Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

Funding Opportunity Title

Professional Society Programs to Promote Diversity (R25)

Activity Code

R25 Education Projects

Announcement Type

New

Related Notices

None

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-DK-11-014

Companion FOA

None

Number of Applications

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

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

93.847

FOA Purpose

The purpose of this FOA is to encourage Professional Societies to design and implement educational programs with the goal of recruitment and retention of diverse individuals to pursue careers in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical, and social sciences workforce. Applications from Professional Societies representing the NIDDK mission areas are encouraged to develop educational programs aimed at recruiting and retaining talented, well-qualified students, fellows, and junior faculty from groups underrepresented in biomedical, behavioral, clinical, and social sciences research in the NIDDK mission areas. Professional Societies should propose an educational program based upon an educational experiment encompassing a diversity management plan for the Society.

Key Dates
Posted Date

October 12, 2011

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

November 22, 2011

Letter of Intent Due Date

November 22, 2011

Application Due Date(s)

December 22, 2011, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable.

Scientific Merit Review

February/March, 2012

Advisory Council Review

May, 2012

Earliest Start Date(s)

July, 2012

Expiration Date

December 23, 2011

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable.

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

Table of Contents

Part 1. Overview Information
Part 2. Full Text of the Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Section II. Award Information
Section III. Eligibility Information
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
Section V. Application Review Information
Section VI. Award Administration Information
Section VII. Agency Contacts
Section VIII. Other Information

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

This FOA encourages applications from Professional Societies that propose creative and innovative research education programs in the mission area(s) of the NIDDK. The NIH Research Education (R25) grant mechanism is designed to support the development of creative and innovative research education programs for the development of biomedical, behavioral, and clinical researchers, or for public education and outreach on health-related research to a variety of audiences. Although research education grants are not typical research instruments, they do involve experiments in education and/or dissemination of research knowledge that require an evaluation plan in order to determine their effectiveness. A plan must be provided for program evaluation and/or dissemination.

The proposed research education program may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at theProfessional Society, but the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those research training and research education programs currently receiving federal support. The R25 is not a substitute for an institutional research training program (T32) and can not be used to circumvent or supplement Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) mechanisms.   

Research Objectives:

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

Accordingly the NIH continues to encourage institutions and Professional Societies 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.

Similarly, the NIDDK is committed to the principles of diversity in both the NIDDK and its mission areas of a broad range of fundamental and clinical sciences related to programs in numerous diseases affecting the public health, including diabetes, endocrinology, and metabolic diseases; kidney, urologic and blood diseases; and digestive diseases and nutrition. The NIDDK also maintains a strong commitment to research training and research career development, with a special emphasis on the physician-scientist, as well as our recruiting and retaining underrepresented persons and women to biomedical research careers.

The objective of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (R25 - Professional Society Program to Promote Diversity) is to promote a diverse, well-qualified biomedical, behavioral, clinical, and social sciences workforce to pursue research in areas important to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The NIDDK’s mission is to conduct and support research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to diabetes; endocrine and metabolic diseases; gastrointestinal, liver, and pancreatic diseases; obesity and nutrition research; and kidney, urologic, and hematologic diseases. Many of the diseases that disproportionately affect ethic and racial minority populations fall within the mission of the NIDDK including, but not limited to: diabetes, obesity, hepatitis C, gallbladder disease, H. Pylori infection, sickle cell disease, kidney diseases, and complications from infection with HIV.

Studies have suggested that a racially and culturally sensitive scientific workforce is more successful in recruiting individuals from ethnic and racial minority groups into clinical trials, and that culturally concordant physician-patient dyads enhance enhance communication and participation in clinical research settings. Thus, the goal of this program is to promote  the careers of students, fellows, and junior faculty who are prepared to pursue careers in biomedical, behavioral, social, clinical, or health services research or clinical practice. The NIDDK believes that Professional Societies are uniquely situated to assist in this effort by providing the environment for recruitment, retention, education, networking, and mentoring to accomplish this goal.

Thus, the goal of this program is to promote the research careers of students, fellows, and junior faculty from diverse backgrounds who are prepared to pursue careers in biomedical, behavioral, clinical, or social sciences research. Professional Societies are well-equipped to assist in this effort by providing an environment for education, research, information dissemination, networking, and mentoring opportunities for diverse individuals interested in research careers pertinent to the Society’s and NIDDK’s missions in order to accomplish this goal.

The NIDDK envisions that the Professional Society Programs to Promote Diversity (R25) will identify and recruit qualified and talented individuals from diverse populations currently underrepresented in biomedical, behavioral, clinical, or social sciences research important to the Professional Society and the NIDDK. The career level (i.e., high school, undergraduate, graduate research assistants, etc.) of candidates eligible to participate in the program is at the discretion of the Professional Society, though the NIDDK expects that the Professional Society will justify how the identified career level(s) of the program participants will increase diversity on a national or societal basis. The program should not simply provide travel to the Professional Society’s national or annual meetings. The proposed program should seek to: 1) increase the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral, clinical, or social sciences researchers in fields important to the Professional Society and the NIDDK through both recruitment and retention strategies; 2) develop and incorporate a commitment to diversity within the Professional Society; 3) develop a set of quantitative and qualitative outcome metrics for evaluating the “success” of the diversity program on increasing the diversity of the national or societal workforce; 4) identify, recruit or train, and retain qualified and talented members of the Professional Society or other qualified individuals to mentor the program participants, either individually or as a group; 5) provide opportunities for program participants to acquire new skills or knowledge necessary for careers in health-related research; 6) develop an evaluation methodology for the Professional Society’s leadership, program mentors, and eligible participants to participate in the review of the progress and identify areas for improvement in the program; 7) develop regular reports to the Professional Society’s leadership and to the NIDDK on the achievement of defined outcome metrics of the “success” of the program, including tracking of program participants; and 8) establish partnerships, contacts and long-term commitments to the program within the Professional Society and other interested individuals, institutions or other Professional Societies.

After the award project period (e.g. 5 years), the NIDDK will review the overall success of the entire program to determine whether to continue funding it as currently configured. This review may be distinct from the individual reviews that take place under the auspices of the annual Progress Reports. The discontinuation of the program is a policy option that may be made at the discretion of the NIDDK.

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

Grant

Application Types Allowed

New

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

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NIDDK intends to fund three to four awards, corresponding to a total of $500,000 for fiscal year 2012. Future year amounts will depend on annual appropriations.

Award Budget

Although the size of award may vary with the scope of the research education program application, the total direct costs are limited to $140,000 annually.

Award Project Period

The total project period for an application submitted in response to this funding opportunity may not exceed 5 years.

Other Award Budget Information
Personnel Costs

Individuals designing, directing, and implementing the research education program may request salary and fringe benefits appropriate for the person months devoted to the program. Salaries requested may not exceed the levels commensurate with the Professional Society’s policy for similar positions and may not exceed the congressionally mandated cap. (If mentoring interactions and other activities with students/participants are considered a regular part of an individual's academic duties, then any costs associated with the mentoring and other interactions with students/participants are not allowable costs from grant funds).  It is expected that total direct costs for personnel (i.e., salary and fringe benefits) do not exceed $40,000 per project year.

Participant Costs

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

Allowable participant costs depend on the educational level/career status of the individuals to be selected to participate in the program. All participant costs must be reasonable and consistent with the professional societies’ reimbursement policies.

Participants may receive funds to defray registration fees, temporary housing costs, partial tuition, and other education-related expenses associated with their participation in the 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 R25 mechanism, as participants, but may not receive salary or stipend supplementation from a research education program..

Other Program-Related Expenses

Consultant costs, equipment, supplies, travel for key persons, and other program-related expenses may be included in the proposed budget. These expenses must be justified as specifically required by the proposed program and must not duplicate items generally available at the applicant Professional Society.    

Indirect Costs

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

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

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Organizations

Biomedical, behavioral, clinical and/or translational research professional societies that provide unique opportunities for underrepresented persons to acquire the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to develop and participate in health sciences research careers.

All Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) must also work with their institutional officials to register with the eRA Commons or ensure their existing eRA Commons account is affiliated with the eRA Commons account of the applicant organization.

All registrations must be completed by the application due date.

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

Professional Societies with existing Federally funded training programs may apply for a research education grant provided that the proposed educational experiences are distinct from those training programs receiving NIH support. In many cases, it is anticipated that the proposed research education program will complement ongoing research training occurring at the applicant Society.

Foreign Institutions

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

Required Registrations

Applicant organizations must complete the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. Applicants must have a valid Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number in order to begin each of the following registrations.

All Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD/(s)PI(s)) must also work with their institutional officials to register with the eRA Commons or ensure their existing eRA Commons account is affiliated with the eRA Commons account of the applicant organization.

All registrations must be completed by the application due date. Applicant organizations are strongly encouraged to start the registration process at least four (4) weeks prior to the application due date.

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

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

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

The PD(s)/PI(s) should be an established investigator in the scientific area in which the application is targeted and capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program. The PD(s)/PI(s) will be expected to monitor and assess the program and submit all documents and reports as required.

The PD(s)/PI(s) must be an active member in good-standing (i.e., current with the payment of professional dues) and hold a leadership role in the applicant Professional Society. Each Professional Society may define what level of "leadership" the PD(s)/PI(s) will be required to hold in the society in order to serve as the PD(s)/PI(s) for this application. Executive Directors of the Society, if they meet the other requirements, may be suitable as PD(s)/PI(s), or as one of the multi-PD(s)/PI(s) team.

Additionally, the PD(s)/PI(s) ideally will have had either research or practical experience in developing educational curricula and or/programs to promote diversity. Experience in mentoring should be evident, but formalized training in education is not a requirement.

2. Cost Sharing

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

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

Number of Applications

Only one application per professional society (normally identified by having a unique DUNS number or NIH IPF number) is allowed.

NIH will not accept any application in response to this FOA that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial peer review unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. NIH will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed.

Preceptors/Mentors

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

Preceptors/Mentors should be established investigators in the scientific area in which the application is targeted, active members in good-standing (i.e., current with the payment of professional dues/fees) of the Professional Society and capable of providing the professional, educational and scientific mentorship/preceptorship to the participants of the proposed program.

Participants

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement is primarily to increase (1) diversity, (the presence of racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, or persons from disadvantaged backgrounds in the program),. Therefore, applications must describe the intended participants, and the eligibility and/or specific educational background characteristics that are essential for participation in the proposed research education program. (See Section IV. Application and Submission Information, Part 2. Content and Form of Application Submission, heading “Diversity Recruitment and Retention Plan”)

Clearly indicate the career level of participants being encouraged to participate in the program. The career level (i.e., high school, undergraduate, graduate research assistants, etc.) of candidates eligible to participate in the program is at the discretion of the Professional Society, though the NIDDK expects that the Professional Society will justify how the identified career level(s) of the program participants will increase diversity on a national or societal basis.

Unless strongly justified on the basis of exceptional relevance to NIH, research education programs should be used primarily for the education of U.S. citizens.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

Applicants must download the SF424 (R&R) application package associated with this funding opportunity using the “Apply for Grant Electronically” button in this FOA or following the directions provided at Grants.gov.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

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

Letter of Intent

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

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

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Francisco O. Calvo, Ph.D.
Chief, NIDDK Review Branch
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Room 752, MSC 5452
Bethesda, MD  20892-5452 (courier Zip Code 20817)
Telephone: 301-594-8897
Email: calvof@mail.nih.gov

Required and Optional Components

The forms package associated with this FOA includes all applicable components, mandatory and optional.  Please note that some components marked optional in the application package are required for submission of applications for this FOA. Follow the instructions in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to ensure you complete all appropriate “optional” components.

Page Limitations

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

SF424 (R&R) Other Project Information Component

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

Facilities & Other Resources

Describe the educational environment, including the facilities, laboratories, participating departments, computer services, and any other resources to be used in the development and implementation of the proposed program. List all thematically related sources of support for research training and education following the format for Current and Pending Support.  Since some, of the program may be enacted at the Society’s national meeting, provide a brief overview of the usual format for the meeting and the usual location, i.e. convention center, hotel, resort area, etc.

Advisory Committee (Uploaded via the Other Attachments section)

A plan must be provided for the appointment of an Advisory Committee to monitor progress. Composition, responsibilities, frequency of meetings, and other relevant information should be included. Describe the composition of the Advisory Committee, identifying the role and the desired expertise of members. A plan for Advisory Committee approval and selection of participants should be included. Describe how the Advisory Committee will function in providing oversight of the development, implementation, and evaluation of recruitment strategies, the recruitment and retention of candidates, and the evaluation of the overall effectiveness of the program. Note that Advisory Committee members should not be named in the application, particularly if they include individuals from outside the Professional Society.

The following are some typical functions of an Advisory Committee: (a) advise and assist the PD(s)/PI(s) in the development and implementation of the program; (b) assist the PD(s)/PI(s) in establishing criteria and procedures for the admittance/retention of participants and mentors; (c) monitor progress of program activities and participants; (d) advise on re-budgeting of funds; (e) help to expand the program by identifying internal and external funding sources; (f) recommend changes to the program based on participant and mentor/faculty feedback;and (g) if necessary, assist in selecting a new PD(s)/PI(s).

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

R&R Budget Component

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

PHS 398 Research Plan Component

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additionally, please provide information regarding the Professional Society's or Organization’s commitment to diversity. Specific areas of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

(a) Leadership:

1.         Top leadership commitment – a vision of diversity demonstrated and communicated throughout the Professional Society by top-level management/leaders.

2.         Diversity as a part of the Society’s Strategic Plan – a commitment (i.e., a decision that has long-term impacts and is difficult to reverse) to diversity in the Professional Society, as manifested by diversity in its membership and leadership; diversity awareness and training within the Professional Society’s membership and leadership; development programs to strengthen the retention and engagement of diverse membership of the Society; affiliations with affinity networks and interest forums in diversity-related issues; diversity achievement awards and recogniation; and community commitments to promote diversity ;

3.         Metrics for the current measurement of diversity within the Professional Society;

4.         Metrics for the future measurement of diversity programs/efforts by the Professional Society;

5.         Mechanisms for accountability of the leadership of the Society for diversity efforts.

 (b) Educational opportunities:

1.         Existing diversity educational awareness programs within the Professional Society;

2.         Existing travel grants to attend national meetings of the Professional Society or Organization

3.         Career development courses at national meetings of the Professional Society or Organization

4.         Affiliations/joint ventures with other Societies or institutions to promote diversity in the health-sciences.

(c) Mentorship programs:

1.         Definition of mentorship within the Professional Society;

2.         Identification and recruitment of diverse members of the Society to serve as mentors;

3.         Qualitative and quantitative measures of mentorship skills of the membership/workforce of the Professional Society or Organization

4.         Retention of qualified and successful mentors within the Professional Society to continue their efforts.

(d) Funding:

1.    Funding opportunities to support underrepresented members of the Professional Society or Organization in their career development

2.    Support for community diversity programs.

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

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

The application should also describe the organizational structure of the Professional Society, show how the PD(s)/PI(s) will interface with it and its leadership, and describe how the proposed structure will allow the PD(s)/PI(s) to implement the program activities.

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

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

Program Participants (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

Where the proposed program involves participants, provide details about the pool of expected participants, their qualifications, recruitment strategies and sources of applicant pool, etc.

Clearly indicate the career level of participants being encouraged to participate in the program. The career level (i.e., high school, undergraduate, graduate research assistants, etc.) of candidates eligible to participate in the program is at the discretion of the Professional Society, though the NIDDK expects that the Professional Society will justify how the identified career level(s) of the program participants will increase diversity on a national or societal basis.

Provide details about recruitment strategies, the anticipated number of selected participants (including number and percent), and any retention strategies and plans for follow-up activities. The data on the applicant/participant pool in the participating Professional Society must be consistent with the enrollment numbers provided in the “Targeted/Planned Enrollment Table” [SF424 (R&R)] under ”Other Attachments” in the Research & Related Other Project Information.

Describe the criteria and the process for the selection of the program-supported participants, as well as the academic position of the members of the selection committee. Please clearly state whether or not a separate Selection Committee will be convened, or provide a selection protocol for participants in the proposed program. If a Recruitment and/or Selection Committee is employed, please provide a charter for the committee, including but not limited to the following information: purpose and goals; priorities; meetings; membership/selection/replacement of committee members; objective review of applications for participation; inclusion/exclusion requirements for participants; and voting/scoring processes.

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

The NIH recognizes a unique and compelling need to promote diversity in the NIH-funded biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences 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 Professional Societies 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. Professional Societies are encouraged to identify candidates who will increase diversity on a national or Societal basis.

The NIH is particularly interested in encouraging the recruitment and retention of the following classes of participants:

A.    Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/showpub.cfm?TopID=2&SubID=27) and the report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, 2011). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.

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

C.    Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who are defined as:

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

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

The disadvantaged background category is 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.

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

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

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

Every participant supported by this Research Education grant must receive instruction in the responsible conduct of research. All applications must include a plan to provide such instruction. The plan must address five components (format; subject matter; faculty participation; duration of instruction; and frequency of instruction) as detailed in NOT-OD-10-019. Renewal (Type 2) applications must, in addition, describe changes in formal instruction over the past project period and plans for the future that address any weaknesses in the current instruction plan. All participating faculty who served as course directors, speakers, lecturers, and/or discussion leaders during the past project period must be named in the application.

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

Evaluation Plan (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

A plan must be provided for program evaluation. Benchmarks should be specified, and specific plans and procedures must be described to capture, analyze and report short or long-term outcome measures that would determine the success of the research education program in achieving its objectives. Where appropriate, applicants are encouraged to include plans to obtain feedback from participants to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for program improvements, as well as implementation of changes to the program design to reflect the feedback from participants.

As defined by the United States General Accounting Office in a September 2000 Report to Congressional Committees (GAO/GGD-00-204, available at: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/gg00204.pdf), program evaluations are “individual, systematic studies that use objective measurement and analysis to answer specific questions about how well a program is working and, thus, may take many forms.” While the NIDDK recognizes the importance of a needs assessment evaluation program in order to develop the appropriate goals of the R25 program, the research strategy should specifically address outcome evaluations (i.e., is the program meeting its short-, intermediate- and long-term goals) and process evaluations (i.e., are the program operations being conducted as planned, and how may they be improved).

At its simplest, the outcome evaluations (i.e., summative evaluation) should measure the quality and the impact of the proposed educational program to broaden the participation of individuals currently underrepresented in the behavioral, biomedical, clinical and social sciences within the mission areas of the NIDDK. The NIDDK believes that tracking participants is critical to any outcome evaluation, and recommends the development of mechanisms to track the activities and career status of program participants annually for five years following the participants’ engagement in the program. The specific metrics of success in increasing the participation of individuals currently underrepresented is at the discretion of the Professional Societies. As a guide, the NIDDK recommends that Professional Societies review the National Science Foundation’s report “Framework for Evaluating Impacts of Broadening Participation Projects” available at http://www.nsf.gov/od/broadeningparticipation/framework-evaluating-impacts-broadening-participation-projects_1101.pdf. The metrics may include quantitative measures of diversity such as disaggregated baseline measures of student, faculty, and society member engagement; qualitative measures of tracking and assessing mentoring, matriculation to graduate programs in relevant fields; and transition to the scientific workforce.

In addition to the outcome evaluations, the NIDDK also requires that the Professional Society develop process evaluations (i.e., formative evaluations) to provide information for program improvement. The intent of the process evaluations are to assess the ongoing activities of the program, as well as to provide monitoring and improvement in the program. Metrics developed for the process evaluation should provide information for the PD(s)/PI(s) and program staff to determine what the impact of the program are on the program participants and mentors at various stages of the program. Ideally, the NIDDK believes that the process evaluations should allow for the determination of whether the program is being implemented as planned, whether the outcomes of interest are being impacted (i.e., effectiveness), and how the program may be improved in response to the outcome measurements.

Use the appendix to include the evaluation instruments as a single document.

Resource Sharing Plans

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

Appendix

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

3. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates. Applicants are encouraged to submit in advance of the deadline to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission.

Organizations must submit applications via Grants.gov, the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies. Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration.

Applicants are responsible for viewing their application in the eRA Commons to ensure accurate and successful submission.

Information on the submission process and a definition of on-time submission are provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

4. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

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

6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide.  Paper applications will not be accepted.

Applicants must complete all required registrations before the application due date. Section III. Eligibility Information contains information about registration.

For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit Applying Electronically.

Important reminders:
All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF 424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD(s)/PI(s) Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH.

The applicant organization must ensure that the DUNS number it provides on the application is the same number used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the Central Contractor Registration (CCR). Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the Center for Scientific Review and responsiveness by components of participating organizations, NIH. Applications that are incomplete and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.

In order to expedite review, applicants are requested to notify the {NIDDK} Referral Office by email at fc15y@nih.gov when the application has been submitted. Please include the FOA number and title, PD/PI name, and title of the application.

Post Submission Materials

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

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process. As part of the NIH mission, all applications submitted to the NIH in support of biomedical and behavioral research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

Overall Impact

Reviewers will provide an overall impact/priority score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).

Scored Review Criteria

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

Significance

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

Will the proposed program produce a significant improvement in the academic preparation and competitiveness of a diversified workforce performing biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences research in areas of interest for NIDDK? Do the aims/objectivies of the program appear appropriate and are they achievable?If the aims of the application are achieved, does the the proposed program have the potential to significantly improve the diversity of the group of investigators supported by NIDDK’s research portfolio?

Investigator(s)

Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers appropriately trained and well suited to the proposed research education program? Is the PD(s)/PI(s) an established investigator in the scientific area in which the application is targeted and capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed research education program?  If Early Stage Investigator or New Investigator, or in the early stages of an independent career, does the PD(s)/PI(s) have appropriate experience to lead the program?  If the project is collaborative or multi-PD(s)/PI(s), do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?  Is there evidence that an appropriate level of effort will be devoted by the program leadership to ensure the program's objectives?

Are the mentors and Society members involved in the proposed program well-qualified for their roles in the program? Is the PD(s)/PI(s) well suited to develop and supervise this program? Is there evidence that an appropriate level of effort will be devoted by the PD(s)/PI(s) and the Professional Society's leadership to ensure the success of the program? Is the PD(s)/PI(s) experienced in mentoring and training students, fellows or early faculty?

Innovation

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

Does this program duplicate, or overlap with, existing research education, training and/or career development activities currently supported by the Professional Society or available elsewhere? Is the proposed program new or an appropriate adaptation of an existing  program, e.g., are there added, unique components and/or a proposal to determine portability or expansion of an existing program?

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the proposed research education program?  Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented?  If the program is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed?  If called for, is the proposed plan for evaluation and/or dissemination of the education program sound and likely to provide data on the effectiveness of the education program?  Is there evidence that the program is based on sound research concepts and educational principles?  Is the approach feasible and appropriate to achieve the stated research education goals?  If the proposed program will recruit participants, are the recruitment, retention, and follow-up activities adequate to ensure a highly qualified and diverse participant pool? 

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

Is there an adequate pool of diverse persons in the Professional Society or in the academic pipeline from which to recruit participants? Are there plans to expand the pool of potential participants in a meaningful and appropriate manner? Is the target applicant pool appropriate to the plans for the program? Are the oversight, administration, and committee structure appropriate for the program?

For applications designating multiple PD(s)/PI(s), Is the Leadership Plan approach, including the designated roles and responsibilities, governance and organizational structure consistent with and justified by the aims of the project/program and the expertise of each of the PD(s)/PI(s)?

Environment

Will the scientific/educational environment in which the proposed research education program will be conducted contribute to the probability of success?  Are the Societal commitment and support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the program proposed?  Will the program benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements?  Is there evidence of appropriate collaboration among participating programs, departments, and Societies?  If multiple sites are participating, is this adequately justified in terms of the research education experiences provided? Are adequate plans provided for coordination and communication between multiple sites (if appropriate)? Does the professional society promote an atmosphere of diversity as demonstrated by its strategic plan, top leadership, educational and/or research opportunities, succession planning, recruitment strategies, diversity training and funding opportunities?

Additional Review Criteria

As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will evaluate the following additional items while determining scientific and technical merit, and in providing an overall impact/priority score, but will not give separate scores for these items.

Evaluation Plan:

Are the evaluation plan and timeline adequate for assessing the effectiveness (process and outcome) of the program in achieving its goals and objectives? Is the evaluation plan based on appropriate literature and methodology? Does the plan adequately describe how outcomes will be determined and evaluated? Does the plan adequately address evaluation of the program’s impact on societal baseline numbers and efforts? Does the proposed evaluator have the appropriate background and credentials? Has the Professional Society proposed program evaluations including both summative and formative evaluations? Are the summative evaluation of outcomes proposed by the Professional Society appropriate to demonstrate success in increasing the numbers of individuals from underrepresented backgrounds in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences relevant to the Professional Society and the areas of interest of the NIDDK? Are the summative evaluations both qualitative and quantitative? Has the Professional Society proposed appropriate formative (process) evaluations, and proposed a mechanism for the application of these metrics to the improve the overall effectiveness of the proposed program?

Protections for Human Subjects

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

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

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

Vertebrate Animals

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

Biohazards

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

Resubmissions

Not Applicable.

Renewals

Not Applicable.

Revisions

Not Applicable.

Additional Review Considerations

As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items, and should not consider them in providing an overall impact/priority score.   

Recruitment & Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity

Peer reviewers will separately evaluate the recruitment and retention plan to enhance diversity after the overall score has been determined. Reviewers will examine the strategies to be used in the recruitment and retention of individuals from underrepresented groups. The review panel’s evaluation will be included in an administrative note in the summary statement.

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

Taking into account the specific characteristics of the research education program, level of participant experience, and the particular circumstances of the participants, the reviewers will address the following questions. Does the plan satisfactorily address the format of instruction, e.g. lectures and/or real-time discussion groups? Do plans include a sufficiently broad selection of subject matter, such as conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety? Do the plans adequately describe how faculty will participate in the instruction? Do the plans ensure participants will receive instruction (or in the case of more senior level participants, provide instruction) for an appropriate amount of time given the length of the research education experience? Plans and past record will be rated as ACCEPTABLE or UNACCEPTABLE, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable.

Select Agent Research

Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).

Resource Sharing Plans

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

Budget and Period of Support

Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s) at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) , in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Review assignments will be shown in the eRA Commons.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

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

Will receive a written critique.

Applications will be assigned to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the National Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Advisory Council.  The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

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

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

Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

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

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization for successful applications. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document and will be sent via email to the grantee’s business official.

Awardees must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions. Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.      

Any application awarded in response to this FOA will be subject to the DUNS, CCR Registration, and Transparency Act requirements as noted on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General  and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities. More information is provided at Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants.

Evaluation

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

3. Reporting

The Non-Competing Continuation Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590) and financial statements  as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement are required annually. Continuation support will not be provided until the required forms are submitted and accepted.Programs that involve participants should report on education in the responsible conduct of research and complete a Training Diversity Report, in accordance with the PHS 2590 Additional Instructions for Preparing a Progress Report for an Institutional Research Training Grant, Including Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards.

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

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

Other Reporting Requirements

The Society must submit a completed Statement of Appointment (PHS Form 2271) for each participant appointed for eight weeks or more. Grantees must submit the PHS 2271 data electronically using the xTrain system. More information on xTrain is available at xTrain (eRA Commons). An appointment or reappointment may begin any time during the budget period, but not before the budget period start date of the grant year.

Participant Termination Notice: Within 30 days of the end of the total support period for each participant, the Society must submit a Termination Notice (PHS Form 416-7) via xTrain for each participant appointed for eight weeks or more..

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

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

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

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

eRA Commons Help Desk(Questions regarding eRA Commons registration, tracking application status, post submission issues)
Phone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)
TTY: 301-451-5939
Email: commons@od.nih.gov

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Kevin D. McBryde, MD
Program Director
Office of Minority Health Research Coordination
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
6707 Democracy Boulevard
II Democracy Plaza, Room 906B, MSC 5454
Bethesda, MD  20892-5454
Telephone: 301-594-9652
Email: mcbrydekd@mail.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Francisco O. Calvo, Ph.D.
Chief, NIDDK Review Branch
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Room 752, MSC 5452
Bethesda, MD  20892-5452
Telephone: 301-594-8897
Email: calvof@mail.nih.gov.

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Carolyn S. Kofa
Grants Management Specialist
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Room 746, MSC 5456
Bethesda, MD  20892-5456
Telephone: 301-594-7687
Email: kofac@mail.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Authority and Regulations

Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.


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