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

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

Activity Code

R25 Education Projects

Announcement Type

Reissue of RFA-HL-13-020

Related Notices

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-HL-16-008

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

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

93.233, 93.837, 93.838, 93.839

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research education activities in the mission areas of the NIH. The goal of this NHLBI R25 program is to support educational activities that enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research workforce in the mission areas of importance to NHLBI. To accomplish the stated goal, this funding opportunity announcement encourages the development of creative educational activities with a primary focus on Research Experiences.

Key Dates

Posted Date

November 7, 2014

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

January 18, 2015

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

30 days prior to the application due date

Application Due Date(s)

New Date February 19, 2015 per issuance of NOT-OD-15-057. (Original Expiration Date: Feburary 13, 2015); September 18, 2015 (resubmissions only); February 18, 2016; September 19, 2016 (resubmissions only); February 18, 2017; September 18, 2017 (resubmissions only), by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on these dates.

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

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

July 2015; November 2015; July 2016; November 2016; July 2017; November 2017

Advisory Council Review

October 2015; January 2016; October 2016; January 2017; October 2017; January 2018

Earliest Start Date

December 2015

Expiration Date

September 19, 2017

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

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

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

There are several options to submit your application to the agency through Grants.gov. You can use the ASSIST system to prepare, submit and track your application online. You can download an application package from Grants.gov, complete the forms offline, submit the completed forms to Grants.gov and track your application in eRA Commons. Or, you can use other institutional system-to-system solutions to prepare and submit your application to Grants.gov and track your application in eRA Commons. Learn more.

Problems accessing or using ASSIST should be directed to the eRA Service Desk.
Problems downloading forms should be directed to Grants.gov Customer Support.

Table of Contents

Part 1. Overview Information

Part 2. Full Text of the Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

Section II. Award Information

Section III. Eligibility Information

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

Section V. Application Review Information

Section VI. Award Administration Information

Section VII. Agency Contacts

Section VIII. Other Information

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

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

The over-arching goal of this NHLBI R25 program is to support educational activities that enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce by providing research training and research opportunities to undergraduate and health professional students. To accomplish the stated goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on:

  • Research Experiences:
  • The objective is to expose undergraduate college and health professional students from underrepresented backgrounds in the biomedical and behavioral sciences to research training opportunities in mission areas of the NHLBI.
  • For undergraduate students: to provide hands-on research to learn to balance collaborative and individual work, to better understand scientific publications, to discover their passion for research, and continue on to graduate and other health profession careers.
  • For medical, dental, nursing and other health professionals: to become acquainted with the important role of health professionals in the biomedical research enterprise, and to enhance knowledge, interest, and entrance into basic biomedical, translational, or applied clinical research as a career.

Overview and Long-term Program Goals

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 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. The need for a diverse workforce permeates all aspects of the nation's health-related research effort.

The NHLBI provides global leadership for research, training, and education programs to promote the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular, pulmonary, or hematologic diseases and sleep disorders 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 also 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 cardiovascular, pulmonary, or hematologic diseases 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 enhance the pipeline by exposing participants from underrepresented backgrounds to biomedical research and encouraging them to consider careers in research and related fields. An analysis of the NHLBI training programs (independent of diversity targeted programs) indicated that fewer 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 of interest to NHLBI. 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 and sleep disorders 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, systems science, and big data science) to develop a new interdisciplinary workforce. Also of interest to NHLBI are training and career development efforts that focus on implementation research which recognize the numerous knowledge and practice gaps that impede evidence-based interventions. Novel strategies are needed to disseminate and implement "real world" interventions that produce optimal health outcomes, particularly in underserved populations.

Areas of Research Education Supported

The research education program proposed must be directly related to the mission of the NHLBI. The NHLBI supports basic, clinical, and translational research in cardiovascular, pulmonary, and hematologic diseases. Currently, of particular interest are research education, training, and career development efforts that focus on implementation research which recognizes the numerous knowledge and practice gaps that impede evidence-based interventions from producing optimal health outcomes. 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. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the NHLBI program Scientific/Research staff 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 requirements will be considered non-responsive.

Research education program grant applications submitted in response to this FOA should be characterized by innovation, scholarship, and both individual and group-focused research experiences in relation to the mission of the NHLBI.

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

Section II. Award Information

Funding Instrument

Grant: A support mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity.

Application Types Allowed

New

Renewal

Resubmission

The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NHLBI intends to fund up to 7 awards per year in FY 2016, FY 2017, and FY 2018, corresponding to a total of $900,000 per fiscal year.

Award Budget

Although the size of the award may vary within the scope of the research education program proposed, it is generally expected that applications will stay within the following budgetary guidelines: the institutional annual direct costs should typically not exceed $330,104 .

Award Project Period

The total project period for an application submitted in response to this funding opportunity may not exceed 5 years.

Other Award Budget Information

Personnel Costs

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

Support may be requested up to $2,000 per month total to administer the participants' two to three months research program 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.

Participant Costs

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.

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.

Allowable participant costs depend on the educational level/career status of the individuals to be selected to participate in the program.

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 student participants this compensation may include salary,fringe benefits, and tuition (if applicable) not to exceed current stipend level 0 at time of submission (see: NOT-OD-02-017). 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 program is not intended as a substitute for an NRSA institutional training program (e.g.,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 and consultants.

Awardee Meeting. Upon initiation of the program, the NHLBI will hold one 2-day meeting during the project period to encourage the exchange of information among the PD(s)/PI(s) that lead diversity focused research education, training, and career development programs. Therefore, in the preparation of the budget for the grant application, the PD(s)/PI(s) should allocate staff travel supporting one 2-day meeting during the third project year only to be held in or near Bethesda, MD. At these meetings, PD(s)/PI(s) will present their research program, share progress, and discuss next career steps for participants. The meeting may also include other Training Directors who are preparing participants for independent research careers.

Indirect Costs

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

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

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

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

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

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

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

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

For-Profit Organizations

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

Governments

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

Other

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

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.

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

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

Foreign Institutions

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are not eligible to apply.

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

Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are not allowed.

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

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

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

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

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

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

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

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

The PD/PI should be an established investigator in the scientific area in which the application is targeted and capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program. The PD/PI will be expected to monitor and assess the program and submit all documents and reports as required.

2. Cost Sharing

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

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

Number of Applications

Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.

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

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

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

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

Program Faculty

Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as preceptors/mentors. In addition, if applicable, to complement expertise or broaden training experience, PD(s)/PI(s) are encouraged to leverage mentors/co-mentors from other institutional programs (e.g., Clinical and Translational Science Awards, CTSA). 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.

Participants

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.

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.

Participants appointed to the program do not have to 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.

This research education program should be used for the education of U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and non-citizen nationals.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

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

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Grant Application Instructions except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions will not be reviewed.

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

Letter of Intent

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

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

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

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Director, Office of Scientific Review
Division of Extramural Research Activities
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7214
Bethesda, MD 20892-7924 (Express zip 20817)
Telephone: 301- 435-0270
Fax: 301- 480-0730
Email: nhlbichiefreviewbranch@nhlbi.nih.gov

Page Limitations

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

Instructions for Application Submission

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

SF424(R&R) Cover

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

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

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

SF424 (R&R) Other Project Information Component

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

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

Other Attachments. Although an Advisory Committee is not a required component of a Research Education program, it may be helpful in structuring and/or evaluating the program. If an Advisory Committee is intended, provide a plan for the appointment of an Advisory Committee to monitor progress of the training program. The composition, roles, responsibilities, and desired expertise of committee members, frequency of committee meetings, and other relevant information should be included. Describe how the Advisory Committee will evaluate the overall effectiveness of the program. Proposed Advisory Committee members should be named in the application only if they have already been invited to participate at the time the application is submitted. Renewal applications with Advisory Committees should include the names of all committee members during the past project period. Name the PDF formatted file “Advisory_Committee.pdf”.

Tables should be included to show: (a) participating faculty members (including their sources of support and records in research training and research education), (b) the potential participant pool, and, for applicants with a previous history of funding for research education in diverse populations, (c) information about past participants and their subsequent activities. For this purpose, the following Data Tables should be used: Data Tables 2, 3, 4, 5A and 8A. For Table 5A, the "Degree" information in the "Training Period" column should be omitted since this R25 FOA supports short-term, non-degree granting experiences. For Table 8A, GRE and MCAT scores are optional and not required. These tables are not subject to a page limit. They should be compiled as a single pdf file and saved as "Data_Tables.pdf".

Additional tables beyond those recommended may be included in the Research Education Program Plan PHS 398 Research Plan); however, these tables will count as part of the 25 page limit.

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

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

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. Indicate the effort commitment of the PD/PI(s). Provide evidence that the PD(s)/PI(s) are appropriately trained and well-suited to the proposed research education program and have the appropriate experience to lead the program. Provide evidence that 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, is appropriate for the participants’ needs.

R&R Budget

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

  • Include all personnel other than the PD(s)/PI(s) in the Other Personnel section, including clerical and administrative staff.
  • Use the section on Participant/Trainee Support Costs to include all allowable categories of funds requested to support participants in the program.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

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

PHS 398 Research Plan Component

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

Research Strategy

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

  • Proposed Research Education Program
  • Program Director/Principal Investigator
  • Program Faculty/Staff
  • Program Participants
  • Institutional Environment and Commitment
  • Diversity Recruitment and Retention Plan
  • Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Evaluation Plan

Research Education Program Plan

Proposed Research Education Program. While the proposed research education program may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those research training and research education programs currently receiving federal support. When research training programs are on-going in the same department, the applicant organization should clearly distinguish between the activities in the proposed research education program and the research training supported by the training program. The description should include the educational and/or career level(s) of the planned participants. The overall strategy, methodology, and analyses should be well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the proposed research education program. : The proposed program must provide experiences in state-of-the-art approaches to address cardiovascular, pulmonary, or hematologic diseases or sleep disorders.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 r assigning participants to research activities, duration of research training and months in which training will occur, and a description of a typical program including percent time to be spent in various activities. Describe how the proposed program will ensure that participants will be prepared for successful and productive scientific careers. Include benchmarks for success and alternative strategies for potential problems that could affect success of the proposed research program. Describe how implementation of the proposed program will advance the objectives of the proposed program. If the program is innovative or in the early stages of development, describe how effectiveness will be monitored and managed and how the overall goals and objectives of the proposed program will be met. 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. Describe how the proposed research education program is characterized by innovation and scholarship.

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

Program Faculty. Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as program faculty. Faculty should have research expertise and experience relevant to the proposed program and demonstrate a history of, or the potential for, their intended roles. The applicant institution must have the requisite staff to carry out the proposed program. 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. Provide evidence that the collaborators and other researchers are appropriately trained and well-suited to the proposed research education program.

Program Participants. Applications must describe the intended participants, and the eligibility criteria and/or specific educational background characteristics that are essential for participation in the proposed research education program. Identify the career levels for which the proposed program is planned. Provide details about the pool of expected participants, their qualifications, recruitment strategies, and sources of applicant pool. The requested number of short-term participants must be justified in the application.

Institutional Environment and Commitment. Describe the institutional environment, reiterating the availability of facilities and educational resources (described separately under “Facilities & Other Resources”), that can contribute to the planned Research Education Program. Evidence of institutional commitment to the research educational program is required. A letter of institutional commitment must be attached as part of Letters of Support (see below). Appropriate institutional commitment should include the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned research education program. The applicant institution must have a strong research program in the areas of cardiovascular, pulmonary, or hematologic diseases or sleep disorders, and must have the available research facilities, personnel, and support for the research area(s) proposed. 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 in terms of the research education experiences that will be provided, and adequate plans must be provided for coordination and communication between the multiple sites.

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

Accordingly, the NIH continues to encourage institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations and thus to enhance 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 enhance diversity on a national basis.

The NIH is particularly interested in encouraging the recruitment and retention of the following classes of participants:

  1. 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.
  2. Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
  3. 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 (1) qualified for Federal disadvantaged assistance, (2) they have received Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL) or Loans for Disadvantaged Student Program, or (3) 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 documentation.

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. The plan should be appropriate and reasonable for the nature and duration of the proposed program.

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:

  • Individuals who applied for admission to the research education program,
  • Individuals who were offered admission to the research education program,
  • Individuals who participated in the research education program.

For those individuals who participated in the research education program, the report should include information about the duration of education and aggregate information on the number of 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 will not be reviewed.

Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research. All applications must include a plan to fulfill NIH requirements for instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). The plan must address the five, required instructional components outlined in the NIH policy: 1) Format - the required format of instruction, i.e., face-to-face lectures, coursework, and/or real-time discussion groups (a plan with only on-line instruction is not acceptable); 2) Subject Matter - the breadth of subject matter, e.g., conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, research ethics; 3) Faculty Participation - the role of the program faculty in the instruction; 4) Duration of Instruction - the number of contact hours of instruction, taking into consideration the duration of the program; and 5) Frequency of Instruction –instruction must occur during each career stage and at least once every four years. See also NOT-OD-10-019. The plan should be appropriate and reasonable for the nature and duration of the proposed program. Renewal (Type 2) applications must, in addition, describe any changes in formal instruction over the past project period and plans to 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.

Evaluation 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.

Letters of Support

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

Resource Sharing Plans

Individuals 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 following modifications:

When relevant, 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:

  • Software source code should be freely available to biomedical researchers and educators in the non-profit sector, such as institutions of education, research institutions, and government laboratories. Users should be permitted to modify the code and share their modifications with others.
  • The terms of software availability should permit the commercialization of enhanced or customized versions of the software, or incorporation of the software or pieces of it into other software packages.
  • To preserve utility to the community, the software should be transferable such that another individual or team can continue development in the event that the original investigators are unwilling or unable to do so.

Appendix

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

Planned Enrollment Report

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

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report

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

3. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission.

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

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

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

4. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

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

Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. Paper applications will not be accepted.

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

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

Important reminders:

All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH.

The applicant organization must ensure that the DUNS number it provides on the application is the same number used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the System for Award Management (SAM). Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

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

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow our Post Submission Application Materials policy. The page limit for post pubmission materials will be the same as that which is allowed for institutional training and training-related grant applications (T32, T34, etc.) as described in NOT-OD-13-030 .

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

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

Overall Impact

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

Scored Review Criteria

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

Significance

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

Investigator(s)

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

Innovation

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

Approach

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

Environment

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

Additional Review Criteria

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

Protections for Human Subjects

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

For Resubmissions, the committee will evaluate the application as now presented, taking into consideration the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group and changes made to the project.

Renewals

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, behavioral and clinical 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?

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations

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

Recruitment & Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity

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 the summary statement. Plans will be rated as acceptable or unacceptable, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

Taking into account the specific characteristics of the proposed research education program, the level of participant experience, and the particular circumstances of the participants, the reviewers will evaluate the adequacy of the proposed RCR training in relation to the following five required components: 1) Format - the required format of instruction, i.e., face-to-face lectures, coursework, and/or real-time discussion groups (a plan with only on-line instruction is not acceptable); 2) Subject Matter - the breadth of subject matter, e.g., conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, research ethics; 3) Faculty Participation - the role of the program faculty in the instruction; 4) Duration of Instruction - the number of contact hours of instruction, taking into consideration the duration of the program; and 5) Frequency of Instruction –instruction must occur during each career stage and at least once every four years. See also: NOT-OD-10-019. The review panel’s evaluation will be included in the summary statement. Plans 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? Renewal (Type 2) applications must, in addition, describe any changes in formal instruction over the past project period and plans to 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 from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable

Select Agent Research

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

Resource Sharing Plans

Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: 1) Data Sharing Plan; 2) Sharing Model Organisms; and 3) Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS)..

Budget and Period of Support

Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s) convened by NHLBI, in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

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

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

Applications will be assigned 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 NHLBI National Advisory Council. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

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

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

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

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

Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

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

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

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

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

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

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

3. Reporting

The Non-Competing Continuation Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590 or RPPR) and financial statements as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement are required annually. Continuation support will not be provided until the required forms are submitted and accepted. Programs that involve participants should report on modifications to the research education program as originally proposed including any updates on the evaluation plan and the evaluation metrics described in Section VI.4. Include a paragraph or table that describes the research project of each trainee and his/her mentor’s name, and a list of any publications and/or other materials arising from the research education program. Describe also the 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 subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later. All awardees of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement.

Failure by the grantee institution to submit required forms in a timely, complete, and accurate manner may result in an expenditure disallowance or a delay in any continuation funding for the award.

Other Reporting Requirements

  • The institution must submit a completed Statement of Appointment (PHS Form 2271) for each participant appointed full time for eight weeks or more or the equivalent. Grantees must submit the PHS 2271 data electronically using the xTrain system. More information on xTrain is available at xTrain (eRA Commons). An appointment or reappointment may begin any time during the budget period, but not before the budget period start date of the grant year.
  • Participant Termination Notice: Within 30 days of the end of the total support period for each participant, the institution must submit a Termination Notice (PHS Form 416-7) via xTrain for each participant appointed full time for eight weeks or more, or the equivalent.
  • The Progress Report should provide information on the development and implementation of the proposed research education program (including education in the responsible conduct of research), modifications to the research education program as originally proposed, updates on the evaluation of the research education program and the evaluation metrics described in Section VI.4., and a list of any publications and/or other materials arising from the research education program. Include a paragraph or table that describes the research project of each trainee and his/her mentor’s name.

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.

4. Evaluation

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

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

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

For Programs Focusing on Research Experiences Involving the Following Groups:

Undergraduate Students:

  • Participation in oral or poster presentations during their research experience
  • Aggregate number and demographic characteristics of participants
  • Subsequent educational/career progress, including:
    • Returning to the program for more than one summer experience
    • Successful completion of an undergraduate degree in a STEM field
    • Applying for competitive fellowships for graduate school or other advanced degrees
  • Enrollment in an advanced degree program in a STEM field
  • Subsequent participation in research or employment in a STEM field

Health Professional Students:

  • Participation in oral or poster presentations during their research experience
  • Aggregate number and demographic characteristics of participants
  • Subsequent educational/career progress of participants, including:
    • Returning to the program for more than one summer experience
    • Subsequent participation in a formal research training or career development program in a STEM field
    • Subsequent participation in research
    • Applying for competitive fellowships for graduate school or other advanced training
    • Subsequent employment in a research or research-related field
    • Subsequent authorship of scientific publications in a STEM field
    • Subsequent independent research grant support from NIH or another source
  • Subsequent participation in research or employment in a STEM field

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

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

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

GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and process, finding NIH grant resources)
Telephone: 301-945-7573
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Drew Carlson, Ph.D.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Telephone: 301-435-0535
Email: carlsonde@nhlbi.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Director, Office of Scientific Review
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Telephone: 301-435-0270
Email: nhlbichiefreviewbranch@nhlbi.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Tracee Foster
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Telephone: 301-402-3843
Email: fosterts@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 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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