National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Funding Opportunity Title
NCI Mentored Research Scientist Development Award to Promote Diversity (K01)
K01 Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training
Reissue of PAR-09-052
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number
PAR-12-051, NCI Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award to Promote Diversity (K08), and PAR-12-052, NCI Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award to Promote Diversity (K23)
Applicants may only have one individual Career Development Award application pending peer review at any time. See Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)
The purpose of the NCI Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01) is to provide support and protected time (three, four, or five years) for an intensive, supervised career development experience in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences leading to research independence. Awards are not renewable and they are not transferable from one principal investigator (PI) to another. The Diversity Training Branch (DTB) of the Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD), at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), invites career development award applications (K01) from individuals representative of groups that have been shown to be underrepresented in health-related science, who have been recipients of an NIH Research Supplement to Promote Diversity Award, any Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (individual F31/F32 or institutional T32), or can demonstrate that they have been supported in a mentored capacity within any research grant equivalent to an NIH peer-reviewed research grant (e.g., American Cancer Society [ACS] research grant). Candidates with clinical degrees (e.g., MD) may wish to consider the NCI Mentored Clinical Scientist Award to Promote Diversity Award (K08) and candidates interested in patient-oriented research may wish to consider the NCI Mentored Patient-Oriented Research to Promote Diversity Award (K23) as more appropriate alternatives relative to their stage of development and career goals.
December 15, 2011
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
January 12, 2012
Letter of Intent Due Date
Application Due Date(s)
Standard dates apply, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.
AIDS Application Due Date(s)
Standard dates apply, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.
Scientific Merit Review
Standard dates apply
Advisory Council Review
Standard dates apply
Earliest Start Date(s)
Standard dates apply
New Date: December 10, 2014. This PAR has been reissued as PAR-15-064.
Due Dates for E.O. 12372
Required Application Instructions
It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide, especially Supplemental Instructions to the SF424 (R&R) for Preparing an Individual Research Career Development Award (CDA) Application (“K” Series) 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 overall goal of the NIH Research Career Development program is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists are available in appropriate scientific disciplines to address the Nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. More information about Career programs may be found at the NIH Extramural Training Mechanisms website.
The objective of the NCI Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01) is to provide salary and research support for a sustained period of “protected time” (3-5 years) for intensive research career development under the guidance of an experienced mentor, or sponsor, in the biomedical, behavioral or clinical sciences leading to research independence. The expectation is that through this sustained period of research career development and training, awardees will launch independent research careers and become competitive for new research project grant (e.g., R01) funding. Candidates with clinical degrees (e.g., MD) may wish to consider the NCI Mentored Clinical Scientist Award to Promote Diversity Award (K08) and candidates interested in patient-oriented research may wish to consider the NCI Mentored Patient-Oriented Research to Promote Diversity Award (K23) as more appropriate alternatives relative to their stage of development and career goals.
Substantial national and local efforts are directed toward a reduction in cancer morbidity and mortality in the general population. However, in spite of these efforts, the American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 1.6 million men and women will be diagnosed with cancer, and approximately 0.5 million deaths from cancer are projected to occur in the United States in 2011. Past patterns of cancer incidence and mortality predict that the disproportionate increase in U.S. cancer incidence and mortality will be experienced by both underrepresented and underserved populations.
A reduction in the overall cancer mortality rate in underrepresented populations would substantially impact known cancer statistics. A major obstacle to developing a stronger national underrepresented cancer research effort has been the lack of significant strategic training programs for students and scientists representative of underrepresented populations in cancer research. Greater involvement of underrepresented candidates who possess the appropriate cultural perspectives is integral to a successful national underrepresented cancer research effort involving more underrepresented patients and populations.
The NCI Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01) provides support for a sustained period of protected time for intensive research career development under the guidance of an experienced mentor, or sponsor, in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences leading to research independence. Successful candidates will be provided with special opportunities to enhance their knowledge and understanding of the NIH peer review system and to develop the skills required to prepare other grant applications (e.g., those of the NIH R01, R21, and R03 mechanisms).
This mechanism establishes a pathway of recruiting, training, and retaining underrepresented investigators in research fields that address problems pertinent to the biology, etiology, pathogenesis, prevention, diagnosis, control, and treatment of human cancer and who can conduct independent competitive cancer research programs. Those candidates pursuing emerging technologies and cancer health disparities research are also encouraged to apply.
All career development programs must be tailored to meet the individual needs of the candidate. The candidate and mentor are jointly responsible for the preparation of the plan for the career development program. Applicants must justify the need for this award and provide a convincing case that the proposed period of support will substantially enhance their careers as independent investigators in their chosen area of research. The sponsoring institution must be able to provide a signed statement establishing the eligibility of the candidate for this program and must be able to demonstrate a commitment to the development of the candidate as a productive, independent investigator.
The OER Glossary and the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.
Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards
The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations, and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications and the availability of funds.
Award budgets are composed of salary and other program-related expenses, as described below.
Award Project Period
The total project period may not exceed 5 years.
NCI will contribute up to $100,000 per year toward the salary of the career award recipient. The K01 award requires the candidate to devote a minimum of 9 person-months (75% of
full-time professional effort) to conducting health-related research. The
remaining effort may be devoted to clinical, teaching, or other research
pursuits and activities consistent with the objectives of the award. For
information regarding NIH policy on determining full-time professional effort
for career awards, see NOT-OD-04-056.
Other Program-Related Expenses
NCI will contribute $30,000 per year toward the research
development costs of the award recipient, which must be justified and
consistent with the stage of development of the candidate and the proportion
of time to be spent in research or career development activities.
Indirect Costs (also known as Facilities & Administrative [F&A] Costs) are reimbursed at 8% of modified total direct costs.
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
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are not eligible to apply.
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.
Any candidate with the skills, knowledge, and resources
necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director/Principal
Investigator (PD/PI) is invited to work with his/her mentor 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 PDs/PIs are not allowed.
By the time of award, the individual must be a citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., possess a currently valid Permanent Resident Card USCIS Form I-551, or other legal verification of such status) Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible.
The overarching goal of this FOA is to diversify and expand the pool of independent and talented cancer research investigators:
The NIH recognizes a unique and compelling need to promote diversity in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences workforce. The NIH expects efforts to diversify the workforce to lead to the recruitment of the most talented researchers from all groups; to improve the quality of the educational and training environment; to balance and broaden the perspective in setting research priorities; to improve the ability to recruit subjects from diverse backgrounds into clinical research protocols; and to improve the Nation’s capacity to address and eliminate health disparities.
Accordingly, the NIH continues to encourage institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations and thus to increase the participation of individuals currently underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences such as: individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds that have inhibited their ability to pursue a career in health-related research. Institutions are encouraged to identify candidates who will increase diversity on a national or institutional basis. The NIH is particularly interested in encouraging the recruitment and retention of the following classes of candidates:
A. Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see data at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/showpub.cfm?TopID=2&SubID=27 and the most recent report on Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders. In addition, it is recognized that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting; individuals from racial or ethnic groups that can be convincingly demonstrated to be underrepresented by the grantee institution should be encouraged to participate in this program.
B. Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
C. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who are defined as:
1. Individuals who come from a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds. These thresholds are based on family size; published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census; adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index; and adjusted by the Secretary for use in all health professions programs. The Secretary periodically publishes these income levels at HHS - Poverty Guidelines, Research, and Measurement. For individuals from low income backgrounds, the institution must be able to demonstrate that such participants have qualified for Federal disadvantaged assistance or they have received any of the following student loans: Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL), Loans for Disadvantaged Student Program, or they have received scholarships from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Scholarship for Individuals with Exceptional Financial Need.
2. Individuals who come from a social, cultural, or educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments that have demonstrably and recently directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career.
Disadvantaged background (C1 and C2) are most applicable to high school and perhaps undergraduate candidates, but would be more difficult to justify for individuals beyond that level of achievement.
Information must be submitted by the applicant Institution in a letter certifying that the applicant belongs to one of the above groups. The letter should be inserted in the application immediately before the Checklist as a PDF file. Application processing may be delayed or the application may be returned if it does not comply with this requirement.
Nomination: The candidate must be nominated by the institution on the basis of qualifications, interests, accomplishments, and motivation, and based upon the candidate's intent to conduct a research project highly relevant to cancer biology, cancer health disparities, etiology, pathogenesis, prevention, diagnosis, and/or treatment that has the potential for establishing an independent research program.
Former principal investigators on NIH research project (R01), program project (P01), center grants, FIRST Awards (R29), sub-projects of program project (P01) or center grants, other career development awards (K–awards), or the equivalent are not eligible. Former principal investigators of an NIH Small Grant (R03), Exploratory/Developmental Grant (R21), Dissertation Awards (R36), or SBIR/STTR (R41, R42, R43, R44) remain eligible.
Candidates for this award must have a research or health-professional doctoral degree or equivalent. A candidate for the NIH K01 Award may not simultaneously submit or have an application pending for any other PHS career award (e.g., K07, K08, K22, K23) or any PHS or award that duplicates any of the provisions of the K01 award. Current principal investigators on NIH career awards are not eligible.
Career Stage: The intent of the K01 program is to support cancer research scientists in their early career stages (i.e. postdoctoral positions or early stage of faculty positions such as Assistant professors with = 2 yrs of appointments). Candidates must have completed at least two, but usually not more than five years of postdoctoral training at the time of submitting a K01 application.
Clinical scientists (individuals with M.D., D.D.S., D.V.M., and other licensed health professionals) in clinical faculty position that denotes independence in clinical responsibilities but not in research are also eligible for the K01 award.
It is recognized that some institutions appoint postdoctoral fellows in positions with other titles although they are still in non-independent positions. Candidates in such positions are strongly encouraged to contact the NCI program official for confirmation of their eligibility before they begin to prepare their applications. It is incumbent upon the candidate to provide evidence that the position he/she is in complies with the intent of this eligibility requirement.
This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.
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 career development 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. Such application
must include Introduction addressing the previous peer review critique (Summary
Candidates may submit research project grant (RPG) applications concurrently with the K application. However, any concurrent RPG application may not duplicate the provisions of the career award application. K award recipients are encouraged to obtain funding from NIH or other Federal sources either as a PD/PI on a competing research grant award or cooperative agreement, or as project leader on a competing multi-project award as described in NOT-OD-08-065.
At the time of award, the candidate must have a “full-time” appointment at the academic institution that is the applicant institution. Candidates who have VA appointments may not consider part of the VA effort toward satisfying the “full time” requirement at the applicant institution. Candidates with VA appointments should contact the staff person in the relevant Institute or Center prior to preparing an application to discuss their eligibility. Under certain circumstances, an awardee may submit a written request to the awarding component requesting a reduction in minimum required percent effort, which will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Details on this policy are provided in NOT-OD-09-036.
Before submitting the application, the candidate must
identify a mentor who will supervise the proposed career development and
research experience. The mentor should be an active investigator in the area of
the proposed research and be committed both to the career development of the
candidate and to the direct supervision of the candidate’s research. The mentor
must document the availability of sufficient research support and facilities
for high-quality research. The mentor, or a member of the mentoring team,
should have a successful track record of mentoring. Candidates are encouraged
to identify more than one mentor, i.e., a mentoring team, if this is deemed
advantageous for providing expert advice in all aspects of the research career
development program. In such cases, one individual must be identified as the
principal mentor who will coordinate the candidate’s research. The candidate
must work with the mentor(s) in preparing the application.
The mentor(s) should describe the career development plan for the candidate (coordinated with the candidate’s research strategy). The mentor and any co-mentors are also expected to provide an assessment of the candidate’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.
The applicant institution must have a strong, well-established record of research and career development activities and faculty qualified to serve as mentors in biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research. The institution must demonstrate a commitment to the development of the candidate as a productive, independent investigator and be willing to allow the protected time needed by the candidate. The candidate, mentor(s), and institution must describe a research career development program that will maximize the use of this environment, including available facilities and resources.
The NCI Mentored Career Development Award to Promote Diversity (K01) can be used by postdoctoral candidates who need 3, 4, or 5 full years of mentored support. Candidates will participate in mentored research activities, which should include writing and submitting manuscripts for publication and presenting at scientific meetings. All programs must be tailored to meet the individual needs of the candidate to provide the opportunity for him/her to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to carry out high quality cancer research. The didactic and research components of the application must develop new knowledge and research skills in scientific areas relevant to the career goals of the candidate. In addition, candidates will be expected to observe or participate (depending upon prior research experience and/or level of independence and without additional compensation) in the NIH peer review process, as well as to participate annually in workshops focused on preparing, writing, and submitting NIH grant applications; these activities will be coordinated and/or sponsored by the DTB, CRCHD.
Candidates with cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds that may isolate them from their peers or impede their progress should be given individual attention to ensure that they ultimately are able to perform and interact as effectively as any other candidate being trained in the institution as biomedical researchers. Because of the focus on progression to independence as researchers, candidates for the K01 should propose, together with their mentor, a period of study and career development consistent with the previous research and clinical experience of the candidate, and as appropriate, sensitive to the individual needs related to his/her cultural, socioeconomic heritage. For example, a candidate with limited experience in a given field of research may find a 5-year developmental program that includes a designated period of specialized didactic training followed by a research experience that is very closely monitored by the mentor necessary to insure that the candidate will attain independence.
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.
It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) 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.
For information on Application Submission and Receipt, visit Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.
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 submission of applications for this FOA. Follow the instructions in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to ensure you complete all appropriate “optional” components.
All page limitations described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:
Candidate’s Background (Component of Candidate Information)
Career Goals and Objectives (Component of Candidate Information)
Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (Component of Candidate Information)
Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research as provided in Chapter 7 of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
Statements by Mentor, Co-mentor(s), Consultants, Contributors (Component of Statements of Support)
Description of Institutional Environment (Component of Environment and Institutional Commitment to the Candidate)
Institutional Commitment to the Candidate’s Research Career Development (Component of Environment and Institutional Commitment to the Candidate)
Research Strategy (Component of Research Plan)
Do not use the appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
Candidates must carefully follow the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including the time period for when letters of reference will be accepted. Applications lacking the appropriate required reference letters will not be reviewed (more details in the Notice). This is a separate process from submitting an application electronically. Reference letters are submitted directly through the eRA Commons Submit Referee Information link and not through Grants.gov.
In addition, specific to this FOA: The letters of reference should also address the candidate's ability to work with other scientists in various interactive situations (e.g., seminars, journal clubs), on collaborative research projects, and with support staff (e.g., technicians, nurses, secretaries).
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
Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Citizenship: Applicants must meet the citizenship requirements as described in the Eligibility section of this announcement (see Section III) at the time of award.
Concurrent Awards: Applicant must be aware of the NIH policies associated with other federally sponsored support (see: NOT-OD-08-065).
Salary Support: The salary requested for the candidate must be consistent with both the established salary structure for full-time staff appointments and with salaries actually provided by the institution from its own funds to other staff members of equivalent qualifications, rank, and responsibilities in the applicable department.
NIH policy allows NIH mentored career development award recipients in the final two years of their award to receive salary support from both their K award and a research grant from any Federal agency (see NOT-OD-08-065).
The K-award recipient must be a named PD/PI of a competing research project grant (R01, R03, R15, R21, R34, etc.), or be the sub-project director on a competing multi-component research or center grant or cooperative agreement (P01, P50, U01, etc.). See the Notice for full details.
Research Development Support: The research development support costs allowed for this program must be justified and be consistent with the stage of development of the candidate and the proportion of time to be spent in research or career development activities. Salary for ancillary personnel support, such as mentors, secretarial and administrative assistants is not allowed.
Costs: Pre-award costs are allowable. A grantee may, at its own
risk and without NIH prior approval, incur obligations and expenditures to
cover costs up to 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget
period if such costs: 1) are necessary to conduct the project, and 2) would be
allowable under the grant, if awarded, without NIH prior approval. If specific
expenditures would otherwise require prior approval, the grantee must obtain
NIH approval before incurring the cost. NIH prior approval is required for any
costs to be incurred more than 90 days before the beginning date of the initial
The incurrence of pre-award costs in anticipation of a competing or non-competing award imposes no obligation on NIH either to make the award or to increase the amount of the approved budget if an award is made for less than the amount anticipated and is inadequate to cover the pre-award costs incurred. NIH expects the grantee to be fully aware that pre-award costs result in borrowing against future support and that such borrowing must not impair the grantee's ability to accomplish the project objectives in the approved time frame or in any way adversely affect the conduct of the project. See NIH Grants Policy Statement.
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 applicant organization 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.
In order to expedite review, applicants are requested to notify the NCI Referral Office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org when the application has been submitted. Please include the FOA number and title, PD/PI name, and title of the application.
Cover Letter: The cover letter must include the list of referees (including name, department affiliation, and institution.
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 review system.
Reviewers should provide their assessment of the likelihood for the candidate to maintain a strong research program, taking into consideration the criteria below in determining the overall impact/priority score.
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.
Does the candidate have the potential to develop as an independent and productive researcher? Is the candidate’s academic, clinical (if relevant), and research record of high quality? Is there evidence of the candidate’s commitment to meeting the program objectives to become an independent investigator? Do the letters of reference from at least three well-established scientists address the candidate’s potential for becoming an independent investigator?
Career Development Plan/ Career Goals & Objectives/ Plan to Provide Mentoring
What is the likelihood that the plan will contribute substantially to the scientific development of the candidate leading to scientific independence? Are the candidate's prior training and research experience appropriate for this award? Are the content, scope, phasing, and duration of the career development plan appropriate when considered in the context of prior training/research experience and the stated training and research objectives for achieving research independence? Are there adequate plans for monitoring and evaluating the candidate’s research and career development progress? Does the career development plan adequately address the needs of the candidate's experience and background, including any important cultural, ethnic, and/or socioeconomic factors, as adequate?
In addition, specific to this FOA:What is the likelihood that the plan will contribute substantially to the scientific development of the candidate and the achievement of scientific independence in terms of successful planning, writing, and submitting of traditional grant applications?
Are the proposed research question, design, and methodology of significant scientific and technical merit? Is the research plan relevant to the candidate’s research career objectives? Is the research plan appropriate to the stage of research development and as a vehicle for developing the research skills described in the career development plan? If applicable, are there adequate plans for data and safety monitoring of clinical trials?
In addition, specific to this FOA: What
is the degree of relevance of the research plan with respect to developing an
independent cancer research program as it relates to the cancer biology,
etiology, pathogenesis, prevention, diagnosis, and/or treatment? Is the
research project sound, consistent with the development plan for an independent
career in cancer research, and commensurate with the candidate's level of
research development? What is the usefulness of the research project as a
vehicle for enhancing existing research skills as described in the career
development plan? What aspects of the project will remain with the candidate as
an independent investigator, especially if the applicant proposes to transition
to Phase II?
Mentor(s), Co-Mentor(s), Consultant(s), Collaborator(s)
Are the mentor's research qualifications in the area of the proposed research appropriate? Do(es) the mentor(s) adequately address the candidate’s potential and his/her strengths and areas needing improvement? Is there adequate description of the quality and extent of the mentor’s proposed role in providing guidance and advice to the candidate? Is the mentor’s description of the elements of the research career development activities, including formal course work adequate? Is there evidence of the mentor’s, consultant’s, collaborator’s previous experience in fostering the development of independent investigators? Is there evidence of previous research productivity and peer-reviewed support? Is active/pending support for the proposed research project appropriate and adequate? Are there adequate plans for monitoring and evaluating the career development awardee’s progress toward independence?
In addition, specific to this FOA: If more than one mentor is proposed, are the respective areas of expertise and responsibility described? Is there evidence that the mentor has participated in the development of the Career Plan, and is sensitized to providing any individual needs (i.e., because of his/her cultural, socioeconomic, and/or ethnic backgrounds) of the candidate, as appropriate, and is willing to go beyond the traditional efforts that a mentor dedicates to a trainee in his/her research environment? What is the previous experience in fostering and developing cancer researchers? What aspects of the Research Plan will remain with the candidate when his/her transition is made to an independent position?
Environment & Institutional Commitment to the Candidate
Is there clear commitment of the sponsoring institution to ensure that the required minimum 9 person-months (75% of full-time professional effort) of the candidate’s effort will be devoted directly to the research described in the application, with the remaining percent effort being devoted to an appropriate balance of research, teaching, administrative, and clinical responsibilities?
Is the institutional commitment to the career development of the candidate appropriately strong? Are the research facilities, resources and training opportunities, including faculty capable of productive collaboration with the candidate adequate and appropriate?
Is the environment for scientific and professional development of the candidate of high quality?
Is there assurance that the institution intends the candidate to be an integral part of its research program?
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.
Not ApplicableNot Applicable
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 candidate, 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 candidate’s instruction? Does the plan meet the minimum requirements for RCR, i.e., eight contact hours of instruction every four years? See NOT-OD-10-019. Plans and past record will be rated as acceptable or unacceptable, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.
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), in accordance with NIH peer
review policy and procedures, using the stated review
criteria. Review assignments will be shown in the eRA Commons.
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 submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the National Cancer Advisory Board. 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
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’s 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. More specifically, for K Awards, visit the Research Career Development (“K”) Awardees section of the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
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.
Within ten years of making awards under this program, NCI will assess the program’s overall outcomes, gauge its effectiveness in enhancing diversity, and consider whether there is a continuing need for the program. Upon the completion of this evaluation, NCI will determine whether to (a) continue the program as currently configured, (b) continue the program with modifications, or (c) discontinue the program.
The overall evaluation of the program will be based on metrics that will include, but are not limited to, the following:
When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Non-Competing Continuation Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The Additional Instructions for Preparing Continuation Career Development Award (CDA) Progress Reports, must be followed.
A final progress report, invention statement, and the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout of an award, as described in theNIH Grants Policy Statement.
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.
We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.
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)
John O. Ojeifo, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A.
Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Division of Extramural Activities
National Cancer Institute
Barbara J. Liesenfeld
Office of Grants Administration
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
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 Part 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.
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Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS)
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