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 Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

Funding Opportunity Title

Superfund Research Program Occupational and Safety Training Education Programs on Emerging Technologies (R25)

Activity Code

R25 Education Projects

Announcement Type

New

Related Notices

None

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-ES-13-004

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

Number of Applications

Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

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

93.143

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of the Superfund Research Program (SRP) Occupational and Safety Training Education Programs on Emerging Technologies is to provide Higher Education Institutions the opportunity to develop continuing education and academic curricula on the occupational health and safety management practices in the areas of emerging technologies (e.g., emerging hazardous waste products, green chemistry, and sustainable remediation) to industrial hygienists and graduate students involved in the evaluation, management, and handling of hazardous substances.  The SRP also expects that such programs will provide a unique training and educational opportunity to those professionals involved in the training of other personnel.  Such training would include skills, knowledge, and experience to help prepare other personnel for careers in these new industries.  These programs are also meant to expand and complement existing educational and training programs in occupational and safety training and industrial hygiene.    

Key Dates
Posted Date

December 20, 2012

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

January 25, 2013

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

January 25, 2013

Application Due Date(s)

February 26, 2013, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

May 2013

Advisory Council Review

May 2013

Earliest Start Date

July 2013

Expiration Date

February 27, 2013

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions 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

NIH Research Education Program (R25)

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.

The proposed research education program may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, 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 cannot be used to circumvent or supplement Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) mechanisms.

Background

Under the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) of 1986, the Superfund Research Program (SRP) is committed to supporting its legislation in the establishment and support of training which includes: (1) short courses and continuing education for State and local health and environment agency personnel engaged in handling hazardous substances and other professionals involved in evaluating, managing and handling hazardous substances; and (2) graduate or advanced training in environmental and occupational health and safety and in the public health and engineering aspects of hazardous waste control. 

The SRP recognizes that Higher Education Institutions that offer programs in the area of occupational and safety health provide direction and resources for training and education of industrial hygienists, graduate students, and other professionals.  The SRP also invests substantial resources in basic and translational research and training and recognizes the need to train the next generation of industrial hygienists and scientists.

Program Goals and Outcomes

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) SRP is offering Higher Education Institutions the opportunity to develop and implement the use of high quality course curricula on the occupational health and safety management practices for emerging technologies (e.g., emerging hazardous waste products, green chemistry, sustainable remediation, biomonitoring sensors).  This curriculum is intended for industrial hygienists and graduate students involved in the evaluation, management, and handling of hazardous substances.  Furthermore, the SRP expects that such educational programs will provide a unique training and educational opportunity to those professionals involved in the training of other personnel using these technologies and associated hazardous substances (e.g., Train-the-trainer).  Training to industrial hygienists, graduate students, and other personnel would provide skills, knowledge, and experience to help them prepare for careers in these new industries. 

The overall goals of these educational programs are: 1) to ensure that individuals become highly trained in handling of hazardous substances used in emerging technologies to support the needs of training in these developing fields; 2) to create an infrastructure that supports education and training in handling of hazardous substances used in emerging technologies; and 3) ensure the dissemination of this training to increase the number of well-trained industrial hygienists, graduate students, and other professionals with the interdisciplinary skills required in these developing fields.  These programs are also meant to expand and complement existing educational and training programs in occupational and safety training and industrial hygiene.   

Components of Educational Program

Under this FOA, applicant institutions should propose a comprehensive description of their educational program to include: training objectives, course descriptions, course content, any field experiences, a timeline for implementation, accreditation by recognized accrediting organizations, and a plan to evaluate the overall effectiveness of the training.  Curricula should include web-based training modules, short courses, continuing education, and full academic graduate courses.  The applicant should also collaborate with at least two other Higher Education Institutions to establish curricula in emerging technologies.  For example, an applicant may choose to collaborate with institutes that have extensive research expertise in an emerging technology, knowledge in developing web-based course curricula, or capability in educational program evaluation.  Such partnerships will involve the establishment of a consortium to enhance the depth and breadth of knowledge and experience for the participants.  (For this FOA, a participant is defined as an individual (i.e., industrial hygienist, graduate student, or professional involved in training other personnel) enrolled in one of these courses).

Following completion of the curricula, participants are expected to have acquired knowledge, professional skills, and experience in handling hazardous substances associated with emerging technologies that can be applied to their profession, research projects, or training of other personnel in these technologies.  The SRP also expects that funded programs will provide a unique training and educational opportunity in emerging issues and will expand and complement existing educational and training programs in occupational and safety training. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact SRP program staff before preparing an application (see Section VII).

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

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

Application Types Allowed

New

The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

Awards pursuant to this funding opportunity are contingent upon the availability of funds and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications. The Superfund Research Program intends to commit approximately $750,000 for FY13.  The total number of awards is anticipated to be 3-5.

Award Budget

Although the size of award may vary with the scope of the Education Program proposed, budgets cannot exceed $250,000 direct costs per year.

Award Project Period

The total project period may not exceed 3 years.     

Other Award Budget Information
Personnel Costs

Individuals designing, directing, and implementing the research education program may request salary and fringe benefits appropriate for the person months devoted to the program. Salaries requested may not exceed the levels commensurate with the institution's policy for similar positions and may not exceed the congressionally mandated cap. (If mentoring interactions and other activities with 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).  

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.

While generally not an allowable cost, with strong justification, participants in the research education program may receive partial costs of meals unless such costs are furnished as part of the registration fee.  Participants may also receive funds to defray partial tuition, and other education-related expenses.

Expenses for foreign travel must be exceptionally well justified.

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.

Because the R25 mechanism is not intended as a substitute for an NRSA institutional training program (T32), costs to support full-time participants (supported for 40 hours/week for a continuous, 12-month period) are not allowable.

Other Program-Related Expenses

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

The budgets for applications to this FOA may include support for, but are not limited to, the following items:

  • Purchase of necessary instructional aids
  • Support for technical staff to oversee and assist instruction
  • Support for guest lecturers from academia and industry
  • Support for web based programs that will be used to assist instruction
  • Advertising to attract the best possible candidates to attend the courses

Note: PD(s)/PI(s) of grants funded by this FOA will be expected to attend and incorporate their travel costs to attend the Superfund Research Program annual meeting in their annual budgets. 

Indirect Costs

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

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

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

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

Some institutions provide unique opportunities for access to participants and faculty from diverse backgrounds.  These institutions can assist NIH in its efforts to recruit the most talented researchers from all groups, to improve the ability to recruit subjects from diverse backgrounds into clinical research protocols, and improve the Nation’s capacity to address and eliminate health disparities.  These institutions are therefore encouraged to apply for NIH support.

The applicant institution must have a strong research program in the area(s) proposed for training and must have the requisite staff and facilities to carry out the proposed program. The applicant institution must have the available facilities, personnel, and support for the program in the areas of occupational and safety health. Institutions with adequate staff and resources in these areas are encouraged to apply.

Although multiple sites will be involved in the research education program, the applicant institution must be the primary site for the program.

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

All registrations must be completed by the application due date.

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

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

Foreign Institutions

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

Required Registrations

Applicant organizations must complete the following registrations as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. Applicants must have a valid Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number in order to begin each of the following registrations.

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

All registrations must be completed by the application due date. Applicant organizations are strongly encouraged to start the registration process at least 6 weeks prior to the application due date.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

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

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

The PD/PI should be an established 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/PI will be expected to monitor and assess the program and submit all documents and reports as required.

Integral to the success of these Education Programs is communication and interaction among the participants of the various complementary activities.  In order to facilitate this interaction, PD(s)/PI(s) will be expected to participate in the SRP annual meeting.   

2. Cost Sharing

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

3. Additional Information on Eligibility
Number of Applications

Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.

NIH will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed within the past thirty-seven months (as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement), except for submission:

Note: This FOA is not administered by the NIEHS Worker Education and Training Program (WETP) and does not overlap the mission of the WETP, which includes providing support to organizations for training to workers who are involved in handling hazardous waste or in responding to emergency releases of hazardous materials.  However, applicants supported by WETP grants are eligible and are encouraged to apply to this FOA.  For more information about the WETP, please see http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/dert/wet/index.cfm.     

Preceptors/Mentors

Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as preceptors/mentors.  Mentors should have research expertise and experience relevant to the proposed program and must be committed to providing an enriching research experience for the participating students.

Participants

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. Identify the career levels essential for participation in the planned program.

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 and permanent residents.

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:

Linda Bass, PhD
Scientific Review Officer
Scientific Review Branch
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences  (NIEHS)
P.O. Box 12233; Mail drop K3-03
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

For Courier delivery:
530 Davis Drive, Room 3074
Research Triangle Park, NC 27713

Telephone: 919-541-1307
Fax: 301-451-5715
Email: bass@niehs.nih.gov

Please note that submission of the letter of intent by email is preferred.

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 SF424 (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.   

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, Institutional 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.

Applications should include information on: (1) participating faculty members (including their sources of support and records in research training and research education) and (2) the potential participant pool, and, for applicants with a previous history of funding for research education in diverse populations. This information will be used by reviewers during peer review and by NIH staff in reaching funding decisions.

All application instructions outlined in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/index.htm) are to be followed, with the following requirements for R25 applications.

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 the applicant institution, the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those research training and research education programs currently receiving federal support. When research training programs are on-going in the same department, the applicant organization should clearly 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.  The application should also provide a summary of the research education program including its objectives andthe types of available activities.  Also, the description should include plans for recruiting and selecting participants for the program, duration of training and months in which training will occur, and a description of a typical program including percent time to be spent in various activities.  Provide programmatic detail on the special activities proposed (e.g., courses, curricula, seminars, workshops).     

The PD(s)/PI(s) may seek additional funding from other sources to augment NIH funding to provide demonstrations and/or hands-on training with appropriate equipment and computational tools. While descriptions of these other funding sources are not required at the time of submission, the application should indicate if the training plan will include demonstrations or hands-on training to provide reviewers with sufficient information to properly evaluate them.

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

Describe the institutional environment, reiterating the availability of facilities and educational resources (described separately under “Facilities & Other Resources”), that can contribute to the planned Research Education Program. Evidence of institutional commitment to the research educational program is required. A letter of institutional commitment must be attached as part of Letters of Support. Appropriate institutional commitment should include the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned research education program.  Applicants should also include letters of agreement signed by all other participating institutions when other facilities are used for educational activities.  These should be attached as part of the Letters of Support.    

Program Director/Principal Investigator (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 institutional and community commitment and support for the proposed program.  

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. They should also provide a stimulating research and learning environment for all participants.  The applicant should list all faculty members who will participate in this program, including their areas of research where applicable.      

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.      

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

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 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 (see data at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/showpub.cfm?TopID=2&SubID=27 and the most recent report on Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Hawaiian Natives, and natives of the U.S. Pacific Islands. In addition, it is recognized that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting; 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, 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 HHS - Poverty Guidelines, Research, and Measurement. For individuals from low income backgrounds, the institution must be able to demonstrate that such participants 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. 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.

Recruitment and retention plans related to a disadvantaged background (C1 and C2) 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. Under extraordinary circumstances the PHS may, at its discretion, consider an individual beyond the undergraduate level to be from a disadvantaged background. Such decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, based on appropriate documentation.

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.

Additional information on the required Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity is available at Frequently Asked Questions: Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity (Diversity FAQs).

Applications lacking a diversity recruitment and retention plan 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. All participating faculty who served as course directors, speakers, lecturers, and/or discussion leaders during the past project period must be named in the application.

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

Applications must include a plan for evaluating the activities supported by the award.  The plan should include the names of staff that will conduct the evaluation and state the extent of their expertise in program evaluation.  The application must specify baseline metrics (e.g., numbers, educational levels, and demographic characteristics of participants), as well as measures to gauge the short or long-term success of the research education award in achieving its objectives. Wherever appropriate, applicants are encouraged to obtain feedback from participants to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for improvements.

Applicants are encouraged to view the NIEHS Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH) Evaluation Metrics Manual which provides approaches to measure and document program success and to build a common evaluation language that grantees and program staff can use when discussing programs.  For more information about the PEPH Metrics Manual, please see: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/dert/sphb/programs/peph/metrics/index.cfm.  

Dissemination Plan (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

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

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, with the following modification:

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 applications before 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 before the deadline in the eRA Commons to ensure accurate and successful submission.

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

4. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

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

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

6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.  Paper applications will not be accepted.

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

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

Important reminders:
All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH.

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

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the Center for Scientific Review, and responsiveness by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH. Applications that are incomplete and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.

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 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? If the aims of the education program are achieved, will they prepare industrial hygienists, graduate students, and other occupational and safety health professionals involved in the training of other personnel to be competent and proficient in the field of emerging technologies?     

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/PI 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/PI have appropriate experience to lead the program?  If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?  Is there evidence that an appropriate level of effort will be devoted by the program leadership to ensure the program's objectives? Is the PD/PI an established expert in conducting training in the handling, managing, or evaluation of hazardous substances?  Is the PD/PI an established investigator in the area of occupational and safety health in which the application is targeted?   

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, or 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 institution 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.     

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?  

Environment

Will the scientific/educational environment in which the proposed research education program will be conducted contribute to the probability of success?  Are the institutional 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 institutions?  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)? 

Additional Review Criteria

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

Protections for Human Subjects

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 score.

Evaluation Plan

Is the evaluation plan adequate for assessing the effectiveness (process and outcome) of the program in achieving its goals and objectives?  Does the plan adequately describe how both short- and long-term program outcomes will be determined and evaluated? Is the planned evaluation consonant with the specific aims, measurable objectives, and goals of the proposed program and the institutional setting? Does the plan include the names of staff that will conduct the evaluation and state the extent of their expertise in program evaluation?    

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. Plans and past record will be rated as acceptable or unacceptable, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

Taking into account the specific characteristics of the research education program, its duration, 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

Not Applicable.

Budget and Period of Support

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

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s), convened by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences , in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

Appeals of initial peer review will not be accepted for applications submitted in response to this FOA.

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 Advisory Environmental Health Sciences 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, SAM 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.

3. Reporting

The Non-Competing Continuation Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590 or RPPR) 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 enrolled in graduate level courses 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 Progress Report should provide information on the development and implementation of the proposed education research program, modifications to the program as originally proposed, and updates on the evaluation of the program.  All participants in this program must be listed in the progress report, describing how they were selected, and their career level and home institution. A list of any publications and/or other materials arising from the research education program should also be included.

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

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

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.

4. Evaluation

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

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

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)

Danielle Carlin, Ph.D., DABT
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Telephone: 919-541-1409
Email: danielle.carlin@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Linda Bass, PhD
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Telephone: 919-541-1307
Email: bass@niehs.nih.gov.

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Michelle Victalino
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Telephone: (919) 316-4666
Email: victalinom@niehs.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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