SUMMER RESEARCH EXPERIENCES FOR UNDERGRADUATES

Release Date:  August 27, 2001

RFA:  RFA-GM-02-002

National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  January 15, 2002
Application Receipt Date:       February 15, 2002

PURPOSE

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) recognizes the 
increasing trend toward the use of interdisciplinary approaches to advance the 
nation's research endeavor and thus the need to encourage cross-disciplinary 
training for the next generation of researchers.  Therefore, this RFA seeks to 
encourage cross-training of undergraduate students by providing opportunities 
for those in the quantitative and physical sciences to take part in mentored 
biomedical research experiences with NIH-supported investigators.  Such programs 
should provide innovative, mentored, realistic summer laboratory research 
experiences for an appropriately targeted (as defined by the applicant) group of 
undergraduate students in biomedical research projects at the institution.  The 
application should include strong faculty involvement, interactive group 
activities, presentations, and seminars.

Applications are sought for programs that recruit students from the quantitative 
and physical disciplines such as, but not limited to, engineering, mathematics, 
computer science, and physics, to participate in biomedical and/or translational 
research. 

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010

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

Applications may be submitted by domestic, non-profit organizations, public and 
private that have a cohort of mentors with NIH support. Since this is an 
institutional program, the Program Director should be an individual with the 
ability and authority to run an institutional, cross-departmental program.  
Students should be placed in the laboratory of an investigator (participating 
mentor) who has an NIH-supported research grant and who can provide sufficient 
mentoring for an undergraduate summer research experience.  In addition, the 
institution must be prepared to provide enrichment activities to enhance and 
support the laboratory experience. Participating mentors are expected to be 
Principal Investigators (PIs) on any of the following types of grants: R15, R55, 
R21, R01, P01, P50, R37, U01, and S06.  Foreign institutions are not eligible 
for Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates grants.  Racial/ethnic 
minority individuals, women and persons with disabilities are encouraged to 
apply as Program Directors or participating mentors.

Applications should describe an eight- to ten-week summer research program, 
targeting a pool of no less than five and no more than ten undergraduate 
students with quantitative backgrounds to work with NIH extramurally funded PIs. 
The students selected to participate in the summer research program may be part 
of a larger institutional program. Participating mentors should have an active 
NIH research grant and be able to provide sufficient mentoring and a realistic 
research experience. 

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Awards under this RFA will use the National Institutes of Health Education 
Research Project (R25) award mechanism. The Education Research Project provides 
support to develop and/or implement a program as it relates to a category in one 
or more of the areas of education, information, training, technical assistance, 
coordination, or evaluation. 

Responsibility for the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed 
program will be solely that of the applicant.  The total project period for the 
application submitted in response to this RFA may not exceed four years.  
Facilities and Administration costs will be paid at 8% of the direct costs, 
minus appropriate exclusions.  Awards will be administered according to the NIH 
Grants Policy Statement

This RFA is a one-time solicitation.  Future unsolicited competing applications 
will not be accepted. The anticipated award date will be February 1, 2003.

Allowable Costs: 

If appropriate, the budget may include:

o Salary and Wages: (1) Student remuneration through salary, wages and fringe 
benefits for participation in summer research experiences.  In order to provide 
student salary support, (a) students must perform actual and meaningful research 
work; (b) an employer-employee relationship must exist between the student and 
the institution; (c) total compensation must be reasonable for the research work 
performed; and (d) it must be the institution's practice to provide compensation 
for all students in similar circumstances. Caution should be used not to permit 
students to receive duplicate federal support (excluding Pell Grants and VA 
Benefits). (2) Staff salaries and wages should be limited to partial 
remuneration for the Program Director (no more than 10% effort) and an 
administrative assistant (no more than 25% effort). A strong justification of 
their role in the project should be provided.

o Supplies and Other Expenses: The budget may include funds for research 
supplies up to $500.00 per student. 

Unallowable Costs 

o Include, but are not limited to: stipends, equipment, housing, food, 
incentives, travel costs (e.g. to meetings or training sites), textbooks, 
tuition, and entertainment costs. Consortium agreements are unallowable also.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

An estimated total of $1.5 million will be available for the awards made in 
response to this RFA, if NIGMS receives sufficient numbers of highly meritorious 
applications.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

This program seeks to promote the initiation and development of unique, 
innovative summer research experiences for a cohort of no less than five and no 
more than ten undergraduate students who would not normally be involved in the 
biomedical research endeavor.  Programs that recruit students from disciplines 
not traditionally involved in biomedical research such as, but not limited to, 
engineering, mathematics, computer science, physics, and pharmacy, to 
participate in interdisciplinary biomedical and/or translational research are 
especially encouraged.

Specific Objectives

The proposed summer program is expected to be specifically designed for the 
undergraduate students from non-biological backgrounds and should allow for the 
development/expansion of their knowledge and research skills of biomedically 
related sciences during the summer months. The Program Director should be an 
individual with the ability and authority to run an institutional, cross-
departmental program.  Participating mentors should have active, NIH 
extramurally funded research and preferably should have a demonstrated record of 
student training.  This web site may be used as a resource for additional 
information on NIGMS programs: http://www.nih.gov/nigms/. In addition, 
participating mentors must be able to provide sufficient mentoring for a summer 
research experience. 

It is an expectation of NIGMS that students who enter Summer Research 
Experiences Program will receive support from the institution (grantee), i.e., 
access to equipment, instruction on safely using laboratory reagents and 
equipment, and library resources.  Applicants should describe the type(s) of 
institutional commitment that would be available for this program as well as a 
plan for monitoring student activities to ensure that the program goals are 
being met.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Applicants should fully describe the Summer Research Experiences for 
Undergraduates Program and explain how its design will meet the goals of this 
initiative and the needs of the targeted student group.  Applicants should 
describe the criteria to be used in the selection and laboratory placement of 
the student participants. They will need also to show evidence of a unique 
summer program, with a commitment to training the targeted pool, including a 
description of potential laboratory experiences as well as other enrichment 
activities planned for the students. Applicants should provide evidence of 
previous experience in working with the targeted population. The first week of 
the summer experience should include training procedures for laboratory safety, 
instruction in scientific ethics, and information on career options. 

Applicants with existing summer research experiences for undergraduates should 
describe the existing programs and explain how they do not duplicate the goals 
of the new program designed under this initiative.   An applicant should 
describe the current methods and facilities available for tracking student 
participants and must provide details of the methodology to be used to assess 
whether the program is meeting the program's objectives.

Evaluation Requirements 

An important aspect of each application is the inclusion of an evaluation plan 
that clearly states measurable objectives, outcomes and steps to assess 
effectiveness. Ideas on approaching evaluations of this type of program may be 
found on http://www.the-aps.org/education/promote/promote.html. This site is a 
project of the American Physiological Society that has received support from 
NIGMS.  Although it is targeted to the evaluation of programs to increase the 
number of underrepresented minorities in biomedical science, the material on 
this site may also be used as a resource for developing evaluation plans for 
Summer Undergraduate Research Programs.  At each noncompetitive renewal, the 
Principal Investigator will evaluate the impact of the Summer Research 
Experiences for Undergraduates on the institution.

Reporting Requirements 

The Application for Continuation of a Grant (PHS 2590, rev. 5/01, 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm) or equivalent documentation must be 
submitted to, and be approved by, NIH to noncompetitively fund each additional 
budget period within a previously approved project period.  The PHS 2590 (SNAP) 
application should include in the progress report a list of students supported, 
description of the enrichment activities provided, and a list of the mentors 
participating in the summer research experience. The annual progress report must 
include also information on the number of students that participated and how the 
proposed program objectives were fulfilled (Reference: NIH Grants Policy 
Statement, NIH Publication No. 99-8, October 1998.)

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their 
sub-populations must be included in all NIH-supported biomedical and behavioral 
research projects involving human subjects, unless a clear and compelling 
rationale and justification are provided indicating that inclusion is 
inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of the 
research.  This policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 
492B of Public Law 103-43). 

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
UPDATED "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in 
Clinical Research," published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts on 
August 2, 2000 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-048.html); 
a complete copy of the updated Guidelines are available at  
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_update.htm:  The 
revisions relate to NIH defined Phase III clinical trials and require: a) all 
applications or proposals and/or protocols to provide a description of plans to 
conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by sex/gender and/or 
racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable; and b) all 
investigators to report accrual, and to conduct and report analyses, as 
appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group differences.

INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

It is the policy of NIH that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) 
must be included in all human subjects research, conducted or supported by the 
NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them.  This 
policy applies to all initial (Type 1) applications submitted for receipt dates 
after October 1, 1998.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
NIH Policy and Guidelines on the Inclusion of Children as Participants in 
Research Involving Human Subjects that was published in the NIH Guide for Grants 
and Contracts, March 6, 1998, and is available at the following URL address: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-024.html.

Investigators also may obtain copies of these policies from the program staff 
listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide additional relevant 
information concerning the policy.

URLS IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES

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

REQUIRED EDUCATION ON THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN SUBJECT PARTICIPANTS

NIH policy requires education on the protection of human subject participants 
for all investigators submitting NIH proposals for research involving human 
subjects.  This policy announcement is found in the NIH Guide for Grants and 
Contracts Announcement dated June 5, 2000, at the following website:  
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-039.html.

PUBLIC ACCESS TO RESEARCH DATA THROUGH THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to 
provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act 
(FOIA) under some circumstances. Data that are (1) first produced in a project 
that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) cited publicly 
and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action that has the force 
and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed through FOIA. It is 
important for applicants to understand the basic scope of this amendment. NIH 
has provided guidance at:
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm 

Applicants may wish to place data collected under this RFA (PA) in a public 
archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the distribution 
for an indefinite period of time. If so, the application should include a 
description of the archiving plan in the study design and include information 
about this in the budget justification section of the application. In addition, 
applicants should think about how to structure informed consent statements and 
other human subjects procedures given the potential for wider use of data 
collected under this award.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are requested to submit, by January 15, 2002, a letter of 
intent that includes a descriptive title of the proposed summer program, the 
name, address and phone number of the Program Director, and the number and title 
of the RFA in response to which the application may be submitted.  Although, a 
letter of intent is not required, it is not binding, and does not enter into the 
review of a subsequent application, the information it contains allows NIGMS 
staff to estimate the potential review workload and to plan the review. Mail of 
fax the letter of intent to:

Dr. Hinda Zlotnik
Program Director
National Institutes of General Medical Sciences
Building 45, Room 2As.37K, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20851
FAX: (301) 480-2753

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The research grant application form PHS 398 (revised 5/01) at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html is to be used in 
applying for these grants. These forms are available at most institutional 
offices of sponsored research; from the Division of Extramural Outreach and 
Information Resources, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive 
MSC7910, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-7910, telephone (301) 435-0714; email: 
Grantsinfo@nih.gov.
 
The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) application form must be 
affixed to the bottom of the face page of the application.  Type the RFA number 
on the label.  Failure to use this label could result in delayed processing of 
the application such that it may not reach the review committee in time for 
review.  In addition, the RFA title and number must be typed on line 2 of the 
face page of the application form and the YES box must be marked. The RFA label 
is also available at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/label-bk.pdf.

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the 
Checklist, and three photocopies of the signed application in one package to:

CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC REVIEW
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, SUITE 1040, MSC 7710
BETHESDA, MD 20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)

At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application must be sent 
to:

Chief, Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Building 45, Room 1AS.13, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200

Applications must be received by the application receipt date listed in the 
heading of this RFA. If an application is received after that date, it will be 
returned to the applicant without review.

The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept any application in 
response to this RFA that is essentially the same as one currently pending 
initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. The CSR 
will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already 
reviewed. This does not preclude the submission of substantial revisions of 
applications already reviewed, but such applications must include an 
introduction addressing the previous critique.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR and 
responsiveness by NIGMS.  Incomplete and/or non-responsive applications will be 
returned to the applicant without further consideration.

Applications that are complete and responsive to the RFA will be evaluated for 
scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by 
the NIGMS in accordance with the review criteria stated below.  As part of the 
initial merit review, all applications will receive a written critique and 
undergo a process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest 
scientific merit, generally the top half of the applications under review, will 
be discussed, assigned a priority score, and receive a second level review by 
the NIGMS National Advisory Council.

Review Criteria

This RFA seeks to encourage cross training of undergraduates by providing 
opportunities for those in the quantitative and physical sciences to take part 
in mentored biomedical research experiences with NIH-supported or other 
extramurally supported investigators. Thus, the following criteria will be used 
in the evaluation of the each application:

(1) Uniqueness, reasonableness and merit of the proposed summer program 
activities for the targeted student population.

(2) Rationale for the selection procedures of the targeted student population 
and evidence of an adequate student pool.

(3) Quality and experience of the research faculty as investigators and mentors, 
including evidence of adequate NIH-funded support.

(4) Budget and cost-effectiveness of the project including appropriateness to 
the scope of the program and benefit to the students.

(5) Evidence of institutional commitment; adequacy and availability of research 
resources and the research environment.

(6) Merit of the measurable objectives and the plan for the evaluation of the 
impact of the program.
 
In addition to the above criteria, in accordance with NIH policy, all 
applications will also be reviewed with respect to the following:

o The reasonableness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to the 
proposed project.

o The adequacy of the proposed protection for humans, animals, or the 
environment, to the extent they may be adversely affected by the project 
proposed in the application.

Schedule: 
Letter of Intent Receipt Date:    January 15, 2002
Application Receipt Date:         February 15, 2002
Peer Review:                      June 2002
Advisory Council:                 September/October 2002
Earliest Anticipated Award Date:  February 1, 2003

AWARD CRITERIA 

The Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates will be awarded on a 
competitive basis.  The criteria for funding decisions on individual research 
applications will be based on:

o the proposed project's scientific merit.

o its relevance to the NIGMS mission and the intent of this RFA.

o availability of funds.

o geographical distribution of awardee institutions.

INQUIRIES  

Inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any 
issues or questions from potential applicants is welcome.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to: 
 
Hinda Zlotnik, Ph.D.
Program Director
Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Building 45, Room 2AS.37K, MSC 6200
Bethesda, Maryland  20892-6200
Telephone: (301) 594-2651
Fax:  (301) 480-2554
Email: hindaz@nigms.nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Antoinette Holland
Grants Management Officer
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Building 45, Room 2An.50B, MSC 6200
Bethesda, Maryland  20892-6200 
Telephone: (301) 594-5243
FAX: (301) 480-2554
Email: hollanda@nigms.nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 
93.821, 93.859, and 93.862. Awards are made under authorization of Sections 301 
and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and 
administered under NIH grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 
CFR Parts 74 and 92. This program is not subject to the intergovernmental review 
requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.

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


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