NIH Administrative Supplements for Senator Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Research Fellowships at Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Centers (MDCRCs)

Notice Number: NOT-AR-05-001

Key Dates
Release Date: November 30, 2004

Issued by
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), (
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), (
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), (

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) announce a program for administrative supplements to support senior postdoctoral fellows or non-tenure tract investigators affiliated with the Senator Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Centers, and to encourage these Fellows to develop new, one- to two-year, independent, collaborative, exploratory projects focusing on muscular dystrophy (MD) research.

This supplemental funding initiative responds to recommendations from the NIH Muscular Dystrophy Research Task Force and the MD Interagency Coordinating Committee to address the need for an adequate number of highly skilled, interactive investigators who can integrate various disciplines and levels of expertise to address successfully the increasing challenges in m uscular dystrophy research. (Summaries on the NIH MD Research Taskforce meetings and the MD Coordinating Committee Research and Education Plan can be found at:, and

This initiative also helps to fulfill objectives set out by NIAMS, NINDS and NICHD in establishing the Senator Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Centers (MDCRCs) as focal points for collaboration and expansion of research and training on muscular dystrophy. It is a goal of these cooperative agreements to maximize collaborative utilization of the unique resources in infrastructure, expertise, and clinical recruitment that are being created. (Additional information on the MDCRCs can be found at:

NIAMS, NINDS, and NICHD will provide administrative supplements to the MDCRCs to support exploratory, collaborative research projects led by postdoctoral fellows or non-tenure tract investigators. This program encourages Fellows to establish and maintain productive research collaborations that will broaden the scope of their training and help them develop important skills that they will need to succeed in their careers. The funding institutes encourage proposals from Fellows that are new to the MDCRCs. Results from these short-term projects will provide the Fellow with preliminary data for future research grant applications, increasing the Fellow's likelihood of a successful transition to an independent scientific career. Proposals for establishing new collaborations between the MDCRCs are welcome, as are proposals that utilize the expertise of collaborators outside the field of MD research. By encouraging Fellows to propose synergistic collaborations that involve more than one MDCRC or collaborators at other institutions (US or abroad), these projects may promote the influx of knowledge and novel approaches into the MDCRCs.

Eligibility: Principal investigators with NIAMS, NINDS, or NICHD funded Wellstone MDCRCs are eligible to apply for supplemental funds to support a Wellstone Fellow. Candidates for the fellowships must hold a research or health-professional doctorate or equivalent and have completed three to eight years of postdoctoral research experience at the time of the application. Tenure tract investigators are not eligible, nor are individuals that have received NIH career awards (e.g., K01 or K08) or research project grants (e.g., R01 or R03). Candidates for this fellowship must be affiliated with one of the MDCRCs, either as a postdoctoral fellow or research associate preparing to join one of the projects funded as part of the MDCRCs, or as a current member of one of the centers. The Wellstone Fellow must devote 75% effort to the proposed research and training program. Applications must also propose a Mentor at the parent MDCRC and an external Collaborator. Collaborations are intended to be meaningful research interactions between the Fellow and the Collaborator; simply sharing reagents is not considered to be adequate.

Budget information: An MDCRC can receive concurrent support for only one Wellstone Fellow. Each supplement will be awarded with a direct cost of up to $100,000 per year, for up to two years, which is to include salary for the Fellow in accordance with the institution's established range, fringe benefits, and research expenses. It is expected that the Fellow will visit the collaborator's lab to receive specialized training, and costs for this travel may be included as a research expense. The research expenses may also include equipment, supplies, or travel to attend relevant scientific conferences.

Application Procedures: The receipt deadlines are February 1 or July 1. Principal Investigators of the current MDCRCs should submit the application as an email attachment to: Dr. Richard Lymn, MDCRC Steering Committee Coordinator at This email should have the PI's name (last, first) and grant number on the subject line, and the application should be attached as a single file in MSWord, WordPerfect, or PDF format containing the ten items listed below. The email should be sent on or before the application deadline. In addition to this electronic application, the principal investigator should send an original copy of the cover page (item #1, below), signed by the PI, countersigned by the institutional official, sent by mail from the institution's sponsored projects office and postmarked by the application deadline. This documentation is required for the issuance of an award, and should also be sent to Dr. Lymn at the address listed at the end of this notice. PIs should not submit a request electronically until the institutional business office has reviewed and approved the request. Applicants unable to submit electronic applications should submit the original and five copies to Dr. Richard Lymn, postmarked by the application deadline.

The request for this supplement should be formatted as a Research Career Development Award on Grant Application Form PHS 398 (updated 9/2004;, following the page limitations described below. The application MUST include the following:

1. An ORIGINAL completed face page (not the face page of the parent grant), including appropriate signatures. Include the title and grant number of the parent MDCRC grant on line 1 and enter the number of this notice and "Administrative Supplements for Wellstone Fellowships" (Title) on line 2. Contact information for the MDCRC PI (not the Fellowship candidate) and institutional official must be provided on the face page. Document approvals from Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or Institutional Review Board (IRB), as applicable to the proposed research project, on the face page.

2. A project description on form page 2 from Grant Application Form PHS 398, briefly identifying the Fellow, describing the proposed project, its collaborative component, and its relationship to the goals of the parent MDCRC. The PI, the Fellow, the Mentor(s) and Collaborator(s) should be listed as key personnel.

3. Provide a Substitute Form Page 3: Research Career Development Award Table of Contents.

4. An itemized budget entered on form pages 4 and 5 from Grant Application Form PHS 398; budgets cannot exceed $100,000 direct costs/year for up to 2 years. Applicants should provide a brief justification that details the budget items requested. Facilities and administrative costs should be calculated at the rate applied to the parent MDCRC award. If the Fellow is already receiving support from the MDCRC award, a plan for re-budgeting the existing funds should also be included.

5. An NIH-formatted Biographical Sketch for the Wellstone Fellowship candidate. Also provide a statement of the proposed Fellow's prior research experience and intermediate and long-term career objectives, career development/training activities proposed for the Fellow during the award period, and the plan to receive instruction in the responsible conduct of research. It is encouraged that the Fellow propose to visit the collaborator's lab to receive specialized training, and the goals of this training should be detailed in the proposal. (maximum 4 pages)

6. An NIH-formatted Biographical Sketch for the Mentor for the proposed Wellstone Fellow. The Mentor should also provide a brief statement of research accomplishments and prior mentoring experience (maximum 1 page). The application must include information to describe the mentor's research support related to the Fellow's research plan.

7. An NIH-formatted Biographical Sketch for the external Collaborator. The Collaborator should also provide a brief statement (maximum 1 page) describing his/her role in the collaboration , reagents or samples to be exchanged, training to be provided to the Fellow, and whether that training will take place in the collaborator's laboratory.

8. A statement by the PI of the parent MDCRC, detailing the general goals of the MDCRC, a description of the relationship of the Fellow's research proposal to the specific goals and objectives of the parent center, and a description of the significance of the proposed collaborative project to the MDCRC. This statement should also describe the institutional environment as it relates to the proposed project, and the institutional commitment to the Fellow's career development (maximum 3 pages).

9. The Fellow's collaborative research plan (maximum 10 pages), including specific aims, background and significance, preliminary results, and research design and methods. The collaborative component with the external investigator should be described, including the planned interactions between the Fellow, Mentor, and Collaborator. The application must emphasize how the research direction of the collaborative project is distinguishable from that of the mentor so that the project will foster and promote the future scientific independence of the Fellow. The applications should further emphasize how supplemental assistance to the Fellow will enhance pursuit of the overall Specific Aims of the research projects of the currently funded MDCRCs, without expanding their scope significantly.

10. A completed checklist page.

Review Criteria: Outside reviewers will provide critiques of the applications that will be considered by institute staff in the decisions to award these fellowship supplements. A competitive application will establish strong relationships between the Fellow, Mentor, and Collaborator that accelerate the development of the Fellow as an independent researcher in muscular dystrophy. Applications will be evaluated on the following criteria:




Training Plan

Research Plan

Annual progress reports, to be included with that of the parent MDCRC, are a condition of the award. Continuation awards for 2-year projects are contingent upon approval of the progress report by the institute program official responsible for the parent MDCRC grant.

Receipt Dates: There are four receipt dates for this supplemental program, February 1 and July 1 in both 2005 and 2006. It is expected that the notice of award will be issued within approximately two months after favorable review and approval by staff at the appropriate institute.

Direct inquires regarding scientific/programmatic issues to the appropriate institute official. All applications should be sent to Dr. Richard Lymn.

Richard W. Lymn, Ph.D.
Chief, Muscle Biology Branch
One Democracy Plaza
6701 Democracy Blvd., Suite 800
Bethesda, MD  20892-4872
Telephone:  301-594-5128
FAX: 301-480-4543

John D. Porter, Ph.D.
Program Director, Neuromuscular Disease
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2142, MSC 9523
Bethesda, MD 20892-9523
Telephone: (301) 496-1917
FAX: (301) 402-1501

Mary Lou Oster-Granite, Ph.D.
Chief, Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Branch
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard
Room 4B09G, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD 20892-7510
Telephone: (301) 496-1383
FAX: 301-496-3791

Direct questions regarding financial or grants management issues to:

Richard Proper
Grants Management Officer
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
One Democracy Plaza
6701 Democracy Blvd. Suite 800
Bethesda, MD 20892-4872
Telephone: (301) 451-3884
FAX: (301) 480-5450

Chris Robey
Grants Management Officer
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 8A17, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD 20892-7510
Telephone: (301) 435-6996
FAX: (301) 402-0915

Karen Dunlap
Grants Management Officer
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 3250
Rockville, MD 20892
Telephone: (301) 496-9231
FAX: (301) 402-0219

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