Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)
 

Components of Participating Organizations

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Funding Opportunity Title

T32 Training Program for Institutions That Promote Diversity (T32)

Activity Code

T32 Institutional National Research Service Award (NRSA)

Announcement Type

Reissue of RFA-HL-10-014

Related Notices

  • May 4, 2012 - This RFA has been reissued as RFA-HL-13-021.
  • October 25, 2011 - See Notice NOT-OD-12-008. The purpose of this guide notice is to alert grant applicants that NIH and CDC are extending the deadline by one business day for all funding opportunities that require electronic application submission  that have due dates between Oct 25 and Oct 28, 2011.

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-HL-12-032

Companion FOA

None

Number of Applications

See Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

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

93.233, 93.837, 93.838, 93.839

FOA Purpose

The purpose of this FOA is to increase the participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds in cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic and sleep disorders research across the career development continuum. The NHLBI’s T32 Training Program for Institutions That Promote Diversity is a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Program intended to support training of predoctoral and health professional students and individuals in postdoctoral training at non-research intensive institutions with an institutional mission focused on serving diverse communities that are not well represented in NIH-funded research, or identified federal legislation of same, with the potential to develop meritorious training programs in cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, and sleep disorders. The NHLBI’s T32 Training Program for Institutions That Promote Diversity is designed to expand the capability for biomedical research by providing grant support to institutions that have developed successful programs that promote diversity and that offer doctoral degrees in the health professions or in health-related sciences. These institutions are uniquely positioned to engage health disparities populations in research and translation of research advances that impact health outcomes, as well as provide health care for these populations.

The primary goals of the T32 Training Program for Institutions That Promote Diversity are to:  (1) contribute to the expansion of the future pool of individuals from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in the biomedicine science enterprise, (2) enable trainees to increase their competitiveness for peer-review research funding, (3) strengthen publication record of trainees, and (4) foster institutional environments conducive to professional development in the biomedical science. 

Key Dates
Posted Date

August 26, 2011

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

September 26, 2011

Letter of Intent Due Date

September 26, 2011

Application Due Date(s)

(New Date October 27, 2011 per NOT-OD-12-008), Original Date October 26, 2011, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

February/March 2012

Advisory Council Review

May 2012

Earliest Start Date(s)

July 2012

Expiration Date

(New Date October 28, 2011 per NOT-OD-12-008), Original Date October 27, 2011

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide especially the Supplemental Instructions to the SF424 (R&R) for Preparing Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Application, except where to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

Table of Contents

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

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

Overall Progam Objectives:

The overall goal of the NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) program is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in appropriate scientific disciplines to address the Nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs.  More information about NRSA programs may be found at the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) website.

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

This FOA uses the NRSA mechanism to provide opportunities to institutions with a proven track record of increasing the participation of individuals from underrepresented backgrounds in science based programs to develop training programs to further diversify the pool of individuals from backgrounds underrepresented in cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic and sleep disorders research across the career development continuum.

Background:

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 limited evidence that individuals who have participated in the NIH administrative supplement program preferentially conduct research in areas related to health disparities or minority health. Surveys have revealed that a diverse faculty is important to attract diverse students and has a positive impact on retention and career mentoring for diverse students.  Moreover, a diverse faculty can significantly contribute to a balanced research agenda that benefits all people.  Thus, a diverse research and teaching workforce provides a valuable and more comprehensive educational experience for faculty and students.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) provides global leadership for a research, training, and education program to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, and blood diseases and enhance the health of all individuals so that they can live longer and more fulfilling lives. The NHLBI stimulates basic discoveries about the causes of disease, enables the translation of basic discoveries into clinical practice, fosters training and mentoring of emerging scientists and physicians, and communicates research advances to the public. It creates and supports a robust, collaborative research infrastructure in partnership with private and public organizations, including academic institutions, industry, and other government agencies. The Institute collaborates with patients, families, health care professionals, scientists, professional societies, patient advocacy groups, community organizations, and the media to promote the application of research results and leverage resources to address public health needs. The NHLBI also collaborates with international organizations to help reduce the burden of heart, lung, and blood diseases worldwide.

A diverse research workforce is needed to participate in the NHLBI’s comprehensive biomedical and behavioral research and training efforts to ensure improved health of all individuals. This is particularly important to improve the health disparities outcomes for cardiovascular, lung, and blood diseases and sleep disorders. This funding opportunity seeks to facilitate the training of students from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in cardiovascular diseases, congenital and acquired blood diseases, transfusion medicine, and pulmonary diseases.   Adequate research training will allow students to focus on heart, lung, and blood diseases and sleep disorders later in their science careers.

If the current US population continues to grow at its current pace, nearly 50% of the 2050 US census will be from medically underserved, vulnerable populations. Given the substantial need for physicians, physician scientists and others to care for vulnerable populations, and to study diseases and conditions that disproportionately affect these groups, more efforts are needed to increase the pipeline by exposing students from diverse backgrounds to biomedical research and encouraging them to consider careers in research and related fields. A recent data analysis of the NHLBI training programs (diversity targeted programs were excluded) indicated that less than one-fifth of the NHLBI supported trainees came from any of these groups.  In order to meet this critical need, this NRSA T32 training program for institutions that promote diversity will provide short-term, graduate, and post-doctoral research training to promote diversity in the graduate and health professional populations to contribute to the pool of a future diverse research workforce to address cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, and sleep disorders and conditions. 

In general, NRSA research training activities can be in basic biomedical or clinical sciences, in behavioral or social sciences, in health services research, or in any other discipline relevant to the NIH mission. 

Research training programs are designed to allow the Training Program Director/Principal Investigator (Training PD/PI) to select the trainees and develop a curriculum of study and research experiences necessary to provide high-quality research training.  The proposed institutional research training program may complement other ongoing research training and career development programs at the applicant institution, but the proposed research training experiences must be distinct from those research training programs currently receiving Federal support.

Within the framework of the NRSA program’s longstanding commitment to excellence and projected need for investigators in particular areas of research, attention must be given to recruiting trainees from backgrounds underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral and clinical sciences, including individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The Training PD/PI should limit appointments to individuals who are committed to a career in research and who plan to remain on the training grant or in a non-NRSA research experience for a cumulative minimum of 2 years (however, note that some Institutes and Centers have different program guidelines). The Training PD/PI should also encourage and provide training in the skills necessary for trainees to apply for subsequent support through an individual fellowship (F), mentored career development award (K) program, or independent research project grant.

Program Goals and Outcomes:

The NHLBI encourages research training and career development crossing disciplinary boundaries (examples:  biophysics, biostatistics, bioinformatics, bioengineering) to develop a new interdisciplinary work force.

The institutions that promote diversity must identify and collaborate with a research center (medical school or comparable institution) that has strong, well-established cardiovascular, pulmonary, or hematologic diseases research and research training programs. 

Cooperation and collaboration between institutions is needed to provide each trainee with a mentor who is recognized as an accomplished investigator in cardiovascular, pulmonary, or hematologic diseases research and who will assist the advisor at the institution that promotes diversity with the trainee's development and research plan.  Plans for summer training as well as academic year training should be developed by the student and advisor at the trainee's home institution in collaboration with the mentor at the research center.  It is expected that the mentor(s) will guide the trainee through the initial training period and continue this interaction throughout the award. The development of strong mentoring relationships is essential to the success of the trainees and the program.

The institution that promotes diversity will identify and complete arrangements with an established cardiovascular, pulmonary, and hematologic diseases research center(s) before submitting an application.  Arrangements between the participating institutions for the recruitment of trainees and joint selection of trainers for the provision of training, and for ongoing cooperation and collaboration between the institutions in the implementation of the program should be clearly outlined in the application.

The NHLBI T32 Training Program for Institutions That Promote Diversity’s goals and objectives are to:  (1) contribute to the expansion of the future pool of individuals with diverse backgrounds in the biomedicine science enterprise, (2) enable trainees to increase their competitiveness for peer-review research funding, (3) strengthen trainees publication record, and (4) foster institutional environments conducive to professional development in the biomedical science.  

Program Assessment and Evaluation Metrics

Pre- and post-institutional assessments after receipt of award should be considered.

Listed below are key metrics to be used to help determine whether the program goals or outcomes have been met in a future evaluation.

Other suggested areas of program relevance are listed below, but may not be appropriate depending on the specific stage and timing of trainee’s career development.

Because of the nature of research training, measurable outcomes in training programs often take ten years or longer. Therefore, to ensure an adequate cohort size for trainee evaluation, this program will allow one competitive renewal.  During year eight, an administrative review (using outside experts) will be convened by NHLBI to evaluate the program’s contribution to a diverse research workforce and recommend to the Institute’s leadership and Council future program direction, duration, or discontinuation.

Responsiveness

The research proposed must be directly responsive to the mission of the NHLBI. The NHLBI does not support projects primarily focused on malignancy-related research. Studies that address a mechanistic correlation between cancer (i.e., lung cancer) and primary pulmonary diseases may be considered within the mission of the NHLBI. Applications on vaccine development will be considered outside NHLBI’s focused intent for this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). Applications on respiratory pathogens will be considered within NHLBI’s intent for this FOA if studies focus on the host immune response. Other potential overlapping areas of interest shared by the NHLBI and other Institutes/Centers of the NIH include myeloproliferative and myelodysplastic disorders, hematological malignancies resulting from disruptions in hematopoiesis, and the use of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and other cellular therapies. Therefore, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the NHLBI before submitting an application to determine the NHLBI programmatic appropriateness for this FOA and the mission of the NHLBI.

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

Grant

Application Types Allowed

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

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

The NHLBI intends to commit $250,000 in FY 2012 to fund 2 new awards.
The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations, and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Loan Repayment Program (LRP): Awardees under this program may be eligible to apply for the NIH Extramural Loan Repayment Program. Information regarding the eligibility requirements and benefits for the program may be obtained through the LRP website at http://www.lrp.nih.gov/.

Award Budget

The estimated amount of funds available for support of two new projects awarded as a result of this announcement is $250,000 total costs for fiscal year 2012.

Grantees are expected to be familiar with and comply with applicable cost policies and the NRSA Guidelines (NIH Grants Policy Statement - Institutional Research Training Grants). Funds may be used only for those expenses that are directly related to and necessary for the research training not otherwise available and must be expended in conformance with OMB Cost Principles, the NIH Grants Policy Statement, and the NRSA regulations, policies, guidelines, and conditions set forth in this document.

Award Project Period

The total project period for an application submitted in response to this FOA may not exceed five years.

Other Award Budget Information
Stipends, Tuition, and Fees
Personnel Costs

Kirschstein-NRSA awards provide stipends as a subsistence allowance to help defray living expenses during the research and clinical training experiences.

NIH will contribute to the combined cost of tuition and fees at the rate in place at the time of award.

The most recent stipend, tuition, and fee levels are described on the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) site. Visit NIH Grants Policy Statement: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for more information.

Trainee Travel
Participant Costs

Trainee travel to attend scientific meetings and workshops that the institution determines to be necessary for the individual’s research training experience is an allowable trainee expense. The maximum allowable per student per year is $1,400.   

Training Related Expenses Other Program Related Expenses

NIH will provide funds to help defray other research training expenses, such as health insurance, staff salaries, consultant costs, equipment, research supplies, and faculty/staff travel directly related to the research training program. The most recent levels of training related expenses are described on the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) site.  Visit NIH Grants Policy Statement: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for more information.

Indirect Costs

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

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

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants
 
Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions:

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

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Organizations) are not eligible to apply. Foreign (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not allowed.

The Institution must be a domestic college or university with an institutional mission focused on serving diverse communities or with federal recognition of the same.

These institutions can assist NIH in its efforts to train and recruit 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, NIH strongly encourages applications from the following institutions: Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions.

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

All registrations must be completed by the application due date.

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

The applicant institution must have a strong and high quality research programs in the area(s) proposed under this FOA and must have the requisite faculty and facilities on site to conduct the proposed institutional program. In many cases, it is anticipated that the proposed program will complement other ongoing research training programs occurring at the applicant institution and that a substantial number of program faculty will have active research projects in which participating trainees may gain relevant experiences consistent with their research interests and goals. Institutions with existing programs must explain what distinguishes this program from the others, how their programs will synergize with one another, if applicable, and make it clear that the pool of faculty, potential trainees, and resources are robust enough to support additional programs.

Required Registrations

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

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

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

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities 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 SF 424 (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.

Additional Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for this FOA, applicant institutions with an undergraduate student body must demonstrate that they (1) are a disadvantaged institution (A college or university where 20 percent or more of the student population receive Pell grants will be accepted as an indicator of institutional disadvantage)  (2) have a successful track record of educating students from diverse backgrounds in the health sciences,  and (3) have a need for research capacity development in cardiovascular disease (including associated conditions e.g., obesity), lung, and blood diseases. 

To be eligible for this FOA, independent medical and graduate schools, must demonstrate that they (1) provide health care related services to economically disadvantaged communities (,An institution where 20 percent or more of the institution’s graduates provide health related care to disadvantaged and underserved communities will meet this criterion) and (2) have a need for research capacity development in cardiovascular disease (including associated conditions e.g., obesity), lung, and blood diseases.

To demonstrate need for research capacity development in heart, lung, and blood diseases and sleep disorders, applicant institutions should not have received over $1,515,000 in funding (direct costs) from the NHLBI per year in each of the previous five years for research training and education (e.g., R25) grants in the above NHLBI mission areas.

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 programmatically distinct.

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

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Research Center:

The institution that promotes diversity must identify and collaborate with a research center (medical school or comparable institution) that has strong, well-established cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, or sleep disorders research and research training programs.

Cooperation and collaboration between institutions is needed to provide each trainee with a mentor who is recognized as an accomplished investigator in cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic or sleep disorders research and who will assist the advisor at the institution that promotes diversity with the trainee's development and research plan.  Plans for summer training as well as academic year training should be developed by the student and advisor at the trainee's home institution in collaboration with the mentor at the research center.  It is expected that the mentor(s) will guide the trainee through the initial training period and continue this interaction throughout the award. The development of strong mentoring relationships is essential to the success of the trainees and the program.

The institution that promotes diversity will identify and complete arrangements with an established cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, or sleep disorders research center(s) before submitting an application.  Arrangements between the participating institutions for the recruitment of trainees and joint selection of trainers for the provision of training, and for ongoing cooperation and collaboration between the institutions in the implementation of the program should be clearly outlined in the application.

A written commitment to the training plan signed by the intended faculty mentors at the research center, the department(s) involved and countersigned by both institutional officials, must be part of the application.  The trainee and his or her faculty advisor at the institution that promotes diversity will jointly select a faculty mentor at the research center.

Mentors

Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as mentors. Mentors should have research expertise and experience relevant to the proposed program. Mentors must be committed to continue their involvement throughout the total period of the mentee’s participation in this award. The mentors should have strong records as researchers, including successful competition for research support in the area of proposed research training program.

Trainees

The individual to be trained must be a citizen or a noncitizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of appointment. Non-citizen nationals are generally persons born in outlying possessions of the United States (e.g., American Samoa and Swains Island).  Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible. Individuals who hold doctoral degrees who are pursuing a second doctoral degree are generally to be considered postdoctoral trainees.

All trainees are required to pursue their research training full time, normally defined as 40 hours per week, or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies, to the program and its related research activities, consonant with NRSA guidelines.  Within the 40 hours per week training period, research trainees who are also training as clinicians must devote their time to the proposed research training and must confine clinical duties to those that are an integral part of the research training experience. Appointments are normally made in 12-month increments, and no trainee may be appointed for less than 9 months during the initial period of appointment, except with prior approval of the NIH awarding unit, or when trainees are appointed to approved, short-term training positions. The trainees may be appointed for 9-12 months at any time during the course of the budget period. A strong interest in a cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, or sleep disorder research career must be evident.  Short-term training positions for health professional students are allowed under this program.  No individual trainee may receive more than 5 years of aggregate NRSA support at the predoctoral level or 3 years of support at the postdoctoral level, including any combination of support from institutional training and individual fellowship awards.  Any exception to the maximum period of support requires a waiver from the NIH awarding office based on a review of the written justification from the individual trainee, and endorsed by the Program Director and the sponsoring grantee institution. Additional details on citizenship, training period, and aggregate duration of support are available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Trainees appointed to the training program must have the opportunity to carry out supervised biomedical or behavioral research with the primary objective of developing or extending their research skills and knowledge in preparation for a research career.

Trainees must be in one of the following categories:

Predoctoral trainees must have received a baccalaureate degree by the beginning date of their NRSA appointment, must be training at the post-baccalaureate level, and be enrolled in a program leading to a Ph.D. in science or in an equivalent research doctoral degree program. Health-professional students, graduate students in the quantitative sciences, or individuals in postgraduate clinical training who wish to interrupt their studies for a year or more to engage in full-time research training before competing their formal training programs are also eligible.

Postdoctoral trainees must have received, as of the beginning date of the NRSA appointment, a Ph.D., M.D., D.D.S., or comparable doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution. Eligible doctoral degrees include, but are not limited to, the following:  D.M.D., D.C., D.O., D.V.M., O.D., D.P.M., Sc.D., Eng.D., Dr. P.H., D.N.Sc., D.P.T., Pharm.D., N.D. (Doctor of Naturopathy), D.S.W., Psy.D, as well as a doctoral degree in nursing research. Documentation by an authorized official of the degree-granting institution certifying all degree requirements have been met prior to the beginning date of the training appointment is acceptable. Research training at the postdoctoral level must emphasize specialized training to meet national research priorities in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences that are with the scientific purview of the NHLBI.

Short-term health professional trainees must be medical students, dental students, students in other health-professional programs, or graduate students in the physical or quantitative sciences. To be eligible for short-term predoctoral research training positions, students must be enrolled and in good standing and must have completed at least one quarter or semester in a program leading to a clinical doctorate, or a doctorate in a quantitative science such as physics, mathematics, or engineering. Individuals already matriculated in a formal research degree program in the health sciences, or those holding a research doctorate or master’s degree or a combined health-professional/research doctorate normally are not eligible for short-term training positions. Within schools of pharmacy only individuals who are candidates for the Pharm.D. degree are eligible for short-term research training positions.

Training Program

A Kirschstein-NRSA institutional research training grant must be used to support a program of full-time research training.  Within the full-time training period, research trainees who are also training as clinicians must devote their time to the proposed research training and must confine clinical duties to those that are an integral part of the research training experience. The program may not be used to support studies leading to the M.D., D.D.S., or other clinical, health-professional training except when those studies are part of a formal combined research degree program, such as the MD/PhD. Similarly, trainees may not accept NRSA support for clinical training that is part of residency training leading to clinical certification in a medical or dental specialty or subspecialty. It is permissible and encouraged, however, for clinicians to engage in NRSA-supported full-time postdoctoral research training even when that experience is creditable toward certification by a clinical specialty or subspecialty board.

Short-term training is not intended, and may not be used, to support activities that would ordinarily be part of a research degree program, nor for any undergraduate-level training. Short-term positions should be requested at the time of application as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Research training programs solely for short-term research training should not apply to this announcement, but rather the separate T35 NRSA, which can be found in the NIH Training Kiosk

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

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

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

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

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

Letter of Intent

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

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

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

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Director, Office of Scientific Review
Division of Extramural Research Activities
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7214, MSC 7924 
Bethesda, MD 20892-7924 (for express mail: Bethesda, MD 20817)
Telephone: 301-435-0270
Email: nhlbichiefreviewbranch@nhlbi.nih.gov

Required and Optional Components

The forms package associated with this FOA includes all applicable components, mandatory and optional.  Please note that some components marked optional in the application package are required for application submission. Follow the instructions in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to determine which components are required.

Page Limitations

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

SF424 (R&R) Other Project Information Component

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for Preparing Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) with the following modifications:

Project Summary /Abstract

Provide an abstract of the entire application, including the long-term goals and objectives of the program, key elements of the research training plan, and brief descriptions of planned research projects. Include the rationale and design of the program, the planned duration and projected number of trainees, including their levels (i.e., predoctoral, postdoctoral).

Advisory Committee (Uploaded via the Other Attachments section)

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

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

Training Budget Component

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

PHS 398 Research Training Program Plan

All Supplemental Instructions to the SF424 (R&R) for Preparing Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Application must be followed, with the additional instructions described below:

Particular attention must be given to the required Training Data Tables.

Program Administration (Component of Program Plan)

Describe the acknowledged strengths, leadership and administrative skills, and scientific expertise of the PD/PI. Include active research and the planned strategy to be used to oversee and monitor the program. For applications with multiple PDs/PI(s), address the Leadership Plan and how the combined knowledge, skills and experience of the individual PDs/PIs will enhance the likelihood of success of the program.

Program Faculty (Component of Program Plan)

Describe the complementary expertise and experiences of the proposed mentors for the scholars. Include active research and other scholarly activities in which the mentors are engaged, as well as track records of mentoring and training.

Proposed Training (Component of Program Plan)

Provide an overview of the proposed program: Describe the immediate and long-term objectives of the program, including training or career development activities that will be used to ensure that the objectives of the program are met. Include information about planned courses, curricula, seminars, workshops, or tutorials that will be incorporated into the training program and mentored research experiences and activities. Institutions with existing training or career development programs must explain what distinguishes this proposal from the others, how the programs will synergize, if applicable, and make it clear that the faculty, potential trainees, and resources are robust enough to support additional programs. The description should include planned strategies to be used to ensure that the objectives are met. The PD/PI should also describe past research career development activities/experiences including those of mentors, documenting the success of former scholars in establishing independent productive scientific careers. Programs should provide all NRSA trainees with additional professional development skills and career guidance including instruction and training in grant writing in order to apply successfully for future career development and independent research support. All postdoctoral NRSA trainees should also be provided with instruction in laboratory and project management. 

Program Evaluation (Component of Program Plan)

Describe an evaluation plan to review and determine the effectiveness of the program. This should include plans to obtain feedback from current and former scholars to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for program improvements, as well as plans for assessing scholars’ career development and progression including degree completion (if applicable), publications, and subsequent positions. Evaluation results should be included in future competing continuation (renewal) applications and as part of the Final Progress Report.

Trainee Candidates (Component of Program Plan)

Describe in general terms the pool of potential candidates including information about the types of prior clinical and research training and career level required for the program. Do not name prospective Trainees. Describe the criteria to be used for candidate evaluation in the selection of Trainees. Describe plans to recruit candidates, including those from economically, socially, or culturally disadvantaged backgrounds, individuals with disabilities or from racial or ethnic groups that are currently underrepresented in biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences and explain how these plans will be implemented. Provide brief summaries of training plans that the program will employ. The application should contain a description of how the career development plan will be tailored to the needs of the prospective candidates, taking into account their past experiences and competences, and should distinguish the plan from fellowship training. PDs/PIs should submit a plan for recruiting trainees from both outside and inside the sponsoring institution. The appointment of Trainees should be documented by a Statement of Appointment Form (Form 2271) and submitted to the funding IC.

Institutional Environment and Commitment to the Program (Component of Program Plan)

The application must include a statement from the applicant institution describing the commitment to the planned program. The institution must assure that essential time will be allowed for the PDs/PIs, other faculty and mentors .

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

The NIH recognizes a unique and compelling need to promote diversity in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences 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 candidates:

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 the report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, 2007, p. 262). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders. In addition, it is recognized that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting; individuals from racial or ethnic groups that can be convincingly demonstrated to be underrepresented by the grantee institution should be encouraged to participate in this program.

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

C.    Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who are defined as:

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

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

Recruitment and retention plans related to a disadvantaged background (C1 and C2) are most applicable to high school and perhaps undergraduate candidates, but would be more difficult to justify for individuals beyond that level of achievement.  Under extraordinary circumstances the PHS may, at its discretion, consider an individual beyond the undergraduate level to be from a disadvantaged background.  Such decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, based on appropriate documentation.

Competing continuation and non-competing applications must include a detailed account of experiences in recruiting individuals from underrepresented groups during the previous funding period. Information must be included on successful and unsuccessful recruitment strategies including aggregate information on the distribution of:

For those trainees who were enrolled in the training program, the report should include information about the duration of research training and whether those trainees finished their training in good standing.

This Program Announcement requires all applicants to submit a recruitment and retention plan to enhance diversity (see SF424, Section 8.7.  Research Training Program Plan Components, Item 4, Recruitment and Retention to Enhance Diversity).  Additional information on the required Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity is available at Frequently Asked Questions Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity (Diversity FAQs).

Applications without a diversity recruitment and retention plan will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.

Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research

Every trainee supported by this training grant must receive instruction in the responsible conduct of research. All Applications must include a plan to provide such instruction. The plan must address five components: format, subject matter, faculty participation, duration of instruction, and frequency of instruction as detailed in NOT-OD-10-019.  Renewal (Type 2) applications must, in addition, describe changes in formal instruction over the past project period and plans for the future that address any weaknesses in the current instruction plan.  All training faculty who served as course directors, speakers, lecturers, and/or discussion leaders during the past project period must be named in the application.  Applications lacking a plan for instruction in responsible conduct of research will be considered incomplete and may be delayed in the review process.  The background, rationale and more detail about instruction in the responsible conduct of research can be found in NOT-OD-10-019.  See SF424, Section 8.7. Research Training Program Plan Components, Item 5, Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research.

Appendix

Do not use the appendix to circumvent page limitations of the Training Plan. All appendix material must be submitted as PDF attachments. A summary listing all of the items included in the appendix is required, and should be the first PDF file of the Appendix. Applications that do not follow the appendix requirements may be delayed in the review process.  See NOT-OD-11-100.

3. Submission Dates and Times

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

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

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

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

4. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The National Research Service Award (NRSA) policies apply to this program. An NRSA appointment may not be held concurrently with another Federally sponsored fellowship, traineeship, or similar Federal award that provides a stipend or otherwise duplicates provisions of the NRSA.

Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Note, however, that pre-award costs are not allowable charges for stipends or tuition/fees on institutional training grants since these costs may not be charged to the grant until a trainee has actually been appointed and the appropriate paperwork submitted to the NIH awarding component.   

6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

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

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

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

Important reminders:

All PD/PIs must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF 424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/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 Central Contractor Registration (CCR). Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

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

Post Submission Materials

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

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

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

Overall Impact

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

Scored Review Criteria

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

Training Program and Environment

Are the research facilities and research environment conducive to preparing trainees for successful careers as biomedical scientists? Do the objectives, design and direction of the proposed research program ensure effective training? Is the proposed program of training likely to ensure that trainees will be prepared for successful and productive scientific careers? Do the courses, where relevant, and research training experiences address state- of-the-art science relevant to the aims of the program? Does the program provide training in inter- or multi-disciplinary research and/or provide training in state of the art or novel methodologies and techniques? Is a significant level of institutional commitment to the program evident? Are the facilities, environment, and resources for the proposed research training, both at the institution that promotes diversity and collaborating research center adequate and appropriate?


For applications that request short-term research training positions: Is this aspect of the program well designed and, where appropriate, integrated with other aspects of the training program? Are the numbers of short-term positions appropriate? Does the program include features to encourage short-term trainees to consider careers in health-related research?

Training Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PDs/PIs)

Does the Training PD/PI have the scientific background, expertise, and experience to provide strong leadership, direction, management, and administration to the proposed research training program? Does the PD/PI plan to commit sufficient time to the program to ensure its success? Is sufficient administrative and research training support provided for the program?

For applications designating multiple Training PD/PIs: Is a strong justification provided that the multiple training PD/PI leadership approach will benefit the training program and the trainees? Is a strong and compelling leadership approach evident, including the designated roles and responsibilities, governance, and organizational structure consistent with and justified by the aims of the training program and with the complementary expertise of each of the PD/PIs?

Preceptors/Mentors

Are sufficient numbers of experienced preceptors/mentors with appropriate expertise and funding available to support the number and level of trainees proposed in the application?  Do the preceptors/mentors have strong records as researchers, including successful competition for research support in areas directly related to the proposed research training program?  Do the preceptors/mentors have strong records of training pre- and/or post-doctorates?

Trainees

Is a recruitment plan proposed with strategies to attract high quality trainees? Are there well-defined and justified selection criteria and retention strategies? Is a competitive applicant pool in sufficient numbers to warrant the proposed size and levels (predoctoral, postdoctoral and/or short-term) of the training program in evidence? 

For applications that request short-term research training positions:
Does the program have the ability to recruit high quality, short-term trainees?

For competing renewal applications: How successful has the program been in attracting and retaining individuals from diverse populations, including populations underrepresented in science?

Training Record

How successful are the trainees (or for new applications, other past students/fellows in similar training) in completing the program? How productive are trainees (or for new applications other past students/fellows) in terms of research accomplishments and publications? How successful are trainees (or other past students/fellows) in obtaining further training appointments, fellowships, and career development awards? How successful are the trainees in achieving productive scientific careers, as evidenced by successful competition for research grants, receipt of honors or awards, high-impact publications, receipt of patents, promotion to scientific leadership positions, and/or other such measures of success? Does the program have a rigorous evaluation plan to assess the quality and effectiveness of the training? Are effective mechanisms in place for obtaining feedback from current and former trainees and monitoring trainees’ subsequent career development?

For programs that provide research training to health-professional doctorates:
Is there a record of retaining health professionals in research training or other research activities for at least two years?

For applications that request short-term research training positions:  Are plans presented to follow the careers of short-term trainees and to assess the effect of the training program on subsequent career choices? What is the success in attracting students back for multiple appointments? What is the effect of the short-term component on the overall training program?

For renewal applications: Does the application describe the program's accomplishments over the past funding period(s)? Are changes proposed that would improve/strengthen the training program?

Additional Review Criteria

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

Research Center: Are the cooperative agreements between the institution that promotes diversity and the collaborating research center and the commitment of the relevant faculty at the collaborating research center to the training program adequate?

Protections for Human Subjects

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

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

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

Vertebrate Animals

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

Biohazards

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

Resubmissions

Not Applicable.

Renewals

For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the last funding period, including on the Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity, and Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research.

Does the application describe the program’s accomplishments over the past funding period(s)?  Are changes proposed that would improve or strengthen the training experience?

Revisions

Not Applicable.

Additional Review Considerations

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

Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity for Renewal Applications: For renewal applications, peer reviewers will evaluate whether the experience in recruitment during the previous award period has been incorporated into the formulation of the plan for the next award period.  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 NHLB Advisory Council, will determine whether amended plans and reports submitted after the initial review are acceptable. 

Recruitment & Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity

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

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

Taking into account the specific characteristics of the training program, level of trainee experience, and the particular circumstances of the trainees, the reviewers will address the following questions.  Does the plan satisfactorily address the format of instruction, e.g. lectures, coursework and/or real-time discussion groups?  Do plans include a sufficiently broad selection of subject matter, such as conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety?  Do the plans adequately describe how faculty will participate in the instruction?  Does the plan meet the minimum requirements for RCR, i.e., eight contact hours of instruction every four years? If this is a renewal, is there a report describing past instruction in the five components described above? Plans and past record will be rated as ACCEPTABLE or UNACCEPTABLE and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.  Plans and past record will be rated as acceptable or unacceptable, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.

Select Agent Research

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

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 NHLBI, in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Review assignments will be shown in the eRA Commons.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

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 NHLB Advisory Council. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

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

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

Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

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

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

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

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

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

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

Institutional NRSA training grants must be administered in accordance with the current NRSA section of the NIH Grants Policy Statement at NIH Grants Policy Statement - Institutional Research Training Grants.

The taxability of stipends is described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Policies regarding the Ruth L. Kirschstein-NRSA payback obligation are explained in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

As specified in the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, Kirschstein-NRSA recipients incur a service payback obligation for the first 12 months of postdoctoral support. Policies regarding the Ruth L. Kirschstein-NRSA payback obligation are explained in the NIH Grants Policy Statement; and more details are in the Frequently Asked Questions. Officials at the grantee institution have the responsibility of explaining the terms of the payback requirements to all prospective trainees before appointment to the training grant. Additionally, all trainees recruited into the training program should be provided with information related to the career options that might be available when they complete the program. The suitability of such career options as methods to satisfy the NRSA service payback obligation should be discussed.

Leave Policies

In general, trainees may receive stipends during the normal periods of vacation and holidays observed by individuals in comparable training positions at the sponsoring institution. For the purpose of these awards, however, the period between the spring and fall semesters is considered to be an active time of research and research training and is not considered to be a vacation or holiday. Trainees may receive stipends for up to 15 calendar days of sick leave per year. Sick leave may be used for the medical conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth. Trainees may also receive stipends for parental leave as described in NOT-OD-08-064. A period of terminal leave is not permitted, and payment may not be made from traineeship funds for leave not taken. Trainees requiring periods of time away from their research training experience longer than specified here must seek approval from the NIH awarding component for an unpaid leave of absence. Trainees supported by academic institutions should refer to the NIH Institutional NRSA training grant guidelines in the NIH Grants Policy Statement for further guidance regarding vacations and requested leave. 

Inventions and Copyrights

Awards made primarily for educational purposes are exempted from the PHS invention requirements and thus invention reporting is not required, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

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, trainees are hereby notified that they may be contacted after the completion of this award for periodic updates on various aspects of their employment history, publications, support from research grants or contracts, honors and awards, professional activities, and other information helpful in evaluating the impact of the program.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

Not Applicable

3. Reporting

The Non-Competing Continuation Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590) and financial statements (Financial Status Report) 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.  Additional Instructions for Preparing a Progress Report for an Institutional Research Training Grant, Including Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards, must be followed.

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.

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. 

Other Reporting Requirements

 A final Progress Report and the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout of an award as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Evaluation results should be included as part of the final Progress Report.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

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

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

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

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Sandra Colombini Hatch, M.D.
Division of Lung Diseases (responding for all NHLBI programmatic Divisions)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Two Rockledge Center, Suite 10162, MSC 7952
6701 Rockledge Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-7952
Telephone: 301-435-0222
Email: hatchs@nhlbi.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Director, Office of Scientific Review
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7214, MSC 7924
Bethesda, MD 20892-7924 or Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express mail)
Telephone: 301-435-0270
Email: nhlbichiefreviewbranch@nhlbi.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Ms. Beckie Chamberlin
NRSA Team Leader
Division of Extramural Research Activities
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7154
Bethesda, MD 20892-7926
Telephone: 301-435-0144
Email: chamberr@nhlbi.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 Section 487 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 288) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 66.


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