Part I Overview Information

Department of Health and Human Services

Participating Organizations
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (http://www.nih.gov)

Components of Participating Organizations
NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research (http://neuroscienceblueprint.nih.gov)
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM/NIH), (http://www.nccam.nih.gov)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR/NIH), (http://www.ncrr.nih.gov)
National Eye Institute (NEI/NIH), (http://www.nei.nih.gov)
National Institute on Aging (NIA/NIH), (http://www.nia.nih.gov)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA/NIH), (http://www.niaaa.nih.gov)
National Institute on Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB/NIH), (http://www.nibib.nih.gov)
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD/NIH), (http://www.nichd.nih.gov)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD/NIH), (http://www.nidcd.nih.gov)
National Institute on Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR/NIH), (http://www.nidcr.nih.gov)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA/NIH), (http://www.nida.nih.gov)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS/NIH), (http://www.niehs.nih.gov)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS/NIH), (http://www.nigms.nih.gov)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH/NIH), (http://www.nimh.nih.gov)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS/NIH), (http://www.ninds.nih.gov)
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR/NIH), (http://www.ninr.nih.gov)
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBBSSR), (http://obssr.od.nih.gov)

Title: Training in Neuroimaging: Integrating First Principles and Applications (T90) 

Announcement Type
New

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

Request For Applications (RFA) Number: RFA-DA-06-011

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number(s)
93.213, 93.389, 93.867, 93.866, 93.273, 93.286, 93.865, 93.173, 93.121, 93.279, 93.894, 93.859, 93.242, 93.853, 93.361

Key Dates
Release Date: December 23, 2005
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): February 13, 2006
Application Receipt Dates(s): March 13, 2006
Peer Review Date(s): May/June 2006
Council Review Date(s): September 2006
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: September 2006
Additional Information To Be Available Date (Url Activation Date): Not applicable.
Expiration Date: March 14, 2006

Due Dates for E.O. 12372
Not Applicable

Additional Overview Content

Executive Summary Table of Contents

Part I Overview Information

Part II Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
  1. Research Objectives

Section II. Award Information
  1. Mechanism(s) of Support
  2. Funds Available

Section III. Eligibility Information
  1. Eligible Applicants
    A. Eligible Institutions
    B. Eligible Individuals
  2.Cost Sharing or Matching
  3. Other - Special Eligibility Criteria

Section IV. Application and Submission Information
  1. Address to Request Application Information
  2. Content and Form of Application Submission
  3. Submission Dates and Times
    A. Receipt and Review and Anticipated Start Dates
      1. Letter of Intent
    B. Sending an Application to the NIH
    C. Application Processing
  4. Intergovernmental Review
  5. Funding Restrictions
  6. Other Submission Requirements

Section V. Application Review Information
  1. Criteria
  2. Review and Selection Process
    A. Additional Review Criteria
    B. Additional Review Considerations
    C. Sharing Research Data
    D. Sharing Research Resources
  3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Section VI. Award Administration Information
  1. Award Notices
  2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
  3. Reporting

Section VII. Agency Contact(s)
  1. Scientific/Research Contact(s)
  2. Peer Review Contact(s)
  3. Financial/ Grants Management Contact(s)

Section VIII. Other Information - Required Federal Citations

Part II - Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

1. Research Objectives

 Background

Diseases of the nervous system pose a significant public health and economic challenge, affecting nearly one in three Americans at some point in their life, with a cost exceeding $500 billion per year. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Blueprint for Neuroscience Research (http://neuroscienceblueprint.nih.gov/) is a collaborative and coordinated effort across 16 Institutes and Centers that supports research on the nervous system to accelerate the pace of discovery in neuroscience research. The ultimate goal of the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research is to translate this new understanding into clinical interventions that will reduce the public health burden of nervous system disorders, help to promote mental health, and maintain a healthy nervous system across the lifespan.  Over the past decade, driven by the emerging science, the NIH Institutes and Centers with an interest in neuroscience have increasingly joined forces through initiatives and through working groups on specific disorders. By pooling resources and expertise, the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research can take advantage of economies of scale, confront challenges too large for any single Institute or Center, and develop research tools and infrastructure that will serve the entire neuroscience community.

Neuroimaging has revolutionized our ability to understand how the brain functions, providing more types of information about the intact, functioning brain—from molecules to behavior and in both healthy and diseased states.  Imaging technologies available to researchers continue to advance as do their sensitivity and their sophistication.  Imaging technologies have considerable potential for increasing our understanding of the structure and function of the nervous system.  Exploiting this potential requires scientists trained in the different underpinnings of this approach, including physics, chemistry, mathematical, computational and statistical sciences, as well as fundamental and clinical neuroscience.  Truly interdisciplinary training programs in neuroscience imaging are needed to enable the neuroscience community to accelerate the pace of fundamental discoveries and to translate these discoveries into clinical interventions that will reduce the burden of nervous system disorders.  

Program Objective

The goals of NIH supported research training and research education programs are to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly training scientists is available in adequate numbers and in appropriate scientific areas to address the Nation’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs.

This funding opportunity will enable the development of novel, interdisciplinary training programs that integrate comprehensive training in basic neuroscience, the physical and biological bases of neuroimaging, the technologies of in vivo neuroimaging, and the application of these technologies to understanding questions in neuroscience across the life span. Development of such novel, interdisciplinary training programs in vivo will further address contemporary issues in neuroscience.  The goal of these training programs is to train the next generation of neuroimaging researchers who understand the underlying principles and the technologies of neuroimaging as well as their application to experimental questions in neuroscience. To realize this goal, it is imperative to recruit and expose students early in their careers to the ways in which their interests can be applied to questions in neuroscience through the mathematical, physical, and chemical principles of neuroimaging. Training programs are required to interface trainees from the quantitative, engineering, and physical/chemical sciences with trainees from biomedical/biological disciplines in the same integrated training program. 

Pre-doctoral Research Training Program [T90 (required)/R90 (optional)]

The pre-doctoral institutional training program component will provide:

The pre-doctoral research training component must include an institutional pre-doctoral program for full-time research training to support graduate students enrolled in a relevant doctoral degree program. The pre-doctoral research training component must include NRSA trainees and may also include non-NRSA pre-doctoral students (see Section III for eligibility). The NRSA component will support research training experiences for up to two full-time pre-doctoral trainees in years 1 and 2 of the program and up to four trainees in years 3-5. Only NRSA pre-doctoral positions may be requested and supported as part of this component. Whereas in years 1 and 2 of the pre-doctoral research training component, a maximum of one non-NRSA pre-doctoral student may be appointed to the training program and in years 3 - 5, a maximum of two non-NRSA pre-doctoral students may be appointed.

Trainees must have the opportunity to carry out supervised research training in neuroimaging.   Part of such supervised research training in neuroimaging may consist of collaborative arrangements through the NIH Intramural Graduate Partnership Program for short-tem rotations in NIH intramural laboratories (see below). The primary objective of this program must be to develop the students’ research skills and knowledge in preparation for a research career in neuroimaging. Trainees must commit full-time effort, normally defined as 40 hours per week or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies, to the program and its related research activities.

Collaborative training partnerships in neuroimaging between extramural institutions and the intramural laboratories of the NIH are encouraged. The intramural laboratories of the NIH have a wide range of neuroimaging capabilities that may strengthen the integrated research training/education program proposed by an applicant institution. Opportunities available in intramural laboratories may complement the strengths of an applicant institution in neuroimaging. Collaborative training partnerships would likely consist of rotations in NIH intramural investigators. The Training coordinator would need to coordinate and arrange for student training rotations through the NIH Intramural Graduate Partnership Program.  The website of the Graduate Partnership program lists NIH intramural neuroscience imaging investigators, their research interests and initial contact information (http://gpp.nih.gov).  Longer term collaborative relationships, where trainees pursue their thesis or dissertation research in NIH intramural laboratories, would not be supported under this T90 program, but could be arranged through other programs offered by the NIH Intramural Graduate Partnership Program.  

Short-term Research Education Component (R90) [required] 

In addition to pre-doctoral training, there is a clear need for short-term research education/training opportunities for scientists at all stages of the career continuum who are interested in incorporating neuroimaging in their research program. Therefore, each training program will be required to develop and implement short-term research education opportunities in one or more aspects of neuroimaging and/or in the application of imaging to experimental neuroscience that would serve to enhance the knowledge of current neuroimaging researchers across the career continuum. The focus of these courses/workshops would depend on the strengths of neuroimaging at the home institution.  Examples of such course would include, teaching of fundamentals of the imaging technologies, an introduction to a new imaging technology or method of data interpretation and analysis, or clinical applications of neuroimaging. The duration of short-term research education programs may range from two weeks to a full summer and must be appropriately justified.

Such short-term education opportunities may be directed at any levels of career development, including but not limited to: undergraduate student, medical/graduate student, postdoctoral fellow, medical resident, and/or independent scientist.  Short-term research education programs could be offered to a broad audience (undergraduate and pre-doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty) or they could target a specific cadre of scientists. Of particular interest would be short-term programs that target the recruitment and training of investigators and students in the physical, mathematical, computational, and engineering sciences to give them background and knowledge in the fundamentals of neuroscience so they may become active participants in the design and execution of neuroimaging experiments. Conversely, a short-term course could focus on exposing participants with backgrounds in neuroscience to the physical and chemical principles and technology underlying neuroimaging.  Another example would be summer programs that target undergraduate students potentially interested in pursuing graduate training in neuroimaging. 

While participation in the Short-term Research Education Component (R90) may be considered part of the pre-doctoral training program students, participants need not be enrolled at, or employed by, the applicant institution to participate in these short-term opportunities.  Unlike the pre-doctoral program (T90), however, rotations in NIH intramural laboratories would not be allowed as part of the Short-term Research Education Component (R90).

Applicants will submit a single, unified grant application.  If selected for funding, two separate awards may be issued. One will support a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award institutional pre-doctoral training program as a T90 award, and the other will support a research education program (short-term research education component and NRSA-ineligible pre-doctoral students) as an R90 award. 

See Section VIII, Other Information - Required Federal Citations, for policies related to this announcement.

Section II. Award Information

1. Mechanism(s) of Support

This funding opportunity will use the T90 mechanism that includes linked research education and research training programs. Applicants will submit a single unified grant application and if selected for funding, two separate awards will be issued: 1] an R90 Research education award and 2] a T90 Research training award, based on distinct research education and research training-related funding authorities. 

As an applicant, you will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project.

This funding opportunity uses the just-in-time concepts. It also used the non-modular budget format described in the PHS 398 application instructions (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html). 

For this combined program, two separate detailed categorical budgets for the “Initial Budget Period” and three separate budgets for the “Entire Proposed Period of Support” may be required to be submitted with the application.  Budgets are to be included for the: Research Education Component which must include the Pre-doctoral NRSA Research Training Component, Short-Term Research Education Program and non-NRSA Pre-doctoral Research Training Component (if applicable), and a Summary Budget for all requested direct costs.

2. Funds Available  

Because the nature and scope of the proposed research education and research training program will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary. Although the financial plans of the IC(s) provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this funding opportunity are contingent upon the availability of funds and the receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications. Continuation of this pilot program beyond the initial five year period will be contingent upon the availability of funds and the priorities of the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research.

Allowable Costs

Allowable costs must be consistent with NIH policy and be reasonable, allocable, well documented and fully justified for the program proposed in the application. Grant funds may not be used to supplant funds otherwise available at the applicant institution.

Allowable costs differ for the different components of programs submitted in response this funding opportunity.

Short-Term Research Education Program (R90)

In all years of the program, no more than $100,000 may be used for curriculum development, including funds to defray the cost of attendance and enrollment of course participants from outside the grantee institution (see below) and, for years 2-5, planned dissemination costs. It is expected that the grantee organization will contribute in-kind costs associated with these programs, such as classroom or laboratory space; the applicant must identify and describe such planned contributions in the application.

1.  Personnel

Individuals participating in the design and implementation of the research education program may request salary and fringe benefits appropriate for the percent of effort 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, including the Principal Investigator’s (i.e., Program Director) salary. However, if mentoring interactions and other activities with students are considered a regular part of an individual's academic duties, then mentoring and other activities with students are non-reimbursable from grant funds. Limited 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 specifically identified and justified. All personnel costs (including the Program Director, faculty leadership team and administrative and clerical costs) associated with directing, coordinating, and administering the program should not exceed 10% of the total direct cost of the overall program budget.

2.  Other Program-Related Expenses

Consultant costs, equipment, supplies, travel, and other program-related expenses must be justified as specifically required by the proposed research education program and must not duplicate items generally available at the applicant institution.

3.  Participant Support Costs

Because this is an educational program, non-US citizens may participate in this program. However, unless strongly justified on the basis of exceptional relevance to the objectives of this Program, the research education program component should be used primarily for the education of US citizens and permanent residents. Participants in the short-term education program may receive a subsistence allowance, including partial costs of meals and lodging unless such costs are furnished as part of the registration fee. Participants may also receive funds to defray partial tuition, other education-related, and travel expenses. Expenses for foreign travel must be exceptionally well justified. Funds will not be provided for fringe benefits or health insurance for participants in any research education program. Individuals supported by NIH training and career development mechanisms (K, T, or F awards) may receive, and indeed are encouraged to receive, educational experiences supported by the program, as participants, but may not receive salary or stipend supplementation from this program.

Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs

F&A costs for the applicant organization and consortium participants are limited to 8 percent of modified total direct costs, or at the actual F&A cost rate, whichever is less.

F&A costs requested by consortium participants are not included in the direct costs limitation, see NOT-OD-05-004.

Pre-doctoral Research Training Program

A.  NRSA Institutional Pre-doctoral Training Component (T90)

All regulations and policies governing NRSA awards must be followed.  Detailed information regarding NRSA policies and procedures can be found in the NIH Grants Policy Statement at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm.

The NRSA component will support research training experiences for up to two full-time pre-doctoral trainees in years 1 and 2 of the program and up to four trainees in years 3-5. Only NRSA pre-doctoral positions may be requested and supported as part of this component (see Section III Eligibility). Trainees will normally be selected by the Program Director for 12-month appointment periods with support for additional years based on satisfactory progress and the continued availability of funds.

Allowable costs for each pre-doctoral trainee for a 12-month appointment period include:

1. Stipend:  A stipend is provided as a subsistence allowance to help trainees defray living expenses during the research training experience. It is not provided as a condition of employment with either the Federal Government or the awardee institution. Stipends must be paid to all trainees at the levels approved by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. The NIH will provide stipends for each pre-doctoral trainee position selected for the pre-doctoral research training component according to the appropriate fiscal year pre-doctoral NRSA stipend schedule. Stipend levels are adjusted periodically. The current NRSA stipend schedule can be found on the NIH Web site at: http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsa.htm. The total stipend must be based on a 12-month appointment. No departure from the established stipend schedule may be negotiated by the institution with the trainee. The grantee institution is allowed to provide funds to an individual in addition to the stipends paid. Such funds may be provided either in the form of stipend supplementation from non-federal funds, or in the form of compensation such as salary or tuition remission for services provided by the trainee such as teaching or serving as a laboratory assistant. Under no circumstances may the conditions of stipend supplementation or the services provided for compensation interfere with, detract from, or prolong the trainee's approved NRSA training program.

Stipend Supplementation: Supplementation or additional support to offset the cost of living may be provided by the grantee institution. Supplementation does not require additional effort from the trainee. DHHS funds may not be used for supplementation under any circumstances.  Additionally, no funds from other Federal agencies may be used for supplementation unless specifically authorized by the NIH and the other Federal agency.   

Compensation:  An institution may provide additional funds to a trainee in the form of compensation (as salary and/or tuition remission) for services performed outside of the responsibilities of the full-time NRSA-supported training such as teaching or serving as a research assistant. A trainee may receive compensation for services as a research assistant or in some other position on a Federal research grant, including a DHHS research grant.  However, compensated services should occur on a limited, part-time basis apart from the normal full-time research training activities.  In addition, compensation may not be paid from a research grant that supports the same research that is part of the trainee’s planned training experience as approved in the institutional training grant application.

A full description of the NIH policy regarding NRSA supplementation and compensation can be found in the NIH Grants Policy Statement at: http://grants1.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm

Educational Loans or G.I. Bill:  An individual may make use of Federal educational loan funds and assistance under the Veterans Readjustment Benefits Act (G.I. Bill). Such funds are not considered supplementation or compensation.

2. Tuition, Fees, and Health Insurance

The NIH will offset the combined costs of tuition, fees and health insurance (either self-only or family as appropriate) at the rate in place at time of the award. The rate currently provides  100% of all costs up to $3,000 and 60% of costs in excess of $3,000 per trainee. Costs associated with this category are allowable only if they are required for specific courses as part of the approved research training program and are applied consistently to all persons in a similar research training status at the institution regardless of the source of support. A full description of the NIH tuition policy is in the NIH Grants Policy Statement and on the NIH website at: http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsaguidelines/nrsa_toc.htm.

3. Trainee Travel

Trainee travel to attend scientific meetings and workshops that the institution determines to be necessary for the individual’s research training experience is an allowable trainee expense.  This RFA will allow up to $750 annually for travel to meetings and workshops for each pre-doctoral trainee.  Additional travel funds may be requested if the training program proposes to provide research rotations for pre-doctoral trainees in the intramural laboratories at the NIH.  Up to $600 may be requested for travel (i.e., transportation costs) to the NIH for each trainee expected to rotate in an intramural laboratory.

4. Training-Related Expenses

Institutional costs of $2,200 a year per pre-doctoral trainee may be requested to help defray the costs of other research training-related expenses, such as staff salaries, consultant costs, equipment, research supplies, and travel expenses for the training faculty. Under exceptional circumstances, which can include providing accommodations for a trainee with disabilities, it is possible to request institutional costs above the standard rate. Requests for additional trainee costs must be explained in detail and carefully justified in the application. Training-related expenses may be adjusted in future fiscal years.

5. Facilities and Administrative Costs

A facilities and administrative allowance (indirect cost allowance) based on a maximum of 8 percent of total modified direct costs (this excludes amounts for tuition, fees, health insurance, and equipment) may be requested.  See NRSA Policy Guidelines on the NIH Web site at: http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm

B.  Non-NRSA Institutional Pre-doctoral Training Component (R90)

Allowable costs for this component should be entered on the R90 budget pages of the application. This component will support research training experiences for up to one full-time non-NRSA pre-doctoral trainee in years 1 and 2 of the program, and up to two trainees in years 3-5. See Section III Eligibility to determine eligible pre-doctoral trainees who may be included in this component.  Non-NRSA pre-doctoral students may be compensated following the NIH policy of Graduate Student Compensation. The amount provided for compensation includes salaries or wages, fringe benefits and tuition remission.  See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-017.html for further guidance about compensation of graduate students on research grants.

Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs for the applicant organization and consortium participants are limited to 8 percent of modified total direct costs, or the actual F&A rate, whichever is less.

Facilities and administrative costs requested by consortium participants are not included in the direct cost limitation, see NOT-OD-05-004.

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

1.A. Eligible Institutions

You may submit (an) application(s) if your organization has any of the following characteristics:

Foreign institutions are not eligible to apply as the applicant organization or as a consortium organization. 

A single institution may lack strengths in all areas needed to mount an integrated research training and research education program. This funding opportunity allows the participation of multiple sites.  When multiple sites are involved, the applicant institution must be the primary site, and the application must include a resource format page for each site as described in the PHS 398 application.

An eligible institution (e.g. a university) may submit only a single application in response to this funding opportunity.  For the purposes of this RFA, components of a large or multi-component organization that are sufficiently independent to constitute, in effect, separate organizations are considered separate institutions.  For example, the multiple campuses of the University of California system are considered separate institutions.  However, the medical school, engineering school, or dental school, etc., of a university, even if on different campuses, constitute a single institution.  Multiple applications from different divisions, faculties, schools, centers, etc. at the same institution will not be reviewed. 

The applicant institution must have strong research and graduate training programs in the neurosciences.  If applicant institutions with a currently active pre-doctoral institutional training grant (e.g., T32 or T90) in neuroimaging, an active research education grant (R25) that supports a short course or workshop in neuroimaging, and/or a neuroimaging center (e.g., U54) with an educational component apply in response to this funding opportunity, then the new application is expected to expand significantly and substantively upon the current program(s). 

1.B. Eligible Individuals

Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research is invited to work with their institution 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 programs.

The Program Director will be responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed interdisciplinary research training and research education program.  This individual should be an established researcher with acknowledged accomplishments in neuroimaging research and in neuroscience training, and should be capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed integrated program.   The Program Director will be responsible for the selection and appointment of trainees to the institutional training program component and for the selection of participants in the research education program component.     

A faculty leadership team may facilitate the development of the proposed integrated research training and education program and help increase involvement of faculty with diverse expertise in this effort.  The members of the faculty team are together likely to provide the breadth of expertise and leadership needed to develop and implement the proposed integrated program.  For example, the leadership team might consist of a basic neuroscientist, a physical or chemical scientist, and an imaging scientist (e.g., radiologist) who each contribute their respective expertise to the proposed interdisciplinary program in neuroimaging.  Each member of the faculty leadership team must be willing to commit a minimum of 5% of their full-time professional effort to the development and implementation of the program for the entire period of the award.  Personnel costs for the extramural faculty leadership team, including the Program Director, are limited to 10% of the annual total direct costs of the integrated program.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

Cost sharing is not required.   

The most current Grants Policy Statement can be found at: http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm#matching_or_cost_sharing.

3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria

Applications must follow the supplementary instructions provided in Section IV.6.

Responsiveness Criteria

An applicant institution may only submit one application in response to this funding opportunity.  Multiple applications from different divisions, faculties, schools, centers, etc. at the same institution will not be reviewed.  

To be considered responsive to this RFA, applications from institutions with a currently active training program (including, but not limited to, the T32, T90, and U54) or research education program (R25) in neuroimaging, or with a significant neuroimaging component, must significantly and substantively expand upon the existing program at the applicant institution and must address any relationship to and/or impact on existing institutional programs. .  

Applications proposing only an institutional pre-doctoral training program or only a research education program will not be reviewed. Because this funding opportunity only supports pre-doctoral trainees as part of the institutional training program, applications requesting support for both pre-doctoral and postdoctoral trainees in the institutional training program component will be deemed unresponsive and will be returned to the applicant without review.  Postdoctoral trainees are, however, eligible to participate in short-term research education programs as part of the R90 award.

Applications lacking a dissemination plan, an evaluation and tracking plan, plans for an external advisory committee, or a description of institutional commitment to the program will not be reviewed. 

Applicants proposing collaborative training with NIH Intramural investigators must describe the intended level of interaction with NIH Intramural Programs, and justify the use of specific facilities and research methods at the NIH Intramural Program to expand the student’s range of training.  The application must include a letter from the NIH Intramural Graduate Partnership Program (GPP) that confirms the applicant’s participation in the Graduate Partnership Program (See Section VII for contact information); applications that do not include this required letter from the GPP will not be reviewed.

Short-Term Research Education Program (R90)

Individuals at any of the following stages of the career continuum (undergraduate student, medical/graduate student, postdoctoral fellow, medical resident, and/or independent scientist) may participate in the research education component of the integrated program if that is how this program component is conceived by the training program director. Because this is an educational program, non-US citizens may also participate in this program. However, unless strongly justified on the basis of exceptional relevance to the objectives of the Program, the research education program component should be used primarily for the education of US citizens and permanent residents. Such justification would, for example, apply to the participation of non-NRSA trainees appointed to the institution’s pre-doctoral research training program component.

Pre-doctoral Research Training Program (T90/R90)

This funding opportunity will permit the appointment of both NRSA and non-NRSA pre-doctoral trainees. However, due to funding authority limitations, non-NRSA trainees are included as part of the Research Education component, not subject to the NRSA policies.  In years 1 and 2 of the institutional training program, a maximum of one non-NRSA individual may be appointed to the training program. In years 3 through 5, a maximum of two non-NRSA individuals may be appointed.

Trainees are appointed for full-time, 12-month continuous periods. No trainee may be appointed for less than nine months during the initial period of appointment except with prior approval of the NIH program staff. All trainees are required to pursue their research training on a full-time basis, normally defined as 40 hours per week or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies.

NRSA Institutional Pre-doctoral Training Component (T90)

At the time of appointment to the training program, individuals selected to participate in the training program must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States, or have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence and have in their possession an Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-151 or I-551) or other legal verification of admission for permanent residence. Non-citizen nationals are persons born in lands that are not States but are under U.S. sovereignty, jurisdiction, or administration (e.g., American Samoa). Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible for NRSA support (i.e., non-NRSA). In addition, trainees must be able to commit full-time effort in the program at the time of appointment.

Pre-doctoral trainees must have received a baccalaureate degree by the beginning date of their NRSA appointment, and must be training at a post-baccalaureate level and enrolled in a program leading to a PhD in a research doctoral degree program, or a combined clinical degree and PhD, such as MD/PhD. NRSA traineeships are not provided for study leading to a MD, DO, DDS, or other similar professional clinical degree, or master’s degree. Students enrolled in health-professional programs that are not part of a formal, combined program and who wish to postpone their professional studies to gain research experience may also be appointed to the institutional training program.

Individuals currently supported by other Federal funds are not eligible for concurrent trainee support from this program.

An individual trainee may receive no more than five years of pre-doctoral NRSA support in the aggregate for PhDs and no more than six years of pre-doctoral support in the aggregate for MD/PhDs, including any combination of NRSA support from institutional training grants (T32s) and individual fellowship awards (Fs). Exceptions to this limitation require a waiver from the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse in behalf of the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, based on a review of the justification provided by the awardee, and must be submitted for prior written approval.

Additional information may be obtained in the NRSA Guidelines at: http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm#_Toc54600187.

Non-NRSA Institutional Pre-doctoral Training Component (R90)

Individuals selected as non-NRSA pre-doctoral trainees in this component should satisfy all of the conditions for NRSA trainees, except for those pertaining to citizenship.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Information

The PHS 398 application instructions are available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in an interactive format. Applicants must use the currently approved version of the PHS 398. For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone (301) 435-0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

Telecommunications for the hearing impaired: TTY 301-451-5936.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Applications must be prepared using the most current PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms. Applications must have a D&B Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as the universal identifier when applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements. The D&B number can be obtained by calling (866) 705-5711 or through the web site at http://www.dnb.com/us/. The D&B number should be entered on line 11 of the face page of the PHS 398 form.

Applications must use the Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA guidelines and the specific instructions for Institutional NRSA Applications, PHS 398, Section IV, which begin on page 55, for that component. Instructions on how to include a non-NRSA pre-doctoral research training component within the application are provided in Section IV.6 of this announcement. Applications should use the NRSA instructions as a guide to the format of the application for the short-term research education program, even though this component is not authorized under the NRSA.  More detailed instructions about integrating all components of the application are provided in Section IV.6 of this announcement.  

See Section VI.2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements for additional information.

The title and number of this funding opportunity must be typed on line 2 of the face page of the application form and the YES box must be checked.

3. Submission Dates and Times
Applications must be received on or before the receipt date described below (Section IV.3.A). Submission times N/A.

3.A. Receipt, Review and Anticipated Start Dates

Letter of Intent Receipt Date: February 13, 2006
Application Receipt Date(s): March 13, 2006
Peer Review Date: May/June 2006
Council Review Date: September 2006
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: September 2006

3.A.1. Letter of Intent

Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows IC staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

The letter of intent is to be sent by the date listed at the beginning of this document.

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Samuel C. Rawlings, PhD
Chief, Scientific Review Branch
National Eye Institute/NIH/DHHS
Division of Extramural Research
Suite 1300
5635 Fishers Lane, MSC 9300
Bethesda, MD 20892-9300
Telephone: (301) 451-2020
FAX: (301) 496-9997
Email: rawlings@nei.nih.gov

3.B. Sending an Application to the NIH

Applications must be prepared using the research grant applications found in the PHS 398 instructions for preparing a research training grant application, with modifications, as described in Section IV.6.  Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the checklist, and three signed photocopies in one package to:

Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD 20892-7710 (U.S. Postal Service Express or regular mail)
Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service; non-USPS service)

Personal deliveries of applications are no longer permitted (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-040.html).

At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application and all copies of the appendix material must be sent to:

Samuel C. Rawlings, PhD
Chief, Scientific Review Branch
National Eye Institute/NIH/DHHS
Division of Extramural Research
Suite 1300
5635 Fishers Lane, MSC 9300
Bethesda, MD 20892-9300
Telephone: (301) 451-2020
FAX: (301) 496-9997
Email: rawlings@nei.nih.gov

Using the RFA Label: The RFA label available in the PHS 398 application instructions must be affixed to the bottom of the face page of the application. Type the RFA number on the label. Failure to use this label could result in delayed processing of the application such that it may not reach the review committee in time for review. In addition, the RFA title and number must be typed on line 2 of the face page of the application form and the YES box must be marked. The RFA label is also available at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/labels.pdf.

3.C. Application Processing

Applications must be received on or before the application receipt date(s) described above (Section IV.3.A.). If an application is received after that date, it will be returned to the applicant without review. Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the CSR and responsiveness by the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research Training Project Team.  Incomplete and non-responsive applications will not be reviewed.

The NIH will not accept any application in response to this funding opportunity that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. However, when a previously unfunded application, originally submitted as an investigator-initiated application, is to be submitted in response to a funding opportunity, it is to be prepared as a NEW application. That is, the application for the funding opportunity must not include an Introduction describing the changes and improvements made, and the text must not be marked to indicate the changes from the previous unfunded version of the application.

Although there is no immediate acknowledgement of the receipt of an application, applicants are generally notified of the review and funding assignment within eight (8) weeks.

4. Intergovernmental Review
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. The Grants Policy Statement can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm.

To be considered responsive to this RFA, applications from institutions with a currently active training program (including, but not limited to, the T32, T90, and U54) or research education program (R25) in neuroimaging, or with a significant neuroimaging component, must significantly and substantively expand upon the existing program at the applicant institution and must address any relationship to and/or impact on existing institutional programs.

Short-Term Research Education Program (R90)

Pre-award costs are allowable for the research education program. 

A grantee may, at its own risk and without NIH prior approval, incur obligations and expenditures to cover costs up to 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new or competing continuation award if such costs: are necessary to conduct the project, and would be allowable under the grant, if awarded, without NIH prior approval. If specific expenditures would otherwise require prior approval, the grantee must obtain NIH approval before incurring the cost. NIH prior approval is required for any costs to be incurred more than 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new or competing continuation award.

The incurrence of pre-award costs in anticipation of a competing or non-competing award imposes no obligation on NIH either to make the award or to increase the amount of the approved budget if an award is made for less than the amount anticipated and is inadequate to cover the pre-award costs incurred. NIH expects the grantee to be fully aware that pre-award costs result in borrowing against future support and that such borrowing must not impair the grantee's ability to accomplish the project objectives in the approved time frame or in any way adversely affect the conduct of the project. See NIH Grants Policy Statement http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm.

Pre-doctoral Research Training Program

Pre-award costs are not allowable. 

NRSA Institutional Pre-doctoral Training Component (T90)

The policies of the National Research Service Award (NRSA) apply to this program.  Awards are contingent upon availability of funds.  Furthermore, the duration of the award and the number of awarded training positions may be less than the levels recommended by the peer review group, based on programmatic and budgetary considerations.  Funds for continuation support beyond the initial year are determined by the success of the integrated training program as described in the annual progress report, the timely submission of required forms, and the availability of funds.

Concurrent Awards:  An NRSA traineeship may not be held concurrently with another federally sponsored fellowship, traineeship, or similar Federal award that provides a stipend or otherwise duplicates provisions of the NRSA.

Taxability of Stipends: Internal Revenue Code Section 117 applies to the tax treatment of all scholarships and fellowships. The Tax Reform Act of 1986, Public Law 99-154, impacts on the tax liability of all individuals supported under the NRSA program.  Under that section, non-degree candidates are now required to report as gross income all stipends and any monies paid on their behalf for course tuition and fees required for attendance.  Degree candidates may exclude from gross income (for tax purposes) any amount used for tuition and related expenses such as fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses of instruction at a qualified educational organization.

The IRS and Treasury Department released regulations in January 2005 (Revenue Procedure 2005-11) clarifying the student exception to the FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes for students employed by a school, college, or university where the student is pursuing a course of study.  Our understanding is that these final regulations do not apply to or impact Kirschstein-NRSA programs or awards.  An NRSA stipend is provided by the NIH as a subsistence allowance for Kirschstein-NRSA fellows and trainees to help defray living expenses during the research training experience.  NRSA recipients are not considered employees of the Federal government or the grantee institution for purposes of the award. We must note that NIH takes no position on the status of a particular taxpayer, nor does it have the authority to dispense tax advice.  The interpretation and implementation of the tax laws are the domain of the IRS.  Individuals should consult their local IRS office about the applicability of the tax laws to their situation and for information on their tax obligations.

Non-NRSA Institutional Pre-doctoral Training Component (R90)

This component will support research training experiences for up to one full-time non-NRSA pre-doctoral trainee in years 1 and 2 of the program, and up to two trainees in years 3-5. Non-NRSA pre-doctoral students may be compensated following the NIH policy of Graduate Student Compensation. See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-017.html for further guidance about compensation of graduate students on research grants.

6. Other Submission Requirements

The following information should be provided IN ADDITION to that specified in the PHS398 instructions. 

Submission Requirements Applicable to All Components Proposed in the Application

Applications must use the Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA guidelines and the specific instructions for Institutional NRSA Applications, PHS 398, Section IV, which begin on page 55. For the R90 component(s), instructions on how to include a non-NRSA pre-doctoral research training component within the application are provided below under Submission Requirements for Specific Components of the Application. 

Applications should use the NRSA instructions as a general guide to the format of the application for the short-term research education program along with the instructions for the short-term research education program component that follow.  

In Section A (Background) of the Research Training Program Plan, the first paragraph should identify the components of this funding opportunity that are included in the application.

Form Page 2: The first sentence of the Description should identify the components of this funding opportunity that are included in the application. The remainder of this form page should follow the instructions for Kirschstein-NRSA applications.

Form Page 3:  Use the Kirschstein-NRSA Substitute Table of Contents, modified as needed for the application (e.g., to include a section in the program plan for the short-term research education component).

Form Page 4  Two budget pages must be submitted for year 1, the standard PHS398 Detailed Budget Page for First Year and the NRSA Substitute Form Page 4. Complete the NRSA substitute form page 4 for the NRSA-eligible trainees as instructed in the PHS 398 instructions for NRSA institutional training grant applications. Use the standard PHS Detailed Budget Page for First Year for: 1) program director salary and fringe benefits and staff salaries to coordinate and lead the research training and research education programs (together not to exceed 10% of total direct costs); 2) all categories of requested funds for participants in the undergraduate research training component; 3) all categories of requested funds for the non-NRSA eligible predoctoral students; and 4) all categories of requested funds for the short-term research education component of the program.

Form Page 5  Three budget pages must be submitted for the entire proposed period of support: 1) a standard PHS398 Form Page 5 for any of the items 1-4 listed above for Form Page 4; 2) an NRSA Substitute Form Page 5 for the NRSA component; and 3) a standard PHS398 Form Page 5 showing the overall budget for the proposed program, with the totals from the NRSA Substitute Form Page 5 entered under “Other Expenses.”

Research Environment/Resources

The applicant institution must have strong, high-quality educational and research programs in both fundamental neuroscience and in neuroimaging and must have the requisite staff and facilities to carry out the proposed program.

Multi-Site Collaborative/Consortium Arrangements

A single institution may lack strengths in all areas needed to mount an integrated training and research education program in neuroimaging. This funding opportunity allows the participation of multiple sites, however the applicant institution must be the primary site. All collaborative/consortium arrangements must be clearly described and agreements included in the application. A resource format page (PHS 398) must be included in the application for each site. Each site must clearly distinguish the benefits that contribute to the program that are not available at the applicant institution/organization as well as any in-kind costs that may be provided to the program consistent with the collaborative involvement. 

The intramural laboratories at the NIH may be included as a part of a multiple site arrangement.  Research training rotations for pre-doctoral trainees in NIH intramural research laboratories would be arranged and administered through the NIH Intramural Graduate Partnership Program (GPP).  Applicants proposing collaborative training with NIH Intramural investigators must include a letter from the NIH Intramural GPP confirming the applicant’s participation in the GPP (see Section VII for contact information).

Program Director

The Program Director, as the Principal Investigator, must possess the scientific background, leadership and administrative capabilities required to coordinate, supervise, and direct the proposed integrated program. The Program Director will be responsible for the overall direction, development, implementation, management, and administration of the program, for the selection and appointment of trainees to the approved research training program, and for the selection of participants in the short-term research education program.  The Program Director must provide potential trainees information associated with NRSA programs and submit all required forms in a timely manner. 

Institutional Commitment

Applicant institutions should show commitment to the program’s goals and provide assurances that the institution intends the program to be an integral part of its research and research training endeavor.  The institution should provide evidence that it is committed to: (1) integrating this training program into the academic programs of the institution; (2) assuming responsibility for continued updating of the curriculum after the end of the project period; and (3) continued evaluation of the training program after the end of the project period.  In addition, the institution should indicate plans for support of trainees participating in the training program after the end of the project period. 

Evaluation and Tracking Plan 

The application must describe a strong evaluation and tracking plan for all program components for which funding is being requested.  The evaluation plan should include the review of the effectiveness of all aspects of the program (including any curriculum development, programmatic activities, training faculty, Program Directors).  More specifically, a prospective evaluation plan for process and outcome measures should be included.  Outcome measures may include relevant positions obtained, current activities related to research, publication record, and the success rate of applying for and obtaining Federal and non-Federal research grant support.  Program Directors moreover are encouraged to develop plans to obtain feedback from trainees and participants to help identify weaknesses in the program and to encourage suggestions for program improvements.  Benchmarks should be specified and detailed plans and procedures must be described to capture, analyze, and report outcome measures that would determine the success of the research education component and the research training component in achieving their objectives and the overall objectives of the integrated program. The application should provide a prospective evaluation plan for process and outcome measures. Outcome measures may include relevant positions obtained, current activities related to research, publication record, and the success rate of applying for and obtaining Federal and non-Federal research grant support.

The plan should include a system for tracking trainees for a 5-year period following program completion to determine the relative success of the research training program. The follow-up tracking would include information on publications, grant applications and awards, and career trajectory of trainees who were supported by the program.  

An evaluation and tracking report should be included annually as part of the Progress Report as well as part of the Final Progress Report.

External Advisory Committee

An external advisory committee is required. It will be useful as the research education and research training program is developed, implemented, and refined during the project period and will have a reporting function.  Applicants should describe the expertise of persons who will be recruited for the External Advisory Committee, the function(s) of this committee, and give details about the content and frequency of meetings but should not name its anticipated members. 

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

Every NRSA trainee supported by an institutional research training grant must receive instruction in the responsible conduct of research (see http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not92-236.html).  For this funding opportunity, all trainees (NRSA and non-NRSA) in the institutional training program component and all participants in the research education component must receive such instruction. Applications must include a description of a program to provide formal or informal instruction in scientific integrity and ethical principles in research for each program component with a special emphasis on the ethical issues involved in imaging research.  Applications without plans for instruction in the responsible conduct of research will be considered incomplete and may be returned to the applicant without review.

Although the NIH does not establish specific curricula or formal requirements, all programs are encouraged to consider instruction in the following areas: conflict of interest, responsible authorship, policies for handling misconduct, data management, data sharing, and policies regarding the use of human and animal subjects. Within the context of training in scientific integrity, it is also beneficial to discuss the relationship and the specific responsibilities of the institution and the graduate students appointed to the program.  Plans must address the subject matter of the instruction, the format of the instruction, the degree of faculty participation, trainee attendance, and the frequency of instruction.  The rationale for the proposed plan of instruction must be provided.

Program reports on the type of instruction provided, topics covered, and other relevant information, such as attendance by trainees and faculty participation, must be included in future non-competing applications. The NIH encourages institutions to provide instruction in the responsible conduct of research to all graduate students, post-doctorates, and research staff regardless of their source of support.

Please see http://www.nih.gov/sigs/bioethics/researchethics.html for additional guidance.

Submission Requirements for Specific Components of the Application

Short-Term Research Education Program Component (R90)

The short-term research education program should be designed to take advantage of the strengths in neuroimaging at the applicant institution and may include faculty from other institutions.  However, this program should be designed so that it is available to persons not enrolled in or employed by the applicant institution. While the proposed research education program may complement other, 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. 

Short programs may be designed to draw participants from across the career continuum, but they could be more narrowly focused, e.g. for graduate students in chemistry and physics so as to encourage their interest in neuroimaging as a potential research career.  Programs should be designed to maximize the exposure of participants with backgrounds in neuroscience to computational principles, and/or the exposure of participants with backgrounds in the physical, mathematical, computational or engineering sciences to neuroscience research questions and methodology.

The duration of short-term research education programs may range from two weeks to a full summer and must be appropriately justified.  

Recruitment Plan:  Applicants must describe a recruitment plan that includes a scheme for recruiting participants for the short programs from both outside and inside the sponsoring institution(s), as appropriate for the focus of the course proposed.  Include plans for recruiting women and individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.

Dissemination Plan: A specific plan must be provided to disseminate nationally any materials developed under the auspices of the research education program, e.g., Web postings, presentations at scientific meetings, workshops, etc.

Evaluation and Tracking Plan:  The program evaluation and tracking plan should include measures to evaluate the effectiveness of the short program(s).

Pre-doctoral Research Training Program (T90/R90)

A major goal of this funding opportunity is to foster the development and implementation of novel, interdisciplinary pre-doctoral institutional training programs that integrate comprehensive training in basic neuroscience, the physical and biological bases of neuroimaging, the technologies and data analytic methods of in vivo neuroimaging, and the application of these technologies to understanding questions in neuroscience across the life span. Training programs are required to train graduate students from the quantitative, engineering, and physical/chemical sciences with those from biomedical/biological disciplines in an integrated fashion. Trainees are expected to participate in a formal, integrated, multi-year curriculum that combines basic neurobiology with the principles, technologies, and data analytic methods of neuroimaging. The first two years of the training program may provide broad training that integrates education and research experiences in the breadth of technologies and applications of different neuroimaging approaches and modalities with the underlying neurobiology.  The remaining years of the training program could be envisioned to focus on a specific theme in neuroimaging that is a self-identified strength of the applicant institution (e.g., fMRI or radioligand development). The product of these pre-doctoral training programs would be neuroscience researchers who understand the underlying principles and the technologies of neuroimaging as well as their application to experimental questions in neuroscience.  They would be equally adept in the technology and its underlying principles as they would be in the application of these principles to experimental questions in neuroscience.      

All applications must include an institutional pre-doctoral training program component and short-term research education program component. The application must describe how these components will complement one another. The appointment of non-NRSA trainees to the pre-doctoral training program is optional, however. 

In addition to didactics that will provide broad education in fundamental neuroscience and the principles of neuroimaging that encompasses molecular, cellular, systems, and clinical approaches, the institutional training program is expected to include:

Research Training Record: The Program Director and proposed preceptors, as a training faculty, should be able to demonstrate success in research training as documented by the success of former trainees in seeking further career development and in establishing productive scientific careers.  Past training success may be documented by providing evidence of further career advancement of former trainees (e.g. receipt of fellowships, career awards, further training appointments, and similar accomplishments) and/or evidence of a productive scientific career (e.g. success in competing for research grants, receipt of special honors or awards, a record of publications and presentations, receipt of patents, promotion to scientific positions, and/or other accepted measures of advancement in a scientific research career).

Preceptors:  Trainees must be supervised by mentors with successful track records as mentors and researchers.  Formal co-mentoring by faculty with complementary expertise may be appropriate.  Because of the interdisciplinary nature of neuroimaging, preceptors in the pre-doctoral training program are likely to span the breadth of departments and disciplines that are involved in neuroimaging at the applicant institution.  Preceptors will typically be active, funded investigators in an appropriate research area.

Trainees:  It is expected that the applicant pool will include graduate students from multiple disciplines, including but not restricted to physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, statistics, biology, psychology, and neuroscience.  Institutions should address how the applicant pool for the proposed program is distinct from, or relates to, that for existing federal and non-federal training grants. 

The number of trainee positions requested must be justified in terms of the available pool of NRSA and non-NRSA trainees, the training faculty, the training track record of the preceptors, and the design of the training program.  The NRSA component will support research training experiences for up to two full-time pre-doctoral trainees in years 1 and 2 of the program and up to four trainees in years 3-5. For non-NRSA, in years 1 and 2 of the pre-doctoral research training component, a maximum of one student may be appointed to the training program and in years 3-5, a maximum of two pre-doctoral students may be appointed. The number of trainees recommended by the study section is considered the ceiling and may be decreased by NIH program staff based on availability of funds and the track record for filling positions as assessed by annual progress reports and statements of appointment.

Trainee Appointments:   All trainees are required to pursue their research training full time, normally defined as 40 hours per week or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies.  Appointments are normally made in 12-month increments, and no trainee may be appointed for less than 9 months during the initial period of appointment, except with prior approval of NIDA on behalf of the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research. 

No individual trainee may receive more than five years of aggregate NRSA support at the pre-doctoral level for PhD students or six years of aggregate NRSA support for MD/PhD pre-doctoral level students, which includes any combination of support from institutional training and individual fellowship awards.  These restrictions also apply to funding via the R90 mechanism for non-NRSA pre-doctoral students.  Any exception to the maximum period of support requires a waiver from NIDA on behalf of the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, which will be based on a review of the written justification from the individual trainee, and endorsed by the Program Director, and the sponsoring grantee institution.  Trainees seeking additional support are strongly advised to consult with the NIH.

NRSA trainees supported under this funding opportunity are not considered to be in an employer-employee relationship with NIH or the institution at which they are pursuing research training.

Recruitment and Retention Plan:  Applicants must submit a recruitment plan that includes a scheme for recruiting trainees from both outside and inside their sponsoring institution(s).  The application should describe any recruitment and outreach plan to increase the depth and diversity of the applicant pool including those underrepresented in the current scientific research workforce in neuroimaging.  The application should also describe mechanisms to retain trainees in the institutional training program. 

Diversity Recruitment and Retention Plan (applicable only to NRSA trainees):

The NIH recognizes a unique and compelling need to promote diversity in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences research workforce. The NIH expects efforts to diversify the workforce to lead to the recruitment of the most talented researchers from all groups; to improve the quality of the educational and training environment; to balance and broaden the perspective in setting research priorities; to improve the ability to recruit subjects from diverse backgrounds into clinical research protocols; and to improve the Nation's capacity to address and eliminate health disparities.

Accordingly, the NIH continues to encourage institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations and thus to increase the participation of individuals currently underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences such as; individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups; individuals with disabilities; and individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds that have inhibited their ability to pursue a career in health-related research. Institutions are encouraged to identify candidates who will increase diversity on a national or institutional basis. The NIH is particularly interested in encouraging the recruitment and retention of the following classes of candidates:

A. Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs/women/start.htm ). In addition, it is recognized that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting and individuals from racial or ethnic groups that can be convincingly demonstrated to be underrepresented by the grantee institution should be encouraged to participate in this program.

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

C. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds which are defined as:

1. Individuals who come from a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds. These thresholds are based on family size; published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census; adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index; and adjusted by the Secretary for use in all health professions programs. The Secretary periodically publishes these income levels at http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/index.shtml . For individuals from low income backgrounds, the institution must be able to demonstrate that such candidates have qualified for Federal disadvantaged assistance or they have received any of the following student loans: Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL), Loans for Disadvantaged Student Program, or they have received scholarships from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Scholarship for Individuals with Exceptional Financial Need.

2. Come from a social, cultural, or educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments that have demonstrably and recently directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career.  Recruitment and retention plans related to a disadvantaged background are most applicable to high school and perhaps to undergraduate candidates, but would be more difficult to justify for individuals beyond that level of academic achievement.

Peer reviewers will separately evaluate the diversity recruitment and retention plan after the overall score has been determined.  Reviewers will examine the strategies to be used in the recruitment and retention of individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds.  The review panel’s evaluation will be included in an administrative note in the summary statement.  If the diversity recruitment and retention plan is judged to be unacceptable, funding will be withheld until a revised plan (and report) that addresses the deficiencies is received.  Staff within the NIH awarding component, with guidance from the appropriate national advisory committee or council, will determine whether amended plans and reports submitted after the initial review are acceptable.

Plan for Sharing Research Data
Not applicable 

Sharing Research Resources

Research education programs are not generally expected to generate research resources. However, applications in response to this RFA must include a plan to disseminate curricula and teaching tools developed for the program, if such activities are planned.

In addition, 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:

The initial review group will comment on the appropriateness of the proposed plan for software dissemination. Program staff and advisors will also consider the adequacy of the dissemination plan as one of the criteria for award. The proposed sharing plan, after negotiation with the applicant when necessary, will be made a condition of the award.  Evaluation of annual non-competing progress reports will include assessment of the software dissemination practice by the grantee.

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria
Not Applicable

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications that are complete and responsive to the RFA will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by the National Eye Institute on behalf of the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research in accordance with the review criteria stated below.

As part of the initial merit review, all applications will:

The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process.

The goals of NIH supported research training and research education programs are to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in adequate numbers and in appropriate scientific areas to address the Nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. In their written critiques, reviewers will be asked to comment on each of the following criteria in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed integrated research training and research education program will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals. Each of these criteria will be addressed and considered in assigning the overall score, weighting them as appropriate for each application. Note that an application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact and thus deserve a high priority score. These criteria are not listed in any order of priority.

Grant applications should be characterized by innovation, scholarship, and responsiveness to the priorities of the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research in meeting the goal of increasing the number of interdisciplinary scientists in neuroimaging. The reviewers will be asked to provide an overall assessment of the training program as an integrated effort in neuroimaging research education and training as well as to evaluate the individual components of the integrated program.  

Short-Term Research Education Program (R90) 

Reviewers will be asked to address and discuss each of the following criteria in evaluating the overall merit of the Short-Term Research Education Program, weighting them as appropriate for each application. Note that an application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major impact and thus merit a high priority score. These criteria are not listed in any order of priority.

Significance: Does the proposed short-term research education program address scientific/education areas and/or topics important for neuroimaging? The program must demonstrate how its implementation will advance the objectives of this funding opportunity.

Approach: Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well reasoned, and appropriate to the aims of the project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics? Is there evidence that the program is based on sound research concepts and educational principles? Is the approach feasible and appropriate to achieve the stated research education goals?  Are the recruitment, retention, and follow-up activities adequate to ensure a highly qualified and diverse participant pool? Is the evaluation plan and timeline adequate for assessing the effectiveness (process and outcome) of the program in achieving its goals and objectives? Is the dissemination plan of high quality?

Innovation: Is the program original and innovative conceptually and/or in implementation? For example, does the program address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in neuroimaging? Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools, or technologies for neuroimaging?  Does this program duplicate, or overlap with, existing research education, training, and/or career development activities currently supported at the applicant institution or available elsewhere?

Investigators: Are the program director and leadership team appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this program? Is the program appropriate to their experience level? Does the leadership team bring complementary and integrated expertise to the project (if applicable)? Is there evidence that an appropriate level of effort will be devoted by the program leadership to ensure the program's objectives?

Environment: Does the scientific/educational environment in which the program will be implemented contribute to the probability of success? Does the proposed program benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, unique subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of appropriate collaboration among participating programs, departments, schools and universities? Is the institutional commitment to the proposed program appropriate? If multiple sites are participating, is this adequately justified in terms of the research educational experiences provided? Are adequate plans provided for coordination and communication between multiple sites?

Institutional Pre-doctoral Training Program (T90/R90)

The scientific review group will first determine the quality of the proposed institutional research training program using the following criteria, weighting each as appropriate.  They will then consider whether the requested number of trainee positions is appropriate for the number of high-quality trainees, NRSA and non-NRSA (if requested), likely to be accepted into the planned neuroimaging research training program. 

Training Program: This criterion assesses the objectives, design and direction of the training program. Does the proposed training program provide broad-based, integrated training in neuroimaging? Are appropriate courses available to provide a broad, early curriculum that spans the breadth of fundamental neuroscience and incorporates the principles and technologies of neuroimaging?   Are appropriate programmatic activities incorporated into the training program?  Are plans in place to enable trainees to receive a breadth of experience, through rotations, in multiple neuroimaging methodologies?  If the intramural laboratories are participating, are plans adequate to ensure that the trainees will be appropriately mentored and integrated into the intramural training experience while they are there? Are appropriate courses and programmatic activities available to provide a focused training experience in later years in an area of institutional strength in neuroimaging?  Does the training program appropriately plan for the potentially disparate needs of graduate students from multiple disciplines?  Is it likely that graduates of the training program will be equally adept in the technology and its underlying principles as they are in the application of these principles to experimental questions in neuroscience?  

Training Program Director: Does the Program Director have the scientific background, expertise, and experience to coordinate and supervise an interdisciplinary training program in neuroimaging? Has the Program Director committed adequate time to program administration?

Preceptors: Is appropriate expertise available in the neuroscience community at the institution, or among the participating institutions (if applicable), to provide broad training in the technology and underlying principles of multiple imaging modalities as well as in fundamental neuroscience? What is the caliber of the preceptors as researchers, including the overall quality of their research, their publication record, and their successful competition for research support in areas directly related to the proposed training program? What is the record of the preceptors as mentors, especially as mentors of pre-doctoral students? What is the record of the preceptors as mentors in training programs that cross departmental boundaries?

Institutional Training Environment: Does the environment in which the training program will be conducted, i.e. the quality of the participating departments and the extent of their participation, contribute to the probability of its success? Is there evidence of interdepartmental interaction/collaboration?  Does the training program represent the breadth of the neuroimaging community at the institution? Is there evidence of adequate institutional commitment to research training and particularly to this training program? Is there evidence of ongoing neuroscience research in areas relevant to the mission of one or more participating NIH Institutes? Is there evidence of adequate research support, equipment, and facilities?

Training Record: This criterion evaluates the past research training record of both the program and the designated preceptors. What is the success of former trainees in seeking further career development and in establishing productive scientific careers? Evidence of further career development can include successful completion of the PhD, receipt of fellowships or career awards, additional training appointments, and similar accomplishments. Evidence of a productive scientific career can include a record of successful competition for research grants, receipt of special honors or awards, a record of publications, receipt of patents, promotion to scientific positions, and any other measure of success consistent with the nature and duration of the training received. What is the track record of the preceptors in directing pre-doctoral training or the potential of those preceptors who lack a track record? What is the track record of the preceptors in directing pre-doctoral training that crosses departmental boundaries?

Applicant Recruitment, Selection and Retention: What is the quality and size of the applicant pool? Are the recruiting procedures, trainee selection criteria, and retention strategies appropriate and well defined? Is the racial and ethnic diversity of the applicant pool in keeping with the availability of individuals from underrepresented groups in the relevant scientific disciplines (see Special Programmatic Requirements in Section IV.6.)?  

All Program Components

Evaluation and Tracking Plan:  Is the evaluation plan adequate to determine the effectiveness of the integrated program in achieving its objectives?  Does the plan include a system for tracking trainees following program completion to determine the outcomes of the program, such as publications, awards and honors, grant applications and awards, and career trajectories of supported trainees?  

External Advisory Committee:  Are plans for the proposed advisory committee adequate and appropriate to ensure proper monitoring of the research education and research training program components? Are there means in place to modify the research education or research training components based on recommendations from the advisory committee?

2.A. Additional Review Criteria:

In addition to the above criteria, the following items will continue to be considered in the determination of scientific merit and the priority score:

Protection of Human Subjects from Research Risk: The involvement of human subjects and protections from research risk relating to their participation in the proposed research will be assessed (see the Research Plan, Section E on Human Subjects in the PHS Form 398).

Inclusion of Women, Minorities and Children in Research: The adequacy of plans to include subjects from both genders, all racial and ethnic groups (and subgroups), and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the research will be assessed. Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be evaluated (see the Research Plan, Section E on Human Subjects in the PHS Form 398).

Care and Use of Vertebrate Animals in Research: If vertebrate animals are to be used in the project, the five items described under Section F of the PHS Form 398 research grant application instructions will be assessed.

Biohazards: If materials or procedures are proposed that are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, determine if the proposed protection is adequate.

2.B. Additional Review Considerations

Budget: The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period of support in relation to the proposed research training and research education program. The reasonableness of the number of trainees requested for the institutional pre-doctoral training program.  The priority score should not be affected by the evaluation of the budget.

Diversity Recruitment and Retention Plan (applicable only to the NRSA research training component)

The NIH recognizes a unique and compelling need to promote diversity in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences research workforce.  The NIH expects efforts to diversity the workforce to lead to the recruitment of the most talented researchers from all groups; to improve the quality of the educational and training environment; to balance and broaden the perspective in setting research priorities; to improve the ability to recruit subjects from diverse backgrounds into clinical research protocols; and to improve the Nation’s capacity to address and eliminate health disparities.

Accordingly, the NIH continues to encourage institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations and thus to increase the participation of individuals currently underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences such as: individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups; individuals with disabilities; and individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds that have inhibited their ability to pursue a career in health-related research.  Institutions are encouraged to identify candidates who will increase diversity on a national or institutional basis.

Peer reviewers will separately evaluate the diversity recruitment and retention plan after the overall score has been determined.  Reviewers will examine the strategies to be used in the recruitment and retention of individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds.  The review panel’s evaluation will be included in an administrative note in the summary statement.  If the diversity recruitment and retention plan is judged to be unacceptable, funding will be withheld until a revised plan (and report) that addresses the deficiencies is received.  Staff within the NIH awarding component, with guidance from the appropriate national advisory committee or council, will determine whether amended plans and reports submitted after the initial review are acceptable.

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research:  For both the research training and research education components of the program, peer reviewers will assess the applicant’s plans for training in the responsible conduct of research on the basis of the appropriateness of topics, format, amount and nature of faculty participation, and the frequency and duration of instruction.

The plans will be discussed after the overall determination of merit, and the review panel’s evaluation of the plan will not be a factor in the determination of the priority score.  Plans will be judged as acceptable or unacceptable.  The acceptability of the plans will be described in an administrative note in the summary statement.  Regardless of the priority score, applications with unacceptable plans will not be funded until the applicant provides a revised, acceptable plan.  The NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research Training Project Team will judge the acceptability of the revised plan.

2.C. Sharing Research Data
Not applicable  

2.D. Sharing Research Resources

If a software dissemination and sharing plan is included in the application, then reviewers will be asked to comment on the appropriateness of the proposed plan. However, they will not factor the plan into the determination of the scientific merit or the priority score.

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates
Anticipated award date: September 2006

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. For details, applicants may refer to the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General (http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm).

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document. Once all administrative and programmatic issues have been resolved, the NoA will be generated via email notification from the awarding component to the grantee business official (designated in item 14 on the Application Face Page). If a grantee is not email enabled, a hard copy of the NoA will be mailed to the business official.

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. See Also Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
Changes of Program:  Awards are made to a specific institution for a specific program under the guidance and leadership of a particular Program Director.  A change in any of these parameters requires prior approval by the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research Training Project Team.  A rationale must be provided for any proposed changes in the aims of the original, peer-reviewed program.  Programmatic changes will be evaluated to ensure that the program remains within the scope of the original, peer-reviewed application.  If the new program does not satisfy this requirement, the award will be terminated.  

Change of Program Director: If change of the Program Director is necessary, support of the award is not automatic but may be continued with prior written approval by NIDA, on behalf of the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, provided:

The current program director or the grantee institution has submitted a written request for the change, countersigned by the appropriate institutional business official, to the program contact listed on the NoA describing the reasons for the change.  The Biographical Sketch of the proposed Program Director, including a complete listing of active research grant support, must be provided.  The information in the request must establish that the specific aims of the original peer-reviewed program will remain unchanged under the direction of the new Program Director and that the new Program Director has the appropriate research and administrative expertise to lead the training program. 

This request must be submitted sufficiently in advance of the requested effective date to allow the necessary time for review.

Transfer of Program: Neither the integrated training program nor any component of the program may be transferred from one institution to another. 

Termination:  When a grantee institution plans to terminate an award, the Grants Management Specialist listed on the NoA must be notified in writing at the earliest possible time so that appropriate instructions can be given for termination.  The Director of the NIH may terminate an award upon determination that the purpose or terms of the award are not being fulfilled.  In the event an award is terminated, NIH shall notify the grantee institution in writing of this determination, the reasons therefore, the effective date, and the right to appeal the decision.    

Leave:  Trainees supported by academic institutions should refer to the NIH Institutional NRSA training grant guidelines at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-02-109.html for further guidance regarding leave.  Undergraduate and non-NRSA pre-doctoral trainees should also follow these guidelines and institutional policies..

Part-time Training:  Under unusual and pressing personal circumstances, a Program Director may submit a written request to the awarding component to change a trainee appointment to less than full-time.  Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by the awarding Institute in advance for each budget period.  The nature of the circumstances requiring part-time training might include medical conditions, disability, or pressing personal or family situations such as child or elder care.  Permission for part-time training will not be approved to accommodate other sources of funding, job opportunities, clinical practice, clinical training, or for other responsibilities associated with the trainee’s position at the institution.  In each case, the Program Director must submit a written request countersigned by the trainee and an appropriate institutional business official that includes documentation supporting the need for part-time training  The written request also must include an estimate of the expected duration of the period of part-time training, an assurance that the trainee intends to return to full-time training when that becomes possible, and an assurance that the trainee intends to complete the research training program.  In no case will it be permissible for the trainee to be engaged in research training under this award for less than 50% effort.  Individuals who must reduce their commitment to less than 50% effort must take a leave-of-absence from their support by the research training program awarded under this RFA.  The stipend will be pro-rated in the grant award during the period of any approved part-time training. 

Carryover of Unobligated Balances: The carryover of funds from one budget period to the next requires prior written approval of NIDA (on behalf of the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research).  When required, such requests must include compelling justification including the status of trainee appointments to the program. 

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the Notice of Award. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General (http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm) and Part II Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities (http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm).

3. Reporting

Awardees will be required to submit the PHS Non-Competing Grant Progress Report, Form 2590, annually (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/2590/2590.htm) and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. 

This program is not subject to the Streamlined Non-competing Application Process (SNAP).

Progress Reports

The annual progress report should describe the goals of the integrated program, provide information about changes in the program, a summary report by the Advisory Committee, a description of the research and career progress of each trainee in the institutional pre-doctoral training component, and a description of the short-term research education component including information on the participants.  These annual progress reports will be closely monitored by the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research Training Project Team to ensure that the grant is achieving the goals of the overall Program. The NRSA instructions for the non-competing grant progress report (starting on page 19, Form 2590) should be followed, with any necessary modifications for the other program components.

Note that a substitute budget page and a summary of trainee page are to be included in the request for continuation support. The non-competing budget page should list the names of those trainees who are continuing in the research training program.  Information on each trainee should also be included in the narrative portion of the progress report as described in the PHS Form 2590 instructions. 

Reports on the Program as a Whole

Evaluation and Tracking Report: Provide information collected under the evaluation and tracking plan proposed in the initial application. Information to be provided includes the number of students in each component of the overall program, tracking information for students who have completed the program, and evaluation and tracking information for the short-term research education component, if applicable.

Report on Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research: Report the type of instruction provided, topics covered, and other relevant information, such as attendance by trainees and faculty participation. The NIH encourages institutions to provide instruction in the responsible conduct of research to all undergraduate students, graduate students, post-doctorates and research staff regardless of their source of support.

Advisory Committee Report: A report from the Advisory Committee should be separately attached summarizing its actions during the last year, evaluating the performance of the program in meeting its objectives and intent, evaluating the effectiveness of recruitment strategies, and providing recommendations for improving the program (e.g. new mentors, changes in core requirements, changes in recruitment strategies, etc.)

Diversity Recruitment and Retention Report (applicable only to the NRSA research training component): Non-competing grant progress reports must include a detailed account of experiences in recruiting  individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantageous backgrounds during the previous funding period.  Information must be included on successful and unsuccessful recruitment strategies.  The report should provide aggregated information on the racial/ethnic distribution of all applicants and those accepted and appointed.  The aggregated report also should include information on individuals with disabilities and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

For all trainees who were enrolled in the program, the report should include aggregated information about the duration of research training and whether those trainees finished their training in good standing. Similar information should be provided separately for the research education component of the program.

Pre-doctoral Research Training Program (T90/R90)

The NRSA instructions for the Non-Competing Grant Progress Report (Form 2590, starting on page 19) should be followed. The non-competing budget page should list the names and levels of those trainees who are continuing in the research training program. Information on each trainee should also be included in the narrative portion of the progress report as described in the PHS Form 2590 instructions. An evaluation and tracking report as described in Section IV.6. of this announcement should be included annually as part of the Progress Report.

Additional information should be reported in concert with the PHS 2590 Progress Report instructions. This information is applicable to all trainees (NRSA and non-NRSA):

A brief introductory description of the pre-doctoral research training program objectives.

Information describing any preceptors who have left the program or any who have been added.  For new faculty or mentors, biographical sketches should be included in the application.

Any recommended changes to improve the program for the continuation years.

Short-Term Research Education Component (R90)

Briefly describe the short-term programs or workshops that were developed and offered.  List the faculty involved.  Provide information about the process for selection of course participants and whether they received support from the program to attend the course. Provide information about the number of applicants, the number offered admission, the number attending, and their career level, gender and racial/ethnic background, relative to the recruitment plan of the program. If any evaluations of courses or workshops were conducted, provide information about the outcomes. Describe the dissemination to the wider scientific community of any materials developed for this component. 

Additional Reporting Requirements

Trainee Reporting Requirements (NRSA):  The institution must submit a completed Statement of Appointment (PHS 2271) for each NRSA trainee appointed or reappointed to the training grant.  This form must be completed at the beginning of the initial appointment and annually thereafter.  No funds may be provided until this document is submitted and accepted by the funding Institute.  Within 30 days of the end of the total support period for each trainee, the institution must submit a Termination Notice (PHS 416-7) to the NIH.  Failure to submit the 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.  Forms may be found on the NIH Website at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm.

Trainee Reporting Requirements (non-NRSA): The institution should provide information about each trainee appointed to the non-NRSA pre-doctoral training component of the program in the form of an NIH BioSketch (PHS 398). The dates of the appointment and termination to the non-NRSA pre-doctoral training program and the areas of study must be included in the BioSketch.

Evaluation and Tracking Report: Provide information collected under the evaluation and tracking plan proposed in the initial application.  Information to be provided includes the number of students in each component of the overall program, tracking information for students who have completed the program, and evaluation and tracking information for the short-term research education component. 

Financial Status Report (FSR):  An annual FSR is required and must be submitted within 90 days of the end of each budget period.  Continuation support will not be provided until the required form is submitted and reviewed.

Final Reports:  A final Progress Report and Financial Status Report are required at the end of the grant project period or upon relinquishment of an award.  Note that an evaluation and tracking report is required as part of the Final Progress Report.

Evaluation: In carrying out its stewardship of human resource-related programs, the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research Training Project Team may request information essential to an assessment of the effectiveness of this Program.  Accordingly, recipients are hereby notified that they may be contacted during and after the completion of this award for periodic updates on various aspects of their employment history, publications, support from research grants or contacts, honors and awards, professional activities, and other information helpful in evaluating the impact of the Program. 

Publication and Sharing of Research Results:  Trainees are encouraged to submit reports of their findings for publication to the journals of their choice.  For each publication that results from a trainee’s research, NIH support should be acknowledged by a footnote in language similar to the following: “This project was supported by NIH grant number ______ which is part of the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research.”  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.”

Inventions:  Traineeships made primarily for educational purposes are exempted from the PHS invention requirements and thus invention reporting is not required for institutional training grants. 

Copyrights:  Except as otherwise provided in the terms and conditions of the award, the recipient is free to arrange for copyright without approval when publications, data, or other copyrightable works are developed in the course of work under a PHS grant-supported project or activity. Any such copyrighted or copyrightable works shall be subject to a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable license to the Government to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use them, and to authorize others to do so for Federal Government purposes.

Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESC):  Only approved hESC lines listed on the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry http://stemcells.nih.gov/registry/ may be used for research training activities. The abstract of the application must provide the registry identifying numbers of the HESC lines to be used.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

We encourage your inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants. Inquiries may fall into three areas: scientific/research, peer review, and financial or grants management issues:

1. Scientific/Research Contacts:

Steven Grant, PhD
Chief, Clinical Neuroscience Branch
Division of Clinical Neuroscience and Behavioral Research
National Institute on Drug Abuse/NIH/DHHS
Room 4235, MSC 9593
6001 Executive Blvd
Bethesda, MD 20892-9593
Telephone: (301) 443-4877
FAX: (301) 443-6814
Email: sgrant@nida.nih.gov

Suman Rao King, PhD
Office of Science Policy and Communications
National Institute on Drug Abuse/NIH/DHHS
6001 Executive Boulevard
Suite 5230, MSC 9591
Bethesda, MD 20892-9591
Telephone: (301) 443-6071
FAX: (301) 443-6277
Email:  sking1@mail.nih.gov

Mary J. DeLong, PhD
Director
Graduate Partnerships Program (GPP)
Office of Intramural Training & Research
National Institutes of Health – DHHS
2 Center Drive: Building 2 / Room 2E06
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-0234
Phone: 301-594-9605,
Phone (Toll-Free): 877-422-7882
Fax: 301-594-9606
Email: delongm@od.nih.gov

2. Peer Review Contacts:

Samuel C. Rawlings, PhD
Chief, Scientific Review Branch
National Eye Institute/NIH/DHHS
Division of Extramural Research
Suite 1300
5635 Fishers Lane, MSC 9300
Bethesda, MD 20892-9300
Telephone: (301) 451-2020
FAX: (301) 496-9997
Email: rawlings@nei.nih.gov

3. Financial or Grants Management Contacts:

Deborah S. Wertz
Senior Grants Management Specialist
Grants Management Branch/OPRM
National Institute on Drug Abuse/NIH/DHHS
6101 Executive Boulevard, Room 270
Bethesda, MD 20892-8403
Telephone: (301) 443-6710
FAX: (301) 594-6849
Email: dwertz@nida.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

Required Federal Citations

Use of Animals in Research:
Recipients of PHS support for activities involving live, vertebrate animals must comply with PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/PHSPolicyLabAnimals.pdf) as mandated by the Health Research Extension Act of 1985 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/hrea1985.htm), and the USDA Animal Welfare Regulations (http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/legislat/usdaleg1.htm) as applicable.

Human Subjects Protection:
Federal regulations (45CFR46) require that applications and proposals involving human subjects must be evaluated with reference to the risks to the subjects, the adequacy of protection against these risks, the potential benefits of the research to the subjects and others, and the importance of the knowledge gained or to be gained (http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.htm).

Data and Safety Monitoring Plan:
Data and safety monitoring is required for all types of clinical trials, including physiologic toxicity and dose-finding studies (phase I); efficacy studies (Phase II); efficacy, effectiveness and comparative trials (Phase III). Monitoring should be commensurate with risk. The establishment of data and safety monitoring boards (DSMBs) is required for multi-site clinical trials involving interventions that entail potential risks to the participants (NIH Policy for Data and Safety Monitoring, NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-084.html).

Sharing Research Data:
Investigators submitting an NIH application seeking $500,000 or more in direct costs in any single year are expected to include a plan for data sharing or state why this is not possible (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing).

Investigators should seek guidance from their institutions, on issues related to institutional policies and local IRB rules, as well as local, State and Federal laws and regulations, including the Privacy Rule. Reviewers will consider the data sharing plan but will not factor the plan into the determination of the scientific merit or the priority score.

Sharing of Model Organisms:
NIH is committed to support efforts that encourage sharing of important research resources including the sharing of model organisms for biomedical research (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/model_organism/index.htm). At the same time the NIH recognizes the rights of grantees and contractors to elect and retain title to subject inventions developed with Federal funding pursuant to the Bayh Dole Act (see the NIH Grants Policy Statement http://grants.nih.gov/archive/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm). All investigators submitting an NIH application or contract proposal, beginning with the October 1, 2004 receipt date, are expected to include in the application/proposal a description of a specific plan for sharing and distributing unique model organism research resources generated using NIH funding or state why such sharing is restricted or not possible. This will permit other researchers to benefit from the resources developed with public funding. The inclusion of a model organism sharing plan is not subject to a cost threshold in any year and is expected to be included in all applications where the development of model organisms is anticipated.

Inclusion of Women And Minorities in Clinical Research:
It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their sub-populations must be included in all NIH-supported clinical research projects unless a clear and compelling justification is provided indicating that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of the research. This policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public Law 103-43). All investigators proposing clinical research should read the "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-001.html); a complete copy of the updated Guidelines is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_amended_10_2001.htm. The amended policy incorporates: the use of an NIH definition of clinical research; updated racial and ethnic categories in compliance with the new OMB standards; clarification of language governing NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials consistent with the new PHS Form 398; and updated roles and responsibilities of NIH staff and the extramural community. The policy continues to require for all NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials that: a) all applications or proposals and/or protocols must provide a description of plans to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable; and b) investigators must report annual accrual and progress in conducting analyses, as appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group differences.

Inclusion of Children as Participants in Clinical Research:
The NIH maintains a policy that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) must be included in all clinical research, conducted or supported by the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the "NIH Policy and Guidelines" on the inclusion of children as participants in research involving human subjects (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/children/children.htm).

Required Education on the Protection of Human Subject Participants:
NIH policy requires education on the protection of human subject participants for all investigators submitting NIH applications for research involving human subjects and individuals designated as key personnel. The policy is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-039.html.

Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESC):
Criteria for federal funding of research on hESCs can be found at http://stemcells.nih.gov/index.asp and at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-005.html. Only research using hESC lines that are registered in the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry will be eligible for Federal funding (http://escr.nih.gov). It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide in the project description and elsewhere in the application as appropriate, the official NIH identifier(s) for the hESC line(s) to be used in the proposed research. Applications that do not provide this information will be returned without review.

NIH Public Access Policy:
NIH-funded investigators are requested to submit to the NIH manuscript submission (NIHMS) system (http://www.nihms.nih.gov) at PubMed Central (PMC) an electronic version of the author's final manuscript upon acceptance for publication, resulting from research supported in whole or in part with direct costs from NIH. The author's final manuscript is defined as the final version accepted for journal publication, and includes all modifications from the publishing peer review process.

NIH is requesting that authors submit manuscripts resulting from 1) currently funded NIH research projects or 2) previously supported NIH research projects if they are accepted for publication on or after May 2, 2005. The NIH Public Access Policy applies to all research grant and career development award mechanisms, cooperative agreements, contracts, Institutional and Individual Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards, as well as NIH intramural research studies. The Policy applies to peer-reviewed, original research publications that have been supported in whole or in part with direct costs from NIH, but it does not apply to book chapters, editorials, reviews, or conference proceedings. Publications resulting from non-NIH-supported research projects should not be submitted.

For more information about the Policy or the submission process please visit the NIH Public Access Policy Web site at http://publicaccess.nih.gov/ and view the Policy or other Resources and Tools including the Authors' Manual (http://publicaccess.nih.gov/publicaccess_manual.htm).

Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information:
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued final modification to the "Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information", the "Privacy Rule", on August 14, 2002. The Privacy Rule is a federal regulation under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 that governs the protection of individually identifiable health information, and is administered and enforced by the DHHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

Decisions about applicability and implementation of the Privacy Rule reside with the researcher and his/her institution. The OCR website (http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/) provides information on the Privacy Rule, including a complete Regulation Text and a set of decision tools on "Am I a covered entity?" Information on the impact of the HIPAA Privacy Rule on NIH processes involving the review, funding, and progress monitoring of grants, cooperative agreements, and research contracts can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-025.html.

URLs in NIH Grant Applications or Appendices:
All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page limitations. Unless otherwise specified in an NIH solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide information necessary to the review because reviewers are under no obligation to view the Internet sites. Furthermore, we caution reviewers that their anonymity may be compromised when they directly access an Internet site.

Healthy People 2010:
The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2010," a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas. This PA is related to one or more of the priority areas. Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at http://www.health.gov/healthypeople.

Authority and Regulations:
This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance at http://www.cfda.gov/ and is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review. NRSA awards are made under the authorization of Section 487 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 288) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 66.  Research Education 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 52 and 45 CRF Part 74 and 92.  All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The NIH Grants Policy Statement can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free workplace and discourage the use of all tobacco products. In addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which regular or routine education, library, day care, health care, or early childhood development services are provided to children. This is consistent with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of the American people.

Loan Repayment Programs:
NIH encourages applications for educational loan repayment from qualified health professionals who have made a commitment to pursue a research career involving clinical, pediatric, contraception, infertility, and health disparities related areas. The LRP is an important component of NIH's efforts to recruit and retain the next generation of researchers by providing the means for developing a research career unfettered by the burden of student loan debt. Note that an NIH grant is not required for eligibility and concurrent career award and LRP applications are encouraged. The periods of career award and LRP award may overlap providing the LRP recipient with the required commitment of time and effort, as LRP awardees must commit at least 50% of their time (at least 20 hours per week based on a 40 hour week) for two years to the research. For further information, please see: http://www.lrp.nih.gov.


Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices


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