Notice of Special Interest: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) T32 Supplement Program for Pre- and Postdoctoral Candidates from Diverse Backgrounds
Notice Number:
NOT-AT-21-013

Key Dates

Release Date:

December 13, 2021

First Available Due Date:
March 01, 2022
Expiration Date:
July 02, 2024

Related Announcements

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

Issued by

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

Purpose

Background

NCCIH announces an opportunity to allow existing NCCIH-funded Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grant (T32) programs to apply for an administrative supplement to support an additional training slot to support predoctoral and postdoctoral candidates from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences. A very limited number of supplementary slots will be available in each fiscal year and the number awarded will depend on the number and merit of applications received and the availability of funds.

Predoctoral and postdoctoral students qualifying for this program include, but are not limited to individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds as described in the Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-20-031.html.

Although every competing T32 application requires a diversity recruitment plan, we also realize that recruitment of prospective candidates from diverse backgrounds can be challenging. See, e.g., Policy Supporting the Next Generation Researchers Initiative, NOT-OD-17-101. Providing more flexibility to add predoctoral or postdoctoral trainees from diverse backgrounds, including those from underrepresented groups, would help our T32 grants' diversity and inclusion efforts, consistent with the goals described in the Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity (NOT-OD-20-031).

NCCIH T32 Grant Eligibility for a Predoctoral or Postdoctoral Diversity Supplement

Prior to applying, grantees should contact their NCCIH program officer to confirm their eligibility to apply for this supplement program.

• The T32 grant must have at least 1 year of funding remaining at the time of the supplement award. T32 grants under a no-cost extension are not eligible for supplements, and supplements will not be awarded beyond the funded period of a parent T32. The minimum duration of the supplement is 1 year, the maximum duration is 3 years. The T32 grant must have enough active years of funding remaining on the parent award to cover the requested time frame of the supplemental award (e.g. if the T32 grant requests a 3 year supplement, there must be at least 3 years of funding remaining on the parent award). Postdoctoral trainees appointed through this supplement will incur a payback obligation for the first 12-mo of support as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, thus a minimum 2 yr supplement duration is recommended for postdoctoral candidates, or the PI should provide justification for how the payback obligation will be completed..

• All NCCIH-funded slots on the T32 grant must be filled at the time that the supplement request is submitted, with documentation submitted and accepted by NCCIH. In addition, there must be strong evidence that the T32 program has been following their Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity within the parent T32 award and that this supplement would be used to support an additional candidate from groups that underrepresented.

Individual Eligibility for a Supplementary Predoctoral or Postdoctoral Slot for Candidates from Diverse Backgrounds

• Predoctoral or postdoctoral candidates supported by this supplement must meet all of the administrative requirements for any trainee supported by a NRSA (e.g., citizenship requirements, payback obligation; please see FAQs at https://researchtraining.nih.gov/programs/training-grants for more information) and must meet the standards for prior training, experience, and commitment to research expected of any other trainee in the T32 grant proposing to support them.

• Candidates from diverse backgrounds, including those groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical behavioral and social sciences, are eligible for a supplementary slot. A signed statement from an institutional official establishing the eligibility of the candidate is required. The statement must include clearly presented information on citizenship of the candidate and a description of how the appointment of this specific candidate would further the goals of this supplemental funding opportunity, consistent with the Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity (NOT-OD-20-031).

• A T32 grant may not request a supplementary slot for an otherwise eligible predoctoral or postdoctoral trainee who is appointed to a regular slot on the parent T32 grant, or to another T32 at the same institution, at the time of submission.

• The training experience for the candidate must take place in the laboratory of a previously approved mentor in the T32 grant.

Instructions for Electronic Application Submission through Grants.gov: Use the “Apply” button(s) in Part I of the PA-20-272 program announcement to access the application forms package posted at Grants.gov.

Prepare applications using the SF424 (R&R) forms associated with the chosen package. Please note that some forms marked optional in the application package are required for submission of applications for this announcement. Follow all instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide to ensure you complete all appropriate required and optional forms, with the following additional guidance:

  • Documentation of the recent efforts of the T32 grant to recruit candidates from diverse backgrounds, including those groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical behavioral and social sciences (see NOT-OD-20-031) , and a description of the process by which this nominated candidate for a supplemental slot was identified and selected. (1 page limit)
  • A statement of the training plan for the candidate (prepared by the T32 PI). If the projected T32 appointment is expected for only 1 year, the applicant should provide a justification that the duration is appropriate and outline plans for the candidate to extend their training and complete their NRSA payback obligation if the T32 grant is not renewed. If longer than 1 year, the applicant should justify this according to the program’s normal appointment durations and the expected appointment times of the currently appointed trainees. (2 page limit)
  • A brief statement of the research plan for the candidate prepared jointly by the proposed T32 mentor and the candidate. In the case of a predoctoral candidate who will do lab rotations before choosing a mentor, the rotation scheme and timeline for choosing a mentor, and some potential research interests, should be identified. (2 page limit)
  • A brief statement from the candidate describing their career goals and future plans. (1 page limit)
  • Letter of Support: Include a letter, on institutional letterhead, signed by the T32 PI and the authorized institutional official, with a statement of the expected length of time needed for the supplement, as estimated by the expected tenures of trainees in the “regular” T32 slots. The letter should include a description of how the appointment of this candidate would further the goals of this supplemental funding opportunity, consistent with the Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity (NOT-OD-20-031).

Project/Performance Site Location form: Include the primary site where the proposed supplement activities will be performed.

Senior/Key Person form:

  • List the PD/PI as the first person (regardless of their role on the supplement activities).
  • List Senior/Key Personnel who will be serving as the candidate’s mentor.
  • List the candidate proposed to be added through this supplement.
  • Biographical sketch Senior/Key Personnel: Include a biographical sketch of the T32 PD/PI(s) and the proposed mentor.
  • Biographical sketch Candidate: Candidates should complete the Fellowship Biosketch to include scholastic performance (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms/biosketch.htm). The personal statement of the candidate’s biographical sketch should include a description of their research objectives and career goals, and why their experience and qualifications make them particularly well-suited to receive an NCCIH T32 supplement award. Relevant factors include previous training and research accomplishments in complementary and integrative health research and any source(s) of current funding.

Budget forms: Using the R&R budget form, only include funds requested for the additional supplement activities.

R&R Other Project Information form, Facilities and Other Resources attachment: Describe how the scientific environment in which the career development activities will be done contributes to the probability of the candidate’s success (e.g., institutional support, physical resources, and intellectual rapport).

These items are meant to document the suitability of the candidatefor a training position; therefore, they should be personalized for the individual being nominated. General descriptions of the selection process and research plan taken verbatim from the T32 application are not acceptable. Because NCCIH-funded T32 grants were found to be highly meritorious by peer review, the quality of the overall training program and the other mentors will not be reevaluated during the supplement review process. Therefore, detailed descriptions of the general training program and the biosketches of other T32 mentors should not be included in the supplement application.

Review Criteria

The supplement materials will be subject to administrative review by NCCIH extramural staff. Because NCCIH- funded T32 grants were found to be highly meritorious by peer review, the quality of the overall training program and the other mentors will not be re-evaluated during the supplement review process.

The candidate for this supplemental slot will be evaluated for: 1.) The quality of their academic record (if predoctoral) and prior research experience and productivity; and 2.) Their potential to develop as an independent and productive researcher in biomedical, behavioral, or clinical science, as demonstrated in the training plan. These two aspects should be of roughly the same quality as those of other trainees at the same level who were awarded T32 slots in a particular program. The overall individual training plan, including coursework, research experiences, and the opportunity to build career skills needed for independent research, will be evaluated for its ability to provide the candidate with opportunities to become part of the broader scientific community and develop into an independent and productive research scientist. The research plan will be evaluated for: 1.) Its fit with the mission priorities of NCCIH; 2.) Its fit with the candidate’s stated career goals and future plans; and 3.) Its consistency with the candidate’s stage of research development.

Additional Criteria for Selection

Due to budget constraints, only a very limited number of T32 supplemental slots for candidates from diverse backgrounds, including those groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social scienceswill be awarded in a given fiscal year. NCCIH program staff will evaluate the applications using the requested materials and evaluation process described above, in addition to the following criteria:

1. Are the program’s T32 slots consistently filled with high quality trainees?

2. Does the T32 grant have an outstanding overall record of training predoctoral and/or postdoctoral trainees for successful research careers?

3. Does the T32 grant have a history of strong, sustained, and creative efforts to recruit candidates from diverse backgrounds?

After review by NCCIH program staff, the T32 PI will be notified of the funding decision. If funding is approved, a supplemental Notice of Award will be issued by Grants Management. The supplemental slot will be administered in the same manner as other positions on the training grant.

Reporting Requirements

Progress for trainees supported via this mechanism must be reported in the same way as all other trainees in a Type 5 non-competing continuation application each year that the supplement is needed. The progress and plans of the candidate should be explained in a paragraph or two of text in the body of the progress report. The stipends for these slots should not be included in the budget pages for the Type 5 application because these funds will be awarded as a supplement each year. Instead, a separate budget page for the candidate should be included in the progress report. An individual supported by a supplemental slot must be included in the usual reporting tables required for renewal (Type 2) as well as non-competing continuation (Type 5) applications.

Description of circumstances for which administrative supplements are available.

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 Dates: January 3, 2022; July 1, 2022; January 2, 2023; July 3, 2023; January 2, 2024; July 1, 2024; by 5:00 pm local time of applicant organization
  • For funding consideration, applicants must include “NOT-AT-21-013” (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
  • Requests may be for a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 3 years, consisting of 12-month appointments (depending on the eligibility of the parent award). Supplements will not be awarded beyond the funded period of the parent T32 award.
  • Only existing NCCIH T32 recipients are eligible to apply for a supplement to support a new trainee.
  • A T32 program may only apply for one NCCIH T32 Diversity Supplement a year, and may only have up to 2 active NCCIH T32 Diversity Supplements at any given time.

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to:

Lanay Mudd, Ph.D.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Telephone: 301-594-9346
Email: Lanay.mudd@nih.gov