Supplements to Advance Research (STAR) from Projects to Programs (Admin Supp- Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

June 2, 2021

First Available Due Date:
November 4, 2021
Expiration Date:
April 5, 2024

Related Announcements


Issued by

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)


The NIAMS is committed to supporting investigators in its various mission areas and across all career stages. The purpose of this NOSI is to promote innovation and exploration of high-risk ideas within the NIAMS mission by providing supplemental funding to investigators. The STAR Program is designed to allow investigators to expand upon and explore new opportunities within the broad scope of a currently funded, peer-reviewed research project to facilitate the transition from a single project to a research program. This administrative supplement award program will support activities that provide the basis to effectively allow investigators to transition from a single, structured research project to multiple, related projects with interconnected goals but with clearly distinct focus and approaches.


  • Investigators will have had a first NIAMS-supported R01 initially awarded with early stage investigator (ESI) status and must have successfully renewed that R01 (i.e. Type 2 R01). Additionally, eligible investigators must not have held more than two R01-equivalent grants ( including the renewed R01 that was funded by NIAMS with ESI status. The NIAMS-funded renewal must represent the primary focus of interest of the PD/PI’s research.
  • Parent type 2 R01 award must be active and the research proposed in the supplement application must be within the original scope of the NIH-supported grant project. The supplement must be accomplished within the competitive segment of the active award and all additional costs must be within the scope of the peer reviewed and approved project.
  • An investigator who is in the second or third year of the current type 2 R01 award is eligible for the STAR supplement. Multiple PD/PI awards are not eligible for consideration for the STAR supplement.
  • Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each is sufficiently distinct from any other administrative supplement currently under consideration by the awarding NIH Institute or Center. Investigators may receive only one supplement award under the NIAMS STAR program.

Application and Submission Information

Applications for this initiative must be submitted using the following opportunity or its subsequent reissued equivalent.

  • PA-20-272 - Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional)

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and PA-20-272 must be followed, with the following additions:

  • Application Due Date(s) – November 4, 2021; April 4, 2022; November 4, 2022; April 4, 2023,November 3, 2023; April 4, 2024 by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.
  • For funding consideration, applicants must include “NOT-AR-22-003” (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF424 R&R form. Applications without this information in box 4B will not be considered for this initiative.
  • Applications should include the following Forms and Components:
    • Research Plan form: At a minimum, the Research Strategy section (4-page limit) should be completed and must include a summary or abstract of the funded parent award or project. Organize this section as a short essay describing how you plan to develop the research program highlighting any highly innovative and/or high-risk aspects in the newly proposed research. Applicants should also demonstrate that they have a cohesive vision for moving forward. The applicant essay should provide the following information
      • An overview of research accomplishments to date which includes a description of the trajectory of their research path and any specific events that led the Investigator to propose this supplement
      • A short- and long-term vision for their research program, highlighting the significance and potential impact
      • A description of how the STAR award will allow the applicant to move forward in the currently supported research project and establish a research program
    • The essay should provide a sense that the applicant has the vision and ability to transition their research project into a research program. Examples of appropriate uses of the STAR award may include but are not limited to using the funds to: address aims that may be perceived as too high risk for the initial R01 application but would be a natural progression of the research; provide capital to bring in new technologies; or hire additional post-doctoral fellows with novel skill sets.
    • Project/Performance Sites section (Form Page 2): Include the primary site where the proposed supplement activities will be performed. If a portion of the proposed supplement activities will be performed at any other site(s), identify the locations in the fields provided.
    • Senior/Key Personnel section (Form Page 2): List the PD/PI as the first person (regardless of their role on the supplement activities). List any other Senior/Key Personnel who are being added through this supplement, or for whom additional funds are being requested through this supplement; include a biographical sketch for each.
    • Budget for Entire Proposed Project Period (Form Page 5): A proposed budget should be submitted using the PHS 398 budget forms and should only include funds requested for the additional supplement activities. Application budgets are limited to a total of $300,000 in direct costs over two years and must reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.
    • Letters of Support: A letter of recommendation from the Chair of the department must be included under Letters of Support. This letter should describe how the investigator and her/his research program will flourish in their institution and indicate the strength of the department’s support for the candidate’s research program.
    • If applicable, attach documents indicating that the proposed research experience was approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or human subjects Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the grantee institution. Adherence to the NIH policy for including women and minorities in clinical studies must also be ensured, if additional human subjects’ involvement is planned for the supplement component.
  • Requests for the project and budget periods must be within the currently approved project period for the existing parent award. Applications must be submitted in the second or third year of the current Type 2 R01 award.
  • Applications nonresponsive to terms and instructions for this NOSI will not be considered

Award Information

This is a non-competing administrative supplement that does not allow clinical trials. The funding mechanism being used to support this program, administrative supplements, can be used to cover cost increases that are associated with achieving certain new research objects, as long as the research objectives are within the original scope of the peer reviewed and approved project. Any cost increases need to result from making modifications to the project that would increase or preserve the overall impact of the project consistent with its originally approved objectives and purposes.

Administrative Evaluation Criteria

Members of the NIAMS Council, with input from NIAMS/NIH staff, will consider if the activities proposed in the supplement will enhance the overall research impact within the broad scope of the parent award. Specific factors that will be considered include:

  • The significance and potential impact of the STAR award on the current research project and the field as a whole
  • Potential innovation, risks, and challenges of the proposed activities
  • Importance of the research area
  • The ability of the investigator to develop a research program based on their history of innovation and productivity
  • The commitment of the PI on the field of research based on his/her past research activity and the supplied short- and long-term vision
  • The strength of the institutional Letters of Support

Reporting Information

Reporting requirements will be specified in the terms and conditions of award as applicable to the supplemental activities. In most non-competing continuation applications, the progress report and budget for the supplement must be included with, but clearly delineated from, the progress report and budget for the parent award. The progress report must include information about the activities supported by the supplement even if support for future years is not requested. Continuation of support for the supplement activities in the remaining years will depend upon satisfactory review by the NIH awarding component of progress for both the parent award and the supplement project, the research proposed for the next budget period, and the appropriateness of the proposed budget for the proposed effort. This information is submitted with the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

At the time of non-competing review, NIAMS requires that STAR award recipients provide the following information within Section B.3 of the annual RPPR:

  1. The overall goals of STAR award and general strategies for achieving these goals;
  2. A description of what the STAR award enabled awardees to accomplish that would not have been otherwise accomplished (i.e. was the STAR awardee able to transition the project into a research program?);
  3. Supporting evidence that these accomplishments were a direct result of the STAR award, and distinguishable from the work of the parent R01

    (i.e. publications and/or grant applications).

Applicants are strongly encouraged to notify the program contact at the Institute supporting the parent award that a request has been submitted in response to this FOA in order to facilitate efficient processing of the request.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Scientific/Research Contact(s):

Heiyoung Park, Ph.D.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Telephone: 301-594-3507

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s):

Leslie Littlejohn
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS))
Telephone: 301-594-2545

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