Notice of Revised Application Instructions for PAR-16-113 "MARC U-STAR (T34)"

Notice Number: NOT-GM-16-105

Key Dates
Release Date:   April 18, 2016

Related Announcements
PAR-16-113    

Issued by
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

Purpose

The purpose of this Notice is to provide revised application instructions for PAR-16-113 (MARC U-STAR) (T34). The revisions are as follows:

1. The Data Tables 2, 4, and 8D must be included under "Data Tables" rather than under "Other attachments".
2. The program evaluation plan requires that for renewals, the trainee outcomes should be included in the Progress Report section.
3. Applicants are referred to the Application Guide for the correct attachments on the PHS398 Research Training Program Plan Form. PAR-16-113 incorrectly suggested Background information should be provided in an attachment other than Program Plan.
4. It is clarified that if NIGMS' suggested formats for data are used as part of the Program Plan this information must be submitted as part of the Program Plan attachment.

Revised Instructions (included in the sections "Modified to read") are indicated by italicized text.

Current Language:

Part 2. Section IV.
2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Other Attachments.
Tables. MARC U-STAR is an institutional program and as such applicants must provide details about the institution and its setting. Such details may be described using the required Training Tables 2, 4 and 8D.
The following Tables are required and must be in the MARC USTAR application:
Training Table 2. Participating Faculty Members, Undergraduate Training
Training Table 4. Research Support of Participating Faculty Members and Undergraduate Training
Training Table 8D. Program Outcomes: Undergraduate

Advisory Committee Plan. A plan must be provided for the appointment of an Advisory Committee to monitor program and trainee progress. Composition, responsibilities, frequency of meetings, and other relevant information should be included. Describe the composition of the Advisory Committee, identifying the role and the desired expertise of members. For instance, a MARC U-STAR Advisory Committee might include a dean, chairpersons of participating MARC U-STAR departments, the MARC U-STAR PD(s)/PI(s), intramural research faculty mentors, extramural research faculty mentors from host institutions, NIH predoctoral T32 program director(s) within the local region, etc. Describe how the Advisory Committee will function in providing oversight of the development, implementation, and evaluation of recruitment strategies, the recruitment and retention of participants, and the evaluation of the overall effectiveness of the program. A plan for Advisory Committee selection and approval of MARC U-STAR participants should be included. Please name your file “Advisory_Committee.pdf”.

The filename provided for each “Other Attachment” will be the name used for the bookmark in the electronic application in eRA Commons.

Revised Language:

Part 2. Section IV.
2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Other Attachments.

Advisory Committee Plan. A plan must be provided for the appointment of an Advisory Committee to monitor program and trainee progress. Composition, responsibilities, frequency of meetings, and other relevant information should be included. Describe the composition of the Advisory Committee, identifying the role and the desired expertise of members. For instance, a MARC U-STAR Advisory Committee might include a dean, chairpersons of participating MARC U-STAR departments, the MARC U-STAR PD(s)/PI(s), intramural research faculty mentors, extramural research faculty mentors from host institutions, NIH predoctoral T32 program director(s) within the local region, etc. Describe how the Advisory Committee will function in providing oversight of the development, implementation, and evaluation of recruitment strategies, the recruitment and retention of participants, and the evaluation of the overall effectiveness of the program. A plan for Advisory Committee selection and approval of MARC U-STAR participants should be included. Please name your file “Advisory_Committee.pdf”.

The filename provided for each “Other Attachment” should be the name used for the bookmark in the electronic application in eRA Commons.

Current Language:

Part 2. Section IV
2. Content and Form of Application Submission.

PHS 398 Research Training Program Plan

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following additional modifications:

Training Program

Background
MARC U-STAR applications must describe the need for the proposed academic and research training program as well as the feasibility of success in the context of the institutional setting. NIGMS recognizes and values the heterogeneity in undergraduate institutional settings. Each application should emphasize the significant enrollment of underrepresented students as well as the unique environment and strengths of the institution. Applicants must provide their institution type according to the Carnegie Basic Classification system and describe their distinctive educational research environment. The institutional self-assessment should include baseline data regarding the student population, graduation rates, and relevant science programs. Specifically, applicants should provide information regarding STEM enrollments, graduate rates and subsequent completion of Ph.D. or combined M.D.-Ph.D. degrees for all students and for underrepresented students. Applicants may use suggested Tables A-C to provide the data to support the institutional self-assessment narrative; these suggested formats are found at the NIGMS TWD/MARC website.

The institutional assessment should inform the design of the MARC U-STAR program. After supplying the institutional baseline data as a starting metric, applicants should state the MARC U-STAR Program goals with respect to graduation rates, matriculation into biomedical Ph.D. graduate programs, and earned higher degrees, particularly doctoral degrees. In the following sections, the applicants should describe the feasibility of achieving the program goals in the institutional context

Program Plan

Program Evaluation.
MARC U-STAR applications must include a plan for self-assessment of the stated goals. The assessment of the goals should be conducted in the context of the baseline institutional data regarding graduation rates and successful matriculation and completion of Ph.D. programs. Additional metrics may be included (for example research experiences, program activities completed, publications, presentations at national meetings, and fellowships/honors). The plan should also describe a mechanism to obtain feedback from current and former trainees to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for program improvements.
Applicants with previous MARC U-STAR support should include a "Previous Program Outcome" section describing the past trainee outcomes and list the data in Table 8D. Applicants should provide an evaluation of the effectiveness of the supported training program in achieving the training objectives of the prior award period(s) for 5, 10, or 15 years as applicable. To facilitate the discussion of program outcomes, the applicants may use the suggested formats for tables found at the NIGMS TWD/MARC website (Tables D.1-D.3 and Table E).
Evaluation results should also be included in progress reports.

Revised Language:

Part 2. Section IV.
2. Content and Form of Application Submission

PHS 398 Research Training Program Plan

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following additional modifications:

Training Program

Program Plan

Background
MARC U-STAR applications must describe the need for the proposed academic and research training program as well as the feasibility of success in the context of the institutional setting. NIGMS recognizes and values the heterogeneity in undergraduate institutional settings. Each application should emphasize the significant enrollment of underrepresented students as well as the unique environment and strengths of the institution. Applicants must provide their institution type according to the Carnegie Basic Classification system and describe their distinctive educational research environment. The institutional self-assessment should include baseline data regarding the student population, graduation rates, and relevant science programs. Specifically, applicants should provide information regarding STEM enrollments, graduate rates and subsequent completion of Ph.D. or combined M.D.-Ph.D. degrees for all students and for underrepresented students. Applicants may use suggested Tables A-C, which must be uploaded as part of the Program Plan attachment, to provide the data to support the institutional self-assessment narrative; these suggested formats are found at the NIGMS TWD/MARC website. If you choose to use the formats (Tables A-C), they should be included in the body of the Background and count toward the page limit of the Program Plan attachment. 

The institutional assessment should inform the design of the MARC U-STAR program. After supplying the institutional baseline data as a starting metric, applicants should state the MARC U-STAR Program goals with respect to graduation rates, matriculation into biomedical Ph.D. graduate programs, and earned higher degrees, particularly doctoral degrees. In the following sections, the applicants should describe the feasibility of achieving the program goals in the institutional context

Program Evaluation.
MARC U-STAR applications must include a plan for self-assessment of the stated goals. The assessment of the goals should be conducted in the context of the baseline institutional data regarding graduation rates and successful matriculation and completion of Ph.D. programs. Additional metrics may be included (for example research experiences, program activities completed, publications, presentations at national meetings, and fellowships/honors). The plan should also describe a mechanism to obtain feedback from current and former trainees to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for program improvements.

Progress Report
Applicants should provide an evaluation of the effectiveness of the supported training program in achieving the training objectives of the prior award period(s) for 5, 10, or 15 years as applicable. To facilitate the discussion of program outcomes, the applicants may use the suggested formats for tables found at the NIGMS TWD/MARC website (Tables D.1-D.3 and Table E).

Data Tables
MARC U-STAR is an institutional program and as such applicants must provide details about the institution and its setting. Such details should be described using the required Training Tables 2, 4 and 8D (if applicable).

The following Tables are required for renewals:
Training Table 2. Participating Faculty Members, Undergraduate Training
Training Table 4. Research Support of Participating Faculty Members and Undergraduate Training
Training Table 8D. Program Outcomes: Undergraduate

The following Tables are required for new applications:
Training Table 2. Participating Faculty Members, Undergraduate Training
Training Table 4. Research Support of Participating Faculty Members and Undergraduate Training

Training Program
Background
MARC U-STAR applications must describe the need for the proposed academic and research training program as well as the feasibility of success in the context of the institutional setting. NIGMS recognizes and values the heterogeneity in undergraduate institutional settings. Each application should emphasize the significant enrollment of underrepresented students as well as the unique environment and strengths of the institution. Applicants must provide their institution type according to the Carnegie Basic Classification system and describe their distinctive educational research environment. The institutional self-assessment should include baseline data regarding the student population, graduation rates, and relevant science programs. Specifically, applicants should provide information regarding STEM enrollments, graduate rates and subsequent completion of Ph.D. or combined M.D.-Ph.D. degrees for all students and for underrepresented students. Applicants may use suggested Tables A-C to provide the data to support the institutional self-assessment narrative; these suggested formats are found at the NIGMS TWD/MARC website.
The institutional assessment should inform the design of the MARC U-STAR program. After supplying the institutional baseline data as a starting metric, applicants should state the MARC U-STAR Program goals with respect to graduation rates, matriculation into biomedical Ph.D. graduate programs, and earned higher degrees, particularly doctoral degrees. In the following sections, the applicants should describe the feasibility of achieving the program goals in the institutional context.
Program Plan
Program Administration.
Describe the acknowledged strengths, leadership and administrative skills, training experience, scientific expertise, and active research of the PD/PI. Relate these strengths to the proposed management of the training program. Describe the planned strategy and administrative structure to be used to oversee and monitor the program. If there are multiple PDs/PIs, then the plan for Program Administration is expected to synergize with the “Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan” section of the application.
If a program coordinator or administrator position is planned, a description of the person's administrative capabilities essential to coordinate the program must be included in the application.

All other aspects of this FOA are unchanged

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to: