Notice of Special Interest: Administrative Supplement for the NINDS Research Education Program for Residents and Fellows in Neurology, Neurosurgery, Neuropathology, Neuroradiology and Emergency Medicine (Admin Supp)
Notice Number:
NOT-NS-20-038

Key Dates

Release Date:

September 11, 2020

First Available Due Date:
October 15, 2020
Expiration Date:
October 30, 2022

Related Announcements

PAR-13-384 - NINDS Research Education Programs for Residents and Fellows in Neurology, Neurosurgery, Neuropathology, Neuroradiology and Emergency Medicine (R25)

PAR-18-346 - NINDS Research Education Programs for Residents and Fellows in Neurological Disorders and Stroke (R25 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

PA-18-591 Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional)

NOT-OD-20-128 - Notice of Requirement for Electronic Submission of all Administrative Supplements

Issued by

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Purpose

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) announces the availability of Administrative Supplements for the NINDS Research Education Program for Residents and Fellows in Neurology, Neurosurgery, Neuropathology, Neuroradiology and Emergency Medicine (R25 awards made in response to PAR-13-384, PAR-18-346) and subsequent reissuances.

The goal of this NINDS R25 program is to facilitate the ability of dedicated, outstanding physician scientists in the named specialties to develop into independently funded researchers who will conduct highly impactful research within the NINDS mission. The purpose of administrative supplements to the NINDS Research Education R25 Program is to support additional residents and fellows in neurology, neurosurgery, neuroradiology, neuropathology, emergency medicine or other related specialties to develop a research project, and receive the education necessary, for them to obtain individual mentored career development (K) awards. All research areas within the NINDS mission, including basic, clinical and translational approaches, are eligible for support.

All research education plans, and associated research projects, including basic, clinical and translational, should adhere to best practices of experimental design, statistical treatment of data and rigor (see NOT-OD-15-103 and the guidance and resources in the NIH Rigor and Reproducibility statement).

Participant Support

Supplemental support for R25 programs may be requested for either a resident or a fellow. In order for a fellow to be supported, however, he/she must have been funded by this R25 mechanism for a minimum of 6 months during residency. Supplemental support occurs in increments. Each increment (or period) of funding occurs between July 1 and June 30, in order to coincide with clinical schedules.

The first increment of funding, which must occur during residency, may be for 6 to 12 months in duration, with at least 6 months being contiguous.

A second increment of funding may be requested for support during a second residency year or during a fellowship year. The duration of the second period of support, combined with the duration of the first period of support, must total a minimum of 18 months.

A third and final increment of support may be requested for an additional fellowship year. Thus, up to 24 months of support may be obtained during fellowship years (up to 60 months for those enrolled in a Ph.D.-granting program). However, to obtain more than 18 months of post-residency (or post-first increment) support by this R25 program, participants must submit a high quality individual mentored K award application within the first 18 months of post-residency support (within the first 30 months for those enrolled in a Ph.D.-granting program).

For example, a typical, but not required, support path for a neurologist might be 6 months during residency, then 12 months during a first fellowship year and 12 months during a second fellowship year. However, the last 6 months of support during this example 30-month path would be contingent on submission of a high quality, individual mentored K award application during the first 18 months of post-residency R25 support.


During any supported period, participants must devote 80% of full-time professional effort (e.g. during a 6-month support period, this would equal 4.8 person months, during a 12 month supported period, this would equal 9.6 person months etc.) to this research education program. This 80% commitment by the participant should occupy 4 full, uninterrupted days during the Monday through Friday workweek. Supported time during residency should include at least one block of time with a minimum continuous duration of 6 months. Support during residency may occur during a single Post-Graduate Year (PGY) or in a contiguous period split between two PGY years. This 80% effort requirement also applies to neurosurgery residents. However, neurosurgeons may reduce their effort to a minimum of 6 person-months (50%) full-time professional effort to the program after having had a total of 12 months of R25 support at 80% effort. This is consistent with the Career Development (K) award accommodation that allows neurosurgeons to devote a minimum of 50% of full-time professional effort to research while supported by a K award.


A one to two-year gap in time between the support during residency and support during fellowship is acceptable if the gap is required to obtain clinical fellowship training. However, research activity between a second and third period of support must be continuous (no gap is allowed). Whereas the R25 is intended to support fellows and not faculty, funds may be used for those in faculty positions when the faculty position immediately follows an R25 fellowship year. However, even if in a faculty position, the R25 will provide a PGY 7 level of salary support (the 80% effort requirement [see above] will remain and any salary differential between the PGY 7 salary and the faculty level salary will be expected to be made up by the institution).


In addition to the on-site research education participants will receive, they are expected to attend national and/or international meetings to present their work and network with other researchers in their fields. In addition, participants are expected to attend a special NINDS workshop designed for this program once for each period of funding that they receive. Attendance at the annual meeting is expected to occur during each funded R25 year, but under rare and exceptional circumstances that involve health-related issues or unavoidable conflicts, participants may request approval from the NINDS Director of Training and Workforce Development to attend in a different year.

Participant enrollment in a Ph.D.-granting program
Participants who have a clinical doctorate, but not a research doctorate, may wish to enroll in a Ph.D.-granting program during the R25 period. Whereas clinicians can obtain outstanding research education and experiences without a research doctorate, obtaining the research doctorate can provide educational opportunities, as well as outstanding research skills, not easily obtained without one. Participants may be supported if simultaneously enrolled in a Ph.D.-granting program as long as the goals, research and educational activities of the two programs are overlapping, and the goals of the R25 research education program are met. Participants simultaneously enrolled in a Ph.D.-granting program may be supported for up to 5 years post-residency. As with all participants, support is provided on a yearly basis contingent on appropriate progress. To obtain this benefit, participants must be enrolled in the Ph.D.-granting program by the start of the first fellowship year.

Eligibility

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal investigator)

Individual(s) must hold an active NINDS-funded R25 grant, associated with the NINDS Research Education Programs for Residents and Fellows in Neurology, Neurosurgery, Neuropathology, Neuroradiology and Emergency Medicine (PAR-13-384, PAR-18-346 and its reissuance), and the research proposed in the supplement must be accomplished within the competitive segment of the active award. Individuals are encouraged to work with their organizations to develop applications for support.

For supplements to the NINDS-funded R25 grant that include multiple PDs/PIs, the supplement may be requested by any or all of the PDs/PIs (in accordance with the existing leadership plan) and submitted by the awardee institution of the parent award. Do not use this administrative supplement application to add, delete, or change the PDs/PIs listed on the parent award. Visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for more information.


This announcement is for supplements to existing projects. To be eligible, the parent award must be active, and the research proposed in the supplement must be accomplished within the competitive segment.

Each R25 program may obtain support for multiple residents and fellows. However, a separate supplement application is necessary for each participant for whom support is requested.

Budget

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

The NINDS intends to fund approximately 40-70 participants across the entire R25 PAR and administrative supplement NOSI in FY2021. The direct cost of each supplement award is capped at 80% of the appropriate PGY salary for the requested participant for the duration of support between July 1 and June 30 of the fiscal year in which support is requested, plus associated fringe benefits, plus $2,000 for travel to meetings plus $1,000 for travel to an NINDS R25 workshop. In addition to funding for individual participants, $10,000 will be provided to support program costs in each year that the R25 program educates at least 1 participant. This funding for program costs is intended, in part, to support travel of the PD/PI (or program representative) to the NINDS-sponsored annual R25 workshop. Remaining funds may be used for salary for the PD/PI or support personnel or other costs allowed by NIH (note that funds may not be used to support R25 mentors). If the participant is simultaneously enrolled in a Ph.D-granting program, up to $12,800 may also be requested for costs associated with enrollment in the degree-granting program.

Application Review Information

NINDS staff will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research. Additionally, NINDS staff will consider the ability of the proposed supplement activities to increase or preserve the parent award’s overall impact within the original scope of award, and consider the following, in addition to the programmatic needs:

  • Is the participant for whom support is requested qualified to engage in the proposed research and research education plan?
  • Is the participant's research and research education plan well thought-out, well-presented, feasible and suitable for a K award application on the intended timeline? Does the plan presented indicate that the research will adhere to the best practices of experimental design, data analysis and rigor? Is the specific role of the participant in the overall research project, the ideas generated by the participant, the experimental studies done specifically by the participant, and the educational plan of the participant, clear?
  • Is there a clear path from the proposed research education plan to an individual mentored K award?
  • Is the mentor highly qualified for the candidate's research education plan and does the mentor provide a thorough description of the training needed, and his/her envisioned role in helping to prepare the participant to obtain a future K award?
  • Is the mentor adequately funded, recently productive and experienced in fostering transition of clinician-scientists to mentored K awards? If the primary mentor is not a clinician, is there an individual included in the research education plan with the appropriate experience to provide career guidance in line with the participant's goal of succeeding in a dual clinical and research career?
  • Is the proposed research education plan consonant with the candidate's career goals?
  • Is the environment well suited for the proposed research education plan?
  • In addition, for increment 2 and 3 requests, engagement in all aspects of the workshop, including timely registration, presentation of research according to meeting guidelines, and submission of a research abstract and polished set of specific aims, will be considered when determining whether participants have met programmatic requirements necessary for continuation of support.

Application and Submission Information:

Applications for this initiative must be submitted using the following opportunity or its subsequent reissued equivalent:

  • PA-18-591 - "Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and PA-18-591 must be followed, with the following additions:

  • Applications for this initiative must be submitted using PA-18-591 - Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional) or its subsequent reissued equivalent
  • Application Due Date(s) October 15, 2020, October 15, 2021, October 17, 2022, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.
  • For funding consideration, applicants must include “NOT-NS-20-038” (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF424 R&R form. Applications without this information in box 4B will not be considered for this initiative.
  • Requests may be for one year of support only
  • The project and budget must be to support a period of up to one year and must be within the currently approved project period for the existing parent award.

  • Electronic submissions are required for this funding opportunity.
  • The process for Streamlined Submissions using the eRA Commons cannot be used for this initiative
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to notify the program contact at the Institute supporting the parent award that a request has been submitted in response to this NOSI in order to facilitate efficient processing of the request.

Research Strategy

The research strategy section of the PHS 398 Research Plan form must clearly provide the following information for the proposed participant. All information must be combined into a single pdf file prior to attaching to your application.

1. A letter from the PD/PI stating:

The name of the proposed participant

The clinical specialty (i.e. residency) of the proposed participant

The increment of funding being requested (i.e. first, second or third; candidates can only be supported for a maximum of 3 increments [N.B. Ph.D. candidates may be supported for up to 6 increments])

The duration of funding being requested (e.g. 6 months, 12 months, etc.)

Confirmation that, during any prior period of support, the participant devoted a full 80% of full-time professional effort during the Monday through Friday workweek. This confirmation should include a statement of the participant’s non-research obligations during the R25-supported period.

Confirmation that, in any prior period of support, the participant attended the NINDS annual meeting for this R25 program

If the request is for a second or third increment, a clear description of the time spent (citing specific calendar months) supported by the R25 on previous increments.


2. A four-page (maximum) description of the research education and research plan (all research and education plan information, including specific aims, should be included in this 4-page document). This should be written by the proposed participant and signed by both the proposed participant and the proposed mentor. This description should make clear the career goals of the participant and how the proposed plan is expected to lead to a future NIH K award or equivalent (i.e. a clear connection should be made between the proposed research and research education plan and how it is expected to lead to a projected K award project). It is critical that the participant's work can be identified and clearly differentiated from the work done by others in the laboratory or research environment. Participants are strongly encouraged to write in the first-person singular narrative when discussing their ideas, their hypotheses and the research they will do. It is strongly recommended that the first- person plural narrative only be used when discussing work done by others or collaborative work between the participant and others. In addition, the work and ideas of others should be appropriately attributed. The plan should include a statement of the significance of the problem to be addressed and a clear, scientifically-based statement of how the proposed research will address the problem (i.e. clear testable hypotheses and a concise statement of how the proposed research will directly address the hypotheses). The 4-page plan should include sufficient information about experimental design, data analysis, potential outcomes and potential obstacles to success to convey that a rigorous scientific approach will be pursued. It is highly recommended that applications include information on determination of appropriate sample size, potential statistical approaches, blinding, randomization and other hallmarks of rigorous, unbiased experimental design. Inclusion of preliminary data is acceptable but not expected or required. If included, however, any preliminary data provided should be clearly distinguished as being collected by the applicant or others.

3. A statement, written by the proposed mentor, which describes his/her qualifications to mentor the applicant in the proposed research education plan and the applicant's suitability (both strengths and gaps in knowledge that will be addressed) for the research education plan. A critical component of the application is the description of the mentorship and education plan by the mentor. This plan should be devised specifically for this participant and include a description of the education and accomplishments envisioned by which the participant will become ready to submit an application for an NIH Career Development (K) award or equivalent. The mentor should clearly indicate the progress needed, and anticipated to occur, in the ~2.5 years of R25 research that will facilitate a strong K application. Because the eventual K award project is intended to lead to an R01-funded project, the mentor should clearly state how the project is, or will lead to, a research project that is owned by the participant. If relevant, the description should include the anticipated timeline by which the participant will transition from a project belonging to the mentor to one owned by the participant. In addition, the mentor should describe how he/she will ensure that the participant's specific research project, whether basic, clinical or translational, will adhere to the best principles of experimental design and rigor.

4. If there are multiple mentors, a brief description of the qualifications of each proposed mentor, with reference to their mentorship role, their experience related to the research education plan and their track record in mentoring clinician and non-clinician scientists. In addition, the role of each mentor should be clearly stated. This description can be written by the participant, the primary mentor, or the multiple mentors together. If the primary mentor is not a clinician-scientist, it is strongly recommended that a clinician-scientist be incorporated into the mentorship team.

5. If the request is to continue support during a fellowship (or second residency) period for a participant who was previously supported (i.e. support for a second or third increment of support), a brief description of progress made during the previous period(s) of support must be included. This progress report should be written by the participant and be a maximum of 3 pages in length (in addition to the 4-page description of research/education plan). Depending on when in residency the participant started in the R25 program relative to when the continuation request is made, there may have been little, or no progress made at the time of supplement request submission. Nonetheless, a brief progress report should be provided to update information about the candidate’s experience since the last submission. Note that the 4-page plan description (item #2 above) should not be merely a copy of the previous year’s submission, but should reflect any changes in the state of the research field and/or any progress the lab itself has made related to the participant’s research in the year since the initial request.

6. If the participant is enrolled in a Ph.D. program and is requesting support for costs associated with enrollment, a comprehensive description of the program specific to the participant should be provided. This should include a detailed description of the formal education to be obtained in experimental design and statistics, as well as other didactic and programmatic content.

Budget: All budgets mustbe submitted using the R&R Detailed Budget form, regardless of the form used for the parent award, and should only include funds requested for the additional supplement activities.

The budget request should reflect the program requirements that the participant must devote 80% effort (4 full days during the Monday through Friday work week) during the period of support. Residents must be supported for a minimum contiguous duration of 6 months (at 80% effort).

The budget requested for fellows must meet the requirement that the combined support during residency and first fellowship year of support equal a minimum of 18 months duration. The timeline of previous and requested support for the participant should be described in the budget justification.

The budget request should include costs related to travel and costs associated with Ph.D program enrollment (if applicable) as described in the award budget section above

Note that Indirect Costs (also known as Facilities & Administrative [F&A] Costs) are reimbursed at 8% of total direct costs for the allowable items in this administrative supplement

Senior/Key Person Profile Form: List the PD/PI as the first person (regardless of their role on the supplement activities).

List the participant for whom additional funds are being requested and the participant's mentor(s) and any other Senior/Key Personnel associated with the participant’s education. Include a biographical sketch for the participant and all mentors and Senior/Key Personnel.

Page Limitations

All page limitations applicable to the parent award as described in the Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed, with the following exceptions or additional requirements. Although the allowable Research Strategy page limit is 25 pages, it is not expected that the full 25 pages will be necessary. As noted above, all information requested for the research strategy must be combined into a single pdf file prior to attaching to the application; however, items 2 (Description of research education and research plan - 4 Page Maximum) and 5 (Progress Report - 3 Page Maximum) have individual page limits within the 25 page limit.

Inquiries

We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.

Please direct all inquiries to:

Contact Name: Stephen Korn, Ph.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Email: korns@ninds.nih.gov


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