Notice of Modifications to Instructions for Letters of Support in PAR-19-102 "Graduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement (RISE) (T32)"

Notice Number: NOT-GM-19-017

Key Dates
Release Date: January 22, 2019

Related Announcements

PAR-19-102

NOT-OD-19-056

Issued by
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

Purpose

The purpose of this Notice is to clarify that the information regarding an institutional commitment to ensuring that proper policies, procedures, and oversight are in place to prevent discriminatory harassment and other discriminatory practices should be included within the 10-page limit of the “Institutional Support Letter”.  A separate letter is not required. The signed letter should be on institutional letterhead from a President, Provost, Dean, or other key institutional leader with institution-wide responsibilities.  
 

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

Letters of Support

Current Language:

Institutional Support Letter (10-page maximum). The application must include a signed letter on institutional letterhead from a President, Provost, Dean, or similar 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. As applicable, the letter should address how the institution:  promotes a culture in which the highest standards of scientific rigor, reproducibility and responsible conduct are advanced; provides opportunities for early stage faculty and those with a hiatus in research support to participate in training; supports core facilities and technology resources that can be used to enhance training; provides adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources to the planned program; supports the PDs/PIs and other key staff associated with the planned training program; ensures that faculty have protected time available to devote to mentoring, training and research; fosters and rewards excellence in training and mentoring (for example, through institutional policies); provides support for remediation or removal of Participating Faculty who are poorly performing mentors; promotes diversity and inclusion at all levels of the research training environment (trainees, staff, faculty, and leadership); ensures that  the research and clinical facilities as well as the laboratory and clinical practices promote the safety of trainees; ensures that the research and clinical facilities are accessible to trainees with disabilities; promotes a positive, supportive and inclusive research, clinical and training environment for individuals from all backgrounds; ensures trainees access to student support services, such as such as health care, counseling services, and housing; ensures that trainees will continue to be supported when they transition from the training grant to other funding sources; and provides resources and expertise for evaluating the training outcomes of the program. For institutions that have multiple graduate training programs, the letter should also explain 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 both the proposed and existing programs. All information related to institutional support, as defined above, must be included within the 10-page limit of this letter.

Institutional Letter on Harassment Policies (see NOT-OD-19-029). Applications must include a signed letter on institutional letterhead from a President, Provost, Dean, Department Chair, or other key institutional leader that describes institutional commitment to the following areas:  

(i)    ensuring that proper policies, procedures, and oversight are in place to prevent discriminatory harassment and other discriminatory practices;  

(ii)   responding appropriately to allegations of discriminatory practices, including any required  
notifications to OCR (see NOT-OD-15-152); and

(iii)  adopting and following institutional procedure for requesting NIH prior approval of a change in the status of the Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) or other senior/key personnel if administrative or disciplinary action is taken that impacts the ability of the PD/PI or other key personnel to continue his/her role on the NIH award described in the training grant application (also see NOT-OD-18-172 regarding policy on change in PD/PI status).

This letter to ensure that proper policies, procedures, and oversight are in place to prevent discriminatory harassment and other discriminatory practices will be in addition to the content that is currently included in the Letters of Support describing the applicant institution's commitment to the planned program in order to ensure its success (e.g., providing facilities and a research environment conducive to preparing trainees for successful careers as biomedical research scientists; providing appropriate inter- or multidisciplinary research training opportunities and courses which will allow trainees to acquire state-of-the-art scientific knowledge). If this letter is not included, the application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.

Revised Language: 

Institutional Support Letter (10-page maximum). The application must include a signed letter on institutional letterhead from a President, Provost, Dean, or similar 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. As applicable, the letter should address how the institution:  promotes a culture in which the highest standards of scientific rigor, reproducibility and responsible conduct are advanced; provides opportunities for early stage faculty and those with a hiatus in research support to participate in training; supports core facilities and technology resources that can be used to enhance training; provides adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources to the planned program; supports the PDs/PIs and other key staff associated with the planned training program; ensures that faculty have protected time available to devote to mentoring, training and research; fosters and rewards excellence in training and mentoring (for example, through institutional policies); provides support for remediation or removal of Participating Faculty who are poorly performing mentors; promotes diversity and inclusion at all levels of the research training environment (trainees, staff, faculty, and leadership); ensures that  the research and clinical facilities as well as the laboratory and clinical practices promote the safety of trainees; ensures that the research and clinical facilities are accessible to trainees with disabilities; promotes a positive, supportive and inclusive research, clinical and training environment for individuals from all backgrounds; ensures 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 a change of PD/PI status; see NOT-OD-19-056); ensures trainees access to student support services, such as such as health care, counseling services, and housing; ensures that trainees will continue to be supported when they transition from the training grant to other funding sources; and provides resources and expertise for evaluating the training outcomes of the program. For institutions that have multiple graduate training programs, the letter should also explain 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 both the proposed and existing programs. All information related to institutional support, as defined above, must be included within the 10-page limit of this letter.

All of other aspects of this FOA remain the same.

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to:

Luis Cubano, Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Email: luis.cubano@nih.gov

Anissa J. Brown, Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Email: anissa.brown@nih.gov