Notice to Clarify Eligibility Requirements of Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PDs/PIs) and Research Project Leaders in PAR-19-312 "Limited Competition: Renewal of Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) (Phase 2)"

Notice Number: NOT-GM-20-005

Key Dates
Release Date: November 06, 2019

Related Announcements
PAR-19-312

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) and Research Project Leaders in PAR-19-312 "Limited Competition: Renewal of Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) Phase 2 (P20 Clinical Trial Optional)". The following related sections of the FOA are revised accordingly:

Part 2. Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

Program Description and Requirements

Research Projects:
Current Language:

Research Project Leaders must hold a tenure-track faculty appointment (or equivalent at research institutes) at the time the application is submitted. A majority of the Research Project Leaders must hold such appointments at the institution submitting the application. Investigators holding tenure-track faculty appointments (or equivalent at research institutes) at other institutions in IDeA-eligible states may lead less than half of the total number of research projects. A majority of the Research Project Leaders must be junior investigators. Proposed Research Project Leaders who are established investigators must demonstrate a record of research productivity that contributes to the Center's strengthening and competitiveness. Individuals holding appointments that lack independent faculty status are not eligible to lead COBRE Research Projects.

Revised Language:

A Research Project Leader must be a faculty investigator the applicant institution(s) is committed to invest in and develop in the thematic area of the proposed COBRE and must hold a faculty appointment (or equivalent at a research institution) at the time the application is submitted. The Research Project Leader's home institution must demonstrate, in a letter(s) from the Dean, the Provost, or equivalent senior institutional official(s), a clear commitment to support a multi-year faculty appointment for the proposed Research Project Leader independent of the outcome of the COBRE grant application. Examples of strong institutional commitment include a start-up package provided by the institution and/or independent research space within the institution. This letter(s) is required for Research Project Leaders proposed in the COBRE application as well as for subsequent replacement Research Project Leaders. A majority of the Research Project Leaders must be junior investigators. Established investigators of any faculty rank who are making significant changes to their career goals by initiating new lines of research that are significantly different from their current investigative program may also serve as Research Project Leaders. However, they cannot make up the majority of the Research Project Leaders.

Part 2. Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Current Language:

The current COBRE Phase 1 PD(s)/PI(s) may continue to serve in this role for the Phase 2 Center, or a new PD(s)/PI(s) may be appointed. In either case, the PD(s)/PI(s) must be an established biomedical or behavioral research scientist who leads, as the principal investigator, at least one peer-reviewed research grant from NIH, NSF or other Federal or non-Federal sources that is closely related to the scientific theme of the proposed COBRE and has mentoring and administrative experience to lead the COBRE program to meet its goals. The PD/PI must be a full-time faculty member at the applicant institution at the time of application.

Revised Language:

The current COBRE Phase 1 PD(s)/PI(s) may continue to serve in this role for the Phase 2 Center, or a new PD(s)/PI(s) may be appointed. In either case, the PD(s)/PI(s) must be an established biomedical or behavioral research scientist, who leads, as the principal investigator, at least one active peer-reviewed research grant awarded to the applicant institution, from NIH, NSF or other Federal or non-Federal sources that is closely related to the scientific theme of the proposed Center. The PD(s)/PI(s) must have mentoring and administrative experience to lead the COBRE program and must be a faculty member at the applicant institution at the time of application.

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

Research Project

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Research Project)

Current Language:

Research Project Leaders must hold a tenure-track faculty appointment (or equivalent at research institutions) at the time the application is submitted. Individuals holding postdoctoral fellowships or other positions that lack independent faculty status are not eligible to lead COBRE research projects.

Revised Language :

Research Project Leaders must hold a faculty appointment (or equivalent at research institutions) at the time the application is submitted.

PHS 398 Research Plan (Research Project)

Letters of Support:

Current Language:

The applicant institution must demonstrate, in a letter(s) from the appropriate senior institutional official(s), a clear commitment to support the faculty appointment independent of the outcome of the COBRE grant application.

Revised Language:

The Research Project Leader's home institution must demonstrate in a letter(s) from the Dean, the Provost, or equivalent senior institutional official(s), a clear commitment to support a multi-year faculty appointment for the proposed Research Project Leader independent of the outcome of the COBRE grant application. Examples of strong institutional commitment include a start-up package provided by the institution and/or independent research space within the institution.

Part 2. Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

Post Award Program Requirements

Prior Approval of Pilot and Replacement Research Project

Replacement Research Project

Current Language:

External Advisory Committee approval - communication from the EAC chair (at a minimum) indicating that the EAC concurs with supporting the research or pilot project.

Revised Language:

External Advisory Committee approval – communication from EAC chair (at a minimum) indicating that the EAC concurs with supporting the Research Project. The Research Project Leader’s home institution must demonstrate in a letter(s) from the Dean, the Provost, or equivalent senior institutional official(s), a clear commitment to support a multi-year faculty appointment for the proposed Research Project Leader independent of the outcome of the COBRE grant application. Examples of strong institutional commitment include a start-up package provided by the institution and/or independent research space within the institution.

All other aspects of this FOA remain the same.

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to:

Behrous Davani, PhD
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Email: behrous.davani@nih.gov