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
Trans-NIH Jointly Sponsored T32 Steering Committee, ( http://grants.nih.gov/training/joint_predoc/jointpredoc.htm)
National Institute on Aging (NIA), (http://www.nia.nih.gov)
National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), (http://www.niaaa.nih.gov)
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), (http://www.nichd.nih.gov)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), (http://www.nidcd.nih.gov)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), (http://www.nida.nih.gov)
National Eye Institute (NEI), (http://www.nei.nih.gov)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), (http://www.nigms.nih.gov)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), (http://www.nimh.nih.gov)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), (http://www.ninds.nih.gov)

Title: Jointly Sponsored Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Institutional Predoctoral Training Program in the Neurosciences (T32)

Announcement Type
This is a reissue of PAR-05-055 which was previously released February 18, 2005.

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

Looking ahead: As part of the Department of Health and Human Services' implementation of e-Government, the NIH will gradually transition each grant mechanism to electronic submission through Grants.gov and the use of the SF 424 Research and Related (R&R) forms. Therefore, once the transition is made for a specific grant mechanism, investigators and institutions will be required to submit applications electronically using Grants.gov. For more information and an initial timeline, see http://era.nih.gov/ElectronicReceipt/. NIH will announce each grant mechanism change in the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/index.html). Specific funding opportunity announcements will also clearly indicate if Grants.gov submission and the use of the SF424 (R&R) is required. Investigators should consult the NIH Forms and Applications Web site (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm) for the most current information when preparing a grant application.

Program Announcement (PA) Number: PAR-08-101

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number(s)
93.866, 93.865, 93.173, 93.279, 93.867, 93.859, 93.282, 93.853, 93.272

Key Dates
Release Date: March 6, 2008
Letters of Intent Submission Date(s): April 25th annually
Application Submission Date(s): May 25th annually
AIDS Application Submission Date(s): Not applicable
Peer Review Date(s): October-November annually
Council Review Date(s): January annually
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): April 1st annually
Additional Information To Be Available Date (Url Activation Date): Not applicable
Expiration Date: May 26, 2010(Now Expired March 2, 2010 per PAR-10-116)

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Additional Overview Content

Executive Summary

Table of Contents


Part I Overview Information

Part II Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
1. Research Training Objectives

Section II. Award Information
1. Mechanism(s) 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. Address to Request Application Information
2. Content and Form of Application Submission
3. Submission Dates and Times
A. Receipt and Review and Anticipated Start Dates
1. Letter of Intent
B. Sending an Application to the NIH
C. Application Processing
4. Intergovernmental Review
5. Funding Restrictions
6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria
2. Review and Selection Process
A. Additional Review Criteria
B. Additional Review Considerations
C. Resource Sharing Plan(s)
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 Training Objectives

The overall objective of the NRSA program is to provide predoctoral and postdoctoral research training opportunities for individuals interested in pursuing research careers in biomedical, behavioral and clinical research. The purpose of the NRSA research training program is to help ensure that a diverse and highly trained workforce is available to assume leadership roles related to the Nation’s biomedical and behavioral research agenda. The NRSA program has been the primary means of supporting graduate and postdoctoral research training programs since enactment of the NRSA legislation in 1974. More information about NRSA programs may be found at http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsa.htm.

In keeping with the goals of the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research (http://neuroscienceblueprint.nih.gov/), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Eye Institute (NEI), National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) are continuing joint sponsorship of a predoctoral institutional research training program in the neurosciences. The aim of this program is to encourage and support broad, early-stage training in the neurosciences by offering institutions a single, comprehensive training grant. This program supports the early years of graduate training, i.e. the first and second years, typically before full-time thesis research begins. Trainees are expected to be participants in a formal predoctoral curriculum offering broad and fundamental training in the neurosciences. We encourage a curriculum that spans the breadth of neurosciences in terms of the level of analysis (genes to molecules to cells to integrated, functional systems and behavior), approaches (including translational research), and the neuroscience of disease and disorders. We also encourage programs to incorporate formal education in experimental design and statistics. The training program would include core courses, laboratory rotations, and programmatic activities. It is expected that these institutional training programs will contribute to basic and disease-related neuroscience research that is relevant to the participating NIH Institutes.

The jointly sponsored predoctoral T32 program in the neurosciences has a unique purpose. It is therefore critical that all applicants consult with the appropriate scientific/research contact for current information about this training program before preparing an application (see Section VII). Applicants for a new program are encouraged to consult the current chair of the trans-NIH Jointly Sponsored T32 steering committee (see Section VII.1). This action is of utmost importance because applications with marginal or no relevance to the NIH awarding components participating in this funding opportunity announcement or that do not fulfill the objective of this funding opportunity will not be accepted for review or considered for funding.

Purpose and Background Information

Research training programs are designed to allow the TPDs to select the trainees and develop a curriculum of study and research experiences necessary to provide high quality research training. The grant offsets the cost of stipends and tuition (which includes fees and health insurance) support for the appointed trainees in accordance with the approved NIH support levels (see Section II, “Allowable Costs”).

Special Program Objectives and Considerations

Within the framework of the NRSA program’s longstanding commitment to excellence and projected need for investigators in particular areas of research, attention must be given to recruiting and retaining trainees from racial or ethnic groups underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral and clinical sciences, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds (see Section IV).

Another consideration relates to the duration of training and the transition of trainees to individual support mechanisms. TPDs should limit appointments to individuals who are committed to a career in research and who plan to remain on the training grant or in a non-NRSA research experience for a cumulative minimum of 2 years. TPDs should also encourage and provide training in the skills necessary for trainees to apply for subsequent support through individual fellowship, mentored career development award (“K” ) programs, or independent research project grants.

TPDs are encouraged to develop methods for ongoing evaluation of the quality of the training program and develop plans to obtain feedback from former trainees to help identify weaknesses in the program and provide suggestions for program improvements. All applications must describe an evaluation and tracking plan that will review and determine the effectiveness of all aspects of the program.

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

Section II. Award Information


1. Mechanism(s) of Support

This funding opportunity will use the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) T32 award mechanism. Awards may be made for periods up to 5 years and are renewable.

As an applicant, you will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed research training program.

This funding opportunity uses the non-modular budget format described in the PHS 398 application instructions (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html). A detailed categorical budget for the "Initial Budget Period" and the "Entire Proposed Period of Support" is to be submitted with the application, following the Instructions for preparing an NRSA application.

2. Funds Available

Because the nature and scope of the proposed research training programs 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 ICs provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this funding opportunity are contingent upon the availability of funds and the receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Grantees are expected to be familiar with and comply with applicable costs policies and the NRSA Guidelines (http://grant.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm). Funds may be used only for those expenses that are directly related and necessary to the research training not otherwise available and must be expended in conformance with OMB Cost Principles, the NIH Grants Policy Statement (rev. 12/01/03), and the NRSA regulations, policies, guidelines, and conditions set forth in this document.

Allowable Costs

A. Stipends:

Stipends are provided as a subsistence allowance for trainees to help defray living expenses during the research training experience and are based on a 12-month full-time appointment period. The stipend is not provided as a condition of employment with either the Federal Government or the grantee institution nor is it to be considered a payment for services performed. Stipends will be based on the annual NIH stipend levels at the time of award. The fiscal year (FY) 2008 annual stipend level for a predoctoral trainee is $20,772. Stipends may be adjusted only at the time of appointment or reappointment and may not be changed in the middle of an appointment period. For appointments of less than a full year, the stipend will be based on a monthly or daily pro-ration of the annual amount. No departure from the established stipend schedule may be negotiated by the institution with the trainee (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-07-057.html for specific information).

B. Tuition and Fees:

The NIH will offset the combined costs of tuition and fees at the rate in place at the time of the award. The rate currently provides 60% of the level requested by the applicant institution, up to $16,000 per year. If the program supports formally combined dual-degree training (e.g., M.D.-Ph.D, D.D.S.-Ph.D.), the amount provided per trainee will be up to $21,000 per year. Costs associated with this category are allowable only if they are required for specific courses as part of the approved research training program and are applied consistently to all persons in a similar research training status at the institution regardless of the source of support. A full description of the NIH tuition policy is in the NIH Grants Policy Statement and in the following notice: http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-06-093.html.

C. Trainee Travel:

Trainee travel to attend scientific meetings and workshops that the institution determines to be necessary for the individual’s research training experience is an allowable trainee expense. Funds may not be expended to cover the costs of travel between the trainee’s place of residence and the training institution, except that the grantee organization may authorize a one-way travel allowance in an individual case of extreme hardship. With appropriate justification, applicants for a Jointly Sponsored Predoctoral T32 Program in the Neurosciences may request up to $750 annually per trainee for travel to attend scientific meetings and workshops.

Additionally, support for travel to a research training experience away from the institution may be permitted. Research training experiences away from the parent organization must be justified considering the type of opportunities available for training, and how the opportunities differ from and complement those offered at the parent institution, and the relationship of the proposed training experience to the trainee’s career stage and goals. This type of travel and research training requires prior approval from the NIH awarding component, and, if not known at the time of application, may be submitted at any time during the award period.

D. Trainee Related Expenses (TRE):

The applicant institution may request the NIH standard NRSA Training Related Expenses, $4,200 annually, for each predoctoral trainee to help defray health insurance and other research training expenses, such as staff salaries, consultant costs, equipment, research supplies, and faculty/staff travel directly related to the research training program (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-07-057.html for additional information). Funds are provided as a lump sum on the basis of the predetermined amount per predoctoral trainee approved for support.

Funds to support travel (travel plus one day per diem) of the TPD to the Program Directors' meeting in the Washington, DC area every other year should be requested in the TRE category.

Under exceptional circumstances, which can include accommodating the disabilities of a trainee, it is possible to request training related expenses above the standard level. Requests for additional costs must be explained in detail and justified in the application. Consultation with NIH program staff in advance of such requests is strongly advised.

E. Facilities and Administrative Allowance:

A facilities and administrative allowance based on 8% of modified total direct costs (exclusive of tuition and fees, and expenditures for equipment) may be requested.

F. Stipend Supplementation, Compensation, and Other Income:

The grantee institution is allowed to provide funds to an individual in addition to the stipends paid by the NIH. Such additional amounts either may be in the form of augmented stipends (supplementation) or in the form of compensation, such as salary or tuition remission for services such as teaching or serving as a laboratory assistant, provided the conditions described below are met. Under no circumstances may the conditions of stipend supplementation or the services provided for compensation interfere with, detract from, or prolong the trainee's approved NRSA training program.

Grantees may supplement stipends from non-Federal funds provided the supplementation is without obligation to the trainee. An organization can determine what amount of stipend supplementation, if any, will be provided according to its own formally established policies governing stipend support. These policies must be consistently applied to all individuals in a similar training status regardless of the source of funds. Federal funds may not be used for stipend supplementation unless specifically authorized under the terms of the program from which funds are derived. An individual may use Federal educational loan funds or VA benefits when permitted by those programs. Under no circumstances may PHS funds be used for supplementation.

Compensation: Funds characterized as compensation may be paid to trainees only when there is an employer-employee relationship, the payments are for services rendered, and the situation otherwise meets all of the conditions and policies in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Additionally, compensation must be in accordance with organizational policies consistently applied to both federally and non-federally supported activities and must be supported by acceptable accounting records that reflect the employer-employee relationship. An institution may provide additional funds to a trainee in the form of compensation (as salary and/or tuition remission) for services performed outside of the responsibilities of the full-time NRSA-supported training such as teaching or serving as a research assistant. A trainee may receive compensation for services as a research assistant or in some other position on a Federal research grant, including a DHHS research grant. However, compensated services should occur on a limited, part-time basis apart from the normal full-time research training activities. In addition, compensation may not be paid from a research grant that supports the same research that is part of the trainee’s planned training experience as approved in the institutional training grant application. TPDs must approve all instances of employment on research grants to verify that the circumstances will not detract from or prolong the approved training program.

A full description of the NIH policy regarding NRSA supplementation and compensation can be found in the NIH Grants Policy Statement at: http://grants1.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm

Educational Loans or G.I. Bill: An individual may make use of Federal educational loan funds and assistance under the Veterans Readjustment Benefits Act (G.I. Bill). Such funds are not considered supplementation or compensation. Postdoctoral trainees in their first and third years of training may also be eligible to participate in the NIH Extramural Loan Repayment Program. Information about this program is available at: http://www.lrp.nih.gov/.

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:

Foreign institutions are not eligible to apply. The applicant institution must have a strong and high quality research program in the neurosciences and must have the requisite staff and facilities on site to conduct the proposed predoctoral research training program.

An eligible institution (e.g., a university) may only submit a single application in response to this funding opportunity and may only have a single training program supported by this funding opportunity at one time.

1.B. Eligible Individuals

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

The TPD should be an established researcher with acknowledged accomplishments in neuroscience research, a successful past training record, and available resources to conduct the proposed research training program at the institution. The TPD(s) should be capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the proposed training program. The TPD(s) will be responsible for the selection and appointment of eligible trainees to the NRSA training grant, for the overall direction, management and administration of the research training program, program evaluation, and the submission of all required forms in a timely manner.

More than one TPD, or multiple TPDs, may be designated on the application for training programs that require a “team” approach and therefore clearly do not fit the single-TPD model. Additional information on the implementation plans, policies and procedures to formally allow more than one TPD on individual research projects is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/multi_pi. All TPDs must be registered in the NIH eRA Commons prior to the submission of the application (see http://era.nih.gov/ElectronicReceipt/preparing.htm for instructions).

The decision of whether to apply for a grant with a single TPD or multiple TPDs is the responsibility of the investigators and applicant organizations and should be determined by the goals of the training program. Applications for grants with multiple TPDs will require additional information, as outlined in the instructions below. The NIH review criteria for approach, investigators, and environment have been modified to accommodate applications involving either a single TPD or multiple TPDs. When considering multiple TPDs, please be aware that the structure and governance of the TPD leadership team as well as the knowledge, skills and experience of the individual TPDs will be factored into the assessment of the overall merit of the application. Multiple TPDs on a training program share the authority and responsibility for leading and directing the program, intellectually and logistically. Each TPD is responsible and accountable to the grantee organization, or, as appropriate, to a collaborating organization, for the proper conduct of the program, including the submission of required reports. For further information on multiple TPDs, please see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/multi_pi.

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

An applicant institution may only submit one application in response to this announcement. Multiple applications from different divisions, faculties, schools, centers, etc. at the same university will not be considered.

Because this funding opportunity only supports predoctoral research training in the neurosciences, applications requesting support for both predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees will not be accepted for review and funding consideration.

Research Training Program

Trainees appointed to the research training program must have the opportunity to carry out supervised neuroscience research with the primary objective of developing or enhancing their research skills and knowledge in preparation for a health-related research career. Trainees must be able to commit full-time effort, normally defined as 40 hours per week or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies, to the program and its related research activities, consonant with NRSA guidelines.

A Kirschstein-NRSA institutional research training grant must be used to support a program of full-time research training. It may not be used to support studies leading to the M.D., D.D.S., or other clinical, health-professional training except when those studies are part of a formal combined research degree program, such as the M.D./Ph.D.

Trainee Citizenship

At the time of appointment to the training program, individuals selected for research training supported by NRSA institutional training grants must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States, or must have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence, i.e., in possession of a currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card I-551, or some other legal verification of legal admission as a permanent resident. Non-citizen nationals are generally persons born in outlying possessions of the United States (e.g., American Samoa and Swains Island). Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible for Kirschstein-NRSA support. In addition, trainees must be able to commit full-time effort in the program at the time of appointment.

Predoctoral Trainees

Predoctoral trainees must have received a baccalaureate degree by the beginning date of their NRSA appointment, must be training at the post-baccalaureate level, and be enrolled in a program leading to a Ph.D. in neuroscience, in an equivalent research doctoral degree program, or a combined clinical degree and Ph.D., such as M.D./Ph.D.

Short-Term Health-Professional Trainees

Short-term health-professional trainees are not allowed on awards issued in response to this funding opportunity.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information


1. Address to Request Application Information

The PHS 398 application instructions are available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in an interactive format. Applicants must use the currently approved version of the PHS 398. 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

Applications must be prepared using the current PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.pdf.) Applicants must use the T32 guidelines and the specific instructions for Institutional NRSA Applications, PHS 398. Applications must have a D&B Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as the universal identifier when applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements. The D&B number can be obtained by calling (866) 705-5711 or through the web site at http://www.dnb.com/us/. The D&B number should be entered on the face page of the PHS 398 form.

The title and number of this funding opportunity must be typed on the face page of the application form and the YES box must be checked.

Applications with Multiple TPDs:

When multiple TPDs are proposed, use the Face Page-Continued page to provide information for all TPDs. NIH requires one TPD be designated as the “contact TPD” for all communications between the TPDs and the agency. The contact TPD must meet all eligibility requirements for TPD status in the same way as other TPDs, but has no special roles or responsibilities within the program team beyond those mentioned above. The contact TPD may be changed during the project period. When inserting the name of the TPD in the header of each application page, use the name of the “Contact TPD, et. al.” The contact TPD must be from the applicant organization if TPDs are from more than one institution.

All individuals designated as TPD must be registered in the eRA Commons and must be assigned the TPD role in that system (other roles will not give the TPD the appropriate access to the application records). Each TPD must include their respective eRA Commons ID in the eRA Commons User Name field.

All programs proposing Multiple TPDs will be required to include a new section describing the leadership plan approach for the proposed project.

Multiple TPD Leadership Plan: For applications designating multiple TPDs, a new section of the research plan, entitled “Multiple TPD Leadership Plan” must be included. A rationale for choosing a multiple TPD approach should be described. The governance and organizational structure of the leadership team and the training program should be described, and should include communication plans, process for making decisions on direction, and procedures for resolving conflicts. The roles and administrative, technical, and scientific responsibilities for the program should be delineated for the TPDs and other collaborators.

If budget allocation is planned, the distribution of resources to specific components of the program or the individual TPDs should be delineated in the Leadership Plan. In the event of an award, the requested allocations may be reflected in a footnote on the Notice of Award.

Additional information is available in the PHS 398 grant application instructions.

3. Submission Dates and Times

See Section IV.3.A for details.

3.A. Submission, Review and Anticipated Start Dates
Letters of Intent Submission Date(s): April 25th annually
Application Submission Date(s): May 25th annually
Peer Review Date(s): October-November
Council Review Date(s): January annually
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): April 1st annually

3.A.1. Letter of Intent

Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows IC staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

The letter of intent is to be sent by the date listed at the beginning of this document.

The letter of intent should be sent to the current chair of the Trans-NIH Jointly Sponsored T32 Steering Committee (see Section VII.1).

3.B. Sending an Application to the NIH

Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application forms and the specific NRSA institutional grant application instructions in PHS 398. 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 (U.S. Postal Service Express or regular mail)
Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service; non-USPS service)

Personal deliveries of applications are no longer permitted (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-040.html).

3.C. Application Processing

Applications must be submitted on or before the application receipt/submission date described above (Section IV.3.A.) and at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/dates.htm.

Upon receipt applications will be evaluated for completeness by CSR. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

The NIH will not accept any application in response to this funding opportunity 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 a substantial revision of an application already reviewed, but such application must include an Introduction addressing the previous critique.

Information on the status of an application should be checked by the TPD(s) in the eRA Commons at: https://commons.era.nih.gov/commons/.

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. The Grants Policy Statement can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm.

Pre-award costs are not allowable charges for either stipends or tuition on institutional training grants since stipends and tuition costs may not be charged to the grant before the trainee appointment is actually made. However, the policies governing the pre-award cost authority for the expenditure of the other funds provided in a training grant are those permitted in the NIH Grants Policy Statement as follows:

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 competing continuation 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 competing continuation 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 NIH Grants Policy Statement http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm.

The National Research Service Award (NRSA) policies apply to this program. Awards are contingent upon availability of funds. Furthermore, the duration of the award and the number of funded training positions may be less than the levels recommended by the peer review group, based on programmatic and budgetary considerations.

Funds for continuation support beyond the initial year are determined by the success as described in the annual progress report, the timely submission of required forms, and the availability of funds for continuation programs.

Concurrent awards: An NRSA appointment may not be held concurrently with another federally sponsored fellowship, traineeship, or similar Federal award that provides a stipend or otherwise duplicates provisions of the NRSA.

Taxability of Stipends: Internal Revenue Code Section 117 applies to the tax treatment of all scholarships and fellowships. The Tax Reform Act of 1986, Public Law 99-154, impacts on the tax liability of all individuals supported under the NRSA program. Under that section, non-degree candidates are now required to report as gross income all stipends and any monies paid on their behalf for course tuition and fees required for attendance. Degree candidates may exclude from gross income (for tax purposes) any amount used for tuition and related expenses such as fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses of instruction at a qualified educational organization.

The IRS and Treasury Department released regulations in January 2005 (Revenue Procedure 2005-11) clarifying the student exception to the FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes for students employed by a school, college, or university where the student is pursuing a course of study. Our understanding is that these final regulations do not apply to or impact Kirschstein-NRSA programs or awards. An NRSA stipend is provided by the NIH as a subsistence allowance for Kirschstein-NRSA fellows and trainees to help defray living expenses during the research training experience. NRSA recipients are not considered employees of the Federal government or the grantee institution for purposes of the award. We must note that NIH takes no position on the status of a particular taxpayer, nor does it have the authority to dispense tax advice. The interpretation and implementation of the tax laws are the domain of the IRS.

Individuals should consult their local IRS office about the applicability of the tax laws to their situation and for information on their tax obligations.

Service Payback: There is no payback for support of predoctoral trainees.

6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Specific Instructions for Applications Requesting $500,000 (direct costs) or More per Year

Applicants requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs for any year (excluding consortium F&A costs) must carry out the following steps:

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

2) Obtain agreement from the IC staff that the IC will accept the application for consideration for award; and,

3) Include a cover letter with the application that identifies the staff member and IC who agreed to accept assignment of the application.

This policy applies to all new, renewal, revision, or resubmission applications. See NOT-OD-02-004, October 16, 2001.

Special Requirements

Applicants are encouraged to review the program’s website (http://grants.nih.gov/training/joint_predoc/jointpredoc.htm) and contact the current chair of the trans-NIH Jointly Sponsored T32 steering committee (Section VII.1).

Research Training Program: The aim of the Jointly Sponsored NIH Predoctoral Training Program in the Neurosciences is to support broad, early-stage training in the neurosciences by offering institutions a single comprehensive training grant. The training programs are expected to facilitate training students in basic and disease-related neuroscience research that is relevant to the participating NIH Institutes. The training programs must ensure that there are ongoing research programs available to trainees in areas relevant to the missions of one or more of the sponsoring NIH Institutes. Only early predoctoral training is supported under this funding opportunity. For the purposes of this funding opportunity, early predoctoral training typically spans the first and second years of graduate training. Trainees are expected to participate in a formal predoctoral curriculum offering broad and fundamental training in the neurosciences. We encourage a curriculum that spans the breadth of neuroscience in terms of the level of analysis (genes to molecules to cells to integrated, functional systems and behavior), approaches (including translational research), and the neuroscience of disease and disorders. Such training is expected to include core coursework, laboratory rotations, and programmatic activities, but typically not full-time thesis research. We also encourage programs to incorporate formal education in experimental design and statistics. The training program should expose trainees to the clinical concepts relevant to their fundamental training in the neurosciences. This exposure, for example, may include seminars, coursework, or laboratory rotations in translational research. Programmatic activities unique to this training program are formalized interactions of participating departments and programs that may include, but are not restricted to, journal clubs, seminar series, and an annual retreat.

The program should plan to provide didactic training as well as laboratory or clinical research experience. This should include a plan for determining trainee experience and needs and monitoring progress to accomplish desired goals. The program should develop trainee skills in understanding research, applying their critical abilities to conduct research, identify problems in the process of conducting research, raise questions and propose solutions to resolving problems. Trainees should be prepared to utilize their research findings as they pursue future research. Programs should provide all NRSA trainees with additional professional development skills and career guidance including instruction and training in grant writing in order to apply successfully for future career development and independent research support.

Institutions that presently have multiple training grants supporting predoctoral trainees in the neurosciences during the first and second years of graduate school are strongly encouraged to consolidate their predoctoral training positions into a single training grant jointly sponsored by the NIH Institutes participating in this funding opportunity. All applications must describe a plan to consolidate neuroscience training positions from existing predoctoral training grants supported by the NIH Institutes participating in this program announcement. All relevant training grants should be considered for consolidation, and some rationale must be presented if particular training grants will not be included in the consolidation plan.

Applications are also accepted from institutions that do not have current NIH training grant support and that provide neuroscience training.

The number of trainee positions requested must be justified in terms of the available pool of eligible trainees, the training faculty, the training track record, the training program, and the proposed consolidation of existing training positions, if relevant. The number of trainees suggested by the study section is considered the ceiling and may be decreased by NIH program staff based on availability of funds, track record for filling positions as assessed by annual progress reports and statements of appointment, and the overall needs of the Jointly Sponsored NIH Predoctoral Training Program in the Neurosciences.

When an existing Jointly Sponsored NIH Predoctoral Training Program in the Neurosciences submits a renewal application, the program must include the following information about former trainees in the Progress Report: 1) federal funding sources for the support of dissertation research; b) name(s) of dissertation advisor(s)/mentor(s); and c) title of dissertation.

Training Program Director(s): The TPD(s) must possess the scientific background and leadership and administrative capabilities required to coordinate, supervise, and direct the proposed predoctoral research training program in the neurosciences. The TPD(s) will be responsible for the selection and appointment of trainees to the approved research training program, and for the overall direction, management, administration, and evaluation of the program. TPD(s) must provide potential trainees information associated with NRSA programs and submit all required trainee forms in a timely manner.

Past Training Record: This section should describe the past research training record of the program, the TPD(s), and designated preceptors/mentors. The information should describe the success of former trainees of the designated preceptors/mentors in seeking further career development and in establishing productive scientific careers. Evidence can include successful completion of programs, further career advancement of former trainees such as receipt of fellowships, career awards, further training appointments and similar accomplishments. Evidence of a productive scientific career can include a record of successful competition for research grants, receipt of special honors or awards, a record of publications, receipt of patents, promotion to scientific positions, and any other accepted measures of success consistent with the nature and duration of the training period.

Trainee Appointments: All trainees are required to pursue their research training full time, normally defined as 40 hours per week, or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies. Appointments are normally made in 12-month increments, and no trainee may be appointed for less than 9 months during the initial period of appointment, except with prior approval of the NIH awarding unit. Appointments under this funding opportunity announcement are limited to trainees in their first and second year of graduate training. TPDs should limit appointments to individuals who are committed to a career in research and who plan to remain on the training grant or in a non-NRSA research experience for a cumulative minimum of 2 years.

No individual trainee may receive more than 5 years of aggregate NRSA support at the predoctoral level, including any combination of support from institutional training and individual fellowship awards. Any exception to the maximum period of support requires a waiver from the NIH awarding office based on a review of the written justification from the individual trainee, and endorsed by the TPD and the sponsoring grantee institution. Trainees seeking additional support are strongly advised to consult with the NIH awarding office.

Research Environment/Resources: The applicant institution must have a strong and high-quality research program in the area(s) proposed for research training and must have the requisite staff and facilities to carry out the proposed program.

Institutional Commitment: The applicant institution should include information that documents a commitment to the proposed research training program’s goals, and provide assurance that the institution intends the program to be an integral part of its research and research training endeavor. The application should include a description of support (financial or otherwise) to be provided to the program, which could include, for example, space, shared laboratory facilities and equipment, funds for curriculum development, release time for the TPD and participating faculty, support for additional trainees in the program, or any other creative ways to improve and enhance the growth of the research training program.

Evaluation and Tracking Component: The application must describe a strong evaluation and tracking component that will review and determine the effectiveness of all aspects of the program. This should include a system for tracking trainees for a 10-year period following their completion of the program completion to determine success or failure of the program. The follow up tracking would include information on program publications, grant proposals, and awards, and career trajectory of trainees who were supported by the program. The application should provide a prospective evaluation plan for process and outcome measures. Outcome measures may include relevant positions obtained, current activities related to research, publication record, and the success rate of applying for and obtaining Federal and non-Federal research grant support. The evaluation and tracking report should be included annually as part of the Progress Report, in future competing continuation applications, and as part of the Final Progress Report.

Recruitment Plan: Applicants must submit a recruitment plan for recruiting trainees from both outside and inside their sponsoring institution. The application should describe any recruitment and outreach plan to increase the depth and diversity of the applicant pool including those underrepresented in the current scientific research workforce in the area of the proposed research training.

Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity: The NIH recognizes a unique and compelling need to promote diversity in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences workforce. The NIH expects efforts to diversify the workforce to lead to the recruitment of the most talented researchers from all groups; to improve the quality of the educational and training environment; to balance and broaden the perspective in setting research priorities; to improve the ability to recruit subjects from diverse backgrounds into clinical research protocols; and to improve the Nation’s capacity to address and eliminate health disparities.

Accordingly the NIH continues to encourage institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations and thus to increase the participation of individuals currently underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences such as: individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds that have inhibited their ability to pursue a career in health-related research. Institutions are encouraged to identify candidates who will increase diversity on a national or institutional basis. The NIH is particularly interested in encouraging the recruitment and retention of the following classes of candidates:

A. Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see data at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/showpub.cfm?TopID=2&SubID=27 and the report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, 2007, p.262). In addition, it is recognized that under-representation can vary from setting to setting and individuals from racial or ethnic groups that can be convincingly demonstrated to be underrepresented by the grantee institution should be encouraged to participate in this program.

B. Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

C. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who are defined as:

1. Individuals who come from a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds. These thresholds are based on family size, published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census; adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index; and adjusted by the Secretary for use in all health professions programs. The Secretary periodically publishes these income levels at http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/index.shtml. For individuals from low income backgrounds, the institution must be able to demonstrate that such candidates have qualified for Federal disadvantaged assistance or they have received any of the following student loans: Health Professional Student Loans (HPSL), Loans for Disadvantaged Student Program, or they have received scholarships from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Scholarship for Individuals with Exceptional Financial Need.

2. Individuals who come from a social, cultural, or educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments that have demonstrably and recently directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career. Recruitment and retention plans related to a disadvantaged background are most applicable to high school and perhaps undergraduate candidates, but would be more difficult to justify for individuals beyond that level of achievement.

Competing continuation and non-competing applications must include a detailed account of experiences in recruiting individuals from underrepresented groups during the previous funding period. Information must be included on successful and unsuccessful recruitment strategies including aggregate information on the distribution of:

For those trainees who were enrolled in the academic program, the report should include information about the duration of research training and whether those trainees finished their training in good standing.

Peer reviewers will separately evaluate the recruitment and retention plan to enhance diversity after the overall score has been determined. Reviewers will examine the strategies to be used in the recruitment and retention of individuals from underrepresented groups. The review panel’s evaluation will be included in an administrative note in the summary statement. If the recruitment and retention plan to enhance diversity is judged to be unacceptable, funding will be withheld until a revised plan (and report) that addresses the deficiencies is received. Staff within the NIH awarding component, with guidance from the appropriate national advisory committee or council as needed, will determine whether amended plans and reports submitted after the initial review are acceptable.

This Program Announcement requires all applicants to submit a recruitment and retention plan to enhance diversity. If an application is received without a plan, the application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research: Every NRSA trainee supported by an institutional research training grant must receive instruction in the responsible conduct of research. For more information on this provision, see the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Volume 21, Number 43, November 27, 1992, see http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not92-236.html. Applications must include a description of a program to provide formal or informal instruction in scientific integrity and ethical principles in research. Applications without plans for instruction in the responsible conduct of research will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.

Resource Sharing Plan(s)

The following resource sharing policies do not apply to this FOA:

Section V. Application Review Information


1. Criteria (Update: Enhanced review criteria have been issued for the evaluation of research applications received for potential FY2010 funding and thereafter - see NOT-OD-09-025).
Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process.

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications submitted for this funding opportunity will be assigned to the ICs on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines.

Appropriate scientific review groups 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:

The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

The goals of NIH-supported research training are to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in adequate numbers and in appropriate research areas to address the Nation’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. The scientific review group will address and consider each of these criteria in assigning the application’s overall score, weighting them as appropriate for each application. Reviewers will first determine the quality of the proposed research training program and then consider whether the requested number of trainee positions is appropriate for the program.

Although individual Institutes and Centers may have specialized review criteria appropriate for their special initiatives and mission, most research training applications are evaluated using the following criteria:

Training Program: Are the objectives, design and direction of the proposed research training program appropriate? Does the proposed program provide broad-based, fundamental, early-stage training in the neurosciences? Is the quality of proposed course contents and training experience appropriate for first and second-year predoctoral trainees? Are appropriate courses available to provide a curriculum that spans the breadth of neurosciences in terms of the level of analysis (genes to molecules to cells to integrated, functional systems and behavior), approaches (including translational research), and the neuroscience of disease and disorders? Is appropriate coursework available in experimental design and statistics? Are appropriate programmatic activities incorporated into the training program? Are inter- and multi-disciplinary and inter-professional research training opportunities or novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, or technologies appropriately utilized?

Training Program Director(s): Does the TPD(s) have the scientific background, expertise, and experience appropriate to direct, manage, coordinate, and administer the proposed research training program? Does the TPD(s) plan to commit adequate time to the program?

Preceptors/Mentors: Is the caliber of preceptors/mentors as neuroscience researchers, including overall quality of their research, their publication record, successful competition for research support in areas directly related to the proposed research training program, appropriate for their role in the training program? Is there a sufficient number of experienced mentors with appropriate expertise and funding available at the applicant institution to support the number of predoctoral trainees being proposed in the application? What is the record of the preceptors as mentors, especially as mentors of predoctoral students?

Past Training Record: Is the past research training record of the program, the TPD(s), and designated preceptors/mentors appropriate? How successful are former trainees in seeking further career development and in establishing productive scientific careers? Is there evidence of successful completion of programs, receipt of subsequent fellowships and/or career awards, further training appointments, and similar accomplishments? Is there evidence of a productive scientific career, such as a record of successful competition for research grants, receipt of special honors or award, a record of publications, receipt of patents, promotion to scientific positions, and any other measure of success consistent with the nature and duration of the training received? What is the track record of proposed mentors in similar predoctoral research training programs? Is there a record in retaining health-professional postdoctorates (i.e., individuals with the M.D., D.O, D.D.S. D.N.Sc., etc.) for at least 2 years in research training or other research activities, if appropriate?

Institutional Training Environment, Commitment, and Resources: Is the quality of the research environment for the proposed research training program appropriate? Is the level of institutional commitment, quality of available facilities, courses, research and research training support suitable? Is the proposed program to be an integral component of the applicant institution’s overall research program/mission? Does the training program represent the breadth of the neuroscience community at the institution? Is there evidence of ongoing neurosciences research in areas relevant to the mission of more than one participating NIH Institute?

Trainee Recruitment, Selection, and Retention Plan: Are the quality of the applicant pool and plans for the selection and retention of individuals appointed to the training program appropriate? Specifically, what is the size and quality of the applicant pool? Are the recruiting procedures, trainee selection criteria, and retention strategies appropriate and well defined? Are there advertising plans or other effective strategies to recruit high-quality trainees? Is the diversity of the trainee pool in keeping with the availability of individuals from underrepresented groups within the relevant pool of applicants (see Special Requirements in Section IV.6.)?

Evaluation and Tracking Plan: Is the evaluation plan adequate and sufficiently detailed to track career outcomes of trainees and determine if the program is successful? Does it include a system for tracking participants following program completion, such as publications, grant proposals and awards, and career trajectory of supported trainees?

2.A. Additional Review Criteria:

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

Resubmission Applications: Are the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group adequate? Are the improvements in the resubmission application appropriate?

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 the Research Plan, Section E on Human Subjects in the PHS Form 398).

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 the Research Plan, Section E on Human Subjects in the PHS Form 398).

Care and Use of Vertebrate Animals in Research: If vertebrate animals are to be used in the project, the five items described under Section F of the PHS Form 398 research grant application instructions will be assessed.

Biohazards: If materials or procedures are proposed that are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, determine if the proposed protection is adequate.

2.B. Additional Review Considerations

Budget: The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period of support will be assessed in relation to the proposed research training program and the number of proposed trainees. The priority score should not be affected by the evaluation of the budget.

Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity: The NIH recognizes a unique and compelling need to promote diversity in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences workforce. The NIH expects efforts to diversify the workforce to lead to the recruitment of the most talented researchers from all groups; to improve the quality of the educational and training environment; to balance and broaden the perspective in setting research priorities; to improve the ability to recruit subjects from diverse backgrounds into clinical research protocols; and to improve the Nation’s capacity to address and eliminate health disparities.

Accordingly the NIH continues to encourage institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations and thus to increase the participation of individuals currently underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences such as: individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds that have inhibited their ability to pursue a career in health-related research. Institutions are encouraged to identify candidates who will increase diversity on a national or institutional basis.

Peer reviewers will separately evaluate the recruitment and retention plan to enhance diversity after the overall score has been determined. Reviewers will examine the strategies to be used in the recruitment and retention of individuals from underrepresented groups. The review panel’s evaluation will be included in an administrative note in the summary statement. If the diversity recruitment and retention plan is judged to be unacceptable, funding will be withheld until a revised plan (and report) that addresses the deficiencies is received. Staff within the NIH awarding component, with guidance from the appropriate national advisory committee or council, will determine whether amended plans and reports submitted after the initial review are acceptable.

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research: Peer reviewers will assess the applicant’s plan 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, and the result 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. The relevant NIH staff will judge the acceptability of the revised plan.

Consolidation Plan: Consolidation of NIH-funded predoctoral training in the neurosciences at an institution into a single training grant is strongly encouraged. A consolidation plan for combining training positions (or a justification not to consolidate) from other NIH-funded neuroscience-related training grants at the institution into a single training grant should be fully explained in the application. If consolidation is not proposed, the applicant should justify this plan. The consolidation plan and justification will be considered in relation to the participation of other departments in the training program. This information will not be factored into the numerical score but will be evaluated by the reviewers and considered in the budget recommendation.

2.C. Resource Sharing Plan(s)

The following resource sharing policies do not apply to this FOA:


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 TPD(s) will be able to access the written critique called a Summary Statement via the 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 (http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm).

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 Also 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 awarding component to the grantee business official. If a grantee is not email enabled, a hard copy of the NoA will be mailed to the business official.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

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 (http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm) and Part II Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities (http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm).

Special Administrative Requirements associated with NRSA programs:

Leave Policies: In general, trainees may receive stipends during the normal periods of vacation and holidays observed by individuals in comparable training positions at the sponsoring institution. For the purpose of these awards, however, the period between the spring and fall semesters is considered to be an active time of research and research training and is not considered to be a vacation or holiday. Trainees may receive stipends for up to 15 calendar days of sick leave per year. Sick leave may be used for the medical conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth. Trainees may also receive stipends for up to 30 calendar days of parental leave per year for the adoption or the birth of a child when those in comparable training positions at the grantee institution have access to paid leave for this purpose and the use of parental leave is approved by the TPD(s). A period of terminal leave is not permitted, and payment may not be made from traineeship funds for leave not taken. Trainees requiring periods of time away from their research training experience longer than specified here must seek approval from the NIH awarding component for an unpaid leave of absence. Trainees supported by academic institutions should refer to the NIH Institutional NRSA training grant guidelines at: http://grants1.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm for further guidance regarding vacations and requested leave.

Part-time Training: While NRSA trainees are required to pursue research training full time, normally defined as 40 hours per week, or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies, under unusual and pressing personal circumstances, a TPD may submit a written request to the awarding component to change a trainee appointment to less than full-time. Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by the awarding Institute in advance for each budget period. The nature of the circumstances requiring part-time training might include medical conditions, disability, or pressing personal or family situations such as child or elder care. Permission for part-time training will not be approved to accommodate other sources of funding, job opportunities, clinical practice, clinical training, or for other responsibilities associated with the trainee’s position at the institution. In each case, the TPD must submit a written request countersigned by the trainee and an appropriate institutional business official that includes documentation supporting the need for part-time training. The written request also must include an estimate of the expected duration of the period of part-time training, an assurance that the trainee intends to return to full-time training when that becomes possible, and an assurance that the trainee intends to complete the research training program. In no case will it be permissible for the trainee to be engaged in NRSA supported research training for less than 50% effort. Individuals who must reduce their commitment to less than 50% effort must take a leave-of-absence from NRSA training grant support. The stipend will be pro-rated in the grant award during the period of any approved part-time training.

Carryover of Unobligated Balances: The participating NIH funding components require prior written approval for carryover of funds from one budget period to the next. Such requests must include compelling justification including the status of trainee appointments to the program in the current funding period. If not stated on the Notice of Award, the TPD should contact the applicable IC’s Grants Management contact to request approval for carryover of funds from one budget period to the next.

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

Change of Institution: Awards are made to a specific institution for a specific research training program and the training program may not be transferred from one institution to another. Trainees seeking to change institutions must terminate their current appointment using the Termination Notice (form PHS 416-7, Rev. 10/05), located at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm#training.

Change of Training Program Director: If change of a Training Program Director (TPD) 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 TPD or the grantee institution has submitted a written request for the change, countersigned by the appropriate institutional business official, to program and grants management staff at the NIH funding component describing the reasons for the change. The Biographical Sketch of the proposed TPD, including a complete listing of active research grant support and his/her record as a predoctoral mentor, must be provided. The information in the request must establish that the specific aims of the original peer-reviewed program will remain unchanged under the direction of the new TPD and that the new TPD has the appropriate research training and administrative expertise to lead the training program. This request must be submitted sufficiently in advance of the requested effective date to allow the necessary time for review.

Change of Program: A rationale must be provided for any proposed changes in the aims of the original, peer-reviewed program. Any change requires prior approval by program staff of the NIH funding component. If the new program does not satisfy this requirement, the award will be terminated.

Service Payback Provisions: There is no payback for support of predoctoral trainees.

3. Reporting

Awardees will be required to submit the PHS Non-Competing Grant Progress Report, Form 2590 annually (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/2590/2590.htm) and annual financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The NRSA program is not subject to SNAP.

The NRSA instructions for the non-competing grant progress report (Form PHS 2590) should be followed. Note that a substitute budget page and a summary of trainee page are to be included in the request for continuation support. The non-competing budget page should list the names and levels of those trainees who are continuing in the research training program. Information on each trainee should also be included in the narrative portion of the progress report as described in the PHS Form 2590 instructions.

An evaluation and tracking report as described in Section IV.6. of this announcement should be included annually as part of the Progress Report.

Additional information that should be included in the annual progress report in concert with the PHS 2590 instructions:

Additional Reporting Requirements:

Financial Status Report (FSR): An annual FSR is required and must be submitted within 90 days of the end of each budget period. Continuation support will not be provided until the required form is submitted and accepted.

Trainee Reporting Requirements: The institution must submit a completed Statement of Appointment (PHS Form 2271) for each trainee appointed or reappointed to the training grant. This form must be completed at the beginning of the initial appointment and annually thereafter. No funds may be provided until such documents are submitted and accepted by the funding Institute.

Within 30 days of the end of the total support period for each trainee, the institution must submit a Termination Notice (PHS 416-7, Rev. 10/05) to the NIH. If the trainee has a payback obligation, he or she must notify the NIH of any change in address and submit Annual Payback Activities Certification Forms (PHS 6031-1, Rev. 10/05) until the payback service obligation is satisfied. Failure by the grantee institution to submit the required forms in a timely, complete, and accurate manner may result in an expenditure disallowance or a delay in any continuation funding for the award. Forms may be found on the NIH Website at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm.

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, recipients are hereby notified that they may be contacted after the completion of this award for periodic updates on various aspects of their employment history, publications, support from research grants or contracts, honors and awards, professional activities, and other information helpful in evaluating the impact of the research training program.

Publication and Sharing of Research Results: NIH supports the practical application and sharing of outcomes of funded research. Therefore, trainees should make the results and accomplishments of their Kirschstein-NRSA research training activities available to the research community and to the public at large. The grantee organization should assist trainees in these activities, including the further development of discoveries and inventions for furthering research and benefiting the public. No restrictions should be placed on the publication of results in a timely manner.

Trainees are encouraged to submit reports of their findings for publication to the journals of their choice. For each publication that results from a trainee’s research, NIH support should be acknowledged by a footnote in language similar to the following: “This investigation was supported by the National Institutes of Health under Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (number) which is part of the Jointly Sponsored NIH Predoctoral Training Program in the Neurosciences. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.” In addition, federal funding must be acknowledged as provided in “Public Policy Requirements and Objectives-Availability of Information-Acknowledgment of Federal Funding.”

Inventions: Traineeships made primarily for educational purposes are exempted from the PHS invention requirements and thus invention reporting is not required for institutional training grants.

Copyrights: Except as otherwise provided in the terms and conditions of the award, the recipient is free to arrange for copyright without approval when publications, data, or other copyrightable works are developed in the course of work under a PHS grant-supported project or activity. Any such copyrighted or copyrightable works shall be subject to a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable license to the Government to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use them, and to authorize others to do so for Federal Government purposes.

Final Reports: A final Progress Report and Financial Status Report are required at the end of the grant project period or upon relinquishment of an award. Note that an evaluation and tracking report is required as part of the Final Progress Report.

Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESC): Only approved hESC lines listed on the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry http://stemcells.nih.gov/registry/ may be used for research training activities. The abstract of the application must provide the registry identifying numbers of the HESC lines to be used.

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:

Applicants should refer to the (http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/guide/contacts/par-08-101_contacts.htm) for information for each participating IC’s scientific/research contact for this NRSA T32 program.

2. Peer Review Contacts:

Not applicable

3. Financial or Grants Management Contacts:

Applicants should refer to the (http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/guide/contacts/par-08-101_contacts.htm) for information for each participating IC’s grants management contact for this NRSA T32 program.

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 (45CFR46) 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).

Data and Safety Monitoring Plan:
Data and safety monitoring is required for all types of clinical trials, including physiologic toxicity and dose-finding studies (phase I); efficacy studies (Phase II); efficacy, effectiveness and comparative trials (Phase III). Monitoring should be commensurate with risk. The establishment of data and safety monitoring boards (DSMBs) is required for multi-site clinical trials involving interventions that entail potential risks to the participants (NIH Policy for Data and Safety Monitoring, NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-084.html).

Inclusion of Women And Minorities in Clinical Research:
It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their sub-populations must be included in all NIH-supported clinical research projects unless a clear and compelling justification is provided indicating that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of the research. This policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public Law 103-43). All investigators proposing clinical research should read the "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-001.html); a complete copy of the updated Guidelines is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_amended_10_2001.htm. The amended policy incorporates: the use of an NIH definition of clinical research; updated racial and ethnic categories in compliance with the new OMB standards; clarification of language governing NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials consistent with the new PHS Form 398; and updated roles and responsibilities of NIH staff and the extramural community. The policy continues to require for all NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials that: a) all applications or proposals and/or protocols must provide a description of plans to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable; and b) investigators must report annual accrual and progress in conducting analyses, as appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group differences.

Inclusion of Children as Participants in Clinical Research:
The NIH maintains a policy that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) must be included in all clinical research, conducted or supported by the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the "NIH Policy and Guidelines" on the inclusion of children as participants in research involving human subjects (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/children/children.htm).

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.

Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESC):
Criteria for federal funding of research on hESCs can be found at http://stemcells.nih.gov/index.asp and at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-005.html. Only research using hESC lines that are registered in the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry will be eligible for Federal funding (http://escr.nih.gov). It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide in the project description and elsewhere in the application as appropriate, the official NIH identifier(s) for the hESC line(s) to be used in the proposed research. Applications that do not provide this information will be returned without review.

NIH Public Access Policy Requirement:
In accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy, investigators funded by the NIH must submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central (see http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/), an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication. The NIH Public Access Policy is available at (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-08-033.html). For more information, see the Public Access webpage at http://publicaccess.nih.gov/.

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.

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. 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 FOA 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 at http://www.cfda.gov/ 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 Section 487 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 288) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 66. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The NIH Grants Policy Statement can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm.

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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NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices


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