Release Date:  February 10, 2000

PA NUMBER:  PA-00-057

National Institute on Aging

Application Receipt Date:  May 10, 2000 and succeeding years


The National Institute on Aging (NIA) will award new and competing renewal 
National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Training Grants (T32) to 
eligible institutions to develop or enhance research training opportunities 
for individuals, selected by the institution, who are training for careers in 
specified areas of aging research. The purpose of this announcement is to 
help ensure a broad cadre of researchers trained in the content and methods 
of aging research and in the major biomedical, behavioral and social areas of 
research most closely related to their field of study within aging. NIA 
supports both predoctoral and postdoctoral training in aging. The Institute 
also supports short-term research training for students in health-
professional programs as part of an overall T32 program.

This announcement describes NIA's particular emphases and programs within the 
overall NRSA program. Full information about eligibility, allowable costs, 
payback requirements, leave and other NRSA policies is available from the 
National Research Service Award Guidelines available at:  Potential applicants should consult 
that document as well as the current program announcement before applying.


Each NIH PA addresses one or more of 22 Health Promotion and Disease 
Prevention priority areas identified. These areas can be found via the WWW at


Only domestic, non-profit, private or public institutions may apply for 
grants to support research training programs.  The applicant institution must 
have a strong research program in the area(s) proposed for research training 
and must have the requisite staff and facilities to carry out the proposed 
program.  The research training program director at the institution will be 
responsible for the selection and appointment of trainees to receive NRSA 
support and for the overall direction of the program.

Trainees appointed to the training program must have the opportunity to carry 
out supervised research on aging with the primary objective of developing or 
extending their research skills and knowledge in preparation for a research 


Positions on NRSA institutional grants may not be used for study leading to 
the M.D., D.D.S., or other clinical, health-professional degrees except when 
those studies are a part of a formal combined research degree program, such 
as the M.D./Ph.D.  Similarly, trainees may not accept NRSA support for 
studies which are part of residency training leading to certification in a 
medical or dental specialty or subspecialty, except when the residency 
program credits a period of full-time, postdoctoral research training toward 
board certification and the trainee intends to pursue a research career.

Students enrolled in health-professional doctoral degree programs may receive 
support for short-term research training as described above. Additionally, 
health-professional students may interrupt their studies for a year or more 
to engage in an extended period of full-time research training before 
completing their professional degree.

Trainees are required to pursue their research training on a full-time basis, 
devoting at least 40 hours per week to the program. Within the 40 hours per 
week training period, research trainees in clinical areas must devote their 
time to the proposed research training and must confine clinical duties to 
those that are an integral part of the research training experience.

Citizenship.  To be appointed to a training position supported by an NRSA 
research training grant, an individual must be a citizen or noncitizen 
national of the United States or must have been lawfully admitted for 
permanent residence (i.e., in possession of a currently valid Alien 
Registration Receipt Card I-551, or must be in possession of other legal 
verification of such status).  Noncitizen nationals are generally persons 
born in outlying possessions of the United States (e.g., American Samoa and 
Swains Island).  Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible.

Predoctoral Trainees.  Predoctoral trainees must have received a 
baccalaureate degree by the beginning date of their NRSA appointment, and 
must be training at the postbaccalaureate level and enrolled in a program 
leading to a Ph.D. in science or in an equivalent research doctoral degree 
program.  Health-professional students who wish to interrupt their studies 
for a year or more to engage in full-time research training before completing 
their professional degrees are also eligible.

Postdoctoral Trainees.  Postdoctoral trainees must have received, as of the 
beginning date of the NRSA appointment, a Ph.D., M.D. or comparable doctoral 
degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution.  Eligible doctoral 
degrees include, but are not limited to, the following:  D.D.S., D.M.D., 
D.O., D.V.M., O.D., D.P.M., Sc.D., Eng.D., Dr. P.H., D.N.Sc., D. Pharm., 
D.S.W., and Psy.D. Documentation by an authorized official of the degree-
granting institution certifying all degree requirements have been met prior 
to the beginning date of training is acceptable.

Short-Term Health-Professional Trainees.  To be eligible for short-term 
predoctoral research training positions, health-professional students must 
have completed at least one quarter in a program leading to a clinical 
doctorate prior to participating in the program.  Individuals matriculated in 
a formal research degree program, or those holding a research doctorate or 
masters degree or a combined health-professional/research doctorate are not 
eligible for short-term training positions.  Within schools of pharmacy, only 
individuals who are candidates for the Pharm.D. degree are eligible for 
short-term positions. Before individual health professional trainees are 
appointed, approval for their appointment must be obtained from NIA.

Short-term research training positions should last at least 2 months but must 
not exceed 3 months. Individual health-professional students selected for 
appointment should be encouraged to obtain multiple periods of short-term 
research training during the years leading to their degree. Such appointments 
may be consecutive or may be reserved for summers or other "off-quarter" 


The mechanism of support will be the Institutional NRSA research training 
grant (T32). These awards may be made for periods up to 5 years and are 
renewable.  Awards within an approved competitive segment are normally made 
in 12-month increments with support for additional years based on 
satisfactory progress and the continued availability of funds.

Trainee appointments are normally made in 12-month increments.  No trainee 
may be appointed for less than 9 months during the initial period of 
appointment, except with the prior approval of NIA or when health-
professional students are appointed to approved, short-term research training 

No individual trainee may receive more than 5 years of aggregate NRSA support 
at the predoctoral level or 3 years of support at the postdoctoral level, 
including any combination of support from institutional training grants and 
individual fellowship awards.  Any extension of the total duration of trainee 
support at either the predoctoral or postdoctoral level requires approval by 
the director of NIA.  Requests for extension must be made in writing by the 
trainee, endorsed by the director of the training program and the appropriate 
institutional official, and addressed to the NIA Training Officer. The 
request must include a sound justification for an extension of the statutory 
limits on the period of support.


For provisions governing the above policies applicants should consult the 
National Research Service Award Guidelines available at:


NIA recognizes a continuing and expanding need to train new researchers in 
aging research. Such work includes knowledge of the underlying genetic, 
biological, neuroscientific, behavioral, social and economic causes of age-
related change and stability, of the aging process, of the diseases of old 
age, of the age, gender, and ethnic structure of the population, and of the 
interventions that may alleviate problems of aging. The work also includes 
knowledge of health disparities as they relate to aging, and of the 
particular challenges of studying diverse older populations. A more complete 
description of current NIA priorities in research and training is available 
from the NIA Home Page That site also includes the 
NIA Strategic Plan for FY 2001 - 2005 (in draft form at the time of 
publication of this announcement).   

It is clear that aging research both benefits from, and contributes to, more 
general basic research in the life sciences. Therefore programs that 
integrate teaching of aging research with focused training in the fields of 
life science research are particularly encouraged.

Training that is exclusively focused on aging research as defined by a focus 
on age differences or changes is also appropriate. Training that targets age-
related and age-associated diseases is similarly encouraged where attention 
is given to factors about aging that contribute to morbidity, the course of 
disease, the costs of disease, the need for care, the response to treatment, 
and subsequent mortality.

Training may be multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary. Such approaches to 
training offer potential for new perspectives on aging research and improved 
methods to resolve problems of aging. At the same time NIA encourages such 
applications to have a strong central focus through which the perspectives 
offered by different disciplines can be contrasted, their separate strengths 
recognized, and the potential, in this context, for combined methods and 
emergent concepts emphasized. Structural recognition of the combined 
disciplinary perspectives is also encouraged, such as the presence of joint 
degree programs.

Innovative approaches to integrating training in emerging tools of 
bioengineering, neuroimaging, computer modeling, and data analysis techniques 
with training in aging research are particularly encouraged. Applicants 
intending to focus on neuroscience and aging should also see the 
Though the breadth of topics covered in a particular application is the 
choice of the applicants and will reflect local institutional strengths, 
applicants are reminded that aging research is a very broad field. It is 
important to choose a focus for the training proposal that reflects a 
coherent course of instruction and defined goals for the trainees within the 
field rather than seek to address all fields of aging research in a single 


(also see: NRSA Stipend Increase and Other Budgetary Changes)


National Research Service Awards provide funds, in the form of stipends, to 
graduate students and postdoctoral trainees.  A stipend is provided as a 
subsistence allowance to help trainees defray living expenses during the 
research training experience.  It is not provided as a condition of 
employment with either the Federal Government or the awardee institution.  
Stipends must be paid to all trainees at the levels approved by the Secretary 
of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The stipend rates shown are for FY2000. Applicants should contact the 
individual listed at the end of this announcement or consult the NIH Guide 
for recent information on stipend rates.

Predoctoral Trainees.  The stipend for predoctoral trainees in FY 2000 is 
$15,060  For appointments of less than a year, the stipend will be based on a 
monthly proration that is $1,255 per month in FY 2000.

Postdoctoral Trainees.  The current annual stipend for postdoctoral trainees 
is determined by the number of FULL years of relevant postdoctoral experience 
at the time of appointment.  Relevant experience may include research 
experience (including industrial), teaching, internship, residency, clinical 
duties, or other time spent in full-time studies in a health-related field 
following the date of the qualifying doctoral degree.  

Postdoctoral stipend rates in FY 2000 are as follows:

Postdoctoral Years of Experience
      0                                 $26,916
      1                                 $28,416
      2                                 $33,516
      3                                 $35,232
      4                                 $36,936
      5                                 $38,628
      6                                 $40,332
      7 or more                         $42,300

NIH Policies on administering stipends, on stipend supplementation, on other 
compensation, on educational loans, on concurrent awards and, on advice on 
the tax liability of stipends are available from: National Research Service 
Award Guidelines.

Tuition, fees, and health insurance

Tuition, fees, and medical insurance, are allowable trainee costs if such 
charges are required of all individuals in a similar training status at the 
institution, regardless of  their source of support.  Family medical 
insurance coverage is now an allowable cost for trainees with families. 
Tuition at the postdoctoral level is limited to that required for specific 
courses in support of the approved research training program.  On an annual 
basis, for each trainee, the training grant will cover 100% of the first 
$3,000 of the combined cost of tuition, fees, and health insurance and 60% of 
any amount above $3,000.  Institutions are instructed to request the full 
amount of these costs in competing applications.  Noncompeting awards will 
reimburse tuition, fees, and health insurance costs in the amount paid in the 
previous award year, unless there is a change in the scope of the award.

Other trainee costs

Trainee travel, including attendance at scientific meetings that the 
institution determines to be necessary to the individual's research training, 
is an allowable trainee expense. NIA allows up to $500 per year per 
predoctoral trainee and up to $1,000 per year per postdoctoral trainee. In 
addition, support for travel to a research training experience away from the 
institution may be permitted.  Research training experiences away from the 
parent institution must be justified considering the type of opportunities 
for training available, how these opportunities differ from those offered at 
the parent institution, and the relationship of the proposed experience to 
the trainee's career stage and goals.  This type of research training 
requires prior approval from NIA. Letters requesting such training may be 
submitted to NIA at any time during the award period.

Institutional costs of up to $2,000 a year per predoctoral trainee and up to 
$2,500 a year per postdoctoral trainee may be requested to defray the costs 
of other research training related expenses, such as staff salaries, 
consultant costs, equipment, research supplies, and staff travel.

Under exceptional circumstances, which can include providing accommodations 
for a trainee with disabilities, it is possible to request institutional 
costs above the standard rate.  Requests for additional costs must be 
explained in detail and carefully justified in the application.  Consultation 
with NIA program staff in advance of such requests is strongly advised.

The institution may receive up to $167 per month to offset the cost of 
tuition, fees, health insurance, travel, supplies, and other expenses for 
each short-term, health-professional research training position.

A facilities and administration allowance (indirect cost allowance) based on 
8 percent of total allowable direct costs (this excludes amounts for tuition, 
fees, health insurance, and equipment) may be requested.  Applications from 
State and local government agencies may request full indirect cost 
reimbursement (see PHS Grants Policy Statement).


Applications are to be submitted on grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 
4/98).  Section V of that form contains special instructions for 
Institutional National Research Service Awards (T32). Application kits are 
available at most institutional offices of sponsored research and may be 
obtained from the Division of Extramural Outreach and Information Resources,  
National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 
20892-7910, Phone (301) 710-0267, Email: GRANTSINFO@NIH.GOV. Applications 
are also available on the internet at .

Applicants planning to submit an investigator-initiated new (type 1), 
competing continuation (type 2), competing supplement, or any amended/revised 
version of the preceding grant application types requesting $500,000 or more 
in direct costs for any  year in response to this announcement are advised 
that they must contact NIA program staff before submitting the application, 
i.e., as plans for the study are being developed. Furthermore, applicants 
must obtain agreement from NIA staff that the Institute will accept the 
application for consideration for award. Finally, applicants must identify, 
in a cover letter sent with the application, the staff member, with address, 
who agreed to accept assignment of the application.

This policy requires applicants to obtain agreement for acceptance of both 
any such application and any such subsequent amendment. Refer to the NIH 
Guide for Grants and Contracts, March 20, 1998 at:

Applications Requesting Short-term Training for Health Professional Students.  
Applicants who wish to include a request for short-term research training 
positions should identify short-term positions separately within the 
"stipends" and "training related expenses" categories on the budget page.  
Under "stipends," short-term positions should be listed in the "other" 
category.  Tuition, fees, health  insurance, and trainee travel, and other 
expenses, are to be included in "training related expenses."  The description 
of the short-term research training program should be included in the 
application for the regular research training program, but should be 
separated from the description of the regular program within each section of 
the application.  In addition to the information requested in the "program 
plan" section, the applicant should address the relationship of the proposed 
short-term program to the regular research training program and provide 
assurance that the short-term program will not detract from the regular 

Applicants must observe the 25-page limit on the narrative section.

Submit a signed, printed, original of the application, including the 
checklist and five signed photocopies in one package to:

BETHESDA, MD 20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)

The title and number of the program announcement must be typed on line 2 of 
the face page of the application form and the YES box must be marked.


Applications will be assigned on the basis of established Public Health 
Service referral guidelines.  Applications that are complete will be 
evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review 
group convened in accordance with NIH peer review procedures. As part of the 
initial merit review, all applications will receive a written critique and 
undergo a process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest 
scientific merit, generally the top half of applications under review, will 
be discussed, assigned a priority score, and receive a second level review by 
the appropriate national advisory council or board.

Applications are evaluated for merit by NIH initial review groups based on 
the following criteria:

o  Past research training record of both the program and the designated 
preceptors as determined by the success of former trainees in seeking further 
career development and in establishing productive scientific careers.  
Evidence of further career development can include receipt of fellowships, 
career awards, further training appointments, and similar accomplishments.  
Evidence of a productive scientific career can include a record of successful 
competition for research grants, receipt of special honors, a record of 
publications, receipt of patents, promotion to scientific positions, and any 
other measure of success consistent with the nature and duration of the 
training received.

o  recruitment and selection plans for trainees and the availability of high 
quality candidates;

o  objectives, design, and direction of the research training program;

o  caliber of preceptors as researchers, including successful competition for 
research support;

o  the institutional training environment, including the level of 
institutional commitment, quality of the facilities, availability of 
appropriate courses, and availability of research support;

o  record of the research training program in retaining health-professional 
postdoctoral trainees for at least 2 years in research training or other 
research activities;

o  when appropriate, the concomitant research training of health-professional 
postdoctorates (i.e., individuals with the M.D., D.O., D.D.S., etc.) with 
basic science postdoctorates (i.e., individuals with a Ph.D., etc.) or 
linkages with basic science departments.

Short-Term Research Training Positions:  In addition to the above criteria, 
applications that request short-term research training positions will also be 
assessed using the following criteria:

o  quality of the proposed short-term research training program including the 
commitment and availability of the participating faculty, program design, 
availability of research support, and training environment;

o  access to candidates for short-term research training and the ability to 
recruit high quality, short-term trainees from the applicant institution or 
some other health-professional school;

o  characteristics of the research training program that might be expected to 
persuade short-term trainees to consider academic/research careers, 
particularly in clinical areas;

o  success in attracting students back for multiple appointments (competing 
continuation applications);

o  effect of the short-term training program on the quality of the regular 
research training program or any existing, stand-alone short- term research 
training program; including the appropriateness of the number of short-term 
positions, and the plan to integrate the short-term training program into 
other existing programs;

o  plan to follow former short-term trainees and to assess the effect of such 
research training on their subsequent careers.

Additional Review Considerations

Minority Recruitment Plan:  The NIH remains committed to increasing the 
participation of individuals from underrepresented minority groups in 
biomedical and behavioral research.  As first announced in 1989, all 
competing applications for institutional NRSA research training grants must 
include a specific plan to recruit and retain underrepresented minorities in 
the training program.  In addition, all competing continuation applications 
also must include a report on the recruitment and retention of 
underrepresented minorities during the previous award period.  If an 
application is received without a plan, or without a report on the previous 
award period, the application will be considered incomplete and will be 
returned to the applicant without review.  Additional information on this 
requirement was published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Volume 
22, Number 25, July 16, 1993.

As indicated above, competing continuation applications must include a 
detailed account of experiences in recruiting individuals from 
underrepresented groups during the previous award period. Information must be 
included on successful and unsuccessful recruitment strategies.  The report 
should provide information on the racial/ethnic distribution of:

o  students or postdoctorates who applied for admission or positions within 
the department(s) relative to the training grant,

o  students or postdoctorates who were offered admission to or a position 
within the department(s),

o  students actually enrolled in the academic program relevant to the 
training grant,

o  students or postdoctorates who were appointed to the research training 

For those trainees who were appointed to the grant, the report should include 
information about the duration of research training and whether those 
trainees have finished their training in good standing.

After the overall educational and technical merit of an application has been 
assessed, peer reviewers will examine and evaluate the minority recruitment 
plan and any record of recruitment and retention.  For competing continuation 
applications, the reviewers will examine and evaluate the record of the 
program in recruiting and retaining underrepresented minority trainees during 
the previous award period.  The panel also will consider whether the 
experience in recruitment during the previous award period has been 
incorporated into the formulation of the recruitment plan for the next award 

The findings of the panel will be included in an administrative note in the 
summary statement.  If the minority recruitment plan or if the record of 
recruitment and retention of minorities is judged to be unacceptable, funding 
will be withheld until a revised plan that addresses the deficiencies is 
received.  Staff within the NIH awarding component, with guidance from the 
appropriate national advisory committee or council, will determine whether 
amended plans and reports submitted after the initial review are acceptable.

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research:  Every predoctoral and 
postdoctoral NRSA trainee supported by an institutional research training 
grant must receive instruction in the responsible conduct of research.  (For 
more information on this provision, see the NIH Guide for Grants and 
Contracts, Volume 21, Number 43, November 27, 1992.)

Applications must include a description of a program to provide formal or 
informal instruction in scientific integrity or the responsible conduct of 
research.  Applications without plans for instruction in the responsible 
conduct of research will be considered incomplete and may be returned to the 
applicant without review.

o  Although the NIH does not establish specific curricula or formal 
requirements, all programs are encouraged strongly to consider instruction in 
the following areas: conflict of interest, responsible authorship, policies 
for handling misconduct, policies regarding the use of human and animal 
subjects, and data management.  Within the context of training in scientific 
integrity it is also beneficial to discuss the mutual responsibilities of the 
institution and the graduate students or postdoctorates appointed to the 

o  Plans must address the subject matter of the instruction, the format of 
the instruction, the degree of faculty participation, trainee attendance, and 
the frequency of instruction.

o  The rationale for the proposed plan of instruction must be provided.

o  Program reports on the type of instruction provided, topics covered, and 
other relevant information, such as attendance by trainees and faculty 
participation, must be included in future competing continuation and 
noncompeting applications.

The NIH encourages institutions to provide instruction in the responsible 
conduct of research to all graduate students and postdoctorates in a training 
program or department, regardless of the source of support.

NIH initial review groups will assess the applicant's plans on the basis of 
the appropriateness of topics, format, amount and nature of faculty 
participation, and the frequency and duration of instruction. The plan will 
be discussed after the overall determination of merit, so that the quality of 
the plan will not be a factor in the determination of the priority score.  
Plans will be judged as acceptable or unacceptable.  The acceptability of the 
plan will be described in an administrative note on the summary statement. 
Regardless of the priority score, applications with unacceptable plans will 
not be funded until a revised, acceptable plan is provided by the applicant.  
The acceptability of the revised plan will be judged by staff within the NIH 
awarding component.

Following initial review, applications are also reviewed by the appropriate 
NIH institute or center council, board, or other advisory group.  These 
advisory groups will consider, in addition to the assessment of the 
scientific and educational merit of the research training grant application, 
the initial review group's comments on the recruitment of individuals from 
underrepresented minority groups into the research training program and the 
plan for instruction in the responsible conduct of research.

Review  Schedule

Application       Initial       Council       Earliest
Receipt Date      Review        Review        start date

May 10            Oct./Nov.     February      May 1

Award Criteria

Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended 
applications for institutional training grants.  The following will be 
considered in making funding decisions:

o  Quality of the proposed project as determined by peer review
o  Availability of funds
o  Program priority.


Additional information on NIH training programs and policies is available at 
the NIH training web site: c .

Inquiries are encouraged. The opportunity to clarify any issues or questions 
from potential applicants is welcome.
Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:
Robin A. Barr, D. Phil.
NIA Training Officer
National Institute on Aging
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 2C218 MSC 9205
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
Telephone:  (301) 496-9322
FAX:  (301) 402-2945 
Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:
Mr. Joe Ellis
Grants and Contracts Management Office
National Institute on Aging
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 2N212, MSC 9205
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
Telephone:  (301) 496-1472
FAX:  (301) 402-3672

Authority and Regulations

NRSA Institutional Research Training Grants are made under the authority of 
Section 487 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 288).  Title 
42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 66, is applicable to this 
program.  This program is also described under the following number in the 
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance: 93.866.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide a 
smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products.  In 
addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking 
in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which 
regular or routine education, library, day care, health care or early 
childhood development services are provided to children.  This is consistent 
with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of 
the American people.

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