Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Funding Opportunity Title
HEAL Initiative: Career Development Awards in Implementation Science for Substance Use Prevention and Treatment (K23 - Clinical Trial Required)
Activity Code
K23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award
Announcement Type
New
Related Notices

See Notices of Special Interest associated with this funding opportunity

NOT-OD-22-190 - Adjustments to NIH and AHRQ Grant Application Due Dates Between September 22 and September 30, 2022

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number
PAS-22-207
Companion Funding Opportunity
PAS-22-206 , K01 Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training
Assistance Listing Number(s)
93.279, 93.273, 93.398, 93.242, 93.213
Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of this Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award in Implementation Science for Substance Use Prevention and Treatment (K23) is to support the career development of individuals with a clinical doctoral degree who have made a commitment to focus their research endeavors on patient-oriented research from an implementation science perspective. These awards provide salary and research support for a sustained period of “protected time” (3-5 years) for an intensive, supervised career development experience leading to research independence in this area of specialization.

Realizing the return on public investment in the development of evidence-based treatments and preventive interventions to address the ongoing overdose crisis depends on a cadre of skilled clinician researchers with expertise in implementation science, who can help move these interventions into routine clinical practice. Implementation science focuses on identifying modifiable barriers to the uptake and sustained use of evidence-based practices in real world clinical settings, and developing replicable and scalable strategies to overcome those barriers. While this field has grown rapidly over the past 15 years, there remain a limited number of independent clinician researchers with dual expertise in substance use and implementation science, limiting the field’s capacity to address persistent gaps in this area. There is a pressing need for a deeper bench of clinician researchers who can be called upon to meet ongoing and emerging implementation challenges in the substance use field.

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) will support early career investigators who have foundational clinical training in substance use prevention or treatment and/or co-occurring mental illness, and will provide support and protected time to acquire training and research experience in implementation science. Development and execution of an independent NIH-defined clinical trial applying implementation science methods to patient-oriented research in one or more of the four domains of the HHS Overdose Prevention Strategy (prevention; evidence-based addiction treatment; harm reduction; or recovery research) is required.

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is designed specifically for applicants proposing to serve as the lead investigator of an independent clinical trial, a clinical trial feasibility study, or a separate ancillary study to an existing trial, as part of their research and career development. Applicants not planning an independent clinical trial, or proposing to gain research experience in a clinical trial led by another investigator, should consult the NIH Research Career Development Awards website for alternative funding opportunities.

Key Dates

Posted Date
July 14, 2022
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
September 12, 2022
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

The following table includes NIH standard due dates marked with an asterisk.
Application Due Dates Review and Award Cycles
New Renewal / Resubmission / Revision (as allowed) AIDS Scientific Merit Review Advisory Council Review Earliest Start Date
October 12, 2022 * November 12, 2022 * Not Applicable March 2023 May 2023 July 2023
February 12, 2023 * March 12, 2023 * Not Applicable July 2023 October 2023 December 2023
June 12, 2023 * July 12, 2023 * Not Applicable November 2023 January 2024 April 2024
October 12, 2023 * November 12, 2023 * Not Applicable March 2024 May 2024 July 2024
February 12, 2024 * March 12, 2024 * Not Applicable July 2024 October 2024 December 2024
June 12, 2024 * July 12, 2024 * Not Applicable November 2024 January 2025 April 2025
October 12, 2024 * November 12, 2024 * Not Applicable March 2025 May 2025 July 2025
February 12, 2025 * March 12, 2025 * Not Applicable July 2025 October 2025 December 2025
June 12, 2025 * July 12, 2025 * Not Applicable November 2025 January 2026 April 2026
October 12, 2025 * November 12, 2025 * Not Applicable March 2026 May 2026 July 2026

All applications are due by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

Applications 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.

Expiration Date
November 13, 2025
Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Career Development (K) 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 may be delayed or not accepted for review.

There are several options available to submit your application through Grants.gov to NIH and Department of Health and Human Services partners. You must use one of these submission options to access the application forms for this opportunity.

  1. Use the NIH ASSIST system to prepare, submit and track your application online.
  2. Use an institutional system-to-system (S2S) solution to prepare and submit your application to Grants.gov and eRA Commons to track your application. Check with your institutional officials regarding availability.

  3. Use Grants.gov Workspace to prepare and submit your application and eRA Commons to track your application.


  4. Table of Contents

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

The overall goal of the NIH Research Career Development 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. NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) support a variety of mentored and non-mentored career development award programs designed to foster the transition of new investigators to research independence and to support established investigators in achieving specific objectives. Candidates should review the different career development (K) award programs to determine the best program to support their goals. More information about Career programs may be found at the NIH Extramural Training Mechanisms website.

The objective of the NIH Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23) program is to provide salary and research support for a sustained period of “protected time” (3-5 years) to ensure a future cadre of well-trained scientists conducting NIH-supported Patient-Oriented Research (POR).  The specific objectives of the Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award are to: (a) Encourage research-oriented clinicians to develop research skills and gain experience in advanced methods and experimental approaches needed to become independent investigators conducting  patient-oriented research; (b) Increase the pool of clinical researchers who can conduct patient-oriented studies, capitalizing on the discoveries of biomedical research and translating them to clinical settings; and (c) Support the career development of investigators who have made a commitment to focus their research endeavors on patient-oriented research.

For the purposes of the K23 award, Patient-Oriented Research is defined as research conducted with human subjects (or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens and cognitive phenomena) for which an investigator (or colleague)  directly interacts with human subjects. This area of research includes: 1) mechanisms of human disease; 2) therapeutic interventions; 3) clinical trials; and 4) the development of new technologies. Excluded from this definition are in vitro studies that utilize human tissues but do not deal directly with patients. In other words, patient-oriented research is research in which it is necessary to know the identity of the patients from whom the cells or tissues under study are derived. Studies falling under Exemption 4 for human subjects research are not included in this definition.See also the NIH Directors Panel on Clinical Research Report.

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is part of the NIH Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) initiative to speed scientific solutions to the national opioid public health crisis. The NIH HEAL Initiative bolsters research across NIH to (1) improve treatment for opioid misuse and addiction and (2) enhance pain management. More information about the HEAL Initiative is available at: https://heal.nih.gov/.

Implementation Science as a Core Focus:  Successfully addressing the ongoing overdose epidemic requires a cadre of skilled researchers who can move existing and emerging evidence-based treatment and prevention practices into routine use. Clinician researchers are key to this effort. The discipline best positioned to develop scalable, sustainable strategies to move research findings into practice is implementation science. This FOA invites career development applications proposing patient-oriented research projects that will identify, develop, test, evaluate, and/or refine strategies to disseminate and implement interventions and services aligned with the HHS Overdose Prevention Strategy (i.e., prevention; evidence-based addiction treatment; harm reduction; and/or recovery support services). Applicants may also focus on strategies to promote the de-implementation of outdated, ineffective, or harmful practices in these domains.

Addressing the overdose crisis also requires recognition that patients may have a complex array of clinical and social needs. As such, this FOA is also open to clinician researchers with an interest in integrating evidence-based prevention and treatment services for opioids and common co-occurring conditions, including alcohol misuse/alcohol use disorder, mental illness, and/or HIV. All applications should be within the scope of the mission of at least one of the participating Institutes/Centers.

Applicants should focus on testing implementation strategies to improve the quality, effectiveness, availability, and affordability of prevention or treatment services for substance use and/or co-occurring mental illness; to promote their integration and accessibility across a variety of settings (e.g., specialty care for substance use and/or mental health conditions, primary care, schools, workplaces, and other nontraditional healthcare and community settings); and to promote equity in access and outcomes.

Examples of research projects that fall within the scope of this FOA include, but are not limited to:

  • Studies of implementation strategies to integrate effective practices to prevent and address opioid misuse/opioid use disorder into existing care systems. Practices may include, for example, health promotion, prevention, screening, early detection and diagnostic interventions, as well as evidence-based treatments, clinical procedures, or practice guidelines.
  • Studies of the implementation of multiple evidence-based practices within community or clinical settings to meet the needs of complex patients with co-occurring conditions across multiple systems of care.
  • Studies of the local adaptation of evidence-based practices in the context of implementation.
  • Longitudinal and follow-up studies on the factors that contribute to the sustainability of evidence-based interventions in public health and clinical practice.
  • Studies testing the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of implementation strategies to reduce health disparities related to opioid misuse/opioid use disorder and improve quality of care for minority health and NIH-designated populations that experience health disparities. (For further guidance, see Minority Health and Health Disparities Strategic Plan.).
  • Studies on reducing or stopping ("de-implementing") the use of ineffective, unproven, low-value, or harmful clinical and community practices to prevent and address opioid misuse/opioid use disorder.
  • Studies of the relationship of context and local capacity of clinical and community settings to adopt, implement, and sustain evidence-based prevention and treatment interventions, harm reduction, or recovery support services.
  • Studies of strategies to impact organizational structure, climate, culture, and processes (e.g., clinical workflow) to enable implementation of effective clinical/public health interventions to prevent and address opioid misuse/opioid use disorder and co-occurring conditions.

In addition, NIMH is particularly interested in applications that focus on implementation science for the prevention and treatment of co-occurring substance use and mental illness. For example, through the HEAL Initiative, NIMH leads a portfolio of research to help improve the provision of services for people with co-occurring opioid use disorder and mental disorders and/or suicide risk.

In developing research projects, applicants are strongly encouraged to address issues of patient/stakeholder engagement; scalability beyond the study sites/settings; sustainability beyond the funding period; and whether the proposed implementation strategy/process reduces inequities in service availability, access, utilization, cost, quality, or outcomes.

Clinical Trial Required: This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is designed specifically for applicants proposing to serve as the lead investigator of an independent clinical trial, a clinical trial feasibility study, or a separate ancillary clinical trial, as part of their research and career development. NIH defines a clinical trial as "A research study in which one or more human subjects are prospectively assigned to one or more interventions (which may include placebo or other control) to evaluate the effects of those interventions on health-related biomedical or behavioral outcomes." Most implementation trials – including those that randomize at the organization, system or community level – meet this definition. For additional details and frequently asked questions, visit https://grants.nih.gov/policy/clinical-trials/definition.htm

It is strongly recommended that NIMH mentored K applicants review the following guidance, which includes following the NIMH's experimental therapeutics approach to intervention development and testing: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/funding/training/career-development-programs-k-series#12

Note: This FOA is restricted only to individuals who (1) have foundational clinical training or career experience in prevention, treatment or services research in substance use or co-occurring substance use and mental illness; (2) are seeking a sustained period of protected time for mentored training and research applying implementation science methods to one of the domains of the HHS Overdose Prevention Strategy; and (3) are proposing to conduct an independent NIH-defined clinical trial as part of this award. Applicants not meeting all three of these criteria should consult the NIH Research Career Development Awards website for alternative funding opportunities.

Applicants should clearly justify the duration of requested support, taking into consideration prior research experience and the proposed mentored career development goals that are essential for developing an independent, NIH-funded research program at the intersection of substance use and implementation science. Projects may not exceed 5 years.

Applications must include a clear plan for career development activities that will support the candidate’s transition to research independence, including milestones, and evidence of significant institutional commitment to the continued development of the K23 candidate as an independent researcher at the applicant institution. Applicants are expected to plan to apply for independent research support during the later years of their mentored career award.

Special Considerations:

Pre-Application Consultation: Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with NIH Program staff early in the application development process. This early contact will provide an opportunity to discuss and clarify NIH policies and guidelines, including the scope of the project relative to the HEAL initiative mission and intent of this FOA. See Scientific/Research Contacts in Section VII of this FOA.

PI Meeting Attendance: The NIH HEAL Initiative will require a high level of coordination and sharing between investigators. It is expected that NIH HEAL Initiative recipients will cooperate and coordinate their activities after awards are made by participating in Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) meetings, including an annual HEAL Investigators Meeting, as well as other activities.

Diversity: In addition to scientific diversity, applicants should strive to address diversity in their team development plan. 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 research, 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 that are underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences, such as: individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, and women at the senior faculty level. Please refer to Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity NOT-OD-20-031 for more details.

Data Harmonization for Substance Abuse, Addiction, and Mental Disorders via the PhenX Toolkit: Applicants involved in human-subjects studies are strongly encouraged to employ a common set of tools and resources that will promote the collection of comparable data across studies and to do so by incorporating the measures from the Core and Specialty collections, which are available in the Substance Abuse and Addiction Collection and the Mental Health Collection of the PhenX Toolkit (www.phenxtoolkit.org). Please see NOT-DA-12-008 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-DA-12-008.html) for further details.

NIMH Common Data Elements: NIMH encourages the use of common data elements (CDEs) in basic, clinical, and applied research, patient registries, and other human subject research to facilitate broader and more effective use of data and advance research across studies. CDEs are data elements that have been identified and defined for use in multiple data sets across different studies. NIH has established a "Common Data Element (CDE) Resource Portal" (http://cde.nih.gov/) to assist investigators in identifying NIH-supported CDEs when developing protocols, case report forms, and other instruments for data collection. The Portal provides guidance about and access to NIH-supported CDE initiatives and other tools and resources for the appropriate use of CDEs and data standards in NIH-funded research. Investigators are encouraged to consult the Portal and describe in their applications any use they will make of NIH-supported CDEs in their projects.

Note: This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is designed specifically for candidates proposing to serve as the lead investigator of an independent clinical trial, a clinical trial feasibility study, or a separate ancillary clinical trial, as part of their research and career development. Those not planning an independent clinical trial, or proposing to gain research experience in a clinical trial led by another investigator, should consult the NIH Research Career Development Awards website for alternative funding opportunities.

Investigators proposing NIH-defined clinical trials may refer to the Research Methods Resources website for information about developing statistical methods and study designs.

See Section VIII. Other Information for award authorities and regulations.

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

Required: Only accepting applications that propose an independent clinical trial(s).

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NIH intends to commit approximately $1.1 million total in FY2023, spread across PAS-22-206 and PAS-22-207. Up to 6 total awards across these two FOAs are anticipated. Similar commitments are expected for FY2024, contingent upon availability of funds and receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Award Budget
Award budgets are composed of salary and other program-related expenses, as described below.
Award Project Period
The total project period may not exceed 5 years.

Other Award Budget Information

Salary

Applicants may request salary support up to $100,000 plus fringe benefits per year, consistent with their institution’s salary scale. A minimum of 9 person-months (75% effort) must be devoted to the career award. Further guidance on budgeting for career development salaries is provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. See also NOT-OD-17-094.

In addition, the candidate may derive additional compensation for effort associated with other Federal sources or awards provided the total salary derived from all Federal sources does not exceed the maximum legislated salary rate (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/salcap_summary.html) and the total percent effort does not exceed 100%. See also NOT-OD-17-094.

Other Program-Related Expenses

Applicants may request up to $50,000 in research development support per year. These funds may be used for the following expenses: (a) tuition and fees related to career development; (b) research-related expenses, such as supplies, equipment, technical personnel, and participant incentives; (c) travel to research meetings or training; and (d) statistical services including personnel and computer time.

Applicants are expected to allocate funds from the Research Support budget to attend the annual HEAL Investigators Meeting, where, in addition to attending conference sessions, K23 awardees will participate in informal mentoring, networking, and grantsmanship activities facilitated by NIH program staff.

Salary for mentors, secretarial and administrative assistants, etc. is not allowed.

Indirect Costs
Indirect Costs (also known as Facilities & Administrative [F&A] Costs) are reimbursed at 8% of modified total direct costs.
NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made from 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)

For-Profit Organizations

  • Small Businesses
  • For-Profit Organizations (Other than Small Businesses)

Governments

  • State Governments
  • County Governments
  • City or Township Governments
  • Special District Governments
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized)

Federal Governments

  • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
  • U.S. Territory or Possession

Other

  • Independent School Districts
  • Public Housing Authorities/Indian Housing Authorities
  • Native American Tribal Organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Faith-based or Community-based Organizations
  • Regional Organizations
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. 
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.

  • System for Award Management (SAM)– 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.
    • NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code – Foreign organizations must obtain an NCAGE code (in lieu of a CAGE code) in order to register in SAM.
    • Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)- A UEI is issued as part of the SAM.gov registration process. The same UEI must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • eRA Commons - Once the unique organization identifier is established, organizations can register with eRA Commons in tandem with completing their full SAM and Grants.gov registrations; all registrations must be in place by time of submission. 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 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.

All PD(s)/PI(s) must be registered with ORCID. The personal profile associated with the PD(s)/PI(s) eRA Commons account must be linked to a valid ORCID ID. For more information on linking an ORCID ID to an eRA Commons personal profile see the ORCID topic in our eRA Commons online help.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any candidate with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) is invited to work with his/her mentor and 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. Multiple PDs/PIs are not allowed. See, Reminder: Notice of NIH's Encouragement of Applications Supporting Individuals from Underrepresented Ethnic and Racial Groups as well as Individuals with Disabilities, NOT-OD-22-019.

The aggregate total of NIH mentored career award support (both institutional [e.g., KL2, K12] and individual) cannot exceed 6 years. For NIMH applicants, eligibility for the K23 is limited to individuals with no more than 6 years of postdoctoral experience at the time of application (either the initial or resubmission application).

Candidates must demonstrate – via biosketch (degree, training, work experience), publications, and/or reference letters – foundational clinical training or experience in substance use prevention or treatment.

By the time of award, the individual must be a citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., possess a currently valid Permanent Resident Card USCIS Form I-551, or other legal verification of such status).

Current and former PDs/PIs on NIH research project (R01), program project (P01), center grants (P50), Project Leads of program project (P01), or center grants (P50), other major individual career development awards (e.g., K01, K07, K08, K22, K23, K25, K76, K99/R00), or the equivalent are not eligible. Current and former PDs/PIs of an NIH Small Grant (R03), Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21/R33), Planning Grant (R34/U34), Dissertation Award (R36), or SBIR/STTR (R41, R42, R43, R44) remain eligible, as do PD/PIs of Transition Scholar (K38) awards and individuals appointed to institutional K programs (K12, KL2).


Candidates for the K23 award must have a health-professional doctoral degree. Such degrees include, but are not limited to, the MD, DO, DDS, DMD, OD, DC, PharmD, ND (Doctor of Naturopathy), as well as a doctoral degree in nursing research or practice. Individuals with the PhD or other doctoral degree in clinical disciplines such as clinical psychology, clinical genetics, speech-language pathology, audiology or rehabilitation are also eligible. Individuals holding the PhD in a non-clinical discipline but who are certified to perform clinical duties should contact the appropriate Institute concerning their eligibility for a K23 award. Candidates also must have completed their clinical training, including specialty and, if applicable, subspecialty training prior to receiving an award. However, candidates may submit an application prior to the completion of clinical training.

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

Number of Applications

Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct, and each is from a different candidate.

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time per 2.3.7.4 Submission of Resubmission Application. An individual may not have two or more competing NIH career development applications pending review concurrently. In addition, 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 2.3.9.4 Similar, Essentially Identical, or Identical Applications).

Candidates may submit research project grant (RPG) applications concurrently with the K application. However, any concurrent RPG application may not have substantial scientific and/or budgetary overlap with the career award application. K award recipients are encouraged to obtain funding from NIH or other Federal sources either as a PD/PI on a competing research grant award or cooperative agreement, or as project leader on a competing multi-project award as described in NOT-OD-08-065.

Level of Effort

At the time of award, the candidate must have a “full-time” appointment at the academic institution. Candidates are required to commit a minimum of 75% of full-time professional effort (i.e., a minimum of 9 person-months) to their program of career development. Candidates may engage in other duties as part of the remaining 25% of their full-time professional effort not covered by this award, as long as such duties do not interfere with or detract from the proposed career development program. 

Candidates who have VA appointments may not consider part of the VA effort toward satisfying the full time requirement at the applicant institution. Candidates with VA appointments should contact the staff person in the relevant Institute or Center prior to preparing an application to discuss their eligibility.

After the receipt of the award, adjustments to the required level of effort may be made in certain circumstances.  See NOT-OD-18-156  and NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 12.3.6.4 Temporary Adjustments to the Percent Effort Requirement for more details.

Mentor(s)

Before submitting the application, the candidate must identify a mentor who will supervise the proposed career development and research experience. The mentor should be an active investigator in the area of the proposed research and be committed both to the career development of the candidate and to the direct supervision of the candidate’s research. The mentor must document the availability of sufficient research support and facilities for high-quality research. Candidates are encouraged to identify more than one mentor, i.e., a mentoring team, if this is deemed advantageous for providing expert advice in all aspects of the research career development program. In such cases, one individual must be identified as the primary mentor who will coordinate the candidate’s research. The candidate must work with the mentor(s) in preparing the application. The mentor, or a member of the mentoring team, should have a successful track record of mentoring individuals at the candidate’s career stage. Recruitment is encouraged of mentors from diverse backgrounds, including those from underrepresented groups, such as 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, individuals with disabilities, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, and women at the faculty level (NOT-OD-20-031 and NOT-OD-22-019).

The mentor(s) or mentoring team must demonstrate appropriate expertise, experience, and ability to guide the applicant in the organization, management and implementation of the proposed research and clinical trial.

Institutional Environment

The applicant institution must have a strong, well-established record of research and career development activities and faculty qualified to serve as mentors in biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

Buttons to access the online ASSIST system or to download application forms are available in Part 1 of this FOA. See your administrative office for instructions if you plan to use an institutional system-to-system solution.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

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

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

Page Limitations

All page limitations described in the SF424 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

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

Other Project Information

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

Project Summary/Abstract

Include a description of your current research and the research you propose to continue in the independent phase.

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

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

R&R Budget

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS 398 Career Development Award Supplemental Form

The PHS 398 Career Development Award Supplemental Form is comprised of the following sections:

Candidate
Research Plan
Other Candidate Information
Mentor, Co-Mentor, Consultant, Collaborators
Environment & Institutional
Commitment to the Candidate
Other Research Plan Sections
Appendix

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

Candidate Section

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

Candidate Information and Goals for Career Development

Candidate’s Background

  • Describe the candidate's commitment to an academic career in Patient-Oriented Research (POR).  Describe all of the candidate's professional responsibilities in the recipient institution and elsewhere and describe their relationship to the proposed activities on the career award. 
  • Present evidence of the candidate's ability to interact and collaborate with other scientists. 
  • Describe prior training and how it relates to the objectives and long-term career plans of the candidate. 
  • Describe the candidate's research efforts to this point in his/her research career, including any publications, prior research interests and experience. 
  • Provide evidence of the candidate's potential to develop into an independent investigator
  • If applicable, describe the candidate's ability to organize, manage, and implement the proposed clinical trial, feasibility or ancillary clinical trial.
  • If applicable, describe the candidate's prior efforts, interests and experience in clinical trials research.

Career Goals and Objectives?

  • Describe a systematic plan: (1) that shows a logical progression from prior research and training experiences to the research and career development experiences that will occur during the career award period and then to independent investigator status; and (2) that justifies the need for further career development to become an independent investigator. 
  • The candidate must demonstrate they have received training or will participate in courses such as: data management, epidemiology, study design (including statistics), hypothesis development, drug development, etc., as well as the legal and ethical issues associated with research on human subjects and clinical trials.

Candidate’s Plan for Career Development/Training Activities During Award Period

  • The candidate and the mentor(s) are jointly responsible for the preparation of the career development plan.  A career development timeline is often helpful.  
  • The didactic (if any) and the research aspects of the plan must be designed to develop the necessary knowledge and research skills in scientific areas relevant to the candidate's career goals. 
  • Describe the professional responsibilities/activities including other research projects beyond the minimum required 9 person months (75% full-time professional effort) commitment to the career award.  Explain how these responsibilities/activities will help ensure career progression to achieve independence as an investigator.

Research Plan Section

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

Research Strategy

  • A sound research project that is consistent with the candidate’s level of research development and objectives of his/her career development plan must be provided. The research description should demonstrate the quality of the candidate’s research thus far and also the novelty, significance, creativity and approach, as well as the ability of the candidate to carry out the research.
  • The application must also describe the relationship between the mentor’s research and the candidate’s proposed research plan.
  • While the focus of the K23 award is on POR, complementary laboratory research directly related to patient-oriented research may be proposed in the application, thereby providing an opportunity for a career development experience in translational research.
  • Describe the proposed timelines for the proposed clinical trial, feasibility study or ancillary clinical trial, including any potential challenges and solutions (e.g., enrollment shortfalls or inability to attribute causal inference to the results of an intervention when performing a small feasibility study).
  • Describe how the proposed clinical trial or ancillary clinical trial will test the safety, efficacy or effectiveness of an intervention that could lead to a change in clinical practice, community behaviors or health care policy (This would not apply to a feasibility study).

Training 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). See SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for instructions.

Mentor, Co-Mentor, Consultant, Collaborators Section

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

Plans and Statements of Mentor and Co-mentor(s)

  • The candidate must name a primary mentor who, together with the candidate, is responsible for the planning, directing, monitoring, and executing the proposed program.  The candidate may also nominate co-mentors as appropriate to the goals of the program.   
  • The mentor should have sufficient independent research support to cover the costs of the proposed research project in excess of the allowable costs of this award. 
  • Include a statement that the candidate will commit at least 9 person months (75% of full-time professional effort) to the career development program and related career development activities. 
  • The application must include a statement from the mentor providing: 1) information on his/her research qualifications and previous experience as a research supervisor; 2) a plan that describes the nature of the supervision and mentoring that will occur during the proposed award period; 3) a plan for career progression for the candidate to move from the mentored stage of his/her career to independent research investigator status during the project period of the award; and 4) a plan for monitoring the candidate’s research, publications, and progression towards independence. 
  • Similar information must be provided by any co-mentor.  If more than one co-mentor is proposed, the respective areas of expertise and responsibility of each should be described.  Co-mentors should clearly describe how they will coordinate the mentoring of the candidate. If any co-mentor is not located at the sponsoring institution, a statement should be provided describing the mechanism(s) and frequency of communication with the candidate, including the frequency of face-to-face meetings. 
  • The mentor must agree to provide annual evaluations of the candidate’s progress as required in the annual progress report.
  • The mentor or mentoring team must provide evidence of expertise, experience, and ability to guide the candidate in the organization, management and implementation of the proposed clinical trial, ancillary clinical trial or feasibility study and help him/her to meet timelines.

Letters of Support from Collaborators, Contributors and Consultants

  • Signed statements must be provided by all collaborators and/or consultants confirming their participation in the project and describing their specific roles. Unless also listed as senior/key personnel, collaborators and consultants do not need to provide their biographical sketches. However, information should be provided clearly documenting the appropriate expertise in the proposed areas of consulting/collaboration. 
  • Advisory committee members (if applicable): Signed statements must be provided by each member of the proposed advisory committee.  These statements should confirm their participation, describe their specific roles, and document the expertise they will contribute.  Unless also listed as senior/key personnel, these individuals do not need to provide their biographical sketches. 

Environmental and Institutional Commitment to the Candidate

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

Description of Institutional Environment

  • The sponsoring institution must document a strong, well-established research and career development program related to the candidate's area of interest, including a high-quality research environment with key faculty members and other investigators capable of productive collaboration with the candidate. 
  • Describe how the institutional research environment is particularly suited for the development of the candidate's research career and the pursuit of the proposed research plan.
  • Describe the resources and facilities that will be available to the candidate. 
  • Describe the resources and facilities that will be available to the candidate, including any clinical trial-related resources, such as specialized administrative, data coordinating, enrollment, and laboratory/testing support. If applicable, include a description of the resources and facilities available at international sites.

Institutional Commitment to the Candidate’s Research Career Development

  • The sponsoring institution must provide a statement of commitment to the candidate's development into a productive, independent investigator and to meeting the requirements of this award. It should be clear that the institutional commitment to the candidate is not contingent upon receipt of this career award. 
  • Provide assurances that the candidate will be able to devote the required effort to activities under this award.The remaining effort should be devoted to activities related to the development of the candidate’s career as an independent scientist. 
  • Provide assurances that the candidate will have access to appropriate office and laboratory space, equipment, and other resources and facilities (including access to clinical and/or other research populations) to carry out the proposed research plan. 
  • Provide assurance that appropriate time and support will be available for any proposed mentor(s) and/or other staff consistent with the career development plan.
  • Candidates who will be using resources associated with a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) during the course of their career development award should include a letter of agreement from the CTSA PD/PI as part of their application.

Research Plan Section: Research Strategy

Propose a research project that is grounded in implementation science theory, methods and principles, and applies these to addressing one or more domains of the HHS Overdose Prevention Strategy (prevention; evidence-based addiction treatment; harm reduction; recovery support services).

Other Research Plan Section: Resource Sharing Plan

A data sharing plan is required for this FOA.

NIH intends to maximize the impact of HEAL Initiative-supported projects through broad and rapid data sharing.Consistent with the HEAL Initiative Public Access and Data Sharing Policy (https://heal.nih.gov/about/public-access-data), and in line with the new NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-21-013.html), all applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, are required to include a Data Management and Sharing Plan outlining how scientific data and any accompanying metadata will be managed and shared. The plan should describe data types, file formats, submission timelines, and standards used in collecting or processing the data. It is expected that data generated by HEAL Initiative-funded projects will be submitted to study-appropriate domain-specific or generalist repositories in consultation with the HEAL Data Stewardship Group to ensure the data is accessible via the HEAL Initiative Data Ecosystem.

Information about relevant data repositories may be found at the following links:

NIDA: National Addiction & HIV Data Archive Program (NAHDAP)

NIAAA: NOT-AA-22-011

NIMH: NOT-MH-19-033

To maximize discoverability and value of HEAL datasets and studies, and facilitate data integration and collaboration, applications submitted in response to this FOA are strongly encouraged to incorporate standards and resources where applicable:

  • Applicants are encouraged to ensure that data collected by the study conform to Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) principles.
  • Applicants are specifically encouraged to incorporate into their planning, an alignment with the guidelines, principles and recommendations developed by the HEAL Data Ecosystem, including but not limited to preparing data to store in selected specified repositories, applying minimal metadata standards, use of core HEAL Clinical Data Elements (CDEs, https://heal.nih.gov/data/common-data-elements), and other necessary requirements to prepare data to connect to the HEAL Data Ecosystem.

The NIH notices referenced below provide additional NIH guidance that should be considered in developing a strong data management and sharing plan. The list is instructive but not comprehensive.

  • Elements of an NIH Data Management and Sharing Plan (NOT-OD-21-014)
  • NIH has provided guidance around selecting a repository for data generated by NIH-supported research and has developed desirable characteristics for all data repositories (NOT-OD-21-016).
  • NIH encourages the use of data standards including the PhenX Toolkit (www.phenxtoolkit.org) (for example, see NOT-DA-12-008, NOT-MH-15-009)
  • NIH encourages researchers to explore the use of the HL7 FHIR® (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) standard to capture, integrate, and exchange clinical data for research purposes and to enhance capabilities to share research data (NOT-OD-19-122). The FHIR® standard may be particularly useful in facilitating the flow of data with EHR-based datasets, tools, and applications.
  • NIH encourages clinical research programs and researchers to adopt and use the standardized set of data classes, data elements, and associated vocabulary standards specified in the United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI) standards, as they are applicable (NOT-OD-20-146). Use of the USCDI can complement the FHIR® standard and enable researchers to leverage structured EHR data for research and enable discovery.
  • Awardees conducting research that includes collection of genomic data should incorporate requirements under the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy (NOT-OD-14-124, NOT-OD-15-086).

Appendix:

Limited items are allowed in the Appendix.  Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide; any instructions provided here are in addition to the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide instructions.

PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

When involving NIH-defined human subjects research, clinical research, and/or clinical trials (and when applicable, clinical trials research experience) follow all instructions for the PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following additional instructions:

If you answered “Yes” to the question “Are Human Subjects Involved?” on the R&R Other Project Information form, you must include at least one human subjects study record using the Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form or Delayed Onset Study record.

Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

Delayed Onset Study

Note: Delayed onset does NOT apply to a study that can be described but will not start immediately (i.e., delayed start).

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS Assignment Request Form

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

Reference Letters

Candidates must carefully follow the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including the time period for when reference letters will be accepted. Applications lacking the appropriate required reference letters will not be reviewed. This is a separate process from submitting an application electronically. Reference letters are submitted directly through the eRA Commons Submit Referee Information link and not through Grants.gov. 

3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

See Part 1. Section III.1 for information regarding the requirement for obtaining a unique entity identifier and for completing and maintaining active registrations in System for Award Management (SAM), NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code (if applicable), eRA Commons, and Grants.gov

4. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates and Times. 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. When a submission date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.

Organizations must submit applications to Grants.gov (the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies) using ASSIST or other electronic submission systems. 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. NIH and Grants.gov systems check the application against many of the application instructions upon submission. Errors must be corrected and a changed/corrected application must be submitted to Grants.gov on or before the application due date and time.  If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late. Applications that miss the due date and time are subjected to the NIH Policy on Late Application Submission.

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.

5. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

6. 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.

7. 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 How to Apply – Application Guide. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Dealing with System Issues guidance. For assistance with application submission, contact the Application Submission Contacts in Section VII.

Important reminders:

All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential fieldof the Senior/Key Person Profile form. 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. See Section III of this FOA for information on registration requirements.

The applicant organization must ensure that the unique entity identifier provided on the application is the same identifier used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the System for Award Management. 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, NIH. Applications that are incomplete or non-compliant will not be reviewed.

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in the policy. Any instructions provided here are in addition to the instructions in the policy.

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process.  Applications submitted to the NIH in support of the NIH mission are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

Overall Impact

Reviewers should provide their assessment of the likelihood that the proposed career development and research plan will enhance the candidate’s potential for a productive, independent scientific research career in a health-related field, taking into consideration the criteria below in determining the overall impact score.

Scored Review Criteria

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

The reviewers will consider that the clinical trial may include study design, methods, and intervention that are not by themselves innovative, but address important questions or unmet needs. Reviewers should also consider the scope of the clinical trial relative to the available resources, including the possibility that research support provided through career development awards may be sufficient to support only small feasibility studies.

  Candidate

  • Does the candidate have the potential to develop as an independent and productive researcher? 
  • Are the candidate's prior training and research experience appropriate for this award? 
  • Is the candidate’s academic, clinical (if relevant), and research record of high quality? 
  • Is there evidence of the candidate’s commitment to meeting the program objectives to become an independent investigator in research? 
  • Do the reference letters address the above review criteria, and do they provide evidence that the candidate has a high potential for becoming an independent investigator.
  • Does the candidate have the potential to organize, manage, and implement the proposed clinical trial, feasibility or ancillary study?
  • Does the candidate have training (or plans to receive training) in data management and statistics including those relevant to clinical trials?

Career Development Plan/Career Goals and Objectives/Plan to Provide Mentoring

  • What is the likelihood that the plan will contribute substantially to the scientific development of the candidate and lead to scientific independence? 
  • Are there adequate plans for monitoring and evaluating the candidate’s research and career development progress?
  • If proposed, will the clinical trial experience contribute to the applicant’s research career development?

Research Plan

  • Is the prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project rigorous?
  • Has the candidate included plans to address weaknesses in the rigor of prior research that serves as the key support of the proposed project?
  • Has the candidate included plans to address weaknesses in the rigor of prior research that serves as the key support of the proposed project?
  • Has the candidate presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed?
  • Has the candidate presented adequate plans to address relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies in vertebrate animals or human subjects?
  • Are the proposed research question, design, and methodology of significant scientific and technical merit? 
  • Is the research plan relevant to the candidate’s research career objectives? 
  • Is the research plan appropriate to the candidate's stage of research development and as a vehicle for developing the research skills described in the career development plan?
  • Will the proposed research lead to an independent line of research for the candidate?
  • Has the candidate included a Data Sharing Plan and is it reasonable given the nature of the research proposed?
  • Are the scientific rationale and need for a clinical trial, ancillary clinical trial, or feasibility or ancillary study well supported by preliminary data, clinical and/or preclinical studies, or information in the literature or knowledge of biological mechanisms?
  • If proposing a small feasibility study, is the study warranted and will it contribute to planning and preliminary data needed for design of future larger scale clinical trials?
  • Is the clinical trial or ancillary clinical trial necessary for testing the safety, efficacy or effectiveness of an intervention, or in the case of a feasibility study necessary to establish feasibility of future clinical trial?
  • Is the study design justified and relevant to the clinical, biological, and statistical hypothesis(es) being tested?
  • Are the plans to standardize, assure quality of, and monitor adherence to, the protocol and data collection or distribution guidelines appropriate?
  • Are planned analyses and statistical approach appropriate for the proposed study design and methods used to assign participants and deliver interventions, if interventions are delivered?
  • For trials focusing on mechanistic, behavioral, physiological, biochemical, or other biomedical endpoints, is this trial needed to advance scientific understanding?

Mentor(s), Co-Mentor(s), Consultant(s), Collaborator(s)

  • Are the proposed collaborations with other active investigators and other opportunities for professional growth appropriate and of high quality?
  • Is adequate information provided that clearly documents expertise in the proposed area(s) of consulting/collaboration?
  • Does the mentor or mentoring team have the expertise, experience, and ability to guide the applicant in the organization, management and implementation of the proposed clinical trial, ancillary clinical trial, or feasibility study and help him/her to meet timelines?

Environment & Institutional Commitment to the Candidate

  • Is there clear commitment of the sponsoring institution to ensure that the required minimum of the candidate’s effort will be devoted directly to the research described in the application, with the remaining percent effort being devoted to an appropriate balance of research, teaching, administrative, and clinical responsibilities?
  • Is the institutional commitment to the career development of the candidate appropriately strong?
  • Are the research facilities, resources and training opportunities, including faculty capable of productive collaboration with the candidate adequate and appropriate?
  • Is the environment for the candidate’s scientific and professional development of high quality?
  • Is there assurance that the institution intends the candidate to be an integral part of its research program as an independent investigator?
  • Are the administrative, data coordinating, enrollment and laboratory/testing centers, appropriate for the trial proposed?
  • Does the application adequately address the capability and ability to conduct the trial, ancillary clinical trial, or feasibility study at the proposed site(s) or centers? If applicable, are there plans to add or drop enrollment centers, as needed, appropriate?
  • If international site(s) is/are proposed, does the application adequately address the complexity of executing the clinical trial?
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.

Study Timeline for Clinical Trials

Is the study timeline described in detail, taking into account start-up activities, the anticipated rate of enrollment, and planned follow-up assessment? Is the projected timeline feasible and well justified? Does the project incorporate efficiencies and utilize existing resources (e.g., CTSAs, practice-based research networks, electronic medical records, administrative database, or patient registries) to increase the efficiency of participant enrollment and data collection, as appropriate?

Are potential challenges and corresponding solutions discussed (e.g., strategies that can be implemented in the event of enrollment shortfalls)?

Protections for Human Subjects

For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the 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 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 Individuals Across the Lifespan

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 individuals of all ages (including children and older adults) 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.

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following criteria: (1) description of proposed procedures involving animals, including species, strains, ages, sex, and total number to be used; (2) justifications for the use of animals versus alternative models and for the appropriateness of the species proposed; (3) interventions to minimize discomfort, distress, pain and injury; and (4) justification for euthanasia method if NOT consistent with the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals. Reviewers will assess the use of chimpanzees as they would any other application proposing the use of vertebrate animals. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.

Biohazards

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.

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.

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.

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) Sharing Model Organisms; and (2)  Genomic Data Sharing Plan (GDS).

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 level of experience of the candidate, including any prior instruction or participation in RCR as appropriate for the candidate’s career stage, 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 mentor(s) and other faculty involvement in the fellow’s instruction; 4) Duration of Instruction - the number of contact hours of instruction (at least eight contact hours are required); and 5) Frequency of Instruction –instruction must occur during each career stage and at least 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. See also: NOT-OD-10-019.

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).

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources:

For projects involving key biological and/or chemical resources, reviewers will comment on the brief plans proposed for identifying and ensuring the validity of those resources.

Budget and Period of Support

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

2. Review and Selection Process

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

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

  • May undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific and technical merit (generally the top half of applications under review) will be discussed and assigned an overall impact score.
  • Will receive a written critique.

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. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the appropriate national Advisory Council or Board.

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. Refer to Part 1 for dates for peer review, advisory council review, and earliest start date.

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 recipient’s business official.

Recipients 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.

Individual awards are based on the application submitted to, and as approved by, the NIH and are subject to the IC-specific terms and conditions identified in the NoA.

ClinicalTrials.gov: If an award provides for one or more clinical trials. By law (Title VIII, Section 801 of Public Law 110-85), the "responsible party" must register and submit results information for certain “applicable clinical trials” on the ClinicalTrials.gov Protocol Registration and Results System Information Website (https://register.clinicaltrials.gov). NIH expects registration and results reporting of all trials whether required under the law or not. For more information, see https://grants.nih.gov/policy/clinical-trials/reporting/index.htm

Institutional Review Board or Independent Ethics Committee Approval: Recipient institutions must ensure that all protocols are reviewed by their IRB or IEC. To help ensure the safety of participants enrolled in NIH-funded studies, the recipient must provide NIH copies of documents related to all major changes in the status of ongoing protocols.

Data and Safety Monitoring Requirements: The NIH policy for data and safety monitoring requires oversight and monitoring of all NIH-conducted or -supported human biomedical and behavioral intervention studies (clinical trials) to ensure the safety of participants and the validity and integrity of the data. Further information concerning these requirements is found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/hs/data_safety.htm and in the application instructions (SF424 (R&R) and PHS 398).

Investigational New Drug or Investigational Device Exemption Requirements: Consistent with federal regulations, clinical research projects involving the use of investigational therapeutics, vaccines, or other medical interventions (including licensed products and devices for a purpose other than that for which they were licensed) in humans under a research protocol must be performed under a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigational new drug (IND) or investigational device exemption (IDE).

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: Generaland Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Recipients, and Activities, including of note, but not limited to:

If a recipient is successful and receives a Notice of Award, in accepting the award, the recipient agrees that any activities under the award are subject to all provisions currently in effect or implemented during the period of the award, other Department regulations and policies in effect at the time of the award, and applicable statutory provisions.

Should the applicant organization successfully compete for an award, recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS must administer their programs in compliance with federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, religion, conscience, and sex (including gender identify, sexual orientation, and pregnancy). This includes ensuring programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency and persons with disabilities. The HHS Office for Civil Rights provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-providers/provider-obligations/index.html https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/nondiscrimination/index.html

HHS recognizes that research projects are often limited in scope for many reasons that are nondiscriminatory, such as the principal investigator’s scientific interest, funding limitations, recruitment requirements, and other considerations. Thus, criteria in research protocols that target or exclude certain populations are warranted where nondiscriminatory justifications establish that such criteria are appropriate with respect to the health or safety of the subjects, the scientific study design, or the purpose of the research. For additional guidance regarding how the provisions apply to NIH grant programs, please contact the Scientific/Research Contact that is identified in Section VII under Agency Contacts of this FOA.

Recipients of FFA must ensure that their programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency. For guidance on meeting the legal obligation to take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to programs or activities by limited English proficient individuals see https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/special-topics/limited-english-proficiency/fact-sheet-guidance/index.html and https://www.lep.gov.

Please contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights for more information about obligations and prohibitions under federal civil rights laws at https://www.hhs.gov/ocr/about-us/contact-us/index.html or call 1-800-368-1019 or TDD 1-800-537-7697.

In accordance with the statutory provisions contained in Section 872 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417), NIH awards will be subject to the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) requirements. FAPIIS requires Federal award making officials to review and consider information about an applicant in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS) prior to making an award. An applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through FAPIIS and comment on any information about itself that a Federal agency previously entered and is currently in FAPIIS. The Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgement about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 45 CFR Part 75.205 and 2 CFR Part 200.206 “Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.” This provision will apply to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements except fellowships.

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, recipients will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The Supplemental Instructions for Individual Career Development (K) RPPRs must be followed. For mentored awards, the Mentor’s Report must include an annual evaluation statement of the candidate’s progress.

A final RPPR, 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.

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for recipients of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later.  All recipients 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 the threshold.  See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement. 

In accordance with the regulatory requirements provided at 45 CFR 75.113 and 2 CFR Part 200.113 and Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75 and 2 CFR Part 200, recipients that have currently active Federal grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from all Federal awarding agencies with a cumulative total value greater than $10,000,000 for any period of time during the period of performance of a Federal award, must report and maintain the currency of information reported in the System for Award Management (SAM) about civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings in connection with the award or performance of a Federal award that reached final disposition within the most recent five-year period.  The recipient must also make semiannual disclosures regarding such proceedings. Proceedings information will be made publicly available in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS).  This is a statutory requirement under section 872 of Public Law 110-417, as amended (41 U.S.C. 2313).  As required by section 3010 of Public Law 111-212, all information posted in the designated integrity and performance system on or after April 15, 2011, except past performance reviews required for Federal procurement contracts, will be publicly available.  Full reporting requirements and procedures are found in Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75 and 2 CFR Part 200 – Award Term and Condition for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.

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.

Within ten years of making awards under this program, NIDA will assess the program’s overall outcomes, gauge its effectiveness in enhancing diversity, and consider whether there is a continuing need for the program.  Upon the completion of this evaluation, NIH will determine whether to (a) continue the program as currently configured, (b) continue the program with modifications, or (c) discontinue the program. 

The overall evaluation of the program will be based on metrics that will include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Subsequent participation in research or employment in a STEM field
  • Authorship of scientific publications in a STEM field
  • Subsequent independent research grant support from NIH or another source

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Because of the difference in individual Institute and Center (IC) program requirements for this FOA, prospective applications MUST consult the Table of IC-Specific Information, Requirements, and Staff Contacts, to make sure that their application is responsive to the requirements of one of the participating NIH ICs. Prior consultation with NIH staff is strongly encouraged.
Application Submission Contacts

eRA Service Desk (Questions regarding ASSIST, eRA Commons, application errors and warnings, documenting system problems that threaten on-time submission, and 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)

General Grants Information (Questions regarding application processes and NIH grant resources)
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-637-3015

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and Workspace)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726
Email: support@grants.gov

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Lori Ducharme, Ph.D.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Phone: 301-827-6331
Email: Lori.Ducharme@nih.gov

Pete Murray, Ph.D.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Phone: 301-496-4054
Email: peter.murray@nih.gov

 

Nastaran Zahir, PhD
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Phone: 240-276-6333
Email: nas.zahir@nih.gov 
 

Belinda E. Sims, Ph.D.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Telephone: 301-435-7155
Email: belinda.sims@nih.gov

Laura Elizabeth Kwako, Ph.D.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Phone: 301-451-8507
E-mail: laura.kwako@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Examine your eRA Commons account for review assignment and contact information (information appears two weeks after the submission due date).

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Carol Alderson
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Phone: 301-827-6685
Email: 

aldersoc@mail.nih.gov

Debbie Chen
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Phone: 301-594-3788
Email: debbie.chen@nih.gov

Sean Hine
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Phone: 240-276-6291
Email: hines@mail.nih.gov
 

Tamara Kees
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Telephone: 301-443-8811
Email: tkees@mail.nih.gov

Lauren Early
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Phone: 301-443-2434
E-mail: earlyle@mail.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

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

Please note that the NIH Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs) are a set of programs to attract and retain promising early-stage investigators in research careers by helping them to repay their student loans. Recipients of career development awards are encouraged to consider applying for an extramural LRP award.

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 and 2 CFR Part 200.

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