Department of Health and Human Services
Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

Fogarty International Center (FIC)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Funding Opportunity Title

International Research Scientist Development Award (IRSDA) (K01)

Activity Code

K01 Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training

Announcement Type

Reissue of PAR-13-072

Related Notices
  • December 22, 2015 - Notice of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Participation in PAR-15-291. See Notice NOT-CA-16-002.
  • NOT-OD-16-004 - NIH & AHRQ Announce Upcoming Changes to Policies, Instructions and Forms for 2016 Grant Applications (November 18, 2015)
  • NOT-OD-16-006 - Simplification of the Vertebrate Animals Section of NIH Grant Applications and Contract Proposals (November 18, 2015)
  • NOT-OD-16-012 - Implementing Rigor and Transparency in NIH & AHRQ Career Development Award Applications (November 18, 2015)
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

PAR-15-291

Companion Funding Opportunity

PAR-15-292, K43 International Research Career Development Award

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

93.989, 93.398

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of the International Research Scientist Development Award (IRSDA) is to provide support and protected time (three to five years) to advanced postdoctoral U.S. research scientists and recently-appointed U.S. junior faculty (at least two years beyond conferral of doctoral degree) for an intensive, mentored research career development experience in a low- or middle-income country (LMIC) leading to an independently funded research career focused on global health. FIC invites applications from early-career investigators from any health related discipline who propose career development activities and a research project that is relevant to the health priorities of the LMIC.

Key Dates
Posted Date

July 7, 2015

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

February 2, 2016

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Application Due Date(s)

March 2, 2016; March 2, 2017; March 7, 2018, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on these dates.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

March 2, 2016; March 2, 2017; March 7, 2018 by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of AIDS and AIDS-related applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on these dates.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.

Scientific Merit Review

July 2016; July 2017; July 2018

Advisory Council Review

October 2016; October 2017; October 2018

Earliest Start Date

December 2016; December 2017; December 2018

Expiration Date

March 8, 2018

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, includingSupplemental 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.

There are several options to submit your application to the agency through Grants.gov. You can use the ASSIST system to prepare, submit and track your application online. You can download an application package from Grants.gov, complete the forms offline, submit the completed forms to Grants.gov and track your application in eRA Commons. Or, you can use other institutional system-to-system solutions to prepare and submit your application to Grants.gov and track your application in eRA Commons. Learn more.

Problems accessing or using ASSIST should be directed to the eRA Service Desk.
Problems downloading forms should be directed to Grants.gov Customer Support.
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. In addition to this opportunity, NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) support a variety of other mentored career development programs designed to foster the transition of new investigators to research independence. These other programs may be more suitable for particular candidates.  NIH also supports non-mentored career development programs for independent investigators. More information about Career programs may be found at the NIH Extramural Training Mechanisms website. Many of the other research training and career development programs supported by other NIH Institutes and Centers, including mentored career development awards, support global health research and international career development activities for U.S. scientists.

Opportunities to advance global health research careers are central to building a robust global health workforce, yet it remains a challenge for researchers to establish independent international research careers given the requisite time spent away from their home institutions. Prolonged field experience is critical for global health research and for establishing sustained research partnerships, but gaining this field experience can be difficult for junior faculty, who are balancing administrative and teaching requirements, or individuals in standard postdoctoral positions. The International Research Scientist Development Award (IRSDA) program addresses this need and fills an important global health career development gap. The IRSDA program provides opportunities to conduct mentored global health research in LMIC settings and foster long term research collaborations that strengthen global health research.

The objective of the IRSDA program is to prepare qualified advanced postdoctoral research scientists and recently-appointed junior faculty (at least two years beyond conferral of doctoral degree including PhD, MD, DO, DC, ND, DDS, DMD, DVM, ScD, DNS, PharmD or equivalent doctoral degrees) for research careers that will have a significant impact on the health-related research needs of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The award will provide salary and research project support for a sustained period of “protected time” (three to five years) for intensive research career development, under the guidance of experienced U.S.-based and LMIC-based mentors, in any health-related discipline that is relevant to the health priorities of the LMIC.

Awardees must spend a minimum of 50% of the cumulative effort over the project period (all years) physically in-country conducting collaborative research at the LMIC institution. In addition, in any given year of the award, the recipient must spend a minimum of three months in the LMIC (see In-country requirment under Eligible Individuals in Section III). Awardees are expected to gain increased capabilities in collaborative research (i.e. team science) skills in low-resource settings, advanced research methodology,  analysis and data management, research administrative skills, responsible conduct of research, scientific presentation, publication and grants writing. The expectation is that through this sustained period of research career development, awardees will launch independent global health research careers, continue to collaborate with LMIC scientists on research that addresses the health needs of their countries, and become competitive for new research project grant (e.g., R01) funding. The IRSDA is responsive to the FIC Strategic Plan to build research capacity through individuals, institutions and networks by building future research leaders in the U.S. and in LMICs.

Candidates are encouraged to review answers to frequently asked questions about the IRSDA K01 program at IRSDA FAQs, which will be updated on a regular basis.

Individuals who are unable to meet the requirement to spend a minimum of 50% of the cumulative effort over the total project period (all years) physically in the LMIC are encouraged to consider other NIH career development awards (see K Kiosk), many of which support global health research in LMICs.

Individuals from LMICs (individuals who are not U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals or permanent residents) are not eligible for the IRSDA but may apply for PAR-15-292 Fogarty Emerging Global Leader Award(K43).

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

Grant: A support mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity.

Application Types Allowed

New
Resubmission

The OER Glossary and the SF424 (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.

Award Budget

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

Award Project Period

The total project period should be a minimum of 3 years and may not exceed 5 years.

Other Award Budget Information
Salary

NIH will contribute up to $ 75,000  per year toward the salary of the career award recipient.  

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. If full-time, 12-month salaries are not currently paid to comparable staff members, the salary proposed must be appropriately related to the existing salary structure.  Confirmation of salary may be required prior to the issuance of an award.  Fringe benefits, based on the applicant institution’s rate and the percent of effort, are provided in addition to salary.

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. The total salary may not exceed the legislatively mandated salary cap.  See: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/salcap_summary.htm.

Other Program-Related Expenses

NIH will contribute $30,000  per year toward the research 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.

Research development costs include, but are not limited to, supplies, equipment, technical personnel, non-degree related tuition or registration fees for activities related to the proposed career development plan, fees for statistical and computational services, and travel to research sites, research meetings, or training, as detailed in Section IV.

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

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

  • Public/State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education
  • Private Institutions of Higher Education

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

    • Hispanic-serving Institutions
    • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
    • Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)
    • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions
    • Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)  
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 allowed.

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.

  • Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) - All registrations require that applicants be issued a DUNS number. After obtaining a DUNS number, applicants can begin both SAM and eRA Commons registrations. The same DUNS number must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly CCR) – Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
  • eRA Commons - Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the eRA Commons registration. Organizations can register with the eRA Commons as they are working through their SAM or Grants.gov registration. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • Grants.gov – Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s))

All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account.  PD(s)/PI(s) should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate their existing account with the applicant organization in eRA Commons. If the PD/PI is also the organizational Signing Official, they must have two distinct eRA Commons accounts, one for each role. Obtaining an eRA Commons account can take up to 2 weeks.

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 mentors (one U.S.-based and one LMIC-based) 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 PDs/PIs are not allowed.

By the time of award, the individual must be a citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., possess a currently valid Permanent Resident Card USCIS Form I-551, or other legal verification of such status.

Current and former PDs/PIs supported by major NIH research grants, grants from the U.S. Government, or grants from other funding organizations are not eligible. This includes NIH research project (R01, R03, R34), program project (P01), center grants (P50), sub-projects of program project (P01), sub-projects of center grants (P50), research training grants (D43), resources grants (R24), and research education grants (R25), exploratory/developmental grants (R21), and SBIR/STTR grants (R41, R42, R43, R44), or the equivalent. Recipients of other NIH individual career development awards (K–awards), or the equivalent are not eligible. Individuals supported by institutional K awards (K12 or KL2) remain eligible but cannot exceed 6 years of combined institutional K plus individual K01 funding. A candidate for this award may not concurrently apply for or have an award pending for any other NIH career development award.

Candidates for this award must have a research or health-professional doctoral degree (including PhD, MD, DO, DC, ND, DDS, DMD, DVM, ScD, DNS, PharmD or equivalent doctoral degrees) received at least two years prior to the application deadline and have research experience beyond his/her doctoral training.

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.

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time.  This means that the NIH will not accept:

  • A new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping new (A0) or resubmission (A1) application.
  • A resubmission (A1) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of the previous new (A0) application.
  • An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see NOT-OD-11-101).

Candidates may submit research project grant (RPG) applications concurrently with the K application. However, any concurrent RPG application may not have substantial scientific and/or budgetary overlap with the career award application. K award recipients are encouraged to obtain funding from NIH or other U.S. governement sources either as a PD/PI on a competing research grant award or cooperative agreement, or as project leader on a competing multi-project award as described in NOT-OD-08-065.

Level of Effort

At the time of award, the candidate must have a “full-time” appointment at the academic institution. Candidates are required to commit a minimum of 75% of full-time professional effort (i.e., a minimum of 9 person-months) to their career development and research training. Candidates may engage in other duties as part of the remaining 25% of their full-time professional effort not covered by this award, as long as such duties do not interfere with or detract from the proposed career development program.

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 FIC program officer prior to preparing an application to discuss their eligibility. Under certain circumstances, an awardee may submit a written request to the FIC 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

In-country requirement: Awardees must spend a minimum of 50% of their cumulative effort over the total project period (all years) physically in-country conducting research at the LMIC institution. In addition, in any given year of the award, awardees must spend a minimum of three months conducting research in the LMIC. For example, a candidate with 75% effort on a 5-year K01 must spend 22.5 months at the LMIC institution. 

Mentors

Before submitting the application, the candidate must identify a primary mentor at the U.S. applicant institution and a primary mentor at the collaborating LMIC institution who are accomplished investigators in the research area proposed and have experience in successful development of independent investigators.  Together, the two primary mentors will supervise the proposed career development and research experience. The primary LMIC mentor should not be a U.S. citizen who holds a joint appointment at the LMIC institution. The primary mentors should be active investigators in the area of the proposed research and committed both to the career development of the candidate and direct supervision of the candidate’s research. The primary mentors must document the availability of sufficient research support and facilities for the candidate's research. Candidates are encouraged to identify additional co-mentors to form a mentoring team, if this is deemed advantageous for providing expert advice in all aspects of the research career development plan. The candidate must work with all mentors (primary and co-mentors) in preparing the application. The mentors should describe in detail successful track records of mentoring individuals at the candidate’s career stage.

Institutional Environment

The U.S. and LMIC institutions where the proposed research will be conducted must have strong, well-established records of research and career development activities and faculty qualified in biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research to serve as mentors..

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, including Supplemental Grant Application Instructions 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.

Page Limitations

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

Instructions for Application Submission

The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this FOA.

SF424(R&R) Cover

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Instructions to the SF424 (R&R) for Preparing an Individual Research Career Development Award (CDA) Application (“K” Series), must be followed.   

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Instructions to the SF424 (R&R) for Preparing an Individual Research Career Development Award (CDA) Application (“K” Series), must be followed  , with the following additional instructions:

Include the applicant institution and all of the collaborating institutions, both U.S. and LMIC, as performance sites.

Other Project Information

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Instructions to the SF424 (R&R) for Preparing an Individual Research Career Development Award (CDA) Application (“K” Series), must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Does this project involve activities outside of the United States or partnerships with international collaborators?: Check YES and list the foreign countries for all of the performance sites listed in the SF 424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations Form.

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile Expanded

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Instructions to the SF424 (R&R) for Preparing an Individual Research Career Development Award (CDA) Application (“K” Series), must be followed. 

R&R Budget

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Instructions to the SF424 (R&R) for Preparing an Individual Research Career Development Award (CDA) Application (“K” Series), must be followed with the following additional instructions:

Applicants should identify specific expenses such as: (a) non-degree related tuition or registration fees for specific PI career development activities; (b) research expenses such as supplies, equipment and technical personnel; (c) statistical and computational services, including technical personnel and computer time; (d) mentor and grantee communication costs; and (e) PD/PI travel and per diem expenses to field research sites, collaborating institutions, research or networking meetings, or research skills workshops or courses in the appropriate budget for category.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Instructions to the SF424 (R&R) for Preparing an Individual Research Career Development Award (CDA) Application (“K” Series), must be followed.

PHS 398 Career Development Award Supplemental Form

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Instructions to the SF424 (R&R) for Preparing an Individual Research Career Development Award (CDA) Application (“K” Series), must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Candidate Information

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

Candidate’s Background

  • Describe the candidate's commitment to a global health-related research career.
  • Describe prior training and research experience beyond doctoral training and how it relates to the objectives and long-term global health research career plans of the candidate.
  • Provide evidence of the candidate's potential to develop into a successful independent global health researcher (such as lead authorship of and/or significant contribution to research publications in peer-reviewed journals, presentations at international meetings, prior research interests and experience, research fellowships, and letters of reference).
  • Describe all the candidate's professional responsibilities at the grantee institution and elsewhere and show the relation of these responsibilities to the proposed activities on the career development award.
    • For junior faculty, describe how this award will relieve the candidate of current duties so that a greater portion of the candidate’s effort (at least 9 person-months, equivalent to 75% full-time professional effort) may be devoted to research and related career development activities.
    • For postdocs, describe how the award would provide additional research and career development opportunities beyond the standard postdoctoral experience. 

Career Goals and Objectives

  • Describe the candidate’s career goals and the specific objectives to reach each goal under this award, indicating linkages to prior experience and current research support.
  • Explain how the career development award will contribute to career goals, and further the candidate’s global health research career.

Candidate’s Plan for Career Development

  • Describe a systematic plan: (1) that shows a logical progression from prior research and training experiences to the research and career development activities proposed; (2) that justifies the need for further research career development to become an independent researcher; and (3) utilizes the relevant field, clinical, research and educational resources of the U.S. and LMIC institutions. The candidate and the mentors are jointly responsible for the preparation of the career development plan. The plan should include a description of the primary mentors, any secondary co-mentors, and any collaborators, contributors or consultants, as appropriate for the research and career development of the candidate.
  • Provide a detailed description of the career development activities, including plans to obtain the necessary research skills and experience to launch an independent global health research career. The description of the career development plan should include items such as advanced level courses, seminars, and opportunities for collaboration and interaction with other scientists, especially in the proposed LMIC. Training in career skills such as grant-writing and making effective scientific presentations, is strongly encouraged.  The career development plan must be tailored to the needs of the individual candidate and the ultimate goal of achieving independence as a researcher.
  • Describe a career develeopment plan that will maximize use of U.S. and LMIC research institutional environments, including available facilities and resources.
  • Describe the professional responsibilities/activities including other research projects beyond the minimum required 9 person-months (75% full-time professional effort) commitment to the career award.  Explain how these responsibilities/activities will help ensure career progression to achieve independence as an investigator.
  • Describe how the candidate plans to fulfill the requirement that he/she spend at least 50% of  cumulative effort over the total project period (all years) physically in-country conducting research at the LMIC site AND in any given year of the grant, the candidate will meet the requirement to spend a minimum of three months in the LMIC. A timeline outlining time in country is strongly recommended.
  • Describe plans for outreach and dissemination of research findings. This may include sharing findings with primary, secondary and undergraduate students in the LMIC and in the U.S., and presenting results in formats useful to teachers, scientists and engineers, health professionals, policy makers, and the general public.

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

  • All applications must include a plan to fulfill NIH requirements for instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).
  • The plan must address the five, required instructional components outlined in the NIH policy: 1) Format - the required format of instruction, i.e., face-to-face lectures, coursework, and/or real-time discussion groups (a plan with only on-line instruction is not acceptable); 2) Subject Matter - the breadth of subject matter, e.g., conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, research ethics; 3) Faculty Participation - the role of the mentor(s) and other faculty involvement in the instruction; 4) Duration of Instruction - the number of contact hours of instruction, taking into consideration the duration of the program; and 5) Frequency of Instruction –instruction must occur during each career stage and at least once every four years. See also NOT-OD-10-019.
  • Applications lacking a Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research will not be reviewed.

Statements and Letters of Support

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Instructions to the SF424 (R&R) for Preparing an Individual Research Career Development Award (CDA) Application (“K” Series), must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Plans and Statements of Primary Mentors and Co-mentor(s)

  • Signed letters from primary mentors and co-mentors are expected to provide an assessment of the candidate’s qualifications and potential for an independent global health research career, describe the career development plan for the candidate (coordinated with the candidate's research strategy), and explain how they mentors will participate in this plan. Mentor letters should describe their relevant research expertise in the proposed applicant research area and document a record of success in training and placing independent investigators.
  • The mentors should be recognized as accomplished investigators in the proposed research area.
  • Together, the mentors should provide evidence of sufficient independent research support to cover the costs of the proposed research project in excess of the allowable costs of this award.  Each mentor statement should describe the research support, if any, that will be contributed to the proposed candidate research project.
  • Mentor statements should clearly describe how they will coordinate mentoring of the candidate with other proposed mentors, both primary and secondary co-mentors.
  • Mentor statements should describe the mechanism(s) and frequency of communication with the candidate, including the frequency of face to face meetings.
  • Mentor statements should describe a plan for career progression for the candidate to move from the mentored stage of his/her career to independent research investigator status during the project period of the award; and a plan for monitoring the candidate’s research, publications, and progression towards independence.
  • Both primary mentors (U.S. and LMIC) must agree to provide annual evaluations of the candidate’s progress as required in the annual progress report.

Letters of Support from Collaborators, Contributors and Consultants

  • Signed statements must be provided by all additional collaborators and/or consultants confirming their participation in the project and describing their specific roles. Collaborators and consultants generally do not need to provide their biographical sketches. However, information should be provided clearly documenting the appropriate expertise in the proposed areas of consulting/collaboration. Collaborators/consultants are generally not directly involved in the development of the career of the candidate as an independent investigator.
  • The LMIC Institutional Commitment letter should also be submitted, following page limit requirements for this section.
  • All letters should be combined and submitted as a single PDF.

Environmental and Institutional Commitment to the Candidate

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Instructions to the SF424 (R&R) for Preparing an Individual Research Career Development Award (CDA) Application (“K” Series), must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Description of Institutional Environment

  • Both the applicant U.S. institution and the LMIC institution must provide descriptions of the scientific environment, resources, and facilities that will be available to the candidate.
  • The U.S. and LMIC institutions must document a strong, well-established research and career development programs related to the candidate's area of interest, and key faculty members and other investigators capable of productive collaboration with the candidate.

Institutional Commitment to the Candidate’s Research Career Development

  • Both the applicant U.S. institution and the LMIC institution must provide statements of commitment to the candidate's development into a productive, independent global health investigator and to meeting the requirements of this award. It should be clear that the institutional commitment to the candidate is not contingent upon receipt of this career development award.
  • The applicant U.S. institution must provide assurance that the candidate will be able to devote a minimum of 9 person-months (75% of full-time professional effort) to the development of their research program. The remaining effort should be devoted to activities related to the development of the candidate’s career as an independent scientist, e.g. clinic responsibilities, teaching and administration, and/or additional research activities.
  • Provide assurance that the candidate will be able to spend at least 50% of the cumulative effort over the project period at the LMIC site, conducting research and career development activities.
  • Provide assurance that the candidate will have appropriate office and laboratory space, equipment, and other resources and facilities (including access to clinical and/or other research populations) to carry out the proposed research plan.
  • Provide assurance that appropriate time and support will be available for any proposed mentor(s) and/or other staff consistent with the career development plan.
  • The LMIC Institutional Commitment letter should be submitted via "Letters of Support from Collaborators, Contributors, and Consultants", following page limit requirements. The U.S. Institutional Commitment letter should be submitted as directed in Supplemental Instructions to the SF424 (R&R) for Preparing an Individual Research Career Development Award.

Research Plan

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Instructions to the SF424 (R&R) for Preparing an Individual Research Career Development Award (CDA) Application (“K” Series), must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Research Strategy

  • Applicants may propose research in any global health related discipline.
  • A sound global health research project that addresses an area of scientific importance to the LMIC and is consistent with the candidate’s level of research development and objectives of his/her career development plan must be provided. The research description should demonstrate the quality of the candidate’s research capabilities thus far, and the proposed research question, design and methodology should be novel, scientifically significant and creative in approach.
  • Applicants should provide a detailed explanation of the relevance of the proposed research to the health priorities of the LMIC.
  • The application must also describe the relationship between the mentors' research and the candidate’s proposed research plan. Although the research strategy may be related to the research activities of the mentors, it should not be a duplication of the mentors' research.
  • Applicants are encouraged to propose research related to ongoing NIH and U.S. government supported research initiatives in the LMIC.

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.

Planned Enrollment Report

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Planned Enrollment Reports as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report 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 NOT-OD-11-079). 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 applications before the due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission.

Organizations must submit applications to Grants.gov (the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies) using ASSIST or other electronic submission systems. 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 before the due date 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 SF424 (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. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Guidelines for Applicants Experiencing System Issues.

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 SF424(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 System for Award Management (SAM). 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 and compliance with application instructions by the Center for Scientific Review, NIH. Applications that are incomplete or non-compliant will not be reviewed.

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in NOT-OD-13-030.

Section V. Application Review Information

Important Update: See NOT-OD-16-012 and NOT-OD-16-006 for updated review language for applications for due dates on or after January 25, 2016.

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 that the proposed career development and research plan will enhance the candidate’s potential for a productive, independent scientific research career in a health-related field, taking into consideration the criteria below in determining the overall impact 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
  • Does the candidate have the potential to develop as an independent and productive global health researcher addressing scientifically significant topics that reflect the health priorities of the LMIC?
  • Are the candidate's prior training and research experience appropriate for this award?
  • Is the candidate’s academic, clinical (if relevant), and research record of high quality?
  • Is there evidence of the candidate’s commitment to meeting the program objectives to become an independent global health researcher?
  • Do the letters of reference address the above review criteria, and do they provide evidence that the candidate has a high potential for becoming an independent global health investigator?
  • Does the candidate have the research experience and skills needed to carry out the proposed research?
  • Does the candidate justify the need for three to five years of mentored research experience in order to become an independent scientist?
Career Development Plan
  • What is the likelihood that the plan will contribute substantially to the scientific development of the candidate, leading to research independence?
  • Are the content, scope, phasing, and duration of the career development plan appropriate when considered in the context of prior training/research experience and the stated training and research objectives for achieving research independence?
  • Are there adequate plans for mentors to monitor and evaluate the candidate’s research and career development progress?
  • Does the career development plan demonstrate a clear commitment to a global health research career in LMIC settings?
Research Plan
  • Are the proposed research question, design, and methodology novel, scientifically significant, creative, and of technical merit?
  • Is the research plan relevant to the candidate’s research career objectives?
  • Is the research plan appropriate to the candidate's stage of research development and as a vehicle for developing the research skills described in the career development plan?
  • If applicable, are there adequate plans for data and safety monitoring of clinical trials?
  • Does the research plan address an area of health priority and scientific importance to the LMIC?
  • Primary Mentors, Co-Mentor(s), Consultant(s), Collaborator(s)
  • Are the primary U.S. mentor's and the primary LMIC mentor's research qualifications in the area of the proposed research appropriate?
  • Do the primary mentors and any co-mentors adequately address the candidate’s potential and his/her strengths and areas needing improvement?
  • Is there adequate description of the quality and extent of the primary U.S. mentor’s and the primary LMIC mentor's proposed role in providing guidance and advice to the candidate?
  • Are the mentor’s descriptions of the elements of the research career development activities, including formal course work, adequate?
  • Is there evidence of the mentors', consultant’s, and/or collaborator’s previous experience in fostering the development of independent researchers in the LMIC proposed?
  • Is there evidence of previous research productivity and peer-reviewed support?
  • Is active/pending support relevant to the candidate's proposed research project appropriate and adequate?
  • Are there adequate plans for monitoring and evaluating the career development awardee’s progress toward independence?
  • If a Mentoring Team is proposed, are the qualifications of the members,  the quality of the planned roles for advice, and scheduled meeting frequency of the Mentoring Team with the candidate adequate
Environment & Institutional Commitment to the Candidate
  • Is there clear commitment of the applicant U.S. institution to ensure that a minimum of 9 person-months (75% of the candidate’s full-time professional effort) will be devoted directly to the research and career development activities described in the application, with the remaining percent effort being devoted to an appropriate balance of research, teaching, administrative, and clinical responsibilities?
  • Are the institutional commitments (U.S. and LMIC) to the career development of the candidate and for the mentors appropriately strong?
  • Are the research facilities, resources and training opportunities at the U.S. and LMIC institutions, including faculty capable of productive collaboration with the candidate adequate and appropriate?
  • Is the environment for scientific and professional development of the candidate of high quality?
  • Is there assurance that the institution intends the candidate to be an integral part of its research 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 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 Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

When the proposed project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of children to determine if it is  justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed. For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.

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 score.

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

All applications for support under this FOA must include a plan to fulfill NIH requirements for instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).  Taking into account the level of experience of the applicant, including any prior instruction or participation in RCR as appropriate for the applicant’s career stage, the reviewers will evaluate the adequacy of the proposed RCR training in relation to the following five required components: 1) Format - the required format of instruction, i.e., face-to-face lectures, coursework, and/or real-time discussion groups (a plan with only on-line instruction is not acceptable); 2) Subject Matter - the breadth of subject matter, e.g., conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, research ethics; 3) Faculty Participation - the role of the mentor(s) and other faculty involvement in the fellow’s instruction; 4) Duration of Instruction - the number of contact hours of instruction (at least eight contact hours are required); and 5) Frequency of Instruction –instruction must occur during each career stage and at least once 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. See also: NOT-OD-10-019.

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)/ Genomic Data Sharing Plan.

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 CSR, in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

  • May undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific and technical merit (generally the top half of applications under review) will be discussed and assigned an overall impact score.
  • Will receive a written critique.

Applications will be assigned 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 FIC Advisory Board. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

  • Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by scientific peer review.
  • Availability of funds.
  • Relevance of the proposed project to program priorities.
  • Geographic balance considerations.
  • Relevance to the interests of co-funding organizations.
  • Potential to contribute to other NIH and U.S. government supported research initiatives in LMICs.
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 terms and conditions found on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.  This includes any recent legislation and policy applicable to awards that is highlighted on this 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. More specifically, for K Awards, visit the Research Career Development (“K”) Awardees section of the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The Supplemental Instructions for Individual Career Development (K) RPPRs must be followed. Both primary (U.S. and LMIC) mentors' reports must include an annual evaluation statement of the candidate’s progress. The awardee must provide a statement of amount of time at the LMIC site (annual and cumulative) in each year's progress report.

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.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

eRA Service Desk (Questions regarding ASSIST, eRA Commons registration, submitting and tracking an application, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, post submission issues)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)
Finding Help Online: http://grants.nih.gov/support/index.html
Email: commons@od.nih.gov

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission, downloading forms and application packages)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726
Web ticketing system: https://grants-portal.psc.gov/ContactUs.aspx
Email: support@grants.gov

GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and process, finding NIH grant resources)
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-435-0714

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Christine Jessup, Ph.D.
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
Telephone: 301-496-1653
Email: Christine.Jessup@nih.gov

For inquiries related to the career development aspects, contact:
Susan Lim, PhD
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-5630 
Email: lims@mail.nih.gov

For inquiries related to research aspects, contact:
Shannon Silkensen, PhD
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-5810
Email: shannon.silkensen@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Hilary D. Sigmon, Ph.D.
Center for Scientific Review (CSR)
Telephone: 301-357-9236
Email: hilary.sigmon@nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Mollie Shea
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
Telephone: 301-496-9750
Email: Mollie.Shea@.nih.gov

Sean Hine
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-6291
Email: hines@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 Part 75.  

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