Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): KC Donnelly Externship (Admin Supp Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

December 2, 2021

First Available Due Date:
February 28, 2022
Expiration Date:
November 17, 2023 as per NOT-ES-24-001

Related Announcements

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

Issued by

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)


The purpose of this supplement is to provide support for successful applicants for translational/transdisciplinary opportunities and experiences within other Superfund Research Program-funded centers, government laboratories, or other agencies (state, local, Tribal).


The NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) established an honorary supplemental award in memory of K.C. Donnelly, Ph.D., a longtime SRP grantee who worked tirelessly to improve the understanding of environmental exposure and genotoxicity of complex chemical mixtures. Dr. Donnelly passed away on July 1, 2009. He was a dedicated mentor to his students and postdoctoral researchers, instilling in them the importance of applying their knowledge and findings to improve the health of communities exposed to environmental contaminants. To learn more about his SRP-sponsored research at Texas A&M University, please refer to his SRP profile webpage.

The purpose of these KC Donnelly Externship Administrative Supplements is to provide current SRP-funded graduate students and post-doctoral researchers with translational/transdisciplinary opportunities and experiences within other SRP-funded grants (e.g., P42, R01, SBIR, R25, etc.), government laboratories (e.g., US EPA, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), NIEHS), or other agencies (state, local, Tribal).

Examples of these types of externship experiences include, but are not limited to:

  • A graduate student performing laboratory research would like to learn a novel analytical technique at another SRP funded center to enhance their research project.
  • A post-doctoral researcher conducting epidemiology research would like to understand how their results may apply to risk assessment at a federal agency.
  • A graduate student conducting remediation research would like to participate in a community engagement activity at another SRP funded center.

Successful applicants are invited to present their results at the subsequent SRP Annual Meeting.

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:

  • Applications may be submitted 30 days prior to the due date. Application Due Dates - February 28, 2022; February 28, 2023; February 28, 2024 (5:00 PM local time of the applicant organization). Applications received after this time will not be considered.
  • For funding consideration, applicants must include "NOT-ES-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.
  • Requests may be for one year of support only. The earliest anticipated start date is June 1.
  • Only existing awardees of the NIEHS Superfund Research Program are eligible to apply. Grants in a no cost extension are not eligible to submit applications to this announcement.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to notify the program contact at NIEHS one month prior to submission due date of this FOA in in order to facilitate efficient processing of the request.


To be eligible, an applicant must be: A graduate student (Master's or Ph.D.) or a postdoctoral researcher (status for graduate and postdoctoral researchers must be maintained for the duration of externship); conducting research/activities in any SRP R01 grant or project/core within an SRP P42 Center.

All supplement applications must contain the following:

  • Project Description (abstract).
  • A Research Strategy (limited to 6 pages). The Research Strategy should include:
    • A brief summary of the applicant's current research in the context of the currently funded SRP Project (limited to 1 paragraph).
    • A description of the proposed externship project, the project’s objectives (divided into specific aims), how the proposed project will enhance the applicant's current research (limited to 2 pages)
    • A clear description of how the translational/transdisciplinary opportunity is within the scope of the parent grant (limited to 1 paragraph).
    • A description of how this supplement will enhance the applicant’s skills, knowledge, and professional goals; as well as anticipated outcomes of the externship (e.g., publication, new protocols, new tools and technologies, techniques learned, etc.) (limited to 2 pages).
    • A description of the mentorship plan during the externship period (e.g., frequency of communication among the applicant, the applicant’s mentor, and the hosting mentor; limited to 1 page).
    • A timeline (generally a small table noting the duration of the project, including activities undertaken before, during, and after the actual externship period). Please include in the timeline participation in the subsequent year's SRP Annual Meeting.

The extern candidate is encouraged to write the Research Strategy.

  • References Cited (if applicable).
  • NIH Biosketch. Graduate students are encouraged to complete the "Scholastic Performance" section, in Part D of the Biosketch.
  • Letters of Support, which should include signed statements from the Principal Investigators from the parent institution and from the hosting institution where the project is to be conducted, establishing the eligibility of the candidate for support by this supplement. These statements should indicate 1) The capacity/duration for which applicant has been known by referrer. 2) The applicant's ability to perform the proposed externship - in particular, how the externship relates to and will further the student/postdoctoral researcher's academic/professional goals; the quality of his/her current work. 3) Likelihood of a productive externship. It is also recommended that the mentor letters provide insight into their mentoring plan.

Award Budget

All budgets should be submitted using the R&R Detailed Budget form, regardless of the form used for the parent award, and should only include funds requested for the additional supplement activities. Justification for the requested budget must be provided. Applicants can request support for up to three (3) months consisting of expenses associated with the externship (e.g., supplies, travel, and housing costs for the duration of the externship). The total direct costs are not to exceed $10,000. Applicants should include travel funds to attend the subsequent year’s SRP Annual Meeting where the recipient is invited to present their research (e.g., if applying in 2022, include travel in budget for the 2023 meeting). Note: Laptops and computers cannot be purchased with supplement money.

Other Content and Form of Application:

Other sections should also be included if they are modified by the proposed supplement activities. In particular, changes to Protections of Human Subjects, Inclusion of Women Minorities and Children, Vertebrate Animal Welfare, Biohazards, and Resource Sharing Plan necessitate the addition of the completed relevant sections of the application. If additional human subjects or vertebrate animals will be added to the already existing human subject or vertebrate animal studies in the parent grant or by the hosting institution, applicants and PIs should notify their PO prior to submission of the application. If applicable, the applicant should state if human subjects research will be conducted as a part of this application and provide a description of the aspects of the study that will require human subjects. The applicant should provide documentation regarding the Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval date for the application and documentation showing that required training for conducting human subjects research has been completed. If the applicant is using human biospecimens (including cells) but believes it is not considered Human Subjects research, a justification is required as to why it should not be considered as such. For more information about what constitutes a study with human subjects, please see: Protection of Human Subjects. Any studies with the use of additional animal models (i.e., beyond those used in the parent grant) should have the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval number and date of study approval listed in this section and provide a description of the aspects of the study that will require animals. The applicant should state that required training for conducting animal research has been completed (i.e., provide date of completion).

Letter of Intent

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows IC staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review. One month before the application due date listed in Application and Submission Information, prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent to the program contact and the applicant's parent grant program administrator that includes the following information:

  1. Name and school of applicant
  2. Phone number and email of applicant
  3. Title and grant number of the parent grant
  4. Proposed hosting institution, hosting mentor,and hosting mentor's affiliation with either a Superfund Research Program-funded grant, government laboratory, or a state, local, or Tribal agency
  5. Brief description of proposed project and project objectives

The letter of intent should be sent by email to:
Brittany A. Trottier


Telephone: 984-287-3331

Review and Selection Process

SRP will conduct administrative reviews of applications and will support the most meritorious applications submitted for consideration, based upon availability of funds. Additionally, Program staff will evaluate application using the following selection factors:

  • Evidence that the proposed translational/transdisciplinary opportunity will enhance the graduate student/post-doctoral researcher's current research/activities and will benefit the applicant's professional development.
  • Evidence that the proposed experience will enhance the knowledge, and/or skills of the candidate, and that the candidate will play an integral role in the activities of the project.
  • Likelihood of success:
    • The qualifications of the graduate student/post-doctoral researcher, including career goals, prior research training, research potential, and any relevant experience.
    • Evidence of interest in environmental health sciences.
    • A feasible plan and timeline for the research and career development experiences proposed by the candidate.
  • Evidence that adequate mentorship will be provided to the graduate student/post-doctoral researcher (i.e., letters from the Principal Investigator and any other mentors involved in the proposed externship opportunity and indicated in the mentorship plan).
  • Evidence that if the study involves human subjects and/or an NIH-defined clinical research, that the plans to address the following are justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed in the application:
    1. The protection of human subjects from research risks, and
    2. Inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of children.
  • Evidence that if the application involves vertebrate animals, that the plans to address the following are justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed in the application:
    1. The proposed use of the animals, and species, strains, ages, sex, and numbers to be used;
    2. Justification for the use of animals and for the appropriateness of the species and numbers proposed;
    3. Procedures for limiting discomfort, distress, pain and injury to that which is unavoidable in the conduct of scientifically sound research; and
    4. Methods of euthanasia.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Program Contact

Brittany Trottier
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Telephone: 984-287-3331

Grants Management Contact

Jenny Greer
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Phone: 984-287-3332