Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Library of Medicine (NLM)
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)

Funding Opportunity Title

NLM Institutional Training Grants for Research Training in Biomedical Informatics (T-15)

Activity Code

T15 Institutional Training Grants

Announcement Type

This is a reissue of RFA-LM-06-001

Related Notices

  • March 11, 2011 - See Notice NOT-LM-11-002 Notice of Technical Assistance Webinar for Applications.

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-LM-11-001

Companion FOA

None

Number of Applications

Only one application per institution is allowed, as defined in Section III.3. Additional Information on Eligibility Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

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

93.879; 93.121

FOA Purpose

The National Library of Medicine invites training grant applications for support of predoctoral and postdoctoral training for research careers in biomedical informatics. Applications may be for the creation of entirely new program or for the renewal of existing NLM training program grants. Such training will help meet a growing need for investigators trained in biomedical computing and related fields as they directly relate to application domains, including health care delivery, basic biomedical research, clinical and translational research, public health and similar areas.

Key Dates
Posted Date
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

March 28, 2011

Letter of Intent Due Date

March 28, 2011

Application Due Date(s)

April 28, 2011, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

July 2011

Advisory Council Review

October 2011

Earliest Start Date(s)

July1, 2012

Expiration Date

April 29, 2011

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

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

Table of Contents

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

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) invites applications for support of pre-doctoral and post-doctoral training programs leading to research careers in biomedical informatics. Applications may be for the creation of entirely new training programs or for the renewal of existing NLM training program grants. Such programs help meet a growing need for investigators trained in biomedical computing and relevant application domains including health care delivery, basic biomedical research, clinical and translational research, public health, health information sciences and other related areas. Informatics training is multi-disciplinary. Trainees will come to these programs with a range of educational and professional backgrounds and receive the training they need to prepare them for research careers in biomedical informatics. More information about NLM's existing training programs is available at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/ep/GrantTrainInstitute.html.

Graduates of the NLM-supported programs should be able to conduct original basic or applied research at the intersection of computer and information sciences with one or more biomedical application domains. Successful graduates of these programs will be prepared for research-oriented roles in academic institutions, not-for-profit research institutes, governmental and public health agencies, pharmaceutical and software companies, and health care organizations. This initiative is not intended to prepare trainees for careers emphasizing planning, deployment, maintenance, or administration of computer systems in health care, public health, medical education or research. The emphasis in this program is on the development of new knowledge that advances informatics as a scientific discipline.

NLM has not endorsed  a single approach or curriculum for research training in biomedical informatics, or a preferred career path after training. The proposed training in a required core curriculum should include informatics principles and concepts, quantitative methods, such as biostatistics and applied mathematics, and concepts of computer science, engineering, information sciences and/or other relevant fields. This core curriculum should be supplemented by other courses and research experience in one or more application domains so that trainees should acquire an appropriate depth of knowledge to pursue meaningful research. They should have experiences specifically designed to promote the integration of basic informatics methods and the relevant application domain(s). Beyond the core curriculum, trainees should have opportunities for advanced training in those fields basic to informatics (computer, information, social/behavioral sciences and other fields) that prepares them for their research projects and their thesis or dissertation work. Throughout their training, they should have meaningful, supervised research experiences of gradually increasing sophistication—culminating in an independent research project that may be a thesis or dissertation pursuant to an academic degree. It is expected that trainees will disseminate the results of their research at national meetings and in peer-reviewed publications during and after the training period. Graduates of these programs are expected to be capable of carrying out independent research at a level of sophistication compatible with publication of results and competition for research grants and contracts.

The training offered by a program must lead to one or more of the following educational end-points, depending on the educational background of the trainee. The first end-point is pertinent to predoctoral trainees; the other two end-points are pertinent to postdoctoral trainees:

Applicants may propose training tracks in one or more basic programs for research training in informatics. Basic informatics training areas:

NLM encourages applicants to propose approaches that support MD/PhD candidates.  Certificate programs that do not lead to research careers are not in scope for this announcement.

An applicant may request any combination of predoctoral and postdoctoral positions. However, applicants are advised that NLM expects that most training programs will support a balanced combination of predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees, and training slot allocations will be made accordingly.

Dental Informatics Track

Applicants interested in providing training in dental informatics, as an option WITHIN their general program, should describe their proposed programs of study and related educational plans for the special track, and should describe organizational and faculty resources supporting the special track. To the extent that programs request positions for this special training track, they may exceed by three slots the full-time slot maximums described above.

Dental Informatics: The objective of this effort is to develop highly qualified investigators committed to research careers in oral health informatics, which integrates and applies the computer, information, and cognitive sciences to oral health and disease. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) plans to transfer funds to NLM to support up to three trainees per year, at NLM-funded sites, to pursue training in dental informatics. These training positions will be distributed among one or more sites proposing dental informatics tracks, based on assessment of the relevance and quality of the proposed educational program. Trainees can be individuals with a D.D.S., D.M.D., M.D., or equivalent degree, or pre- and post-Ph.D.It is essential that research training activities specifically apply informatics to areas pursued by the NIDCR. These include: (1) the etiology, epidemiology, pathogenesis, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of dental caries, periodontal and oral soft tissue diseases, oral cancer, oral manifestations of AIDS and HIV infection, salivary gland conditions, craniofacial anomalies, orofacial pain, and temporomandibular disorders; (2) the molecular and cellular study of the development, structure and function of teeth, jaws, oral mucosa, bone, connective tissue, and salivary glands; (3) behavioral, social, cultural, economic, and health care delivery issues related to oral health and disease; (4) biomaterials, dental implants, biometics, and tissue engineering; (5) fluoride and nutrition; and (6) oral conditions prevalent among older Americans, a particular gender, minorities, people with particular systemic diseases, and other individuals and groups at high risk for oral health problems. For more detail regarding NIDCR’s scientific priorities, applicants are directed to the NIDCR strategic plan at http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/Research/ResearchPriorities/StrategicPlan/.   

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

Grant.

Application Types Allowed

New
Renewal

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

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

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

In FY 2012, NLM intends to spend approximately $14,000,000 on 10-15 awards in this program.

Award Budget

Application budgets are not limited, but need to reflect actual needs of the proposed project. Program budgets are primarily determined by the numbers and types of training positions requested. An applicant proposing at least one basic informatics training program, or a mix of basic and specialized  training areas, with both predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees, may request NLM funding for a maximum of 15 full-time training positions, and a maximum of 4 diversity short-term  positions, in each year. Programs that wish to train only predoctoral or only postdoctoral trainees may request up to 10 full time training positions and a maximum of 2 diversity short term positions in each year.

Award Project Period

The expected project period is five years, beginning July 1, 2012. Awards are normally made in 12-month increments with support for additional years based on satisfactory progress and the continued availability of funds.

Other Award Budget Information

Stipends, Tuition, and Fees

NLM training grant awards provide stipends as a subsistence allowance to help defray living expenses during the research training experiences. The current predoctoral NLM stipend table is available at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/ep/trainingdirectors.html.   The NLM predoctoral stipend table provides support at the NRSA level in year one, with 5% escalation in years two through five.

For postdoctoral trainees, NLM stipends mirror the NRSA stipend table. The current NLM postdoctoral stipend table is available at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/ep/trainingdirectors.html . Selection of the appropriate starting pay level for postdoctoral trainees depends upon the experience of the candidate. Relevant experience may include research experience (including industrial), teaching, internship, residency, clinical duties, or other time spent in full-time studies in a health-related field following the date of the qualifying doctoral degree. No NLM trainee may receive more than 5 years of NLM support (in aggregate), of which no more than 3 years can be for postdoctoral training. Thus, a predoctoral trainee who receives 5 years of NLM support is not eligible for postdoctoral training support from NLM.

For short-term trainees, the NLM stipend equals 25% of the lowest level of the NLM predoctoral or postdoctoral stipend table.

NLM will provide 60% of tuition and fees up to a limit of $16,000 per year for predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees enrolled in degree programs. For postdoctoral trainees not enrolled in degree programs, NLM will provide up to $4500 per year for tuition and fees. For short-term trainees, NLM will provide up to $4,000 for tuition and fees.

The most recent stipend, tuition, and fee levels are described on the NLM web site http://www.nlm.nih.gov/ep/trainingdirectors.html. NLM training awards are not NRSA awards, but are similar in many ways. A notable difference is the absence of a service payback requirement.

Trainee Travel

Trainee travel to attend scientific meetings and workshops that the institution determines to be necessary for the individual’s research training experience is an allowable trainee expense. NLM provides $2000 per year for travel to each full time trainee. Short-term trainees do not receive travel support. All full-time NLM trainees are expected to attend the annual NLM Training Conference held each summer. After supporting travel to the NLM Training Conference, travel funds may be used to support trainee travel to relevant professional meetings, at the program director’s discretion.  

Training Related Expenses and Health Insurance

NLM will provide $6500 for each full-time trainee to help defray other research training expenses, such as health insurance, staff salaries, consultant costs, equipment, research supplies, and faculty/staff  travel directly related to the research training program.  In addition, NLM provides $2,000 for predoctoral trainees and $4,000 for postdoctoral trainees to assist with costs for health insurance. The most recent levels of support for training related expenses and health insurance are available on the NLM web site at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/ep/trainingdirectors.html.

For each short-term trainee, applicants may request trainee-related expenses of $1,100 per year.

Under exceptional circumstances, which can include providing accommodations for a trainee with disabilities, it is possible to request additional training-related expenses. Consultation with NLM program staff in advance of such requests is required. Unless an applicant receives advance permission to do so, no exceptional expenses should be included in a submitted budget.  

Indirect Costs

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

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

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants
 
Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions:

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

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

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

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

All registrations must be completed by the application due date.

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

Required Registrations

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

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

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

Eligible Individuals (Project Director/Principal Investigator)

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

For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide.

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

A Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) must, at the time of application, be a senior-level (at the rank of associate professor or higher), full-time faculty member at the applicant institution. For multiple-PI applications, all PD/PIs must meet this eligibility criterion.

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

Only one application per institution (as identified by having a unique DUNS number or NIH IPF number) is allowed.    

Mentors

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

Trainees

Predoctoral trainees must have received, by the beginning date of their NLM appointment, a baccalaureate degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution. All predoctoral trainees must be enrolled as doctoral students in a program leading to a Ph.D. in informatics or an informatics-related research doctoral degree. Examples of informatics-related doctoral degree areas include computer science, information or library science, or a social/behavioral science with appropriate emphasis. Predoctoral trainees must be admitted to a doctoral program prior to the time that they receive a commitment of NLM support. Admission to a master’s program is not sufficient. Trainees who are matriculated in programs leading to doctoral-level health professional degrees, such as an M.D., may be supported as predoctoral trainees for studies leading to a PhD. However, NLM does not provide support for M.D. training. Positions on NLM training grants may not be used for study leading to the M.D., D.D.S., or other clinical, health-professional degrees. Trainees enrolled in an integrated program that leads simultaneously to a Ph.D. and doctoral-level health professional degree may be supported with NLM funds during those years of study that are dedicated to meeting the requirements of the Ph.D. degree. Postdoctoral trainees may not accept NLM support for studies that are part of residency training leading to certification in a medical or dental specialty or subspecialty.

Postdoctoral trainees must have received, as of the beginning date of the NLM appointment, a Ph.D., M.D. or comparable doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution. Eligible doctoral degrees include, but are not limited to, the following: D.D.S., D.M.D., D.O., D.V.M., O.D., D.P.M., Sc.D., Eng.D., Dr. P.H., D.N.Sc., D. Pharm., D.S.W., and Psy.D. In lieu of a diploma, completion of a doctoral program may be established through documentation by an authorized official of the degree-granting institution that all degree requirements have been met.

Short-term trainees receive appointments of three months’ duration, equivalent to .25 FTE of the lowest level of a predoctoral or postdoctoral stipend. The purpose of NLM's Short Term Training program (STTP) is to attract a diverse group of individuals into research careers in biomedical informatics. To be eligible for short-term research training positions, potential trainees must have demonstrated interest and potential to pursue a research career in biomedical informatics, and come from a group that is under-represented in the biomedical informatics research workforce, such as women, individuals from racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from economically, socially , culturally or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. Students enrolled in baccalaureate or masters programs in relevant scientific fields (such as biology, computer science or library science) and students pursuing health professional degrees are eligible for diversity short-term training appointments. Individuals matriculated in a formal research degree program, or those holding a research doctorate or masters degree or a combined health-professional/research doctorate are not eligible for short-term training positions. Diversity short-term training is not intended, and may not be used, to support activities that would ordinarily be part of a research degree program, nor for any undergraduate-level training. Short-term positions should be requested at the time of application as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

The grantee institution may provide stipend supplements to help offset a trainee’s cost of living on the condition that such supplementation does not require from the trainee any specific additional responsibilities. Federal funds may not be used for supplementation unless specifically authorized under the terms of both the program from which such supplemental funds are to be received and the program whose funds are to be supplemented. Under no circumstances may Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) funds be used for stipend supplementation.

An institution may also provide to a trainee additional compensation for services such as teaching, clinical care, or serving as a research assistant. A trainee may receive compensation for services as a research assistant or in some other position on a Federal research grant, including a DHHS research grant. However, these additional compensated services should occur on a limited, part-time basis apart from the required normal full-time research training activities, which require a minimum of 40 hours per week. In addition, compensation may not be paid from a grant supporting research that is part of the research training experience. Under no circumstances may the conditions of stipend supplementation or additional compensation interfere with, detract from, or prolong the trainee's approved training program.

An individual may make use of Federal educational loan funds and assistance under the Veterans Readjustment Benefits Act (G.I. Bill). Such funds are not considered supplementation or compensation. Any intended stipend supplements or additional trainee compensation should not appear in budgets submitted in response to this FOA.

Training Program

Trainees are required to pursue their research training on a full-time basis, devoting to the program at least 40 hours per week, or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies. Research trainees who are clinicians must undertake any patient care activities outside the scope and time commitment of their research training. Stipends payable to trainees through this program must carry no expectation of direct provision of patient care. Appointments of full-time trainees are normally made in 12-month increments. No full-time trainee may be appointed for less than 9 months during the initial period of appointment, except with the prior approval of NLM. An NLM traineeship may not be held concurrently with another federally sponsored fellowship or similar Federal award that provides a stipend or otherwise duplicates provisions of the NLM program.

Pre-doctoral trainees seeking a doctoral degree in informatics or related fields may receive up to 5 years of NLM support. Postdoctoral trainees—whether in PhD or non-degree programs --are limited to 3 years of support. No trainee may receive more than 5 years of aggregate NLM support from any combination of NLM institutional predoctoral or postdoctoral support, and no more than 3 years of NLM support may be at the post-doctoral level.  The total training support received from all NIH sources cannot exceed 7 years. 

To be appointed to a training position supported by an NLM research training grant, an individual must be a citizen or non-citizen national of the United States or must have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., in possession of a currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card I-551)--or must be in possession, at the time of their appointment, of other governmental verification that permanent residency status has been attained. Non-citizen nationals are generally persons born in outlying possessions of the United States (e.g., American Samoa and Swains Island). Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible. Applicants for permanent residency status, who, for whatever reason, have not received Card I-551, are not eligible. NLM trainees are exempt from the payback requirement that applies to NRSA trainees.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

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

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

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

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

Letter of Intent and Technical Assistance

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

The letter of intent should be sent by electronic mail to:

Arthur Petrosian, Ph.D.
Extramural Programs
National Library of Medicine
6705 Rockledge Drive, Suite 301
Bethesda, MD 20892
Telephone: (301) 496-4253

On March 22, 2011 at 2:00pm EST, NLM will hold a Technical Assistance call to provide information and answer questions from interested parties. Details and a web link to join the meeting will be provided on the NLM Extramural Programs website, www.nlm.nih.gov/ep/ no later than close of business on March18, 2011.

Required and Optional Components

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

Page Limitations

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

Applications should follow the format for Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) applications, as detailed in Section 8 of the Application Guide for PHS 424 (R&R). Certain elaborations on and modifications to the instructions in the NSRA application form, specific to this FOA, supersede the instructions in the NRSA application where applicable. Applicants must therefore refer to both the NRSA application instructions and the instructions below when completing their applications. Where no superseding instructions appear below, applications should follow the NRSA Section 8 instructions.

SF424 (R&R) Other Project Information Component

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

Project Summary /Abstract

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

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

Training Budget Component

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

With reference to the PHS 398 substitute budget page, each program’s direct cost budget consists of four parts: 1) trainee stipends; 2) tuition and fees; 3) trainee travel; 4) trainee related expenses. Consortium training fees do not apply to this FOA.

An applicant may request any combination of predoctoral and postdoctoral positions. However, applicants are advised that NLM expects that most training programs will support a balanced combination of predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees.  NLM will take this goal into account in award decisions and will monitor the balance throughout the life of the grant.

The program budgets as submitted are estimates. Awards to each funded program will be based on the number of slots awarded to the program and the actual numbers and types of trainees the program recruits in each year.

Trainee Stipends: 

Once a trainee is appointed, the stipend for each additional full year of NLM support is determined by the active stipend table as provided by NLM at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/ep/trainingdirectors.html. Since programs cannot know in advance what the actual stipend levels of their to-be-named postdoctoral trainees will be, stipends for postdoctoral training positions not yet filled should reflect year 3 experience level as indicated on the NLM postdoctoral stipend table.

On the initial “budget period page”, list requested stipends in the appropriate areas.  List stipends for short term trainees as FTE – one short term trainee is equal to .25 FTE .

PHS 398 Research Training Program Plan

All Supplemental Instructions to the SF424 (R&R) for Preparing Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Application must be followed, with the additional instructions described below. Training plans, with accompanying tables, should be described in this section by following the NRSA application guidelines, as modified or supplemented by the instructions below. Applicants must observe page limits presented in the PHS 424 (R&R) Application Guide, Table 2.6-1. 

Program Administration (Component of Program Plan)

Describe the acknowledged strengths, leadership and administrative skills, and scientific expertise of the PD/PI. Include active research and the planned strategy to be used to oversee and monitor the program. For applications with multiple PDs/PI(s), address the Leadership Plan and how the combined knowledge, skills and experience of the individual PDs/PIs will enhance the likelihood of success of the program.  In addition to the material requested in the NRSA instructions, each application must describe in detail the organizational entity in which the program will be based. This may be a department, center, division, institute, or other organization as appropriate. If the home organization for the program is not authorized to confer academic degrees and the proposed training is to be degree-granting, the application should contain appropriate certifications from the leadership of the degree-granting unit(s) to the effect that the proposed curricula have been approved to enable students to earn the stipulated academic degrees. Applicants should not predicate their training plans on any degree-granting programs that are pending approval at the time of submission..

Program Faculty (Component of Program Plan)

Describe the complementary expertise and experiences of the proposed mentors for the scholars. Include active research and other scholarly activities in which the mentors are engaged, as well as track records of mentoring and training. Each program must list separately a core faculty and any additional faculty members who will directly support the program as teachers of important courses or advisors to trainees. A Principal Investigator/Project Director (PD/PI) must, at the time of application, be a senior-level (at the rank of associate professor or higher), full-time faculty member at the applicant institution.

Proposed Training (Component of Program Plan)

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

Acceptable applications must be clearly designed such that the primary intent of the program is preparation for research careers in biomedical informatics. Applicants must specify which of the specific end-points (see Part 2. Section I) apply to their proposed programs and consequently, which categories of trainees they will seek to recruit.

Applicants must also, in this section, specify the application domain(s) of informatics that will be addressed by their training program, with specific reference to the list introduced in Part 2, Section I.

Applicants may describe their proposed training domain-by-domain, or they may describe an overall program that spans domains and then specify how training in each domain varies from the general theme. All proposed training descriptions must include details regarding:

For degree-granting programs, tables specifying the proposed programs of studies are highly recommended. Applicants are also encouraged to describe experiences that seek to integrate informatics methods and the application domain, including details about how these experiences will be structured. For all courses listed as part of the program that are not under the direct control of the principal investigator’s home academic unit (e.g. his/her home department), applicants must document through appropriate letters that their trainees will have routine access to these courses.

The application must specify a core curriculum addressing informatics concepts and methods that supports the entire program, spanning all application domains that are addressed. While the proposed core curriculum may include variations that customize it to specific domains, the preponderance of courses and other educational elements comprising the core must apply to all application domains.

The description of the core curriculum should include details about all required components such as courses and other experiences, including the specific goals and objectives of each component. Requests for numbers of trainees in each year should be justified based on faculty size and strength, availability of space and other program resources, and, for programs filing renewal applications, their recent recruitment experience or proposed programmatic changes.  

To request the full number (15) of full-time informatics trainees, a  program must request a combination of predoctoral and postdoctoral positions. Generally speaking, NLM expects that predoctoral trainees will account for no more than 60% of the total requested training slots, excluding short term trainees. The proposed allocation of slots to predoctoral and postdoctoral levels should be carefully explained and justified. NLM may adjust the requested number of slots to achieve/preserve this balance. 

Program Evaluation (Component of Program Plan)

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

Trainee Candidates (Component of Program Plan)

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

All applicants must describe in detail their plans to recruit highly-qualified trainees of the type and number they are requesting. They should describe pre-requisites that all applicants must possess.

All NLM-supported programs must advertise and recruit nationally for both predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees. While they may recruit into NLM-supported positions students already matriculated at their own institutions, they cannot restrict access to NLM-funded positions to such students unless required to do so by institutional policy. (For example, if all graduate students who might later study informatics are required to enter a generic first year of graduate studies before they can specialize into the relevant informatics curriculum, recruitment for NLM-supported positions can be limited to students in the generic first year program. In this case, programs would still be required to advertise their informatics program nationally, so that potential trainees outside the institution would know that the informatics option exists following the generic first year.)

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

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

In addition to the material requested in the NRSA instructions, applicants should clearly describe the educational program(s) that will be home to the NLM-supported trainees. All applicants should provide an estimate, over the period of requested funding (2012-2017), of the fraction of all trainees in these program(s) who will be supported by the positions requested in this application.

The NIH recognizes a unique and compelling need to promote diversity in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences research workforce.  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. NLM is particularly interested in encouraging the recruitment and retention of the following classes of candidates:

This FOA requires all applicants to submit a diversity recruitment and retention plan. While applicants may base their plans on multi-disciplinary diversity programs in place at their institutions, they must also indicate how the informatics programs will participate in these recruitment activities, and how these activities will meet the needs of potential applicants with interests in informatics. If an application is received without a plan, the application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.

Progress Report: For training programs currently funded by NLM, construct your progress report as described in the NRSA application instructions. The progress report does not count against the page limit.

Particular attention must be given to the required Training Data Tables .Table 1 through 11 must be completed by all applicants. In tables 1 and 2, list faculty who will have direct involvement with the trainees as mentors, research leaders or faculty. Table 12A and 12B: only renewal applications should include these two tables.

Resource Sharing Plan

Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, and Sharing Model Organisms) as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modifications:

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, with the following modifications:

Applicants for this NLM Informatics Research training program grants may include any or all of the following optional materials:

3. Submission Dates and Times

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

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

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

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

4. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

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

Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.   No stipend or other allowance may be paid until the appointment form has been submitted to NLM. Therefore, pre-award cost authority is not allowable, with the following exception: pre-award cost authority is permitted for up to 90 days prior to the start date for travel expenses associated with the NLM Annual Training Conference. Travel costs related to the annual training conference can be charged as pre-award costs to the upcoming budget period, or as un-liquidated costs to the previous budget period, depending upon the organization's accounting system.

6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

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

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

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

Important reminders:

All PD/PIs must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF 424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH.

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

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

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

In order to expedite review, applicants are requested to notify the NLM Scientific Review Officer by email at petrosia@mail.nih.gov when the application has been submitted. Please include the FOA number and title, PD/PI name, and title of the application.

Post Submission Materials

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

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

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

The goals of NIH-supported research training are to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists are available in adequate numbers and in appropriate research areas to address the Nation’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. For this NLM funding opportunity, these individuals must be highly trained in computational and information science methods, in specific application domains, and receive cross-training that ties them together. Each of the review criteria below will be addressed and considered in assigning an application’s overall score, weighting them as appropriate to each application.

Overall Impact

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

Scored Review Criteria

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

Training Program and Environment

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

For applications designating multiple PD/PIs:

Preceptors/Mentors

Trainees

For applications that request short-term research training positions:

Training Record

Additional Review Criteria

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

Protections for Human Subjects

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

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

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

Vertebrate Animals

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

Biohazards

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

Resubmissions

Not Applicable.

Renewals

For Renewals, Has the program recruited trainees in sufficient numbers and of high quality? Do the core faculty receive outside funding to support their work and are they disseminating their findings in peer-reviewed publications? Do trainees complete their degrees in the allotted time? Have trainees generated peer-reviewed presentations and publications from their research projects? What has been the success of program graduates in their subsequent careers, and have they been productive in generating peer-reviewed research? If the applicant proposes significant changes in scope or direction from the previous program, are they well-justified and adequately documented?

Revisions

Not Applicable.

Additional Review Considerations

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

Recruitment & Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity

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

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

Taking into account the specific characteristics of the training program, level of trainee experience, and the particular circumstances of the trainees, the reviewers will address the following questions.  Does the plan satisfactorily address the format of instruction, e.g. lectures, coursework and/or real-time discussion groups?  Do plans include a sufficiently broad selection of subject matter, such as conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, security, confidentiality of information, protection of privacy?  Do the plans adequately describe how faculty will participate in the instruction?  Does the plan meet the minimum requirements for RCR, i.e., eight contact hours of instruction every four years?  If this is a renewal, is there a report describing past instruction in the components described above?    Plans and past record will be rated as acceptable or unacceptable, and the summary statement will provide the consensus rating of the review committee. Applications rated unacceptable will not be funded until the applicant provides an acceptable, revised plan.

Select Agent Research

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

Budget and Period of Support

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

2. Review and Selection Process

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

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA . Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine . The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

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

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

Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

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

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

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

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

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

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

 NLM's institutional training grants must be administered in accordance with the NIH Grants Policy Statement at NIH Grants Policy Statement - Institutional Research Training Grants.

The taxability of stipends is described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Policies regarding the Ruth L. Kirschstein-NRSA payback obligation are not relevant to NLM training grants. Specifically, NLM trainees do not incur a service payback obligation.

Leave Policies

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

Inventions and Copyrights

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

Evaluation

In carrying out its stewardship of human resource-related programs, the NIH may request information essential to an assessment of the effectiveness of this program. Accordingly, trainees  are hereby notified that they may be contacted after the completion of this award for periodic updates on various aspects of their employment history, publications, support from research grants or contracts, honors and awards, professional activities, and other information helpful in evaluating the impact of the program.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

Not Applicable.

3. Reporting

The Non-Competing Continuation Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590) and financial statements (Financial Status Report) as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement are required annually. Continuation support will not be provided until the required forms are submitted and acceptedThe Additional Instructions for Preparing a Progress Report for an Institutional Research Training Grant, Including Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards, must be followed.

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

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later.  All awardees of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000.  See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement. 

Other Reporting Requirements

Note that a substitute budget page and a summary of trainee page are to be included in the request for non-competing continuation support. The non-competing budget page should list the names of those trainees who are continuing in the research training program. Information on each trainee should also be included in the narrative portion of the progress report as described in the PHS Form 2590 instructions.

Expand the narrative of the non-competing continuation application beyond 2 pages to contain the following information:

 An annual report of progress is required with each non-competing request for funds during the life of the award.

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

Evaluation results should be included as part of the Final Progress Report.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

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

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

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

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Valerie Florance, Ph.D.
Extramural Programs
National Library of Medicine (NLM))
Telephone: 301-496-4621
Email: florancev@mail.nih.gov

Kevin S. Hardwick, D.D.S., M.P.H.
Chief, Research Training and Career Development Branch
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
6701 Democracy, Room 690
Bethesda, MD 20892
Phone: (301) 594-2765
Email: kevin.hardwick@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Arthur Petrosian, PhD.
Extramural Programs
National Library of Medicine (NLM)
Telephone: 301-496-4253
Email: petrosia@mail.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Dwight Mowery
Extramural Programs
National Library of Medicine (NLM)
Telephone: 301-496-4222
Email:moweryd@mail.nih.gov

Dede Rutberg, MBA
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
6701 Democracy, Room 656
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
Phone: (301) 594-4798
Email: rutbergd@mail.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Authority and Regulations

Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 64 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.


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