RELEASE DATE:  December 08, 2003

PA NUMBER: PA-04-032 

(Reissued as PA-07-002 as of October 6, 2006)
(see NOT-EB-06-004 for policy clarification)

EXPIRATION DATE: October 6, 2006

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

National Institutes of Health (NIH) 
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

(NIBIB), 93.173 (NIDCD), 93.278 (NIDA), 93.282 (NIMH), and 93.853 (NINDS)

This program announcement supersedes PA-00-125, which appeared 
in the NIH Guide on July 25, 2000.


o Purpose
o Research training Objectives
o Mechanism of Support 
o Eligibility Requirements
o Eligible Sponsoring Institutions
o Allowable Costs
o Supplementation of Stipends, Compensation, and Other Income
o Tax Liability
o Service Payback
o Leave Policies
o Part Time Training
o Other Special Requirements
o Where to Send Inquiries
o Submitting an Application
o Peer Review Process
o Review Criteria
o Award Criteria
o Required Federal Citations


The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the National 
Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), the National 
Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), the National 
Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Institute of Mental Health 
(NIMH), and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke 
(NINDS) provide Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards 
(Kirschstein-NRSA) to individuals for doctoral-level training.  These 
Institutes award Kirschstein-NRSA individual predoctoral fellowships (F31) to 
promising applicants with the potential to become productive, independent 
investigators in their scientific mission areas.

Each Institute has a unique scientific purview and different program goals and 
initiatives that evolve over time.  Therefore, it is critical that all 
applicants consult the appropriate Institute website and contact the 
appropriate Institute office, both listed under “Where to Send Inquiries,” 
prior to preparing an application to obtain current information about each 
Institute's program priorities and policies with regard to fellowships.  This 
action is of utmost importance since applications with marginal or no 
relevance to NIAAA, NIBIB, NIDCD, NIDA, NIMH, or NINDS programs will not be 
accepted for review or funding by the participating Institutes.


This program will provide predoctoral training support for doctoral candidates 
who have successfully completed their comprehensive examinations or the 
equivalent by the time of award and will be performing dissertation research 
and training.  The applicant should provide evidence of potential for a 
productive research career based upon the quality of previous research 
training and academic record.  The applicant must propose a dissertation 
research project and training program which falls into a research area within 
the scientific mission of the NIAAA, NIBIB, NIDCD, NIDA, NIMH, or NINDS.  The 
research training experience must enhance the applicant’s conceptualization of 
research problems and research skills, under the guidance and supervision of a 
committed mentor who is an active and established investigator in the area of 
the applicant's proposed research.  The research training program should be 
carried out in a research environment that includes appropriate human and 
technical resources and is demonstrably committed to the research training of 
the applicant in the program he/she proposes in the application.

The application must include evidence that current and ongoing instruction in 
the principles of responsible conduct of research will be incorporated into 
the proposed research training plan (see below: Instructions in the 
Responsible Conduct of Research).


The mechanism of support is the Kirschstein-NRSA individual predoctoral 
fellowship (F31) which is intended to provide biomedical or behavioral 
research training experiences to individuals committed to pursuing a career in 
research within the scientific missions of the participating Institutes.  
Women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Fellowship awardees are required to pursue their research training on a full-
time basis, devoting at least 40 hours per week to the training program.  The 
F31 fellowship supports research training applied toward preparation of a 
dissertation and does not support study leading to the M.D., D.O., D.D.S., 
Psy.D., or similar professional degrees unless it is part of a combined degree 
program such as the M.D./Ph.D.  For those students who are pursuing a combined 
degree program, see the following programs:





Citizenship: By the time of award, candidates for the predoctoral 
Kirschstein-NRSA fellowship award must be citizens or non-citizen nationals 
of the United States, or must have been lawfully admitted to the United 
States for Permanent Residence (i.e., possess a currently valid Alien 
Registration Receipt Card I-551, or other legal verification of such status).  
Non-citizen nationals are generally persons born in outlying possessions of 
the United States (i.e., American Samoa and Swains Island).  Individuals on 
temporary or student visas are not eligible.  Individuals may apply for the 
F31 in advance of admission to the United States as a Permanent Resident 
recognizing that no award will be made until legal verification of Permanent 
Resident status is provided.  

Degree Requirements: Applicants must have received, as of the activation date 
of the award, a baccalaureate degree and must be enrolled in a program leading 
to a research doctorate such as the Ph.D. or D.Sc.

Duration of Support: Individuals may receive up to 5 years of aggregate 
Kirschstein-NRSA support at the predoctoral level, including any combination 
of support from institutional training grants (T32) and individual fellowship 
awards (F31).  However, it is not possible to have concurrent NRSA support 
(e.g., F31 and T32) during the same time period.  Applicants must consider 
any prior NRSA predoctoral research training in determining the duration of 
fellowship support requested.  Accurate information regarding previous 
Kirschstein-NRSA support must be included in the application and will be 
considered at time of award.  Requests for support and recommendations of 
review committees are generally for two or three years of support for 
individual fellows conducting dissertation research and training.

Training beyond the 5-year aggregate limit may be possible under rare and 
exceptional circumstances, but a waiver from the NIH awarding component is 
required.  Individuals seeking additional Kirschstein-NRSA support beyond the 
fifth year are strongly advised to consult with relevant NIH staff before 
preparing a justification.  Any waiver will require a detailed justification 
of the need for additional research training.  Waiver requests should be made 
to program officials at the respective sponsoring NIH Institute prior to the 
termination date of the fellowship.

Sponsor: Before submitting a fellowship application, the applicant must 
identify a sponsoring institution and an individual who will serve as a 
sponsor (also called mentor or supervisor) and will supervise the training 
and research experience.  The applicant's sponsor should be an active 
investigator in the area of the proposed research who will directly supervise 
the candidate's research.  The sponsor must document the availability of 
research support and facilities for high-quality research training.

Foreign Sponsorship: Applicants requesting predoctoral fellowship support for 
foreign research training must show in the application that the foreign 
institution and sponsor offer unique opportunities and clear scientific 
advantages over positions currently available in the United States.


The sponsoring institution may be any of the following:

o For-profit or non-profit organizations 
o Public or private institutions, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, 
and laboratories 
o Units of State and local governments
o Eligible agencies and labs of the Federal government including NIH 
intramural labs  
o Domestic or foreign


Stipends: Kirschstein-NRSA awards provide stipends to predoctoral fellows as a 
subsistence allowance to help defray living expenses during the research 
training experience.  The awards are not provided as a condition of employment 
with either the Federal government or the sponsoring institution.  For the 
current stipend levels, see the NIH website at  The awarding NIH institute will 
adjust awards on the anniversary date of the fellowship award to ensure 
consistency with the stipend level in effect at that time.  

For fellows sponsored by domestic non-federal institutions, the stipend will 
be paid through the sponsoring institution. For fellows sponsored by Federal 
or foreign institutions, the monthly stipend payment will be deposited in the 
fellow's U.S. bank account or paid directly to the fellow by U. S. Department 
of Treasury check. 

Tuition and Fees: The NIH will reimburse 100 percent of the cost of tuition up 
to $3,000 and 60 percent of tuition costs above $3,000 for the predoctoral 
fellow.  Tuition, for the purposes of this policy, means the combined cost of 
tuition, fees, and health insurance (see below).  A full description of the 
tuition policy is contained within the NRSA section of the Grants policy 
statement at

Health Insurance: Self only health insurance (available to fellows without 
families) or family health insurance (available to fellows with families) is 
an allowable cost for fellows at the awardee or sponsoring institution only if 
such self or family health insurance is required of all persons in a similar 
training status regardless of the source of support.  Health insurance for 
predoctoral fellows who are eligible for this coverage is included in the 
calculation of the combined tuition, fees, and health insurance.

Institutional Allowance: At the time of publication of this program 
announcement, predoctoral fellows receive an institutional allowance of $2,750 
per 12-month period to nonfederal, nonprofit, or foreign sponsoring 
institutions to help defray such awardee expenses as research supplies, 
equipment, books, and travel to scientific meetings.  This allowance is 
intended to cover training related expenses for the individual awardee, and is 
not available until the fellow officially activates the award.  If an 
individual fellow is enrolled or engaged in training for less than 6 months of 
the award year, only one-half of that year's allowance may be charged to the 
grant.  The Notice of Research Fellowship Award will be revised and the 
balance must be refunded to NIH.

NIH will provide an institutional allowance of up to $1,650 for predoctoral 
fellows sponsored by Federal laboratories or for-profit institutions for 
expenses associated with travel to scientific meetings, health insurance, and 
books.  For fellows at for-profit institutions, the $1,650 will be paid to the 
institution for disbursement to the fellow.  Funds for fellows at Federal 
laboratories will be disbursed from the NIH awarding institute.

The Institutional Allowance is adjusted from time-to-time.  Prospective 
applicants are advised to check for the current Institutional Allowance in the 
most recent documentation related to NRSA stipends at

Other Training Costs: Additional funds may be requested by the institution 
when the training of a predoctoral fellow involves extraordinary costs for 
travel to field sites remote from the sponsoring institution, or for 
accommodations for fellows who are disabled, as defined by the Americans With 
Disabilities Act.  The funds requested for costs of this nature must be 
reasonable in relationship to the total dollars awarded under the fellowship 
and must be directly related to the approved research training experience.  
Such additional funds shall be provided only in exceptional circumstances that 
are fully justified and explained by the sponsoring institution. 

Awards for training at a foreign site may include a single economy or coach 
round-trip travel fare.  No allowance is provided for dependents.  U.S. flag 
air carriers must be used to the maximum extent possible when commercial air 
transportation is available for travel between the United States and a foreign 
country or between foreign countries.  Funds are not provided to cover the 
cost of travel between the fellow's place of residence and a domestic training 
institution.  However, in cases of extreme need or hardship, a one-way travel 
allowance may be authorized by the sponsoring institution.  Such travel must 
be paid from the institutional allowance. 

Facilities and Administrative Costs.  F&A (indirect) costs are not allowed on 
individual fellowship awards.


The sponsoring institution is allowed to provide funds to the fellow in 
addition to the stipends paid by the NIH.  Such additional amounts either may 
be in the form of augmented stipends (supplementation) or in the form of 
compensation, provided the conditions described below are met.  Under no 
circumstances may the conditions of stipend supplementation or the services 
provided for compensation interfere with, detract from, or prolong the 
fellow's approved Kirschstein-NRSA training program.

Stipend Supplementation: Supplementation or additional support to offset the 
cost of living may be provided by the sponsoring institution.  
Supplementation does not require additional effort from the fellow.  DHHS 
funds may not be used for supplementation under any circumstances.  
Additionally, no funds from other Federal agencies may be used for 
supplementation unless specifically authorized by the NIH and the other 
Federal Agency.    

Compensation: The sponsoring institution may provide additional funds to a 
fellow in the form of compensation (as salary and/or tuition remission) for 
services such as teaching or serving as a research assistant.  A fellow may 
receive compensation for services as a research assistant or in some other 
position on a Federal research grant, including a DHHS research grant.  
However, compensated services should occur on a limited, part-time basis 
apart from the normal research training activities, which require a minimum 
of 40 hours per week. In addition, compensation may not be paid from a 
research grant supporting the fellow's research training experience. 

Educational Loans or G.I. Bill: An individual may make use of Federal 
educational loan funds and assistance under the Veterans Readjustment 
Benefits Act (G.I. Bill).  Such funds are not considered supplementation or 

Concurrent Awards: A Kirschstein-NRSA fellowship may not be held concurrently 
with another federally sponsored fellowship or similar Federal award that 
provides a stipend or otherwise duplicates provisions of this award.


Section 117 of the Internal Revenue Code applies to the tax treatment of all 
scholarships and fellowships.  Under that section, non-degree candidates are 
required to report as gross income any monies paid on their behalf for 
stipends, or any course tuition and fees required for attendance.  Degree 
candidates may exclude from gross income (for tax purposes) any amount used 
for tuition and related expenses such as fees, books, supplies, and equipment 
required for courses of instruction at a qualified educational organization. 
The taxability of stipends, however, in no way alters the relationship 
between Kirschstein-NRSA trainees or fellows and their institutions.  
Kirschstein-NRSA stipends are not considered salaries.  In addition, trainees 
supported under the Kirschstein-NRSA are not considered to be in an employee-
employer relationship with the NIH or the awardee institution.  It is 
therefore inappropriate and unallowable for institutions to charge costs 
associated with employment (such as FICA, workman's compensation, or 
unemployment insurance) to the fellowship award.  It must be emphasized that 
the interpretation and implementation of the tax laws are the domain of the 
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the courts.  The NIH takes no position on 
the status of a particular taxpayer, and it does not have the authority to 
dispense tax advice.  Individuals should consult their local IRS office about 
the applicability of the law to their situation and for information on their 
tax obligations.


Recipients of Kirschstein-NRSA predoctoral support do not incur service 


In general, fellows may receive stipends during the normal periods of 
vacation and holidays observed by individuals in comparable training 
positions at the sponsoring institution.  For the purpose of these awards, 
however, the period between the spring and fall semesters is considered to be 
an active time of research and research training and is not considered to be 
a vacation or holiday.  Fellows may receive stipends for up to 15 calendar 
days of sick leave per year.  Sick leave may be used for the medical 
conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth.  Fellows may also receive 
stipends for up to 30 calendar days of parental leave per year for the 
adoption or the birth of a child when those in comparable training positions 
at the grantee institution have access to paid leave for this purpose and the 
use of parental leave is approved by the program director.

A period of terminal leave is not permitted and payment may not be made from 
fellowship funds for leave not taken. Fellows requiring periods of time away 
from their research training experience longer than specified here must seek 
approval from the NIH awarding component for an unpaid leave of absence.  


Under unusual and pressing personal circumstances, a fellow may submit a 
written request to the awarding component to permit less than full-time 
training.  Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  They 
must be approved by the awarding NIH Institute or Center in advance for each 
budget period.  The nature of the circumstances requiring the part-time 
training might include medical conditions, disability, or pressing personal 
or family situations such as child or elder care.  Permission for part-time 
training will not be approved to accommodate other sources of funding, job 
opportunities, clinical practice, clinical training, or for other 
responsibilities associated with the fellow's position at the institution.  
In each case, the fellow must submit a written request countersigned by the 
sponsor and an appropriate institutional business official that includes 
documentation supporting the need for part-time training.  The written 
request also must include an estimate of the expected duration of the period 
of part-time training, an assurance that the fellow intends to return to 
full-time training when that becomes possible, and an assurance that the 
trainee intends to complete the proposed research training program. In no 
case will it be permissible for the fellow to be engaged in Kirschstein-NRSA 
supported research training for less than 50 percent effort.  Individuals who 
must reduce their commitment to less than 50 percent effort must take a 
leave-of-absence from Kirschstein-NRSA fellowship support.  The fellowship 
notice of award will be reissued and the stipend will be pro-rated during the 
period of any approved part-time training.


Fellowships must be administered in accordance with the current NRSA section 
of the Grants Policy Statement at, 
and any terms and conditions specified on the award notice. 

Certification and Reporting Procedures: No application will be accepted 
without the applicant signing the certification block on the face page of the 
application.  Individuals admitted to the United States as permanent residents 
must submit notarized evidence of legal admission prior to the award.  When 
support ends, the fellow must submit a Termination Notice (PHS 416-7) to the 
NIH.  Forms may be found on the NIH Website at

Inventions and Publications: Fellowships made primarily for educational 
purposes are exempted from the PHS invention requirements.  F31 awards will 
not contain any provision giving the PHS rights to inventions made by the 

Copyrights: Except as otherwise provided in the terms and conditions of the 
award, the recipient is free to arrange for copyright without approval when 
publications, data, or other copyrightable works are developed in the course 
of work under a PHS grant-supported project or activity.  Any such copyrighted 
or copyrightable works shall be subject to a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and 
irrevocable license to the Government to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use 
them, and to authorize others to do so for Federal Government purposes. 


Inquiries are strongly encouraged.  Prospective applicants should visit each 
Institute's website in order to obtain current information about the 
scientific missions, program priorities, research topics of interest, and 
policy guidelines:


Direct inquiries regarding specific programmatic issues to the appropriate 
institute representative listed below: 


Laurie Foudin, Ph.D.
Division of Metabolism and Health Effects
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
6000 Executive Blvd., Room 402, MSC 7003
Bethesda, MD 20892-7003
Telephone:  301-443-0912
FAX:  (301) 594-0673


Meredith D. Temple-O’Connor, Ph.D.
Acting Director, Division of Interdisciplinary Training
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
National Institutes of Health/DHHS
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20892-5477
Telephone: (301) 451-4792
FAX: (301) 480-1614


Daniel A. Sklare, Ph.D.
Division of Scientific Programs
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
6120 Executive Blvd., Room 400C, MSC-7180
Bethesda, MD 20892-7180
Telephone: (301) 496-1804
FAX: (301) 402-6251


Suman A. Rao, Ph.D.
Deputy Research Training Coordinator
Office of Science Policy and Communications
National Institute on Drug Abuse
6001 Executive Blvd. Room 5230, MSC 9591
Bethesda, MD 20892
301-443-6277 (FAX) 

M. Beth Grigson Babecki, M.A.
Deputy to Training Coordinator
Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research
National Institute on Drug Abuse
6001 Executive Blvd. Room 4282, MSC 9555
Bethesda, MD 20892
301-594-6043 (FAX) 

Paul A. Coulis, Ph.D.
Center on AIDS and other Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse (CAMCODA)
National Institute on Drug Abuse
6001 Executive Blvd. Room 5199, MSC 9593
Bethesda, MD 20892
301-594-6566 (FAX) 

Jamie Biswas, Ph.D.
Chief, Medications Research Grants Branch
National Institute on Drug Abuse
6001 Executive Blvd. Room 4123, MSC 9551
Bethesda, MD 20892
301-443-9649 (FAX) 

Aria Crump, Sc.D.
Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research
National Institute on Drug Abuse
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 5153, MSC 9589
Bethesda, MD 20892-9589
Telephone: (301) 435-0881
FAX: (301) 480-2542

Mary F. Curvey
Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7211, MSC 9647
Bethesda, MD 20892-9647
Telephone: (301) 443-3107
FAX: (301) 443-1731

Nancy L Desmond, Ph.D.
Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7197, MSC 9645
Bethesda, MD 20892-9645
Telephone: (301) 443-3563
FAX: (301) 443-1731

Mark Chavez, Ph.D.
Division of Mental Disorders, Behavioral Research and AIDS
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6219, MSC 9621
Bethesda, MD 20892-9621
Telephone: (301) 443-9700
FAX: (301) 443-6000

Fred Altman, Ph.D.
Division of Mental Disorders, Behavioral Research and AIDS
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6220, MSC 9621
Bethesda, MD 20892-9621
Telephone: (301) 443-9700
FAX: (301) 443-6000

Enid Light, Ph.D.
Division of Services and Intervention Research
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7160, MSC 9635
Bethesda, MD 20892-9635
Telephone: (301) 443-3599
FAX: (301) 594-6784


NINDS Training and Career Development Officer
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke 
6001 Executive Blvd., Room 2154
Bethesda, MD 20892-9531
Telephone: (301) 496-4188 
FAX: (301) 402-4370

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Judy Fox
Chief, Grants Management Branch
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
6000 Executive Boulevard, Room 504, MSC 7003
Bethesda, MD 20892-7003
Telephone: (301) 443-4704
FAX: (301) 443-3891

Florence Turska
Grants Management Specialist
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
National Institutes of Health/DHHS
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 900, MSC 5469
Bethesda, MD 20892-5469
Telephone: (301) 496-9314
FAX: (301) 480-4974

Sherry Dabney
Grants Management Branch
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Executive Plaza South, Room 400C
6120 Executive Blvd., MSC-7180
Bethesda, MD 20892-7180 (for regular mail)
Rockville, MD 20852 (for express/courier mail)
Telephone: (301) 402-0909
FAX: (301) 402-1758

Daisey Parker
Grants Management Specialist
National Institute on Drug Abuse
6101 Executive Blvd, Suite 242, MSC 8403
Bethesda, MD 20892
Telephone: 301-443-6710
Fax: 301-594-6849
Overnight Delivery Address:
6101 Executive Blvd, Suite 242
Rockville, MD 20852

Rebecca Claycamp
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6122, MSC 9605
Bethesda, MD 20892-9605
Telephone: (301) 443-2811
FAX: (301) 443-6885

Michael Loewe
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
6001 Executive Blvd., Room 3290
Bethesda, MD 20892-9537
Telephone: (301) 496-9231
FAX: (301) 402-0219


Individuals must submit the application using the Ruth L. Kirschstein National 
Research Service Award Individual Fellowship Form (PHS 416-1, rev. 06/02) 
available at  Applications must have a 
Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as the 
Universal Identifier when applying for Federal grants or cooperative 
agreements.  The DUNS number can be obtained by calling (866) 705-5711 or 
through the web site at  The DUNS number 
should be entered on line 12 of the face page of the PHS 416-1 form.  For 
further assistance contact GrantsInfo, telephone (301) 710-0267, email:  APPLICATIONS MUST INCLUDE AT LEAST THREE SEALED LETTERS 
RETURNED OR DELAYED IN REVIEW.  If the applicant has been lawfully admitted to 
the United States for permanent residence, the appropriate item should be 
checked on the Face Page of the application. Applicants who have applied for 
and have not yet been granted admission as a permanent resident should check 
the Permanent Resident block on the Face Page of the PHS 416-1 application, 
and also write in the word "pending."  A notarized statement documenting legal 
admission for permanent residence must be submitted prior to the issuance of 
an award. 

The applicant should identify the number of this Program Announcement (PA) in 
Item 3.

Instructions in the Responsible Conduct of Research:

Applications must include the candidate's plans for obtaining instruction in 
the responsible conduct of research, including the rationale, subject matter, 
appropriateness, format, frequency and duration of instruction.  The amount 
and nature of faculty participation must be described.  Although the NIH has 
not established specific curriculum or format requirements for this training, 
it is suggested that the following topics be covered: conflict of interest, 
data sharing, responsible authorship, policies for handling misconduct, 
policies regarding the use of human and animal subjects, and data management.  
Applications without plans for training in responsible conduct of research 
will be considered incomplete and may be returned without review.  No award 
will be made if an application lacks this component.

Instructions Regarding Human Subjects Research:

If the proposed research involves human subjects, the applicant must be 
responsive to the instructions in the form PHS 416-1 (revised 6/02).  The 
adequacy of plans to include appropriate human subjects is included in the 
fellowship evaluation (see Additional Review Criteria below).  Note that NIH 
defines children as individuals under 21 years of age.  To comply with the 
Inclusion of Children Policy, however, all relevant age groups need to be 
addressed.  Hence, inclusion of individuals from 18-21 does not automatically 
satisfy the requirement to include children.  Consult the decision tree for 
the exemptions that apply:

APPLICATION PROCESSING: Applications must be mailed on or before the receipt 
dates for individual NRSA fellowships described at (see also 
“Schedule” below).  The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept any 
application in response to this PA that is essentially the same as one 
currently pending initial review unless the applicant withdraws the pending 
application.  The CSR will not accept any application that is essentially the 
same as one already reviewed.  This does not preclude the submission of a 
substantial revision of an application already reviewed, but such application 
must include an Introduction addressing the previous critique.

Although there is no immediate acknowledgement of the receipt of an 
application, applicants are generally notified of the review and funding 
assignment within 8 weeks.  Normally the complete review process takes between 
5 and 8 months.


(NOTE: The earlier start date months in the range accommodate the NIDCD’S 
planned expedited review/award schedule)

Application Receipt Dates:         Apr 5      Aug 5        Dec 5
For AIDS Related Applications:     May 1      Sept 1       Jan 2
Initial Review Dates:              Jun/Jul    Oct/Nov      Feb/Mar
Earliest Start Dates:              Aug-Dec    Dec-March    April-June


Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application (including the 
Checklist, Personal Data form, AT LEAST THREE SEALED REFERENCE LETTERS, and 
all other required materials) and two (2) exact, clear, single-sided 
photocopies of the signed application, in one package to:

Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD  20892-7710
Bethesda, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)

All applications submitted to the Center for Scientific Review must come via 
United States Postal Service or a recognized delivery/courier service.  
Individuals may not personally deliver packages to the building on Rockledge 
Drive.  For further information please see

Note: Applicants submitting applications that are within the scientific 
purview of the NIDCD should send, at the time of submission, one of these 
copies and all sets of appendix materials, if any, to: 

Chief, Scientific Review Branch
Division of Extramural Research
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
6120 Executive Boulevard, Room 400-C - MSC-7180
Bethesda, MD 20892-7180
Telephone: (301) 496-8683
ATTN:  NRSA predoctoral fellowship


Complete applications will be assigned to the appropriate participating 
Institute and a suitable Scientific Review Group (SRG) in the Center for 
Scientific Review (CSR) or in the assigned NIH Institute or Center.  
Applicants will be notified by mail of their application's Institute and SRG 

Applications receive two sequential levels of review.  The first level is an 
assessment of the merit of the research training by an SRG, composed primarily 
of non-government scientists selected for their competence in research and 
research training in a scientific area related to the application.  Shortly 
after the SRG meeting, applicants will be notified by mail of the SRG 
recommendation and the name and phone number of the Institute program official 
responsible for the application.  After the SRG meeting, the Scientific Review 
Administrator (SRA), a designated Federal official, who coordinates the review 
of applications for the SRG, prepares a written summary of the review of each 
application and forwards it to the appropriate NIH Institute.  When the 
program official representing the Institute receives the written summary of 
the review, prepared by the SRA after the review meeting, a copy will be 
forwarded to the applicant.  Staff within the assigned funding Institute or 
Center provides a second level of review.  Following the second-level review, 
the program official will notify applicants within the funding range of the 
final disposition of the application.  Any questions on SRG recommendations 
and funding possibilities should be directed to the appropriate Institute 
program official, not the Scientific Review Administrator of the SRG.  


The F31 individual predoctoral fellowship is designed to train future 
generations of outstanding scientists committed to pursuing research careers 
relevant to the missions of the participating NIH Institutes.  The review of 
an application will focus on the following: the applicant, the research 
training plan, the sponsor, and the institutional environment/commitment.  
Information from the letters of reference will be used by the review 
committee in their consideration of these factors, and the final priority 
score will reflect the overall evaluation of the entire application.


o the applicant's potential for, and commitment to, a productive scientific 
career.  The reviewers may take into account the applicant's history as a 
student, as well as past and current involvement in research activities.

Research Training Plan:

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

o soundness and feasibility of the experimental approach and methodology 
proposed to carry out the research;

o specificity and clarity of the description of the research skills and 
knowledge to be acquired;

o overall coherence and potential of the research training plan to provide 
the fellow with individualized supervised experiences that will develop 
research skills;

o clarity, completeness, originality, and significance of the goals of the 
proposed research training plan;

o adequacy of knowledge and presentation of relevant literature and current 
methods in the proposed research area;

o  potential of proposed research training to serve as a sound foundation that 
will lead the applicant to a productive research career in scientific areas 
related to alcohol abuse and alcoholism, biomedical imaging and/or 
bioengineering, deafness and other communication disorders, drug abuse and 
addiction, mental health, or neurological disorders and stroke research;

o adequacy of plans for the protection of human subjects, animals, or the 
environment, to the extent they may be adversely affected by the research 

o adequacy of plans to include women, children and minorities as subjects in 
research, if applicable;

o adequacy of plans to provide training in the responsible scientific conduct 
of research.


o caliber of the sponsor as a researcher, including successful competition 
for research support;

o evidence of the proposed sponsor's understanding of and commitment to 
fulfilling the role of sponsor and mentor;

o evidence of an understanding of the applicant's research training needs and 
a demonstrated ability, on the part of the sponsor, to assist in meeting 
those needs;

o past research training record of the sponsor in terms of the rate at which 
former predoctoral trainees obtain their doctoral degree and go on to 
postdoctoral or other scientific careers.

Institutional Environment/Commitment:

o training environment, including the institutional commitment to research 
training and career development, the quality of the facilities and related 
resources (e.g., equipment, laboratory space, computer time, subject 
populations) and the availability of research support.

Additional Review Criteria:

In addition to the above criteria, the following items may be considered in 
the determination of scientific merit and the priority score:

o Protection of Human Subjects from Research Risk: The involvement of human 
subjects and protections from research risk relating to their participation in 
the proposed research will be assessed. (See criteria included in the section 
on Federal Citations, below).
o Inclusion of Women, Minorities and Children in research: The adequacy of 
plans to include subjects from both genders, all racial and ethnic groups (and 
subgroups), and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the 
research will be assessed.  Plans for the recruitment and retention of 
subjects will also be evaluated. (See Inclusion Criteria in the sections on 
Federal Citations, below).

o Care and Use of Vertebrate Animals in Research: If vertebrate animals are to 
be used in the project, the five items described on page 21 of the PHS 416-1 
fellowship application instructions (rev. 6/2002) will be assessed (see  


The responsibility for award decisions resides solely with authorized program 
staff of the Institutes.  The following criteria will be used in making award 
decisions: (1) overall merit of the application; (2) relevance of the 
application to the research priorities and mission of the awarding institute 
and programs; and (3) availability of funds.

Activation: No funds may be disbursed until the fellow has started training 
under the award and an Activation Notice (PHS 416-5) has been submitted to the 
NIH.  An awardee has up to 6 months from the issue date on the award notice to 
activate the award. Under unusual circumstances, an NIH institute may grant an 
extension of the activation period upon receipt of a specific request from the 


HUMAN SUBJECTS PROTECTION:  Federal regulations (45CFR46) require that 
applications and proposals involving human subjects must be evaluated with 
reference to the risks to the subjects, the adequacy of protection against 
these risks, the potential benefits of the research to the subjects and 
others, and the importance of the knowledge gained or to be gained.

DATA AND SAFETY MONITORING PLAN: Data and safety monitoring is required for 
all types of clinical trials, including physiologic, toxicity, and dose-
finding studies (phase I); efficacy studies (phase II), efficacy, 
effectiveness and comparative trials (phase III). The establishment of data 
and safety monitoring boards (DSMBs) is required for multi-site clinical 
trials involving interventions that entail potential risk to the 
participants.  (NIH Policy for Data and Safety Monitoring, NIH Guide for 
Grants and Contracts, June 12, 1998:  

the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their sub-populations 
must be included in all NIH-supported clinical research projects unless a 
clear and compelling justification is provided indicating that inclusion is 
inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of 
the research. This policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 
(Section 492B of Public Law 103-43).

All investigators proposing clinical research should read the "NIH Guidelines 
for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research - 
Amended, October, 2001," published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts 
on October 9, 2001 
(; a 
complete copy of the updated Guidelines is available at  
The amended policy incorporates: the use of an NIH definition of 
clinical research; updated racial and ethnic categories in compliance with 
the new OMB standards; clarification of language governing NIH-defined Phase 
III clinical trials consistent with the new PHS Form 398; and updated roles 
and responsibilities of NIH staff and the extramural community.  The policy 
continues to require for all NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials that: a) 
all applications or proposals and/or protocols must provide a description of 
plans to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by 
sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable; 
and b) investigators must report annual accrual and progress in conducting 
analyses, as appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group 

The NIH maintains a policy that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 
21) must be included in all human subjects research, conducted or supported 
by the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include 
them. This policy applies to all initial (Type 1) applications submitted for 
receipt dates after October 1, 1998.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
"NIH Policy and Guidelines" on the inclusion of children as participants in 
research involving human subjects that is available at

policy requires education on the protection of human subject participants for 
all investigators submitting NIH proposals for research involving human 
subjects.  You will find this policy announcement in the NIH Guide for Grants 
and Contracts Announcement, dated June 5, 2000, at

HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS (hESC): Criteria for federal funding of research on 
hESCs can be found at and at  Only 
research using hESC lines that are registered in the NIH Human Embryonic Stem 
Cell Registry will be eligible for Federal funding (see   
It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide, in the project 
description and elsewhere in the application as appropriate, the official NIH 
identifier(s)for the hESC line(s)to be used in the proposed research.  
Applications that do not provide this information will be returned without 

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to 
provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act 
(FOIA) under some circumstances.  Data that are (1) first produced in a 
project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) 
cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action 
that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed 
through FOIA.  It is important for applicants to understand the basic scope 
of this amendment.  NIH has provided guidance at

Applicants may wish to place data collected under this PA in a public 
archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the 
distribution for an indefinite period of time.  If so, the application should 
include a description of the archiving plan in the study design and include 
information about this in the budget justification section of the 
application. In addition, applicants should think about how to structure 
informed consent statements and other human subjects procedures given the 
potential for wider use of data collected under this award.

URLs IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES: All applications and proposals 
for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page limitations. 
Unless otherwise specified in an NIH solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) 
should not be used to provide information necessary to the review because 
reviewers are under no obligation to view the Internet sites.   Furthermore, 
we caution reviewers that their anonymity may be compromised when they 
directly access an Internet site.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010: The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to 
achieving the health promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy 
People 2010," a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas. This PA 
is related to one or more of the priority areas. Potential applicants may 
obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at


Kirschstein-NRSA awards are made under the authority of Section 487 of the 
Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 288), and Title 42 of the Code 
of Federal Regulations, Part 66. All awards are subject to the terms and 
conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH 
Grants Policy Statement.  The NIH Grants Policy Statement can be found at This program is not subject 
to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or 
Health Systems Agency review. 

The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free 
workplace and discourage the 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.

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

Office of Extramural Research (OER) - Home Page Office of Extramural
Research (OER)
  National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Home Page National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Home Page Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS) - Government Made Easy

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