Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)

Funding Opportunity Title

NIMHD Science Education Initiative (R25)

Activity Code

R25 Education Projects

Announcement Type

New

Related Notices

  • April 4, 2011 - See Notice NOT-MD-11-002 This Notice informs prospective applicants of changes in direct cost budget percentage caps, and in population groups targeted for outreach and information dissemination.
  • March 29, 2011 - See Notice NOT-MD-11-003 NIMHD Announces Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
  • February 25, 2011 - See Notice NOT-MD-11-001 Notice of Technical Assistance Workshop for this RFA.

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-MD-11-004

Companion FOA

None

Number of Applications

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

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

 93.307

FOA Purpose

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) encourages applications from organizations to support educational, mentoring, and/or career development programs for individuals from underrepresented or health disparity populations to facilitate the development of a nationwide cohort of scientists and a multi-disciplinary national pool of health disparities investigators with necessary skills to conduct health disparities research in a diverse range of settings.  This FOA also supports public education and outreach on health-related research projects to a variety of audiences are appropriate science education activities.

Key Dates
Posted Date

February 18, 2011

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

March 21, 2011

Letter of Intent Due Date

March 21, 2011

Application Due Date(s)

April 21, 2011, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable.

Scientific Merit Review

April/May 2011

Advisory Council Review

May 2011

Earliest Start Date(s)

July 2011

Expiration Date

April 22, 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 except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

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 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. 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/) provide strong evidence that diversity remains an important problem that the entire research enterprise must actively address.

The intent of the FOA is to support educational, mentoring, and/or career development programs for individuals from health disparity populations that are underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences to facilitate the development of a nationwide cohort of scientists and a multi-disciplinary national pool of health disparities investigators with necessary skills to conduct health disparities research in a diverse range of settings. Fundamental to achieving the goal of this R25 program are targeted research education programs that provide research career awareness opportunities, mentoring experiences and information dissemination to increase the number of highly trained scientists in various scientific areas to address the Nation’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs that are relevant to the mission of the NIMHD.  Expanding curriculum driven educational opportunities and developing capacity are essential to assure success in alleviating health disparities.  Public education and outreach efforts are also appropriate science education activities to achieve the goals of this FOA.  An applicant's submission must focus on only one of the following research education program core areas listed below:

a) K-12 Science Education Initiative. This initiative is designed to provide: 1) K-12 curriculum that will increase and /or advance student understanding and interest in science and the scientific method; 2) professional development and/or research internship opportunities for K-12 teachers that deliver scientific content, foster an understanding of the scientific research process or improving teaching skills; 3) public outreach activities that will educate students, teachers, and the community on health-related research topics; or 4) science teachers with the tools needed to enable them to more effectively communicate the nature of the scientific process to their students and contribute to enhancing overall science literacy of students in grades K-12. The Program also seeks to build productive capacity in traditionally underrepresented groups that lack significant enrollments in science; technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professional career areas. The ultimate goals of this effort are to improve the knowledge and experience of STEM K-12 teachers, the quality, appropriateness and availability of STEM instruction and teaching tools, and the number of STEM teachers who work with young people in K-12 programs.  STEM educators are key contributors to advancing the frontiers of health disparities research and education in STEM career fields. Applicants should include a discussion of their use of the scientific enterprise, including Federal and non-Federal government partners, college faculties and/or private industry to advance the goals of their proposed K-12 program.

b) National High School Youth Summer Initiative.  This initiative is designed to: 1) increase awareness and readiness of high school students from health disparity populations that are underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences; 2) increase awareness of the personal and academic skills required for admission to college/universities / health profession schools; 3) foster leadership and strengthening of academic skills in STEM disciplines; 4) introduce youth to the national health and scientific professional organizations and to the role of these organizations/alliances in promoting health career development role-modeling; and 5) establish  student access to role models and mentors in science and health careers fields.

The applicant’s plan must show past evidence of building productive capacity and output in working with at least one health disparity population that is underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences to foster academic skills  of high school students who upon graduation are able to successfully gain admissions and pursue undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The applicant must have an established alliance that shows evidence of previous success in working with a scientific and health professional organization to carry out similar program goals. Applicants should a discussion of their association with the health and scientific enterprise, including Federal and non-Federal government partners, foundations, college faculties and/or private industry to advance the goals of their proposed project.  Specifically, the alliance should be a partnership that is drawn from one or more professional associations and role models that come from backgrounds and communities that are similar to those of the students in the program.  In all cases, the applicant must demonstrate that the partnership between the applicant and its partner organization has been well established based on prior projects of similar mission and program goals.

c) Mentoring and Career Development Initiative.  This initiative is designed to provide: 1) educational and academic enhancement opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students interested in pursuing advanced degrees in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences; 2) faculty mentors from a variety of academic programs that attract post-baccalaureate and pre-doctoral  and medical students that are interesting in health disparities research and biomedical science; 3) opportunities for college students to gain valuable research experience to help prepare them for graduate school admission and graduate student to compete for post-doctoral research opportunities, and 4)  multidisciplinary mentoring approaches that incorporate thematic concentrations such as disparities, research methods and design, statistics and data analysis, etc.  This may include academic enrichment programs, seminar series, symposia, internships, or other appropriate educational practices. 

The applicant must provide a brief rationale for each proposed activity (e.g., courses, curricula, seminars, workshops) and concise information on the selection and retention process for the participants in the program, including the criteria related to the students’ academic status, participants research education and training progress, and role of the faculty/personnel. A description of the overall goals and objectives of the program and the number of participants to be supported must be included for each program activity. Applicants should justify their choice of activities by showing how they will assist in the career development of selected participants and lead to the milestones (i.e., anticipated intermediate steps toward the objectives).

d) Health Professions Research Capacity-Building Initiative.  This initiative is designed to support the development and implementation of effective programs to advance professional development, education, and research training for post-doctoral professionals, non-tenured Early Stage Investigator (ESI) clinical researchers, and junior faculty in health disparities research areas.  This may include academic enrichment programs, mentoring, faculty research development activities, role-modeling and networking, distance learning initiatives, and research training in career fields that promote behavioral, clinical and biomedical science and health disparities issues.

A critical mass of faculty/research mentors with ongoing funded research projects is necessary to implement the proposed specialized, intensive academic and research education program aspects of this component. The applicant should describe the following three tasks: (i) the process for matching seasoned research mentors with post-doctoral, ESI and/or and junior faculty participants based on the quality and success the mentor has had in mentoring junior research professionals from traditionally identified health disparities populations; (ii) the education and training timeline proposed as well as the standardization of program activities; and (iii) the regularly occurring workshops/meetings whose purpose is to pair mentor(s) with mentees so that they may work together on future research education activities, and career planning opportunities. If collaborations or partnerships exist, provide detailed information of an integrated plan across the partnership to improve academic and research competiveness of the participants to pursue either independent or ESI dedicated research experience in health disparities related disciplines. 

This component must be structured to address two interrelated requirements. They are: 1) the capacity-building design must be cost-effective and based on a sound understanding of programmatic approaches known to be successful in meeting well-defined educational needs of post-doctoral professionals, ESIs and junior faculty member from postsecondary institutions that serve predominantly students who are from populations that are traditionally underrepresented in science and biomedical research; and 2) the proposed plan must be comprehensive and longitudinal, since fragmentary and isolated efforts are inevitably inadequate responses to address the scope and mission of  NIMHD program.

e) Outreach and Information Dissemination Initiative.  This initiative is designed as an alternative means of communicating health and research information to communities that tend to encounter communications barriers due to the lack of culturally appropriate information dissemination approaches.  Communities who suffer from significantly high numbers of health disparity conditions often have great difficulty understanding and/or accepting health messages and information that lack basic cultural sensitivity and awareness. Applicants should present a plan for targeting health communication challenges such as language appropriateness, health/science literacy and cultural relativism and competence among population groups that fall significantly below the health status benchmarks in the seven leading disease categories of Healthy People 2020.  These activities may include the use of bioinformatics, web-based communication and health information technology to broaden the reach of information into communities with high incidences of health disparities. E-learning technologies comprised of all forms of electronically supported learning and teaching methods and the development of web-based platforms is one approach to creating a clearinghouse or dissemination modalities of health information that can be easily, effectively and efficiently communicated.

The proposed research education program may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, but the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those research training and research education programs currently receiving federal support.  The R25 is not a substitute for an institutional research training program (T32) and cannot be used to circumvent or supplement funds provided to individuals supported by Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) mechanisms.  It is anticipated that a substantial number of program faculty will have active research projects in which participants may gain relevant experiences consistent with their research interests and goals. However, the R25 mechanism is not intended to support long-term research training.  These R25 awards do not support training workshops or other efforts to teach community-based individuals fund raising or grant application writing skills.   

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

Grant

Application Types Allowed

New

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

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NIMHD intends to commit approximately $3,000,000 in FY 2011.

Award Budget

Although the size of award may vary with the scope of the research education program application, the direct costs are limited to $350,000. 

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

Award Project Period

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

Other Award Budget Information
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 students/participants are considered a regular part of an individual's academic duties, then any costs associated with the mentoring and other interactions with students/participants are not allowable costs from grant funds). It is expected that in aggregate no more than 25% of the total direct costs will be allocated to personnel costs (other than participants' salaries) in any year of the project.

Participant Costs

Participants are those individuals who benefit from the proposed research education program. Participants may be paid if specifically required for the proposed research education program and sufficiently justified. Participant costs must be itemized in the proposed budget

Allowable participant costs depend on the educational level/career status of the individuals to be selected to participate in the program.   For example, undergraduate students are allowed to receive salary and fringe benefits consistent with the institutional salary policies for employees in similar positions. Graduate students, including health professional students, may receive compensation in accordance with the NIH policy for graduate student compensation.  Salary amounts for all participants must conform to the established, consistently applied salary and wage policies of the institution and must be appropriately pro-rated to reflect the level of effort (person-months) devoted to the program.  Participants should receive compensation that is comparable to NRSA stipends for similar levels of training and in accordance to NIH policy (see: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-017.html). For current NRSA stipend levels for graduate (pre-doctoral) students and post-doctoral fellows see NOT-OD-10-047.

While generally not an allowable costs, with strong justification, participants in the research education program may receive partial costs of meals unless such costs are furnished as part of the registration fee. Participants may also receive funds to defray partial tuition, and other education-related expenses.

Expenses for foreign travel must be exceptionally well justified.

Individuals supported by NIH training and career development mechanisms (K, T, or F awards) may receive, and indeed are encouraged to receive, educational experiences supported by the R25 mechanism, as participants, but may not receive salary or stipend supplementation from a research education program.

Because the R25 mechanism is not intended as a substitute for an NRSA institutional training program (T32), costs to support full-time participants (supported for 40 hours/week for a continuous, 12-month period) are not allowable.

Within the direct cost budget cap, the NIMHD will support up to 25% per year in direct costs to cover the following expenses to:  

1.     the PD/PI to provide leadership, management, coordination and evaluation of the Program;

2.     faculty critical to the design, development, implementation and refinement of the specialized curriculum essential to the research education and didactic needs of the Program ;

3.     a curriculum coordinator; and

4.     for advertising and recruitment in order to attract the best possible candidates to the Program but NOT for any entertaining.

Applicants do not have to list names of individual candidates for participants but should define the intended sources of candidates, outline the recruitment and selection procedures, and indicate the anticipated number of participants in a full time and part-time status.

The institution may supplement the NIH contribution to an appointee's salary to a level that is consistent with the institution's salary scale. Institutional supplementation of a salary must not require extra duties or responsibilities that would interfere with the purpose of the award..

Other Program-Related Expenses

Consultant costs, equipment, supplies, travel for key persons, and other program-related expenses may be included in the proposed budget. These expenses must be justified as specifically required by the proposed program and must not duplicate items generally available at the applicant institution.  The cost of consultants for evaluation of the program is allowed; however, if the evaluator is an employee of one of the applicant institutions, the cost must be included in the category of key personnel salary. 

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

For profit Organizations

Governments

Other

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.

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.  

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.

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

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 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 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.

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 will be accepted per applicant organization.  For institutions of higher education, separate institutions for purposes of this FOA are entities governed by different Chancellors or Presidents.  

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

Change of Institution.  Research education programs may not be transferred from one institution to another, unless strongly justified.

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

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

Preceptors/Mentors

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

Participants

Applications must describe the intended participants, and the eligibility and/or specific educational background characteristics that are essential for participation in the proposed research education program. Identify the career levels essential for participation in the planned program. This requirement applies only to applications responding to research education program core areas (a), (b), (c), or (d).

Unless strongly justified on the basis of exceptional relevance to NIH, research education programs should be used primarily for the education of U.S. citizens.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

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

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

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

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

Letter of Intent

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

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

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

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Robert Nettey, MD
Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 800
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
Telephone: 301-496-3996
Email: netteyr@mail.nih.gov

Required and Optional Components

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

Page Limitations

http://odoerdb2.od.nih.gov/PeerReview/exception_policy.htmlAll page limitations described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.

SF424 (R&R) Other Project Information Component

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

Facilities & Other Resources

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

Advisory Committee (Uploaded via the Other Attachments section)

A plan must be provided for the appointment of an Advisory Committee to monitor progress. Composition, responsibilities, frequency of meetings, and other relevant information should be included. Describe the composition of the Advisory Committee, identifying the role and the desired expertise of members. A plan for Advisory Committee approval and selection of participants should be included. Describe how the Advisory Committee will function in providing oversight of the development, implementation, and evaluation of recruitment strategies, the recruitment and retention of candidates, and the evaluation of the overall effectiveness of the program. This requirement applies only to applications responding to research education program core areas (a), (b), (c), or (d). Note that Advisory Committee members should not be named in the application, particularly if they include individuals from outside the institution.

The NIMHD will support up to $5,000 per year in direct costs to help defray the expenses of the Advisory Committee, but salary for Advisory Committee Members and ancillary personnel (secretary, administrative assistant) are not allowed.

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

R&R Budget Component

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

PHS 398 Research Plan Component

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

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

Proposed Research Education Program (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

While the proposed research education program may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those research training and research education programs currently receiving federal support. When research training programs are on-going in the same department, the applicant organization should clearly describe the distinction between the intended participants in the proposed research education program and the research training supported by the training program. The information should include a description of the education and/or career levels of the planned participants.      

Institutional Environment and Commitment (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

Describe the institutional environment, reiterating the availability of facilities and educational resources (described separately under “Facilities & Other Resources”), that can contribute to the planned Research Education Program. Evidence of institutional commitment to the research educational program is required. A letter of institutional commitment must be attached as part of Letters of Support. Appropriate institutional commitment should include the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned research education program.      

Program Director/Principal Investigator (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

Describe arrangements for administration of the program, provide evidence that the PD/PI is actively engaged in research and/or teaching in an area related to the mission of NIH, and can organize, administer, monitor, and evaluate the research education program, as well as evidence of institutional and community commitment and support for the proposed program.      

Program Faculty/Staff (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

Describe the characteristics and responsibilities of the participating faculty; provide evidence that the participating faculty and preceptors are actively engaged in research or other scholarly activities related to the mission of NIH.      

Program Participants (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

Where the proposed program involves participants, provide details about the pool of expected participants, their qualifications, recruitment strategies and sources of applicant pool, etc.      

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

The NIH recognizes a unique and compelling need to promote diversity in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences 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. This requirement applies only to applications responding to research education program core areas (a), (b), (c), or (d).

Accordingly, the NIH continues to encourage institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations and thus to increase the participation of individuals currently underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences such as: individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups; individuals with disabilities; and individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds that have inhibited their ability to pursue a career in health-related research. Institutions are encouraged to identify candidates who will increase diversity on a national or institutional basis.

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

A. Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see the report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, 2007, p. 262). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: African Americans, Hispanic Americas, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Hawaiian Natives, and natives of the US Pacific Islands. In addition, it is recognized that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting; individuals from racial or ethnic groups that can be convincingly demonstrated to be underrepresented by the grantee institution should be encouraged to participate in this program.

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

C. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who are defined as:

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.

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

For those individuals who were enrolled in the program, the report should include information about the duration of education and whether those individuals finished the program in good standing. Additional information on the required Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity is available at Frequently Asked Questions Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity (Diversity FAQs).

Applications lacking a diversity recruitment and retention plan may be delayed or not accepted for review. An award cannot be made if an application lacks this component.

Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

Every participant supported by this Research Education grant must receive instruction in the responsible conduct of research. All applications must include a plan to provide such instruction. The plan must address five components (format; subject matter; faculty participation; duration of instruction; and frequency of instruction) as detailed in NOT-OD-10-019. Renewal (Type 2) applications must, in addition, describe changes in formal instruction over the past project period and plans for the future that address any weaknesses in the current instruction plan. All participating faculty who served as course directors, speakers, lecturers, and/or discussion leaders during the past project period must be named in the application.

Applications lacking a plan for instruction in responsible conduct of research may be delayed or not accepted for review. An award cannot be made if an application lacks this component. The background, rationale and more detail about instruction in the responsible conduct of research can be found in NOT-OD-10-019. If such instruction is not appropriate for the proposed research education program, then the PD/PI must provide a strong justification for its exclusion.

Evaluation Plan (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

A plan must be provided for program evaluation. Benchmarks should be specified, and specific plans and procedures must be described to capture, analyze and report short or long-term outcome measures that would determine the success of the research education program in achieving its objectives. Where appropriate, applicants are encouraged to include plans to obtain feedback from participants to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for program improvements.

Dissemination Plan (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

A specific plan must be provided to disseminate nationally any findings resulting from or materials developed under the auspices of the research education program, e.g., sample curricula, web postings, presentations at scientific meetings, workshops, etc. For the applications submitted for an Outreach Initiative in response to this FOA, the description of a proposed program will also serve as the Dissemination Plan.

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:

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:

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.

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.

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 NIMHD. Applications that are incomplete and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.  

Post Submission Materials

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

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

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

Overall Impact

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

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 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?     

Investigator(s)

Are the PD/PIs, collaborators, and other researchers appropriately trained and well suited to the proposed research education program? Is the PD/PI an established investigator in the scientific area in which the application is targeted and capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed research education program?  If Early Stage Investigator or New Investigator, or in the early stages of an independent career, does the PD/PI have appropriate experience to lead the program?  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?  Is there evidence that an appropriate level of effort will be devoted by the program leadership to ensure the program's objectives?    

Innovation

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; address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in the field?  Are the proposed concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools, or technologies novel for this area?  Does this proposed program duplicate, or overlap with, existing research education, training and/or career development activities currently supported at the applicant institution or available elsewhere?  Adaptations of existing research education programs may be considered innovative under special circumstances, e.g., the addition of unique components and/or a proposal to determine portability of an existing program?     

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the proposed research education program?  Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented?  If the program is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed?  If called for, is the proposed plan for evaluation and/or dissemination of the education program sound and likely to provide data on the effectiveness of the education program?  Is there evidence that the program is based on sound research concepts and educational principles?  Is the approach feasible and appropriate to achieve the stated research education goals?  If the proposed program will recruit participants, are the recruitment, retention, and follow-up activities adequate to ensure a highly qualified and diverse participant pool? 

If the program involves clinical research, are the plans for 1) protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion of minorities and members of both sexes/genders, as well as the inclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?  

Environment

Will the scientific/educational environment in which the proposed research education program will be conducted contribute to the probability of success?  Are the institutional commitment and support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the program proposed?  Will the program benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements?  Is there evidence of appropriate collaboration among participating programs, departments, and institutions?  If multiple sites are participating, is this adequately justified in terms of the research education experiences provided? Are adequate plans provided for coordination and communication between multiple sites (if appropriate)? 

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

Not Applicable

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 research education program, level of participant experience, and the particular circumstances of the participants, the reviewers will address the following questions.  Does the plan satisfactorily address the format of instruction, e.g. lectures and/or real-time discussion groups?  Do plans include a sufficiently broad selection of subject matter, such as conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety?  Do the plans adequately describe how faculty will participate in the instruction?  Do the plans ensure participants will receive instruction (or in the case of more senior level participants, provide instruction) for an appropriate amount of time given the length of the research education experience?  Plans and past record will be rated as ACCEPTABLE or UNACCEPTABLE, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable.

Select Agent Research

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

Resource Sharing Plans

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

Budget and Period of Support

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

2. Review and Selection Process

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

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the National Advisory Council on Minority Health and Health Disparities. 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 General.

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.

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, participants 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.

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 acceptedPrograms that involve participants should report on education in the responsible conduct of research and complete a Training Diversity Report, in accordance with the PHS 2590 Additional Instructions for Preparing a Progress Report for an Institutional Research Training Grant, Including Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards.

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier 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.

A final progress report, invention statement, and Financial Status Report are required when an award is relinquished when a recipient changes institutions or when an award is terminated.

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)

DeLoris Hunter, PhD
Office of Scientific Programs
National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Telephone: 301-402-1366
Email: hunterd2@mail.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Robert Nettey, MD
Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Telephone: 301-496-3996
Email: netteyr@mail.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Priscilla Grant, JD, CRA
Chief, Grants Management Officer
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Telephone: 301-594-8412
Email: grantp@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 Part 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.


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