Notice to Clarify Eligibility Requirements of Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PDs/PIs) in PAR-16-438 "Support of Competitive Research (SCORE) Pilot Project Award (SC2)"

Notice Number: NOT-GM-18-044

Key Dates
Release Date: August 8, 2018

Related Announcements
PAR-16-438

Issued by
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

Purpose

The purpose of this Notice is to clarify the eligibility of Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PDs/PIs) in PAR-16-438 "Support of Competitive Research (SCORE) Pilot Project Award (SC2)” and collection information required to assess eligibility. The following sections of the FOA are revised accordingly:

Part 2. Section III.1 Eligible Applicants 

Current Language

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

Since the SC2 is a developmental award for an individual PD/PI, multiple PD(s)/PI(s) are not allowed.

An SC2 PD/PI must have a full-time regular faculty appointment at the applicant institution and be eligible to apply for an NIH R01 research grant. Applicants must be beginning their independent research career and must be applying for their first independent research award. They must commit a minimum of 50 percent of full time-effort, i.e., a total of 6 person months (typically 4.5 person-months during the academic year in a 9-month academic appointment and 1.5 person-months during the summer) to conduct the proposed research. The institution must provide assurances that the candidate will be able to devote the required effort developing his/her research project (a letter from the Chair of the PD/PI's department or Dean is required, see Part 2. Section IV.2 below).

Postdoctoral fellows, research or teaching instructors, research assistant professors, research scientists, other research appointments or appointments contingent on an individual securing his/her salary from grants, part time or adjunct faculty and faculty who have joint appointments in which one is at a research intensive institution are not eligible to apply for SCORE individual awards. Emeritus or distinguished/retired investigators/professors as well as individuals with a track record of research support, e.g. R01 or other research grant awards from federal or non-federal sources are considered to be fully developed and may not apply for this award. Current PD/PIs of R01 or of other investigator initiated federal or non-federal research awards or of program projects, center grants, cooperative agreements or other institutional research awards are ineligible to apply for/receive any of the SCORE awards. PD/PIs who transition to non-SCORE support while holding an active SC2 award are expected to complete this award, except when there is overlap with the other funded project. Once the SC2 award is completed, the PD/PI is no longer eligible to apply to SCORE. PD/PIs who have had independent research support are not eligible to apply for an SC2 award.

Investigators who have developmental/enhancement grant support with goals similar to SCORE are ineligible to apply for SC awards until the completion of these awards, i.e., SCORE awards are not intended to duplicate other individual or institutional developmental awards; these include K awards and research support provided as part of institutional centers, program projects, cooperative agreements such as from COBRE, INBRE, RCMI, BUILD, etc. An applicant may not be the PD/PI of any other SCORE or any other federal or non-federal investigator initiated research grant at the time an SC2 award is made. Concurrent or duplicate application to any of the SCORE mechanisms (SC1, SC2, or SC3) by a single PD/PI is not allowed. A PD/PI may only apply for/receive one SC award at a time.

SC2 awards may not be transferred from one PD/PI to another or from one institution to another.

 

Revised Language

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

Since the SC2 is a developmental award for an individual PD/PI, multiple PD(s)/PI(s) are not allowed.

An SC2 PD/PI must have a full-time regular faculty appointment at the applicant institution and be eligible to apply for an NIH R01 research grant. Applicants must be beginning their independent research career and must be applying for their first independent research award. They must commit a minimum of 50 percent of full time-effort, i.e., a total of 6 person months (typically 4.5 person-months during the academic year in a 9-month academic appointment and 1.5 person-months during the summer) to conduct the proposed research. The institution must provide assurances that the candidate will be able to devote the required effort developing his/her research project (a letter from the Chair of the PD/PI's department or Dean is required, see Part 2. Section IV.2 below).

 

Postdoctoral fellows, research or teaching instructors, research assistant professors, research scientists, other research appointments or appointments contingent on an individual securing his/her salary from grants, part time or adjunct faculty and faculty who have joint appointments in which one is at a research institution are not eligible to apply for SCORE individual awards. Emeritus or distinguished/retired investigators/professors are also not eligible for SCORE awards. 

Eligibility is limited to PDs/PIs who have not been or are not the PD/PI of an NIH research grant or other federal or non-federal research award with the following exception:

 
  • Investigators with other research development/enhancement grant support with goals similar to SCORE
  • These include K or equivalent awards and/or research support provided as part of institutional centers, program projects, or cooperative agreements such as from COBRE, INBRE, RCMI, BUILD, CRECD, CTSA, IDeA CTR, etc.
  • Such investigators are eligible to apply in the last year of these awards.
  • An SC2 award cannot be held concurrently with other developmental support.

Research grants that name the SC2 PD/PI as a co-investigator, collaborator, consultant, or to a position other than PD/PI do not disqualify the SC2 PD/PI from applying or receiving SCORE support.

Concurrent or duplicate application to any of the SCORE mechanisms (SC1, SC2, or SC3) by a single PD/PI is not allowed. A PD/PI may only apply for/receive one SC award at a time.

PD/PIs who transition to other non-SCORE research support while holding an active SC2 award are expected to complete this award, except when there is overlap with the other funded project. Once this SC2 award is completed, the PD/PI is no longer eligible to apply for any of the SCORE awards.

SC2 awards may not be transferred from one PD/PI to another or from one institution to another.

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

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

The following instruction is added to this form.

Current & Pending Support:  The application must include the following information about the PDs/PIs previous, current, and pending peer-reviewed support, including federal and non-federal grants, cooperative agreements and contracts that support an individual’s research endeavors:

  • Project Number
  • Source Title of Project (or Subproject)
  • Role on the Project
  • Dates of Approved/Proposed Project
  • Annual Direct Costs
  • Person Months (Cal/Academic/Summer)
  • Project Goals
  • Overlap

All other aspects of this FOA remain unchanged.

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to:

Hinda Zlotnik, Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Telephone: 301-594-2651
Email: zlotnikh@nigms.nih.gov