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 General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

Funding Opportunity Title

Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) (R25)

Activity Code

R25 Education Projects

Announcement Type

Reissue of PAR-13-196

Related Notices

  • NOT-OD-16-004 - NIH & AHRQ Announce Upcoming Changes to Policies, Instructions and Forms for 2016 Grant Applications (November 18, 2015)

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

PAR-16-118

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

Number of Applications

Only one application per institution is allowed, as defined in Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

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

93.859

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research education activities in the mission areas of the NIH.  The over-arching goal of this NIGMS R25 program is to support educational activities that enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce..

To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on research experiences and courses for skills development. Applicants should directly address how the set of activities will enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce by discussing 1) the rationale underlying the balance of effort and resources dedicated to each activity; 2) how the three activities integrate; and 3) objective indicators that can measure the effectiveness of the program.

Key Dates
Posted Date

March 4, 2016

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

April 24, 2016

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Application Due Date(s)

May 25, 2016; May 25, 2017; and May 25, 2018, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of 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)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

October-November, 2016; October-November, 2017; October-November, 2018

Advisory Council Review

January, 2017; January, 2018; January, 2019

Earliest Start Date

June 1, 2017

Expiration Date

May 26, 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 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 will not be reviewed

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 NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research educational activities that complement other formal training programs in the mission areas of the NIH Institutes and Centers. The over-arching goals of the NIH R25 program are to: (1) complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs; (2) enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce; (3) help recruit individuals with specific specialty or disciplinary backgrounds to research careers in biomedical, behavioral and clinical sciences; and (4) foster a better understanding of biomedical, behavioral and clinical research and its implications.

The over-arching goal of this  NIGMS  R25 program is to support educational activities enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce..        To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on:

  • Research Experiences: For example, for undergraduate students: to provide hands-on exposure to research, to reinforce their intent to graduate with a science degree, and/or to prepare them for graduate school admissions and/or careers in research; for graduate students: to provide research experiences and related training..  
  • Courses for Skills Development: For example, advanced courses in a specific discipline or research area, clinical procedures for research, or specialized research techniques.    

Purpose and Background

Every facet of the United States scientific research enterprise—from basic laboratory research to clinical and translational research to policy formation–requires superior intellect, creativity and a wide range of skill sets and viewpoints. NIH’s ability to help ensure that the nation remains a global leader in scientific discovery and innovation is dependent upon a pool of highly talented scientists from diverse backgrounds who will help to further NIH's mission.

Research shows that diverse teams working together and capitalizing on innovative ideas and distinct perspectives outperform homogenous teams. Scientists and trainees from diverse backgrounds and life experiences bring different perspectives, creativity, and individual enterprise to address complex scientific problems. There are many benefits that flow from a diverse NIH-supported scientific workforce, including: fostering scientific innovation, enhancing global competitiveness, contributing to robust learning environments, improving the quality of the researchers, advancing the likelihood that underserved or health disparity populations participate in, and benefit from health research, and enhancing public trust.

In spite of tremendous advancements in scientific research, information, educational and research opportunities are not equally available to all. This program encourages institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations and thus to enhance the participation of individuals currently underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences research enterprise, as described in NOT-OD-15-053.

The mission of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) is to support research that increases our understanding of life processes and lays the foundation for advances in disease, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.  To ensure the vitality and continued productivity of the research enterprise, NIGMS provides leadership in the areas of (a) training the next generation of scientists in basic and general biological and biomedical sciences, (b) enhancing the diversity of the scientific workforce, and (c) developing research capacities throughout the country. To accomplish these objectives, NIGMS supports a variety of capacity building and training programs with the ultimate goal of developing a diverse pool of well-trained scientists available to address the nation’s research needs.

NIGMS seeks to increase the number of individuals from groups underrepresented in the biomedical workforce by providing training opportunities during multiple training and career stages at varied institutions and educational settings across the country. By increasing the number of students from underrepresented groups pursuing advanced training in the biomedical sciences, NIGMS strives to ensure that the future generation of researchers draws from the entire pool of talented individuals, bringing different aptitudes, perspectives, creativity, and experiences to address complex scientific problems. Training and retaining a diverse workforce ensures that the nation remains a competitive global leader in discovery and innovation in biomedical research.

Need for the Program

Underrepresentation of certain groups in science, technology and engineering fields increases throughout the training stages. For example, students from certain racial and ethnic groups including, Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, currently comprise ~39% of the college age population (Census Bureau), but earn only ~17% of bachelor’s degrees and ~7% of the Ph.D.’s in the biological sciences (NSF, 2015). Active interventions are required to prevent the loss of talent at each level of educational advancement. For example, a report from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology recommended support of programs to retain underrepresented undergraduate science, technology, engineering and math students as a means to effectively build a diverse and competitive scientific workforce (PCAST Report, 2012).

Programmatic Approach

NIGMS provides leadership in supporting interventions at important stages throughout the educational process, including the RISE program. The RISE program provides institutions the resources to support and train underrepresented, STEM-oriented students, who upon completion of their undergraduate degree are likely to successfully complete a Ph.D. program in a biomedical science field relevant to the NIH.

The PCAST report provided evidence that financial concerns and a deficit of peers from similar backgrounds can erode self-confidence and the will to remain in STEM majors (PCAST Report, 2012). Supported students in the RISE program form a cohort of research-oriented students and are provided with programmatic activities, including authentic research experiences, academic enhancements, skills development, and mentoring - activities proven to increase persistence in STEM fields (cited in PCAST Report, 2012).

Research Experiences. The aim of the RISE program is to encourage and support research education and training in the biomedical sciences that will prepare students for research careers..The RISE Program supports the initiation of new academic developmental activities as well as the expansion, enhancement, and/or improvement of existing activities. Some institutions may choose to offer programs to improve preparation of undergraduate students for admission to research doctoral degree programs, others may concentrate on training graduate students to obtain their doctoral degrees and prepare for successful research careers, and still others may concentrate on both.

The RISE Program recognizes and values the heterogeneity in institutional settings and institutional missions. Within the context of the program and its specified activities, RISE applications must reflect the plans and priorities of participating institutions. Each application must conduct a comprehensive institutional self-assessment relative to its capacity to support students in their efforts to attain undergraduate and/or graduate degrees in the biomedical sciences. To that end, the self-assessment must provide baseline institutional data with respect to the number of students retained and graduating in the sciences relevant to biomedical research. In addition, the self-assessment must contain information pertaining to institutional mission and core themes, current institutional resources and capacity, and indicators of institutional effectiveness toward achieving its mission as it relates to the biomedical science disciplines.

Programs supported by a RISE grant must have a comprehensive research education plan; within the context of the program and its specified activities. While the format and design are up to the PD/PI, every application must include all of the activities specified at the start of the FOA. For example, the research experiences and courses for skills development may take a variety of forms, including technical skills workshops and supplemental instruction. Programs should provide students with outstanding mentoring and training in scientific skills such as written and oral presentation, as well as quantitative skills needed for the conduct of cutting-edge biomedical research.

Courses for Skills Development It is critical that students obtain a thorough understanding of experimental design, including the principles of experimental rigor through formal research education and training activities (see http://www.ninds.nih.gov/funding/transparency_in_reporting_guidance.pdf, http://www.nature.com/news/policy-nih-plans-to-enhance-reproducibility-1.14586, http://www.nih.gov/science/reproducibility/index.htm). Programs should provide students with broad exposure to experimental methodologies, as success in future biomedical science research is likely to depend upon a working knowledge of multiple methodological approaches to answering scientific questions. Programs are strongly encouraged to engage students in quantitative approaches to research, which may include quantitative problem-solving, an introduction to programming, exercises in quantitative analysis of experimental research, and/or other didactic or hands-on activities that will enhance student understanding of the value of quantitative approaches to answering scientific questions.

It is expected that the RISE Program will undergo regular evaluation, in order to promote innovation and progress, as well as to bring attention to any deficiencies that arise.

Although students may eventually decide that their interests lie in a non-research or research-related career, the PD/PI should limit appointments to individuals who, at this stage, are committed to a career in research as well as who are committed to obtaining a Ph.D. degree. Moreover, to the extent possible, and in the context of supporting the best students in the program, appointments should be consistent with student interest in the mission of NIGMS.  In order to improve retentention, programs are encouraged to provide students guidance regarding what is necessary to succeed as independent scientists, and discuss milestones, achievements and activities that promote success as independent scientists.

Goals or Outcomes

The overarching goal of the program is to significantly increase the number of students from underrepresented groups who successfully complete baccalaureate and Ph.D. biomedical degrees.  In doing so, the overarching expectation is that through its support of new and ongoing institutionally-designed student and faculty developmental programs, the RISE Program will help reduce the gap in the completion of Ph.D. degrees between UR and non-UR students in the biomedical sciences at the national level. At the institutional level, programs will provide educational experiences that enhance diversity in the context of their specific environment.  It t is expected that the following objectives will be achieved:

  • An increase in the overall number of UR students that complete a Ph.D. and continue biomedical research careers;
  • At least 50% of undergraduate (UG) and 75% of master’s RISE-supported students will enter into a Ph.D. program within three years after graduation; and
  • At least 80% of RISE-supported Ph.D. students will complete the degree.

Research education programs may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, but the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those training and education programs currently receiving Federal support. R25 programs may augment institutional research training programs (e.g., T32, T90) but cannot be used to replace or circumvent Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) programs.

See Section VIII. Other Information for award authorities and regulations.

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
Renewal
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

Application budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

Award Project Period

The maximum project period is five years.

Other Award Budget Information
Personnel Costs

Individuals designing, directing, and implementing the research education program may request salary and fringe benefits appropriate for the person months devoted to the program. Salaries requested may not exceed the levels commensurate with the institution's policy for similar positions and may not exceed the congressionally mandated cap. (If mentoring interactions and other activities with participants are considered a regular part of an individual's academic duties, then any costs associated with the mentoring and other interactions with participants are not allowable costs from grant funds).

Limited program-related administrative and clerical salary costs associated distinctly with the program that are not normally provided by the applicant organization may be direct charges to the grant only when they are in accordance with applicable cost principles.

Salary support for the PD/PI and collaborators (or combination of multiple PDs/PIs collaborators) is limited to up to 3.6 person months (i.e., 30% on a 12-month basis), depending on person months devoted to the administration of the program, and depending on size and scope of the program.

The total salary support for other administrative personnel (e.g., program administrator/program coordinator and/or program assistant) is limited to up to 6.0 person months (i.e., 50% on a 12-month basis), depending on person months devoted to the administration of the program, and depending on size and scope of the program.

Participant Costs

Participants are those individuals who benefit from the proposed activities and experiences involved in the research education program. Participant costs may be paid if specifically required for the proposed research education program and sufficiently justified. Participant costs must be itemized in the proposed budget. Allowable participant costs depend on the educational level/career status of the individuals to be selected to participate in the program.

Support is allowed for undergraduate (UG) (A.D./B.S./B.A.) and graduate (M.S./Ph.D.) students in the form of salary and wages. Stipends are not allowable for the RISE Program. Salary support is allowed for UG students’ active participation in student-development and research experiences supported by the program, as long as there is an employee-employer relationship between the student and the institution. The total compensation must be reasonable and commensurate with the institution’s support scale for the work performed provided the following criteria are met: (a) it is the institution’s practice to provide compensation for all students in similar circumstances regardless of the source of support for the activity, (b) the UG student is not supported for more than 15 hours per week during the academic year and not more than 40 hours/week during the summer, and (c) student participation in the specific developmental activity is not a curriculum requirement for graduation. A justification must be provided if the requested support for UG is more than $12 per hour. Support for students is not provided for time spent by the students passively participating in RISE-sponsored, non-research activities, i.e., group-learning activities, attendance at conferences, etc.

Graduate students may be supported on RISE funding usually up to two years if preparing for a M.S. degree and a total of five years (including any RISE funding for a M.S. degree) if preparing for a Ph.D. degree provided their progress towards the degree is satisfactory. Graduate students (both M.S. and Ph.D.) are allowed tuition remission as part of a compensation package.

M.S. students may receive salary support for up to 20 hours a week during the academic year and while they are fulfilling their course requirements, and 40 hours a week during the summer if no courses are being taken. Ph.D. students are allowed a salary compensation package that includes salary, fringe benefits, tuition and fees up to the maximum NIH-permitted annual graduate student support, which is NRSA level #0 for postdoctoral trainees, as indicated in the Graduate Student Compensation policy, located at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-017.html. (See NIH webpage for current figure http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsa.htm.) It is an expectation of NIGMS that those students who are enrolled in Ph.D. programs as part of the RISE program will be trained to compete successfully for support from other departmental, federal or non-federal graduate-training sources for which they are eligible, in order to complete their programs.

Program-supported students may not concurrently hold another federally sponsored stipend or fellowship, other federal award that duplicates RISE support, or supplemental salary support, e.g., from a mentor’s federal research grant. However, concurrent with RISE support, students may make use of federal educational loan funds and assistance under the Veterans Readjustment Benefits Act (G.I. Bill) or may receive funds from a Pell Grant, based on financial need. Such funds are not considered supplementation or compensation.

Other Program-Related Expenses

For new applications, institutions may request up to a maximum of $12,500/student participant for Other Program-Related Expenses. For renewal applications, institutions may request up to a maximum of $10,500/student participant for Other Program-Related Expenses.

Consultant costs, equipment, supplies, travel for key persons, and other program-related expenses may be included in the proposed budget. These expenses must be justified as specifically required by the proposed program and must not duplicate items generally available at the applicant institution.  Costs of student academic skills development workshops (e.g., problem-solving, communication, time management, and grant-writing) are allowed, but these costs must be reasonable and well justified. Costs of research supplies and participant travel to training or national scientific meetings are allowed. Travel expenses are also allowed for the program staff [program director(s) and program coordinator(s)] to attend one training or national scientific meeting per year and should be included in the budget.

In addition, limited program evaluation costs are allowed up to a maximum of $3,000 for the 5 year project period.

Indirect Costs

Indirect Costs (also known as Facilities & Administrative [F&A] Costs) are reimbursed at 8% of modified total direct costs (exclusive of tuition and fees and expenditures for equipment), rather than on the basis of a negotiated rate agreement.

NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made in response to this FOA.

Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants
Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

  • 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)

This funding opportunity announcement is open to all institutions of higher learning that:

1) award science degrees to undergraduate (B.S. or B.A.) and/or graduate students (M.S./Ph.D.);

and

2) have a historical mission statement that explicitly states that the institution was founded to educate students from any of the populations that have been identified as underrepresented in biomedical research as defined by the National Science Foundation NSF, see http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/) (i.e., African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, U.S. Pacific Islanders, and persons with disabilities), or

3)have a documented track record of recruiting, retaining, training, and graduating underrepresented students as defined by NSF (see above), which has resulted in the demonstrable outcome of increasing the institution's contribution to the national pool of graduates from underrepresented backgrounds who pursue biomedical research careers.

Applicant institutions must be located in the United States of America or its territories including Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa.

The sponsoring institution must assure support for the proposed program. Appropriate institutional commitment to the program includes the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned program.

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

Foreign Institutions

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

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

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

For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

The PD/PI should be an established full-time faculty member with a strong record in research, training, and teaching and capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program. The PD/PI will be expected to monitor and assess the program and submit all documents and reports as required.

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

Only one application per institution (normally identified by having a unique DUNS number or NIH IPF number) is allowed for the RISE Program.

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).
Program Faculty

Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as preceptors/mentors. Mentors should have research expertise and experience relevant to the proposed program. Mentors may be faculty members at the applicant institution or external faculty who participate in the proposed program. All mentors must be committed to continue their involvement throughout the total period of the mentee’s participation in this award.

Participants

The purpose of the RISE Program is to achieve greater participation in the biomedical and behavioral research enterprise of this country of students from UR groups.

A. Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see data at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/showpub.cfm?TopID=2&SubID=27) and the report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering). 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, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended. See NSF data at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/2013/pdf/tab7-5_updated_2014_10.pdf.

C. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, defined as:

1. Individuals who come from a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds. These thresholds are based on family size, published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census; adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index; and adjusted by the Secretary for use in all health professions programs. The Secretary periodically publishes these income levels at http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/index.shtml.

2. Individuals who come from an educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments that has demonstrably and directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career.

The disadvantaged background category (C1 and C2) is applicable to programs focused on high school and undergraduate candidates.

Literature shows that women from the above backgrounds (categories A, B, and C) face particular challenges at the graduate level and beyond in scientific fields. (See, e.g., Inside the Double Bind, A Synthesis of Empirical Research on Undergraduate and Graduate Women of Color in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics http://her.hepg.org/content/t022245n7x4752v2/fulltext.pdf).

It is the responsibility of the applicant institution to establish the qualifications of students prior to their selection for the RISE program.

To receive salary support from the RISE program, students must be a citizen or a noncitizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of appointment.

RISE participants must matriculate full-time at the applicant institution in sciences relevant to biomedicine. 

RISE participants are expected to be appointed to at least one consecutive 12-month appointment. On an annual basis, appointments for less than 12 months require prior written approval by NIGMS.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Requesting an Application Package

Applicants must obtain 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 will not be reviewed.

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 SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this FOA.

SF424(R&R) Cover

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. Include collaborating sites, if appropriate. If multiple sites are involved in the research education program, the applicant institution must be one of these sites for the program.

SF424 (R&R) Other Project Information Component

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

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

Project Summary/Abstract. Provide an abstract of the entire application. Include the objectives, rationale and design of the research education program, as well as key activities in the proposed plan. Indicate the planned duration of appointments, the projected number of RISE participants including their levels (i.e., undergraduate, graduate), and intended participant outcomes.

Other Attachments. An Advisory Committee is not a required component of a Research Education program.  However, an Advisory Committee is recommended as it can help with the development and implementation of program procedures and practices.  If an Advisory Committee is included, provide a plan for the appointment of an Advisory Committee to monitor progress of the research education program. The composition, roles, responsibilities, and desired expertise of committee members, frequency of committee meetings, and other relevant information should be included. Describe the role of the proposed Advisory Committee and how it will provide counsel to the PD/PI and to the chief executive of the institution in meeting the goals of the RISE program and the institution. Proposed Advisory Committee members should be named in the application if they have been invited to participate at the time the application is submitted.  Renewal applications with Advisory Committees should include the names of all committee members during the past project period.  Please name your file “Advisory_Committee.pdf”

Research Training Table 8D is a required component to provide data on undergraduate student outcomes. Please follow the Instructions to the Data Tables at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/datatables.htm.  Please name your file "Table 8D.pdf"

The filename provided for each “Other Attachment” will be the name used for the bookmark in the electronic application in eRA Commons.

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

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

Key Personnel must include the PD/PI (or multiple PDs/PIs, if applicable) and the program coordinator (if any) from the applicant institution, as well as any other key persons (such as those involved in developing, implementing, directing, monitoring, evaluating, etc., who are integral to the proposed research education program) participating in the research education program.

Provide the biographical sketches of the faculty members with past records in training and mentoring students, include their teaching and/or research achievements, and extramural research support. Also include a biographical sketch for the Program Coordinator.

R&R Budget

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

  • Include all personnel other than the PD(s)/PI(s) in the Other Personnel section, including clerical and administrative staff.
  • Travel: Include travel funds requested for senior/key persons associated with the research education program.
  • Participant/Trainee Support Costs: Include all allowable categories of funds requested to support participants in the research education program.  State the number of Participants/Trainees to be supported by the proposed research education program. RISE student salaries and fringe benefits should be listed under section B (Other Personnel). The allowable categories of participant support costs are summarized in Section IV.6 of this FOA.
PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

PHS 398 Research Plan Component

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

Specific Aims

Within the context of the program and its specified activities of research experiences and courses for skills development, RISE applications should reflect the plans and priorities of the participating institutions. Thus, each application must conduct a comprehensive institutional self-assessment relative to its capacity to support students in their efforts to attain undergraduate and/or graduate degrees in the biomedical sciences. The applicant institution must examine the findings of the institutional self-assessment and determine the area(s) most appropriate to target in their proposed research education plan. Based on this, applicant institutions must propose program specific aims tailored uniquely to these areas of emphasis that are also compatible with RISE Program goals and objectives. These specific aims should inform the design of a clear and well-structured institutional research education program with potential for significant institutional impact and contribution to the overall RISE goals.

The RISE Program recognizes and values the heterogeneity in institutional settings and institutional missions. Various strategies may be utilized to recruit UR individuals engaged in research via the RISE program.

Research Strategy

The Research Strategy section must be used to upload the Research Education Program Plan, which must include the following components described below:

  • Proposed Research Education Program
  • Program Director/Principal Investigator
  • Program Faculty
  • Program Participants
  • Institutional Environment and Commitment
  • Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Evaluation Plan
  • Dissemination Plan

Research Education Program Plan

Proposed Research Education Program. While the proposed research education program may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those research training and research education programs currently receiving federal support. When research training programs are on-going in the same department, the applicant organization should clearly distinguish between the activities in the proposed research education program and the research training supported by the training program.  

The applicant must:

(a) Address the overall goals and specific measurable objectives (including anticipated milestones defined as anticipated intermediate steps toward the objectives) that the institution expects to accomplish in preparing students to pursue/complete Ph.D. degrees in biomedical science research and in striving to achieve the RISE goals and expectations, including the identification of the unique needs of UR students;

(b) Provide programmatic detail on the proposed research experiences and courses for skills development; these activities must address the needs and requirements, as identified by the institutional self-assessment, of UR students who are enrolled full-time at the applicant institution and must be designed to improve their competitiveness for completion of the Ph.D. degree in biomedical sciences.

(c) Provide a brief rationale for, and a detailed description of the proposed research experiences and courses for skills development and the role of faculty/personnel involved. Describe how each activity will contribute toward realization of the specific aims. Give a brief account of the equipment, space, and other resources available to implement the activity. Briefly outline the proposed schedule. Discuss any perceived impediments to implementing the proposed activities and alternative strategies to achieve the specific aims.

Applications must demonstrate that participants will have meaningful research experiences in the laboratories or research groups of investigators who are actively engaged in biomedical research and who have peer-reviewed publications. This hands-on exposure to research can be during the academic year and/or summer. Proposed summer research experiences must be at least two consecutive months in duration.

NIGMS recognizes that some RISE-eligible institutions may not have enough active researchers with extramural funding to support on-campus research experiences. However, such institutions could create a biomedical interdisciplinary research training classroom/laboratory/course, as well as establish collaborative arrangements with research institutions that have a significant number of mentors with NIH or other extramural research support to have their students benefit from off-campus research experiences, especially during the summer. Thus, each RISE program is strongly encouraged to establish collaborations with institutions that have research-intensive environments (i.e., NIGMS IMSD and/or T32 institutions) in order to facilitate the networking and transition of RISE-supported students to T32 training programs, as well as to magnify the institutional impact of the program. Information about NIH training (T32) programs is available at: http://grants.nih.gov/training/T_Table.htm.

Proposed student development activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Research design courses to teach students how to design experimental approach to their investigations;
  • Pre-research student training (e.g., responsible conduct of research, ethics, safety training);
  • Collaborative learning experiences and group activities;
  • Research-based learning communities using interactive media and infusion of technology;
  • Development of research skills through problem-based group research courses;
  • Enhancement of technical scientific reading comprehension, time management and technical writing skills, and hands-on inquiry based activities;
  • Providing information on research careers and scientific seminars;
  • Presenting research skills workshops; and
  • Providing institutional biomedical research focused conferences and symposia

These activities may be offered to students enrolled full time during the academic year and/or in special summer sessions.

Applications must also address:

(d) The future impact of the proposed RISE program on the institutional demographics of both the student pool particularly with respect to improvement of student retention in biomedical science majors; and

(e) The overall number of UR students at the institution that complete degrees in biomedical sciences at the applicant institution, that matriculate in Ph.D. programs at institutions with research-intensive environments (as well as at the applicant institution, if applicable) and that continue competitive postdoctoral training and engage in productive research and research-related careers.          

Program Director/Principal Investigator. Describe arrangements for administration of the program.  Provide evidence that the Program Director/Principal Investigator is actively engaged in research and/or teaching in an area related to the mission of NIH, and can organize, administer, monitor, and evaluate the research education program. For programs proposing multiple PDs/PIs, describe the complementary and integrated expertise of the PDs/PIs; their leadership approach, and governance appropriate for the planned project. 

The application should also describe the organizational structure of the institutional administration, show how the PD/PI will interface with it, and describe how the proposed structure will allow the PD/PI to implement RISE program activities. The PD/PI assumes responsibility for the overall execution of the RISE program, and is typically responsible for the selection of students and the coordination and implementation of developmental education and mentoring activities. The PD/PI is the principal contact with NIGMS at the institution and prepares and submits, in a timely manner, the required reports, e.g., annual progress reports, changes in program activities if any, etc. The PD/PI is responsible for monitoring the progress of individual program elements and the overall functioning of the RISE Program.

Program Faculty. Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as program faculty. Faculty should have research expertise and experience relevant to the proposed program and demonstrate a history of, or the potential for, their intended roles. 

Applicants should describe the criteria for the selection of participating faculty.       

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

Applicants should state student selection qualifications in the application. To receive salary support from the RISE program, students must be a citizen or a noncitizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of appointment.

Applicants must include a description of the potential applicant pool based on the selection and retention criteria established for the proposed RISE program, in the body of the text (within the 25-page limit). These data can be provided in the suggested table format shown in Table 2 (Cumulative Institutional Baseline Data). Applicants requesting support for a graduate component (M.S. and/or Ph.D.) must also include an applicant outreach and recruitment plan listing the institutions that will be providing the potential RISE participants.

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

Provide a brief description of the following to address the Institutional Commitment:

  • A commitment by the senior leadership highlighting the historical mission of the applicant institution in relation to research training and education, and success of students;
  • A plan for institutionalization of RISE-supported activities (e.g., new/updated courses and supplemental instruction, RISE Program website, development and implementation of RISE-supported workshops, etc.) within a reasonable time period but no later than two years after the activity is initiated; and
  • Evidence of support for the proposed institutionalization plan from the department chair(s), dean(s) of the college(s), and/or other relevant members of the institution's central administration.

Include in the description of institutional environment the following:

  • Biomedical science-related disciplines in which bachelor’s and graduate (if any) degree programs are offered, the relevant curricula, and general degree requirements; and
  • Current student development and research-training programs at the applicant institution following the format for Current and Pending Support; and
  • Counseling/mentoring services (funded by the institution and by sponsoring entities) available at the applicant institution, and their successes in preparing and graduating UR students.
  • A justification must be included for sites other than the applicant institution in the program narrative.

Applicants must include data on their institutional environment including: (1) the cumulative institutional baseline of UR and non-UR student enrollment and graduation in RISE-relevant departments, and current graduation outcomes in these disciplines, (2) the number of UR and non-UR faculty for the current year in the RISE-relevant departments of biology, chemistry and physics, and (3) institutional graduation data for each academic level offered at the applicant instiution covering the past five years. 

Applicants are encouraged to use the suggested table formats below to provide these required data on institutional environment:

Table 1. Current Status of the Undergraduate and/or Graduate Biomedical Science-Related Academic Program

Table 2. Cumulative Institutional Baseline Data

Table 3. Institutional Faculty Data

Table 4A. Institutional Undergraduate Graduation Data (4B, Master's; 4C, Ph.D.)

Applications that do not include these data (using the suggested table format or this information in a similar, clearly presented format) in the body of the text will not be reviewed.

Renewal applications with more than one previous funding cycle must also provide a progress report on the past three consecutive funding cycles. In the report, state the original and specific measurable objectives, anticipated milestones and outcomes, as well as a summary of the accomplishments of the RISE program. The progress report must include a list of program-supported undergraduate and graduate participants.

Applicant institutions are encouraged to use Tables 5A and 5Bto provide the following data on student outcomes:

  • The number of the RISE-supported students;
  • The number of RISE-supported students that participated in academic and summer research experiences;
  • The status of RISE-supported students (number who graduated, remain in the RISE program, or withdrew from the RISE program);
  • The number of RISE-supported students who graduated with undergraduate degrees in biomedical-related disciplines and pursued advanced degrees;
  • The number of RISE-supported students who matriculated into Ph.D. programs in biomedical sciences (at the applicant institution or elsewhere); and
  • The status of RISE-supported students who entered Ph.D. programs (number who completed graduate training, remain in graduate training, or withdrew from graduate training).

Describe the progress made in improving outcomes for students (with attention to the unique needs of UR students), such as, but not limited to, persistence in the major, increase in overall GPA, and increased progression to a Ph.D. program or, where relevant, postdoctoral appointment. Describe what has been learned through the program evaluation and any changes made in the program as a result of the evaluation.

Vision and Anticipated Value of the Proposed RISE Program to the Applicant Institution (Subcomponent of Institutional Environment and Commitment)

The applicant should describe briefly the following:

  • Institutional self-assessment(s) that led to identification of areas selected for improvement and the rationale for incorporating particular developmental activities into the proposed RISE program;
  • How the proposed developmental activities would enable students (with attention to the unique needs of UR students) to transition from the baccalaureate to successfully complete the Ph.D. degree program in biomedical sciences;
  • How the proposed RISE program will be integrated into any of the existing academic/student development programs, and how this program will collaborate with or complement other externally and institutionally funded student training and educational programs; and
  • The potential overall impact of the proposed RISE program on the institution's capacity to prepare and graduate students for biomedical research careers.

Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity:

New applications must include a description of plans to enhance recruitment, including the strategies that will be used to enhance the recruitment of trainees from underrepresented backgrounds and may wish to include data in support of past accomplishments.

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

  • Individuals who applied for admission to the research education program,
  • Individuals who were offered admission to the research education program,
  • Individuals who participated in the research education program. 

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

Applications lacking a diversity recruitment and retention plan will not be reviewed.

Plan for Instruction 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 program faculty 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. The plan should be appropriate and reasonable for the nature and duration of the proposed program. Renewal (Type 2) applications must, in addition, describe any changes in formal instruction over the past project period and plans to address any weaknesses in the current instruction plan. All participating faculty who served as course directors, speakers, lecturers, and/or discussion leaders during the past project period must be named in the application.

Applications lacking a plan for instruction in responsible conduct of research will not be reviewed.

Evaluation Plan. Applications must include a plan for evaluating the activities supported by the award.  The application must specify baseline metrics (e.g., numbers, educational levels, and demographic characteristics of participants), as well as measures to gauge the short or long-term success of the research education award in achieving its objectives. Wherever appropriate, applicants are encouraged to obtain feedback from participants to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for improvements. Refer to Section VI, 4 (Evaluation).

Dissemination Plan. A specific plan must be provided to disseminate nationally any findings resulting from or materials developed under the auspices of the research education program, e.g., sharing course curricula and related materials via web postings, presentations at scientific meetings, workshops.

Letters of Support

A letter of institutional commitment must be attached as part of Letters of Support (see section above:”Institutional Environment and Commitment.

Resource Sharing Plans

Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans  as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following Guide, with the following modification:

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

  • Software source code should be freely available to biomedical researchers and educators in the non-profit sector, such as institutions of education, research institutions, and government laboratories. Users should be permitted to modify the code and share their modifications with others.
  • The terms of software availability should permit the commercialization of enhanced or customized versions of the software, or incorporation of the software or pieces of it into other software packages.
  • To preserve utility to the community, the software should be transferable such that another individual or team can continue development in the event that the original investigators are unwilling or unable to do so.

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

Not Applicable

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report

Not Applicable

3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

See Part 1. Section III.1 for information regarding the requirement for obtaining a unique entity identifier and for completing and maintaining active registrations in System for Award Management (SAM), NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code (if applicable), eRA Commons, and Grants.gov

4. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates and times. 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. When a submission date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.

Organizations must submit applications to 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. NIH and Grants.gov systems check the application against many of the application instructions upon submission. Errors must be corrected and a changed/corrected application must be submitted to Grants.gov on or before the application due date and time.  If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late. Add Applications that miss the due date and time are subjected to the NIH Policy on Late Application Submission.

 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.

5. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

6. 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.

7. 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. For assistance with application submission, contact the Application Submission Contacts in Section VII.

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
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, behavioral, and clinical research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

For this particular announcement, note the following: The goal of this R25 program is to support educational activities that increase the number of students from underrepresented groups who complete the Ph.D. degree.  RISE provides grants to institutions with significant student populations from underrepresented groups. These programs may include undergraduate-, M.S.- or Ph.D.-level students.

Overall Impact

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to strongly advance research education by fulfilling the goal of this R25 Education Program, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria, as applicable for the project proposed.

Scored Review Criteria

Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact.

Significance

Does the proposed program address a key audience and an important aspect or important need in research education? Is there convincing evidence in the application that the proposed program will significantly advance the stated goal of the program? In what ways will the proposed program produce a significant improvement in the academic preparation and competitiveness of students for successful completion of Ph.D. degree programs? If the aims/objectives of the program are achieved, what effect will they have on the number of well-prepared UR students, and on the UR graduation rate in the participating department(s), college(s), and institution? If the aims of the application are achieved, will the proposed RISE program significantly improve the institutional baseline number of UR students that advance to the next academic step?

Investigator(s)

Is the PD/PI capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program? Is there evidence that an appropriate level of effort will be devoted by the program leadership to ensure the program's intended goal is accomplished? If applicable, is there evidence that the participating faculty have experience in mentoring students and teaching science? If applicable, are the faculty good role models for the participants by nature of their scientific accomplishments? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?  

Innovation

Taking into consideration the nature of the proposed research education program, does the applicant make a strong case for this program effectively reaching an audience in need of the program’s offerings? Where appropriate, is the proposed program developing or utilizing innovative approaches and latest best practices to improve the knowledge and/or skills of the intended audience?   

Approach

Does the proposed program clearly state its goals and objectives, including the educational level of the audience to be reached, the content to be conveyed, and the intended outcome?  Is there evidence that the program is based on a sound rationale, as well as sound educational concepts and principles? Is the plan for evaluation sound and likely to provide information on the effectiveness of the program?  If the proposed program will recruit participants, are the planned recruitment, retention, and follow-up (if applicable) activities adequate to ensure a highly qualified participant pool?  Is there evidence that the proposed program design is based on the findings from the institutional self-assessment? Does the proposed program adequately address the specific needs of the applicant institution as determined by the institutional self-assessment? 

Environment

Will the scientific and educational environment of the proposed program contribute to its intended goals? Is there a plan to take advantage of this environment to enhance the educational value of the program? Is there tangible evidence of institutional commitment? Is there evidence that the faculty have sufficient institutional support to create a sound educational environment for the participants?  Where appropriate, is there evidence of collaboration and buy-in among participating programs, departments, and institutions?  

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 criteria: (1) description of proposed procedures involving animals, including species, strains, ages, sex, and total number to be used; (2) justifications for the use of animals versus alternative models and for the appropriateness of the species proposed; (3) interventions to minimize discomfort, distress, pain and injury; and (4) justification for euthanasia method if NOT consistent with the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals. Reviewers will assess the use of chimpanzees as they would any other application proposing the use of vertebrate animals. 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

For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the last three funding periods, as applicable, and the success of the program in attracting and retaining individuals from diverse populations, including populations underrepresented in biomedical and clinical research on a national basis. Specifically, the committee will consider:

1) the achievement of the program's stated objectives with regard to increasing the number of UR students who enter into and successfully complete Ph.D. degrees in biomedically relevant fields;

2) the institutional impact of the program as demonstrated by changes in institutional baseline numbers; and

3) institutionalization of RISE-supported activities that have proven successful in preparing UR students to pursue graduate degrees in biomedical sciences.

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.

Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity

Not Applicable

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

Taking into account the specific characteristics of the proposed research education program, the level of participant experience, 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 program faculty 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. The review panel’s evaluation will be included in the summary statement. Plans will be rated as acceptable or unacceptable, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable

Select Agent Research

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

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) 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 NIGMS, 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 on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the NIGMS Advisory Council. 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.  
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. Refer to Part 1 for dates for peer review, advisory council review, and earliest start date. 

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.

Recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS must administer their programs in compliance with federal civil rights law. This means that recipients of HHS funds must ensure equal access to their programs without regard to a person’s race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, sex and religion. This includes ensuring your programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency.  HHS recognizes that research projects are often limited in scope for many reasons that are nondiscriminatory, such as the principal investigator’s scientific interest, funding limitations, recruitment requirements, and other considerations. Thus, criteria in research protocols that target or exclude certain populations are warranted where nondiscriminatory justifications establish that such criteria are appropriate with respect to the health or safety of the subjects, the scientific study design, or the purpose of the research.

For additional guidance regarding how the provisions apply to NIH grant programs, please contact the Scientific/Research Contact that is identified in Section VII under Agency Contacts of this FOA. HHS provides general guidance to recipients of FFA on meeting their legal obligation to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to their programs by persons with limited English proficiency. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/resources/laws/revisedlep.html. The HHS Office for Civil Rights also provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/section1557/index.html; and http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/index.html. Recipients of FFA also have specific legal obligations for serving qualified individuals with disabilities. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/disability/index.html. Please contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights for more information about obligations and prohibitions under federal civil rights laws at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/office/about/rgn-hqaddresses.html or call 1-800-368-1019 or TDD 1-800-537-7697. Also note it is an HHS Departmental goal to ensure access to quality, culturally competent care, including long-term services and supports, for vulnerable populations. For further guidance on providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services, recipients should review the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care at http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=2&lvlid=53.

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually. Continuation support will not be provided until the required forms are submitted and accepted. Programs that involve participants should report on education in the responsible conduct of research and complete a Training Diversity Report, in accordance with the RPPR Instruction Guide.  

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later.  All awardees of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000.  See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement. 

Failure by the grantee institution to submit required forms in a timely, complete, and accurate manner may result in an expenditure disallowance or a delay in any continuation funding for the award.

Other Reporting Requirements
  • The institution must submit a completed Statement of Appointment (PHS Form 2271) for each participant appointed full time for eight weeks or more or the equivalent. Grantees must submit the PHS 2271 data electronically using the xTrain system. More information on xTrain is available at xTrain (eRA Commons). An appointment or reappointment may begin any time during the budget period, but not before the budget period start date of the grant year.
  • Participant Termination Notice: Within 30 days of the end of the total support period for each participant, the institution must submit a Termination Notice (PHS Form 416-7) via xTrain for each participant appointed full time for eight weeks or more, or the equivalent.

A final progress report 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.

4. Evaluation

In carrying out its stewardship of human resource-related programs, the NIH or its Institutes and Centers will periodically evaluate their R25 research education programs, employing the measures identified below.  In assessing the effectiveness of its research education investments, NIH may request information from databases, PD/PIs, and from participants themselves.  Where necessary, PD/PIs and participants may be contacted after the completion of a research education experience for periodic updates on participants’ subsequent educational or employment history and professional activities.

Upon the completion of a program evaluation, NIH and its ICs will determine whether to (a) continue a program as currently configured, (b) continue a program with modifications, or (c) discontinue a program.

In evaluating this research education program NIGMS expects to use the following evaluation measures:

  • Aggregate number and demographic characteristics of participants
  • Educational level of participants
  • Content
  • Participants’ feedback on the program
  • New knowledge or skills acquired

For Programs Involving the Following Groups:

Undergraduate Students:

  • Subsequent educational/career progress, including:
    Successful completion of an undergraduate degree in a STEM field
    Enrollment in an advanced degree program in a STEM field

Graduate Students:

  • Subsequent educational/career progress of participants, including:
    Successful completion of a STEM graduate program
    Subsequent participation in a formal research training or career development program in a STEM field
    Subsequent participation in research
    Subsequent employment in a research or research-related field
    Subsequent authorship of scientific publications in a STEM field
    Subsequent independent research grant support from NIH or another source

Postdoctorates and Early Career Investigators: 

  • Subsequent educational/career progress of participants, including: 
    Subsequent participation in research
    Subsequent employment in a research or research-related field
    Subsequent authorship of scientific publications in a STEM field
    Subsequent independent research grant support from NIH or another source    
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)
Finding Help Online: http://grants.nih.gov/support/ (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)

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)

Alexandra Ainsztein, Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Telephone: 301-594-0828
Email: ainsztea@nigms.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Helen R. Sunshine, Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Telephone: 301-594-2881
Email: sunshinh@nigms.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Lori Burge
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Telephone: 301-451-3781
Email: burgel@nigms.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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