National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Funding Opportunity Title
International Neuroscience Fellowship (F05)
F05 International Research Fellowships
Reissue of PAR-10-167
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)
93.853, 93.866, 93.891, 93.865, 93.279, 93.173, 93.113, 93.242
The goal of the International Neuroscience Fellowship (INF) is to advance the training of qualified foreign neuroscientists and clinicians at the early or mid-career level, by enhancing their basic, translational or clinical research skills in a research setting in the United States (U.S.). This program aims to strengthen the intellectual capital of neuroscience research in international institutions. Awardees are expected to pursue future independent and productive careers, which stimulate research in the neurosciences on a global scale.
Eligible individual applicants include non-immigrant foreign scientists at the early or mid-career level. All applicants must have a doctoral or equivalent degree, and an endorsement from their home institution, with a guaranteed appointment upon completion of the fellowship. Applicants must be proficient in English and must have a sponsor in the U.S. who is affiliated with an eligible U.S. organization. All applicants must be from a low- to middle-income country based on Gross National Income per capita classified by the World Bank (http://go.worldbank.org/K2CKM78CC0).
All applications for the INF must be submitted from the U.S. Sponsoring Institution.
February 3, 2011
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
July 16, 2011
Letter of Intent Due Date
July 16, 2011, 2012
Application Due Date(s)
August 16, 2011, 2012 , by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.
AIDS Application Due Date(s)
Scientific Merit Review
November 2011, 2012
Advisory Council Review
January 2012, 2013
Earliest Start Date(s)
April 2012, 2013
August 17, 2012
Due Dates for E.O. 12372
Required Application Instructions
It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Individual Fellowship SF424 (R&R) Application Guide except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.
Part 1. Overview Information
Part 2. Full Text of the Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Section II. Award Information
Section III. Eligibility Information
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
Section V. Application Review Information
Section VI. Award Administration Information
Section VII. Agency Contacts
Section VIII. Other Information
The mission of the NIH Neuroscience Institutes is to reduce the burden of illness in the nervous system - a burden borne by every age group, by every segment of society, by people all over the world – and to enhance understanding of links between the nervous system, behavior, and health. Recognizing that international advancements in biomedical research can contribute to improvements in the health of U.S. populations, it is important to develop creative approaches that promote international research, training and collaborations in the neurosciences. The main goal of the International Neuroscience Fellowship (INF) is to advance the training of qualified foreign neuroscientists and clinicians at the early or mid-career level, by enhancing their basic, translational or clinical research skills in a research setting in the U.S.
The objective of the INF is to prepare awardees for independent careers in academia, research or clinical institutions in their home country. The broader goal of this program announcement is to strengthen the intellectual capital of neuroscience research in foreign institutions, particularly those with limited economic resources. It is hoped that this FOA will enhance the quality and quantity of international neuroscience research, while fostering long lasting collaborations between foreign and U.S. neuroscientists. Successful recipients of the INF may apply to the Fogarty International Center’s Global Research Initiative Program for New Foreign Investigators (GRIP), which supports the development of international investigators who are returning to a low- or middle-income country.
As a Fellowship Applicant, the individual, together with his/her U.S. sponsor and institution are jointly responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed fellowship research training program. Applicants must demonstrate that, upon completion of the fellowship, they will have the opportunity to use their newly acquired skills to pursue neuroscience research, and to teach or direct others in neuroscience research in their home country. All applicants must be from a low- to middle-income country based on Gross National Income per capita classified by the World Bank (http://go.worldbank.org/K2CKM78CC0).
While it is expected that the research plan of applications will be diverse, the research goals should be of global importance and also be relevant to the missions of the participating NIH Institutes. Each NIH Institute and Center (IC) has a unique scientific purview and different program priorities. Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the relevant NIH staff for Institute specific programmatic and budgetary information: Table of Institute and Center Contacts.
Specific Research Interests of Participating Institutes:
Applicants can obtain information and research interests for each of the participating Institutes website, listed at the beginning of this announcement, or by contacting the institute scientific contact listed in this announcement (see Section VII. Agency Contacts) Table of Institute and Center Contacts.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) supported fellowships under this FOA are expected to have high relevance to the mission of the Institute, particularly as it relates to disorders in the nervous system that have high global health impact. Specific disease areas of interest include, but are not limited to, stroke and other cerebrovascular diseases, epilepsy, migraine, brain trauma and spinal cord injury, Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders, neural developmental disorders, and neurological consequences of HIV/AIDS. The NINDS encourages training on basic, translational and clinical research skills, which include, but are not limited to, genetic, molecular, cellular and systems level approaches, computational, informatics and neuroimaging, therapeutics development, clinical trial design, bioethics and neuroethics, population-based natural history and epidemiological studies.
National Institute on Aging (NIA) supported fellowships under this FOA should be aimed at a better understanding of age-related normal and pathological changes in the structure and function of the nervous system and how such changes affect behavior, well-being, and health of the elderly. Expanding knowledge on the aging nervous system will allow improvement in the quality of life of older individuals. Changes in the brain that affect sensory, motor, sleep, cognitive, social, and emotional functioning have a profound influence on the quality of life of older individuals. Changes in brain functions are related to many age-related decrements that require institutional care. Decrements in functional capacity not only limit independence but also influence the attitudes of others toward the aging, affect the individual's self-image, and often determine the nature and quality of healthcare services. In addition, normal age-related neurological changes may impact functional capacity in social interaction, activities of daily living, health maintenance, and medical and economic decision making. Research training under this program could include basic and clinical studies of the nervous system, clinical trials of interventions of therapeutic modalities, epidemiological research to identify risk factors and to establish prevalence and incidence estimates of pathologic conditions, and research relevant to those geriatric problems arising from psychiatric and neurological disorders associated with aging as well as the further understanding of the normal aging brain.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) supported fellowships under this FOA are expected to focus on the neurobiological mechanisms, and behavioral and cognitive processes, related to the problems of alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. Areas of research investigation can range across the lifespan, and include the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure and the effects of alcohol during adolescence and adulthood. Basic, clinical, and translational research studies directed toward investigation of the effects of alcohol on the nervous system and behavior, including approaches using animal models, would be considered appropriate.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) supported fellowships under this FOA may include basic, clinical and translational research with multidisciplinary approaches in the biomedical and behavioral neurosciences areas, particularly as they affect developing systems and rehabilitation. Relevant neuroscience research areas include, but are not limited to: developmental behavioral and cognitive neuroscience in human and animal models; neural bases of behavior, language, and treatment of learning disabilities; regulation of early embryonic development of the central and peripheral nervous system, including mechanisms of normal and abnormal neural development; biomedical and behavioral aspects of mental retardation and developmental disabilities, neuroendocrinological and nutritional influences on brain development; neurotropic growth factors, use of drugs for neuropharmacological and psychopharmacological treatment of pediatric patients, and of women during pregnancy; intrauterine neurotoxicity; neuroprotective agents; management of maternal neurologic disorders and their affects on pregnancy and infant outcomes, neuroendocrine control of reproduction, genetics of reproductive neuroendocrine diseases and disorders; neural basis of reproductive behavior, pathophysiology and management of chronically injured nervous, such as traumatic brain injury, stroke and spinal cord injury, repair and recovery of motor and cognitive function; functional plasticity, rehabilitative interventions and strategies for all ages, including motor training, behavioral modifications, pediatric critical care and rehabilitation; neuroengineering, and assistive technologies.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) supported fellowships under this FOA are expected to focus on the neurobiological mechanisms, and behavioral and cognitive processes, that relate to the public health problem of drug abuse and addiction. Research focusing on, but not limited to, the following areas is encouraged: (1) the transition to addiction (i.e., from controlled use to uncontrolled, compulsive use of drugs); (2) the consequences of drug abuse and addiction (e.g., drug-induced neuroadaptations, neurotoxicity, altered cognitive and behavioral processes, developmental deficits); (3) the antecedents to drug addiction and relapse (e.g., genetics, stress, environmental precipitants); (4) the neurobiological bases of pain and its alleviation by opiates, other analgesics, adjunctive medications, and alternative therapies (e.g., acupuncture, virtual reality); and (5) the complex interrelationship among HIV/AIDS progression, transmission, and drug abuse. It is expected that the scientific understanding gained from neuroscience and behavioral research will be applicable to improving treatment and prevention of drug abuse and drug addiction.
National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) fellowships under this FOA are expected to focus on the neurobiological mechanisms, and behavioral and cognitive processes, that relate to the public health problem of communication disorders. NIDCD fosters discovery and strives to reduce the burden of communication disorders through the support of research across the continuum of basic, epidemiologic, clinical/applied biomedical, social and behavioral health sciences. Research within the institute's scientific programs of hearing, balance/vestibular, taste, smell, voice, speech and language throughout the lifespan is encouraged. Specific disorders of interest include, but are not limited to aphasia, dysarthria, spasmodic dysphonia, stuttering, autism, and anosmia/ageusia. Research on hearing aids, cochlear implants, neural prostheses, Meniere's disease, presbycusis, noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus is also of high programmatic interest. All research appropriate to the mission of NIDCD, which is to reduce the burden of communication disorders, will be considered.
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) supported fellowships under this FOA are expected to focus on the environmental health sciences and be appropriate to the mission of the NIEHS, which is to reduce the burden of human illness and dysfunction from environmental causes by understanding how environmental factors, individual genetic susceptibility and age (time or stage of development) interrelate in the disease process. Proposals should demonstrate a direct human health endpoint and address how an environmental exposure is, or might be, involved in a neurological or psychiatric disease process. Special interests include the effects of hazardous environmental agents on neurodevelopment, the role of the environment in cell death and neurodegeneration, and investigating gene-environment interactions by measuring the joint effects of genetic susceptibilities and environmental agents through epidemiological studies, animal models and in vitro cellular or molecular approaches. Examples of environmentally relevant factors/toxicants include industrial chemicals or manufacturing byproducts, metals, pesticides, herbicides, air pollutants, or biologically derived toxins. Agents considered inappropriate to the interests of the NIEHS include, but are not limited to: alcohol, chemotherapeutic agents, radiation which is not a result of an ambient environmental exposure, drugs of abuse, pharmaceuticals, and infectious or parasitic agents, except when these are disease co-factors to an environmental toxicant exposure to produce the biological effect.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) supported fellowships under this FOA are expected to have high relevance to the mission of the Institute. NIMH encourages applications for the INF in the following areas:
1) fundamental neuroscience research on cognitive, affective, social, and regulatory systems and their development in humans, non-human primates, and in other animals; fundamental neuroscience research on genetic, molecular, and cellular processing underlying function and plasticity of circuits relevant to emotional regulation, cognition, and mental disorders; and genetics research to identify, localize, and understand the function of genes and other genomic elements in brain that produce susceptibility to mental disorders;
2) the neural basis of mental disorders; human and animal studies on the molecular, cellular, and systems level of brain function designed to elucidate the pathophysiology of mental disease and to translate these findings to clinical diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies;
3) the developmental origins of mental disorders, neurobehavioral mechanisms responsible for the development of psychopathology, trajectories of risk/illness based on the combined and interactive influences of genetics, brain development, environment, and experience, and the translation of these for personalized preventive and treatment interventions ;
4) basic and clinical HIV neuroscience research related to HIV neuropathogenesis, host and HIV viral genetics, in vivo HIV neuroimaging/biomarker research methodologies and preclinical/clinical HIV therapeutics research;
VIII, Other Information - Required Federal Citations, for policies related
to this announcement.
Application Types Allowed
The OER Glossary and the SF 424 (R&R) Individual Fellowship Application Guide provide details on these application types.
Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards
Awards issued under this FOA are contingent upon the availability of funds and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.
Award budgets are composed of stipends, tuition and fees, and institutional allowance, as described below..
Award Project Period
Individuals may receive up to three years of support for research training at a basic, translational or clinical research facility within the U.S. (referred to as the U.S. sponsoring institution.)
This fellowship award provides stipends to fellows as a subsistence allowance to help defray living expenses during the research training experiences at the U.S. sponsoring institution. The awards are not provided as a condition of employment with either the Federal government or the sponsoring institution.
The most recent stipend levels are described on the Kirschstein-NRSA webpage. NIH will adjust awards on the anniversary date of the award to ensure consistency with the stipend level in effect at that time.
Visit NIH Grants Policy Statement: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for more information.
Tuition and Fees
NIH will contribute to the combined cost of tuition and fees at the rate in place at the time of award. The most recent tuition and fees levels are described on the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) webpage. Visit NIH Grants Policy Statement: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for more information. Costs associated with tuition and fees are allowable only if they are required for specific courses in support of the research training experience of the fellow at the U.S. sponsoring institution.
The application should request a Kirschstein-NRSA institutional allowance to help defray the cost of fellowship expenses such as health insurance, research supplies, equipment, books, and travel to scientific meetings or to the fellow's home institution. The allowance for traveling to and from the foreign institution may include a single economy or coach round-trip airline ticket. No travel allowance is provided for the awardee's dependents. U.S. flag air carriers must be used to the maximum extent possible when commercial air transportation is available for travel between the U.S. and the foreign country. The allowance for travel is within the NIH-published Institutional Allowance level. The most recent institutional allowance levels are described via a link on the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) site. Requests for additional costs (such as to accommodate the disabilities of a fellow) must be explained in detail and justified in the application. Visit NIH Grants Policy Statement: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for more information.
NIH does not separately reimburse indirect costs (also known as Facilitates & Administrative [F&A] Costs) for fellowships. Costs for administering fellowships are part of Institutional Allowance.
NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made in response to this FOA.
Higher Education Institutions:
The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:
Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education
For profit Organizations
Pease note: National Institutes of Health intramural laboratories are not included as eligible agencies of the Federal Government.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Organizations) are not eligible to apply. Sponsoring institutions must be a basic, translational or clinical research facility in the U.S. and must have staff and facilities available on site to provide a suitable environment for performing high-quality research training. The research training should occur in a research-intensive environment that has appropriate human and technical resources and is demonstrably committed to research training in the particular program proposed by the applicant. Foreign (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not allowed.
Applicant organizations must complete the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. Applicants must have a valid Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number in order to begin each of the following registrations.
All Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD/PIs) must also work with their institutional officials to register with the eRA Commons or ensure their existing eRA Commons account is affiliated with the eRA Commons account of the applicant organization.
All registrations must be completed by the application due date. Applicant organizations are strongly encouraged to start the registration process at least four (4) weeks prior to the application due date.
Eligible individual applicants include non-immigrant foreign scientists at the early or mid-career level.
All applicants must have a doctoral or equivalent degree, and an endorsement from their home institution, with a guaranteed appointment upon completion of the fellowship. Applicants must be proficient in English and must have a sponsor in the U.S. who is affiliated with an eligible U.S. organization. All applicants must be from a low- to middle-income country. For the purpose of this announcement, the World Bank's criterion for classifying Gross National Income will be employed to determine country income status and eligibility. See http://go.worldbank.org/K2CKM78CC0 for World Bank country income classification tables.
Applicants with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) are invited to work with their sponsor and organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support. Multiple Principal Investigators are not allowed.
Citizenship: Non-immigrant foreign scientists are eligible for this award. U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, or persons with U.S. permanent resident status are not eligible for this award. Individuals in the latter three categories should consult the NIH website for descriptions of other fellowship and career development awards for which they may be eligible (http://www.training.nih.gov/).
Degree Requirements: Applicants to the INF must have earned a doctoral degree (M.D., Ph.D., D.V.M., D.D.S., D.O., O.D., D.P.M., Sc.D., Eng.D., D.N.S., Pharm.D., D.S.W., Psy.D. or equivalent) in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences at an accredited U.S. or foreign institution at the time their application is submitted in response to this announcement. The applicant must provide a photocopy of his or her diploma, and a certified English translation if the original document is not in English. The diploma should be scanned and submitted as a PDF in the Other Attachments component of the SF424 (Item 12.B).
VISA Requirements: Foreign nationals who apply for this fellowship must have a visa that permits training or employment in the U.S. at the time that an award is made. It will be the responsibility of the candidate's U.S. sponsoring institution to determine and document that the candidate's visa will allow him or her to remain in the U.S. long enough to complete the proposed research training program. INF applications must contain a description of the applicant's current visa status.
This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
NIH will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed. An individual may not have two or more competing NIH fellowship applications pending review concurrently. Resubmission applications may be submitted, according to the NIH Policy on Resubmission Applications from the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide.
Individuals may receive up to three years of support for research training at a basic, translational or clinical research setting within the U.S. (referred to as the U.S. sponsoring institution).
At the time of award, individuals are required to pursue their research training on a full-time basis, normally defined as 40 hours per week or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies. Awardees that have the need to return to their home institution for a short period of time during the training period must request permission from the program staff of the NIH funding institute. Funds for such travel must be approved by the sponsoring institution which authorizes expenditures from the institutional allowance.
Before submitting the application, the applicant fellow must identify a sponsor (sometimes called a mentor) who will supervise the proposed training and research experience. The sponsor must be affiliated with the U.S. sponsoring institution. The sponsor should be an active investigator in the area of the proposed research training and be committed both to the research training of the applicant fellow and to the direct supervision of the applicant fellow’s research. The sponsor must document the availability of sufficient research support and facilities for high-quality research. The sponsor, or a member of the mentoring team, should have a successful track record of mentoring. Applicant fellows are encouraged to identify more than one sponsor, i.e., a mentoring team, if this is deemed advantageous for providing expert advice in all aspects of the research and training program. In such cases, one individual must be identified as the principal sponsor who will coordinate the applicant fellow’s research. The applicant fellow must work with the sponsor (s) in preparing the application.
The sponsor should describe the research training plan for the applicant fellow (coordinated with the applicant fellow’s research strategy). The sponsor and any co-sponsors are also expected to provide an assessment of the applicant fellow’s qualifications and potential for a research career. The research environment and the availability and quality of needed research facilities and research resources (e.g., equipment, laboratory space, computer time, available research support, etc.) must also be described. The description should include items such as classes, seminars, and opportunities for interaction with other groups and scientists. Training in career skills, e.g. grant-writing and making effective presentations, is strongly encouraged. A brief description of potential areas for future collaboration between the sponsor and the candidate after he or she returns to the foreign institution should also be provided.
Foreign Institution: The fellowship will be awarded to the U.S. sponsoring institution only. However, no application will be accepted without an accompanying endorsement letter from the Foreign Institution to which the applicant plans to return. In this letter, the Foreign Institution must assure that the applicant has a guaranteed appointment at the institution upon his or her return. The letter should contain the following information: 1) the title and description of the applicant's appointment at thisinstitution; 2) the duration of the appointment; and 3) a description of the research facility and environment at this institution, including facilities and equipment available to the applicant. This letter must be signed by the appropriate institutional business and academic officials (such as a university dean who is responsible for the applicant's appointment) and be submitted with the completed application. The endorsement letter should be scanned and submitted as a PDF in the Other Attachments component of the SF424 (Item 12.B).
Applicants must download the SF424 (R&R) application package associated with this funding opportunity using the “Apply for Grant Electronically” button in this FOA or following the directions provided at Grants.gov. Note: All applications for the INF must be submitted from the U.S. Sponsoring Institution.
It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Fellowship Application Guide, except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.
Letter of Intent
Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows IC staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.
By the date listed in Part 1. Overview Information, prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:
Descriptive title of proposed research
Name, address, e-mail, and telephone number of the PD(s)/PI(s)
Name, address, e-mail, and telephone number of the U.S. sponsor(s)
The name of the U.S. sponsoring institution and the foreign institution
Number and title of this funding opportunity
The letter of intent should be sent to:
Stacey D. Chambers, M.S.
Office of International Activities
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
6001 Executive Boulevard
Neuroscience Center, Room 2179
Bethesda, MD 20892-9523
The forms package associated with this FOA includes all applicable components, mandatory and optional. Please note that some components marked optional in the application package are required for application submission. Follow the instructions in the SF 424 (R&R) to determine which components are required.
All page limitations described in the SF424 (R&R) Individual Fellowship Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed ,
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Individual Fellowship Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:
Research Strategy (Component of Research Training Plan)
Fellowship Applicants must describe a tailored research training plan, including a description of how the research strategy (preferably hypothesis-driven) is well-suited to the stage of his/her career development to date. Describe the skills and techniques that the candidate will learn during the award period, and discuss the relationship of the proposed research training to the applicant's career goals. Details of how the Fellowship applicant will use his/her newly acquired skills to pursue a neuroscience research career and train others, once s/he has returned to his/her home country, must also be presented. The applicant's plan should be coordinated with the sponsor's plan, and should include substantive detail that adds to the information about time allocations requested. The applicant must describe the background leading to the proposed research, the significance of the research, the research approach (design and methods) for achieving the Specific Aims, the rationale, and expected/alternative outcomes of the proposed studies. It is beneficial to include pertinent preliminary data obtained by the applicant in the current or prior laboratory.
Resource Sharing Plan
Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, and Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
Do not use the appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
Applicant fellows must carefully follow the SF424 (R&R) Individual Fellowship Application Guide, including the time period for when letters of reference will be accepted. Applications lacking the required reference letters may be delayed in review or not reviewed. Please note that the specified Fellowship Reference Form must be used. This is a separate process from submitting an application electronically. Reference letters are submitted directly through the eRA Commons Referee Information link and not through Grants.gov.
Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates. Applicants are encouraged to submit in advance of the deadline to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission.
Organizations must submit applications via Grants.gov, the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies. Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration.
Applicants are responsible for viewing their application in the eRA Commons to ensure accurate and successful submission.
Information on the submission process and a definition of on-time submission are provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.
All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The National Research Service Award (NRSA) policies apply to this program. 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.
Pre-award costs are generally not allowable for Fellowships.
While the INF is not an NRSA award, it is subject to NRSA Policies.
Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide. Paper applications will not be accepted.
Applicants must complete all required registrations before the application due date. Section III. Eligibility Information contains information about registration.
For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit Applying Electronically.
All PD/PIs must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF 424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH.
The U.S. sponsoring institution must ensure that the DUNS number it provides on the application is the same number used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the Central Contractor Registration (CCR). Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
See more tips for avoiding common errors.
Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the Center for Scientific Review, NIH. Applications that are incomplete will not be reviewed.
Citizenship (Item 10): The fellowship applicant should check the "Non-U.S. Citizen with temporary U.S. visa" box. The fellowship applicant must have in his/her possession a valid visa allowing him/her to remain in the U.S. long enough to be productive on the proposed fellowship project. It is the responsibility of the sponsoring institution to determine and retain documentation indicating that the individual fellowship applicant's visa will allow him/her to reside in the proposed research training setting for the period of time necessary to complete the proposed fellowship. Verification may be requested by the NIH IC prior to issuance of an award.
Non-immigrant foreign scientists are eligible for this award. U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, or persons with U.S. permanent resident status are not eligible for this award. Foreign nationals who apply for this fellowship must have a visa that permits training or employment in the U.S. at the time that an award is made.
Other Project Information Component (Section 4.4 of SF424 (R&R) Individual Fellowship Application Guide) – Other Attachments (Item 12)
Important Note: The following attachments must be included for Fellowship applications. Submit each attachment separately using the Other Attachments section of the Other Project Information Component.
Sponsor and any Co-Sponsor(s) Information (Limited to 6 pages)
a. Research Support Available: The sponsor(s) who will directly supervise the applicant's research, must currently be funded to conduct independent research in the area of the proposed research training (e.g., Principal Investigator on an R01 or equivalent)
b. Sponsor's/Co-Sponsor's Previous Fellows/Trainees: The sponsor(s) must describe past experience in the guidance of other research trainees and fellows.
c. Training Plan, Environment, Research Facilities: The sponsor(s) must describe in detail his/her commitment to and proposed role in guiding the individual applicant during the research training experience. The sponsor(s) should describe the research training plan for the applicant (coordinated with the applicant's own research training plan). The description should include items such as classes, seminars, and opportunities for interaction with other groups and scientists. Training in career skills, e.g. grant-writing and presentation skills is strongly encouraged. The description should also elaborate on the research environment and available research facilities and equipment, and discuss the relationship of the proposed research training to the applicant's career. The sponsor(s) must also describe potential areas for future collaboration between the sponsor(s) and the candidate after he or she returns to the foreign institution.
The application should describe the quality and appropriateness of the training environment for the applicant's development including the strength of the institutional commitment to fostering the fellows' training. Describe the quality and availability of facilities and resources (e.g. equipment, laboratory space, computer time, subject populations) for the proposed training. Additionally, the quality of the facilities and related resources (e.g., equipment, laboratory space, computer time, available research support, etc.) must be described.
d. Number of Fellows/Trainees to be Supervised During the Fellowship: The sponsor(s) should provide information on other trainees they will be supervising during the period of this fellowship award.
e. Applicant's Qualifications and Potential for a Research Career: The sponsor(s) are also expected to provide an assessment of the applicant's qualifications and potential for a research career. The application must include statements that address the planned value of the proposed fellowship experience and research training program, and how these relate to the applicant's needs in preparation for an independent research career upon their return to their home country. Applicants should provide evidence of their potential for a productive and successful research career based upon the quality of their previous research training and academic record.
Additional Educational Information Required:
Letters of Reference (Section 5.4 of SF424 (R&R) Individual Fellowship Application Guide)
Candidates must follow the Supplemental Instructions in the SF424 R&R Individual Fellowship Application Guide for Section 5.4 â€" Letters of Reference. Please note that the specified Fellowship Reference Form must be used. This is a separate process from submitting an application electronically. Reference letters are submitted directly through the eRA Commons at https://public.era.nih.gov/commons/public/reference/submitReferenceLetter.do?mode=new and do not use Grants.gov.
Letters of reference are an important component of the application for fellowship support. Applicants for this fellowship must arrange to have at least three (but no more than five) letters of reference submitted on their behalf to the eRA Commons Web site. The letters should be from well-established scientists (referees) addressing the qualities of the Fellowship Applicant as well as his/her potential to develop research skills needed in preparation for a productive research career as a physician-scientist or clinician-scientist in scientific areas related to the mission of one of the participating Institutes. These letters should be from individuals not directly involved in the application, but who are familiar with the candidate's qualifications, training, and interests, including advisory committee members (if applicable). Resubmission applications will require new letters of reference.
Letters of reference may be submitted any time after the FOA opens and no later than 5 business days after the application due date. The Fellowship Reference Form can be submitted through eRA Commons at https://public.era.nih.gov/commons/public/reference/submitReferenceLetter.do?mode=new prior to application submission through Grants.gov.
Applications that are missing the required letters of reference may be delayed in the review process or not accepted.
Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in NOT-OD-10-115.
Only the review criteria described below will be considered
in the review process. As part of the NIH mission,
all applications submitted to the NIH in support of biomedical and behavioral
research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer
For this particular announcement, note the following:
Reviewers will provide an overall impact/priority score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood that the fellowship will enhance the candidate’s potential for, and commitment to, a productive independent scientific research career in a health-related field, in consideration of the scored and additional review criteria.
Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact.
Are the applicant fellow’s academic record and research experience of high quality? Does the applicant fellow have the potential to develop as an independent and productive researcher in biomedical, behavioral or clinical science? Does the applicant provide evidence of a commitment to neuroscience research? Is there evidence of the applicant's potential to become an independent investigator (early career candidate) or is there evidence of the applicant's ability to train and direct others (mid-career level candidate) in neuroscience research in their home country? Does the applicant provide acceptable post-fellowship plans from the home institution, as described in the required endorsement letter?
Sponsors, Collaborators, and Consultants
Are the sponsor(s) research qualifications (including successful competition for research support) and track record of mentoring appropriate for the proposed fellowship? Are there (1) evidence of a match between the research interests of the applicant fellow and the sponsor (including an understanding of the applicant’s research training needs) and (2) a demonstrated ability and commitment of the sponsor to assist in meeting these needs? Are the qualifications of any collaborator(s) and/or consultant(s), including their complementary expertise and previous experience in fostering the training of fellows, appropriate for the proposed research project?
Research Training Plan
Is the proposed research plan of high scientific quality, and does it relate to the applicant fellow’s training plan? Is the training plan consistent with the applicant fellow’s stage of research development? Will the research training plan provide the applicant with individualized and supervised experiences that will develop research skills needed for his/her independent and productive research career?
Does the proposed research training plan have the potential to provide the applicant fellow with the requisite individualized and supervised experiences that will develop his/her research skills?
Does the proposed research training have the potential to serve as a sound foundation that will lead the applicant fellow to an independent and productive career? Does the research training plan provide evidence of feasibility of transferring and utilizing the acquired skills in the candidate's home institution?
Institutional Environment & Commitment to Training
Are the research facilities, resources (e.g. equipment, laboratory space, computer time, subject populations), and training opportunities adequate and appropriate? Is the institutional environment for the scientific development of the applicant fellow of high quality, and is there appropriate institutional commitment to fostering the applicant fellow’s training as an independent and productive researcher? Does the application contain plans for continued collaboration between the fellow and the U.S. sponsor(s) after the fellow has returned to his or her home country?
As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will evaluate the following additional items while determining scientific and technical merit, and in providing an overall impact/priority score, but will not give separate scores for these items.
Protections for Human Subjects
For research that involves human subjects but does
not involve one of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR
Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human
subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their
participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to
subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the
subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data
and safety monitoring for clinical trials.
For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Human Subjects Protection and Inclusion Guidelines.
Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children
When the proposed project involves clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for inclusion of minorities and members of both genders, as well as the inclusion of children. For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Human Subjects Protection and Inclusion Guidelines.
The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following five points: 1) proposed use of the animals, and species, strains, ages, sex, and numbers to be used; 2) justifications for the use of animals and for the appropriateness of the species and numbers proposed; 3) adequacy of veterinary care; 4) procedures for limiting discomfort, distress, pain and injury to that which is unavoidable in the conduct of scientifically sound research including the use of analgesic, anesthetic, and tranquilizing drugs and/or comfortable restraining devices; and 5) methods of euthanasia and reason for selection if not consistent with the AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.
Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.
For Resubmissions, the committee will evaluate the application as now presented, taking into consideration the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group and changes made to the project.
As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items, and should not consider them in providing an overall impact/priority score.
Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research
Taking into account the circumstances of the fellow, including level of experience, the reviewers will address the following questions. Does the plan satisfactorily address the format of instruction, e.g. lectures, coursework, and/or real-time discussion groups? Do plans include a sufficiently broad selection of subject matter, such as conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety? Do the plans adequately describe the role of the sponsor/mentor or other faculty involvement in the fellow’s instruction? Does the plan meet the minimum requirements for RCR, i.e., eight contact hours of instruction every four years? Plans and past record will be rated as ACCEPTABLE or UNACCEPTABLE, and the summary statement will provide the consensus rating of the review committee. Applications rated UNACCEPTABLE will not be funded until the applicant provides an acceptable, revised plan.
Applications from Foreign Organizations
Select Agent Research
Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).
Resource Sharing Plans
Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: 1) Data Sharing Plan; 2) Sharing Model Organisms; and 3) Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS).
Budget and Period of Support
Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.
Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s) convened by the NINDS (assignments will be shown in the eRA Commons), in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria.
As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:
Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications . Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the appropriate NIH Institute or Center . The following will be considered in making funding decisions:
After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD/PI will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written critique) via the eRA Commons.
Information regarding the disposition of applications is available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH
will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant as
described in the NIH Grants
A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization for successful applications. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document and will be sent via email to the grantee business official.
Awardees must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions. Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.
Any application awarded in response to this FOA will be subject to the DUNS, CCR Registration, and Transparency Act requirements as noted on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.
All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities. More information is provided at Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants.
Recipients of INF support do not incur service payback.
The taxability of stipends is described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Fellowships funded primarily for educational purposes are exempted from the PHS invention requirements and thus invention reporting is not required. More details, including exceptions for fellows training at NIH are provided in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
The NIH Grants Policy Statement: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards describes NRSA leave policies. Applicant fellows may receive stipends for parental leave as described in NOT-OD-08-064.
In carrying out its stewardship of human resource-related programs, the NIH may request information essential to an assessment of the effectiveness of this program. Accordingly, recipients are hereby notified that they may be contacted after the completion of this award for periodic updates on various aspects of their employment history, publications, support from research grants or contracts, honors and awards, professional activities, and other information helpful in evaluating the impact of the program.
When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit a Kirschstein-NRSA Individual Fellowship Progress Report for Continuation Support (PHS 416-9) annually. The report is due two months before the beginning date of the next budget period and must include information describing the current year's progress as well as the research and training plans for the coming year.
The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later. All awardees of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement.
Information describing the guaranteed appointment offered by the home institution
We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity
and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.
Consultation with the appropriate program officials listed below is strongly encouraged for questions regarding the program priorities of this FOA.
GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and
process, finding NIH grant resources)
eRA Commons Help Desk(Questions regarding eRA Commons
registration, tracking application status, post submission issues)
Phone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)
Yuan Liu, Ph.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Wen G. Chen, Ph.D
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
John A. Matochik, Ph.D.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Nancy L. Shinowara, Ph.D.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
David Shurtleff, Ph.D.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Janet L. Cyr, Ph.D.
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Michael C. Humble, Ph.D.
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Michael W. Vogel, Ph.D.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science
Mark Chavez, Ph.D.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Adult Translational Research
Michael Sesma, Ph.D.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Developmental Translational Research
David M. Stoff, Ph.D.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Chief, Scientific Review Branch
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke(NINDS)
Janis Peterson, MPA
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Judy S. Fox
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Bryan S. Clark, MBA
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Pamela G. Fleming
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284)and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 63A and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.
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