National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
BRAIN Initiative: Short Courses in Computational Neuroscience (R25)
R25 Education Projects
Reissue of RFA-MH-15-215
93.242, 93.213, 93.867, 93.866, 93.273, 93.286, 93.865, 93.279, 93.173, 93.853
The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research education activities in the mission areas of the NIH. The over-arching goal of this Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative R25 program is to support educational activities that complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs.
To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on Courses for Skills Development. This FOA will support short courses to facilitate the development of a sophisticated cadre of investigators with the requisite knowledge and skills in computational neuroscience perspectives and techniques for analyzing and interpreting complex, high-dimensional neuroscience data to advance the BRAIN Initiative. For the purposes of this FOA, computational neuroscience encompasses theoretical neuroscience, computational and mathematical modeling of neural systems, and/or statistical perspectives and techniques. Each short course is expected to include both didactics and in-person/hands-on experiences. This FOA is intended for participants who are graduate students, medical students, postdoctoral scholars, medical residents, and/or early-career faculty.
August 28, 2015
October 6, 2015
October 6, 2015
November 6, 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.
No late applications will be accepted for this Funding Opportunity Announcement .
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.
November 7, 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 Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative R25 program is to support educational activities that complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs.. To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on:
Courses for Skills Development: This FOA will support short courses to facilitate the development of a sophisticated cadre of investigators with the requisite knowledge and skills in theoretical neuroscience, computational and mathematical modeling of neural systems, and/or statistical perspectives and techniques for analyzing and interpreting complex, high-dimensional neuroscience data to advance the BRAIN Initiative.
The BRAIN Initiative is aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain. By accelerating the development and application of innovative technologies, researchers will be able to produce a new dynamic picture of the brain that, for the first time, shows how individual cells and complex neural circuits interact in both time and space. It is expected that the application of these new tools and technologies will ultimately lead to new ways to treat, cure, and even prevent brain disorders.
NIH is one of several federal agencies involved in the BRAIN Initiative. Planning for the NIH component of the BRAIN Initiative is guided by the long-term scientific plan, "BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision," which details seven, high-priority research areas and calls for a sustained federal commitment of $4.5 billion over 12 years. This FOA and other BRAIN Initiative FOAs are based on careful consideration by the NIH of the recommendations of the BRAIN 2025 Report, and input from the NIH BRAIN Multi-Council Working Group (MCWG, Roster). Information about meetings of the MCWG are available at http://www.braininitiative.nih.gov/index.htm.
In addition to the national BRAIN Initiative, the NIH continues to have a substantial annual investment in neuroscience research. The Institutes and Centers contributing to the NIH BRAIN Initiative support those research efforts through applications received via parent announcements as well as through specific FOAs. Potential applicants to this FOA are strongly encouraged to contact the Scientific/Research Contact if they have any questions about the best funding opportunity announcement for their research.
To enable progress in development of new technologies as well as in theory and data analysis, the BRAIN Initiative encourages collaborations between neurobiologists and scientists from statistics, physics, mathematics, engineering, and computer science, and NIH welcomes applications from investigators in these disciplines.
There is a growing need for researchers to develop and use new tools and methods with the goal of expanding our insight about how the nervous system functions in health and disease. To address this need, this BRAIN Initiative FOA has been designed to elevate general competencies and build strength in computational and quantitative neuroscience perspectives and techniques across the research workforce. This FOA on Short Courses in Computational Neuroscience emphasizes methods for data analysis and interpretation.
A major goal of the BRAIN Initiative is to attract new investigators to neuroscience from quantitative disciplines such as computer science, mathematics, physics, statistics, materials science, and engineering. Not only do educational short courses provide an effective approach to bring the scientific community up to a high level of understanding and productivity in a short period of time, but they also provide an excellent opportunity for cross-training of participants and facilitating potential collaborations among individuals from diverse scientific backgrounds. As such, plans to recruit participants with these diverse scientific backgrounds to the proposed short courses are strongly encouraged.
Large data sets are accumulating at an unprecedented rate that will accelerate over the next decade as the BRAIN Initiative gathers momentum. Brains are complex structures, built from individual components (e.g., genes, proteins, neurons, non-neuronal cells, biochemical milieu, large-scale interconnections) that contribute to the behavior of a larger assembly (e.g., biochemical cascades, neural circuits and ensembles). Theory, modeling, analytical and numerical methods, and statistics will be essential to understanding nervous system dynamics and function because of the complexity of the nervous system. Analytical approaches are needed to understand how behavioral states are emergent properties of the interaction of neurons, circuits, and networks. Quantitative theories, simulation, and sophisticated quantitative analyses are needed to understand the underlying mechanisms that bridge spatial and temporal scales, linking components and their interactions to the dynamic behavior of the intact system. To stimulate advances in these areas, this FOA will support short courses to facilitate the development of a sophisticated cadre of investigators with the requisite knowledge and skills in theoretical neuroscience, computational and mathematical modeling of neural systems, and/or statistical perspectives and techniques for analyzing and interpreting complex, high-dimensional neuroscience data.
Short courses are required to emphasize the applied use, and interpretation, of complex, high-dimensional data sets relevant to the BRAIN Initiative such as:
Course content could include one or more of the following topic areas:
Examples of short courses that would be considered responsive to this FOA include:
This FOA will support workshops and courses from an introductory to an advanced level for participants from a broad national audience. This FOA is intended for participants who are graduate students, medical students, postdoctoral scholars, medical residents, and/or early-career faculty. The course length and approach will be guided by the stated goals of the course. Approaches may include 1) intensive on-site education that could vary from one week or less to a maximum of 12 weeks; or 2) blended on-line and on-site education components that may meet in intervals, but the total duration of the program may not exceed a total of 12 months. Program Director(s)/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s)) are required to nationally disseminate any findings resulting from, or materials developed under the auspices of, the research education program. PD/PIs are particularly encouraged to disseminate course materials online for widespread use and adoption. In addition, it is encouraged that programs make an online forum available to encourage future collaborations among faculty and participants.
Examples of activities that are not responsive to this FOA:
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 BRAIN Initiative intends to commit approximately $1.0 million in FY2016 to fund 5 awards in response to this FOA.
Application budgets are limited to $200,000 in direct costs annually and are expected to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.
The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period. The maximum period is 3 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). Personnel costs generally should not exceed 30% of the total direct costs in any year. However, with strong justification, courses that would be considered de novo (the PD/PI has not provided the course content in another form prior to this application) may request higher personnel costs in the first year for course planning and development only. Costs to support the effort of the Course Director(s) are considered Personnel 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.
While generally not an allowable cost, with strong justification, 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 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 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. Consultant costs should not be used to substitute for Personnel costs. Applicants should include sufficient funds to support travel to NIH for an annual BRAIN PD/PI meeting.
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:
Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education
If multiple sites are involved in the research education program, the need for and use of multiple sites should be justified.
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.
Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s))
All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account. PD(s)/PI(s) should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate their existing account with the applicant organization in eRA Commons. If the PD/PI is also the organizational Signing Official, they must have two distinct eRA Commons accounts, one for each role. Obtaining an eRA Commons account can take up to 2 weeks.
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(s)/PI(s) should have a strong track record as an educator in a scientific area related to the topic of the proposed short course.
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:
Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as course faculty. All course faculty should have outstanding research credentials and research education credentials relevant to the proposed program.
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. Participants are limited to graduate students, medical students, postdoctoral scholars, medical residents, and/or early-career faculty.
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:
NIMH Referral Office
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.
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. State whether on-site resources for child care are available to course participants and faculty.
Other Attachments.An Advisory Committee is not a required component of a Research Education program. However, if an Advisory Committee is intended, provide a plan for the appointment of an Advisory Committee to monitor progress of the research education program. The composition, roles, responsibilities, and desired expertise of committee members, frequency of committee meetings, and other relevant information should be included. Describe how the Advisory Committee will evaluate the overall effectiveness of the program. Proposed Advisory Committee members should be named in the application if they have been invited to participate at the time the application is submitted. Please name your file “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.
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.
Provide the rationale for the proposed research education program including the scientific need and timeliness. Describe how the program complements, and is distinct from, existing educational/training opportunities (as appropriate), and how the program objectives relate to the current research priorities of the BRAIN Initiative. Describe the learning objectives for the proposed short course, how the proposed short course will enhance existing research skills and capabilities of participants, and how the learning will be measured. The Program Plan must provide programmatic detail on course objectives and curriculum; proposed didactics and hands-on laboratory activities to fulfill the proposed objectives; currently available educational materials as well as any that will be developed as part of the proposed course; and how accomplishment of course objectives by participants will be measured. Describe how considerations of data rigor (research design, analysis and interpretation of data) will be integrated into the educational program (for the NIH perspective, see NOT-OD-15-103). Describe the format and instructional methods (e.g., live vs. media-based instruction). Course duration and frequency as well as the number of anticipated participants in each offering of the course should be stated. This section must also describe expected processes for: (a) planning and implementing the proposed educational activities; and (b) coordinating among existing training or research activities available at the site (where appropriate). Describe any plans for enabling continued exchange of information after participants return to their home institutions. Describe how the short course may be modified over time depending upon the outcome of the initial offering and participant feedback and/or new developments in the field in order to ensure that the course continues to be at the cutting edge. PIs should include a plan to attend the annual BRAIN PI Meeting. Attendance at this meeting is expected to provide awareness of cutting-edge technology and methodology developed to advance the goals of The BRAIN Initiative. This is an opportunity to network with the PIs developing new technology and methods to potentially recruit them as instructors or consultants in the proposed course.
It is expected that course offerings will occur during the first budget period. Be sure the proposed timeline for development and offering of the course begins, without delay, during the first budget period and continues throughout the project period. Describe the timeline for development and offering of the course during the first budget period.
Program Director/Principal Investigator. Describe arrangements for administration of the program. Provide evidence that the Program Director/Principal Investigator is actively engaged in research and/or teaching in an area related to the mission of NIH, and can organize, administer, monitor, and evaluate the research education program. For programs proposing multiple PDs/PIs, describe the complementary and integrated expertise of the PDs/PIs; their leadership approach, and governance appropriate for the planned project. For this funding opportunity, provide evidence that the short course PD/PI has a track record as an educator in a scientific area related to the topic of the proposed short course and is actively engaged in research or other scholarly activity in the scientific area related to the proposed short course (see Section I).
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. As appropriate, short courses should describe strategies for involving the appropriate representation of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities in the planning and implementation of the proposed short course. Describe the criteria and processes used to select and remove participating faculty. Provide information about the track records of the participating faculty as educators and information concerning their current engagement in research or other scholarly activity in the scientific area related to the proposed short course (see Section I).
Program Participants. Applications must describe the intended participants, and the eligibility criteria and/or specific educational background characteristics that are essential for participation in the proposed research education program. Identify the career levels for which the proposed program is planned. Provide details about the national pool of expected participants, application procedures, and criteria for selection of participants. If appropriate to the goals of the short course, include information about plans to recruit and select participants from quantitative disciplines such as computer science, mathematics, physics, engineering, statistics, and materials science.
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.
Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity: Fostering diversity in the scientific research workforce is a key component of the NIH strategy to identify, develop, support and maintain the quality of our scientific human capital (NOT-OD-15-053). Every facet of the United States scientific research enterprise—from basic laboratory research to clinical and translational research to policy formation–requires superior intellect, creativity and a wide range of skill sets and viewpoints. NIH’s ability to help ensure that the nation remains a global leader in scientific discovery and innovation is dependent upon a pool of highly talented scientists from diverse backgrounds who will help to further NIH's mission.
Research shows that diverse teams working together and capitalizing on innovative ideas and distinct perspectives outperform homogenous teams. Scientists and trainees from diverse backgrounds and life experiences bring different perspectives, creativity, and individual enterprise to address complex scientific problems. There are many benefits that flow from a diverse NIH-supported scientific workforce, including: fostering scientific innovation, enhancing global competitiveness, contributing to robust learning environments, improving the quality of the researchers, advancing the likelihood that underserved or health disparity populations participate in, and benefit from health research, and enhancing public trust.
In spite of tremendous advancements in scientific research, information, educational and research opportunities are not equally available to all. NIH encourages institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations to enhance the participation of individuals from groups identified as underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences, such as:
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 report 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: Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.
B. Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended. See NSF data at, http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/2013/pdf/tab7-5_updated_2014_10.pdf.
C. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, defined as:
1. Individuals who come from a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds. These thresholds are based on family size, published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census; adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index; and adjusted by the Secretary for use in all health professions programs. The Secretary periodically publishes these income levels at http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/index.shtml.
2. Individuals who come from an educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments that has demonstrably and directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career.
The disadvantaged background category (C1 and C2) is applicable to programs focused on high school and undergraduate candidates.
Literature shows that women from the above backgrounds (categories A, B, and C) face particular challenges at the graduate level and beyond in scientific fields. (See, e.g., Inside the Double
Bind, A Synthesis of Empirical Research on Undergraduate and Graduate Women of Color in Science, Technology, Engineering, and mathematics http://her.hepg.org/content/t022245n7x4752v2/fulltext.pdf).
New applications must include a description of plans to enhance recruitment, including the strategies that will be used to enhance the recruitment of trainees from underrepresented backgrounds 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 participated in the research education program, the report should include information about the duration of education and aggregate information on the number of individuals who finished the program in good standing. Additional information on the required Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity is available at Frequently Asked Questions: Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity (Diversity FAQs).
Applications lacking a diversity recruitment and retention plan will not be reviewed.
Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research. All applications must include a plan to fulfill NIH requirements for instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). The plan must address the five, required instructional components outlined in the NIH policy: 1) Format - the required format of instruction, i.e., face-to-face lectures, coursework, and/or real-time discussion groups (a plan with only on-line instruction is not acceptable); 2) Subject Matter - the breadth of subject matter, e.g., conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, research ethics; 3) Faculty Participation - the role of the program faculty in the instruction; 4) Duration of Instruction - the number of contact hours of instruction, taking into consideration the duration of the program; and 5) Frequency of Instruction –instruction must occur during each career stage and at least once every four years. See also NOT-OD-10-019. The plan should be appropriate and reasonable for the nature and duration of the proposed program.
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. New knowledge or skills acquired by participants and new collaborations initiated among the course participants and/or faculty should be evaluated by pre/post surveys. For additional examples of evaluation measures please see Section VI. Award Administration Information, 4. Evaluation.
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.”
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:
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.
See Part I. Section III.1 for information regarding the requirements for obtaining a Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number and for completing and maintaining an active System for Award Management (SAM) registration. 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 components of participating organizations, NIH. Applications that are incomplete, non-compliant and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.
In order to expedite review, applicants are requested to notify the NIMH Referral Office by email at NIMHReferral@mail.nih.gov when the application has been submitted. Please include the FOA number and title, PD(s)/PI(s) name(s), and title of the application.
Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in NOT-OD-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 will facilitate the development of a sophisticated cadre of investigators with the requisite knowledge and skills in computational neuroscience perspectives and techniques for analyzing and interpreting complex, high-dimensional neuroscience data to advance the BRAIN Initiative. For the purposes of this FOA, computational neuroscience encompasses theoretical neuroscience, computational and mathematical modeling of neural systems, and/or statistical perspectives and techniques. Applications should be characterized by innovation, scholarship, and documentation of a strong need in the research community for the proposed short course.
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.
Does the proposed program address a key audience and an important aspect or important need in research education? Is there convincing evidence in the application that the proposed program will significantly advance the stated goal of the program? How strong is the documented need for the proposed short course in the research community?
Is the PD/PI capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program? Is there evidence that an appropriate level of effort will be devoted by the program leadership to ensure the program's intended goal is accomplished? If applicable, is there evidence that the participating faculty have experience in mentoring students and teaching science? If applicable, are the faculty good role models for the participants by nature of their scientific accomplishments? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project? Is the caliber of the faculty, in terms of their research interests, expertise, and teaching experience in the area of the proposed course, appropriate for their roles on the project? Do the PD(s)/PI(s) have a track record of current engagement in research or other scholarly activity in computational neuroscience (theoretical neuroscience, computational and mathematical modeling of neural systems, and/or statistical perspectives and techniques) for analyzing and interpreting complex, high-dimensional neuroscience data? If applicable, do the participating faculty have a track record of current engagement in research or other scholarly activity in one or more of these areas?
Taking into consideration the nature of the proposed research education program, does the applicant make a strong case for this program effectively reaching an audience in need of the program’s offerings? Where appropriate, is the proposed program developing or utilizing innovative approaches and latest best practices to improve the knowledge and/or skills of the intended audience? 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.
Does the course content emphasize the applied use of and interpretation of complex, high-dimensional data sets relevant to the BRAIN Initiative?
Does the proposed program clearly state its goals and objectives, including the educational level of the audience to be reached, the content to be conveyed, and the intended outcome? Is there evidence that the program is based on a sound rationale, as well as sound educational concepts and principles? Is the plan for evaluation sound and likely to provide information on the effectiveness of the program? If the proposed program will recruit participants, are the planned recruitment, retention, and follow-up (if applicable) activities adequate to ensure a highly qualified participant pool? Are the course content and syllabus appropriate for the course objectives? Is there an appropriate balance between didactic and hands-on training? Is the proposed course duration sufficient to accomplish the course objectives? Is sufficient interaction planned between faculty and participants? Is the level of individual attention appropriate to accomplish the course objectives? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? Does the evaluation plan adequately describe how outcomes will be determined and evaluated? Is there a well defined plan to disseminate course materials to the broader scientific community? If appropriate for the research education program, is the plan to recruit and select participants from quantitative disciplines such as computer science, mathematics, physics, engineering, statistics and materials science sufficient to achieve the stated goals of the course? Are the course approach (intensive, on-site education and/or blended on-line and on-site education components) and length appropriate to achieve the stated goals of the course?
Will the scientific and educational environment of the proposed program contribute to its intended goals? Is there a plan to take advantage of this environment to enhance the educational value of the program? Is there tangible evidence of institutional commitment? Is there evidence that the faculty have sufficient institutional support to create a sound educational environment for the participants? Where appropriate, is there evidence of collaboration and buy-in among participating programs, departments, and institutions? 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)?
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 Plan to Enhance Diversity
Peer reviewers will separately evaluate the recruitment plan to enhance diversity after the overall score has been determined. Reviewers will examine the strategies to be used in the recruitment 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) 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 NIMH, 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 on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines 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 Mental Health Council . 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.
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 ICs will determine whether to (a) continue a program as currently configured, (b) continue a program with modifications, or (c) discontinue a program.
In evaluating this research education program the BRAIN Initiative expects to use the following evaluation measures:
We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.
eRA Commons Help Desk (Questions regarding eRA Commons
registration, submitting and tracking an application, documenting system
problems that threaten submission by the due date, post submission issues)
Finding Help Online: https://grants.nih.gov/support/ (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)
GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and
process, finding NIH grant resources)
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)
Erica Rosemond, Ph.D
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
David Armstrong, Ph.D.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
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 Part 75.
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