Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Competitive Revisions to Develop a National Data Driven Action Plan to Advance Diversity and Inclusion in the Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research Workforce (R25, T32, T90, and UE5)
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

February 1, 2022

First Available Due Date:
May 02, 2022
Expiration Date:
May 03, 2022

Related Announcements

PA-20-163 - Competing Revisions to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Clinical Trial Optional)

Issued by

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)


This Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) invites competitive revision applications to develop a strategic framework and action plan for advancing diversity, and inclusion (D&I) in the dental, oral, and craniofacial (DOC) research workforce, including a focus on dentist scientist career pathways. It is expected that this framework will be developed by a broad range of stakeholders to provide the foundation for a comprehensive action plan with bold, innovative, and visionary recommendations aimed at achieving D&I in the DOC community. The parent activity code of an active award must be an NIDCR funded R25, T32, T90 or UE5.


NIDCR is committed to developing a diverse and inclusive DOC research workforce that reflects the diversity of the nation (see NIH’s Interest in Diversity) and through trans-NIH and NIDCR specific programs, provides a broad range of opportunities to engage, recruit and retain students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty in DOC research (see Diversity at NIDCR). NIDCR is uniquely focused on increasing the diversity of the dentist scientist research workforce, especially on the diversity and inclusion of individuals entering dental schools who have career interests in applying their clinical knowledge to improving DOC health through research.

A comprehensive strategic framework for enhancing D&I in the DOC research workforce, especially the dentist scientist research workforce, is expected to identify barriers to D&I and describe best practices for enhancing D&I, and to offer potential interventions aimed at promoting entry and retention of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including groups underrepresented in DOC research. A data-driven action plan, as part of the strategic framework, may identify new innovative approaches, or may recommend expanding programs by integrating, complementing, or coordinating with existing NIDCR, NIH or other federal or non-federal programs.

Through the process of developing this framework, NIDCR is seeking active participation of all stakeholders. Senior DOC researchers, faculty and mentors play key roles in enhancing diversity in their organizations and in NIDCR supported programs. Professional organizations and associations have the potential to organize and support scientific research areas, and to provide programs that engage, train, and support a diverse research workforce at multiple career levels.

Program Objectives

This NOSI is intended to engage a broad group of stakeholders to develop a data driven strategic framework and action plan to guide the DOC research community in developing future programs, collaborations, and best practices to enhance D&I in the dentist-scientist DOC research community. This framework should be informed by the current landscape of programs focused on enhancing D&I in dental schools or in DOC research, should describe past successes and areas for development, and identify opportunities for future D&I programs and potential barriers for developing new programs or expanding existing programs.

Applicants are expected to assemble a working group that involves individuals who represent different types of academic institutions, research and professional societies, education associations and industry partners. Academic institution stakeholders should represent educational organizations from high schools and community colleges to institutions that serve minority populations, four-year colleges, universities, and dental schools. It is anticipated that the framework will be developed by, and incorporate input from, individuals with expertise in the spectrum of dental, oral, and craniofacial research areas; D&I programs; culturally appropriate mentoring; behavioral and social science approaches to enhance D&I; and in outreach and communication strategies, including effective strategies to engage high school students through postbaccalaureate trainees. In addition, individuals with proficiency in program evaluation, evaluation metrics, and data analytics are expected to contribute to a data driven framework design.

Potential research areas include, but are not limited to analysis of:

  • The availability, use, and effectiveness of DOC related summer research experience programs or part-time research program throughout the academic year for high school and undergraduate students from groups underrepresented in research (see Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity for examples of groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences).
  • The availability, use, and effectiveness of DOC research related pathway programs for individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups focused on successful transitions from:
  1. high school to community college and/or to bachelor’s degree STEM programs
  2. bachelor’s degree programs to dental schools with research tracks or dual degree DDS/DMD-PhD programs
  3. bachelor’s degree program to postbaccalaureate DOC research experience programs
  4. postbaccalaureate research experience programs to PhD DOC research programs or to dental schools with research tracks, or dual degree DDS/DMD-PhD programs
  • Stakeholder D&I programs supported by DOC related professional societies, associations, and industry partners
  • Research capacity in dental schools and dental-related academic institutions or organizations.

It is anticipated that this program will generate

  • Data based, landscape analysis of current programs to advance D&I in the National DOC research workforce, including a focus on dentist scientists and researchers and research capacity at dental schools and dental-related academic institutions or organizations. This should be inclusive of both NIDCR supported research and non-NIDCR supported DOC research. The analyses should describe best practices, and incorporate examples of successful D&I programs and areas for development.                                                                                                                    
  • Evidence-based recommendations and action items that would address gaps in advancing D&I in the DOC research workforce and identify program/activities that would advance D&I in the DOC community. These should include opportunities for collaborations, such as NIDCR-external stakeholder partnerships, and recommendations focused on advancing D&I in dental schools, along with possibilities for incorporating a research track into dentistry training programs.
  • Recommendations for monitoring progress and evaluation of D&I programs

While the working group should consider all career stages, particular emphasis should be placed on encouraging diverse college-aged students to apply to dental programs on a research track. For the purposes of this program, D&I should be defined broadly using NIH’s Interest in Diversity as a foundation and consider other groups who have been shown to be underrepresented in the DOC research workforce.

Application and Submission Information

Revision applications can support a significant expansion of the scope approved and funded for the “parent” award on which the revision application is based. Prospective investigators are encouraged to consult the NIDCR in advance to ensure that projects will considerably contribute to achieving the goal of this Notice.

Applications must be submitted to PA-20-163. All instructions in the Research (R) instructions of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and PA-20-163 must be followed, with the following additions:

The budget may not exceed $200,000 direct costs, per year.

The project and budget periods must be within the currently approved project period of the existing parent award. Applicants may request up to two years of support. The parent award must have a minimum of two years remaining within the current project period at the time of application submission.

For funding consideration, applicants must include “NOT-DE-21-018” (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (Box 4B) of the SF424 R&R form. Applications without this identifier in Box 4B will not be considered for this special initiative.

Applications for revisions in response to this Notice must be submitted by May 2, 2022, by 5pm at the local time of the applicant organization.

Other Award Budget Information

Personnel Costs

Individuals designing, directing, and implementing the program may request salary and fringe benefits appropriate for the person months devoted to the program. Salaries requested may not exceed the levels commensurate with the institution's policy for similar positions and may not exceed the congressionally mandated cap.

Administrative and clerical salary costs distinctly associated with the program that are not normally provided by the applicant organization may be direct charges to the grant only when specifically identified and justified. Salary support for the PD/PI or multiple PDs/PIs directly associated with directing, coordinating, administering, and implementing the program should be well-justified, and reasonable.

Program coordinators are allowed as long as their role is clearly defined and significantly different from the roles of the PD(s)/PI(s). The duties and responsibilities of the program coordinators, with strong justification, must be included in the budget justification

Total personnel costs may not exceed 25% of the total direct costs in any year (not including consultant fees associated with program faculty outside of the grantee institution).

Other Program-Related Expenses

Consultant costs, equipment, supplies, travel for key persons and consultants, and other program-related expenses, including facilities rental and teleconferencing, may be included in the proposed budget. These expenses must be justified as specifically required by the proposed program and must not duplicate items generally available at the applicant institution.

PHS 398 Research Plan FORM

Research Plan

The Research Strategy section must be used to upload a Program Plan, which must include the following components described below:

  • Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s)
  • Working Group
  • Approach
  • Institutional Environment and Commitment

The Program Plan is limited to 12 pages.

Program Director/Principal Investigator

Describe arrangements for administration of the program. Provide evidence that the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) has ability and experience to lead strategic planning efforts. Demonstrate that the PD(s)PI(s) can obtain access to national datasets to inform analyses of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the United States dental, oral, and craniofacial research workforce. Illustrate how the PD(s)/PI(s) has a strong track record as a leader, educator and/or mentor. Discuss the PD/PI’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the DOC research workforce. If more than one PD/PIs is proposed, describe their individual roles and complementary areas of expertise. Discuss procedures in place to resolve any potential conflicts. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are strongly encouraged to work with their organizations to apply for NIH support (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).

Working Group

Describe qualifications of proposed working group members or strategies to identify and recruit individuals for this group. Working group membership should represent experienced, dental, oral, and craniofacial researchers, as well as experts in D&I, mentoring, behavioral and social science, evaluation of programs, data analytics, and in outreach and communications. It is encouraged for the working group to involve and include a range of stakeholder organizations, such as academic institutions, professional and research societies, other education associations, and industry.

Describe the structure of the working group, including frequency of meetings, roles, and responsibilities of members. Provide evidence that the working group can develop comprehensive strategies to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the DOC research workforce.

Individuals from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as PD(s)/PI(s) and working group members.


Present a detailed plan for designing a strategic framework to guide the DOC research community's efforts to advance D&I in the United States dental, oral, and craniofacial research workforce.

Describe datasets that will be used to conduct landscape analyses of current D&I in the DOC research workforce. Provide a strategy for designing a comprehensive landscape analyses of D&I in the dentist scientist research workforce. Discuss how research capacity at dental schools and dental-related institutions and organizations will be measured.

Discuss process by which the working groupwill develop recommendations to advance D&I in the DOC research community. Recommendations may include novel programs or approaches to leverage existing D&I programs sponsored by NIH or external organizations, such as universities or private foundations. Emphasis should be placed on methods to encourage individuals from underrepresented groups to enter dental school programs on a research track and strategies to sustain continuation of these individuals along DOC research pathways.

The working group should develop standardized metrics for evaluation of proposed and future D&I initiatives. Discuss how the working group activities will identify characteristics of successful D&I programs, gaps and opportunities, and best practices for recruiting and sustainingindividuals from underrepresented groups in pathways to dental school and DOC research.

Provide a timeline for working group activities and the production of content, including the landscape analyses, recommendations for the DOC research community's D&I efforts, and evaluation plans.

Institutional Environment and Commitment

Describe the institutional environment, reiterating the availability of facilities and educational resources (described separately under “Facilities & Other Resources”), that will contribute to the planned Program. Evidence of institutional commitment to the program is required. A letter of institutional commitment must be attached as part of Letters of Support. Appropriate institutional commitment should include the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned program.

If some of the program activities will take place in partnership with other institutions, provide a brief overview of the resources available for the anticipated activities and include letters of support from participating institutions.

Letters of Support

A letter of institutional commitment must be attached as part of Letters of Support (see section above: “Institutional Environment and Commitment”). Letters of support should also be provided by any institutions contributing to program activities. Both letters of support and biosketches should be provided by individuals who have been identified and will contribute their expertise to the development of the proposed strategic framework, including proposed working group members. The personal statement in the biosketch should reflect the individual’s role and contributing expertise and experience.

Application Review Information

Review Criteria

The following review criteria will apply to all applications submitted in response to this NOSI. Applications submitted to the NIH in support of the NIH mission are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

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.


  • Is there convincing evidence that the proposed program will significantly advance the stated goal of the program?
  • Are the proposed sources of data appropriate for achieving the program goals?


  • Is the PD/PI or PD(s)/PI(s) capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program?
  • If more than one PD/PI is proposed, are their individual roles/contributions clearly described? Do the investigators have complementary expertise? Are their procedures in place to resolve conflicts?
  • Is there evidence that an appropriate level of effort will be devoted by the program leadership to ensure the program's intended goals are accomplished?
  • Is the caliber of program leadership and participating working group members, in terms of their research expertise, independent research funding, record of mentorship, and research education leadership in the areas of the proposed program, appropriate for their roles on the project?
  • If applicable, do the named working group members have appropriate expertise to achieve program objectives?


  • Where appropriate, is the proposed program developing or utilizing innovative approaches and latest best practices to advance diversity equity and inclusion in the dental, oral, and craniofacial research workforce?


  • Are the proposed program goals and objectives clearly stated, including, the content to be developed, and the intended outcome?
  • Is there evidence that the program is based on sound rationale and will use a data driven approach?
  • Is the plan for selection of working group members likely to result in a team with appropriate expertise that represents a broad range of stakeholders?
  • Is the timeline for achieving program goals feasible?
  • Is the plan for developing evaluation metrics sound and likely to provide information on the effectiveness of future D&I programs in the DOC research community?


  • Is there tangible evidence of institutional commitment?
  • Are adequate plans provided for coordination and communication among multiple sites (if appropriate)? Are the facilities, environment, and resources adequate for the proposed program?

AdditionalReview Criteria


For Revisions, the committee will consider the appropriateness of the proposed expansion of the scope of the project.

Applications nonresponsive to terms of this NOSI will not be considered for the NOSI initiative.


Please direct all inquiries to the contacts in Section VII of the listed funding opportunity announcements with the following additions/substitutions:

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Leslie A. Frieden, PhD
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Telephone: 301-496-4263

Peer Review Contact(s)

Yasaman Shirazi, Ph.D.
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Telephone: 301-594-5593

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Diana Rutberg, M.B.A.
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Telephone: 301-594-4798

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