Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute on Aging (NIA)

Funding Opportunity Title

NIA MSTEM:  Advancing Diversity in Aging Research (ADAR) through Undergraduate Education (R25)

Activity Code

R25 Education Projects

Announcement Type

New

Related Notices

  • June 4, 2014 - Notice NOT-14-074 supersedes instructions in Section III.3 regarding applications that are essentially the same.
  • May 30, 2013 (NOT-OD-13-074) - NIH to Require Use of Updated Electronic Application Forms for Due Dates on or after September 25, 2013. Forms-C applications are required for due dates on or after September 25, 2013.

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

PAR-12-016

Companion FOA

None

Number of Applications

See Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)

93.866 

FOA Purpose

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) issued by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), NIA MSTEM: Advancing Diversity in Aging Research (ADAR) through Undergraduate Education, encourages institutional Research Education Grant (R25) applications from institutions that propose creative and innovative research education programs to diversify the workforce in aging by (1) supporting undergraduate competency and completion in medicine, science, technology, engineering and mathematics ) ((MSTEM) to be referred to as “NIA MSTEM fields” henceforth),  as they relate to aging and, also, by (2) application and transition to graduate study that advances a cadre of students from diverse backgounds into NIA MSTEM  fields.   The interests of the NIA span biological, biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences research across the lifespan with a focus on processes of aging through midlife and into old age.  This FOA is part of NIA's coordinated effort to (a) fill a gap in the pipeline transitioning from undergraduate to graduate education in aging as it relates to medicine, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and to (b) fulfill the objectives of the NIA Health Disparities Strategic Plan, (http://www.nia.nih.gov/AboutNIA/HealthDisparities .  Evaluation metrics for participants may include graduation rates in these fields, as well as application and enrollment in aging-related and doctoral programs in these fields.     

 
 
Key Dates
Posted Date
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

December 25, 2011  

Letter of Intent Due Date

December 25, 2011

Application Due Date(s)

Standard dates apply  by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Standard dates apply  by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

Scientific Merit Review

Standard dates apply

Advisory Council Review

Standard dates apply

Earliest Start Date(s)

Standard dates apply

Expiration Date

January 8, 2015

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide except where instructed 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.


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Table of Contents

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

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

This FOA encourages applications from institutions that propose creative and innovative research education programs to diversify the workforce in areas of Medicine, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics ((MSTEM) to be referred to, henceforth, as “NIA MSTEM fields”) by (1) supporting undergraduate competency and completion in NIA MSTEM fields , and, also, by (2) increasing the application and transition to graduate study of a cadre of investigators from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds in NIA MSTEM fields. Eligible institutions may partner with an undergraduate institution with a track record of enrolling diverse future leaders in NIA MSTEM fields.   Examples of partner institutions may include AREA (R15) eligible institutions or other institutions with substantial enrollment of underrepresented and disadvantaged students receiving Pell Grant awards.   The NIH Research Education (R25) grant mechanism is designed to support the development of creative and innovative research education programs.  Although research education grants are not typical research instruments, they do involve experimentation in education and/or dissemination of research knowledge that require an evaluation plan in order to determine their effectiveness.  A plan must be provided for program evaluation and dissemination.

Application to the NIA MSTEM: Advancing Diversity in Aging Research (ADAR) through Undergraduate Science Education (R25) program (henceforth known as the “ADAR initiative”, “ADAR FOA”, or  “ADAR program”) may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution. The educational experiences proposed must be distinct from those research training and education programs currently receiving federal support. The R25 is not a substitute for an institutional research training program (T32) and cannot be used to circumvent or supplement Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) mechanisms. 

Background

The  NIA ADAR initiative seeks to broaden the pool of potential scientists in the research workforce in aging.  This will be accomplished  by supporting programs targeted to retain undergraduates from diverse backgrounds in NIA MSTEM fields and to advancing their interest in, and knowledge of, aging issues.  Attracting and maintaining  a pipeline of new, mid-career, and senior investigators from diverse backgrounds to conduct research on aging and health disparities are a key area of emphasis in NIA’s strategy for addressing health disparities and eliminating health inequities among older adults   (see the NIA Website:  Health Disparities Strategic Plan: Fiscal Years 2009 - 2013 for more information). The ADAR initiative is part of a plan to add new talent at the post-secondary education level.

According to the National Science Foundation, recent trends in undergraduate enrollment reflect changes in the composition of the U.S. college-age population such that persons from underrepresented backgrounds are an increasing fraction of undergraduate students (Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: 2011, p3).  Therefore, the NIA seeks to  support the development of creative and innovative research education programs to increase the participation of individuals currently underrepresented in NIA MSTEM fields,  including individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from socially, culturally, economically or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds.   

Successful applications to the ADAR initiative may have one or more features in common: they may be multicomponent programs which support undergraduate science education, they may incorporate expanded research opportunities, and should be  committed to diversifying our future science workforce.  Research projects should focus on the development of  talented undergraduates from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical research, individuals with disabilities, and also those from disadvantaged backgrounds who are pursuing majors in NIA MSTEM fields and participating in research experiences in labs.

Our ability to meet the challenges and opportunities inherent in scientific  research is contingent on the caliber of the educational programs designed to train the next generation of basic and clinical scientists from diverse backgrounds. The Director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, has highlighted this issue in a recent Science Policy Forum article: “Opportunities for Research and NIH”:"…training programs to encourage underrepresented minority participation have thus far generally failed to generate a scientific workforce that resembles the rest of the nation”   (www.sciencemag.org , 1 JANUARY 2010 36 VOL 327 SCIENCE). The talents of all Americans are required to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse and older populace.

Recently, the critical status of our U.S. science education has been characterized as at a crossroads:  lessened dominance in science and engineering and increasing international competition and a scientific workforce that has failed to enrich itself with the increasing diversity of the U.S.   Racial and underrepresented minorities comprise about 28.5 percent of our national population, and yet, in 2006, they represented just 9.1 percent of college-educated Americans in science and engineering occupations (National Academies, Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future, 2007;  National Academies, Rising Above the Gathering Storm, 5-7, 9-10.2007; Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads http://www.nap.edu/catalog/12984.html). For those with disabilities the rate is even lower.  A recent NSF report (Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: 2011  [NSF 11-309,  at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd /)  shows that individuals with disabilities remain an even  smaller proportion of doctoratal recipients in the U.S., with less than 2% of doctoral recipients in 2008 reported as having a disability.    

The science and engineering workforce in the U.S. is drawn principally from among our nation's undergraduates who complete at least a bachelor's degree.  The reality is that underrepresented minorities are less likely than whites to attend college and to graduate.  Further, there is attrition at each stage of the educational pathway from baccalaureate to doctoral level and beyond.   Attrition is particularly acute for students from diverse backgrounds.  Trend data from the National Science Foundation (2011) reveal that in 2008, the latest year for available data, underrepresented minorities enrolled in disproportionately higher numbers in 2-year public colleges, earned about 17% of baccalaureate degrees in science and engineering, and about 14% of baccalaureate degrees in biological sciences (Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: 2011; NAS, 2007, Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads http://www.nap.edu/catalog/12984.html).  

The number and complexity of these challenges become greater when considering another crossroad: too few gerontologists and geriatricians and an unprecedented increase in the number of older adults secondary to the baby boom generation.   Today, older adults are more active and have a longer life expectancy.   By 2030, older adults age 65 and over will represent 20 percent of the U.S. population, an 8 percent increase from 2005.  This year (2011) the first of the 78-million baby boomers are now starting to turn age 65 (IOM. (2008). Retooling for an Aging America).  Supporting research to address the complex problems and concerns of older adults poses a unique set of challenges.  Bold and proactive steps are required to address these complexities and to unlock the many secrets of aging.  This ADAR initiative is an effort to meet challenges in educational curricula and science training for undergraduates. 

Professional development activities,strong educational curricula combined with academic support and mentoring proposed in this ADAR initiative  may fundamentally change opportunities available at our post-secondary institutions and engage a diverse and competitive workforce with an increased interest in science and aging research.

Research Education Objectives

The goal of the ADAR program is to design research education protocols to increase the pool of students from diverse backgrounds entering and pursuing careers in NIA MSTEM fields.   For this, we encourage creative and innovative research-education programs (1) to support undergraduate competency and completion in NIA MSTEM fields, and (2) to develop application and transition to graduate studies that can advance a cadre of investigators underrepresented in NIA MSTEM fields.   Priorities for the program are undergraduate retention, competence and completion in NIA  MSTEM fields, transition to graduate studies, and expanded interest in, and knowledge of, aging issues.

NIA expects applicant institutions to propose their own creative and innovative research education programs. Suggested potential program components include, but are not limited to, the following:

A maximum of five years of support can be requested under the ADAR program.  The first year may be devoted to development of the curriculum, laboratory experiences, mentoring practices, and evaluation strategy.  Sucessful grantees are strongly encouraged to participate in an annual PD(s)/PI(s) meeting designed to share information and evaluation strategies.

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

Grant

Application Types Allowed

New
Revisions
Resubmissions
Renewals

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.

The National Institute on Aging intends to fund an estimate of 3-4 awards, corresponding to a total of $1.4 million, for fiscal year 2012. Future year amounts will depend on annual appropriations.

Award Budget

Direct costs of up to $350,000 per year may be requested.

Award Project Period

The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period.  The maximum period is 5 years.

 
Other Award Budget Information
Personnel Costs

Individuals designing, directing, and implementing the research education 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 students/participants are considered a regular part of an individual's academic duties, then any costs associated with the mentoring and other interactions with students/participants are not allowable costs from grant funds).  

Participant Costs

Participants may be paid if specifically required for the proposed research education program and sufficiently justified. Participant costs must be itemized in the proposed budget.

While generally not allowable costs, with strong justification, participants in the research education program may receive partial costs of meals unless such costs are furnished as part of the registration fee. Participants may also receive funds to defray partial tuition, and other education-related expenses.

Expenses for foreign travel must be exceptionally well justified.

Because the R25 mechanism is not intended as a substitute for an NRSA institutional training program (T32), costs to support full-time participants (supported for 40 hours/week for a continuous, 12-month period) are not allowable.

Applicants do not have to list names of individual candidates for participants but should define the intended sources of candidates, outline the recruitment and selection procedures, and indicate the anticipated number of participants in a full time and part-time status.

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 cost of consultants for evaluation of the program is allowed; however, if the evaluator is an employee of one of the applicant institutions, the cost must be included in the category of key personnel salary.   

A maximum of five years of support can be requested under the ADAR program.  The first year may be devoted to development of the curriculum, laboratory experiences, mentoring practices, and evaluation strategy.  Successful grantees are strongly encouraged to participate in an annual PD(s)/PI(s) meeting designed to share information and evaluation strategies.  

Indirect Costs

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), 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.

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:

All registrations must be completed by the application due date.

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.

Institutions with existing Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) institutional training grants (e.g., T32) or other Federally funded training programs may apply for a research education grant provided that the proposed educational experiences are distinct from those training programs receiving NIH support. In many cases, it is anticipated that the proposed research education program will complement ongoing research training occurring at the applicant institution.

Foreign Institutions

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are not eligible to apply.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply.
Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are not allowed.

Required Registrations

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 registrations.

All Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) 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.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s))

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and women are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PD(s)/PI(s), visit the Multiple Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide.

The PD(s)/PI(s) 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(s)/PI(s) will be expected to monitor and assess the program and submit all documents and reports as required.

2. Cost Sharing

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

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

Number of Applications

Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.

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.

Preceptors/Mentors

Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as preceptors/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.

Participants

Applications must describe the intended participants, and the eligibility and/or specific educational background characteristics that are essential for participation in the proposed research education program. Identify the career levels essential for participation in the planned program.

Students appointed to the ADAR program may be from the applicant and/or partner institutions.   

Unless strongly justified on the basis of exceptional relevance to NIH, research education programs should be used primarily for the education of U.S. citizens or a non-citizen national, or must have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence and possess an Alien Registration Receipt Card (1-151 or 1-551) or some other verification of legal admission as a permanent resident.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

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.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (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 review.

For information on Application Submission and Receipt, visit Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.

Letter of Intent

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.

By the date listed in Part 1. Overview Information, prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Dr. Ramesh Vemuri
Scientific Review Branch
7201 Wisconsin Ave., #212
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
Telephone: 301-402-7700
Email: vemuri@nia.nih.gov

Required and Optional Components

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 submission of applications for this FOA. Follow the instructions in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to ensure you complete all appropriate “optional” components.

Page Limitations

All page limitations described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.

SF424 (R&R) Other Project Information Component

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following modifications:

Facilities & Other Resources

Describe the educational environment, including the facilities, laboratories, participating departments, computer services, and any other resources to be used in the development and implementation of the proposed program. List all thematically related sources of support for research training and education following the format for Current and Pending Support.  .

R&R Budget Component

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following modifications:

PHS 398 Research Plan Component

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the additional instructions described below:

The Research Strategy section must be used to upload the Research Education Program Plan, which must include the following components described below: Proposed Research Education Program, Institutional Environment and Commitment, Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s), Program Faculty/Staff, Program Participants, Diversity Recruitment and Retention Plan, Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research, Evaluation Plan, Dissemination Plan.

Proposed Research Education Program (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

While the proposed research education program may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those research training and research education programs currently receiving federal support. When research training programs are on-going in the same department, the applicant organization should clearly describe the distinction between the intended participants in the proposed research education program and the research training supported by the training program. The information should include a description of the education and/or career levels of the planned participants.      

Institutional Environment and Commitment (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

Describe the institutional environment, reiterating the availability of facilities and educational resources (described separately under “Facilities & Other Resources”), that can contribute to the planned Research Education Program. Evidence of institutional commitment to the research educational program is required. A letter of institutional commitment must be attached as part of Letters of Support. Appropriate institutional commitment should include the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned research education program.      

Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

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

Program Faculty/Staff (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

Describe the characteristics and responsibilities of the participating faculty; provide evidence that the participating faculty and preceptors are actively engaged in research or other scholarly activities related to the mission of NIH.      

Program Participants (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

Where the proposed program involves participants, provide details about the pool of expected participants, their qualifications, recruitment strategies and sources of applicant pool, etc.   Students appointed to the program may or may not be from the applicant and partner institutions.  

Diversity Recruitment and Retention Plan (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

The NIH recognizes a unique and compelling need to promote diversity in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences research 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 participants:

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 in the report entitled Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: 2011  [NSF 11-309 (report) at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/.  ). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: African Americans, Hispanic Americas, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Hawaiian Natives, and natives of the US Pacific Islands. In addition, it is recognized that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting; 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 participants have qualified for Federal disadvantaged assistance or they have received any of the following student loans: Health Professions 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 (C1 and C2) are most applicable to high school and perhaps to undergraduate candidates, but would be more difficult to justify for individuals beyond that level of academic achievement. Under extraordinary circumstances the PHS may, at its discretion, consider an individual beyond the undergraduate level to be from a disadvantaged background. Such decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, based on appropriate documentation.

New applications must include a description of plans to enhance recruitment of a diverse participant pool and may wish to include data in support of past accomplishments.

Renewal 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 individuals who were enrolled in the program, the report should include information about the duration of education and whether those individuals finished the program in good standing. Additional information on the required Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity is available at Frequently Asked Questions: Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity (Diversity FAQs).

Applications lacking a diversity recruitment and retention plan may be delayed or not accepted for review. An award cannot be made if an application lacks this component.

Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

Every participant supported by this Research Education 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 participating 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 may be delayed or not accepted for review. An award cannot be made if an application lacks this component. The background, rationale and more detail about instruction in the responsible conduct of research can be found in NOT-OD-10-019.. If such instruction is not appropriate for the proposed research education program, then the PD/PI must provide a strong justification for its exclusion.

Evaluation Plan (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

A plan must be provided for program evaluation.  Applications must include a plan for evaluating the activities supported by the award.  The application must specify baseline metrics (e.g., the number of participants, their education levels and their demographic characteristics), as well as measures to gauge the short or long-term success of the research education award in achieving its objectives. Suggested potential outcome measures include completing an undergraduate degree in an NIA MSTEM field and increased application rate and transition to graduate study. Wherever appropriate, applicants are encouraged to obtain feedback from participants to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for improvements.

The ADAR program and its grantees will be the focus of a summary evaluation after 5-7 years of active support to determine merits and outcomes of the program, and whether continued funding is warranted. This program may becontinued as currently configured, modified or terminated based on the review.   

Resource Sharing Plans

Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, and Genome Wide Association Studies; GWAS) as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modifications:

Applications are expected to include a software dissemination plan if support for development, maintenance, or enhancement of software is requested in the application.  There is no prescribed single license for software produced. However, the software dissemination plan should address, as appropriate, the following goals:

Appendix

Do not use the appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

3. Submission Dates and Times

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.

4. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

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.

Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

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.

Important reminders:
All PD(s)/PI(s) 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(s)/PI(s) 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   

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in NOT-OD-10-115.

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

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.

Overall Impact

Reviewers will provide an overall impact/priority score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project 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).

Scored Review Criteria

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.

Significance

Does the proposed research education program address an important problem or critical question in research education or other critical issues?  How will implementation of the proposed program advance the objectives of the proposed program?     

Investigator(s)

Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers appropriately trained and well suited to the proposed research education program? Is the PD(s)/PI(s) 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 research education program?  If Early Stage Investigator or New Investigator, or in the early stages of an independent career, does the PD(s)/PI(s) have appropriate experience to lead the program?  If the project is collaborative or multi-PD(s)/PI(s), do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?  Is there evidence that an appropriate level of effort will be devoted by the program leadership to ensure the program's objectives?  How effective are the leadership and governance plans in accommodating changes in the direction of research training and development, and allowing for the efficient use of funds?     

Innovation

Is the proposed research education program characterized by innovation and scholarship?  Does the proposed program challenge and seek to shift current research education paradigms or clinical practice; address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in the field?  Are the proposed concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools, or technologies novel for this area?  Does this proposed program duplicate, or overlap with, existing research education, training and/or career development activities currently supported at the applicant institution or available elsewhere?  Adaptations of existing research education programs may be considered innovative under special circumstances, e.g., the addition of unique components and/or a proposal to determine portability of an existing program?     

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the proposed research education program?  Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented?  If the program is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed?  If called for, is the proposed plan for evaluation and/or dissemination of the education program sound and likely to provide data on the effectiveness of the education program?  Is there evidence that the program is based on sound research concepts and educational principles?  Is the approach feasible and appropriate to achieve the stated research education goals?  If the proposed program will recruit participants, are the recruitment, retention, and follow-up activities adequate to ensure a highly qualified and diverse participant pool? In what way does the administration and governance structure help to advance aging research?  How effective are the plans to ensure both accountability and integration of the components of the program? To what degree are the plans for developing and managing key activities including collaborative partnerships and consultative arrangements described?

How effective are the plans for intra-institutional collaboration? What is the scope of evidence for collaborations with investigators from different disciplines, departments, and/or programs within the institution, as well as investigators from other institutions?  In what ways will investigators from collaborating institution(s) enrich the ADAR program and contribute to its success? 

How does the applicant plan toadvance the knowledge and research competency of participants?  How effective is the evaluation plan? 

How detailed is the required evaluation plan? What are the key milestones for the overall program and for each proposed key activity and is each adequately described? In what ways do the milestones and timelines incorporate feasible objectives, and detailed quantitative criteria? How valid, accessible, and practical are the data sources for assessing ADAR program goals and success?

If the program involves clinical research, are the plans for 1) protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion of minorities and members of both sexes/genders, as well as the inclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?  

Environment

Will the scientific/educational environment in which the proposed research education program will be conducted contribute to the probability of success?  Are the institutional commitment and support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the program proposed?  Will the program benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements?  Is there evidence of appropriate collaboration among participating programs, departments, and institutions?  If multiple sites are participating, is this adequately justified in terms of the research education experiences provided? Are adequate plans provided for coordination and communication between multiple sites (if appropriate)?  Is there institutional commitment to establishing the ADAR program as an integral part of the school's training and research environment?  Is there substantial commitment from the institutional leadership to protect the time of the investigators to pursue development and implementation of this program? Is the institutional leadership committed to this program and its goals in terms of providing specific assets for the program, such as financial support, faculty support, specific equipment, dedicated space, or tuition rebates, as a few examples? Will existing NIH-supported research and resources be appropriately shared with the ADAR program? 

Additional Review Criteria

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.  

Vertebrate Animals

Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.  

Biohazards

Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.  

Resubmissions

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.

Renewals

For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the last funding period, including on the Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity, and Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research.

Revisions

For Revisions, the committee will consider the appropriateness of the proposed expansion of the scope of the project. If the Revision application relates to a specific line of investigation presented in the original application that was not recommended for approval by the committee, then the committee will consider whether the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group are adequate and whether substantial changes are clearly evident.

Additional Review Considerations

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.

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

Taking into account the specific characteristics of the research education program, level of participant experience, and the particular circumstances of the participants, the reviewers will address the following questions.  Does the plan satisfactorily address the format of instruction, e.g. lectures 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?  Do the plans ensure participants will receive instruction (or in the case of more senior level participants, provide instruction) for an appropriate amount of time given the length of the research education experience?  Plans and past record will be rated as ACCEPTABLE or UNACCEPTABLE, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not applicable.

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).

Resource Sharing Plans

Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: 1) Data Sharing Plan; 2) Sharing Model Organisms; and 3) Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS).

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.

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s) convened by the National Institute on Aging , 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 submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the National Institute on Aging.  The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

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

Information regarding the disposition of applications is available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

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’s 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.

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  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.

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, participants 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.

3. Reporting

The Non-Competing Continuation Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590) and financial statements  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.Programs that involve participants should report on education in the responsible conduct of research and complete a Training Diversity Report, in accordance with the PHS 2590 Additional Instructions for Preparing a Progress Report for an Institutional Research Training Grant, Including Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards.

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. 

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.

Other Reporting Requirements
Section VII. Agency Contacts

We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.

Application Submission Contacts

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission, downloading or navigating forms)
Contact Center Phone: 800-518-4726
Email: support@grants.gov

GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and process, finding NIH grant resources)
Telephone 301-435-0714
TTY 301-451-5936
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov

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)
TTY: 301-451-5939
Email: commons@od.nih.gov

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Chyren Hunter, Ph.D
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Telephone: 301-496-9322
Email: Hunterc@mail.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Ramesh Vemuri, Ph.D.
National Institute on Aging
Telephone: (301) 496-9666
Email: VemuriR@nia.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Linda Whipp
National Institute on Aging
Telephone: (301) 496-1472
Email: lw17m@nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

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.

Authority and Regulations

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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