Notice of Modifications to Application Instructions in PAR-17-341 "National Institute of General Medical Sciences Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Predoctoral Institutional Research Training Grant (T32)"

Notice Number: NOT-GM-18-040

Key Dates
Release Date: August 23, 2018

Related Announcements
PAR-17-341

Issued by
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

Purpose

The purpose of this Notice is to revise the instructions for the Letters of Support and Appendix attachments in PAR-17-341 "National Institute of General Medical Sciences Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Predoctoral Institutional Research Training Grant (T32)".

The following is detailed information about the modifications.

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Current Language

Letters of Support

Institutional Support Letter. The application must include a signed letter on institutional letterhead from a President, Provost, Dean or key institutional leader that describes the activities and resources provided by the institution that will ensure the success of the planned training program and its trainees (not to exceed 10 pages).  Institutional commitment to the following areas should be described in the letter: developing and promoting a culture in which the highest standards of scientific rigor, reproducibility and responsible conduct are advanced; ensuring sufficient start-up funding to permit early stage faculty to participate in training, and bridge funding to ensure that training may continue if a mentor experiences a hiatus in funds; supporting core facilities and technology resources, and describing how they can be used to enhance training; providing adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources to the planned program; supporting the PDs/PIs and other key staff associated with the planned training program; ensuring faculty have protected time available to devote to mentoring, training and research; considering activities integral to excellent graduate training (such as teaching and mentorship) in tenure and promotion decisions; promoting diversity and inclusion at all levels of the research training environment (trainees, staff, faculty, and leadership); ensuring the research facilities and laboratory practices promote the safety of trainees; ensuring the research facilities are accessible to trainees with disabilities; ensuring a positive, supportive and inclusive research and training environment for individuals from all backgrounds; ensuring that trainees will continue to be supported when they transition from the training grant to other sources of support; and providing resources and expertise for evaluating the training outcomes of the program.  For institutions that have multiple NIGMS-funded predoctoral training grants, the letter should also explain what distinguishes the proposed program from existing ones at the same training level, how the programs will synergize and share resources when appropriate, and how the training faculty, pool of potential trainees, and resources are sufficiently robust to support the proposed program in addition to existing ones.

Revised Language: The instructions for this attachment are revised to clarify that all information regarding institutional support must be contained within the 10-page limit of the Institutional Support Letter. Applications that distribute this information among multiple letters will be considered non-compliant and will be withdrawn. Additionally, this section also now includes new instructions requesting information about institutional policies and procedures to prevent discriminatory harassment and appropriately respond to such allegations.

Letters of Support: Combine all Letters of Support into a single PDF file.

Institutional Support Letter. The application must include a signed letter on institutional letterhead from a President, Provost, Dean or key institutional leader that describes the activities and resources provided by the institution that will ensure the success of the planned training program and its trainees (not to exceed 10 pages).  Institutional commitment to the following areas should be described in the letter: developing and promoting a culture in which the highest standards of scientific rigor, reproducibility and responsible conduct are advanced; ensuring sufficient start-up funding to permit early stage faculty to participate in training, and bridge funding to ensure that training may continue if a mentor experiences a hiatus in funds; supporting core facilities and technology resources, and describing how they can be used to enhance training; providing adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources to the planned program; supporting the PDs/PIs and other key staff associated with the planned training program; ensuring faculty have protected time available to devote to mentoring, training and research; considering activities integral to excellent graduate training (such as teaching and mentorship) in tenure and promotion decisions; promoting diversity and inclusion at all levels of the research training environment (trainees, staff, faculty, and leadership); ensuring the research facilities and laboratory practices promote the safety of trainees; ensuring the research facilities are accessible to trainees with disabilities; ensuring a positive, supportive and inclusive research and training environment for individuals from all backgrounds; ensuring that proper policies, procedures, and oversight are in place to prevent discriminatory harassment and other discriminatory practices and to appropriately respond to allegations of such discriminatory practices, including providing any required notifications to NIH (e.g., requesting NIH’s prior approval of a change of PD/PI status; see NOT-OD-15-152 and NOT-OD-18-172); ensuring that trainees will continue to be supported when they transition from the training grant to other sources of support; and providing resources and expertise for evaluating the training outcomes of the program.  For institutions that have multiple NIGMS-funded predoctoral training grants, the letter should also explain what distinguishes the proposed program from existing ones at the same training level, how the programs will synergize and share resources when appropriate, and how the training faculty, pool of potential trainees, and resources are sufficiently robust to support the proposed program in addition to existing ones. All information related to institutional support, as defined above, must be included within the 10-page limit of this letter.

Other Letters of Support: Additional letters of support (such as those from internship sites) are permitted. However, these letters may not contain any information requested above in the Institutional Support Letter.

 

New Language Inserted into FOA

Data Tables: The application must include the required  Training Data Tables for new applications (Tables: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5A, 6A, 8A). Applications that do not contain these tables, or submit any additional tables in this attachment, will be considered noncompliant and will not be reviewed.

 

 

 

Current Language

Appendix

Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following additional instructions. The Appendix is meant to provide additional details to the following topics, but not meant to substitute for clear descriptions in the body of the application.  Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Do not include items other than the allowable materials described below, as doing so will result in administrative withdrawal of the application.  Name the file according to the headings below. A summary sheet listing all the items included in the Appendix may be included in the first Appendix attachment.

The following is required Appendix material:

  • Responsible Conduct of Research Syllabus. In addition to the Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research, the application must provide a syllabus for the course in the responsible conduct of research. 

The following are allowable Appendix materials: 

  • Courses, Electives and Training Activities. This section is intended to allow applicants to provide details for up to four additional courses, and training activities (e.g., syllabi for courses, mentor training materials, professional development workshops, career exploration opportunities, skills development activities).  
  • Evaluation and Assessment Instruments. This section is intended to allow applicants to provide blank surveys, rubrics, and/or forms used to (a) document and monitor trainee progress and (b) determine whether the training and research environment is effective, inclusive, and supportive.
  • Trainee Appointment Procedures (3 pages maximum).  This section is intended to allow applicants to provide appointment protocols or blank applications for trainees in the program.
  • Conflict Resolution Protocols (3 pages maximum).  This section is intended to allow applicants to provide detailed protocols for addressing problems with trainee and faculty matches, removal of faculty from the training program with unacceptable training/mentoring skills from as well as conflict resolutions for multi PD/PIs and mentor/mentee relationships.

Revised Language: The instructions for this attachment are revised to remove a comma in the specific instructions for the Courses, Electives and Training Activities appendix that caused confusion regarding the total number of materials that are permitted. The removal of the comma clarifies that a total of 4 items are allowed in this category.

Appendix

Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following additional instructions. The Appendix is meant to provide additional details to the following topics, but not meant to substitute for clear descriptions in the body of the application.  Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Do not include items other than the allowable materials described below, as doing so will result in administrative withdrawal of the application.  Name the file according to the headings below. A summary sheet listing all the items included in the Appendix may be included in the first Appendix attachment.

The following is required Appendix material:

  • Responsible Conduct of Research Syllabus. In addition to the Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research, the application must provide a syllabus for the course in the responsible conduct of research. 

The following are allowable Appendix materials: 

  • Courses, Electives and Training Activities. This section is intended to allow applicants to provide details for up to four additional courses and/or training activities (e.g., syllabi for courses, mentor training materials, professional development workshops, career exploration opportunities, skills development activities).  
  • Evaluation and Assessment Instruments. This section is intended to allow applicants to provide blank surveys, rubrics, and/or forms used to (a) document and monitor trainee progress and (b) determine whether the training and research environment is effective, inclusive, and supportive.
  • Trainee Appointment Procedures (3 pages maximum).  This section is intended to allow applicants to provide appointment protocols or blank applications for trainees in the program.
  • Conflict Resolution Protocols (3 pages maximum).  This section is intended to allow applicants to provide detailed protocols for addressing problems with trainee and faculty matches, removal of faculty from the training program with unacceptable training/mentoring skills from as well as conflict resolutions for multi PD/PIs and mentor/mentee relationships.

Applications that exceed the number of allowed appendices or the page limitation of any of the allowed materials will be considered noncompliant and will not be reviewed. 

All other aspects of this FOA remain the same.

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to:

Alison Gammie, Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Telephone: 301-594-3900 
Email: alison.gammie@nih.gov

Shiva Singh, Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Telephone: 301-594-3900 
Email: singhs@nigms.nih.gov