Department of Health and Human Services
Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Funding Opportunity Title

Child Neurologist Career Development Program (CNCDP) (K12)

Activity Code

K12 Physician Scientist Award (Program) (PSA)

Announcement Type

New

Related Notices

None

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-NS-16-003

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

Number of Applications

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

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

93.853   

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of the NINDS Child Neurologist Career Development Program (CNCDP) is to facilitate and support the research career development of child neurologists, at educational institutions or professional organizations, who have made a commitment to independent research careers.  The CNCDP is a single national program, implemented by either a single PD/PI or multiple co- directors (at least one of whom is the PD/PI), together with an advisory committee composed of basic and clinical investigators who have a strong record of funded research and successful training of clinician scientists. The CNCDP will generally provide three consecutive years of support to individuals to provide them with the knowledge, tools and research experience that will enable them to develop a significant research project funded by an individual career development award or research grant.      

Key Dates
Posted Date

September 18, 2015

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

October 18, 2015

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

30 days prior to the application due date  

Application Due Date(s)

November 18, 2015, and June 14, 2016, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on these dates.

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

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

February, 2016  

Advisory Council Review

May, 2016

Earliest Start Date

June, 2016

Expiration Date

June 15, 2016 

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

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

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

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

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

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

The overall goal of the NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) program is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in appropriate scientific disciplines to address the Nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs.  In order to accomplish this goal, NRSA training programs are designed to train individuals to conduct research and to prepare for research careers. More information about NRSA programs may be found at the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) website.

The overall goal of the NIH Research Career Development programs is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in appropriate scientific disciplines to address the Nation’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs.  More information about Career programs may be found at the NIH Extramural Training Mechanisms website.

This FOA encourages applications for the creation of a national program that will provide support, mentoring, oversight, knowledge and skills required for the research career development of child neurologists in the mission area(s) of the NINDS.

Purpose

The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA), issued by the NINDS, is to solicit applications for a Child Neurologist Career Development Program (CNCDP). The CNCDP will support a national effort for mentored career development and training of child neurologists at institutions nationwide that support research relevant to the mission of NINDS. The goal of this program is to increase the cadre of child neurologists trained to conduct outstanding research into neurological disorders of children, taking advantage of their clinical training and expertise. This research career development program should promote high quality, novel, creative research and innovative investigation by this cohort of individuals who possess unique clinical knowledge and experience. As a result of training and career development activities in this program, highly skilled individuals should be prepared to develop a successful, individual, well-funded research program, which they will combine with their clinical career to advance the understanding and treatment of neurological disorders of children and neonates. This FOA will fund a 5 year award that will support the administration and infrastructure of one CNCDP. It uses the K12 Career Development mechanism, to be overseen by a single PD/PI or multiple co- directors (at least one of whom is the PD/PI), together with an advisory committee composed of basic and clinical investigators who have a strong record of funded research and successful training of clinician scientists.

Under this award, newly trained child neurologists are to be selected and appointed to this program by the PD/PI(s) and co-directors (if applicable), in consultation with the CNCDP advisory committee (together, the PD/PI(s), co-directors and advisory committee will be referred to as the "CNCDP leadership").  The program is intended to provide three consecutive years of support for each scholar appointed, although it could be more or less for a specific individual at the discretion of the CNCDP leadership. It is expected that scholars selected will be committed to dual careers as clinicians and researchers, and that they will subsequently apply for their own Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award (K08), the Mentored Patient-Oriented Career Development Award (K23), an NINDS Research Scientist Development Award (K02) or a Research Project Grant (R01 or equivalent), to continue their career development and/or research program.  

The program should accommodate research scholars with varying levels of research experience.  For example, candidates with significant prior research experience may need little didactic training and two or fewer years of K12 support in order to develop a research program that is competitive for individual funding. In contrast, a prospective research candidate with less experience in a given field of research may require a more structured program, which includes some didactic training as well as supervised research experience, and may require 3 years of K12 support in order to be competitive for individual funding. Regardless of previous experience, however, each individual's plan should be designed to develop a significant research project, which, before the end of year 3 of CNCDP support, will be competitive for an individual career development or major research award and subsequent transition to an independent research program for the individual.

The CNCDP is intended to remedy the dearth of child neurologists conducting outstanding, innovative research into the understanding and treatment of neurological disorders of children and neonates. Consequently, an additional critical purpose of the CNCDP will be to create a support and mentoring network whereby scholars will have the opportunity to interact with both junior and senior researchers who conduct basic and clinical research that addresses childhood disorders. To facilitate this purpose, the CNCDP will support an annual meeting for CNCDP scholars and others at a similar career stage who are devoted to the understanding and treatment of childhood neurological disorders.

The CNCDP

The CNCDP K12 award provides five years of funding to the applicant organization to support a national research career development program. Although this K12 award will be administered from the PD/PI's institution, it is not intended to support scholars solely at that institution. The PD/PI(s) will recruit applications from eligible candidates at institutions from across the country, and selected scholars will proceed with their career development and research plan at their home institution, with a local mentor or mentoring team. The scholar's home institution will be expected to have the infrastructure to support an outstanding career development program for the scholar, which would include resources, faculty and research expertise appropriate for the scholar. The institution that is awarded this K12 is just one of these institutions at which research career development activities can occur. The CNCDP leadership will define the application process, review candidates, make appointments to qualified individuals, conduct site visits at scholar institutions, monitor progress of each scholar, organize and implement an annual meeting for all scholars, and ensure that program policies and requirements are followed. There is no limit to the number of scholars that may be supported at a particular institution, but it is expected that CNCDP leadership will be cognizant of the need for a diverse representation of institutions at which scholars are supported.

The program is initially intended to fund approximately 30 new scholars over a 5 year period (the exact number of scholars will depend on the duration of each appointment and the number of scholars supported on still-active NINDS Neurological Sciences Academic Development Award (NSADA) K12 grants). Scholars may be appointed in any of the 5 years of the award for a total of 3 years. At the discretion of the CNCDP leadership, a scholar who has made great progress and applied for a major NIH grant award (e.g. K08, K23, K02, R01) by the end of the third year may receive additional support beyond the 3rd year (details below). Except in extremely rare and unusual circumstances (e.g. related to a leave of absence for health or family needs), scholars should only be appointed in consecutive years, to ensure continuity of research progress.

In conjunction with his/her mentor(s), the scholar will develop a research and career development plan suitable to launch an independent research career for the study of a clinically significant research topic. This plan, and scholar progress, will be reviewed annually by the CNCDP leadership, with continued funding dependent on appropriate scholar progress and adherence to program requirements. For example, scholars must be guaranteed a minimum of 75% protected time for research by their Chair and home institution. Failure to maintain 75% of full time professional effort on research while appointed to the K12 program would be expected to result in lack of reappointment to a subsequent year of K12 support.

The scholar's home environment must have a well-established record in research and clinical career development, and qualified faculty to serve as mentors.  The scholar will acquire knowledge and research skills in scientific areas relevant to his/her career development goals. This may include relevant didactic and laboratory experiences, as well as participation in relevant activities outside of the scholar's home institution, which will promote development of an outstanding research program for the scholar. A specific research and career development plan must be developed in advance of obtaining support.  The plan must explicitly describe the anticipated accomplishments that will lead to the transition to individual funding on an appropriate schedule.

The scholars supported by this program may conduct basic, clinical and/or translational research. All research supported by this program must fall within the NINDS mission. It is further expected that each scholar's research can be successfully integrated with their clinical activities and that their clinical and research activities will inform each other.

As a single national program designed to foster the development of dual clinical and research careers of child neurologists, the CNCDP will include the following critical components:

  • An advisory committee to the CNCDP co-directors that consists of both child neurologists and experts in the training of clinician-scientists who are not affiliated with child neurology. At least 1/4 of the advisory committee members should be outside of the field of child neurology. The advisory committee should have expertise in both basic and clinical research, should include clinician and non-clinician scientists, should include scientific leaders in the field of child neurology, should contain appropriate gender-balance and should contain diverse representation with regard to racial/ethnic background, geographic location of their home institutions, residency/fellowship training institutions and area of expertise. Members of the advisory committee should have the stature necessary to conduct site visits to scholar's institutions and effectively represent the CNCDP oversight function.
  • A plan for negotiation and coordination with participating institutions, departments and chairs to ensure that scholars obtain appropriate research support, appropriate protected time for research (a minimum of 75% of full time professional effort) and opportunities for appropriate career advancement given a combined research and clinical career.
  • A plan for recruitment of applicants and dissemination of publicity intended to attract applications from the best candidates in diverse research areas from institutions around the country.
  • A plan for selection of applicants who would most benefit from this program and who hold strong promise of a successful, combined research and clinical career. It is expected that the program will utilize a rigorous, fair and effective procedure for application to the program, and selection of individuals to be funded. The application process should include both a written document and an interview that occurs at the annual meeting supported by the CNCDP.
  • A plan for monitoring progress of the scholars and a mechanism to ensure both progress and compliance with program policies. The program should have a transparent and appropriate plan for granting or denying reappointment for a second and third year of support, based on appropriate yearly progress and compliance with program policies.
  • A plan for an annual meeting with scholars, others affiliated with the program and appropriate faculty mentors for research presentations, professional development, skills development, mentoring, career counseling and networking.
  • A plan to recruit women and individuals from diverse backgrounds into this program, as well as a plan for including members of these groups in mentoring and program administration.
  • Guidelines for didactic activities and research career development. All scholars should obtain, early in their CNCDP career development, a comprehensive appreciation of the principles of experimental design, statistics and scientific rigor (see, for example: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/funding/transparency_in_reporting_guidance.pdf and http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-NS-11-023.html). In addition, all scholars must complete responsible conduct of research training, in accordance with the NIH policies expressed in (NOT-OD-10-019).
  • A plan to have the CNCDP program rigorously evaluated periodically.

The components and activities to be included in proposed CNCDP are described in more detail in Section IV below.

Subsequent continuation of the CNCDP will depend on the progress made by scholars, productivity of scholars, and whether supported scholars obtain their own individual NIH Career Development awards or subsequent R01 or equivalent grants. Whereas NINDS recognizes that important contributions to the NINDS mission can be made by scholars as contributors to research programs of other investigators, the explicit purpose of the NINDS CNCDP is to prepare supported scholars for a competitively funded research career by the end of, or shortly following, the 3rd year of support.

Role of the PD/PI(s). The PD/PI(s) will be expected to monitor and assess the program and submit all documents and reports as required. The PD/PI(s) have responsibility for the day to day administration of the program and are responsible for appointing members of the Advisory Committee. In addition, the PD/PI(s) are responsible for determining, to the extent possible, that scholars to be appointed to the CNCDP K12 intend to develop research programs supported by individual career development (e.g. NIH K08, K23 or NINDS K02 awards) or research grants that they pursue as PD/PI. The PD/PI(s) will organize and implement the CNCDP annual meeting, and ensure that at least one site visit per scholar will be conducted by a PD/PI or advisory committee member, preferably within the first 6-12 months of scholar appointment.

It is expected that the PD/PI(s) will provide detailed information about the specific goals and expectations of the CNCDP to each primary mentor, and when appropriate, Department Chairs, and ensure that the mentors and Chairs are in agreement with the goals, expectations and requirements of the CNCDP. The PD/PI(s) will provide necessary oversight to ensure that scholars, mentors and Chairs work to achieve the goals of the CNCDP. It is also expected that the PD/PI(s) will have a formal mechanism in place to ensure that the scholar maintains the required yearly protected time for research career development.

Scholar selection to the CNCDP. Child Neurologists from any educational institution or professional organization in the U.S. that combines both clinical and research activities are eligible to apply for support as scholars. The CNCDP leadership will define the professional levels required for eligibility (e.g. fellow, years in faculty position, type of faculty position, etc.), but generally, eligible individuals will have recently finished residency/fellowship training. In order to be selected for support by the CNCDP, scholars must have a well-thought out research plan that, (1) is relevant to the NINDS mission, (2) has intrinsic research significance, (3) is founded on strong scientific premise (see relevant sections of http://grants.nih.gov/reproducibility/faqs.htm for a discussion of rigor and scientific premise), (4) will serve as a suitable vehicle for learning the methodology, theories, and concepts required of a well-trained, independent clinician-researcher and (5) will provide data and/or publications that will be useful in the submission of subsequent individual research applications. Didactic courses should be limited to those needed to meet the goals of the CNCDP award, which is to develop a research program and provide the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue the proposed research plan and achieve individual funding. When possible, NINDS recommends that extensive coursework, such as that required for additional advanced degrees, be delayed until the scholar obtains an individual career development award, such as an NIH K08 or K23. This will allow the scholar to devote as much time as possible to development of a robust research project that will facilitate transition to an individual award.

The CNCDP should have an anticipated timeline by which scholars will apply for the program, be selected, and receive funding. The program should utilize a selection approach, and subsequent oversight process, to ensure that, prior to appointment to the CNCDP, and continuing through the period of support, scholars have a well-articulated research project and career development plan that would reasonably be expected to lead to transition to an individual funding mechanism by the end, or shortly after the end, of the CNCDP support period. Ideally, the CNCDP would include a method to monitor scholar progress on a semi-annual basis as an aid to the scholar's continuing progress and to ensure that obstacles to success are overcome quickly.

Scholar commitment to the CNCDP. Scholars must devote a minimum of 9 person-months (75% of full-time professional effort) during the appointment on the K12 award pursuing research, career development and research-related activities consonant with the intent of the CNCDP award. The remaining time should be devoted to developing other clinical and teaching pursuits that contribute to their development as successful clinician-researchers. The CNCDP is intended to support up to 3 years of research career development activities for each scholar. However, the program should encourage scholars to transition to individual awards as soon as they are ready. For scholars with significant prior training, it is desirable for scholar research career development plans to aim for individual funding after approximately two years of support. If scholars have made excellent progress in their research, and have submitted an application for major individual funding (such as an NIH K award or R01 equivalent) within the first 3 years of CNCDP support, up to one additional year of CNCDP support may be provided at the discretion of the CNCDP leadership.

For the purpose of calculating protected time for research, NINDS calculates effort as follows. For a 12 month period, one-half day is 10% of a week. 1 month is 8% of a year. Time spent with on call responsibilities is not time protected for research. Given this formula, all scholar applicants to the CNCDP must provide a letter from their Departmental Chair, which, ideally, will be co-signed by any individual with clinical duty assignment authority over the scholar, that explicitly identifies the applicant's non-research responsibilities, expressed according to the above time calculation. Scholars should not be appointed to the program without this explicit written description from the scholar's Chair and potentially, clinical supervisor. As part of its oversight function, the administrative leadership of the CNCDP should have a mechanism in place to ensure that supported scholars maintain the minimum required research effort each year.

Advisory Committee for the Scholar. Each scholar supported by this program should have a local advisory committee to provide input and guidance to the scholar, and to provide local oversight of the scholar's progress (this advisory committee is unrelated to the CNCDP advisory committee). The scholar's local advisory committee would be expected to be composed of experts in all areas necessary to ensure the success of the scholar(s) in research, career development and ultimately the creation and management of an independent research lab. Composition, responsibilities, frequency of meetings, and other relevant information should be included in the document submitted by the applicant when applying for support from the CNCDP.

The CNCDP Annual Meeting

The CNCDP will organize and implement an annual meeting for all scholars supported by the program. Although this meeting may be a stand-alone meeting or held in conjunction with the Annual Child Neurology Society Meeting, it is strongly recommended that the meeting be held at a time that is free of potential distractions associated with other events. The annual meeting should be used for scholar selection activities (e.g. application review, interviews), scholar research presentations, mentoring and career development activities (including, for example, critical review of grant application proposals, critical reviews of oral presentations, discussions of issues pertaining to clinician-scientist careers, etc.) and networking. Each scholar, as well as each member of the CNCDP advisory committee, is expected to attend the CNCDP annual meeting during each year of support. The CNCDP leadership may choose to invite other relevant participants in the meeting, including, but not limited to, other clinician-scientists at a similar career level, established clinician-scientists and scholars' mentors.

A critical career development component of the CNCDP meeting will be, for all scholars, in each year of support, to present their research projects orally. Moreover, at least once before the end of their third year of support, scholars should have the opportunity to present and discuss the anticipated specific aims of their expected individual career development or research grant award at the CNCDP annual meeting.

Transition from an NINDS NSADA K12 to the CNCDP. Previously, NINDS provided institutional support for pediatric neurologists through the Neurological Sciences Academic Development Award K12 program (NSADA; PAR13-362), which provided up to three years of support for up to three scholars at approximately 10 institutions. The NSADA program will be phased out.  Once the CNCDP is activated (anticipated start date is approximately July 2016), institutions with an active NSADA grant that wish to participate in the CNCDP will be allowed to finish the three year support period for scholars who were appointed to the NSADA grant prior to March 1, 2017.  If the PD/PI of an NSADA grant wishes to appoint scholars after March 1, 2017, no candidates at that institution may apply for support from the CNCDP until after that specific NSADA grant is terminated. Similarly, if the CNCDP PD/PI(s) (this does not include co-program directors who are not a named PI) are PD/PI of an active NSADA K12 award, they may finish the three year support period of scholars appointed to their NSADA grant prior to March 1, 2017. However, they may not appoint any new candidates to their NSADA K12 award after March 1, 2017. They must terminate the NSADA award immediately upon completion of the three year career development period for all scholars appointed prior to March 1, 2017 (this policy is intended to allow for the completion of scholar career development for those already appointed to an NSADA grant while preventing the PD/PI, or institutions, from having access to new support from two institutional career development awards that serve overlapping purposes).

Special Note: Potential applicants should contact the NINDS Director of Training, Career Development and Workforce Diversity with any questions about this program, program planning or application for this award.

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

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

Application Types Allowed

New
Renewal
Resubmission

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

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NINDS intends to fund one award, and intends to commit up to approximately $3.2 million per year to the award.

Award Budget

Application budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project and adhere to the budget allowances listed below.

Award Project Period

The maximum project period is 5 years

Other Award Budget Information
Personnel Costs

Individuals who design, direct, and implement the career development 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. For this FOA, NINDS will provide up to 2.4 person months (20%) total (combined) effort for the PD/PI(s) and/or program co-directors.

This award will provide support for up to 6 person-months effort for administrative support for work directly performed for the CNCDP and up to an additional 1.2 person-months of effort for accounting support.

Funds may be requested for honoraria for Advisory Committee Members.

Funds from this award may not be used for support of scholar mentors, except as described below for mentor travel to the CNCDP annual meeting

Participant Costs
 

Scholars are those individuals who benefit from the proposed activities and experiences involved in the career development program. Scholar costs must be justified as specifically required for the proposed career development program and based on institutional policies for salaries paid to individuals in similar positions, regardless of the source of funds. These expenses must be itemized in the proposed budget.

For this FOA, support for salary and fringe may be requested for each scholar to be supported. The maximum allowable salary contribution per scholar is $85,000 per year. The total salary requested for each scholar candidate must be based on a full-time, 12-month staff appointment.  It must be consistent both with the established salary structure at the institution and with salaries actually provided by the institution from its own funds to other staff members of equivalent qualifications, rank, and responsibilities in the department concerned.  If full-time, 12-month salaries are not currently paid to comparable staff members, the salary proposed must be appropriately related to the existing salary structure. Scholars must devote a minimum of 9 person months (75% full-time professional effort) to the K12 research career development program while supported by the K12. Support for up to 18 scholars per year may be requested (a total of 90 scholar-slots per 5 years, based on 30 scholars receiving 3 years of support).

Other Program Related Expenses

$38,000 per year may be requested for each scholar to support research costs. Allowable costs include research supplies, equipment necessary for the scholar's research project, technical personnel to assist the scholar in the research project, statistical services (including personnel) for the scholar's research project, and scholar travel to scientific meetings or training sites. These funds include support for travel to, and expected attendance each year at, a CNCDP annual meeting. Each scholar may use up to $9,000 over a 3 year period (from the $114,000) for tuition, fees, and books related to career development.

Up to $30,000 per year may be requested to support the CNCDP annual meeting. The estimated costs that result in the amount requested should be explicitly described.

Up to $20,000 per year may be requested in the first 3 years to support site visits by advisory committee members to scholar's institutions.

Funds may be requested for an innovative, well-conceived approach to increasing diversity of the pediatric neurologist-research workforce. Costs requiring support should be well-justified.

Funds may be requested in year 1 for development of a CNCDP website.

Indirect Costs

Indirect Costs (also known as Facilities & Administrative [F&A] Costs) are reimbursed at 8% of modified total direct costs (exclusive of tuition and fees, consortium costs in excess of $25,000, and expenditures for equipment), rather than on the basis of a negotiated rate agreement.

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

Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants
Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

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

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

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

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

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

Governments

  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized)
  • U.S. Territory or Possession

Other

  • Native American Tribal Organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Faith-based or Community-based Organizations

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.

Foreign Institutions

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are not eligible to apply.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply.
Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are allowed.

It is anticipated that a foreign component for a scholar's research career development project will be rare. However, a limited foreign component is allowable when it provides an outstanding opportunity for the scholar's research program that cannot be obtained at a domestic institution.

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

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

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

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

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

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

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

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

Each PD/PI must be an established physician-scientist in child neurology who has the experience to provide both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program. The PD/PI(s) should have a demonstrated track record in both research and the successful training of clinician-scientists for a dual research and clinical career. In addition, the PD/PI(s) should have the stature in the child neurology community appropriate for an individual charged with oversight over a single national program designed to fulfill the critical need of developing the careers of child neurologists to conduct significant research intended to find cures and better treatments of childhood neurological diseases.

Each PD/PI must have sufficient time to devote to the CNCDP. Applicants may wish to assign program co-director roles to individuals who do not serve as PD/PI(s). Similarly, these individuals should have sufficient time to commit to the program.

2. Cost Sharing

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

3. Additional Information on Eligibility
Number of Applications

Only one application per institution is allowed.

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

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

Mentors chosen by applicant scholars should have strong records as researchers, including recent publications and successful competition for research support in the area of the proposed research training program.  Mentors should also have a record of research training, including successful, former trainees who have established productive careers relevant to the NIH mission.  Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as mentors.

Scholars should have an appropriate mentorship team, with each mentor having a role to play in the scholar's development as a physician-scientist (note that, as in all institutional career development programs, the CNCDP's leadership does not select the scholar's mentors; each scholar chooses his/her mentorship team. The CNCDP evaluates the appropriateness of the mentorship team as part of the scholar's application to the program for support). Each scholar appointed in the program must have a primary mentor who: (1) is recognized as an accomplished investigator, (2) is actively involved in basic or clinical research, (3) has a successful record of providing the type of training required under this award and (4) will dedicate the time and resources required to foster the scholar's success. The primary mentor should be at the scholar's institution, should be appropriate for providing guidance for the research career development of the scholar, must be aware of the goals of the CNCDP, and is expected to provide the guidance appropriate for helping the scholar transition to individually funded research. Ideally, each scholar will have at least one mentor who is a pediatric neurologist with a record of successful research experience, who can provide guidance on successfully navigating a career that combines clinical and research activities in pediatric neurology. Scholars may also choose to have additional mentors for specific purposes, such as methodological expertise and career guidance.

Participants/Scholars

Individuals to be supported by the CNCDP must be at the career level for which the planned program is intended. The NINDS expects scholars appointed to the CNCDP to have demonstrated potential to develop into successful researchers.

An explicit goal of the CNCDP is to transition child neurologists to an NINDS Mentored Career Development Award (K08 or K23), an NINDS Research Scientist Development Award (K02) or a Research Project Grant (R01) within, or shortly after, the CNCDP support period.  Therefore, scholar candidates for support under this FOA must have the following: (1) a clinical degree or its equivalent, (2) residency training (or its equivalent), (3) a license to practice medicine in the U.S.A., (4) at least one mentor who has extensive and well-funded research experience and a successful track record of training clinician-scientists, and (5) the intent to continue in a dual research/clinical career, supported by an individual career-development or research award that they obtain as PD/PI.

Note: Although primarily intended to support child neurologists, the CNCDP may  be used to support a limited number of physician scientists from closely related disciplines, who are similarly situated with respect to their career progression, who are conducting research to advance the understanding and treatment of neurological disorders of children.

Individuals who are, or have been, principal investigators on NIH individual mentored or non-mentored career awards (e.g. K01, K02, K08, K22, K23, K99), major research project awards (e.g. R01), sub-projects of program project (P01) or center grants (P50), or the equivalent, are not eligible for appointment under this program.  Scholar candidates who have been supported by other NIH institutional K awards (e.g. KL2, K12) may not be supported by the CNCDP K12. Scholar candidates who were former or who are current principal investigators on NIH small grants (R03) or exploratory/developmental grants (R21) remain eligible.  Scholar candidates may not concurrently hold any other award that duplicates the provisions of this award.

Scholar Citizenship and Residency Requirement: Only U.S. citizens or non-citizen nationals, or individuals lawfully admitted for permanent residence who have a currently valid Permanent Resident Card (USCIS Form I-551), or some other verification of legal admission as a permanent resident prior to admission into the K12 program, are eligible for scholar support from this program.  Non-citizen nationals, although not U.S. citizens, owe permanent allegiance to the U.S.  They are usually persons born in lands that are not states but are under U.S. sovereignty, jurisdiction, or administration.  Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible. Details on citizenship requirements are available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Details on citizenship requirements are available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Requesting an Application Package

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

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

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

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

Letter of Intent

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

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

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

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Stephen Korn, Ph.D.
Telephone: 301-496-4188
Email: korns@ninds.nih.gov

Page Limitations

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

Instructions for Application Submission

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

SF424(R&R) Cover

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for Preparing Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA). 

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for Preparing Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA).

SF424 (R&R) Other Project Information

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for Preparing Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA), with the following additional modifications:

Substitute the term “scholars” for all references to “trainees” in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, and substitute the term “career development” for all references to “training” in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Project Summary/Abstract. Provide an abstract of the entire application. Include the objectives, rationale and design of the research career development program, as well as key activities in the training plan. Indicate the planned duration of appointments, the projected number of scholars including their levels (i.e. year of fellowship, year of faculty position, etc.), and intended scholar outcomes.

Other Attachments.

CNCDP Advisory Committee:

The Advisory Committee to the CNCDP co-directors is a select group of scientists who have established records of research and research training of clinician-scientists. The committee should be composed of 12-15 members. This committee should be diverse in nature, with respect to scientific interests, geographic location and prior training affiliations. The advisory committee should also have appropriate representation of women and underrepresented minorities. Whereas it is appropriate that most members of the advisory committee be pediatric neurologist-researchers, at least 1/4 of the advisory committee members should be non-pediatric neurologists, and could include leading physician-scientists from other disciplines (e.g. adult neurology, pediatrics, etc.) and nationally renowned PhD scientists. The advisory committee evaluates all applicants to the program (which will include the evaluation of written applications and conducting interviews), monitors progress of current scholars and provides feedback to the PD/PI(s), co-directors and scholars as appropriate. Advisory committee members may be asked to, and should agree to, perform site visits at scholar institutions, and should have the appropriate stature within the community to discuss program principles and policies with scholars, mentors and department chairs. The CNCDP advisory committee members are expected to attend and participate in all annual meetings of the CNCDP. The duration of service of individual advisory committee members to the CNCDP will be negotiated between individual members and the PD/PI(s), and should generally be a minimum of 3 years. Advisory Committee members may be primary or secondary mentors, but must avoid any conflict-of-interest, real or apparent, in the scholar selection process.

A complete cohort of advisory committee members should be selected in advance of submission and proposed in the application. Applicants should describe the strengths of, and rationale for choosing, each advisory committee member as well as the rationale for the specific composition of the advisory committee as a whole. The application should include letters from the advisory committee members confirming their willingness to participate.

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.

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

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for Preparing Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA).

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for Preparing Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA).

PHS 398 Training Subaward Budget Attachment(s)

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for Preparing Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA), with the following additional modifications:

Research and Related (R&R) Budget

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

  • The R&R Budget Component must be used instead of the Training Budget Component.
  • Include all personnel other than the Training PD(s)/PI(s) in the Other Personnel section, including clerical and administrative staff. Also include proposed salary costs for planned scholars.
  • Do not complete the section on Participant/Trainee Support Costs.
  • Domestic travel costs for the annual meeting may be requested.
PHS 398 Research Training Program Plan

All Supplemental Instructions to the SF424 (R&R) for Preparing Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Application must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Substitute the term “scholars” for all references to “trainees” in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, and substitute the term “career development” for all references to “training” in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Program Plan

Program Administration. Describe the strengths, leadership and administrative skills, training experience, scientific expertise, and active research of the PD/PI. Relate these strengths to the proposed management of the training program. Describe the planned strategy and administrative structure to be used to oversee and monitor the program. If there are multiple PDs/PIs, then the plan for Program Administration is expected to synergize with the “Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan” section of the application.

Describe the plan for monitoring progress of the scholars, and the approach to ensuring both progress and compliance with program policies. Describe the process by which continued support of a scholar by the program will be granted or denied.

Describe the plan for communicating detailed information about the goals and expectations of the CNCDP program to primary mentors and departmental chairs. Describe the plan for ensuring that scholars maintain the required yearly protected time and obtain expected and adequate resources to accomplish their research and career development goals.

Mentors. The application must include information about the characteristics of mentors who would be appropriate to serve as preceptors/mentors and provide guidance and expertise appropriate to the level of trainees proposed in the application. Describe the complementary expertise and experiences expected of proposed mentors, including active research and other scholarly activities in which the mentors are engaged, as well as experience mentoring and training individuals at the proposed career stage(s).

Proposed Training. Provide an overview of the proposed program. Outline the objectives of the program and the program activities that will be used to meet these objectives. Describe for whom the training program is intended, including the training level(s) of the trainees, the academic and research background needed to pursue the proposed training, and, as appropriate, plans to accommodate differences in preparation among trainees. Include information about planned courses, mentored research experiences, and any activities designed to develop specific technical skills or other skills essential for the proposed research training.

The CNCDP should ensure that all scholars develop skills for high quality oral and written presentations and skills needed to successfully apply for individual grant support. All scholars should also be provided, as appropriate, with instruction in laboratory, project and personnel management. The PD/PI(s) may choose to incorporate this career development component into the annual meeting agenda (see below). Alternatively, the PD/PI(s) should have a mechanism to ensure that scholars obtain this instruction at their home institutions or elsewhere.

Describe anticipated guidelines for didactic activities and research career development. Describe activities, if any, that will be mandated by the CNCDP, and how it will be determined whether individual scholars are obtaining the local career development guidance and activities they need. Describe the plan to ensure that all appointed scholars obtain, early in their CNCDP career development, a comprehensive appreciation of the principles of experimental design, statistics and scientific rigor (for examples of critical elements of a well-designed study see http://www.ninds.nih.gov/funding/transparency_in_reporting_guidance.pdf). Conversely, describe how the CNCDP will ensure that scholars do not become involved too heavily in didactic activity that will detract from their ability to progress in their research sufficiently to obtain individual funding by the end of the CNCDP support period.

Describe the plan for negotiation and coordination with participating institutions, departments and chairs to ensure that scholars obtain appropriate research support, appropriate protected time for research (a minimum of 75% of full time professional effort) and opportunities for appropriate career advancement given a combined research and clinical career.

Describe the process by which the CNCDP will ensure timely, scholar career progression and transition to independence, as well as ensuring that scholars, once supported, obtain the full protected time for research that is required for CNCDP support. Describe the plan by which the CNCDP will ensure that a scholar's mentor(s) have the necessary expertise to cover scholar's needs, and is able to commit sufficient time to the scholar's career development, to facilitate scholar success in obtaining the goals of the CNCDP-supported activities.

Describe the plans for the annual meeting. This meeting should be used for the PD/PI(s) and CNCDP advisory committee members to interview scholars and evaluate their written applications to the program. This meeting should also include, at a minimum, opportunities for supported scholars to 1) improve their oral and written presentation skills, 2) sharpen their analytical skills with regard to data gathering and interpretation, as well as an understanding of the clinical significance/relevance of their research at a granular level, 3) obtain knowledgeable advice regarding the specific aims of planned future grants and 4) obtain career guidance. The annual meeting may also be a good venue for a comprehensive, general discussion of experimental design and rigor. In addition to supported scholars and advisory committee members, who are expected to attend each meeting annually, describe, in principle, other anticipated invitees to the meeting and their purpose at the meeting.   

For renewal applications, highlight how the training program has evolved in response to changes in relevant scientific and technical knowledge, educational practices, and to evaluation of the training program.          

Program Evaluation. Describe a plan to review and determine the quality and effectiveness of the career development program. This plan should include the metrics to be evaluated (including program activities completed, degree completion (if applicable), publications, fellowships/honors, and subsequent positions) as well as plans to obtain feedback from current and former trainees to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for program improvements. Specified evaluation metrics should be tied to the goals of the program.  It is expected that the program will be subject to a rigorous assessment at regular intervals, and that the assessment of the program will involve one or more external reviewers. 

Scholar Candidates. Describe, in general terms, the size and qualifications of the pool of scholar candidates including information about the types of prior clinical and research training and career level required for the program. Do not name prospective scholars. Describe specific plans to recruit candidates and explain how these plans will be implemented (see also section on Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity). Describe the nomination and selection process to be used to select candidates who would be offered admission to the program and criteria for scholars reappointment to the program. Describe the minimum expected qualifications (e.g. research experience, publications, institutional support, faculty positions, etc.) required for appointment to the CNCDP, and if exceptions to these qualifications are possible, the anticipated bases for exceptions. Describe the anticipated components of the application process, including written documents, personal interviews, reference letters and institutional commitments, etc.

Institutional Environment and Commitment to the Program.

The sponsoring institution must assure support for the proposed program, including assurance that sufficient time will be allowed for the PDs/PIs and other Program Faculty to contribute to the proposed program. . The application must include a signed letter, on institutional letterhead, that describes the applicant institution’s commitment to the planned program. Appropriate institutional commitment to the program includes the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned program. This commitment may also include features such as PD/PI salary, stipend or tuition support for individuals involved in the proposed training program, or other commitments essential to a successful training program. Institutions with ongoing research training, student development, or career development programs that receive external funding should explain what distinguishes the proposed program from existing ones at the same trainee level, how the programs will synergize, if applicable, whether trainees are expected to transition from one support program to another, and how the training faculty, pool of potential trainees, and resources are sufficiently robust to support the proposed program in addition to existing ones.

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 only to programs focused on high school and undergraduate candidates.  Note: this group is generally NOT part of the recruitment plan for predoctoral trainees on institutional training grants (e.g., T32).

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 should be included on both successful and unsuccessful recruitment strategies.

Proposed plans. Describe steps to be taken during the proposed award period regarding the identification, recruitment of graduate students from Diversity groups A and B, as well as group C (when applicable). Consider the success and/or failures of recruitment strategies used in the past. In particular, describe the specific efforts to be undertaken by the training program and how these might relate to the recruitment efforts of the medical school, graduate school, and/or the university at large. In most cases, institutional efforts alone will not satisfy the requirement to recruit individuals from underrepresented groups.

Applications without a Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.

Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research

Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research as provided in Chapter 8 of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. 

Letters of Support.

The application should include letters, on institutional letterhead, for each PD/PI and co-director, which confirms support for the time needed for each person's respective role in the program

Appendix

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

3. Submission Dates and Times

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.

4. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

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

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

6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

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

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

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

Important reminders:

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

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

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness 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.      

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in NOT-OD-13-030.

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria

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

Overall Impact

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

Scored Review Criteria

Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of the merit of the training program, and give a separate score for each. When applicable, the reviewers will consider relevant questions in the context of proposed short-term training. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact.

Career Development Program and Environment

  • Are the guidelines proposed for oversight of didactic, training-related, and research-related activities of the program appropriate? Is the institutional commitment to the proposed program clear and appropriate?
  • Are appropriate oversight mechanisms in place to ensure timely, scholar career progression and transition to independence?
  • Does the program have a cogent, feasible plan to ensure that all appointed scholars will obtain strong training in scientific rigor, research design and statistics
  • If multiple sites are participating in administration of the program, is this adequately justified and is it feasible?
  • Is there sufficient assurance, in the form of institutional and departmental letters of support, that the required effort of the PD/PI(s) and co-directors will be devoted directly to the research training, career development, and related activities of the CNCDP?
  • Is there a strong, feasible plan to ensure that appointed scholars will obtain the required research career development protected time and that scholar's mentors will devote the time necessary for superior mentoring of the scholar?
  • Are the responsibilities of the CNCDP advisory committee described and adequate, with regard to the provision of candidate selection, input, guidance and oversight of the program?
  • Are the CNCDP advisory committee members, as a whole and individually, appropriate for the needs of the program, with regard to scholar selection, career development guidance, the conduct of site visits, scientific breadth, and other committee responsibilities?
  • Is the advisory committee appropriate, with respect to research accomplishments, diversity of research expertise, training track record, stature in the community, geographic representation, gender balance and racial/ethnic diversity?
  • Is a well-thought out annual meeting proposed that will significantly aid in the development of successful physician-scientist careers of the supported scholars?

 Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s))

  • Do the PD/PI(s) and co-directors (if applicable) have the experience, expertise, knowledge and stature to develop, direct and administer the proposed program? 
  • Does the leadership team bring complementary, synergistic and/or integrated expertise to the program? Is there evidence that an appropriate level of effort will be devoted by the program leadership to ensure program objectives?
  • Are the research qualifications, scientific stature, previous leadership and mentoring experience, and track record(s) of the leadership team appropriate for the proposed career development program?
  • Are the PD(s)/PI(s) and, if applicable, co-directors, currently (or recently) engaged in research relevant to the scientific area of the proposed program?
  • For applications designating multiple PDs/PIs:
    • Is a strong justification provided that the multiple PD/PI leadership approach will benefit the career development program and the scholars?
    • Is a strong and compelling leadership approach evident, including the designated roles and responsibilities, governance, and organizational structure consistent with and justified by the aims of the career development program and the complementary expertise of the PDs/PIs?

Mentors

  • Is there an appropriate plan to ensure that mentors have appropriate expertise and experience, as well as track records of past mentoring and training?
  • Is there an appropriate plan to ensure that the quality and extent of the mentors’ roles in providing guidance and scientific advice to the scholars are acceptable?
  • Is there an appropriate plan to ensure that the research productivity, research quality and funding of proposed mentors is suitable for the development of successful scholar research careers?

Candidates/Scholars

  • Is a well-defined and justified recruitment plan proposed with strategies likely to attract high quality scholar candidates?
  • Is there evidence of a sufficiently large, competitive scholar pool to warrant the proposed size of the career development program?   Is there a well-conceived plan for a rigorous application to the program, which includes both written application and interviews? Does the plan ensure that scholars appointed to the CNCDP will have, before appointment, a well-designed research and career development plan, which could be expected to lead to individual funding after approximately 3 years of CNCDP support?
  • Does the plan for selection of the scholars include all of the eligibility criteria stated in the FOA?
  • Does the program have a plan to provide guidance to ensure that the content, phasing, and proposed duration of the career development plan will be appropriate for transitioning scholars to individual awards by the end of the CNCDP support period?
  • Is an appropriate set of qualifications expected of applicants for support, and if exceptions to these qualifications are permitted, is the plan for making exceptions clear and appropriate?
  • Is there a thoughtful, feasible timeline of applicant recruitment and appointment that includes solicitation of applications, preparation of candidate applications, submission of applications to the program, selection of applicants, and applicant support?

Training Record

Is there evidence of a successful past training record of the PD/PI(s), co-directors and advisory committee members, including the success of former scholars in seeking independent support and establishing productive scientific careers? Does the program have rigorous evaluation plans, utilizing internal and/or external advisors, to assess the quality and effectiveness of the program?

Additional Review Criteria

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

Protections for Human Subjects

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

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

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

Vertebrate Animals

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

Biohazards

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

Resubmissions

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

Renewals

For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the last funding period.  Does the application describe the program’s accomplishments over the past funding period(s)?  Are changes proposed that would improve or strengthen the career development experience? Is there evidence of a successful past training record of the PD/PI and mentors, including the success of former scholars in seeking independent support and establishing productive scientific research careers?

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations

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

Recruitment 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 plan will be rated as ACCEPTABLE or UNACCEPTABLE, and the consensus of the review committee will be included in an administrative note in the summary statement.

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

All applications for support under this FOA must include a plan to fulfill NIH requirements for instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).  Taking into account the specific characteristics of the career development program, the level of scholar experience, and the particular circumstances of the scholars, the reviewers will evaluate the adequacy of the proposed RCR career development in relation to the following five required components: 1) Format - Does the plan satisfactorily address the format of instruction, e.g. lectures, coursework and/or real-time discussion groups, including face-to-face interaction?  (A plan involving only on-line instruction is not acceptable.); 2) Subject Matter – Does the plan include a sufficiently broad selection of subject matter, such as conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, research ethics? 3) Faculty Participation - Does the plan adequately describe how faculty will participate in the instruction?  For renewal applications, are all career development faculty who served as course directors, speakers, lecturers, and/or discussion leaders during the past project period named in the application?  4) Duration of Instruction - Does the plan meet the minimum requirements for RCR, i.e., at least eight contact hours of instruction? 5) Frequency of Instruction – Does the plan meet the minimum requirements for RCR, i.e., at least once during each career stage (undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, predoctoral, postdoctoral, and faculty levels) and at a frequency of no less than once every four years? 

Plans and past record will be rated as ACCEPTABLE or UNACCEPTABLE, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.

Select Agent Research

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

Budget and Period of Support

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

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s), convened by NINDS 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:

  • Will receive a written critique.

Appeals of initial peer review will not be accepted for applications submitted 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 Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

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

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

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

Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices

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

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

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

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

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

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

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

Not Applicable

3. Reporting

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.

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

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

Other Reporting Requirements
  • The institution must submit a completed Statement of Appointment (PHS Form 2271) for each trainee appointed or reappointed to the training grant. Grantees must submit the PHS 2271 data electronically using the xTrain system. More information on xTrain is available at xTrain (eRA Commons). An appointment or reappointment may begin any time during the budget period, but not before the budget period start date of the grant year.
  • A notarized statement verifying possession of permanent residency documentation must be submitted with the Statement of Appointment (PHS Form 2271). Individuals with a Conditional Permanent Resident status must first meet full (non-conditional) Permanent Residency requirements before receiving support.

A final progress report, invention statement, 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. Evaluation results should be included as part of the final Progress Report.

4. Evaluation

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

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

eRA 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: http://grants.nih.gov/support/ (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission, downloading forms and application packages)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726
Web ticketing system: https://grants-portal.psc.gov/ContactUs.aspx
Email: support@grants.gov

GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and process, finding NIH grant resources)
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-435-0714

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Stephen Korn, Ph.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Telephone: 301-496-4188
Email: korns@ninds.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Chief, Scientific Review Branch
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Telephone: 301-496-9223
Email: nindsreview.nih.gov@mail.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Tijuanna Decoster, Ph.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Telephone: 301-496-9231
Email: decostert@ninds.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

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

Authority and Regulations

Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Part 75.

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