National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
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National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
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NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Enhancing Diversity in Biomedical Data Science (R25)
R25 Education Projects
93.307; 93.350; 93.213; 93.398; 93.399; 93.172; 93.866; 93.273; 93.855; 93.856; 93.846; 93.286; 93.865; 93.279; 93.173; 93.121; 93.847; 93.859; 93.242; 93.853; 93.361; 93.879; 93.351; 93.310; 93.394; 93.395; 93.396; 93.397; 93.399; 93.837; 93.838; 93.839; 93.233
The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research education activities in the mission areas of the NIH. The over-arching goal of this Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) R25 program is to support educational activities that enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research workforce. To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on research experiences and curriculum development.
January 13, 2015
New Date March 7, 2015 per issuance of NOT-MD-15-004. (Original Date: February 19, 2015)
New Date March 7, 2015 per issuance of NOT-MD-15-004. (Original Date: February 19, 2015)
New Date April 7, 2015 per issuance of NOT-MD-15-004. (Original Date: March 19, 2015), by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on this date.
Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.
New Date April 8, 2015 per issuance of NOT-MD-15-004. (Original Date: March 20, 2015)
Required Application Instructions
It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions.
Applications that do not comply with these instructions will not be reviewed
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
The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research educational activities that complement other formal training programs in the mission areas of the NIH Institutes and Centers. The over-arching goals of the NIH R25 program are to: (1) complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs; (2) enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce; (3) help recruit individuals with specific specialty or disciplinary backgrounds to research careers in biomedical, behavioral and clinical sciences; and (4) foster a better understanding of biomedical, behavioral and clinical research and its implications.
The over-arching goal of this Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) R25 program is to support educational activities that enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce. To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on:
The ability to harvest the wealth of information contained in biomedical Big Data has the potential to advance our understanding of human health and disease; however, the enormity of Big Data creates major organizational and analytical impediments to rapid translational impact. As biomedical datasets become increasingly large, diverse, and complex, they tax conventional methods for sharing, managing, and analyzing data. Furthermore, researchers’ abilities to capitalize on biomedical Big Data science-based approaches are limited by poor data accessibility and interoperability, the lack of appropriate tools, and insufficient training.
In response to the opportunities and challenges presented by the dawning era of "Big Data" in biomedical research, the NIH launched the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative as a trans-NIH initiative to cultivate the digital research enterprise within biomedicine, to facilitate discovery and support new knowledge, and to maximize community engagement.
BD2K addresses four major aims that, in combination, are meant to enhance the utility of biomedical Big Data: 1) to facilitate broad use of biomedical digital assets by making them discoverable, accessible, and citable; 2) to conduct research and develop the methods, software, and tools needed to fully analyze biomedical Big Data; 3) to enhance training in the development and use of methods and tools necessary for biomedical Big Data science; and 4) to enable a data ecosystem that accelerates both basic and translational discovery as part of a digital enterprise.
Biomedical Big Data come from many sources, from massive stand-alone datasets generated by large collaborations to the small datasets produced by many individual investigators. The value of all these data can be amplified through aggregation and integration. The BD2K initiative is a community-enabled endeavor towards maximizing the collective value of current and future biomedical digital assets to better inform and protect human health. BD2K is part of a larger ecosystem driven by data policies and shared infrastructure.
In the BD2K initiative, the term "Biomedical Big Data" is inclusive of the diverse digital objects which may have impact in basic, translational, clinical, social, behavioral, environmental, or informatics research questions. Such data types may include imaging, phenotypic, genotypic, molecular, clinical, behavioral, environmental, and many other types of biological and biomedical data. They may also include biologically-relevant data generated for other purposes (e.g., social media, search histories, economic, geographical, or smart phone data). Finally, they also encompass the metadata, data standards, and software tools involved in data processing and analysis.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognizes a compelling need to promote diversity in the biomedical research workforce. Partnerships between less research intensive institutions, and research intensive institutions with NIH BD2K Centers, can innovatively create programs to provide Big Data research education and training that students will need to succeed in the biomedical research workforce. Many students from underrepresented backgrounds are educated and trained at less-research intensive institutions. The historical mission of some of these institutions has been to educate students from underrepresented backgrounds. For example, the focus of minority serving institutions has been the education and graduation of students from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research, including underrepresented racial and ethnic groups (i.e., African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and natives of U.S. Pacific Islands). Some other institutions have a mission to educate students with disabilities and provide services to the disability community (J.V. Van Cleve and B. A. Crouch, A Place of their Own: Creating the Deaf Community in America, GU Press, 1989). As a group, these institutions have trained science undergraduates from underrepresented groups who have gone on to pursue research careers and have gained scientific prominence in their research.
The program being developed by this FOA provides an opportunity for less research intensive undergraduate institutions to build research experiences and curriculum in biomedical Big Data research education by partnering with NIH BD2K Centers (http://bd2k.nih.gov/ ). It is expected that institutions that partner for this effort share the vision of enhancing diversity in biomedical science as a critical means to achieve research education excellence. Importantly, this FOA seeks to reach undergraduate participants when they are making critical decisions about choosing and persisting in a biomedical research field. In addition, this FOA provides an opportunity for faculty at applicant institutions to gain professional training and skills in Big Data science that will also improve instruction and mentoring capacity in data science. By training undergraduate students in the emerging field of Big Data, they will obtain unique exposure and experience to compete in the biomedical workforce and contribute to research that addresses the increasingly complex health needs of the nation.
The primary purpose of the NIH BD2K Enhancing Diversity in Biomedical Data Science program is to provide resources for eligible institutions to implement innovative approaches to research education for diverse students in Big Data science, including those from underrepresented backgrounds in biomedical research. Through this program, eligible institutions will establish partnerships with newly established NIH BD2K Centers to design and implement novel approaches of data science education that emphasize research experiences and curriculum development at the applicant institution. Participating institutions should collectively consider all factors that are likely to prepare students and/or faculty to improve exposure, knowledge, and competency in Big Data science. It is expected that long-term collaborations will be developed to allow faculty and students to have substantive and continuous interactions for the duration of the funded project period and beyond.
The applicant institution must partner with one or more NIH BD2K Centers (one of the funded BD2K Centers of Excellence or the LINCS-BD2K Perturbation Data Coordination and Integration Center), or the Data Discovery Index Coordination Consortium to design and implement data science research education approaches for students and/or faculty. The recently funded NIH BD2K Centers http://bd2k.nih.gov/FY14/COE/COE.html#sthash.NGUHPDVC.dpbs conduct research to advance the science and utility of Big Data in the context of biomedical and behavioral research, and create innovative new approaches, methods, software, tools, and related resources. These centers provide an opportunity to leverage resources and expertise for the benefit of enhancing diversity in biomedical data science research education and training. Further references to "NIH BD2K Center" include the Data Discovery Index Coordination Consortium.
The applicant institution will have responsibility for the conduct and oversight of the award, along with the flexibility to determine the optimal configuration with its NIH BD2K Center partner(s) to have the maximum impact. Partnerships must involve the applicant institution and one or more NIH BD2K Centers. The selection of a partner Center that is based on the rationale of proposed activities, potential sustainability of activities beyond the project period, and shared vision to promote diversity in biomedical research workforce is encouraged.
Applications must propose research experiences that are intended for undergraduate students, including those from underrepresented backgrounds in biomedical research and faculty at the applicant institution. Dual mentors, one from the applicant institution and one from the NIH BD2K Center, may be established to ensure students benefit from relevant research experiences and support. Curriculum development must meet the applicant institution's undergraduate research education needs, including hands-on research activities in biomedical contexts. Formats should be justified based on student learning requirements and institutional contexts. The development of creative formats to achieve the proposed objectives is highly encouraged. The development of novel instructional approaches should be integral to the curriculum developed. A hybrid approach could be used if well-justified, such as: an in-person or online instructional component followed by an in-person hands-on laboratory experience, or team learning project.
Successful projects are expected to yield tangible advances in the areas of student and/or faculty development, and curriculum development. Examples of activities that would contribute to advances in each area may include, but are not limited to:
1) Research Experiences: For undergraduate students, activities include opportunities to complete advanced biomedical Big Data science research education; including but not limited to: quantitative and bioinformatics coursework; and intensive summer/semester research experiences at NIH BD2K Centers. For faculty, activities may include participation in research that extends their skills and knowledge base in Big Data.
2) Curriculum Development: Opportunities for faculty at the applicant institution to incorporate more biomedical Big Data science (i.e., computational and quantitative sciences), and/or develop new course offerings that emphasize biomedical/behavioral Big data science.
Collaborative activities with the NIH BD2K Centers may include, but are not limited to: short-term research experiences for students and faculty at the NIH BD2K Centers, and hands-on projects; developing and/or disseminating curriculum materials that will be used at the applicant institution, and/or in a joint-instructional capacity with BD2K faculty.
The intent for developing Big Data research experiences and new curriculum at the applicant institution is to enhance the diversity of the biomedical research workforce by using strategies that create research experiences for students and faculty, and course offerings that may continue in sustainable ways after the R25 and/or the NIH BD2K Center project period(s) have expired.
Research education programs may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, but the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those training and education programs currently receiving Federal support. R25 programs may augment institutional research training programs (e.g., T32, T90) but cannot be used to replace or circumvent Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) programs.
Grant: A support mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity.
The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.
The NIH Office of the Associate Director for Data Science intends to commit $1 million (total costs) in FY15 to fund approximately 5 awards, contingent upon the number of meritorious applications received and availability of funds.
Applications may request up to $200,000 in direct costs each year.
The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period. The project period may not exceed 5 years.
Individuals designing, directing, and implementing the research education program may request salary and fringe benefits appropriate for the person months devoted to the program. Salaries requested may not exceed the levels commensurate with the institution's policy for similar positions and may not exceed the congressionally mandated cap. (If mentoring interactions and other activities with participants are considered a regular part of an individual's academic duties, then any costs associated with the mentoring and other interactions with participants are not allowable costs from grant funds).
For NIH BD2K Center faculty visiting the applicant institution for collaborative activities related to curriculum development, the Financial/Grants Management Contact listed in Section VII, Agency Contacts, should be consulted regarding allowable costs.
Participants may be paid if specifically required for the proposed research education program and sufficiently justified. Participant costs must be itemized in the proposed budget
Allowable participant costs depend on the educational level/career status of the individuals to be selected to participate in the program.
While generally not an allowable cost, with strong justification, for short-term BD2K research education experiences held at the NIH BD2K Center (during the academic year and/or summer), participants in the research education program may receive per diem unless such costs are furnished as part of the registration fee. Participants may also receive funds for travel and to defray partial tuition and other education-related expenses for these short-term BD2K research education experiences held at the NIH BD2K Center.
Expenses for foreign travel are not allowed.
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 an R25 program, as participants, but may not receive salary or stipend supplementation from a research education program.
Because the R25 program is not intended as a substitute for an NRSA institutional training program (e.g., T32), costs to support full-time participants (supported for 40 hours/week for a continuous, 12-month period) are not allowable.
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.
Costs of research supplies necessary to conduct and/or attend research educational or curriculum development activities at the applicant and NIH BD2K Center are allowable.
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.
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:
Some institutions provide unique opportunities for access to students from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research. Accordingly, the NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) program strongly encourages applications from the following institutions: Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions, and institutions serving individuals living with disabilities.
In addition, all organizations must meet the following two criteria:
These eligibility requirements are intended to target funds to relatively under-resourced institutions with a demonstrated commitment to students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds. These requirements are based on the recognition that (1) many students from low-income backgrounds are also nationally underrepresented in biomedical research, and (2) institutional commitment to these students often comes at the expense of investments in research infrastructure.
For the purposes of determining eligibility as an applicant institution, the annual level of NIH RPG funding received will be the average level calculated over the preceding three fiscal years (FY 2012, FY 2013 and FY 2014), excluding SBIR/STTR funding and RPGs received through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) as reported on the NIH RePORT website under NIH Awards by Location & Organization (http://projectreporter.nih.gov/reporter.cfm). The percentage of undergraduates with Pell grants will be based on 2013 student financial aid data for the applicant institution, as reflected in the National Center for Education Statistics IPEDS Data Center website, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter/Default.aspx. (Updated January 29, 2015 per issuance of NOT-MD-15-004.)
See Section IV.2, Content and Form of Application Submission for instructions on certification of eligibility.
The sponsoring institution must assure support for the proposed program. Appropriate institutional commitment to the program includes the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned program.
Institutions with existing Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) institutional training grants (e.g., T32) or other Federally funded training programs may apply for a research education grant provided that the proposed educational experiences are distinct from those training programs receiving federal support. In many cases, it is anticipated that the proposed research education program will complement ongoing research training occurring at the applicant institution.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are
not eligible to apply.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply.
Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are not allowed.
Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.
All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account. PD(s)/PI(s) should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate their existing account with the applicant organization in eRA Commons. If the PD/PI is also the organizational Signing Official, they must have two distinct eRA Commons accounts, one for each role. Obtaining an eRA Commons account can take up to 2 weeks.
Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and women are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.
For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
The PD/PI should be an established investigator in the scientific area in which the application is targeted and capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program. The PD/PI will be expected to monitor and assess the program and submit all documents and reports as required.
The PD/PI should have expertise in computational/quantitative sciences relevant to biomedical research.
This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.
The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time. This means that the NIH will not accept:
In addition, the NIH will not accept a resubmission (A1) application that is submitted later than 37 months after submission of the new (A0) application that it follows. The NIH will accept submission:
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.
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 and permanent residents.
Applicants must download the SF424 (R&R) application package associated with this funding opportunity using the “Apply for Grant Electronically” button in this FOA or following the directions provided at Grants.gov.
It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Grant Application Instructions except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions will not be reviewed.
For information on Application Submission and Receipt, visit Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.
Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows IC staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.
By the date listed in Part 1. Overview Information, prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:
The letter of intent should be sent to:
Pamela. L. Thornton, PhD, MSW
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 800
All page limitations described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.
Instructions for Application Submission
The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this FOA.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. The proposed project must involve a collaboration between the applicant institution and at least one NIH BD2K Center http://bd2k.nih.gov/FY14/COE/COE.html#sthash.NGUHPDVC.dpbs. Collaborations with more than one NIH BD2K Center are also allowable and should be consistent with the proposed project activities.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following additional modifications:
Facilities & Other Resources. Describe the educational environment, including the facilities, laboratories, participating departments, computer services, and any other resources to be used in the development and implementation of the proposed program. List all thematically related sources of support for research training and education following the format for Current and Pending Support.
Other Attachments. An institutional BD2K Advisory Committee is encouraged to include as a component of the program, but is not a required component of a Research Education program. If this component is included in the application, provide a plan for the appointment of an Advisory Committee to monitor progress of the research education program and sustainability of efforts after the grant period. Describe the Advisory Committee's role and how it will provide counsel to the PD/PI and to the chief executive of the institution in meeting the goals of the program and institution. The composition of the committee must reflect the institutional approach and support for the proposed program, and may include representatives of the administration, faculty, investigators, mentors, and collaborators. Representation from the applicant institution and NIH BD2K Center is required. Describe the composition and functions of the committee. Note: The proposed Advisory Committee members should not be named in the application, particularly if they include individuals from outside the applicant institution. Please name the attachment “Advisory_Committee.pdf”. The filename provided for each “Other Attachment” will be the name used for the bookmark in the electronic application in eRA Commons.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. Include potential mentors
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following additional modifications:
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:
The Research Strategy section must be used to upload the Research Education Program Plan, which must include the following components described below:
Research Education Program Plan
Proposed Research Education Program. While the proposed research education program may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those research training and research education programs currently receiving federal support. When research training programs are on-going in the same department, the applicant organization should clearly distinguish between the activities in the proposed research education program and the research training supported by the training program. The description should include the educational and/or career level(s) of the planned participants.
Applicants must address the overall goals and specific measurable objectives (including anticipated milestones defined as anticipated intermediate steps toward the objectives) that the institution expects to accomplish in preparing diverse undergraduate students, including those underrepresented in biomedical research; and faculty in Big Data science and research education.
Programmatic detail on the proposed activities must address the needs and requirements, as identified by the institutional characteristics and areas identified for growth.
Describe the criteria and procedures for identification and selection of students and faculty into the program, including those from underrepresented backgrounds. Provide a brief rationale for, and a detailed description of, each activity proposed and the role of faculty/personnel involved at each partnering institution (Applicant and NIH BD2K Center). Describe how each activity will contribute toward realization of the FOA aims related to developing research experiences and curriculum development in Big Data. Provide a timeline for when project activities will take place. Discuss any perceived impediments to implementing the proposed activities and alternative strategies to achieve Big Data research experiences and curriculum development. If more than one NIH BD2K Center is proposed in the partnership model with the applicant institution, it must be well-justified, including how the collaboration (e.g., roles/responsibilities, and oversight) will be managed. Describe how the proposed partnership model will allow the PD/PI to implement proposed activities effectively. Note: The applicant institution must partner with one or more NIH BD2K Centers (one of the funded BD2K Centers of Excellence or the LINCS-BD2K Perturbation Data Coordination and Integration Center), or the Data Discovery Index Coordination Consortium to design and implement data science research education approaches for students and/or faculty (http://bd2k.nih.gov/FY14/COE/COE.html#sthash.NGUHPDVC.dpbs .
Descriptions of the proposed research experiences during the academic year/summer must demonstrate that participants will have meaningful research experiences in data science research with groups of investigators or faculty who are actively engaged in biomedical/behavioral research education and who have peer-reviewed publications. Proposed summer research experiences must be at least two consecutive months in duration.
The application should describe a system for monitoring the proposed program activities, specifically students’ progress throughout the data science research education and undergraduate experience.
The application should describe how student research experiences or course offerings at the applicant institution and/or the NIH BD2K Center may continue in sustainable ways after the funded project period of the R25 and/or the NIH BD2K Center has expired.
Program Director/Principal Investigator. 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. For programs proposing multiple PDs/PIs, describe the complementary and integrated expertise of the PDs/PIs; their leadership approach, and governance appropriate for the planned project.
Program Faculty. Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as program faculty. Faculty should have research expertise and experience relevant to the proposed program and demonstrate a history of, or the potential for, their intended roles.
The application should include a description of the characteristics and responsibilities of the participating faculty at the applicant institution and NIH BD2K Center(s).
Program Participants. Applications must describe the intended participants, and the eligibility criteria and/or specific educational background characteristics that are essential for participation in the proposed research education program. Identify the career levels for which the proposed program is planned.
Participants will include eligible undergraduate students who are enrolled full-time at the applicant institution in a biomedical, computational, or quantitative research field of study (ideally, student participants have exposure to all three fields); and full-time faculty member(s) at the applicant institution. The application should provide details about the pool of expected student participants, their qualifications, recruitment strategies, and sources of the applicant pool that will support the research experiences of underrepresented students as an essential institutional vision and/or mission. Data on student pool in the participating departments must be consistent with the enrollment numbers provided in the Institutional Environment and Commitment section of the PHS 398 Research form.
Institutional Environment and Commitment. Describe the institutional environment, reiterating the availability of facilities and educational resources (described separately under “Facilities & Other Resources”), that can contribute to the planned Research Education Program. Evidence of institutional commitment to the research educational program is required. A letter of institutional commitment must be attached as part of Letters of Support (see below). Appropriate institutional commitment should include the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned research education program.
Provide a brief description of the following to address the Institutional Commitment:
Diversity Recruitment and Retention Plan. The NIH recognizes a unique and compelling need to promote diversity in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences research workforce. The NIH expects efforts to diversify the workforce to lead to the recruitment of the most talented researchers from all groups; to improve the quality of the educational and training environment; to balance and broaden the perspective in setting research priorities; to improve the ability to recruit subjects from diverse backgrounds into clinical research protocols; and to improve the Nation's capacity to address and eliminate health disparities.
Accordingly, the NIH continues to encourage institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations and thus to enhance the participation of individuals currently underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences such as: individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups; individuals with disabilities; and individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds that have inhibited their ability to pursue a career in health-related research. Institutions are encouraged to identify candidates who will enhance diversity on a national basis.
The NIH is particularly interested in encouraging the recruitment and retention of the following classes of participants:
A. Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see data at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/showpub.cfm?TopID=2&SubID=27 and the most recent report on Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Hawaiian Natives, and natives of the U.S. Pacific Islands.
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. The plan should be appropriate and reasonable for the nature and duration of the proposed program.
Additional information on the required Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity is available at Frequently Asked Questions: Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity (Diversity FAQs).
Applications lacking a diversity recruitment and retention plan will not be reviewed.
Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research. All applications must include a plan to fulfill NIH requirements for instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). The plan must address the five, required instructional components outlined in the NIH policy: 1) Format - the required format of instruction, i.e., face-to-face lectures, coursework, and/or real-time discussion groups (a plan with only on-line instruction is not acceptable); 2) Subject Matter - the breadth of subject matter, e.g., conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, research ethics; 3) Faculty Participation - the role of the program faculty in the instruction; 4) Duration of Instruction - the number of contact hours of instruction, taking into consideration the duration of the program; and 5) Frequency of Instruction –instruction must occur during each career stage and at least once every four years. See also NOT-OD-10-019. The plan should be appropriate and reasonable for the nature and duration of the proposed program. Renewal (Type 2) applications must, in addition, describe any changes in formal instruction over the past project period and plans to address any weaknesses in the current instruction plan. All participating faculty who served as course directors, speakers, lecturers, and/or discussion leaders during the past project period must be named in the application.
Applications lacking a plan for instruction in responsible conduct of research will not be reviewed.
Evaluation Plan. Applications must include a plan for evaluating the activities supported by the award. The application must specify baseline metrics (e.g., numbers, educational levels, and demographic characteristics of participants), as well as measures to gauge the short or long-term success of the research education award in achieving its objectives. Wherever appropriate, applicants are encouraged to obtain feedback from participants to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for improvements.
Dissemination 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., sharing course curricula and related materials via web postings, presentations at scientific meetings, workshops.
Letters of Support
A letter of institutional commitment must be attached as part of Letters of Support (see section above:”Institutional Environment and Commitment.”
The application should include a detailed statement from the applicant institution's leadership describing institutional commitment to concepts and activities proposed and to sustaining new models of student and faculty BD2K research education experiences shown to be effective through the project. In addition, the statement should highlight how the proposed research experiences and curriculum may be integrated into the applicant institution’s academic environment related to biomedical Big Data research.
Institutional support for the proposed activities may include but is not limited to provision of adequate faculty release time, support staff, facilities, and educational resources that will contribute to the proposed activities; plans for using institutional resources to further enhance the research education program and/or the institution’s ability to engage undergraduate students, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds, in biomedical research.
Letters of collaboration must be provided by the PD(s)/PI(s) from the NIH BD2K Center partner(s) addressing their institutional commitment to the proposed project and these R25 program goals. As applicable, key faculty or senior investigators at partner organizations who will have substantial involvement in curriculum development, teaching, research education and mentoring, or other activities should submit letters.
Certification of Eligibility: Applicant institutions are required to include a letter certifying institutional eligibility as applicant institutions for the NIH BD2K Enhancing Diversity in Biomedical Data Science program. The certification letter must be on institutional letterhead and signed by the authorized institutional official. See section III. Eligibility Information for additional details.
Resource Sharing Plans
Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following Guide, with the following modification: All applications submitted for the January 25, 2015, due date or after are expected to comply with the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy as detailed in NOT-OD-14-111, as applicable.
When relevant, applications are expected to include a software dissemination plan if support for development, maintenance, or enhancement of software is requested in the application. There is no prescribed single license for software produced. However, the software dissemination plan should address, as appropriate, the following goals:
Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide .
When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Planned Enrollment Reports as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission.
Organizations must submit applications to Grants.gov (the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies). Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration.
Applicants are responsible for viewing their application before the due date in the eRA Commons to ensure accurate and successful submission.
Information on the submission process and a definition of on-time submission are provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.
All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. Paper applications will not be accepted.
Applicants must complete all required registrations before the application due date. Section III. Eligibility Information contains information about registration.
For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit Applying Electronically. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Guidelines for Applicants Experiencing System Issues.
All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH.
The applicant organization must ensure that the DUNS number it provides on the application is the same number used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the System for Award Management (SAM). Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
See more tips for avoiding common errors.
Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness and compliance with application instructions by the Center for Scientific Review and responsiveness by NIMHD, NIH. Applications that are incomplete, non-compliant and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.
Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in NOT-OD-13-030.
Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process. As part of the NIH mission, all applications submitted to the NIH in support of biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.
For this particular announcement, note the following: The goal of this R25 program is to support educational activities that address research education of diverse undergraduate students, including students underrepresented in biomedical research, to acquire skills necessary to utilize data science. The effort also involves building capacity at colleges/universities in Big Data through curriculum and faculty development.
Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to strongly advance research education by fulfilling the goal of this R25 Education Program, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria, as applicable for the project proposed.
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.
As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will evaluate the following additional items while determining scientific and technical merit, and in providing an overall impact score, but will not give separate scores for these items.
Protections for Human Subjects
For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: (1) risk to subjects, (2) adequacy of protection against risks, (3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, (4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and (5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.
For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: (1) the justification for the exemption, (2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and (3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.
Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children
When the proposed project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of children to determine if it is justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed. For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.
The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following five points: (1) proposed use of the animals, and species, strains, ages, sex, and numbers to be used; (2) justifications for the use of animals and for the appropriateness of the species and numbers proposed; (3) adequacy of veterinary care; (4) procedures for limiting discomfort, distress, pain and injury to that which is unavoidable in the conduct of scientifically sound research including the use of analgesic, anesthetic, and tranquilizing drugs and/or comfortable restraining devices; and (5) methods of euthanasia and reason for selection if not consistent with the AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.
Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.
As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items, and should not consider them in providing an overall impact score.
Recruitment & Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity
Peer reviewers will separately evaluate the recruitment and retention plan to enhance diversity after the overall score has been determined. Reviewers will examine the strategies to be used in the recruitment and retention of individuals from underrepresented groups. The review panel’s evaluation will be included in the summary statement. Plans will be rated as acceptable or unacceptable, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.
Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research
Taking into account the specific characteristics of the proposed research education program, the level of participant experience, the reviewers will evaluate the adequacy of the proposed RCR training in relation to the following five required components: 1) Format - the required format of instruction, i.e., face-to-face lectures, coursework, and/or real-time discussion groups (a plan with only on-line instruction is not acceptable); 2) Subject Matter - the breadth of subject matter, e.g., conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, research ethics; 3) Faculty Participation - the role of the program faculty in the instruction; 4) Duration of Instruction - the number of contact hours of instruction, taking into consideration the duration of the program; and 5) Frequency of Instruction –instruction must occur during each career stage and at least once every four years. See also: NOT-OD-10-019. The review panel’s evaluation will be included in the summary statement. Plans will be rated as acceptable or unacceptable, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.
Applications from Foreign Organizations
Select Agent Research
Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.
Resource Sharing Plans
Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: 1) Data Sharing Plan; 2) Sharing Model Organisms; and 3) Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS)/Genomic Data Sharing Plan. If support for development, maintenance, or enhancement of software is requested in the application, the reviewers will comment on the proposed software dissemination plan.
Budget and Period of Support
Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.
Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s) convened by the NIH Center for Scientific Review , in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.
As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:
Appeals of initial peer review will not be accepted for applications submitted in response to this FOA.
Applications will be assigned to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the National Advisory Council on Minority Health and Health Disparities. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:
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.
If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization for successful applications. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document and will be sent via email to the grantee’s business official.
Awardees must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions. Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.
Any application awarded in response to this FOA will be subject to terms and conditions found on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website. This includes any recent legislation and policy applicable to awards that is highlighted on this website.
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.
When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually. Continuation support will not be provided until the required forms are submitted and accepted. Programs that involve participants should report on education in the responsible conduct of research and complete a Training Diversity Report, in accordance with the RPPR Instruction Guide. Programs that involve participants should report on education in the responsible conduct of research and complete a Training Diversity Report, in accordance with the PHS 2590 Additional Instructions for Preparing a Progress Report for an Institutional Research Training Grant, Including Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards.
The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier 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 and the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout of an award as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
In carrying out its stewardship of human resource-related programs, the NIH or its Institutes and Centers will periodically evaluate their R25 research education programs, employing the measures identified below. In assessing the effectiveness of its research education investments, NIH may request information from databases, PD/PIs, and from participants themselves. Where necessary, PD/PIs and participants may be contacted after the completion of a research education experience for periodic updates on participants’ subsequent educational or employment history and professional activities.
Upon the completion of a program evaluation, NIH and its ICOs will determine whether to (a) continue a program as currently configured, (b) continue a program with modifications, or (c) discontinue a program. The inclusion of minimum data metrics required by the NIH for training programs is required, including the use of short- interim, and long-term outcome data.
In evaluating this research education program, Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) expects to use the following evaluation measures:
A. For Programs Focusing on Curriculum or Methods Development:
B. For Research Experience and Mentoring Programs Involving the Following Groups:
We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.
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Pamela L. Thornton, PhD, MSW
National Institutes on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Delia Olufokunbi Sam, PhD
Center for Scientific Review (CSR)
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National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.
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