National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Funding Opportunity Title
Short-Term Research Education Program to Increase Diversity in Health-Related Research (R25)
R25 Education Projects
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number
Companion Funding Opportunity
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)
93.233, 93.837, 93.838, 93.839
Funding Opportunity Purpose
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health invites Research Education (R25) applications to promote diversity in undergraduate and health professional participant populations by providing short-term research education support to stimulate career development in cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, and sleep disorders research. The overall goal of the program is to provide research opportunities for individuals from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical science, including individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, and individuals with disabilities that will significantly contribute to a diverse research workforce in the future. The research opportunities should be of sufficient depth to enable the participants, upon completion of the program, to have a thorough exposure to the principles underlying the conduct of research, and help prepare participants interested in research to pursue competitive fellowships, or other research training or career development awards.
April 5, 2012
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
June 9, 2012
Letter of Intent Due Date
June 9, 2012; January 7, 2013; January 7, 2014
Application Due Date(s)
July 9, 2012; February 7, 2013; February 7, 2014, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.
AIDS Application Due Date(s)
Scientific Merit Review
October/November 2012, June/July 2013, June/July 2014
Advisory Council Review
January 2013, October 2013, October 2014
Earliest Start Date(s)
April 1, 2013; December 1, 2013; December 1, 2014
February 8, 2014
Due Dates for E.O. 12372
Required Application Instructions
It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.
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
This FOA encourages applications that propose creative and innovative research education programs in the mission area(s) of the NIH. The NIH Research Education (R25) grant mechanism is designed to support the development of creative and innovative research education programs for the development of biomedical, behavioral, and clinical researchers, or for public education and outreach on health-related research to a variety of audiences. Although research education grants are not typical research instruments, they do involve experiments in education and/or dissemination of research knowledge that require an evaluation plan in order to determine their effectiveness. As such, each application must include a plan to evaluate the activities proposed (see Section IV, Evaluation Plan). For some types of projects, a plan for disseminating results may also be appropriate and may be required as well (see Section IV, Dissemination Plan).
The proposed research education program may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, but the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those research training and research education programs currently receiving federal support. The R25 is not a substitute for an institutional research training program (T32) and cannot be used to circumvent or supplement Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) mechanisms.
The NIH recognizes a unique and compelling need to promote diversity in the NIHfunded 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 improve the Nation’s capacity to address and eliminate health disparities.
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 the lack of 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 workforce permeates all aspects of the nation's health-related research effort.
Program Goals and Outcomes
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 recognizes a critical need to address national and global health disparities that disproportionately burden racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and disadvantaged populations. The Institute has a long history of supporting biomedical, behavioral, and clinical and social sciences research and training to address cardiovascular, lung, and blood diseases and sleep disorders in these communities. Significant progress has been made in health outcomes. Recent years have also brought improvements in health disparities, although racial and ethnic minorities still lag in many areas including overall life expectancy. The health disparity populations are more likely to suffer from a host of illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, asthma, and kidney disease. Thus, the NHLBI remains committed to addressing health disparity gaps in areas critical to the NHLBI scientific mission.
Cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes ranked first and sixth, respectively, among the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. Research indicates that African Americans and Latino/Hispanic-Americans have a higher risk of death and disability from heart disease and stroke than any other population group in the United States. African American men were 30 percent more likely to die from heart disease than non-Hispanic white males and compared with Whites, Mexican Americans experience higher rates of overweight and obesity, two of the leading risk factors for heart disease. African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, some Asian-Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders are at particularly high risk for the development of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes (a risk factor for cardiovascular disease) prevalence rates among American Indians are two to five times those of Whites. On average, African American adults are 1.7 times as likely and Mexican-Americans and Puerto Ricans are twice as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic Whites of similar age. Overall, underserved communities are disproportionately affected by these chronic conditions and efforts are needed across the research spectrum to address these and other conditions. The NHLBI is committed to improving health for all through research, training, and education efforts that improve the Nation's capacity to address and eliminate health disparities relevant to heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders.
If the current US population continues to grow at its current pace, nearly 50% of the 2050 US population 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 participants 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. Therefore, this R25 Program will provide short-term research opportunities that will promote diversity in the undergraduate and health professional participant populations. These training experiences will contribute to the pool of a future diverse research workforce to address cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, and sleep disorders and conditions. To help meet the goals of the program, the research opportunities should be of sufficient depth to enable the participants, upon completion of the program, to have a thorough exposure to the principles underlying the conduct of research, and help prepare participants interested in research to pursue competitive fellowships, or other research training or career development awards.
See Section VI. Award Administration Information, 4. Evaluation for a list of the key metrics to be used to determine whether the program goals or outcomes have been met in a future evaluation.
The NHLBI is committed to providing research, education and training opportunities leading to research careers in areas relevant to cardiovascular, pulmonary, and hematologic diseases for undergraduate and health professional participants from diverse backgrounds. The NHLBI also encourages training and research that crosses disciplinary boundaries (e.g., biophysics, biostatistics, bioinformatics, bioengineering) toward the effort to develop a new interdisciplinary workforce.
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).
Application Types Allowed
The OER Glossary and the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.
Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards
NHLBI intends to fund three to five new awards in FY 2013, 2014, and 2015, corresponding to a total of $900,000 for new grants per fiscal year.
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.
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, nor can they be used to circumvent or supplement funds provided to individuals supported by the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) programs.
Although the size of the award may vary within the scope of the research education program proposed, it is expected that applications will stay within the following budgetary guidelines: the total institutional annual direct cost should not exceed $319,000.
Award Project Period
The total project period for an application submitted in response to this funding opportunity may not exceed 5 years.
Individuals designing, directing, and implementing the research education program may request salary and fringe benefits appropriate for the person months devoted to the program. Salaries requested may not exceed the levels commensurate with the institution's policy for similar positions and may not exceed the congressionally mandated cap. (If mentoring interactions and other activities with students/participants are considered a regular part of an individual's academic duties, then any costs associated with the mentoring and other interactions with students/participants are not allowable costs from grant funds).
Support may be requested up to $2,000 per month total, to be utilized during the participants' two to three months per year research experience. The maximum allowable expense of $6,000 cannot be exceeded for a 3 month training program per year. The amount requested may be divided among the PD(s)/PI(s), or multiple PD(s)/PI(s), if applicable, and other personnel (clerical, administrative staff). Funds may not be requested for the mentors.
Participants may be paid if specifically required for the
proposed research education program and sufficiently justified. Participant
costs must be itemized in the proposed budget
Allowable participant costs depend on the educational
level/career status of the individuals to be selected to participate in the
Undergraduate Students: The salary and fringe benefits for an undergraduate participant should be consistent with the institutional salary policies for employees in similar positions. Institutional rates for undergraduate salaries should be no more than $10 per hour plus Fringe Benefits, only when such benefits are provided to other employees in similar positions. An additional amount of $2,400 per participant 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, except to accommodate individuals with disabilities, as described below.
Health Professional Student Participants: The NIH will provide 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 participants this compensation may include salary and fringe benefits not to exceed $755 per week (see: NOT-OD-12-033). Additional funds up to $4,000 per participant 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 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 include specialized equipment, assistive devices and personnel such as readers, interpreters, or assistants. In all cases, the total funds for accommodations must be reasonable and documentation of the disability should be included when a request for additional funds is made post-award. These additional funds are in excess of the expenses allowed under “Participation Costs” above.
Because the R25 mechanism is not intended as a substitute for an NRSA institutional training program (T32), costs to support full-time participants (supported for 40 hours/week for a continuous, 12-month period) are not allowable.
Other Program-Related Expenses
NHLBI does not allow funds for other program-related expenses such as equipment, supplies, consultants, and travel.
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.
Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs requested by consortium participants are not included in the direct cost limitation. See NOT-OD 05-004.
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.
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:
Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education
Some institutions provide unique opportunities for access to participants and faculty from diverse backgrounds. These institutions can assist NIH in its efforts to recruit the most talented researchers from all groups, to improve the ability to recruit subjects from diverse backgrounds into clinical research protocols, and improve the Nation’s capacity to address and eliminate health disparities. These institutions are therefore encouraged to apply for NIH support.
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. The applicant institution must have the available research facilities, personnel, and support for the program in the areas of cardiovascular, pulmonary, or hematologic diseases or sleep disorders. Institutions with adequate staff and resources in these areas are encouraged to apply.
All Program Director(s)/Principal
Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) must also work with their institutional officials
to register with the eRA Commons or ensure their existing eRA Commons account
is affiliated with the eRA Commons account of the applicant organization.
All registrations must be completed by the application due date.
The sponsoring institution must assure support for the proposed program. Appropriate institutional commitment to the program includes the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned program.
Institutions with existing Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) institutional training grants (e.g., T32) or other Federally funded training programs may apply for a research education grant provided that the proposed educational experiences are distinct from those training programs receiving NIH support. In many cases, it is anticipated that the proposed research education program will complement ongoing research training occurring at the applicant institution.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are
not eligible to apply.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply.
Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are not allowed.
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
All Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) must also work
with their institutional officials to register with the eRA Commons or ensure
their existing eRA Commons account is affiliated with the eRA Commons account
of the applicant organization.
All registrations must be completed by the application due date. Applicant organizations are strongly encouraged to start the registration process at least 4-6 weeks prior to the application due date.
Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources
necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal
Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI() is invited to work with his/her organization to
develop an application for support. Individuals from diverse backgrounds,
including underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with
disabilities, and women are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.
For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PD(s)/PI(s), visit the Multiple Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) 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.
More than one PD/PI (i.e., multiple PD(s)/PI(s)), may be designated on the application for projects that require a “team science” approach and therefore clearly do 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 PD(s)/PI(s) must be registered in the NIH electronic Research Administration (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 grant with a single PD/PI or multiple PD(s)/PI(s) grant is the responsibility of the investigators and applicant organizations and should be determined by the scientific goals of the project. Applications for grants with multiple PD(s)/PI(s) will require additional information, as outlined in the instructions below. When considering the multiple PD(s)/PI(s) option, 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(s)/PI(s) will be factored into the assessment of the overall scientific merit of the application. Multiple PD(s)/PI(s) on a project share the authority and responsibility for leading and directing the research education program, 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 PD(s)/PI(s), please see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/multi_pi.
This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically 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.
Areas of Research Education Supported
The research education program 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 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.
Applications that do not meet these eligibility requirements will be considered non-responsive.
Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as preceptors/mentors. Mentors should have research expertise and experience relevant to the proposed program. Mentors must be committed to continue their involvement throughout the total period of the mentee’s participation in this award.
Applications must describe the intended participants, and the eligibility and/or specific educational background characteristics that are essential for participation in the proposed research education program. Identify the career levels essential for participation in the planned program.
Participants must have successfully completed at least one undergraduate year at an accredited school or university (including baccalaureate schools of nursing) or have successfully completed at least one quarter or semester at an accredited school of medicine, optometry, osteopathy, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, allied health professions, public health, or other accredited health professional schools.
Institutions may request support for at least 4 but not more than 24 participants per budget period, based on a full-time, three-month appointment. A participant may be appointed for a minimum of two months and a maximum of six months during a budget period; however, the standard appointment length is three months. Where appropriate, institutions are encouraged to appoint a participant for more than one budget period, i.e., two or more successive summer research experiences. A participant 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 education must be full-time during the specific appointment. 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 participants must be justified in the application.
Participants appointed to the program may or may not be from the applicant institution.
The only requirement for participant selection is that they fulfill the referenced eligibility requirements.
The grantee institution will be responsible for the selection and appointment of participants.
The overall goal of the program is to provide research education opportunities to individuals who will significantly contribute to a diverse research workforce in the future. See Section I above.
Participants 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 PhD, MD, DVM or equivalent doctoral degrees in the health sciences are not eligible.
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.
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.
Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows IC staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.
By the date listed in Part 1. Overview Information, prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:
The letter of intent should be sent to:
Director, Office of Scientific Review
Division of Extramural Research Activities
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7214, MSC 7924
Bethesda, MD 20892-7924 or Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express mail)
The forms package associated with this FOA includes all applicable components, mandatory and optional. Please note that some components marked optional in the application package are required for submission of applications for this FOA. Follow the instructions in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to ensure you complete all appropriate “optional” components.
All page limitations described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following modifications:
Facilities & Other Resources
Describe the educational environment, including the facilities, laboratories, participating departments, computer services, and any other resources to be used in the development and implementation of the proposed program. List all thematically related sources of support for research training and education following the format for Current and Pending Support.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following modifications:
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the additional instructions described below:
The Research Strategy section must be in the Research Education Program Plan, which must include the following components described below: Proposed Research Education Program, Institutional Environment and Commitment, Program Director/Principal Investigator, Program Faculty/Staff, Program Participants, Diversity Recruitment and Retention Plan, Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research, Evaluation Plan.
Applications should include information on: (1) participating faculty members (including their sources of support and records in research training and research education), (2) the potential participant pool, and, for applicants with a previous history of funding for research education in diverse populations, (3) information about past participants and their subsequent activities. Suggested table formats are available at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/funding/training/redbook/r25/r25-reqdata.htm. This information will be used by reviewers during peer review and NIH staff in reaching funding decisions. The recommended Tables 1-5 (or other formats) should be compiled as a single pdf file and placed in “RESEARCH & RELATED Other Project Information: 12. Other Attachments” of the SF424 Grant Application Package. Additional tables that are not recommended may be included in the Research Plan (Research Strategy, Item 3); however, these tables will count as part of the 25 page limit.
A Progress Report must be included for renewal Short-Term Research Education (R25) applications.
All application instructions outlined in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/index.htm) are to be followed, with the following requirements for R25 applications.
Proposed Research Education Program (Component of Research Education Program Plan)
While the proposed research education program may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those research training and research education programs currently receiving federal support. When research training programs are on-going in the same department, the applicant organization should clearly describe the distinction between the intended participants in the proposed research education program and the research training supported by the training program. The information should include a description of the education and/or career levels of the planned participants. The application should provide a summary of the research program including its objectives, the types of research activities available, and a mentoring plan. Also provide plans for recruiting, selecting, and assigning participants to research activities, duration of research training and months in which training will occur, description of a typical program including percent time to be spent in various activities. Provide programmatic detail on the special activities proposed (e.g., courses, curricula, seminars, workshops). 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.
Institutional Environment and Commitment (Component of Research Education Program Plan)
Describe the institutional environment, reiterating the availability of facilities and educational resources (described separately under “Facilities & Other Resources”), that can contribute to the planned Research Education Program. Evidence of institutional commitment to the research educational program is required. A letter of institutional commitment must be attached as part of Letters of Support. Appropriate institutional commitment should include the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned research education program.
Program Director/Principal Investigator (Component of Research Education Program Plan)
Describe arrangements for administration of the program, provide evidence that the Program Director is actively engaged in research and/or teaching in an area related to the mission of NIH, and can organize, administer, monitor, and evaluate the research education program, as well as evidence of institutional and community commitment and support for the proposed program.
Program Faculty/Staff (Component of Research Education Program Plan)
Describe the characteristics and responsibilities of the participating faculty; provide evidence that the participating faculty and preceptors are actively engaged in research or other scholarly activities related to the mission of NIH.
Program Participants (Component of Research Education Program Plan)
Where the proposed program involves participants, provide details about the pool of expected participants, their qualifications, recruitment strategies and sources of applicant pool, etc.
Diversity Recruitment and Retention Plan (Component of Research Education Program Plan)
The NIH recognizes a unique and compelling need to
promote diversity in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences
research workforce. The NIH expects efforts to diversify the workforce to lead
to the recruitment of the most talented researchers from all groups; to improve
the quality of the educational and training environment; to balance and broaden
the perspective in setting research priorities; to improve the ability to
recruit subjects from diverse backgrounds into clinical research protocols; and
to improve the Nation's capacity to address and eliminate health disparities.
Accordingly, the NIH continues to encourage institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations and thus to increase the participation of individuals currently underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences such as: individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups; individuals with disabilities; and individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds that have inhibited their ability to pursue a career in health-related research. Institutions are encouraged to identify candidates who will increase diversity on a national or institutional basis.
The NIH is particularly interested in encouraging the recruitment and retention of the following classes of participants:
A. Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see data at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/showpub.cfm?TopID=2&SubID=27 and the most recent report on Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Hawaiian Natives, and natives of the U.S. Pacific Islands. In addition, it is recognized that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting; individuals from racial or ethnic groups that can be convincingly demonstrated to be underrepresented by the grantee institution should be encouraged to participate in this program.
B. Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
C. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who are defined as:
1. Individuals who come from a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds. These thresholds are based on family size; published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census; adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index; and adjusted by the Secretary for use in all health professions programs. The Secretary periodically publishes these income levels at HHS - Poverty Guidelines, Research, and Measurement. For individuals from low income backgrounds, the institution must be able to demonstrate that such participants have qualified for Federal disadvantaged assistance or they have received any of the following student loans: Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL), Loans for Disadvantaged Student Program, or they have received scholarships from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Scholarship for Individuals with Exceptional Financial Need.
2. Individuals who come from a social, cultural, or educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments that have demonstrably and recently directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career.
Recruitment and retention
plans related to a disadvantaged background (C1 and C2) are most applicable to
high school and perhaps to undergraduate candidates, but would be more difficult
to justify for individuals beyond that level of academic achievement. Under
extraordinary circumstances the PHS may, at its discretion, consider an
individual beyond the undergraduate level to be from a disadvantaged background.
Such decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, based on appropriate
New applications must include a description of plans to enhance recruitment of a diverse participant pool and may wish to include data in support of past accomplishments.
Renewal 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 individuals who were enrolled in the
program, the report should include information about the duration of education and
whether those individuals finished the program in good standing. Additional
information on the required Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity
is available at Frequently Asked Questions: Recruitment and Retention Plan to
Enhance Diversity (Diversity FAQs).
Applications lacking a diversity recruitment and retention plan may be delayed or not accepted for review. An award cannot be made if an application lacks this component.
Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (Component of Research Education Program Plan)
Every participant supported by this Research
Education grant must receive instruction in the responsible conduct of
research. All applications must include a plan to provide such instruction. The
plan must address five components (format; subject matter; faculty
participation; duration of instruction; and frequency of instruction) as
detailed in NOT-OD-10-019.
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 participating faculty who
served as course directors, speakers, lecturers, and/or discussion leaders
during the past project period must be named in the application.
Applications lacking a plan for instruction in responsible conduct of research will not be reviewed. The background, rationale and more detail about instruction in the responsible conduct of research can be found in NOT-OD-10-019. If such instruction is not appropriate for the proposed research education program, then the PD/PI must provide a strong justification for its exclusion.
Evaluation Plan (Component of Research Education Program Plan)
Applications must include a plan for evaluating the activities supported by the award. The application must specify baseline metrics (e.g., numbers, educational levels, and demographic characteristics of participants), as well as measures to gauge the short or long-term success of the research education award in achieving its objectives. Wherever appropriate, applicants are encouraged to obtain feedback from participants to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for improvements.
Resource Sharing Plans
are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing
Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, and Genome Wide Association
Studies (GWAS)) as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the
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:
Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
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.
This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.
All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost
principles, and other considerations described in the NIH
Grants Policy Statement.
Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
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.
All PD(s)/PI(s) 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.
In order to expedite review, applicants are requested to notify the NHLBI Referral Office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org when the application has been submitted. Please include the FOA number and title, PD(s)/PI(s) name(s), and title of the application.
Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in NOT-OD-10-115.
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.
Reviewers will provide an overall impact/priority score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).
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.
Does the proposed research education program address an important problem or critical question in research education or other critical issues? How will implementation of the proposed program advance the objectives of the proposed program? Is the proposed program likely to ensure that participants will be prepared for successful and productive scientific careers and therefore contributing to a diverse research workforce? Does the program provide research experiences in inter- or multi-disciplinary research and/or provide opportunities in state-of-the-art or novel methodologies and techniques to address heart, lung, and blood diseases?
Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers appropriately trained and well suited to the proposed research education program? Is the PD/PI an established investigator in the scientific area in which the application is targeted and capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed research education program? If Early Stage Investigator or New Investigator, or in the early stages of an independent career, does the PD(s)/PI(s) have appropriate experience to lead the program? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD(s)/PI(s), do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project? Is there evidence that an appropriate level of effort will be devoted by the program leadership to ensure the program's objectives? Are the qualifications, dedication, and previous participant training record of the PD(s)/PI(s) and all participating faculty, particularly with regard to prior experience with similar programs, appropriate for the participants’ needs?
Is the proposed research education program characterized by innovation and scholarship? Does the proposed program challenge and seek to shift current research education paradigms or clinical practice, or address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in the field? Are the proposed concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools, or technologies novel for this area? Does this proposed program duplicate, or overlap with, existing research education, training and/or career development activities currently supported at the applicant institution or available elsewhere? Adaptations of existing research education programs may be considered innovative under special circumstances, e.g., the addition of unique components and/or a proposal to determine portability of an existing program.
Are the overall
strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish
the specific aims of the proposed research education program? Are
potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success
presented? If the program is in the early stages of development, will the
strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be
managed? If called for, is the proposed plan for evaluation and/or
dissemination of the education program sound and likely to provide data on the
effectiveness of the education program? Is there evidence that the
program is based on sound research concepts and educational principles?
Is the approach feasible and appropriate to achieve the stated research
education goals? If the proposed program will recruit participants, are
the recruitment, retention, and follow-up activities adequate to ensure a
highly qualified and diverse participant pool?
If the program involves clinical research, are the plans for 1) protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion of minorities and members of both sexes/genders, as well as the inclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?
Will the scientific/educational environment in which the proposed research education program will be conducted contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional commitment and support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the program proposed? Will the program benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of appropriate collaboration among participating programs, departments, and institutions? If multiple sites are participating, is this adequately justified in terms of the research education experiences provided? Are adequate plans provided for coordination and communication between multiple sites (if appropriate)? In addition, are the institution and participating faculty committed to the goals of the research program?
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.
Protections for Human Subjects
Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children
For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the last funding period, and the success of the program in attracting and retaining individuals from diverse populations, including populations underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research. Has the program been adequately evaluated and has the level of success been satisfactory? Do the results of the evaluation document a continued need for support for this program? Is the approach for the next project period responsive to the results of the program’s evaluation? Has the research education program successfully achieved its stated objectives during the prior project period? Has the research education program successfully recruited a diverse pool of participants (if applicable)? Has the PD/PI effectively shaped the recruitment plan in response to recruitment outcomes? Has the program been innovative in the past and does it continue to demonstrate innovation? Has the program been adequately evaluated and has the level of success been satisfactory? Do the results of the evaluation document a continued need for support for this program? Is the approach for the next project period responsive to the results of the program’s evaluation?
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.
Is the evaluation plan adequate for assessing the effectiveness (process and outcome) of the program in achieving its goals and objectives? Does the plan adequately describe how both short- and long-term program outcomes will be determined and evaluated? Is the planned evaluation consonant with the specific aims, measurable objectives, and goals of the proposed program and the institutional setting? Will the planned evaluation appropriately assess how the proposed training activities will enhance the academic research competitiveness of the targeted population(s) of participants and thereby promote their entry into biomedical and/or behavioral research and related careers?
Recruitment & Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity
Peer reviewers will separately evaluate the recruitment and retention plan to enhance diversity after the overall score has been determined. Reviewers will examine the strategies to be used in the recruitment and retention of individuals from underrepresented groups. The review panel’s evaluation will be included in an administrative note in the summary statement. Plans and past record will be rated as acceptable or unacceptable, and the summary statement will provide the synopsis of the review committee.
Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research
Taking into account the specific characteristics of the research education program, level of participant experience, and the particular circumstances of the participants, the reviewers will address the following questions. Does the plan satisfactorily address the format of instruction, e.g., lectures and/or real-time discussion groups? Do plans include a sufficiently broad selection of subject matter, such as conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety? Do the plans adequately describe how faculty will participate in the instruction? Do the plans ensure participants will receive instruction (or in the case of more senior level participants, provide instruction) for an appropriate amount of time given the length of the research education experience? That is, does the plan meet the minimum requirements of Responsible Conduct of Research of eight hours of contact hours of instruction every four years? Plans and past record will be rated as acceptable or unacceptable, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee. If this is a renewal, is there a report describing past instruction in the five components described above?
Applications from Foreign Organizations
Select Agent Research
Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).
Resource Sharing Plans
Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: 1) Data Sharing Plan; 2) Sharing Model Organisms; and 3) Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS).
Budget and Period of Support
Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.
Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s) convened by the 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:
Appeals of initial peer review will not be accepted for applications submitted in response to this FOA.
Applications will be assigned to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the NHLB Advisory Council. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:
After the peer review of the application is completed, the
PD(s)/PI(s) 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.
If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH
will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant as
described in the NIH
Grants Policy Statement.
A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization for successful applications. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document and will be sent via email to the grantee’s business official.
Awardees must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions. Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.
Any application awarded in response to this FOA will be subject to the DUNS, CCR Registration, and Transparency Act requirements as noted on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.
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.
The Non-Competing Continuation Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590) and financial statements as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement are required annually. Continuation support will not be provided until the required forms are submitted and accepted. Programs that involve participants should report on education in the responsible conduct of research and complete a Training Diversity Report, in accordance with the PHS 2590 Additional Instructions for Preparing a Progress Report for an Institutional Research Training Grant, Including Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards.
The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier sub awards 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 sub awards over $25,000. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement.
Failure by the grantee institution to submit required forms in a timely, complete, and accurate manner may result in an expenditure disallowance or a delay in any continuation funding for the award.
A final progress report, invention statement, and the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout of an award as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
In carrying out its stewardship of human resource-related programs, the NIH may request information essential to an assessment of the effectiveness of this program from databases and from participants themselves. Participants may be contacted after the completion of this award for periodic updates on various aspects of their employment history, publications, support from research grants or contracts, honors and awards, professional activities, and other information helpful in evaluating the impact of the program.
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 evaluation, this program will allow one competitive renewal. During year eight, an administrative review (using outside experts) will be convened 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.
Listed below are key metrics to be used to help determine whether the program goals or outcomes have been met in a future evaluation:
For programs involving undergraduate participants:
For programs involving health professional participants:
We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.
GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and
process, finding NIH grant resources)
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)
Drew Carlson, Ph.D.
Division of Cardiovascular Sciences (responding for all NHLBI programmatic Divisions)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Two Rockledge Center
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7940
Bethesda, MD 20892-7940 or Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express mail)
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
Ms. Tracee Gilchrist
Division of Extramural Research Activities
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7164, MSC 7926
Bethesda, MD 20892-7926 or Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express mail)
Telephone: (301) 402-3843
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.
Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.
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