Notice to Clarify the Participation of Foreign Scientists in PAR-17-340 "Collaborative Program Grant for Multidisciplinary Teams (RM1)"

Notice Number: NOT-GM-19-004

Key Dates
Release Date: October 23, 2018

Related Announcements
PAR-17-340

Issued by
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

Purpose

This Notice is to clarify the participation of scientists at foreign institutions in applications responding to PAR-17-340 “Collaborative Program Grants for Multidisciplinary Teams (RM1)”.  NIGMS values collaboration among scientists, including international collaborations when the unique expertise, facilities, or other resources at foreign institutions would contribute to the strength of the team science.  But for pragmatic administrative and financial reasons, the participation of foreign scientists in the program needs to be carefully managed. 

Effective immediately, the text of PAR-17-340 is modified to address the following points:

  • All the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) of the multiple PD/PI team must have appointments at domestic institutions.

  • Scientists at foreign institutions may be included in the team as collaborators/co-investigatorsconsultants or other significant contributors.

  • Work at foreign institutions can be supported with funds from the RM1 award budget through subcontracts, when such support is necessary and well justified.

  • Funds for travel for collaborative work may be requested. 

  • Funds may not be requested to support optional Early Stage Investigator (ESI) pilot projects at foreign institutions.

Part 2. Section III.1 Eligible Applicants

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

The application is required to be submitted as a multiple PD/PI application, with a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 PD/PIs. Visit the multiple PD/PI Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, and the Grant Policy Statement on Multiple Principal Investigators. Minimum allowed efforts by the PD/PIs are described in the R&R Budget instructions in Part 2. Section IV.2.

Any scientists with the interest and ability to develop a team science program to address an important research question is welcome to apply.  NIGMS encourages the participation of junior, early, and mid-career investigators as part of the multiple PD/PI team, with advising as appropriate.  ESIs and new investigators who participate as PD/PIs will lose their early stage status for future NIH applications, but ESI leads of pilot studies will not lose ESI status. PD/PIs who have an active NIGMS R35 award can participate as PD/PIs as part of the 51% effort on their current R35 award but may not receive additional funds from this award. Applicants with substantial unrestricted research support may receive funding from this award as their one NIGMS grant award, or may participate in an unfunded advisory or consulting role without loss of their ability to receive one funded NIGMS grant, consistent with NIGMS policies.

The application is required to be submitted as a multiple PD/PI application, with a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 PD/PIs, all of whom must have an appointment at a domestic institutionScientists employed solely by foreign institutions may not serve as one of the PD(s)/PI(s) of the multiple PD/PI team, although they may be included in the application as collaborators/co-investigatorsconsultants or other significant contributors . Visit the multiple PD/PI Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, and the Grant Policy Statement on Multiple Principal Investigators. Minimum allowed efforts by the PD/PIs are described in the R&R Budget instructions in Part 2. Section IV.2.

Any eligible scientists with the interest and ability to develop a team science program to address an important research question are welcome to apply.  NIGMS encourages the participation of junior, early, and mid-career investigators as part of the multiple PD/PI team, with advising as appropriate.  ESIs and new investigators who participate as PD/PIs will lose their early stage status for future NIH applications, but ESI leads of pilot studies will not lose ESI status. PD/PIs who have an active NIGMS R35 award can participate as PD/PIs as part of the 51% effort on their current R35 award but may not receive additional funds from this award. Applicants with substantial unrestricted research support may receive funding from this award as their one NIGMS grant award, or may participate in an unfunded advisory or consulting role without loss of their ability to receive one funded NIGMS grant, consistent with NIGMS policies.

Part 2. Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

Team Management and Optional Activities

Current language

Collaborative Program Grant applications may propose optional activities to support ESIs through a program of exploratory pilot study projects. If applicable, the exploratory pilots must start after the first year of the award and propose new approaches that are within the original scope of the grant. For an NIH definition of ESI please refer to the New Investigator Policy. If the application includes pilot studies directed by ESIs, plans must be included for selecting the projects and for leveraging existing resources for appropriate mentoring, including the effective conduct of multidisciplinary team science, as described in Part 2. Section IV.2. An expectation for any successful pilot projects program would be that it would lead to funding independence for the participating ESIs. This will be a criterion in a subsequent Renewal application to evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot program in meeting this goal. Note that pilot studies are an optional activity, are not required, and, if requested, must be extremely well justified.

Modified language in italics

Collaborative Program Grant applications may propose optional activities to support ESIs at domestic institutions through a program of exploratory pilot study projects. If applicable, the exploratory pilots must start after the first year of the award and propose new approaches that are within the original scope of the grant. For an NIH definition of ESI please refer to the New Investigator Policy. If the application includes pilot studies directed by ESIs, plans must be included for selecting the projects and for leveraging existing resources for appropriate mentoring, including the effective conduct of multidisciplinary team science, as described in Part 2. Section IV.2. An expectation for any successful pilot projects program would be that it would lead to funding independence for the participating ESIs. This will be a criterion in a subsequent Renewal application to evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot program in meeting this goal. Note that pilot studies are an optional activity, are not required, and, if requested, must be extremely well justified.

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

Budget

Current language

Optionally, in addition to the application research budget, applicants may request additional funds of up to $250,000 in direct costs, to support exploratory pilot studies for ESIs. Funds for exploratory pilot studies cannot be requested in the first year of the program and cannot overlap with ongoing funded projects. Pilot study leads must be independent ESIs, and pilot study support is limited to three years, non-renewable, for each individual ESI. Multiple pilot studies in parallel are allowed within the annual direct cost optional budget of $250,000. Pilot studies cannot provide direct funds for training or mentoring or for alterations and renovations. A unified application budget should be prepared that includes both the research budget and the optional activities budget.

Modified language in italics

Optionally, in addition to the application research budget, applicants may request additional funds of up to $250,000 in direct costs, to support exploratory pilot studies for ESIsfrom domestic institutions. Funds for exploratory pilot studies cannot be requested in the first year of the program and cannot overlap with ongoing funded projects. Pilot study leads must be independent ESIs, and pilot study support is limited to three years, non-renewable, for each individual ESI. Multiple pilot studies in parallel are allowed within the annual direct cost optional budget of $250,000. Pilot studies cannot provide direct funds for training or mentoring or for alterations and renovations. Funds may not be requested to support ESI pilot projects at foreign institutions. A unified application budget should be prepared that includes both the research budget and the optional activities budget.

All other aspects of this FOA remain the same.

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to:

Peter Preusch, Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Biophysics, Biomedical Technology, Computational Biosciences Division
Telephone:  301-594-1158
Email: preuschp@nigms.nih.gov