Department of Health and Human Services
Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Funding Opportunity Title

NHLBI Career Transition Award for Intramural Fellows (K22)

Activity Code

K22 Career Transition Award

Announcement Type

Reissue of PAR-15-341

Related Notices
  • May 10, 2017 - New NIH "FORMS-E" Grant Application Forms and Instructions Coming for Due Dates On or After January 25, 2018. See NOT-OD-17-062.
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

PAR -16-267

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)

93.233, 93.837, 93.838, 93.839, 93.840

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of the NHLBI Career Transition Award (K22) program is to provide highly qualified postdoctoral fellows in the NHLBI Division of Intramural Research the opportunity to transition their research programs as new investigators to extramural institutions. To achieve these objectives, the NHLBI Career Transition Award will support two phases of research: a mentored intramural phase (up to two years) and an extramural phase (three years), for a total of five years of combined support. Transition from the intramural phase of support to the extramural phase is not automatic. Approval of the transition will be based on the success of the awardee's research program during the mentored phase as determined by an NHLBI progress review, which will include an evaluation of a research plan to be carried out at the extramural institution.

Key Dates

 

Posted Date

May 17, 2016

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

June 20, 2016

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Application Due Date(s)

July 20, 2016; thereafter standard dates apply , by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on these dates.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Standard AIDS dates apply by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of AIDS and AIDS-related applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on these dates.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.

Scientific Merit Review

October 2016; thereafter Standard dates apply

Advisory Council Review

January 2017; thereafter Standard dates apply

Earliest Start Date

April 2017; thereafter Standard dates apply

Expiration Date

May 8, 2018

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the 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.


There are several options available to submit your application through Grants.gov to NIH and Department of Health and Human Services partners.

  1. Use the NIH ASSIST system to prepare, submit and track your application online.
  2. Use an institutional system-to-system (S2S) solution to prepare and submit your application to Grants.gov and eRA Commons to track your application. Check with your institutional officials regarding availability.

  3. Go to Grants.gov to download an application package to complete the application forms offline or create a Workspace to complete the forms online; submit your application to Grants.gov; and track your application in eRA Commons.
Learn more about the various submission options.

Table of Contents

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


Part 2. Full Text of Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

The overall goal of the NIH Research Career Development program is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in appropriate scientific disciplines to address the Nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. In addition to this opportunity, NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) support a variety of other mentored career development programs designed to foster the transition of new investigators to research independence. These other programs may be more suitable for particular candidates.  NIH also supports non-mentored career development programs for independent investigators. More information about Career programs may be found at the NIH Extramural Training Mechanisms website.

The objective of the NHLBI Career Transition Award (K22) program is to enable outstanding postdoctoral individuals to obtain research training experience in the NHLBI Division of Intramural Research and to facilitate their successful transition to an extramural environment as independent researchers.  Eligible applicants must agree to be supported by their NHLBI laboratory or branch for the intramural phase of the program. Applicants are encouraged to contact the NHLBI Scientific/Research staff (Part 2. Section VII) for guidance and additional information.

To achieve these objectives, the NHLBI Career Transition Award will support two phases of research. The award will provide up to two years of support for mentored research training in an NHLBI intramural laboratory followed by three years of support for an independent research project in an extramural institution. It is anticipated that awardees will subsequently apply for and obtain funding for research project grants such as the R01 to support the continuation of their work.

Transition from the intramural phase of support to the extramural phase is not automatic. Approval of the transition will be based on the success of the awardee’s research program during the mentored phase as determined by an NHLBI progress review, which will include an evaluation of a research plan to be carried out at the extramural institution.

The extramural institution will need to demonstrate a commitment to the candidate by providing protected research time and space needed to perform the proposed research. Supplemental funds from the extramural institution for equipment and supplies (and if necessary, salary) are strongly encouraged.

Awardees approved to transition to the second phase of support will receive notification of approval in writing from the NHLBI. Information provided by the extramural institution on behalf of the candidate will be required for the NHLBI to process the second phase of the K22.

Acceptance into the NHLBI Career Transition Award Program does not convey any commitment or intent of the NHLBI to consider the awardee for a tenure track position within the NHLBI. The NHLBI Career Transition Award is specifically intended to help develop scientists who will pursue their careers in the extramural biomedical research community. However, the NHLBI K22 awardees are not precluded from applying for available tenure track positions at the NIH. If an awardee obtains an NIH position, phase 2 of the K22 award will not be activated.  

NHLBI Division of Intramural Research

The NHLBI Division of Intramural Research conducts clinical research on the normal and pathophysiologic functioning of the cardiac, pulmonary, blood, and endocrine systems and basic research on normal and abnormal cellular behavior at the molecular level. The research activities of the laboratories and branches range from structural organic chemistry to cardiology: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/research/intramural/.

Major areas of interest include:

Mechanisms of gene regulation, viral-mediated gene transfer and gene therapy, the molecular basis of lipoprotein dysfunctions and the atherogenic process, the molecular basis of diseases of the alveolar structures of the lung and the design of new therapeutic modalities, the cellular and molecular events underlying ischemic heart disease and myocardial hypertrophy, biochemical events associated with aging and certain pathologic processes, molecular, structural, and developmental aspects of muscle and nonmuscle contractile systems, cell and organelle movement, molecular and cellular processes for the conversion of metabolic energy into useful work, mechanisms of cardiac development, the molecular basis of transmembrane signaling, the pathophysiology of renal function at the cellular and molecular levels, the biochemistry of trace nutrients, enzyme kinetics, metabolic regulation and protein chemistry, molecular immunology and cytokines, hematopoietic stem cell biology and bone marrow transplantation, pathophysiology and treatment of sickle cell disease, pathophysiology of vascular diseases with emphasis on molecular genetic interventions and the role of inflammation, cardiac imaging through ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging, as well as some aspects of cardiovascular devices, computational biophysics, and mass and optical spectroscopy. Animal medicine and surgery support is provided to both clinical and basic science by full-time NHLBI staff.

Candidates needing assistance (e.g, understanding the application process, identifying a mentor) should contact the Office of Education at direducation@nhlbi.nih.gov and submit a curriculum vitae and a brief description of his/her past training, research experience and research interests as well as future research plans. Potential candidates are also urged to visit the web site for the Division of Intramural Research at NHLBI: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/research/intramural/.

See Section VIII. Other Information for award authorities and regulations.

Section II. Award Information

 

Funding Instrument

Grant: A support mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity.

Application Types Allowed

New
Resubmission

The OER Glossary and the SF424 (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.

Award Budget

Award budgets are composed of salary and other program-related expenses, as described below.

Award Project Period

The total period of support is five years (two years intramural, plus three years extramural).

Other Award Budget Information

 

Salary

Intramural Phase:

Support during the intramural phase will be based on the candidate's years of postdoctoral experience, commensurate with the NHLBI intramural salary structure and is provided by the candidate's laboratory or branch.

Extramural Phase:

Support for the extramural phase will be provided to the extramural institution and may not exceed three years in duration. The total cost for the extramural phase may not exceed $249,000 per year and $747,000 for the three-year period. This amount includes salary, fringe benefits, research support allowance and applicable facilities and administrative (F&A) costs (see “Indirect Costs” below).

Further guidance on budgeting for career development salaries is provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. The total salary, however, may not exceed the legislatively mandated salary cap.  See:https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/salcap_summary.htm

Other Program-Related Expenses

Intramural Phase

Support for the intramural phase is provided by the candidate's NHLBI intramural laboratory or branch. Research expenses including personnel, consultants, equipment, supplies, and travel will be negotiated with the laboratory chief and will depend on the nature and scope of the research.

Extramural Phase

The total cost for the extramural phase may not exceed $249,000 per year and $747,000 for the three-year period. This amount includes salary, fringe benefits, research support and applicable facilities and administrative (F&A) costs (see “Indirect Costs” below). Allowable research expenses include (1) research expenses, such as supplies, equipment, and technical personnel; (2) travel to research meetings or training; and (3) statistical services, including personnel and computer time.

Salary for mentors, secretarial and administrative assistants, etc. is not allowed.

Indirect Costs

For the extramural phase, Indirect Costs (also known as Facilities & Administrative [F&A] Costs) are reimbursed at 8% of modified total direct costs.

NIH grant policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made in response to this FOA.

Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants
Eligible Organizations

Only the NHLBI intramural program is eligible to apply for the mentored phase of this K22 program on behalf of the candidates. They are not eligible to apply for the independent phase. Specific information is available for intramural administrative staff on the Electronic Submission Intranet (link available only to users internal to NIH).

Foreign Institutions

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are not eligible to apply.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply.
Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are not allowed.

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.

  • Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) - All registrations require that applicants be issued a DUNS number. After obtaining a DUNS number, applicants can begin both SAM and eRA Commons registrations. The same DUNS number must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly CCR) – Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
  • NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code – Foreign organizations must obtain an NCAGE code (in lieu of a CAGE code) in order to register in SAM. 
  • eRA Commons - Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the eRA Commons registration. Organizations can register with the eRA Commons as they are working through their SAM or Grants.gov registration. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • Grants.gov – Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s))

All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account.  PD(s)/PI(s) should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate their existing account with the applicant organization in eRA Commons. If the PD/PI is also the organizational Signing Official, they must have two distinct eRA Commons accounts, one for each role. Obtaining an eRA Commons account can take up to 2 weeks.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

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

NHLBI postdoctoral fellows are invited to work with their mentors to develop an application for support.  Individuals who have been accepted to an intramural NHLBI postdoctoral position may work with their prospective mentors to develop an application for submission after their intramural appointment begins.  Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support. Applicants are encouraged to apply relatively early in their intramural appointment. Multiple PDs/PIs are not allowed.

Individuals in NHLBI intramural postdoctoral positions with other titles are eligible if they can demonstrate they are still in a non-independent phase of training

Candidates for this award must have earned a terminal clinical or research doctorate (including PhD, MD, DO, DC, ND, DDS, DVM, ScD, DNS, PharmD., or equivalent doctoral degree), or a combined clinical and research doctoral degree. The candidate must have postdoctoral research experience, during which the potential for highly productive basic or clinical research was demonstrated. During the intramural phase of the award, the candidate will spend full time on research. The required research experience must be completed in an intramural NIH laboratory.

To obtain support for the extramural phase, at the time of the award candidates must have a full time formal tenure-track (or equivalent) appointment offer 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 tenure track appointment (or equivalent) requirement at the applicant institution. Candidates with VA appointments should contact the NHLBI staff prior to preparing an application to discuss their eligibility.

2. Cost Sharing

This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

3. Additional Information on Eligibility
Number of Applications

Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time. An individual may not have two or more competing NIH career development applications pending review concurrently. In addition, NIH will not accept:

  • A new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping new (A0) or resubmission (A1) application.
  • A resubmission (A1) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of the previous new (A0) application.
  • An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see NOT-OD-11-101).

Individuals are eligible for a K22 award if they have been, or currently are, the PD/PI of an NIH R03 or R21 grant or a PHS or non-Federal award that duplicates the  specific aims or research goals of an R03 or R21 grant.

Individuals are NOT eligible to apply if they have pending an application for any other PHS career development award, an NIH institute-specific K22, or a Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00). Individuals are not eligible to apply if they have been or are currently a PD/PI on an NIH research grant (such as R01, R29, P01) or a subproject leader on a Program Project (P01) or Center Grant (P50), or a non-NIH equivalent to these grants/awards.

Special Requirements

Once a candidate is accepted into the NHLBI Career Transition Award Program, the awardee is expected to remain with the NHLBI Intramural Program for at least 12 months, with a maximum of 24 months. Exceptions may be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Extramural Phase:

K22 award recipients are expected to apply for NIH or other independent research grant support during the extramural phase of the award. Recipients may hold concurrent research support and under certain circumstances salary support from the final two years of their K22 award and a competing NIH research project grant when recognized as the PD/PI or subproject Director of the research project grant. See NOT-OD-08-065.

Level of Effort

At the time of award, the candidate must have a “full-time” appointment at the academic institution. Candidates are required to commit a minimum of 75% of full-time professional effort (i.e., a minimum of 9 person-months) to their career development and research training during the mentored phase. Candidates may engage in other duties as part of the remaining 25% of their full-time professional effort not covered by this award, as long as such duties do not interfere with or detract from the proposed career development program.

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

Mentor(s)

Before submitting the application, the candidate must identify a mentor who will supervise the proposed career development and research experience. The principal mentor should be an NHLBI Intramural 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, 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. The mentor must be an investigator at the NHLBIwho is recfognized as an accomplished investigator in the proposed research area and has a track record of success in training research scientists.The candidate should work with the mentor(s) in preparing the application. The primary sponsor/mentor, together with the applicant, is responsible for the planning, direction, and execution of the program.

Institutional Environment

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.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Requesting an Application Package

Applicants must obtain 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.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Grant Application Instructions 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.

Page Limitations

All page limitations described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.

Instructions for Application Submission

The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this FOA.

SF424(R&R) Cover

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.   

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.   

Other Project Information

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Project Summary/Abstract

Include a description of your current research and the research you propose to continue in the extramural phase.

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile Expanded

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed. 

R&R Budget

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guidemust be followed.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS 398 Career Development Award Supplemental Form

The PHS 398 Career Development Award Supplemental Form is comprised of the following sections:

        Candidate

        Research Plan

        Other Candidate Information

        Mentor, Co-Mentor, Consultant, Collaborators

        Environment & Institutional Commitment to the Candidate

        Human Subjects Sections

        Other Research Plan Sections

        Appendix

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Candidate Section

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Candidate Information and Goals for Career Development

Candidate’s Background

  • Describe prior training and research efforts, and how they relate to the objectives and long-term career plans of the candidate
  • Provide evidence of the candidate's potential to develop into a successful independent investigator. Usually this is evident from publications, prior research interests and experience, and letters of reference.
  • Describe the candidate’s commitment to a career in a biomedical or behavioral research field relevant to the mission of the NHLBI.

Career Goals and Objectives

  • Describe a systematic plan that shows a logical progression from prior research and training experiences to the research and training experiences that will occur during the K22 award period and then to independent investigator status.

Candidate’s Plan for Career Development/Training Activities During Award Period

  • Individuals working at an NHLBI laboratory may work with their current mentor, or with another intramural investigator, provided the research experience proposed in this application will enhance the candidate's scientific career.
  • The candidate and the mentor are jointly responsible for the preparation of the career development plan.
  • A timeline is often helpful. The sponsor/mentor may form a mentoring team (or an Advisory Committee). The mentor and any co-mentors are also expected to provide an assessment of the candidate’s qualifications and potential for a research career.
  • Provide a description of the career development plan, incorporating consideration of the candidate's goals and prior experience. Include a plan to obtain the necessary research experience to launch an independent research career. The description of the career development plan 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 career development plan must be tailored to the needs of the individual candidate and the ultimate goal of achieving independence as a researcher.
  • Candidates must justify the need for both the intramural phase and the extramural phase, and must provide a convincing case that the proposed period of support (1-2 years as a mentored candidate followed by up to 3 years as an independent scientist) will substantially enhance his/her career and/or will allow the pursuit of a novel or promising approach to a particular research problem.
  • The candidate and the mentor and any co-mentors should describe the plan for evaluation of his/her progress to provide an assessment during the intramural phase and for the transition to the extramural phase.
  • The candidate and the intramural mentor should describe plans for the transition to the extramural phase.

Research Plan Section

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Research Strategy

  • The application should have a sound research project that is consistent with the candidate’s level of research development and objectives of his/her career development plan must be provided. The research description should demonstrate not only the quality of the candidate’s research thus far but also the novelty, significance, creativity and approach, as well as the ability of the candidate to carry out the proposed research.
  • The application must also describe the relationship between the mentor’s research and the candidate’s proposed research plan. If more than one mentor is proposed, the respective areas of expertise and responsibility should be described.
  •  The application must include a description of how the mentored phase research will lead to the independent phase research. 

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

All applications must include a plan to fulfill NIH requirements for instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). See SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for instructions.

Mentor, Co-Mentor, Consultant, Collaborators Section

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Plans and Statements of Mentor and Co-mentor(s)

  • The candidate must name a primary mentor (sponsor), who, together with the candidate, is responsible for the planning, direction, and execution of the program. The candidate may also identify co-mentors as appropriate to the goals of the program.
  • The mentor(s) should be recognized as an accomplished investigator in the proposed research area and have a track record of success in training individuals in postdoctoral positions who have gone on to become independent investigators.
  • The mentor(s) should have sufficient independent research support to cover the costs of the proposed research project in excess of the allowable costs of this award. 
  • The application must include a statement from the mentor providing: (1) information on his/her research qualifications and previous experience as a  research supervisor; (2) a plan that describes the nature of the supervision and mentoring that will occur during the proposed award period, including how the candidate’s scientific and professional independence will be promoted; (3) a description of the elements of the planned research career development, including any formal course work; and (4) a plan for transitioning the candidate to move from the mentored stage of his/her career to the independent research investigator status during the project period of the award
  •  The mentor(s) must agree to provide annual evaluations of the candidate’s progress as required in the annual progress report.

Letters of Support from Collaborators, Contributors and Consultants

Signed statements must be provided by all collaborators and/or consultants confirming their participation in the project and describing their specific roles. Collaborators and consultants generally do not need to provide their biographical sketches. However, information should be provided clearly documenting the appropriate expertise in the proposed areas of consulting/collaboration. Collaborators/consultants are generally not directly involved in the development of the career of the candidate as an independent investigator. 

Environmental and Institutional Commitment to the Candidate

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Description of Institutional Environment

  • The NHLBI mentor must define and document a strong, well-established research and career development program related to the candidate's area of interest, including a high-quality research environment with staff capable of productive collaboration with the candidate. The NHLBI Scientific Director must provide a statement of commitment to the candidate's development into a productive, independent investigator and to meeting the requirements of this award.
  • In addition, the NHLBI Scientific Director's statement should:
  • Describe the research facilities and research resources (e.g., equipment, laboratory space, computer time, available research support, etc.) that will be available to the candidate.
  • Describe how the NHLBI environment is particularly suited for the development of the candidate's research career and the pursuit of the proposed research plan.
  • Provide assurances that the candidate will be able to devote full-time

professional effort to the development of a research program.

Institutional Commitment to the Candidate’s Research Career Development

The NHLBI Scientific Director must provide a statement of commitment to the candidate's development into a productive, independent investigator and to meeting the requirements of this award. It should be clear that the institutional commitment to the candidate is not contingent upon receipt of this career award.

Appendix

Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

PHS Assignment Request Form

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed. 

Letters of Reference

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. 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.

3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

See Part 1. Section III.1 for information regarding the requirement for obtaining a unique entity identifier and for completing and maintaining active registrations in System for Award Management (SAM), NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code (if applicable), eRA Commons, and Grants.gov.

4. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates and Times. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission. When a submission date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.

Organizations must submit applications to Grants.gov (the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies) using ASSIST or other electronic submission systems. 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. NIH and Grants.gov systems check the application against many of the application instructions upon submission. Errors must be corrected and a changed/corrected application must be submitted to Grants.gov on or before the application due date. and time.  If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late.  Applications that miss the due date and time are subjected to the NIH Policy on Late Application Submission.

Applicants are responsible for viewing their application before the due date 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.

5. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

6. Funding Restrictions

All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

7. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (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. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Guidelines for Applicants Experiencing System Issues. For assistance with application submission contact the Application Submission Contacts in Section VII.

Important reminders:

All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF424(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 System for Award Management (SAM). 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 and compliance with application instructions by the Center for Scientific Review, NIH. Applications that are incomplete or non-compliant will not be reviewed.

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow our Post Submission Application Materials policy.

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria

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.

Overall Impact

Reviewers should provide their assessment of the likelihood that the proposed career development and research plan will enhance the candidate’s potential for a productive, independent scientific research career in a health-related field, taking into consideration the criteria below in determining the overall impact score.

Scored 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.

Candidate

  • Does the candidate have the potential for becoming a successful independent investigator who will contribute significantly to a chosen health-related research field?
  • Will the research experiences in the mentored phase prepare the candidate to implement successfully the independent phase research project?
  • Do the letters of reference from at least three well-established scientists address the candidate's potential for becoming an independent investigator?
  • Given the candidate’s prior training, proposed career development plan, and the referees’ evaluations, is it reasonable to expect that the candidate will be able to achieve an independent, tenure-track or equivalent position within the time period requested for the intramural phase of this award?

Career Development Plan/Career Goals and Objectives/Plan to Provide Mentoring

  • To what extent are the plans for evaluating the awardee’s progress adequate and appropriate for guiding the applicant towards a successful transition to the independent phase of the award?
  • Is the timeline planned for the transition to the independent phase of the award appropriate for the candidate’s current stage of scientific and professional development and the career development proposed for the independent phase of the award? 
  • 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?

Research Plan

  • Is there a strong scientific premise for the project:
  • Has the candidate presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed?
  • Has the candidate presented adequate plans to address relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies in vertebrate animals or human subjects?
  • Is the proposed research project appropriate for the candidate’s stage of research development and as a vehicle for development of the research skills described in the career development plan?
  • Is the proposed research relevant to stated career objectives?
  • Are the scientific and technical merits of the research question, design, and methodology appropriate in the context of prior training and experience?

Mentor(s), Co-Mentor(s), Consultant(s), Collaborator(s)

  • Are the qualifications of the mentor(s) in the area of the proposed research appropriate?
  • Does 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, and/or collaborator’s previous experience in fostering the development of independent investigators?
  • Is there evidence of the mentor's current 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?

Environment & Institutional Commitment to the Candidate

  • Are the research facilities, resources and training opportunities, including faculty capable of productive collaboration with candidate adequate and appropriate?
  • Is there clear commitment of the sponsoring institution to ensure that the required effort of the candidate will be devoted directly to the research training, career development, and research activities described in the proposed career development and research plans?
  • Is there strong institutional commitment to fostering the career development of the candidate?
  • Are there unique features of the scientific environment that benefit the proposed research; e.g., useful collaborative arrangements or subject populations?
  • Is the environment of high quality and relevance for scientific and professional development of the candidate? 
Additional Review Criteria

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 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 Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

When the proposed project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of children to determine if it is  justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed. For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following criteria: (1) description of proposed procedures involving animals, including species, strains, ages, sex, and total number to be used; (2) justifications for the use of animals versus alternative models and for the appropriateness of the species proposed; (3) interventions to minimize discomfort, distress, pain and injury; and (4) justification for euthanasia method if NOT consistent with the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals. Reviewers will assess the use of chimpanzees as they would any other application proposing the use of vertebrate animals. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.

Biohazards

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.

Resubmissions

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.

Renewals

Not Applicable

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations

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 score.

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

All applications for support under this FOA must include a plan to fulfill NIH requirements for instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).  Taking into account the level of experience of the applicant, including any prior instruction or participation in RCR as appropriate for the applicant’s career stage, the reviewers will evaluate the adequacy of the proposed RCR training in relation to the following five required components: 1) Format - the required format of instruction, i.e., face-to-face lectures, coursework, and/or real-time discussion groups (a plan with only on-line instruction is not acceptable); 2) Subject Matter - the breadth of subject matter, e.g., conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, research ethics; 3) Faculty Participation - the role of the mentor(s) and other faculty involvement in the fellow’s instruction; 4) Duration of Instruction - the number of contact hours of instruction (at least eight contact hours are required); and 5) Frequency of Instruction –instruction must occur during each career stage and at least once every four years.  Plans and past record will be rated as ACCEPTABLE or UNACCEPTABLE, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee. See also: NOT-OD-10-019.

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)  Genomic Data Sharing Plan (GDS).

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources

For projects involving key biological and/or chemical resources, reviewers will comment on the brief plans proposed for identifying and ensuring the validity of those resources.

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.

2. Review and Selection Process

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. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

  • May undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific and technical merit (generally the top half of applications under review) will be discussed and assigned an overall impact score.
  • Will receive a written critique.

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 national Advisory Council or Board. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

  • Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by scientific peer review.
  • Availability of funds.
  • Relevance of the proposed project to program priorities.
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

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. Refer to Part 1 for dates for peer review, advisory council review, and earliest start date

Information regarding the disposition of applications is available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices

If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

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 terms and conditions found on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.  This includes any recent legislation and policy applicable to awards that is highlighted on this website.

There will not be a formal Notice of Award (NoA) associated with the mentored phase of the K22 award conducted in the NIH intramural program. The awarding Institute will transmit to the successful candidate an approval letter that will include the terms and conditions of the NIH intramural K22 award, as well as expectations for the transition to the independent phase of the award.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

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.

Recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS must administer their programs in compliance with federal civil rights law. This means that recipients of HHS funds must ensure equal access to their programs without regard to a person’s race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, sex and religion. This includes ensuring your programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency.  HHS recognizes that research projects are often limited in scope for many reasons that are nondiscriminatory, such as the principal investigator’s scientific interest, funding limitations, recruitment requirements, and other considerations. Thus, criteria in research protocols that target or exclude certain populations are warranted where nondiscriminatory justifications establish that such criteria are appropriate with respect to the health or safety of the subjects, the scientific study design, or the purpose of the research.

For additional guidance regarding how the provisions apply to NIH grant programs, please contact the Scientific/Research Contact that is identified in Section VII under Agency Contacts of this FOA. HHS provides general guidance to recipients of FFA on meeting their legal obligation to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to their programs by persons with limited English proficiency. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/resources/laws/revisedlep.html. The HHS Office for Civil Rights also provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/section1557/index.html; and http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/index.html. Recipients of FFA also have specific legal obligations for serving qualified individuals with disabilities. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/disability/index.html. Please contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights for more information about obligations and prohibitions under federal civil rights laws at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/office/about/rgn-hqaddresses.html or call 1-800-368-1019 or TDD 1-800-537-7697. Also note it is an HHS Departmental goal to ensure access to quality, culturally competent care, including long-term services and supports, for vulnerable populations. For further guidance on providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services, recipients should review the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care at http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=2&lvlid=53.

Transition to the Extramural Phase

Transition from the intramural phase to the extramural phase is not automatic. Approval of the transition will be based on the success of the awardee’s research program as determined by annual scientific reviews and by the evaluation of a research and career development plan to be carried out at the institution. Additionally, the sponsoring institution must demonstrate a commitment to the candidate by providing a minimum of nine person-months (75% full time professional effort) protected research time, space and resources needed to conduct the proposed research project, and appropriate scientific mentoring. A plan for career development that will lead to research independence and the ability to successfully compete for research support is essential. The NHLBI will conduct a transition review no later than three months before the end of the intramural phase.

The extramural phase institution will submit an application on behalf of the candidate for the K22 award using the SF424 application forms. These materials should be sent directly to the NHLBI, Office of Grants Management (tm275a@nih.gov). The original application plus one copy (preferably in a PDF format) are to be mailed to the Financial/Grants Management contact person of the NHLBI listed in this FOA. The independent phase application must include the following:

  • A description of the proposed research.
  • A description of the institutional environment, including: research facilities and the availability of appropriate educational opportunities, including collaborating faculty, when necessary; quality and relevance of the environment for scientific and professional development of the candidate.
  • Information about the sponsoring institution’s commitment to the candidate and to the candidate’s scientific independence, including: commitment to ensuring that the candidate’s effort required by the K22 program will be devoted directly to the research and career development activities described in the proposed career development and research plans; institutional commitment to fostering the career development of the candidate.
  • Position Description: the institution should provide a detailed description of the candidate’s position, responsibilities, and duties. The institution’s tenure-track policy should be defined or a description should be provided of the equivalent arrangements for institutions without a formal tenure-track.
  • Budget in detail, including justification for all requested funds:
  • List the name, role on project and percent effort for all project personnel (salaried and unsalaried) and provide a narrative justification for each person;
  • Identify all consultants by name and organization affiliation and describe the services to be performed;
  • Provide a narrative justification for any major budget items, other than personnel, that are requested for the conduct of the project;
  • Describe specific resources committed by the sponsoring institution to support the Candidate’s research.
3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The Supplemental Instructions for Individual Career Development (K) RPPRs must be followed. The Mentor’s Report must include an annual evaluation statement of the candidate’s progress.

Intramural Phase:

The awardee’s progress will be evaluated on an annual basis by the mentor, Laboratory Chief, and Scientific Director and continued support will be approved by the intramural administrative officer.

.

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 the NIH 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. 

4. Evaluation

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 from databases and from participants themselves. Participants 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.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

eRA Service Desk (Questions regarding ASSIST, eRA Commons registration, submitting and tracking an application, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, post submission issues)
Finding Help Online: https://grants.nih.gov/support/ (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission, downloading forms and application packages)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726
Email: support@grants.gov

GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and process, finding NIH grant resources)
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-945-7573

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Intramural programmatic issues:

Herbert M. Geller, Ph.D.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Telephone: 301-451-9440
Email: direducation@nhlbi.nih.gov

Extramural programmatic issues:

Helena O. Mishoe, Ph.D.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Telephone: 301-451-5081
Email: mishoeh@nhlbi.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Director, Office of Scientific Review
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Telephone: 301-435-0270
Email:  nhlbichiefreviewbranch@nhlbi.nih.gov).

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Tyrone Smith, M.S.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Telephone: 301- 435-0141
Email: smithty@nhlbi.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

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.

Authority and Regulations

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 Part 75.  

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