Part I Overview Information


Department of Health and Human Services

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

Components of Participating Organizations
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), ( http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov)

Title:  Short-Term Research Education Program to Increase Diversity in Health-Related Research (R25)

Announcement Type
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is a reissue of RFA-HL-07-013

Request for Applications (RFA) Number: RFA-HL-08-016

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

NOTICE: Applications submitted in response to this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for Federal assistance must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov) using the SF424 Research and Related (R&R) forms and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

APPLICATIONS MAY NOT BE SUBMITTED IN PAPER FORMAT.

This FOA must be read in conjunction with the application guidelines included with this announcement in Grants.gov/Apply for Grants (hereafter called Grants.gov/Apply).

A registration process is necessary before submission and applicants are highly encouraged to start the process at least four (4) weeks prior to the grant submission date. See Section IV.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number(s)
93.233, 93.837, 93.838, 93.839  

Key Dates
Release/Posted Date: June 13, 2008
Opening Date: July 15, 2008 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date:
July 15, 2008
NOTE: On-time submission requires that applications be successfully submitted to Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. local time (of the applicant institution/organization). 
Application Submission/Receipt Date: August 15, 2008
Peer Review Date(s): October/November 2008 
Council Review Date: January 2009
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: April 1, 2009
Additional Information To Be Available Date (Activation Date): Not Applicable
Expiration Date: August 16, 2008

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Additional Overview Content

Executive Summary

Table of Contents


Part I Overview Information

Part II Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
1. Research Education Objectives

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

Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants

    A. Eligible Institutions
    B. Eligible Individuals
2. Cost Sharing or Matching
3. Other - Special Eligibility Criteria

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

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria
2. Review and Selection Process
    A. Additional Review Criteria
    B. Additional Review Considerations
    C. Resource Sharing Plan(s)
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

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

Section VII. Agency Contact(s)
1. Scientific/Research Contact(s)

2. Peer Review Contact(s)
3. Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Section VIII. Other Information - Required Federal Citations

Part II - Full Text of Announcement


Section I. Funding Opportunity Description


1. Research Education Objectives

Although the number of individuals from diverse backgrounds (such as African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans) pursuing advanced degrees in the biomedical and behavioral sciences increased over the past 25 years, the representation in these fields remains disproportionately low.

This program is intended to: (1) provide opportunities for undergraduate and health professional students from diverse backgrounds (e.g., disadvantaged backgrounds and racial and ethnic minorities) and individuals with disabilities to participate in activities leading to research careers in areas relevant to cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, and sleep disorders; and (2) increase the short supply of qualified investigators from diverse backgrounds (e.g., disadvantaged backgrounds and racial and ethnic minorities) and individuals with disabilities.

NHLBI encourages research areas crossing disciplinary boundaries (examples: biophysics, biostatistics, bioinformatics, bioengineering) to develop a new interdisciplinary workforce.

The NIH recognizes a unique and compelling need to promote diversity in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical, and social sciences research work force. The NIH expects efforts to diversify the work force to lead to:

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) solicits applications from applicant organizations that propose creative and innovative research education programs in the mission area(s) of the NHLBI.  The NIH Research Education (R25) grant mechanism is a flexible and specialized mechanism designed to foster the development of biomedical, behavioral, social science, and clinical researchers through creative and innovative research education programs. The overall goal of the NHLBI’s research education program is to ensure that highly trained scientists will be available in adequate numbers and in appropriate scientific areas to address the Nation’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs in the NHLBI mission areas. The NIH encourages all proposed programs to foster the participation of individuals from racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, individuals with disabilities, and women.

Although the NIH currently provides multiple opportunities to develop research careers and improve participation for individuals from groups with low representation in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, reports from the National Science Foundation (NSF), (see http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/) and others provide strong evidence that diversity remains an important problem that the entire research enterprise must actively address.

There is abundant evidence that the biomedical and educational enterprise will directly benefit from broader inclusion. Recent studies have supported the argument that diversity enhances the quality of education in multiple settings. Studies have suggested that racially and culturally concordant scientific staff may be more successful in recruiting individuals from minority groups into clinical trials. Racially similar physician-patient dyads also may be related to greater patient satisfaction in ways that could enhance communication and participation in clinical research settings. There is no question that the need for a diverse work force permeates all aspects of the nation's health-related research effort.

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. This announcement describes programs designed to stimulate the participation of individuals from the following groups:

The proposed research education program may complement other, 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 can not be used to circumvent or supplement Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) mechanisms.

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

Section II. Award Information


1. Mechanism of Support

This FOA will use the NIH Research Education Grant (R25) award mechanism. The Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project.  

This FOA uses just-in-time concepts (see SF424 (R&R) Application Guide). It also uses the non-modular budget format. Applicants must complete and submit budget requests using the SF424 Research and Related (R&R) Budget Component found in the application package for this FOA. 

Research education grant support is renewable.  It is recommended that applicants contact the scientific/research contact listed in Section VII concerning the submission of a competing renewal (formerly “competing continuation”) application. Resubmission applications are not permitted in response to this FOA. 

2. Funds Available

Because the nature and scope of the proposed research education program will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary. Although the financial plans of the NHLBI provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this funding opportunity are contingent upon the availability of funds and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

The total project period for an application submitted in response to this funding opportunity may not exceed 5 years. Although the size of award may vary with the scope of the research education program proposed, it is expected that applications will stay within the following budgetary guidelines: total direct costs are limited to $106,250 (average) annually.

Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs requested by consortium participants are not included in the direct cost limitation. See NOT-OD-05-004.

All awards are subject to the availability of funds. The estimated amount of funds available for support of projects awarded as a result of this announcement is $850,000 for fiscal year 2009.  Up to eight new awards are anticipated. Future year amounts will depend on annual appropriations.

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

1.A. Eligible Institutions

The following organizations/institutions are eligible to apply:

Foreign institutions are not eligible to apply in response to this FOA. 

In many cases, it is anticipated that the proposed research education program will complement other ongoing research training occurring at the applicant institution and that a substantial number of program faculty will have active research projects in which participants may gain relevant experiences consistent with their research interests and goals. 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.  Moreover, the R25 mechanism is not intended to support long-term training by NRSA-eligible individuals and may not be used to circumvent or supplement Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA research training mechanisms. 

If multiple sites are involved in the research education program, the applicant institution must be the primary site for the program.  The need for and use of multiple sites must be justified.

The applicant institution must have a strong research program in the area(s) proposed for research training and must have the requisite staff and facilities to carry out the proposed program.  

1.B. Eligible Individuals

Eligibility and Requirements for Principal Investigators

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research education program as the PD/PI is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds are always encouraged to apply for NIH support. The PD/PI will be expected to monitor and assess the program, submitting annual reports as required. (See Section VI.3., “Reporting.”)

The PD/PI(s) should be an established investigator in the scientific area in which the application is targeted who is capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed research education program.

More than one PD/PI, or multiple PDs/PIs, may be designated on the application for projects that require a “team science” approach that clearly does not fit the single-PD/PI model. Additional information on the implementation plans and policies and procedures to formally allow more than one PD/PI on individual research projects is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/multi_pi. All PDs/PIs must be registered in the NIH eRA Commons prior to the submission of the application (see http://era.nih.gov/ElectronicReceipt/preparing.htm for instructions).

The decision of whether to apply for a single PD/PI or multiple PD/PI grant is the responsibility of the investigators and applicant organizations and should be determined by the scientific goals of the project. Applications for multiple PD/PI grants will require additional information, as outlined in the instructions below. The NIH review criteria for approach, investigators, and environment have been modified to accommodate applications involving either a single PD/PI or multiple PDs/PIs. When considering multiple PDs/PIs, please be aware that the structure and governance of the PD/PI leadership team as well as the knowledge, skills and experience of the individual PD/PIs will be factored into the assessment of the overall scientific merit of the application.  Multiple PDs/PIs on a project share the authority and responsibility for leading and directing the project, intellectually and logistically. Each PD/PI is responsible and accountable to the grantee organization, or, as appropriate, to a collaborating organization, for the proper conduct of the project or program, including the submission of required reports. For further information on multiple PDs/PIs, please see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/multi_pi.

Eligibility and Requirements for Student Participants

This announcement program is designed to stimulate the participation of individuals from the following groups:

A. Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/). In addition, it is recognized that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting, and individuals from racial or ethnic groups that can be convincingly demonstrated to be underrepresented by the grantee institution are eligible for support under 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 http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/index.shtml. For individuals from low-income backgrounds, the institution must be able to demonstrate that such candidates have qualified for federal disadvantaged assistance or they have received any of the following student loans: Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL), Loans for Disadvantaged Student Program, or they have received scholarships from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Scholarship for Individuals with Exceptional Financial Need.

2. Come from a social, cultural, or educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments that have demonstrably and recently directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career. Eligibility related to a disadvantaged background as defined under this section ( 2.) is applicable to undergraduate candidates, but would be more difficult to justify for individuals beyond that level of academic achievement.

Educational background: Undergraduate students must (1) have successfully completed at least one undergraduate year at an accredited school or university (including baccalaureate schools of nursing), or (2) be attending community or junior colleges provided they are enrolled in at least three courses per academic term. Health professional students should have successfully completed one semester at a school of medicine, optometry, osteopathy, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, or public health.

Students appointed to this program must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States or must have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., in possession of a currently valid Alien Registration Card I-55, or some other legal verification of such status).  Non-citizen nationals are generally persons born in possessions of the United States (i.e., American Samoa and Swains Island).  Individuals on temporary or student visas and individuals holding Ph.D., M.D., D.V.M. or equivalent doctoral degrees in the health sciences are not eligible.

Student Selection:

1. Students appointed to the program may or may not be from the applicant institution.

 2. The only requirement for student selection is that they fulfill the referenced eligibility requirements.

3. Student appointments will be determined by the institution and carried out in a manner that will include the recruitment of individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, racial and ethnic minorities, and those who are underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research (e.g., individuals with disabilities).

4. The overall goal of the program is to provide research education opportunities to individuals that will significantly contribute to a diverse research workforce in the future.

5. Institutions may request support for at least 4 but not more than 24 students per budget period, based on a full-time, three-month appointment. A student may be appointed for a minimum of two months and a maximum of three months during a budget period; however, institutions are encouraged to appoint a student for more than one budget period, i.e., two or more successive summer research experiences. All research training and education must be full-time during the specific sequence.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

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

3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria

Sponsoring Institution: The sponsoring institution must assure support for the proposed research education project. Appropriate institutional commitment to the project includes the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned research education project. The application should include a letter explaining the institutional commitment to the proposed research education program.

The applicant institution must have a strong research program in the area(s) proposed for research training and must have the requisite staff and facilities to carry out the proposed program.

Student Participants: Describe who the intended students are, and the eligibility and/or specific educational background characteristics that are essential for participation in the proposed program.

Institutions may request support for at least 4 but not more than 24 students per budget period, based on a full-time, three-month appointment. A student may be appointed for a minimum of two months and a maximum of three months during a budget period; however, institutions are encouraged to appoint a student for more than one budget period, i.e., two or more successive summer research experiences. A student may be appointed, in special circumstances, to more than one three-month period during a budget period, provided prior approval is obtained from the staff of the NHLBI. All research training and education must be full-time during the specific sequence. It is expected that most programs will be designed to provide a summer research experience, but other innovative program designs and time schedules will be considered. The requested number of short-term students must be justified in the application.

Only one application per health professional school may be submitted for a given receipt date. Although a university may have more than one Short-Term Research Education Program to Increase Diversity in Health-Related Research, they may not be in the same school. The applicant institution must have the available research facilities, personnel, and support for the program in the areas of cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic diseases, or sleep disorders. Institutions with adequate staff and resources in these areas are encouraged to apply. These grants will support research experiences of consecutive two to three months duration for undergraduate students and students in health professional schools. The grantee institution will be responsible for the selection and appointment of students.

Training in Responsible Conduct of Research: Applicants are required to include a plan for Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (see Section IV.6).

Evaluation and Tracking Plan: Applications must contain an evaluation plan and tracking plan.  Applications submitted without these sections may be delayed in the review process or not reviewed. Procedures for evaluation of the effectiveness of the program and impact of the program on the students/participants involved are required.

Number of Applications: Only one application per health professional school may be submitted for a given receipt date. Although a university may have more than one Short-Term Research Education Program to Increase Diversity in Health-Related Research, they may not be in the same school.  

Resubmissions: Resubmission applications are not permitted in response to this FOA. 

Renewals: Renewal applications are permitted in response to this FOA.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information


To download a SF424 (R&R) Application Package and SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for completing the SF424 (R&R) forms for this FOA, go to http://www.grants.gov/applicants/apply_for_grants.jsp and follow the directions provided on that Web site.

A one-time registration is required for institutions/organizations at both:

PDs/PIs should work with their institutions/organizations to make sure they are registered in the eRA Commons.

Several additional separate actions are required before an applicant institution/organization can submit an electronic application, as follows:

1.  Organizational/Institutional Registration in Grants.gov/Get Registered

2.  Organizational/Institutional Registration in the eRA Commons

3.  Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) Registration in the NIH eRA Commons: Refer to the NIH eRA Commons System (COM) Users Guide.

Both the PDs/PI(s) and AOR/SO need separate accounts in the NIH eRA Commons since both are authorized to view the application image.

Note that if a PD/PI is also an NIH peer-reviewer with an Individual DUNS and CCR registration, that particular DUNS number and CCR registration are for the individual reviewer only. These are different than any DUNS number and CCR registration used by an applicant organization. Individual DUNS and CCR registration should be used only for the purposes of personal reimbursement and should not be used on any grant applications submitted to the Federal Government.

Several of the steps of the registration process could take four weeks or more. Therefore, applicants should immediately check with their business official to determine whether their organization/institution is already registered in both Grants.gov and the Commons. The NIH will accept electronic applications only from organizations that have completed all necessary registrations.

1. Request Application Information

Applicants must download the SF424 (R&R) application forms and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for this FOA through Grants.gov/Apply.

Note: Only the forms package directly attached to a specific FOA can be used. You will not be able to use any other SF424 (R&R) forms (e.g., sample forms, forms from another FOA), although some of the "Attachment" files may be useable for more than one FOA.

For further assistance, contact GrantsInfo -- Telephone 301-435-0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

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

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Prepare all applications using the SF424 (R&R) application forms and in accordance with the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for this FOA through Grants.gov/Apply.

The SF424 (R&R) Application Guide is critical to submitting a complete and accurate application to NIH. Some fields within the SF424 (R&R) application components, although not marked as mandatory, are required by NIH (e.g., the “Credential” log-in field of the “Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile” component must contain the PD/PI’s assigned eRA Commons User ID). Agency-specific instructions for such fields are clearly identified in the Application Guide. For additional information, see “Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.”

The SF424 (R&R) application has several components. Some components are required, others are optional. The forms package associated with this FOA in Grants.gov/APPLY includes all applicable components, required and optional. A completed application in response to this FOA includes the data in the following components:

Required Components:
SF424 (R&R) (Cover component)
Research & Related Project/Performance Site Locations
Research & Related Other Project Information
Research & Related Senior/Key Person
PHS398 Cover Page Supplement
PHS398 Research Plan
PHS398 Checklist
Research & Related Budget

Optional Components:
PHS398 Cover Letter File
Research & Related Subaward Budget Attachment(s) Form

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS  

Applications with Multiple PDs/PIs

When multiple PDs/PIs are proposed, NIH requires one PD/PI to be designated as the "Contact” PI, who will be responsible for all communication between the PDs/PIs and the NIH, for assembling the application materials outlined below, and for coordinating progress reports for the project. The contact PD/PI must meet all eligibility requirements for PD/PI status in the same way as other PDs/PIs, but has no other special roles or responsibilities within the project team beyond those mentioned above.

Information for the Contact PD/PI should be entered in item 15 of the SF424(R&R) Cover component. All other PDs/PIs should be listed in the Research & Related Senior/Key Person component and assigned the project role of “PD/PI.” Please remember that all PDs/PIs must be registered in the eRA Commons prior to application submission. The Commons ID of each PD/PI must be included in the “Credential” field of the Research & Related Senior/Key Person component. Failure to include this data field will cause the application to be rejected.

All projects proposing Multiple PDs/PIs will be required to include a new section describing the leadership of the project.

Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan: For applications designating multiple PDs/PIs, a new section of the research plan, entitled “Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan” [Section 14 of the Research Plan Component in the SF424 (R&R)], must be included. A rationale for choosing a multiple PD/PI approach should be described.  The governance and organizational structure of the leadership team and the research project should be described, and should include communication plans, process for making decisions on scientific direction, and procedures for resolving conflicts. The roles and administrative, technical, and scientific responsibilities for the project or program should be delineated for the PDs/PIs and other collaborators.

If budget allocation is planned, the distribution of resources to specific components of the project or the individual PDs/PIs should be delineated in the Leadership Plan.  In the event of an award, the requested allocations may be reflected in a footnote on the Notice of Award.

Research Education Program

While the proposed research education program may complement other ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those research training and research education programs currently receiving federal support.

If multiple sites are involved in the research education program, the applicant institution must be the primary site for the program.  The need for and use of multiple sites must be justified.   

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 the degree of success or failure. A plan must be provided for program evaluation. Benchmarks should be specified, and specific plans and procedures must be described to capture, analyze and report outcome measures that would determine the success of the research education program in achieving its objectives.

Procedures for evaluation of the effectiveness of the program and impact of the program on the students involved must be included. Recruitment and selection plans for students and the availability of high-quality candidates; methods for retaining promising students in the program and methods for tracking students must be provided.

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

Personnel: Funds may not be requested for the PD/PI, mentors, other personnel, or other senior key persons.

Other Program-Related Expenses: NHLBI does not allow funds for Other Program-Related Expenses. 

Student Participant Costs: Students are those individuals who benefit from the proposed research education program.  Student costs must be justified as specifically required for the proposed research education program.  Student costs must be itemized in Section E. (Support Costs) of the Research & Related Budget.

Student Participant Expenses: Undergraduate Students:  The salary for an undergraduate student should be consistent with the institutional salary policies. Institutional rates for undergraduate salary should be no more than $10 per hour plus Fringe Benefits.  An additional amount of $2,400 per student for supplies, per diem (including housing) and travel (scientific meeting and/or to and from grantee institution) may also be requested. Funds may not be used to purchase any equipment.

Health Professional Students:  Health Professional Students: The NIH will provide health professional student compensation that (1) conforms to the established, consistently applied salary and wage policies of the institution; and (2) reflects the percentage of time devoted to the PHS-funded project.

For health professional students this compensation may include salary and fringe benefits not to exceed $711 per week (see: NOT-OD-02-017).  Additional funds up to $4,000 per student for supplies, per diem (including housing) and travel (scientific meetings and/or to and from grantee institution) may also be requested.  Funds may not be used to purchase any equipment.

“Reasonable Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities”: As a part of this award, funds may be requested to make changes or adjustments in the research setting that will make it possible for an otherwise qualified employee with a disability to perform the essential functions associated with his/her role on the project. The accommodations requested under this program must be directly related to the performance of the proposed role on the research project and must be appropriate to the disabilities of the individual. Some types of accommodations that might be provided under this award include specialized equipment, assistive devices and personnel such as readers, interpreters, or assistants. In all cases, the total funds for accommodations requested must be reasonable and documentation of the disability should be included with the application. These additional funds are in excess of the expenses allowed under “Student/Participation Expenses” above.

Institutional Commitment: Evidence of institutional commitment to the research educational program is strongly encouraged.

A letter of institutional commitment may be attached at line item 16 (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.

Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs: F&A costs for the applicant organization and consortium participants will be reimbursed at 8 percent of modified total direct costs, excluding tuition, fees, and equipment.

3. Submission Dates and Times

See Section IV.3.A for details.

3.A. Application Due, Review and Anticipated Start Dates
Opening Date: July 15, 2008 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: July 15, 2008
Application Due Date: August 15, 2008
Peer Review Date(s): October/November 2008
Council Review Date: January 2009
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: April 1, 2009

3.A.1. Letter of Intent  

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

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

The letter of intent is to be sent by the date listed in Section IV.3.A.

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Chief, Review Branch
Division of Extramural Research Activities
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7924
Two Rockledge Center, Room 7214
Bethesda, MD 20892- 7924 or Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express mail)
Telephone: (301) 435-0270
Fax: (301) 480-0730 
Email: nhlbichiefreviewbranch@nhlbi.nih.gov

3.B. Submitting an Application Electronically to the NIH

To submit an application in response to this FOA, applicants should access this FOA via http://www.grants.gov/Apply and follow steps 1-4. Note:  Applications must only be submitted electronically.  PAPER APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. 

In order to expedite the review, applicants are requested to notify the NHLBI Referral Office by email (nhlbichiefreviewbranch@nhlbi.nih.gov) when the application has been submitted.  Please include the FOA number and title, PD/PI name, and title of the application.
 
3.C. Application Processing

Applications may be submitted on or after the opening date and must be successfully received by Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. local time (of the applicant institution/organization) on the application due date(s). (See Section IV.3.A. for all dates.) If an application is not submitted by the due date(s) and time, the application may be delayed in the review process or not reviewed.

Once an application package has been successfully submitted through Grants.gov, any errors have been addressed, and the assembled application has been created in the eRA Commons, the PD/PI and the Authorized Organization Representative/Signing Official (AOR/SO) have two weekdays to view the application image.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the CSR and responsiveness by the IC. Incomplete and non-responsive applications will not be reviewed.

There will be an acknowledgement of receipt of applications from Grants.gov and the Commons. The submitting AOR/SO receives the Grants.gov acknowledgments. The AOR/SO and the PI receive Commons acknowledgments. Information related to the assignment of an application to a Scientific Review Group is also in the Commons.

Note: Since email can be unreliable, it is the responsibility of the applicant to check periodically on the application status in the Commons.

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

4. Intergovernmental Review

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

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

Pre-award costs are allowable. A grantee may, at its own risk and without NIH prior approval, incur obligations and expenditures to cover costs up to 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new or renewal award if such costs: (1) are necessary to conduct the project, and (2) would be allowable under the grant, if awarded, without NIH prior approval. If specific expenditures would otherwise require prior approval, the grantee must obtain NIH approval before incurring the cost. NIH prior approval is required for any costs to be incurred more than 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new or renewal award.

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

6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

PD/PI Credential (e.g., Agency Login)

The NIH requires the PD(s)/PI(s) to fill in his/her Commons User ID in the “PROFILE – Project Director/Principal Investigator” section, “Credential” log-in field of the “Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile” component.

Organizational DUNS

The applicant organization must include its DUNS number in its Organization Profile in the eRA Commons. This DUNS number must match the DUNS number provided at CCR registration with Grants.gov. For additional information, see “Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.”

PHS 398 Research Plan Component Sections

Page limitations of the PHS398 Research Plan (Research Education Plan for R25 applications) component must be followed as outlined in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. While each section of the Research Plan component needs to be uploaded separately as a PDF attachment, applicants are encouraged to construct the Research Plan component as a single document, separating sections into distinct PDF attachments just before uploading the files. This approach will enable applicants to better monitor formatting requirements such as page limits. All attachments must be provided to NIH in PDF format, filenames must be included with no spaces or special characters, and a .pdf extension must be used.   

All application instructions outlined in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (MS Word or PDF) are to be followed, with the following requirements for R25 applications:

Appendix Materials

Applicants must follow the specific instructions on Appendix materials as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/index.htm).

Do not use the Appendix to circumvent the page limitations of the Research Plan component. An application that does not comply with the required page limitations may be delayed in the review process.

Supplementary Research Education Program Application Instructions

Applicants should use the following guidance, in addition to the instructions accompanying the SF 424 (R&R) form. 

1. SF 424 Research & Related Project/Performance Site Location(s): Include collaborating sites, if appropriate.

If multiple sites are involved in the research education program, the applicant institution must be the primary site for the program.  A justification must be included for sites other than the applicant institution in the program narrative.   

2.  SF 424 Research & Related Other Project Information, Item 9 (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.

3.  SF 424 Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile: Key Personnel must include the PD/PI as well as any other key persons (such as those involved in developing, implementing, directing, monitoring, evaluating, etc., who are integral to the proposed research education program) participating in the research education program.

4.  Research & Related Budget:  Complete for each budget period requested.

A.  Senior/Key Person: NHLBI does not provide support for the PD/PI, mentors, other personnel, or other senior/key persons.

B.  Other Personnel: NHLBI does not provide support for other personnel.

C.  Equipment: NHLBI does not provide support for equipment.

D.  Travel: NHLBI does not provide support for travel funds for the PD/PI, senior/key persons or other personnel.

E.  Trainee Support Costs: include here all allowable categories of funds requested to support students in the research education program.  State the number of Trainees to be supported by the proposed research education program.  Refer to Section III. 3. for number of students and Section IV. 2 for allowable student support costs.

F.  Other Direct Costs: NHLBI does not provide Other Direct Costs.

K.  Budget Justification: provide a detailed justification for each category for which funds are requested.  For Section E, itemize each category of support costs per participant and justify.

5.  PHS 398 Research Plan Attachments:

Item 4 of this section (Preliminary Studies/Progress Report) should contain information on steps that have led to the proposed research education program. A Progress Report must be included in renewal applications.

Item 5 of this section (Research Design and Methods) should be retitled "Research Education Program Plan" and should contain material organized under the following subheadings in a single attachment and as appropriate to the specific program.

Program Director/Principal Investigator: 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 the NHLBI, 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: 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 the NHLBI.

Proposed Research Education Program: Provide programmatic detail on the special activities proposed (e.g., courses, curricula, seminars, workshops).  

Responsible Conduct of Research: Describe plans to provide formal and informal instruction to participants on scientific integrity and ethical principles in research. The plan should be appropriate for the duration and content of the proposed research education program.  Although the NIH does not establish specific curricula or formal requirements, all programs are encouraged to consider instruction in the following areas: conflict of interest, responsible authorship, policies for handling misconduct, data management, data sharing, and policies regarding the use of human and animal subjects. Plans must address: (1) the subject matter of the instruction, the format of the instruction, the degree of program faculty participation, participant attendance, and the frequency of instruction; and (2) the rationale for the proposed plan of instruction. Applicants may wish to consult the NIH website (http://bioethics.od.nih.gov/) for additional guidance.  An award cannot be made if an application lacks this component.

If such instruction is not appropriate for the proposed research education program, then the PD/PI must provide a strong justification for its exclusion.

Program Students: Provide details about the pool of proposed students, their qualifications, recruitment strategies and sources of applicant pool, etc. 

Diversity Recruitment and Retention Plan:  Provide a detailed diversity recruitment and retention plan for the research education program. New applications must include a description of plans to enhance recruitment of a diverse trainee pool and may wish to include data in support of past accomplishments. Renewal applications must detail experiences in recruiting and retaining individuals from underrepresented groups during the previous award period.  Include, in a table, the total numbers of individuals who applied, were interviewed, admitted, and participated in the research education program as well as the total number of individuals from the three classes defined below.  For those programs where individuals are not participating, e.g., a program requesting support to develop a curriculum, the PD/PI must explain why this information is not appropriate. 

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 http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs/women/start.htm). 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 http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/index.shtml. 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 are most applicable to high school and perhaps to undergraduate candidates, but would be more difficult to justify for individuals beyond that level of academic achievement.

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

Evaluation Plan: Include evaluation plans for assessing the success of the program in achieving its goals and objectives. Benchmarks should be specified, and specific plans and procedures must be described to capture, analyze and report outcome measures that would determine the success of the research education program in achieving its objectives. The inclusion of evaluation instruments is encouraged.  Applications that lack an evaluation plan will not be reviewed.

Supplementary Instructions: The application should provide a summary of the research program including its objectives, the types of research activities available, the faculty who will participate, the geographical area to be included in the recruitment, a mentoring plan, and any special activities or experiences to be provided to the students. It should also describe the administrative structure of the program and the distribution of responsibilities within it, plans for recruiting, selecting, and assigning students to research activities; duration of research training and months in which it will occur; description of a typical student program including percent time to be spent in various activities; and additional support or services to be provided by the applicant institution.

Training Data Tables: Information on suggested tabular formats for presenting the data required for peer review of the Short-Term Research Education Program to Increase Diversity in Health-Related Research, (R25) application is located at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/funding/training/redbook/r25/r25-reqdata.htm. While not required, these specific formats will facilitate peer review and may also be useful as a framework for the narrative sections. It is requested that the tables be included in the Appendix.

Record of Past Students

Prior T35 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HL-03-014.html) applicants should provide information concerning past students in the program, the accomplishments of the program, student publications, and whether students supported by the program have pursued research careers. This information should also be included in the non-competing renewal application. Therefore, it is important that the applicant includes plans for tracking students who participated in the program.

Tracking Plan: The application must describe a strong evaluation and tracking component that will review and determine the effectiveness of all aspects of the program. This should include a system for tracking trainees for a 5-year period following program completion to determine success or failure of the program. The follow up tracking would include information on program publications, grant proposals and awards, and career trajectory of trainees that were supported by the program. The application should provide a prospective evaluation plan for process and outcome measures. The evaluation and tracking report should be included annually as part of the Progress Report, in future competing continuation applications and as part of the Final Progress Report.

Resource Sharing Plan(s)

NIH considers the sharing of unique research resources developed through NIH-sponsored research an important means to enhance the value and further the advancement of the research. When resources have been developed with NIH funds and the associated research findings published or provided to NIH, it is important that they be made readily available for research purposes to qualified individuals within the scientific community. If the final data/resources are not amenable to sharing, this must be explained in the Resource Sharing section of the application (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing/data_sharing_faqs.htm).

(a) Data Sharing Plan: Not Applicable

(b) Sharing Model Organisms: Regardless of the amount requested, all applications where the development of model organisms is anticipated are expected to include a description of a specific plan for sharing and distributing unique model organisms and related resources, or state appropriate reasons why such sharing is restricted or not possible. See Sharing Model Organisms Policy, and NIH Guide NOT-OD-04-042.

(c) Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS): Regardless of the amount requested, applicants seeking funding for a genome-wide association study are expected to provide a plan for submission of GWAS data to the NIH-designated GWAS data repository, or provide an appropriate explanation why submission to the repository is not possible.  A genome-wide association study is defined as any study of genetic variation across the entire genome that is designed to identify genetic associations with observable traits (e.g., blood pressure or weight) or the presence or absence of a disease or condition.  For further information see Policy for Sharing of Data Obtained in NIH Supported or Conducted Genome-Wide Association Studies (go to NOT-OD-07-088, and http://grants.nih.gov/grants/gwas/).

(d) Research education programs: These programs are not generally expected to generate research resources. However, applications are expected to include a software dissemination plan if support for development, maintenance, or enhancement of software is requested in the application.  There is no prescribed single license for software produced. However, the software dissemination plan should address, as appropriate, the following goals:

The initial review group will comment on the appropriateness of the proposed software dissemination plan.  Program staff will also consider the adequacy of the software dissemination plan as one of the criteria for award.

The proposed sharing plan, after negotiation with the applicant when necessary, will be made a condition of the award.  Evaluation of annual non-competing progress reports will include assessment of the dissemination practice by the grantee.  The adequacy of the resources sharing plan and any related data sharing plans (if applicable) will be considered by Program staff of the funding organization when making recommendations about funding applications. The effectiveness of the resource sharing will be evaluated as part of the administrative review of each Non-Competing Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590). See Section VI.3., “Reporting.”

Section V. Application Review Information


1. Criteria 

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

2. Review and Selection Process

A pplications submitted for this funding opportunity will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines to the ICs for funding consideration.

Applications that are complete and responsive to this FOA will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by NHLBI and in accordance with NIH peer review procedures (http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/peer/ ), using the review criteria stated below.

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

Applications submitted in response to this funding opportunity will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

The goals of NIH-supported research training, education, and career development programs are to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in adequate numbers and in appropriate scientific areas to address the Nation’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs.  The goals of NIH-supported science education projects at science centers and museums are to provide public education and outreach on NIH-supported research at these institutions. In their written critiques, reviewers will be asked to comment on each of the following criteria in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed research education program will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals. Each of these criteria will be addressed and considered in assigning the overall score, weighting them as appropriate for each application.

Note that an application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact and thus deserve a high priority score. These criteria are not listed in any order of priority.

Research education program grant applications submitted in response to this funding opportunity announcement should be characterized by innovation, scholarship and responsiveness to the priorities and/or changing needs of the NHLBI in meeting its objectives.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact NHLBI program staff for current information about targeted priorities and policies before preparing an application (see Section VII).

Significance: Does the proposed research education program address scientific/education areas and/or topics important to the mission of the NHLBI? How will implementation of the proposed program advance the objectives of this funding opportunity announcement as well as the mission of the NHLBI?

Approach: Are the conceptual or clinical framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well reasoned, and appropriate to the aims of the project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?  Is there evidence that the program is based on sound research concepts and educational principles?  Is the approach feasible and appropriate to achieve the stated research education goals?  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?

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

Investigators: Are the investigators appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work? Is the proposed program appropriate to the experience level of the PD/PI (or multiple PDs/PIs, if applicable) and other researchers? Does the investigative team bring complementary and integrated expertise to the program (if applicable)? Is there evidence that an appropriate level of effort will be devoted by the program leadership to ensure the program's objectives?

Environment: Does the scientific/educational environment in which the program will be conducted contribute to the probability of success? Does the proposed research education program benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of appropriate collaboration among participating programs, departments, and institutions? Is the institutional commitment to the proposed program appropriate? 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)?

Special Review Criteria:

The following criteria will be considered when assessing the merits of the proposed program:

1. Is the design of the proposed research program adequately developed and appropriate to the aims of the project?

2. Are the qualifications, dedication, and previous student recruitment record of the Principal Investigator and all participating faculty, particularly with regard to prior experience with similar programs, appropriate for the student’s needs?

3. Are the recruitment and selection plans for students adequately developed and appropriate and is there an availability of high-quality candidates?  In addition, are there adequate methods for retaining promising students in the program and methods for tracking students?

4. Are the facilities, environment, and resources for the proposed research program adequate and appropriate? In addition, are the institution and participating faculty committed to the goals of the research program?

5. Are there adequate procedures for evaluating the effectiveness and impact of the program on the students involved?

2.A. Additional Review Criteria:

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

For renewal applications only (previously NHLBI Short-Term Training for Minority Students Program, T35 http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HL-03-014.html):

For renewal Short-Term Research Education Program (R25) applications only:

For all applications:

2.B. Additional Review Considerations

Budget and Period of Support: The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the appropriateness of the requested period of support in relation to the proposed research education program will be assessed by the reviewers. The priority score should not be affected by the evaluation of the budget.

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research: Peer reviewers will assess the applicant's plans for training in the responsible conduct of research on the basis of the appropriateness of topics, format, amount and nature of faculty participation, and the frequency and duration of instruction.

The plan will be discussed after the overall determination of merit, and the review panel's evaluation of the plan will not be a factor in the determination of the priority score. Plans will be judged as acceptable or unacceptable. The acceptability of the plan will be described in an administrative note on the summary statement. Regardless of the priority score, applications with unacceptable plans will not be funded until the applicant provides a revised, acceptable plan. Program staff will judge the acceptability of the revised plan.

Diversity Recruitment and Retention 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.

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

2.C. Resource Sharing Plan(s)

When relevant, reviewers will be instructed to comment on the reasonableness of the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources. However, reviewers will not factor the proposed resource sharing plan(s) into the determination of scientific merit or priority score, unless noted otherwise in the FOA. Program staff within the IC will be responsible for monitoring the resource sharing.

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Not Applicable

Section VI. Award Administration Information


1. Award Notices

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 NIH eRA Commons

If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant. For details, applicants may refer to the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General.

Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the Notice of Award (NoA) are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs. See Section IV.5., “Funding Restrictions.”       

A formal notification in the form of a NoA will be provided to the applicant organization. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document. Once all administrative and programmatic issues have been resolved, the NoA will be generated via email notification from the NHLBI to the grantee business official. 

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

Termination of Award: When a grantee institution plans to terminate an award, program and grants management staff at the NHLBI must be notified in writing as soon as possible.

Change of Institution:  The research education program may not be transferred from one institution to another.

Change of Program:  Awards are made for a specific program under the guidance and leadership of a particular PD/PI.  A change in any of these parameters requires prior approval by the responsible program officer in the NIH funding component.  A rationale must be provided for any proposed changes in the aims of the original, peer-reviewed program.  If the new program does not satisfy this requirement, the award will be terminated.

Change of PD/PI: If change of the PD/PI is necessary, support of the award is not automatic but may be continued with prior written approval by the NHLBI, provided that the following conditions are met.  The current PD/PI or the grantee institution must submit a written request for the change, signed by the appropriate institutional business official, to the responsible program officer of the NHLBI that describes the reasons for the change.  The Biographical Sketch of the proposed PD/PI, including a complete listing of active research grant support, must be provided.  The information in the request must establish that the Specific Aims of the original peer-reviewed research education program will remain unchanged under the direction of the new PD/PI and that the new PD/PI has the appropriate research and administrative expertise to lead the program.  This request must be submitted sufficiently in advance of the requested effective date to allow the necessary time for review. 

3. Reporting

Awards made in response to this FOA are subject to SNAP. 

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Non-Competing Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

The Progress Report should provide information on the development and implementation of the proposed research education program (including education in the responsible conduct of research), modifications to the research education program as originally proposed, details about the applicant pool and the participants including their career level, gender, and racial/ethnic backgrounds (if applicable), updates on the evaluation of the research education program and dissemination activities (if applicable), and a list of any publications and/or other materials arising from the research education program.

Evaluation:  In carrying out its stewardship of human resource-related programs, the NIH may request information essential to an assessment of the effectiveness of this program.  Accordingly, award recipients are hereby notified that they may be contacted after completion of this award for periodic updates on various aspects of program development, implementation, dissemination, and other information helpful in evaluating the impact of this program.

Publication and Sharing of Research Results:  Investigators are encouraged to submit reports of their findings for publication to the journals of their choice.  For each publication that results from this award, NIH support should be acknowledged by a footnote in language similar to the following: “This project was supported by NIH grant number ________.  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.”

Final Reports: A final Progress Report and Financial Status Report are required when an award is terminated.

Section VII. Agency Contacts


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

1. Scientific/Research Contacts:

Michael Commarato, Ph.D.
Division of Cardiovascular Diseases (responding for all NHLBI programmatic Divisions)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute 
Two Rockledge Center 
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7940 
Bethesda, MD 20892-7940 or Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express mail)
Telephone: (301) 435-0535
Fax: (301) 480-7971
Email: Commaram@nhlbi.nih.gov

2. Peer Review Contacts:

Chief, Review Branch 
Division of Extramural Research Activities 
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute 
Two Rockledge Center, Room 7214 
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7924 
Bethesda, MD 20892-7924 or Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express mail)
Telephone: (301) 435-0270 
Fax: (301) 480-0730  
Email: nhlbichiefreviewbranch@nhlbi.nih.gov

3. Financial or Grants Management Contacts:

Ms. Beckie Chamberlin 
Division of Extramural Research Activities 
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Two Rockledge Center, Room 7146, MSC 7926
6701 Rockledge Drive 
Bethesda, MD 20892-7926 or Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express mail)
Telephone: (301) 435-0183 
Fax: (301) 451-5462 
Email: chamberr@nhlbi.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information


Required Federal Citations

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

Human Subjects Protection:
Federal regulations (45 CFR 46) require that applications and proposals involving human subjects must be evaluated with reference to the risks to the subjects, the adequacy of protection against these risks, the potential benefits of the research to the subjects and others, and the importance of the knowledge gained or to be gained (http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.htm).

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

Policy for Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS):
NIH is interested in advancing genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to identify common genetic factors that influence health and disease through a centralized GWAS data repository. For the purposes of this policy, a genome-wide association study is defined as any study of genetic variation across the entire human genome that is designed to identify genetic associations with observable traits (such as blood pressure or weight), or the presence or absence of a disease or condition. All applications, regardless of the amount requested, proposing a genome-wide association study are expected to provide a plan for submission of GWAS data to the NIH-designated GWAS data repository, or provide an appropriate explanation why submission to the repository is not possible. Data repository management (submission and access) is governed by the Policy for Sharing of Data Obtained in NIH Supported or Conducted Genome-Wide Association Studies, NIH Guide NOT-OD-07-088. For additional information, see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/gwas/.

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

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 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 funding opportunity 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.

Inclusion of Women And Minorities in Clinical Research:
It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their sub-populations must be included in all NIH-supported clinical research projects unless a clear and compelling justification is provided indicating that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of the research. This policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public Law 103-43). All investigators proposing clinical research should read the "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research” (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-001.html); a complete copy of the updated Guidelines is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_amended_10_2001.htm. The amended policy incorporates: the use of an NIH definition of clinical research; updated racial and ethnic categories in compliance with the new OMB standards; clarification of language governing NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials consistent with the SF424 (R&R) application; and updated roles and responsibilities of NIH staff and the extramural community. The policy continues to require for all NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials that: (a) all applications or proposals and/or protocols must provide a description of plans to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable; and (b) investigators must report annual accrual and progress in conducting analyses, as appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group differences.

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

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

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

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

NIH Public Access Policy Requirement:
In accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy, investigators funded by the NIH must submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central (see http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/), an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication. The NIH Public Access Policy is available at (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-08-033.html). For more information, see the Public Access webpage at http://publicaccess.nih.gov/.

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

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

URLs in NIH Grant Applications or Appendices:
All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page limitations. For publications listed in the appendix and/or Progress report, Internet addresses (URLs) or PubMed Central (PMC) submission identification numbers must be used for publicly accessible on-line journal articles. Publicly accessible on-line journal articles or PMC articles/manuscripts accepted for publication that are directly relevant to the project may be included only as URLs or PMC submission identification numbers accompanying the full reference in either the Bibliography & References Cited section, the Progress Report Publication List section, or the Biographical Sketch section of the NIH grant application. A URL or PMC submission identification number citation may be repeated in each of these sections as appropriate. There is no limit to the number of URLs or PMC submission identification numbers that can be cited.

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 FOA is related to one or more of the priority areas. Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at http://www.health.gov/healthypeople.

Authority and Regulations:
This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance at http://www.cfda.gov/ and is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review. 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. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

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

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


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