Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Funding Opportunity Title

NINDS Advanced Postdoctoral Career Transition Award to Promote Diversity in Neuroscience Research (K22)

Activity Code

K22 Career Transition Award

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.
  • November 27, 2013 (NOT-OD-14-027) - NIH to Require Use of Updated Electronic Application Forms for Due Dates on or after January 25, 2014. Forms-C applications are required for due dates on or after January 25, 2014.
  • February 6, 2013 - See Notice NOT-NS-13-013. Notice of Correction in the Instructions for the Submission of the Eligibility Certification Letter.

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

PAR-12-163

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

Number of Applications

See Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

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

93.853   

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The NINDS Advanced Postdoctoral Career Transition Award to Promote Diversity issued by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), is designed to increase the number of highly trained early career investigators from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in neuroscience research.  Faculty from diverse backgrounds  represent only 5% of the tenure-stream neuroscience faculty (2009 Survey Report Neuroscience Departments and Programs).  This opportunity provides individuals from diverse backgrounds  with strong training in neuroscience with the resources and tools that will help facilitate a transition to a stable and productive independent research position.  Individuals from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in neuroscience research are eligible for support under this award if they have doctoral research degrees (Ph.D., P.h.D./M.D. or equivalent) and between 2 and 5 years of postdoctoral research experience at the time of application.

The primary objectives of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) are to: (1) assist talented underrepresented scientists to transition from postdoctoral training to a secure, independent research position and (2) enhance the conditions that promote establishing a strong and innovative independent program of research.

NINDS support for K22 program relies equally on scientific merit and programmatic considerations. Consequently, we strongly recommend potential applicants speak with program officials at NINDS before preparing an application. NINDS will not support projects, regardless of the results of merit review, if they do not fulfill current programmatic priorities at NINDS.  

Key Dates
Posted Date

April 12, 2012

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

May 12, 2012

Letter of Intent Due Date

Not Applicable

Application Due Date(s)

Standard dates apply r, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant rganization.

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

May 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, including Supplemental Instructions to the SF424 (R&R) for Preparing an Individual Research Career Development Award (CDA) Application (“K” Series), 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

The overall goal of the NIH Research Career Development program is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in appropriate scientific disciplines to address the Nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs.  More information about Career programs may be found at the NIH Extramural Training Mechanisms website.

The objective of the NINDS Advanced Postdoctoral Career Transition Award to Promote Diversity (K22) is to support talented advanced postdoctoral investigators from backgrounds underrepresented in neuroscience research during their transition to independent research positions.  This K22 program is designed to assist transition to secure faculty positions, increase research faculty diversity and enhance the skills needed to progress to independent NIH or other independent research support.

The K22 funding mechanism is intended exclusively for support of neuroscience researchers with a Ph.D., Ph.D./M.D. or equivalent, who have between 2 and 5 years of postdoctoral research training and who are not in a tenure-track (or equivalent) faculty position.

This is a two-phase award that provides a maximum of 5 years of support: up to 3 years of support may be obtained during the advanced postdoctoral training period and up to 3 years of support may be obtained during a subsequent first faculty position. Support for the second phase is not automatic and is contingent upon obtaining a full-time, tenure-track assistant professor position (or equivalent) at an extramural institution with appropriate institutional startup funding and commitment, access to necessary resources, and a mentoring plan designed to facilitate success in research.  The position must be secured by the awardee before the end of the advanced postdoctoral training period (no later than the end of the 3rd year of the award) for the award to remain active.

For individuals from diverse backgrounds  who are in the first 3 years of a tenure track (or equivalent) faculty position, NINDS support may be obtained from a K01 funding mechanism. For information on programs supported by other NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs), potential applicants should visit the NIH K Kiosk.

Background

There is a large loss of talented researchers from diverse backgrounds during the transition from postdoctoral training to junior faculty positions.  Evidence from several reports demonstrate that an intervention designed to facilitate successful transition at this point would benefit the research community and scientific teaching environment, and would provide needed role models for underrepresented students (Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads- National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine 2011; Bridges to Independence: Fostering the Independence of New Investigators in Biomedical Research, and Advancing the Nations Health Needs: NIH Research Training Programs).  A diverse faculty is critical for providing role models for aspiring scientists from all backgrounds and achieving a balanced research agenda that benefits the nation.  Moreover, surveys have revealed that a diverse faculty is important for attracting diverse students to research and has a positive impact on retention and career mentoring for diverse students.  It is anticipated that increased faculty diversity will enhance the quality of research training for trainees, recruitment and retention of diverse study participants, and research on health disparities, and will influence prioritization of research.  While the term “diversity” can encompass many personal attributes and characteristics, for this NINDS Diversity K22 program, diversity includes individuals currently underrepresented in neuroscience research on a national basis, including: individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups or individuals with disabilities (See data at www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/pdf/tab3-1.pdf).  For example, in surveys conducted by the Society for Neuroscience Committee on Neuroscience Departments and Programs, diverse faculty represents only 5% of the tenure-stream neuroscience faculty (2009 Survey Report Neuroscience Departments and Programs). 

Overview of K22 career/research transition opportunity

The candidate must propose a research project that will be pursued during Phase I and continue into an independent project during Phase II of the award. Consequently, the K22 applicant must have ownership of the project and by explicit agreement of the mentor, must be able to take the project with him/her upon transition to independence.  Phase II support will have a maximum duration of 3 years. If an awardee expends the maximum time in Phase I (3 years), Phase II will be limited to two years of support. 

Phase II of the K22 award is not automatic. It will be awarded, following adminstrative review, only if the K22 awardee obtains a full-time tenure-track or equivalent faculty position. This position must include an appropriate startup package that is similar to that currently provided to others hired by the department into a similar position, and which is sufficient to promote success in the applicant's research, appropriate protected time for research (a minimum of 75%) and access to students and resources normally associated with such a position.

Once the tenure track (or equivalent) position has been secured, NINDS will evaluate the Phase II application (see below) to ensure that all programmatic requirements are met prior to continuation of the award.  Awardees approved to proceed with the second phase of support will receive notification of approval in writing from the NINDS.  An application from the extramural institution on behalf of the candidate will be required for the NINDS to process the second phase of the K22. The sponsoring institution must demonstrate a commitment to the candidate by providing protected research time and space needed to perform the proposed research. It is strongly encouraged that Phase II occur at an institution different from that where the Phase I research occurred.  However, as long as the faculty position and start-up package is appropriate, and the candidate has full research independence, Phase II may occur at the Phase I institution. If the applicant remains at the same institution, there must be a clear explanation of how independence from the mentor will be established.

During Phase II, it is expected that K22 recipients will apply for independent research grant support as soon as possible. K22 recipients are strongly encouraged to apply for R01 or equivalent Federal or Foundation awards within the final two years of their K22 award.

Prior to preparing an application, individuals are strongly encouraged to contact the program official listed at the end of this announcement for any questions concerning the program and pre-submission guidance. Applications that do not fall within the current mission interests of the NINDS will not be accepted.

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

Grant

Application Types Allowed

New
Resubmission

The OER Glossary and the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

Although the financial plans of the NINDS provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this funding opportunity are contingent upon the availability of funds and the receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.  The NINDS K22 award has two phases: a mentored phase of at an eligible extramural sponsoring institution/organization (2-3 years), followed by a faculty position phase at an extramural institution/organization to which the individual has been recruited (up to 3 years). Because the duration of the two phases of the award may vary, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary.

Award Budget

Award budgets are composed of salary and other program-related expenses, as described below.

Award Project Period

The total duration of the award, including both phases, is limited to 5 years maximum.

Other Award Budget Information
Salary

The total salary requested must be based on a full-time staff appointment. The salary must be consistent both with the established salary structure at the 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.

During Phase I NIH will contribute salary in accordance with NRSA guidelines (see: http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsa.htmhttp://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not-od-11-067.html), plus fringe benefits.  During Phase II, NIH will contribute up to $85,000, commensurate with salary and effort, as well as fringe benefits, toward the salary of the career award recipient.

The sponsoring institution may supplement the NIH salary contribution up to a level that is consistent with the institution's salary scale. However, supplementation may not be from Federal funds unless specifically authorized by the Federal program from which such funds are derived. In no case may PHS funds be used for salary supplementation. Institutional supplementation of salary must not require extra duties or responsibilities that would interfere with the purpose of the career award.

During Phase I, awardees must devote a minimum of 75% effort to the K22 project. During Phase II, the awardee is required to devote a minimum of 75% (i.e. minimum of 9 person months) of their full-time 12 month professional effort to research.

The entire research effort during Phase II need not be associated with this K22 award, and salary for this effort need not come entirely from this K22 award. For Phase II activation, institutions must provide a startup and salary package equivalent to that provided to a newly hired faculty member who does not have a grant. Salary support in addition to that provided by the K22 award may be obtained from any non-federal source, as long as 75% effort is protected for research. If the K22 awardee obtains an NIH R01 or federal equivalent as PD/PI, he/she may draw appropriate salary from that federal award.

Other Program-Related Expenses

NIH will contribute up to $25,000 in Phase I and $100,000 in Phase 2  per year toward the research and career development costs of the award recipient, which must be justified and consistent with the stage of development of the candidate and the proportion of time to be spent in research or career development activities.

Salary for mentors, secretarial and administrative assistants, etc. is not allowed.

Reasonable Accommodations: As part of this award, funds may be requested to make changes or adjustments in the research setting that will make it possible for a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions associated with the project. The accommodations requested under this program must be directly related to the performance of the proposed role on the research project and must be appropriate to the disabilities of the individual. Some types of accommodations that might be provided under this award include: specialized equipment, assistive devices, and personnel such as readers, interpreters, or assistants. In all cases, the total funds for accommodations requested must be reasonable.

Indirect Costs

Indirect Costs (also known as Facilities & Administrative [F&A] Costs) are reimbursed at 8% of modified total direct costs.

NIH grant 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:

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

For-Profit Organizations

Governments

Other

The applicant institution will be the mentored phase (Phase I) institution. All institution/organization types listed above are eligible for both the mentored and independent phase, with one exception: eligible agencies of the Federal government, such as the NINDS intramural program, are eligible only for Phase I support.

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.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2010/nihgps_ch16.htm#_Toc271265275

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 Directors/Principal Investigators (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 4-6 weeks prior to the application due date.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any candidate 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 mentor(s) and 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. Multiple Principal Investigators are not allowed.

Only U.S. citizens or non-citizen nationals, or individuals lawfully admitted for permanent residence who have a currently valid Permanent Resident Card (USCIS Form I-551), or some other verification of legal admission as a permanent resident prior to the time of award, are eligible for this award.  Non-citizen nationals, although not U.S. citizens, owe permanent allegiance to the U.S.  They are usually born in lands that are not states but are under U.S. sovereignty, jurisdiction, or administration. Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible.

For the purpose of this announcement, institutions are encouraged to identify candidates who will increase diversity within the neuroscience workforce on a national basis including: individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups or individuals with disabilities (See data at www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/pdf/tab3-1.pdf.  The strength of an institution's description and justification for the appointment of an identified candidate will be judged along with all other aspects of the proposed experience (see review criteria in Section V.1.).  As discussed, the NINDS is particularly interested in encouraging the recruitment and retention of the following two classes of candidates:

A.    Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see data at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/showpub.cfm?TopID=2&SubID=27 and the most recent report on Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.

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

Information must be submitted by the applicant Institution in a letter certifying that the applicant belongs to one of the above groups. The letter should be inserted in the application immediately before the Checklist as a PDF file. Application processing may be delayed or the application may be returned if it does not comply with this requirement.  

Career Stage:  Candidates for this award must have earned a terminal research doctoral degree or a combined clinical and research doctoral degree.

Individuals affiliated with an NIH Intramural Laboratory may apply (specific information is available for intramural candidates on the Electronic Submission Intranet – link available only to users internal to NIH).

Individuals are NOT eligible if they:

Some institutions appoint postdoctoral fellows in positions with other titles although they are still in non-independent training positions. Candidates in such positions are encouraged to obtain confirmation of their eligibility before they begin to prepare their applications. It is incumbent upon the candidate to provide evidence that the position he/she is in compliance with the intent of this eligibility requirement.  Evidence for non-independence may include:

Conversely, evidence for independence, and therefore lack of eligibility, includes:

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 that is essentially the same as one already reviewed. An individual may not have two or more competing NIH career development applications pending review concurrently. Resubmission applications may be submitted, according to the NIH Policy on Resubmission Applications from the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Individuals are eligible for a K22 award if they have been, or currently are, the PD/PI of an NIH R03 or R21 grant or a PHS or non-Federal award that duplicates the provisions or research goals of an R03 or R21 grant. Individuals are NOT eligible to apply if they have an application pending for any other PHS career development award, an NIH institute-specific K22, or a Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00). Individuals are not eligible to apply if they have been or are currently a PD/PI on an NIH research grant (such as R01, R29, P01) or a subproject leader on a Program Project (P01) or Center Grant (P50), or a non-NIH equivalent to these grants/awards.

K22 recipients must apply for independent research grant support during the period of this award. K22 award recipients that obtain independent support during the K22 award period may hold concurrent research support, and, in the last two years of their K22 award, salary support from their career award and a competing NIH research project grant when recognized as a PD/PI or subproject Director of the research project grant.   

Level of Effort

At the time of award, the candidate must have a “full-time” appointment at the academic institution that is the applicant institution. Candidates who have VA appointments may not consider part of the VA effort toward satisfying the “full time” requirement at the applicant institution. Candidates with VA appointments should contact the staff person in the relevant Institute or Center prior to preparing an application to discuss their eligibility. Under certain circumstances, an awardee may submit a written request to the awarding component requesting a reduction in minimum required percent effort, which will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Details on this policy are provided in NOT-OD-09-036

Mentor(s)

Before submitting the application, the candidate must identify a mentor who will supervise the proposed career development and research experience. The candidate's mentor should be an active investigator in the area of the proposed research and be committed both to the career development of the candidate and to the direct supervision of the candidate’s research. The mentor must document the availability of sufficient research support and facilities for high-quality research. The mentor should have sufficient independent research support to cover the costs of the proposed research project in excess of the allowable costs of this award. Candidates are encouraged to identify more than one mentor, i.e., a mentoring team, if this is deemed advantageous for providing expert advice in all aspects of the research career development program. In such cases, one individual must be identified as the primary mentor who will coordinate the candidate’s research. The candidate must work with the mentor(s) in preparing the application.

The primary mentor should be in the candidate's home institution or, in rare circumstances, be available locally (in the latter case, the applicant should discuss plans in advance with a NINDS Program Director). The mentor should explicitly state that the scholar has ownership of the project, in the sense that he/she can take the project with him/her to the independent position. If only a portion of the project belongs to the scholar, the aspects that can and cannot be taken should be described.

Institutional Environment

The applicant institution must have a strong, well-established record of research and career development activities and faculty qualified to serve as mentors in neuroscience research. The institution must demonstrate a commitment to the development of the candidate as a productive, independent investigator and be willing to allow the protected time needed by the candidate. The candidate, mentor (s), and institution must describe a research career development program that will maximize the use of this environment, including available facilities and resources. In addition, the institution should have the resources available to conduct the proposed research at the highest level; the letter of institutional commitment should make clear that the resources needed should be available to the applicant..

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.

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.

Other Project Information Component

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

Project Summary/Abstract (Component of the Other Project Information Component)

This attachment must be uploaded via the Other Project Information Component, and must include a description of your current research and the research you propose to continue in the independent phase.

PHS 398 Career Development Award Supplemental Form

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

Candidate’s Background (Component of Candidate Information)

For individuals in postdoctoral positions with other titles although still in non-independent training positions, describe evidence of non-independence.

Career Goals and Objectives (Component of Candidate Information)

Career Development/Training Activities During Award Period (Component of Candidate Information)

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (Component of Candidate Information)

Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research as provided in Chapter 7 of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide

Statements by Mentor, Co-mentor(s), Consultants, Contributors (Component of Statements of Support)

Description of Institutional Environment (Component of Environment and Institutional Commitment to the Candidate)

Institutional Commitment to the Candidate’s Research Career Development (Component of Environment and Institutional Commitment to the Candidate)

Research Strategy (Component of Research Plan)

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

Letters of Reference

Candidates must carefully follow the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including the time period for when letters of reference will be accepted (letters are due by the application due date as described in the Notice). Applications lacking the appropriate required reference letters will not be reviewed. This is a separate process from submitting an application electronically. Reference letters are submitted directly through the eRA Commons Submit Referee Information link and not through Grants.gov.

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/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.

In order to expedite review, applicants are requested to notify the NINDS Referral Office by email at nindsreview.nih.gov@mail.nih.gov when the application has been submitted. Please include the FOA number and title, PD/PI name, and title of the application.

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 should provide their assessment of the likelihood for the candidate to maintain a strong research program, taking into consideration the criteria below in determining the overall impact/priority score.

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.

Candidate

Research Plan

Mentor(s), Co-Mentor(s), Consultant(s), Collaborator(s)

Environment & Institutional Commitment to the Candidate

 Are there adequate and appropriate research facilities and educational opportunities, including collaborating faculty?  Is there clear commitment of the sponsoring institution to ensure that the required effort of the candidate will be devoted directly to the research training, career development, and research activities described in the proposed career development and research plans?  Is there strong institutional commitment to fostering the career development of the candidate?  Are there unique features of the scientific environment that benefit the proposed research; e.g., useful collaborative arrangements or subject populations?  Is the environment of high quality and relevance for scientific and professional development of the candidate?  What evidence is provided that the Phase I sponsoring institution is strongly committed to fostering the candidate’s development and transition to Phase II?  Is there an explicit commitment to a minimum of 75% protected time, with specific detail of how this was calculated?  Is the institution committed to the applicant regardless of the outcome of review of this application?

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

For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: (1) risk to subjects, (2) adequacy of protection against risks, (3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, (4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and (5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.

For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: (1) the justification for the exemption, (2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and (3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Human Subjects Protection and Inclusion Guidelines.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

When the proposed project involves clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for inclusion of minorities and members of both genders, as well as the inclusion of children. For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Human Subjects Protection and Inclusion Guidelines.

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following five points: (1) proposed use of the animals, and species, strains, ages, sex, and numbers to be used; (2) justifications for the use of animals and for the appropriateness of the species and numbers proposed; (3) adequacy of veterinary care; (4) procedures for limiting discomfort, distress, pain and injury to that which is unavoidable in the conduct of scientifically sound research including the use of analgesic, anesthetic, and tranquilizing drugs and/or comfortable restraining devices; and (5) methods of euthanasia and reason for selection if not consistent with the AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.

Biohazards

Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.

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

Not Applicable.

Revisions

Not Applicable.

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 circumstances of the candidate, including level of experience, 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 the role of the sponsor/mentor or other faculty involvement in the candidate’s 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).

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 NINDS, 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 appropriate national Advisory Council or Board. 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/PI 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.

There will not be a formal Notice of Award (NoA) associated with the mentored phase of the K22 award conducted in the NINDS intramural program. The awarding Institute will transmit to the successful candidate an approval letter that will include the terms and conditions of the NINDS intramural K22 award, as well as expectations for the transition to the independent phase of the award.

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. More specifically, for K Awards, visit the Research Career Development (“K”) Awardees section of the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Transition to the Independent Phase (Phase II activation)

Transition from the mentored phase to the independent phase is not automatic.  Approval of the transition will be based on the success of the awardee’s research program and career development progress as determined by annual scientific reviews and by the evaluation to be carried out at the institution.  To activate Phase II of the grant, individuals must have been offered and accepted a tenure-track, full-time assistant professor position (or equivalent) at an eligible institution with appropriate infrastructure to support the proposed research program and a history of external rese(arch funding.  Additionally, the sponsoring institution must demonstrate a commitment to the candidate by providing a minimum of nine person-months (75% full time professional effort) protected research time, space and resources needed to conduct the proposed research project and appropriate scientific mentoring.  A plan for career development that will lead to research independence and the ability to successfully compete for research support is essential. NIH will conduct a formal scientific progress review no later than two months before the end of the mentored phase.

The application for the Phase II of the award must be submitted no later than 2 months prior to the proposed activation date of the award by the Phase II grantee organization.  However, to avoid potential problems in activation, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact their NINDS program official as soon as plans to assume an independent position develop, and not later than 6 months prior to the termination of Phase I of the award, to discuss plans for transition to, and the application for Phase II.

Candidates must provide a progress report using form PHS 2590, which should detail progress achieved on the specific aims of the Research Plan and on the pursuit of identified career and career development goals.  Future goals for the research project and for further career development should also be indicated.  The mentor must provide a separate narrative of the research and career development of the candidate.

Form PHS 2590 must include the following:

In addition, a letter from the Phase II Department or Division Chairperson describing the institution’s commitment to the candidate and plans for his/her career development should be submitted (see below), as well as a final evaluation statement by the Phase I mentor, if not already provided.

These materials should be sent directly to NINDSDiversityTraining@ninds.nih.gov

(preferably in a PDF format).  The Phase II application will be evaluated by a committee of extramural program staff of the awarding component for completeness and responsiveness to the program.

An institutional commitment agreement will be required at the time of activation of the independent faculty phase of the award. This agreement should satisfy the criteria described in the Career Development Award Section 7 of the SF424 Application Guide. In addition to space, facilities, resources, and other support needed to conduct the proposed research, the sponsoring institution must provide protected research time (minimum of 9 person-months (75% of the candidate’s full-time professional effort) at least for the duration of the Phase II award. The start-up package and other institutional support must be described and should be comparable to that given to other faculty recently hired into tenure-track or equivalent positions. Institutions must provide a startup and salary package equivalent to that provided to a newly hired faculty member who does not have a grant; Phase II funds may not be used to offset the typical startup package or to offset the usual institutional commitment to provide salary for tenure-track (or equivalent) assistant professors who are hired without grant support. The Phase II sponsoring institution should describe the candidate’s academic appointment, bearing in mind that it must be tenure-track assistant professor (or equivalent), and confirm that the appointment is not contingent on the transfer of the award to the institution. The Phase II institution must foster and support the awardee’s ability to apply for and secure independent research grant (R01) support or the equivalent.

The K22 award requires that a minimum of 9 person-months (75% of the candidate’s full-time professional effort) be devoted to research activities. Consequently, teaching, clinical duties and other non-research activities should be minimal during the award period. NINDS staff may review start-up packages and other commitments between the institution and candidate prior to activating the independent faculty phase of the award. It is suggested that the applicant and/or the hiring institution discuss the institutional commitment with the relevant NINDS institute program official prior to submission of the Phase II application. NINDS will not activate the independent faculty phase if the institutional commitment is deemed inadequate.

Candidates who are not approved to transition will receive written notification from the awarding component communicating the rationale for the disapproval. This letter typically will be sent within 60 days of receipt of the Phase II application.

Although the financial plans of NINDS provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this funding opportunity are contingent upon the availability of funds.

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Non-Competing Continuation Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The Additional Instructions for Preparing Continuation Career Development Award (CDA) Progress Reports, must be followed. The Mentor’s Report must include an annual evaluation statement of the candidate’s progress.

A final progress report, invention statement, and the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout of an award, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

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. 

4. 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 from databases and from participants themselves. Participants 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.

Within ten years of making awards under this program, NIH will assess the program’s overall outcomes, gauge its effectiveness in enhancing diversity, and consider whether there is a continuing need for the program.  Upon the completion of this evaluation, NIH will determine whether to (a) continue the program as currently configured, (b) continue the program with modifications, or (c) discontinue the program. 

The overall evaluation of the program will be based on metrics that will include, but are not limited to, the following:

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)

Michelle Jones-London, Ph.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Telephone: (301) 451-7966
Email: jonesmiche@ninds.nih.gov 

Peer Review Contact(s)

Chief, Scientific Review Branch
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Telephone: (301) 496-9223
Email: nindsreview.nih.gov@mail.nih.gov 

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Maxine Davis-Vanlue
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Telephone: (301) 496-9231
Email: davisma@mail.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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