing research education, training and/or career development activities currently supported at the applicant institution or available elsewhere? Adaptations of existing research education programs may be considered innovative under special circumstances, e.g., the addition of unique components and/or a proposal to determine portability of an existing program.

For renewal applications only:  Has the program been innovative in the past and does it continue to demonstrate innovation?

Investigators: Are the investigators appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work? Is the proposed program appropriate to the experience level of the PD/PI and other researchers? Does the investigative team bring complementary and integrated expertise to the program (if applicable)? Is there evidence that an appropriate level of effort will be devoted by the program leadership to ensure the program's objectives? Do the key personnel selected to implement the programs have experience in mentoring students from underrepresented groups and/or health disparities populations in particular?  Are the Program Coordinators at the partnering institutions and the selected evaluator appropriate for the defined roles? 

Environment: Does the scientific/educational environment in which the program will be conducted contribute to the probability of success? Does the proposed research education program benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of appropriate collaboration among participating programs, departments, and institutions? Is the institutional commitment to the proposed program appropriate? If multiple sites are participating, is this adequately justified in terms of the research education experiences provided? Are adequate plans provided for coordination and communication between multiple sites (if appropriate)? Do the articulation agreements between the partnering institutions indicate the necessary level of shared responsibility in training the Master’s degree student participants?  Are the agreements and letters adequate to assure that each partnering institution will contribute successfully to the Bridges Doctorate program?

Evaluation Plan:

Is the evaluation plan and timeline adequate for assessing the effectiveness (process and outcome) of the program in achieving its goals and objectives?

Has the program been adequately evaluated and has the level of success been satisfactory? Do the results of the evaluation document a continued need for support for this program? Is the approach for the next project period responsive to the results of the program's evaluation?

2.A. Additional Review Criteria:

In addition to the above criteria, the following items will continue to be considered in the determination of scientific merit and the priority score:

Protection of Human Subjects from Research Risk: The involvement of human subjects and protections from research risk relating to their participation in the proposed research will be assessed. See item 6 of the Research Plan component of the SF424 (R&R).

Inclusion of Women, Minorities and Children in Research: The adequacy of plans to include subjects from both genders, all racial and ethnic groups (and subgroups), and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the research will be assessed. Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be evaluated. See item 7 of the Research Plan component of the SF424 (R&R).

Care and Use of Vertebrate Animals in Research: If vertebrate animals are to be used in the project, the five items described under item 11 of the Research Plan component of the SF 424 (R&R) will be assessed.

Biohazards: If materials or procedures are proposed that are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, the adequacy of the proposed protection will be assessed.

2.B. Additional Review Considerations

Budget and Period of Support: The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the appropriateness of the requested period of support in relation to the proposed research education program will be assessed by the reviewers. The priority score should not be affected by the evaluation of the budget.

Resubmission Applications (formerly “revised/amended” applications): Are the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group adequate? Are the improvements in the resubmission application appropriate?

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research: Peer reviewers will assess the applicant's plans for training in the responsible conduct of research on the basis of the appropriateness of topics, format, amount and nature of faculty participation, and the frequency and duration of instruction.

The plan will be discussed after the overall determination of merit, and the review panel's evaluation of the plan will not be a factor in the determination of the priority score. Plans will be judged as acceptable or unacceptable. The acceptability of the plan will be described in an administrative note on the summary statement. Regardless of the priority score, applications with unacceptable plans will not be funded until the applicant provides a revised, acceptable plan. Program staff will judge the acceptability of the revised plan.

2.C. Sharing Research Data
 
Not Applicable

2.D. Sharing Research Resources

Not applicable

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Not applicable

Section VI. Award Administration Information


1. Award Notices

After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD/PI will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written critique) via the NIH eRA Commons

If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant. For details, applicants may refer to the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General.

Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the Notice of Award (NoA) are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs. See Section IV.5., “Funding Restrictions.”       

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document. Once all administrative and programmatic issues have been resolved, the NoA will be generated via email notification from the NIGMS to the grantee business official. 

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Termination of Award: When a grantee institution plans to terminate an award, program and grants management staff at the NIH funding component must be notified in writing as soon as possible.

Change of Institution:  The research education program may not be transferred from one institution to another.

Change of Program:  Awards are made for a specific program under the guidance and leadership of a particular PD/PI.  A change in any of these parameters requires prior approval by the responsible program officer in the NIH funding component.  A rationale must be provided for any proposed changes in the aims of the original, peer-reviewed program.  If the new program does not satisfy this requirement, the award will be terminated.

Change of PD/PI: If change of the PD/PI is necessary, support of the award is not automatic but may be continued with prior written approval by the NIH funding component, provided that the following conditions are met.  The current PD/PI or the grantee institution must submit a written request for the change, signed by the appropriate institutional business official, to the responsible program officer of the NIH funding component that describes the reasons for the change.  The Biographical Sketch of the proposed PD/PI, including a complete listing of active research grant support, must be provided.  The information in the request must establish that the Specific Aims of the original peer-reviewed research education program will remain unchanged under the direction of the new PD/PI and that the new PD/PI has the appropriate research and administrative expertise to lead the program.  This request must be submitted sufficiently in advance of the requested effective date to allow the necessary time for review.

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General  and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities.

3. Reporting

Awards made in response to this FOA are subject to SNAP.

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Non-Competing Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

The Progress Report should provide information on the development and implementation of the proposed research education program (including education in the responsible conduct of research), modifications to the research education program as originally proposed, details about the applicant pool and the participants including their career level, gender, and racial/ethnic backgrounds (if applicable), updates on the evaluation of the research education program and dissemination activities (if applicable), and a list of any publications and/or other materials arising from the research education program.

Evaluation:  In carrying out its stewardship of human resource-related programs, the NIH may request information essential to an assessment of the effectiveness of this program.  Accordingly, award recipients are hereby notified that they may be contacted during and after completion of this award for periodic updates on various aspects of program development, implementation, dissemination, and other information helpful in evaluating the impact of this program.

Publication and Sharing of Research Results:  Investigators are encouraged to submit reports of their findings for publication to the journals of their choice.  For each publication that results from this award, NIH support should be acknowledged by a footnote in language similar to the following: “This project was supported by NIH grant number ________.  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.”

Final Reports: A final Progress Report and Financial Status Report are required when an award is terminated.

Section VII. Agency Contacts


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

1. Scientific/Research Contacts:

Adolphus Toliver, Ph.D.                                                                                                 
Chief, MARC Branch

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: tolivera@nigms.nih.gov

2. Peer Review Contacts:

Cathleen Cooper, Ph.D.
Scientific Review Administrator
Center for Scientific Review, NIH
6701 Rockledge Drive, Rm. 4208 MSC 7812
Bethesda, MD 20892-7812 (20817 for FedEx)
Telephone: (301) 435-3566
Fax (301) 480-4042
Email: cooperc@csr.nih.gov 

3. Financial or Grants Management Contacts:

Antoinette Holland
Grants Management Officer
Division of Extramural Activities                                                                    
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH 

45 Center Drive, Room 2AN.50, MSC 6200 
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone: (301) 594-56132
Fax: (301) 480-5132
Email: hollanda@nigms.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information


Required Federal Citations

Use of Animals in Research:
Recipients of PHS support for activities involving live, vertebrate animals must comply with PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/PHSPolicyLabAnimals.pdf) as mandated by the Health Research Extension Act of 1985 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/hrea1985.htm), and the USDA Animal Welfare Regulations (http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/legislat/usdaleg1.htm) as applicable.

Human Subjects Protection:
Federal regulations (45 CFR 46) require that applications and proposals involving human subjects must be evaluated with reference to the risks to the subjects, the adequacy of protection against these risks, the potential benefits of the research to the subjects and others, and the importance of the knowledge gained or to be gained (http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.htm).

Access to Research Data through the Freedom of Information Act:
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to provide access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) under some circumstances. Data that are (1) first produced in a project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed through FOIA. It is important for applicants to understand the basic scope of this amendment. NIH has provided guidance at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm. Applicants may wish to place data collected under this funding opportunity in a public archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the distribution for an indefinite period of time. If so, the application should include a description of the archiving plan in the study design and include information about this in the budget justification section of the application. In addition, applicants should think about how to structure informed consent statements and other human subjects procedures given the potential for wider use of data collected under this award.

Required Education on the Protection of Human Subject Participants:
NIH policy requires education on the protection of human subject participants for all investigators submitting NIH applications for research involving human subjects and individuals designated as key personnel. The policy is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-039.html.

NIH Public Access Policy:
NIH-funded investigators are requested to submit to the NIH manuscript submission (NIHMS) system (http://www.nihms.nih.gov) at PubMed Central (PMC) an electronic version of the author's final manuscript upon acceptance for publication, resulting from research supported in whole or in part with direct costs from NIH. The author's final manuscript is defined as the final version accepted for journal publication, and includes all modifications from the publishing peer review process.

NIH is requesting that authors submit manuscripts resulting from 1) currently funded NIH research projects or 2) previously supported NIH research projects if they are accepted for publication on or after May 2, 2005. The NIH Public Access Policy applies to all research grant and career development award mechanisms, cooperative agreements, contracts, Institutional and Individual Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards, as well as NIH intramural research studies. The Policy applies to peer-reviewed, original research publications that have been supported in whole or in part with direct costs from NIH, but it does not apply to book chapters, editorials, reviews, or conference proceedings. Publications resulting from non-NIH-supported research projects should not be submitted.

For more information about the Policy or the submission process, please visit the NIH Public Access Policy Web site at http://publicaccess.nih.gov/ and view the Policy or other Resources and Tools, including the Authors' Manual.

Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information:
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued final modification to the "Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information", the "Privacy Rule", on August 14, 2002. The Privacy Rule is a federal regulation under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 that governs the protection of individually identifiable health information, and is administered and enforced by the DHHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

Decisions about applicability and implementation of the Privacy Rule reside with the researcher and his/her institution. The OCR website (http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/) provides information on the Privacy Rule, including a complete Regulation Text and a set of decision tools on "Am I a covered entity?" Information on the impact of the HIPAA Privacy Rule on NIH processes involving the review, funding, and progress monitoring of grants, cooperative agreements, and research contracts can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-025.html.

URLs in NIH Grant Applications or Appendices:
All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page limitations. For publications listed in the appendix and/or Progress report, internet addresses (URLs) must be used for publicly accessible on-line journal articles. Unless otherwise specified in this solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide any other information necessary for 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 and is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review. Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

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.

Loan Repayment Programs:
NIH encourages applications for educational loan repayment from qualified health professionals who have made a commitment to pursue a research career involving clinical, pediatric, contraception, infertility, and health disparities related areas. The LRP is an important component of NIH's efforts to recruit and retain the next generation of researchers by providing the means for developing a research career unfettered by the burden of student loan debt. Note that an NIH grant is not required for eligibility and concurrent career award and LRP applications are encouraged. The periods of career award and LRP award may overlap providing the LRP recipient with the required commitment of time and effort, as LRP awardees must commit at least 50% of their time (at least 20 hours per week based on a 40 hour week) for two years to the research. For further information, please see: http://www.lrp.nih.gov.


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