Department of Health and Human Services
Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP)

Funding Opportunity Title

Training Modules to Enhance Data Reproducibility (R25)

Activity Code

R25 Education Projects

Announcement Type

New

Related Notices

None

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-GM-15-006

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

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

93.859, 93.398; 93.853; 93.121; 93.867; 93.213; 93.866; 93.273; 93.279; 93.351

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research education activities in the mission areas of the NIH.  The over-arching goal of this NIH R25 program is to support educational activities that complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs and foster a better understanding of biomedical, behavioral and clinical research and its implications. To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on developing courses for skills development, specifically,  training modules for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and beginning investigators designed to enhance data reproducibility.

Key Dates
Posted Date

August 28, 2014

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

October 20, 2014

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

October 20, 2014

Application Due Date(s)

November 20, 2014, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on this date.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

February - March 2015

Advisory Council Review

May 2015

Earliest Start Date

July 2015

Expiration Date

November 21, 2014

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions.

Applications that do not comply with these instructions will not be reviewed

Table of Contents

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

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

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

The over-arching goal of this  NIH  R25 program is to support educational activities that     complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs and foster a better understanding of biomedical, behavioral and clinical research and its implications.  To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on:

  • Courses for Skills Development: Specifically, exportable training modules designed to enhance data reproducibility, targeted to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and beginning investigators.

Background and Program Goals

Several studies have shown that a substantial amount of basic and preclinical published research results cannot be reproduced by other laboratories under the conditions described in the publications. This has major implications for the credibility of science in general and for expensive follow-on translational and clinical research, which may potentially be undertaken on the basis of faulty preliminary results. The lack of reproducibility is not due primarily to intentional fabrication or falsification of data. Rather, in many cases there is a lack awareness or adherence to sufficiently high standards in the planning and execution of scientific experiments, and in transparency in the reporting of science.  Examples include inherently weak experimental designs and over-interpretation of statistically marginal differences and variability of materials, differing brands or even lots of reagents, differing or drifting strains of organisms and cells in culture, or other variables that have not been adequately controlled.

A study of the published literature has found large numbers of reports where basic information such as the numbers of animals, definition of control groups, randomization, blinding, and so forth cannot be determined and/or assumed to be adequate.  There is some speculation that this trend is driven by the desire to publish shorter papers and tendency of high impact journals to minimize descriptions of the methods.  It is also likely related to the pressure to publish breakthrough papers in a relatively few high impact journals.  Some journals have taken steps to address some of these issues. NIH has voiced its concerns over these revelations publically (http://www.nature.com/news/policy-nih-plans-to-enhance-reproducibility-1.14586) and has proposed steps to remedy the situation. As a part of this effort NIH proposes to address the need for additional training in areas relevant to data reproducibility in this FOA.

To help determine whether additional training efforts in areas relevant to increasing data reproducibility are warranted, NIGMS published a Request for Information (NOT-GM-14-003) to solicit feedback from the scientific community on existing and planned training for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and areas where additional offerings supported by NIGMS might complement those efforts.  Forty-eight responses were received and, and while some respondents reported significant training in the area, there was substantial variation in training offered at different institutions.

Graduate students were often significantly dependent on the mentor or the mentor's lab for the training received, and postdoctoral fellows were primarily dependent on the mentor or mentor's lab at all institutions.  Rather than being learned in prescribed curricula, training in good laboratory practices that influence data reproducibility appears to be largely passed down from generation to generation of working scientists, with substantial variation from laboratory to laboratory.  Importantly, most respondents thought an NIGMS program aimed at producing exportable training modules would be beneficial.  It is also hoped that NIH involvement in promoting training in this area will raise the visibility of this issue and its importance within our grantee community.

Research Education Objectives

NIH proposes to initiate a program of grants to develop exportable training modules in areas with the potential to enhance data reproducibility and to provide for communication and coordination of their development and deployment. Modules are relatively short units of training of sufficient depth and coverage to empower the trainee with the knowledge and skills to modify their conduct of research.  Exportable in this case means shareable and accessible, open educational resources. The target audiences for these modules are graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and beginning investigators.  It is expected that the proposed training modules will identify deficiencies and teach best laboratory practices in one or more of the following four general areas:

  • Experimental design: examples include, but are not limited to, how to carefully account for all significant potential biases; how to apply randomization in animal studies; how to determine whether controls and replicates are adequate; how to ensure adequate statistical power.
  • Laboratory practices: examples include, but are not limited to, what are the considerations for consistent validation of reagents and use of appropriate standards, how to maintain timely and complete data and workflow recording, and documentation.
  • Analysis and reporting: examples include, but are not limited to, how to deal with outliers appropriately; what are the necessary procedural details that should be included; what are the research resources that must be identified, including their type and source; how to improve the generalizability of conclusions and inferences through orthogonal approaches.
  • Culture of science: examples include, but are not limited to, how to avoid confirmation bias in hypothesis testing; how to defend against the subtle influence of pressure to produce exciting findings; how to ensure adequate oversight when the volume and speed of new science may mean mentors are unfamiliar with technology used by their trainees.

The training modules are expected to cover material not typically taught in current institutional coursework.  For example, modules that simply replicate material found in standard courses of statistics are discouraged.  All material should be closely aligned with currently ongoing laboratory research and derived from a training need experienced by laboratory personnel.

The participating Institutes and Centers are committed to supporting modules that cover a wide range of issues relevant to enhancing data reproducibility.  It is unlikely that more than one award will be made to develop modules on the same topic.

Program Structure for Module Development and Accessibility

The intent of this program is to develop training modules that trainees and investigators can engage during the conduct of biomedical research that provide education in laboratory and reporting best practices to increase the likelihood that other scientists will derive the same results when the experiments are repeated. This training may take many different types of formats and approaches, but should be timely, informative, engaging, and easily accessible at no cost.  Some general expectations are as follows:

Platforms: examples include, but are not limited to, interactive, online modules; videos or case studies with supporting discussion materials, problems, etc.; Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs); computer-video simulations

Module length: short (hours to a day), but will depend on the area(s) selected.

Length of awards:  it is expected that all modules will be developed, piloted, and disseminated within the first two years of the award; budgets may be awarded for up to five years to allow module evaluation and module modification/maintenance in years three through five.

Awardees will be expected to attend a meeting held in Bethesda shortly after the awards are activated to present plans for developing their modules.  The intent is to have the grantees share their knowledge and insights into developing engaging and informative educational modules.  Awardees will also be expected to attend a meeting in Bethesda towards the end of the second year of support at which grantees will present an overview of the modules they have developed, results of pilots, and plans for outreach and evaluation.  The meetings in Bethesda will be organized by NIGMS staff.

Once the modules have been developed and made available, links to these educational resources will be posted and maintained on the NIGMS web site.

Areas of Specific Interest

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) may support applications that develop and test training modules focused on issues involved in the reproducibility of alcohol studies in both human and animal models, especially those involved in sex/gender differences and the standardization of phenotypes.

The mission of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is to provide funding for research to build the scientific evidence of complementary and integrative health interventions that informs decision making by the public, by health care professionals, and by health policymakers. This is can only be achieved through rigorous scientific investigation conducted in well-designed and experimentally sound basic, clinical and translational studies that minimizes potential bias and reports essential methodological details. Thus, NCCAM will support studies committed to enhancing the reproducibility of results and transparency in reporting on the design, conduct, and analysis of experiments. For this program, NCCAM will support applications that contribute to the Center’s mission (http://nccam.nih.gov/), research priorities (http://nccam.nih.gov/grants/priorities), and strategic plan (http://nccam.nih.gov/about/plans/2011).

The National Eye Institute (NEI) supports research that advances our knowledge of how the visual system functions in health and disease. Within this context, the NEI will support educational activities that have as their primary focus the development of courses designed to enhance data reproducibility in vision research. 

The Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP) will support educational activities targeting veterinary students, veterinary postdoctoral fellows and beginning veterinary scientists.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) shares the concern of the scientific community that additional training of graduate students, post-doctoral/clinical fellows and beginning investigators is essential to enhance data reproducibility from target discovery through the drug discovery and development process all the way to the design of robust clinical trials.  Not only are carefully designed and appropriately controlled basic research experiments an area of concern, but an understanding of how to validate the clinical relevance of a target protein or pathway in cancer progression and metastasis requires a proper understanding of the therapeutics development process.  This includes utilization of clinically relevant (i.e. exposure) doses for in vitro assays, the identification of an appropriate in vivo model system, and incorporation of pharmacodynamic markers to assess modulation of the target in addition to overall efficacy in both pre-clinical and clinical studies.  The utility of clinical diagnostic, prognostic and pharmacodynamic assays are undermined by a failure to quality control the assay reagents, instrumentation maintenance, and implementation of calibration standards to ensure reproducibility and comparability between sites.  Education of young scientists in the rigors of “locking down” an assay and the principles of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for assay conduct is essential for those pursuing careers in industry, but is also important in helping academicians understand the requirements of translating their laboratory protocols to clinically validated results.

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

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

The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

The following NIH components intend to commit the following amounts in FY 2015:

NIGMS intends to fund 6 to 7 awards, corresponding to a total of $1,000,000, for fiscal year 2015

NCI, up to $450,000, to fund up to 3 awards.

NIDCR, up to $300,000, to fund up to 2 awards.

NEI, up to $300,000, to fund up to 2 awards.

NINDS, up to $300,000, to fund up to 2 awards.

NIAAA, up to $150,000, to support up to 1 award.

NIA, up to $150,000, to support up to 1 award.

NCCAM, up to $150,000, to fund up to 1 award.

ORIP, up to $150,000, to support up to 1 award.

NIDA, up to $150,000, to support up to 1 award.  

Award Budget

Application budgets may request up to $150,000 in total costs to cover the entire award period, but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

Award Project Period

Applications may request award periods of up to five years. 

Other Award Budget Information
Personnel Costs

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

Participant Costs

Not Applicable

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.

Indirect Costs

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

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

Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants
Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

  • Public/State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education
  • Private Institutions of Higher Education

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

  • Hispanic-Serving Institutions
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)
  • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions
  • Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

  • Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)
  • Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)

For-Profit Organizations

  • Small Businesses
  • For-Profit Organizations (Other than Small Businesses)

Governments

  • State Governments
  • County Governments
  • City or Township Governments
  • Special District Governments
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized)
  • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
  • U.S. Territory or Possession

Other

  • Independent School Districts
  • Public Housing Authorities/Indian Housing Authorities
  • Native American Tribal Organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Faith-based or Community-based Organizations
  • Regional Organizations

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

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

Foreign Institutions

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

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.

  • Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) - All registrations require that applicants be issued a DUNS number. After obtaining a DUNS number, applicants can begin both SAM and eRA Commons registrations. The same DUNS number must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly CCR) – Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
  • eRA Commons - Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the eRA Commons registration. Organizations can register with the eRA Commons as they are working through their SAM or Grants.gov registration. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • Grants.gov – Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s))

All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account.  PD(s)/PI(s) should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate their existing account with the applicant organization in eRA Commons. If the PD/PI is also the organizational Signing Official, they must have two distinct eRA Commons accounts, one for each role. Obtaining an eRA Commons account can take up to 2 weeks.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

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

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

The PD/PI should be an established 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.

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.

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time.  This means that the NIH will not accept:

  • A new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping new (A0) or resubmission (A1) application.
  • A resubmission (A1) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of the previous new (A0) application.
  • An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see NOT-OD-11-101).

In addition, the NIH will not accept a resubmission (A1) application that is submitted later than 37 months after submission of the new (A0) application that it follows.  The NIH will accept submission:

  • To an RFA of an application that was submitted previously as an investigator-initiated application but not paid;
  • Of an investigator-initiated application that was originally submitted to an RFA but not paid; or
  • Of an application with a changed grant activity code.
Participants
 

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, including Supplemental Grant Application Instructions except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions will not be reviewed.

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

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:

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • Name(s), address(es), and telephone number(s) of the PD(s)/PI(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Michael Rogers, Ph.D.
Director, Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biological Chemistry
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
National Institutes of Health
Bldg 45, Rm 2As.53m
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone: 301-594-3827
Fax: 301-480-2802
Email: rogersm@mail.nih.gov

Page Limitations

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

Instructions for Application Submission

The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this FOA.

SF424(R&R) Cover

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

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

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

SF424 (R&R) Other Project Information Component

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

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

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

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

R&R Budget

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

  • Include all personnel other than the PD(s)/PI(s) in the Other Personnel section, including clerical and administrative staff.
  • Use the section on Participant/Trainee Support Costs to include all allowable categories of funds requested to support participants in the program.
  • Applicants should budget travel funds to attend two meetings in Bethesda, MD.
PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

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

PHS 398 Research Plan Component

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

Research Strategy

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

  • Proposed Research Education Program
  • Program Director/Principal Investigator
  • Program Faculty
  • Institutional Environment and Commitment
  • Evaluation Plan
  • Dissemination Plan

Research Education Program Plan

Proposed Research Education Program. While the proposed research education program may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those research training and research education programs currently receiving federal support. When research training programs are on-going in the same department, the applicant organization should clearly distinguish between the activities in the proposed research education program and the research training supported by the training program. The description should include the educational and/or career level(s) of the planned participants. The research education proposed must be targeted to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and beginning investigators

State the goals for education and justify the area of training selected for module development in terms of its relevance and potential impact on improving data reproducibility. Describe the subject material to be covered.  Describe the format for the training module proposed and justify it in terms of the education goals.  The length of the proposed training module should be explained in terms of scope and depth of coverage of the subject matter and how the research education will be utilized by trainees, for example, a module on how to avoid confirmation bias to be taken by all beginning laboratory workers at the graduate student, postdoctoral fellow and beginning investigator level, or a module on appropriate design of animal studies to be taken immediately prior to beginning such work. Describe the plans for piloting the training module. 

Describe plans for making the proposed training module section 508 compliant of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. '794 d), as amended by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (P.L. 105 – 220; see http://www.section508.gov/ for additional information).

Provide a timeline for module development, piloting and refinement, dissemination, evaluation, and maintenance.  This timeline must propose making the training publically available within two years of the award date.           

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

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

Program Participants. Applications must describe the intended participants, and the eligibility criteria and/or specific educational background characteristics that are essential for participation in the proposed research education program. Identify the career levels  for which the proposed program is planned. The training proposed must be targeted to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and/or beginning investigators       

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

Evaluation Plan. Applications must include a plan for evaluating the activities supported by the award in terms of their frequency of use and their usefulness.  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.

Dissemination Plan. A specific plan must be provided to disseminate nationally at no additional cost the finished training modules.

Letters of Support

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

Resource Sharing Plans

Not Applicable

Appendix

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

Planned Enrollment Report

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Planned Enrollment Reports as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. 

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report 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 due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission.

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

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

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

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 the System for Award Management (SAM). Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness 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 NIGMS Referral Office by email at sheehyp@nigms.nih.gov when the application has been submitted. Please include the FOA number and title, PD(s)/PI(s) name(s), and title of the application.

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in NOT-OD-13-030.     

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria

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

For this particular announcement, note the following: The goal of this R25 program is to support the development of exportable training modules designed to enhance data reproducibility and to target the research education of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and beginning investigators.

Overall Impact

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

Scored Review Criteria

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

Significance

Does the proposed program address a key audience and an important aspect or important need in research education? Is there convincing evidence in the application that the proposed program will significantly advance the stated goal of the program?

Investigator(s)

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

Innovation

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

Approach

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

Environment

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

Additional Review Criteria

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

Protections for Human Subjects

For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: (1) risk to subjects, (2) adequacy of protection against risks, (3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, (4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and (5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.

For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: (1) the justification for the exemption, (2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and (3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

When the proposed project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of children to determine if it is  justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed. For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following five points: (1) proposed use of the animals, and species, strains, ages, sex, and numbers to be used; (2) justifications for the use of animals and for the appropriateness of the species and numbers proposed; (3) adequacy of veterinary care; (4) procedures for limiting discomfort, distress, pain and injury to that which is unavoidable in the conduct of scientifically sound research including the use of analgesic, anesthetic, and tranquilizing drugs and/or comfortable restraining devices; and (5) methods of euthanasia and reason for selection if not consistent with the AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.

Biohazards

Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.

Resubmissions

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.

Recruitment & Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity

Not Applicable

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

Not Applicable

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable

Select Agent Research

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

Resource Sharing Plans

Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: 1) Data Sharing Plan; 2) Sharing Model Organisms; and 3) 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) convened by CSR, in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

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

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

Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the appropriate national Advisory Council or Board. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

  • Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by scientific peer review.
  • Availability of funds.
  • Relevance of the proposed project to program priorities.  
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

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

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

Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices

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

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

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

Any application awarded in response to this FOA will be subject to terms and conditions found on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.  This includes any recent legislation and policy applicable to awards that is highlighted on this website.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

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

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.  

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 reportand the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout of an award as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

4. Evaluation

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

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

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

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

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

Application Submission Contacts

eRA Commons Help Desk (Questions regarding eRA Commons registration, submitting and tracking an application, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, post submission issues)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)
Finding Help Online: https://grants.nih.gov/support/index.html
Email: commons@od.nih.gov

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

GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and process, finding NIH grant resources)
Telephone: 301-710-0267
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Michael E. Rogers, Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Telephone: 301-594-3827
Email: rogersm@nigms.nih.gov

Peggy Murray, Ph.D.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Telephone: 301-443-2594;
Email: pmurray@mail.nih.gov

Ming Lei, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-5634
Email: leim@mail.nih.gov

Alberto Rivera-Rentas, Ph.D.
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Telephone: 301-443-8372
Email: rivera@mail.nih.gov

Chyren Hunter, Ph.D.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Telephone: 301-496-9322
Email: hunterc@mail.nih.gov

Elena Koustova, Ph.D.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Telephone:  301-496-8768
Email:  koustovae@nida.nih.gov

Neeraj Agarwal, Ph.D.
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Telephone: 301-451-2020
Email: agarwalnee@nei.nih.gov

Manuel Moro, DVM, PhD
Office of Research Infrastructure Programs  (ORIP)
Telephone: 301-435-0960
Email: morom@mail.nih.gov,

Shai Silberberg, PhD
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Telephone: 301-496-1917
Email: silberbs@mail.nih.gov

Lynn Mertens King, Ph.D.
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Telephone: 301-594-5006
Email: Lynn.King@NIH.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Dr. Maqsood A Wani
Center for Scientific Review (CSR)
Telephone: 301-435-2270
Email: mw486e@nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Lisa Moeller
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Telephone: 301-594-3914
Email: moellerl@mail.nih.gov

George Tucker
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Telephone: 301-594-9102
Email: tuckerg@mail.nih.gov

Gavin Wilkom, M.I.M.
Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP)
Telephone: 301-435-0964
Email: wilkomg@mail.nih.gov

Crystal Wolfrey
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-6277
Email: wolfreyc@mail.nih.gov

William Darby
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Telephone: 301-435-8179
Email: darbyw@mail.nih.gov   

Tijuanna E. DeCoster, PhD
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Telephone: 301-496-9231
Email: decostert@mail.nih.gov

Judy Fox
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Telephone: 301-443-4704
Email: jfox@mail.nih.gov

Pam Fleming
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Telephone: 301-253-8729
Email:  pfleming@nida.nih.gov

Lesa McQueen
National Institue on Aging (NIA)
Telephone: 301-496-1472
Email: mcqueenl@mail.nih.gov

Dede Rutberg, MBA
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Telephone: 301-594-4798
Email: rutbergd@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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