National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Funding Opportunity Title
Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Awards (IRACDA) (K12)
K12 Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Awards (IRACDA)
Reissue of PAR-06-470
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number
Only one application per institution is allowed, as defined in Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)
The purpose of the Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA) Program is to develop a diverse group of highly trained biomedical and behavioral scientists to address the Nation’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. The program promotes consortia between research-intensive institutions (RII) and partner institutions that have a historical mission and a demonstrated commitment to the training, encouragement and assistance to students from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral research enterprise of the nation. The IRACDA program provides support for a traditional mentored postdoctoral research experience at an RII combined with an opportunity to develop the academic skills, including teaching, through workshops and through mentored teaching assignments of postdoctoral fellows at a partner institution. The primary goals of the IRACDA program are to (1) develop a diverse group of highly trained biomedical and behavioral scientists who have the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue research and teaching careers in academia; and (2) strengthen the overall teaching and research opportunities at partner institutions, with the expectation that it would further foster the development of the next generation of a diverse pool of scientists who are available to address the NIH’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs.
July 15, 2011
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
August 22, 2011
Letter of Intent Due Date
Application Due Date(s)
October 31, 2011 (per NOT-GM-11-111). Previously September 22, 2011, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.
AIDS Application Due Date(s)
Scientific Merit Review
Advisory Council Review
Earliest Start Date(s)
July 1, 2012
November 1, 2011 (per NOT-GM-11-111). Previuosly September 23, 2011.
Due Dates for E.O. 12372
Required Application Instructions
It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide especially the Supplemental Instructions to the SF424 (R&R) for Preparing Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Application, except where to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.
Part 1. Overview Information
Part 2. Full Text of the Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Section II. Award Information
Section III. Eligibility Information
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
Section V. Application Review Information
Section VI. Award Administration Information
Section VII. Agency Contacts
Section VIII. Other Information
There is abundant evidence that the biomedical and educational enterprise will directly benefit from broader inclusion. Recent studies have supported the argument that diversity enhances the quality of education in multiple settings. Studies have suggested that racially and culturally concordant scientific staff may be more successful in recruiting individuals from minority groups into clinical trials. Racially similar physician-patient dyads also may be related to greater patient satisfaction in ways that could enhance communication and participation in clinical research settings. There is no question that the need for a diverse workforce permeates all aspects of the nation's health-related research effort. Although the NIH currently provides multiple opportunities to develop research careers and improve participation for individuals from groups with low representation in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, reports from the National Science Foundation (NSF), (see http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/) and others provide strong evidence that diversity remains an important problem that the entire research enterprise must actively address. By promoting educational opportunities available at institutions with track records of successfully attracting underrepresented groups, NIGMS seeks to increase the entry of individuals from these groups into the biomedical research workforce.
This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) encourages applications from research-intensive institutions (RIIs) that propose to develop a diverse pool of highly trained biomedical and behavioral scientists who have the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue research and teaching careers in academia, and to strengthen the overall teaching and research opportunities at partner institutions which, for the purposes of this FOA, are institutions that have a historical mission and a demonstrated commitment to the training and encouragement of, and assistance to students from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral research enterprise of the nation. (see Section III.1 for details).
NIGMS recognizes that while teaching is, in general, the central mission of partner institutions, it is a challenge to enrich the curriculum with the most contemporary research topics and laboratory experiences that faculty members who are actively engaged in research have to offer. Many partner institutions are limited in the number of advanced courses in the biomedical sciences that they are able to offer and, if faculty turnover is low, students have less access to faculty who are steeped in their respective research areas. A separate but contemporary problem is that many new scientists find that the traditional postdoctoral research experience does not give them the best preparation for entering an academic environment in which teaching and other problem-solving skills are essential.
The IRACDA program provides support for a traditional mentored postdoctoral research experience at an RII combined with an opportunity to develop the academic skills, including teaching, through workshops and through mentored teaching assignments of postdoctoral fellows at a partner institution.
Goals and Objectives
The primary goals of the IRACDA program are to (1) develop a diverse group of highly trained biomedical and behavioral scientists who have the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue research and teaching careers in academia; and (2) strengthen the overall teaching and research opportunities at partner institutions, with the expectation that it would further foster the development of next generation of a diverse pool of scientists who are available to address the Nation’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. The specific objectives of this initiative are to:
The IRACDA Program provides support for the design of a creative and innovative research career development program that combines a traditional mentored research experience at an RII with an opportunity to develop teaching and other academic skills, such as problem solving, communication, time management, and grant writing, as well as opportunities for career development, through workshops and through mentored assignments at a partner institution. The program promotes partnership between an RII and partner institution(s), and encourages innovative solutions to the problems of attracting and training postdoctoral candidates in both research and academic skills and of increasing opportunities for students at partner institutions.
The IRACDA Program recognizes that combining research and teaching in a single career development program offers certain challenges. Designing a program that moves a postdoctoral scholar between partners of a consortium offers other challenges. Therefore, the application must provide strong evidence of a solid working relationship among partners of the consortium and must include plans that anticipate and mitigate the challenges. The application should involve all partners in the planning and execution of the various elements of the career development program. The following should be considered and addressed in planning and design of an IRACDA program:
Applicant institutions have wide latitude in the design of the program. However, career development activities, which should last two to four years, must include the following three components:
The Program must have a strong research base, comprised of established scientists who will provide expertise, resources, and mentoring to the IRACDA scholars. The mentored research experience must fall within the scope of the NIGMS mission (http://www.nigms.nih.gov/About/), which is to support research that increases understanding of life processes and lays the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention. NIGMS-funded researchers seek to answer important scientific questions in fields such as cell biology, biophysics, genetics, developmental biology, pharmacology, physiology, biological chemistry, bioinformatics, computational biology, selected aspects of the behavioral sciences and specific cross-cutting clinical areas that affect multiple organ systems. Further details on the NIGMS-supported major research and research training areas can be found at: http://www.nigms.nih.gov/About/Overview/.
The applicant institutions have flexibility in program design, including the flexibility in scheduling of research and teaching components. For example, a plan might involve large blocks of time devoted to research separated by a large block of time devoted to teaching (e.g., research for one year, teach for one year, research for one to two years). Alternatively, for institutions in close proximity, the workshops and teaching may represent a 25% effort throughout the award. The program provides support to postdoctoral scholars in their research at RIIs and in teaching assignments at partner institutions.
Applicants must describe the pool of potential candidates and the criteria for selecting the IRACDA scholars. Institutions are encouraged to develop novel mechanisms for recruiting qualified scholars. Such mechanisms must include special efforts to recruit candidates from groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences.
The scholars may be supported full-time on IRACDA funding for up to three years provided their progress toward an independent academic career is on track and satisfactory. However, for applications that propose a four-year career development program, this support may be spread over the entire period. For example, a plan might involve 75% support from IRACDA and 25% from the mentor or other source(s) or any combination thereof over the four-year period. Applicants may, and are indeed encouraged to, propose the use of non-IRACDA funds to provide longer career development opportunities tailored to the needs of individual scholars. However, applicants should note that the scholars cannot receive concurrent support from IRACDA and any other PHS award (including the NRSA fellowship) that duplicates the provisions of this career development award.
NIGMS anticipates that the minimum size program would have three fellows per cohort, and it plans to support a maximum of up to 18 positions per year at any given institution. Institutions may also design programs for more than 18 participants, but because of budget constraints, NIGMS will provide support for only a maximum of 18 fellows in a given year and for three years per fellow.
The application must also include appropriate training in the responsible conduct of research (see Section IV.2 for details) and contain a detailed process and outcome evaluation plan. The evaluation plan should be designed to determine the effectiveness of various career development components, and the extent to which program goals are achieved. It must include milestones for each key activity, and milestones for the overall program in terms of the career outcomes of scholars and benefits to the partner institution(s) (see Section IV.2 for details).
The proposed institutional research career development program may complement other, ongoing research training and career development programs at the applicant institution, but the proposed career development experiences must be distinct from those career development programs currently receiving federal support.
Applicants should note that all NIGMS training and career development programs periodically undergo evaluation and assessment. The evaluation of NIGMS’ overall IRACDA program is distinct from each individual award’s outcome evaluation (Section IV.2). While both address “success”, they differ in scope (individual award vs. national program, different timelines) and metrics (PD/PI defined vs. programmatic goals specified below). The evaluation of the overall IRACDA program will be carried out seven years after the release of this FOA, and will be based on the metrics that will include, but are not limited to:
The findings of this evaluation determine whether the IRACDA program is continued as configured, continued with modifications or discontinued. Should the findings indicate that the program is no longer needed or is ineffective, then NIGMS may consider terminating the program.
Awardees are required to attend the annual IRACDA Conference. The conference is organized by the grantee institutions on a rotating basis. To defray the cost of organizing the conference, the grantee institution may use grant funds (see exceptions under unallowable costs, Section IV.5), and other institutional and non-institutional resources; NIGMS may also consider a request for supplementary funds, provided it is reasonable and well justified. Program Directors, as well as IRACDA scholars are expected to attend this meeting. These meetings feature keynote presentations by invited guests who are leaders in the areas of science, education, and public policy and administration. The IRACDA scholars are encouraged to present their career development award-supported research to their peers. The conference also provides an opportunity for the Program Directors, program staff, and IRACDA scholars to exchange ideas about the effective teaching pedagogies, talk about common problems and suggest solutions, and interact with their peers and NIGMS staff. Travel costs associated with the annual IRACDA conference may be requested in the budget.
Application Types Allowed
The OER Glossary and the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.
Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards
The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations, and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.
Application budgets are not limited, but need to reflect actual needs of the proposed project.
Award Project Period
Scope of the proposed project should determine the project period. The maximum period is five years
Individuals designing, directing, and implementing the career development program may request salary and fringe benefits appropriate for the person months devoted to the program. 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 scholars are considered a regular part of an individual's academic duties, then mentoring and other interactions with scholars are non-reimbursable from grant funds.
Limited program-related 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 they are in accordance with applicable cost principles. For institutions covered by OMB Circular 2CFR Part 220, this type of training program may qualify as a “major project” where administrative salaries are allowable as a direct cost. When specifically identified and justified, these expenses must be itemized in Sections A and B, as appropriate, of the R&R Budget.
Salary support for the PD/PI (or combination of multiple PDs/PIs) is limited to up to 1.2 person months (i.e., 10% on a 12-month basis), depending on person months devoted to the administration of the program.
Salary support for a Program Coordinator at the partner institution is allowed; this support is limited to up to 0.6 person months (i.e., a total of 5% on a 12-month basis) per partner institution, depending on the number of fellows mentored at the partner institution and person months devoted to the coordination of the program. The application must identify the program coordinator(s) (include their biographical sketches), and their duties and responsibilities must be well described in the budget justification.
Salary support for the teaching mentor(s) at the partner institution is limited to up to 2.4 person months (i.e., a total of 20% on a 12-month basis) per partner institution, depending on the number of fellows mentored and person months devoted to the mentoring activities. The application must identify the teaching mentor(s) (include their biographical sketches), and their duties and responsibilities must be well described in the budget justification.
The total salary support for a Program Administrator and/or program assistant at the RII is limited to up to 6.0 person months (i.e., 50% on a 12-month basis), depending on person months devoted to the administration of the program.
Scholars are those individuals who benefit from the proposed activities and experiences involved in the career development program. Scholar costs must be justified as specifically required for the proposed career development program and based on institutional policies for salaries paid to individuals in similar positions, regardless of the source of funds. These expenses must be itemized in the proposed budget in Section B (scholar salaries).
The budget request for scholars cost may include salary/wages and fringe benefits to support full-time effort of the IRACDA fellows. The total salary requested for each fellow must be based on a full-time, 12-month staff appointment. The applicants should use their institutional salary scale that is consistent both with the established salary structure at the applicant institution and with salaries actually provided by the institution from its own funds to other staff members of equivalent qualifications, rank, and responsibilities in the department concerned. If full-time, 12-month salaries are not currently paid to comparable staff members, the salary proposed must be appropriately related to the existing salary structure. Salaries and fringe benefits for planned effort less than full time must be pro-rated accordingly in the application.
The application should clearly indicate the number of IRACDA appointments proposed for each year. The fellows may be supported on IRACDA funding for up to three years provided their progress towards an independent academic career is on track and satisfactory.
Other Program Related Expenses
Consultant costs, equipment, supplies, travel for key persons, and other program-related expenses may be included in the proposed budget. These expenses must be justified as specifically required by the proposed program and must not duplicate items generally available at the applicant institution. The program-related expenses must be itemized in Sections C, D, and F, as appropriate.
Costs of academic skills development workshops (e.g., problem-solving, communication, time management, and grant-writing, etc.) are allowed, but these costs must be reasonable and well justified.
Costs of tuition and fees related to the career development of IRACDA fellows, research supplies (not to exceed $10,000/fellow/year), and fellows’ travel to one training or national scientific meeting per year in addition to the annual IRACDA Conference may be requested.
Funds may also be requested for supplies and small equipment necessary for developing and teaching courses at the partner institution(s).
Cost for evaluation of the program is allowed; however, if the evaluator is an employee of an institution within the consortium, the cost must be included in the category of key personnel salary (effort listed in person months).
Travel expenses are also allowed for the program staff [PD(s), program administrator(s), and program coordinators(s)] to attend the annual IRACDA Conference and should be included in the budget.
Indirect Costs (also known as Facilities & Administrative [F&A] Costs) are reimbursed at 8% of modified total direct costs (exclusive of tuition and fees and expenditures for equipment, and consortiums in excess of $25,000), rather than on the basis of a negotiated rate agreement.
NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made in response to this FOA.
Higher Education Institutions:
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Organizations) are not eligible to apply. Foreign (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not allowed.
An IRACDA program involves a consortium of multiple institutions. The lead applicant institution must be an RII, and it must serve as the primary site of the postdoctoral research experience.
The consortium must include one or more partners that are institutions which, for the purposes of this FOA, are defined as public or private nonprofit universities, two-year or four-year colleges or universities, offering associate and/or baccalaureate degrees with a historical mission and a demonstrated commitment to the training and encouragement of, and assistance to students from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral research enterprise of the nation. NIGMS seeks to increase the entry of individuals from these groups into the biomedical research workforce. Nationally, underrepresented groups in the biomedical and behavioral sciences include: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders, and individuals with disabilities (see background section). However, an applicant institution/organization may consider other groups as underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral research agenda of this country as long as such groups are uniformly considered in all of its local policies. For example, if an institution or organization considers a certain group as underrepresented for all of its employment/hiring practices, student admittance practices, etc., then that group(s) should also be considered for participation in this program. .
The sponsoring institution must assure support for the
proposed program. Appropriate institutional commitment to the program includes
the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can
contribute to the planned program.
The applicant institution must have a strong and high quality research program in the area(s) proposed under this FOA and must have the requisite faculty and facilities on site to conduct the proposed institutional program. In many cases, it is anticipated that the proposed program will complement other ongoing career development programs occurring at the applicant institution and that a substantial number of program faculty will have active research projects in which participating scholars may gain relevant experiences consistent with their research interests and goals. Institutions with existing programs must explain what distinguishes this program from the others, how their programs will synergize with one another, if applicable, and make it clear that the pool of faculty, potential scholars, and resources are robust enough to support additional programs.
Applicant organizations must complete the following registrations
as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply
for or receive an award. Applicants must have a valid Dun and Bradstreet
Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number in order to begin each of the following
All Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD/PIs) must
also work with their institutional officials to register with the eRA Commons
or ensure their existing eRA Commons account is affiliated with the eRA Commons
account of the applicant organization.
All registrations must be completed by the application due date. Applicant organizations are strongly encouraged to start the registration process at least four (4) weeks prior to the application due date.
Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources
necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program 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.
For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide.
The PD/PI should be an established investigator in the scientific area in which the application is targeted and capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program. The PD/PI will be expected to monitor and assess the program and submit all documents and reports as required.
This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Only one application per institution is allowed.
NIH will not accept any application in response to this FOA that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial peer review unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. NIH will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed. Resubmission applications may be submitted, according to the NIH Policy on Resubmission Applications from the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide.
Renewal applications are allowed for this institutional research career development (K12) program.
An institution may only hold one IRACDA grant award.
This institutional research career development program (K12) may not be transferred from one institution to another.
Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as mentors. Mentors should have research expertise and experience relevant to the proposed program. Mentors must be committed to continue their involvement throughout the total period of the mentee’s participation in this award. Faculty research mentors at the applicant institution must have active, externally funded research projects relevant to the mission of NIGMS, and track records in mentoring and training students and postdoctoral researchers. The mentors do not receive support for their salaries or fringe benefits from the career development award. Mentors may be added as appropriate to the roster of an ongoing funded IRACDA program without prior NIGMS approval.
Teaching mentors from the partner institution(s) must have a strong record of teaching. They are expected to facilitate the postdoctoral fellows’ adjustment to the academic environment of the partner institution and provide guidance and mentoring on teaching skills as well as teaching-related challenges and opportunities at the partner institution.
Scholars to be supported by the institutional career development
program must be at the career level for which the planned program is intended.
IRACDA scholars are expected to devote approximately 75% of the effort to the
mentored research and the remaining 25% to the mentored teaching during their
appointment on the K12 award.
By the time of appointment, each scholar must be a citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., possess a currently valid Permanent Resident Card USCIS Form I-551, or other legal verification of such status). Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible
Prospective scholars must have received, as of the beginning date of the appointment to the program, a Ph.D., M.D., or comparable doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution. Documentation by an authorized official of the degree-granting institution certifying all degree requirements have been met prior to the beginning date of their appointment is acceptable.
Candidates must be committed to research and have the potential to develop as independent researchers.
It is the responsibility of the applicant institution to establish the qualifications of candidates prior to their appointment in the IRACDA Program
Institutions with an IRACDA program may recruit and select candidates directly into their programs rather than submitting a separate application on behalf of each prospective candidate. The candidates need not be identified at the time the application is submitted.
Applicants must download the SF424 (R&R) application package associated with this funding opportunity using the “Apply for Grant Electronically” button in this FOA or following the directions provided at Grants.gov.
It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in
(R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed in this funding
opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in
the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are
out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for
For information on Application Submission and Receipt, visit Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.
The forms package associated with this FOA includes all applicable components, mandatory and optional. Please note that some components marked optional in the application package are required for application submission. Follow the instructions in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to determine which components are required.
All page limitations described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for Preparing Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) with the following modifications:
Project Summary /Abstract
Provide an abstract of the entire application, including the long-term goals and objectives of the program, key elements of the career development plan, and brief descriptions of planned research projects. Include the rationale and design of the program, the planned duration and projected number of scholars.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following modifications:
All Supplemental Instructions to the SF424 (R&R) for Preparing Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Application must be followed, with the additional instructions described below:
Program Administration (Component of Program Plan)
Describe the acknowledged strengths, leadership and administrative skills, and scientific expertise of the PD/PI. Include active research and the planned strategy to be used to oversee and monitor the program. For applications with multiple PD/PI(s), address the Leadership Plan and how the combined knowledge, skills and experience of the individual PDs/PIs will enhance the likelihood of success of the program. When a program administrator position is planned, a description of the scientific expertise, leadership, and administrative capabilities essential to coordinate a program for developing investigators must be included in the application.
Program Faculty (Component of Program Plan)
Describe the complementary expertise and experiences of the proposed mentors for the scholars. Include active research and other scholarly activities in which the mentors are engaged, as well as track records of mentoring and training.
Proposed Training (Component of Program Plan)
Provide an overview of the proposed program: Describe the immediate and long-term objectives of the program, including training or career development activities that will be used to ensure that the objectives of the program are met. Include information about planned courses, curricula, seminars, workshops, or tutorials that will be incorporated into the training program and mentored research experiences and activities. Institutions with existing training or career development programs must explain what distinguishes this proposal from the others, how the programs will synergize, if applicable, and make it clear that the faculty, potential scholars, and resources are robust enough to support additional programs. The description should include planned strategies to be used to ensure that the objectives are met. The PD/PI should also describe past research career development activities/experiences including those of mentors, documenting the success of former scholars in establishing independent productive scientific careers. Programs should provide all postdoctoral scholars 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. All postdoctoral scholars should also be provided with instruction in laboratory and project management.
Program Evaluation (Component of Program Plan)
Describe an evaluation plan to review and determine the effectiveness of the program. This should include plans to obtain feedback from current and former scholars to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for program improvements, as well as plans for assessing scholars’ career development and progression including degree completion (if applicable), publications, and subsequent positions. Evaluation results should be included in future competing continuation (renewal) applications and as part of the Final Progress Report.
Trainee Candidates (Component of Program Plan)
Describe in general terms the pool of potential candidates including information about the types of prior clinical and research training and career level required for the program. Do not name prospective Scholars. Describe the criteria to be used for candidate evaluation in the selection of Scholars. Describe plans to recruit candidates, including individuals with disabilities or from racial or ethnic groups that are currently underrepresented in biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences and explain how these plans will be implemented. Provide brief summaries of training plans that the program will employ. The application should contain a description of how the career development plan will be tailored to the needs of the prospective candidates, taking into account their past experiences and competences, and should distinguish the plan from fellowship training. PDs/PIs should submit a plan for recruiting scholars from both outside and inside the sponsoring institution. The appointment of Scholars should be documented by a Statement of Appointment Form (Form 2271) and submitted electronically to the funding IC using the xTrain system.
Institutional Environment and Commitment to the Program (Component of Program Plan)
The application must include a statement from the applicant institution describing the commitment to the planned program. The institution must assure that essential time will be allowed for the PDs/PIs, other faculty and mentors, and the required protected time for scholars selected for the program.
Applicants should note that the additional instructions provided below are part of the Program Plan section, and responses to these instructions are considered part of the Program Plan section. This section may not exceed 25 pages. The biographical sketches, however, are not subject to the 25 page limit.
The application must identify the potential faculty research mentors (include the biographical sketches of a representative group of 10-20 mentors, depending on the size of the program) and include a list of currently funded research for each proposed mentor. Provide the name of up to five current or former students or fellows that each faculty member has trained, with dates (month/year), where trained, title of project, academic level, and present position and institution.
The application must also identify the teaching mentor(s), and describe their qualifications and experiences. Include the biographical sketches of a representative group of teaching mentors.
Describe the plan for enhancing teaching, time management, and leadership skills of the potential scholars. Describe the range of teaching opportunities and how teaching duties will be assigned.
Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research
Every scholar supported by this career development grant must receive instruction in the responsible conduct of research. All applications must include a plan to provide such instruction. The plan must address five components: format; subject matter; faculty participation; duration of instruction; and frequency of instruction as detailed in NOT-OD-10-019. Renewal (Type 2) applications must, in addition, describe changes in formal instruction over the past project period and plans for the future that address any weaknesses in the current instruction plan. All instructional faculty who served as course directors, speakers, lecturers, and/or discussion leaders during the past project period must be named in the application. Applications lacking a plan for instruction in responsible conduct of research will be considered incomplete and may be delayed in the review process. The background, rationale and more detail about instruction in the responsible conduct of research can be found in NOT-OD-10-019. See SF424, Section 8.7. Research Training Program Plan Components, Item 5, Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research.
The application must describe a proposed process evaluation plan to examine the program operations to determine if they are being conducted as planned, whether output is being produced or how processes can be improved. The plan must include milestones for each key activity.
The application must describe a proposed outcome evaluation plan to examine the extent to which program goals are achieved. The plan must include milestones for the overall program in terms of the career outcomes of scholars and benefits to the partner institution(s). The outcome measures for the scholars (compared to postdocs supported on other mechanisms, wherever possible) should include, but are not limited to, progress of the candidates toward a productive research career, journal papers written/published, grant proposals written/funded, undergraduate/graduate students trained, teaching awards, and enhancement of their academic skills. Examples of a measurable benefit for the partner institution might include, but are not limited to: an increase in the number or diversity of research-oriented courses (e.g., revised or upgraded lecture or laboratory courses) in the partner institution curriculum; an increased awareness and use of teaching tools such as intranet or internet-based tools by partner institution faculty; an increase in the number of partner institution students who conduct research at the RII, and who go on to research careers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences; and an increase in the number of collaborations established between faculty at the partner institution and the research institution.
Additional guidance on evaluation can be found at http://www.nigms.nih.gov/evaluation/.
Annual progress reports and renewal applications must include a report on the program's ongoing evaluation. Evaluation results should also be included as part of the Final Progress Report.
For renewal applications only, provide brief summaries of the goals and objectives stated in the previous application, and the program's overall accomplishments in preparing scholars for careers as independent investigators who pursue research and teaching careers in academia. Applications with more than one previous funding cycle must provide information on a minimum of past two consecutive funding cycles. The progress report must contain information on scholars’ research and teaching skills acquired, publications, honors and awards, teaching experiences, and other relevant professional activities. Include information on the career outcomes of all scholars who have entered your program over the course of the award. Include measures of success consistent with the nature and duration of the training period, and additional information helpful in evaluating the impact of your program. NIGMS encourages the use of selected “Training Tables” associated with the SF424 (such as 6B, 11, and 12B).
Provide a summary of scholars’ career outcomes, including:
Describe the overall program impact on:
The progress report must include the list of appointed (program-supported) scholars, including their name, gender, and race (e.g., Caucasian, African American, Hispanic American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, other Pacific Islander, and Asian); national origin; and the current status (e.g., faculty position at RII, liberal arts or partner institution; research in industry or government; and administration, etc.).
Describe what has been learned through the program evaluation and what has been added, modified or deleted as a result of program evaluation. If no changes resulted, so indicate.
Describe any previously funded IRACDA activities that are now continuing (or will continue) on institutional funds. If none, so indicate.
Do not use the appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide
Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates. Applicants are encouraged to submit in
advance of the deadline to ensure they have time to make any application
corrections that might be necessary for successful submission.
Organizations must submit applications via Grants.gov, the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies. Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration.
Applicants are responsible for viewing their application in the eRA Commons to ensure accurate and successful submission.
Information on the submission process and a definition of on-time submission are provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.
All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost
principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy
Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Unallowable costs include: (a) stipends for IRACDA scholars; (b) salary/compensation for the research mentors; (c) direct support of the mentors' laboratories; (d) compensation of administrative personnel normally paid from institutional overhead charges; (e) administrative activities such as public relations; (f) travel of the Principal Investigator(s), Program Director(s) or mentors to scientific meetings (other than the annual IRACDA program meeting); or (g) costs of clinical care, alterations and renovations.
IRACDA Scholars may not accept or hold any other PHS award that duplicates the provisions of this career development award.
Carryover of Unobligated Balances
Carryover of funds from one fiscal year to the next is NOT allowed without prior written approval by the NIGMS program and grants management staff. Requests for such carryovers with strong justification are considered on case by case basis, and approvals are granted only in extenuating circumstances.
Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide. Paper applications will not be accepted.
Applicants must complete all required registrations before the application due date. Section III. Eligibility Information contains information about registration.
For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit Applying Electronically.
All PD/PIs must include their eRA Commons ID in the
Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF 424(R&R)
Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a
valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful
submission of an electronic application to NIH.
The applicant organization must ensure that the DUNS number it provides on the application is the same number used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the Central Contractor Registration (CCR). Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
See more tips for avoiding common errors.
Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the Center for Scientific Review, NIH. Applications that are incomplete will not be reviewed.
Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in NOT-OD-10-115.
Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process. As part of the NIH mission, all applications submitted to the NIH in support of biomedical and behavioral research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.
Reviewers will provide an overall impact/priority score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the program to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).
Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact.
Career Development Program and Environment
Does the proposed program clearly outline a plan to recruit and develop well-qualified postdoctoral fellows, including fellows from underrepresented groups, for successful careers as biomedical/behavioral researchers? How will implementation of the proposed program advance the objectives of this FOA? Are the content and duration of any proposed didactic, training-related, and research-related activities of the program appropriate? Are appropriate timelines indicated for career progression and transition to independence? Does the institutional environment (e.g., research facilities and other relevant resources) in which the program will be conducted contribute to the probability of success? Does the proposed career development program benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is the institutional commitment to the proposed program appropriate? Is there evidence of a functional partnership, with commitment and involvement in planning on the part of all partners as well as strengths of the efforts of the partner institution(s), to foster the professional development of the postdoctoral scholars in the biomedical and behavioral sciences? Is there sufficient assurance that the required effort of the PD/PI, mentors and scholars will be devoted directly to the research training, career development, and related activities? In what ways does the proposed program provide substantial benefit to the partner institution(s) and its students?
Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PDs/PIs) and Program Coordinator(s) and Evaluator
Do the PD/PI and Research Administrator (if applicable) have the experience to develop, direct and administer the proposed program? Does the leadership team bring complementary and integrated expertise to the program? Is there evidence that an appropriate level of effort will be devoted by the program leadership to ensure program objectives? Are the research qualifications, scientific stature, previous leadership and mentoring experience, and track record(s) appropriate for the proposed career development program? Are the PD(s)/PI(s) currently engaged in research relevant to the scientific area of the proposed program? Do the program coordinator(s) have the experience and stature to effectively coordinate the mentored teaching component of the program at the respective partner institution(s)? Does the proposed evaluator have the appropriate background and credentials? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?
Do the mentors have expertise and experience, as well as track records of past mentoring and training? Are the quality and extent of the mentors’ roles in providing guidance and scientific advice to the scholars acceptable? Are the mentors currently engaged in relevant research? Are the qualifications and experiences of the proposed teaching faculty mentor(s) appropriate?
Is there evidence of an adequate pool of potential scholars who could benefit from receiving career development support? What is the quality of plans to identify, recruit, and select a diverse group of candidates, with a commitment to research relevant to the mission of the NIGMS, the potential to develop as independent researchers, and commitment to pursue an academic career? Is there an appropriate plan for the content, the phasing, and the proposed duration of the career development plan for achieving scientific independence for the prospective candidates? How useful is the research plan as a vehicle for ensuring research training for all scholars as described in the career development plan? What is the likelihood that the career development plan will contribute significantly to the scientific development of the scholars?
Does the program have a rigorous evaluation plan to assess the quality and effectiveness of the proposed academic and research career development training, including benefit to partner institution(s)?
Is there evidence of a successful past training record of the PD(s)/PI(s) and faculty research mentors? What are the quality, overall impact, and effectiveness of this program in developing postdoctoral scholars as independent investigators who pursue research and teaching careers in academia?
As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will evaluate the following additional items while determining scientific and technical merit, and in providing an overall impact/priority score, but will not give separate scores for these items.
Protections for Human Subjects
Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.
Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children
Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.
Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.
For Resubmissions, the committee will evaluate the application as now presented, taking into consideration the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group and changes made to the project.
For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the past funding period(s), including on the Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity, and Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research. Does the application describe the program’s accomplishments over the past funding period(s)? Has the career development program successfully achieved its stated goals and objectives during the prior project period(s)? Are changes proposed that would improve or strengthen the career development experience? Has the research career development program successfully recruited a diverse pool of scholars? Is there evidence of a successful past training record of the PD/PI and mentors, including the success of former scholars in seeking independent support and establishing productive scientific careers? What has been the program impact on: a) developing courses/labs and curricula at the partner institution(s); b) increase in the pool of well-qualified underrepresented students from the partner institution(s) who conducted research at the RII, and who pursued research careers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences; and c) promoting linkages between the applicant institution and partner institution(s) in terms of collaborations in research?
As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items, and should not consider them in providing an overall impact/priority score.
Recruitment & Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity
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.
Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research
Taking into account the specific characteristics of the career development program, level of scholar experience, and the particular circumstances of the scholars, the reviewers will address the following questions. Does the plan satisfactorily address the format of instruction, e.g., lectures, coursework and/or real-time discussion groups? Do plans include a sufficiently broad selection of subject matter, such as conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety? Do the plans adequately describe how faculty will participate in the instruction? Does the plan meet the minimum requirements for RCR, i.e., eight contact hours of instruction every four years? Plans and past record will be rated as acceptable or unacceptable, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.
Select Agent Research
Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).
Budget and Period of Support
Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.
Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical
merit by an appropriate Scientific Review Group convened by NIGMS, in accordance with NIH peer
review policy and procedures, using the stated review
criteria. Review assignments will be shown in the eRA Commons.
As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:
Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:
For renewal applications: Past performance of the program in achieving its goals and objectives during the prior project period(s) is weighted heavily in making funding decisions.
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 eRA
Information regarding the disposition of applications is available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH
will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant as
described in the NIH Grants
A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization for successful applications. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document and will be sent via email to the grantee business official.
Awardees must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions. Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.
Any application awarded in response to this FOA will be subject to the DUNS, CCR Registration, and Transparency Act requirements as noted on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.
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. More information is provided at Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants.
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.
The institutional career development program may not be transferred from one institution to another.
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.
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 and the proposed PD/PI, to the responsible program officer at NIGMS that describes the reasons for the change. The Biographical Sketch of the proposed PD/PI, including a complete listing of active research/training and student development grant support, must be provided. The information in the request must establish that the goals of the original peer-reviewed institutional career development 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.
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, scholars 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 program.
Continuation Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590) and financial statements (Federal
Financial Report) as described in the NIH Grants
Policy Statement are required annually. Continuation support will not be
provided until the required forms are submitted and accepted. The additional Instructions
for Preparing a Progress Report for an Institutional Research Training Grant, including
Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards, must be followed. The due
date for annual Federal Financial Reports will be 90 days after the end of the
calendar quarter in which the budget period ends.
Failure by the grantee institution to submit 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.
The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later. All awardees of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement.
The Progress Report should provide information on the development and implementation of the proposed career development program (including training and education in the responsible conduct of research), any modifications to the career development program as originally proposed, and details about the applicant pool and the participating scholars, including their career level(s), gender, and racial/ethnic backgrounds. An overview of each scholar's research accomplishments and goals for the coming year should be clearly stated. The following are examples of what should be included in the annual progress report:
Describe what has been learned through the program evaluation and any changes made in the program as a result of the evaluation.
The narrative part is limited to up to five pages, and numerical and other data, including scholars' publications, may be presented in tabular form (tables and figures are not counted in the three-page limit).
A final progress report, invention statement, and Federal Financial Report are required when an award is relinquished when a recipient changes institutions or when an award is terminated.
We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.
GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and
process, finding NIH grant resources)
eRA Commons Help Desk(Questions regarding eRA Commons
registration, tracking application status, post submission issues)
Phone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)
Shiva P. Singh, Ph.D.
Chief, MORE Special Initiatives Branch
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH
Building 45, Room 2As.37
45 Center Drive, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892--6200
Telephone: (301) 594-3900
Fax: (301) 480-2753
Helen R. Sunshine, Ph.D.
Chief, Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH
Building 45, Room 3AN.12
45 Center Drive, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone: (301) 594-2881
Fax: (301) 480-8506
Ms. Lori Burge
Grants Management Officer
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH
Building 45, Room 2AN.50A
45 Center Drive, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone: (301) 451-3781
Fax: (301) 480-2554
Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
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.
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NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices
Office of Extramural
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS)
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