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

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Funding Opportunity Title

NIAID  Career Transition Award (K22)

Activity Code

K22 Career Transition Award

Announcement Type

Reissue of PAR-14-341

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.
  • January 27, 2017 -Notice of Clarification of 5-Year Limit of Postdoctoral Research Eligibility for PAR-16-434. See Notice NOT-AI-17-009.
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

PAR-16-434

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

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

93.855, 93.856   

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of the NIAID Career Transition Award (CTA) program is to assist postdoctoral fellows' transition to positions of assistant professor or equivalent and initiate a successful biomedical career as an independent research scientist

Key Dates

 

Posted Date

September 16, 2016

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

September 24, 2016

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Application Due Date(s)

October 24, 2016 then 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
Advisory Council Review
Earliest Start Date
Expiration Date

September 8, 2019

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Career Development Instructions for 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. You must use one of these submission options to access the application forms for this opportunity.

  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.

NIH believes that the creativity and innovation of independent investigators at all career stages play an integral role in addressing our Nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. The intent of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Career Transition Award (K22) is to assist outstanding, postdoctoral investigators to transition to an assistant professor or equivalent position and initiate a successful biomedical career as an independent research scientist. The award is intended to facilitate the establishment of a record of independent research by the candidate to sustain a successful, independent research career.

Nature of the career/research transition opportunity

The NIAID K22 award will provide two years of support to conduct biomedical research as an independent scientist at an extramural sponsoring institution/organization to which the individual has been recruited, been offered and has accepted a tenure-track full-time assistant professor position (or equivalent). This support is to allow the individual to continue to work toward establishing his/her own independent research program and prepare an application for regular research grant support (R01).

The postdoctoral fellow, also referred to as a candidate, submits a K22 application from the institution where s/he currently pursues his/her postdoctoral research training. The application will be peer reviewed and assigned an overall impact score. Successful candidates (i.e., one whose application has received a fundable overall impact score) will receive an approval letter from NIAID that will include the terms and conditions to activate the K22 award. To activate the K22 award, the candidate must secure a tenure-track full-time assistant professor position within a year of the receipt of the approval letter.  Once the assistant professor position has been secured, the candidate will submit updated information about the K22 application with the support of the sponsoring institution.  The sponsoring institution can be the same as the post-doctoral institution, though it is most likely a different institution from the original submission of the K22 application.  The updated information of the transition to an assistant professor position at the sponsoring institution will be evaluated by senior NIAID staff to ensure that all programmatic requirements are met prior to the activation of the K22 award. The details of the requirements for the activation of the K22 award are described in Part 2. Section VI of this announcement.

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 project period may not exceed 2 years.

Other Award Budget Information
Salary

NIAID will contribute up to $ 50,000 per year toward the salary of the career award recipient. Further guidance on budgeting for career development salaries is provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

The total salary requested must be based on a full-time staff appointment. The salary must be consistent both with the established salary structure at the institution and with salaries actually provided by the institution from its own funds to other staff members of equivalent qualifications, rank, and responsibilities in the department concerned.    

The sponsoring institution may supplement the NIH salary contribution up to a level that is consistent with the institution's salary scale. However, supplementation may not be from Federal funds unless specifically authorized by the Federal program from which such funds are derived. In no case may PHS funds be used for salary supplementation. Institutional supplementation of salary must not require extra duties or responsibilities that would interfere with the purpose of the career award.

Other Program-Related Expenses

In the first year of the NIAID K22 award, the PD/PI may request up to $150,000 (direct cost), and $100,000 (direct cost) in the second year. The PD/PI will have discretion to utilize the award as needed by the research described in the application, within the limits designed for the PD/PI's Salary above.

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

Indirect Costs

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

Higher Education Institutions

  • Public/State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education
  • Private Institutions of Higher Education

The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:

  • Hispanic-serving Institutions
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)
  • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions
  • Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

  • Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)
  • Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)

For-Profit Organizations

  • Small Businesses
  • For-Profit Organizations (Other than Small Businesses)

Governments

  • State Governments
  • County Governments
  • City or Township Governments
  • Special District Governments
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized)
  • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
  • U.S. Territory or Possession

Other

  • Independent School Districts
  • Public Housing Authorities/Indian Housing Authorities
  • Native American Tribal Organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Faith-based or Community-based Organizations
  • Regional Organizations

NIH intramural laboratories and other eligible agencies of the Federal Government are eligible to submit a K22 application on behalf of intramural candidates. For an intramural postdoctoral fellow to activate the K22 award, the candidate must transition to an assistant professor position at an extramural institution.

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 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 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

Candidates for this award must have a 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.

Individuals not affiliated with an organization may apply (specific information is available for unaffiliated candidates).

Individuals are NOT eligible if they:

  • Have currently or previously held an independent research faculty or tenure-track faculty position, or its equivalent, in academia, industry or elsewhere; or
  • Have more than 5 years of related postdoctoral research training at the time of initial application or resubmission; or
  • Have been an independent PD/PI on NIH research grants (e.g. R01 or equivalent), NIH career development awards (e.g., K01, K07, K08, K23, K25), or other peer reviewed NIH or non-NIH research grants over $100,000 direct costs per year, or project leaders on sub-projects of program project applications (e.g. P01, U19).

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).

Some institutions appoint postdoctoral fellows in positions with other titles although they are still in non-independent training positions. Candidates in such positions are encouraged to obtain confirmation of their eligibility before they begin to prepare their applications. It is incumbent upon the candidiate to provide evidence that the position s/he is in complies with the intent of this eligibility requirement.

The following is provided as an aid to distinguish independent from non-independent positions. However, it is not sufficient merely to cite one or more of the following items to document eligibility.

Evidence for non-independence may include:

  • The candidate’s research is entirely funded by another investigator’s grants.
  • The candidate’s research is conducted entirely in another investigator’s assigned space.
  • According to institutional policy, the candidate cannot hire postdoctoral fellows or technical staff or be the responsible supervisor of graduate students.
  • According to institutional policy, the candidate is not allowed to submit an application as the PD/PI of an NIH research grant application (e.g., R01).
  • The candidate lacks other rights and privileges of faculty, such as attendance at faculty meetings.

Conversely, evidence for independence, and therefore lack of eligibility, includes:

  • The candidate has a full-time faculty position.
  • The candidate received a start-up package for support of his/her independent research.
  • The candidate has research space dedicated to his/her own research.
  • The candidate may attend faculty meetings, be the responsible supervisor for graduate students, and/or hire technical support or postdoctoral fellows.

Clinicians (including those with M.D., D.D.S., D.V.M. and other licensed professionals) in positions not designated as postdoctoral positions:

Following clinical training or fellowship training periods, clinicians often obtain a clinical faculty position that denotes independence in clinical responsibilities but not in research. A clincal faculty member who does not hold an independent research faculty position may be eligible for the K22 award, and should contact the NIAID Scientific/Research Contact (see below) for guidance. Clinicians in such positions are encouraged to obtain confirmation of their eligibilty before they begin to prepare their applications. Such individuals may also wish to consider other career awards (see K Kiosk) available for junior faculty development.

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, and each is from a different candidate.

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).
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

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

Buttons to access the online ASSIST system or to download application forms are available in Part 1 of this FOA. See your administrative office for instructions if you plan to use an institutional system-to-system solution.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Career Development Instructions for 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 independent 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 Guide must be followed, with following additional instructions:

For period of support, indicate the total period of support being requested: 2 years.

No detailed budget information is required at the time of application for Phase 1.

Budget Justification.  A Budget Justification must be provided at the time of submission of the K22 application. Due to the nature of the K22 transition award, applicants may not have detailed information about the budget justification available at the time of submission of the K22 application. Therefore for the purpose of this FOA, it is sufficient to submit a Budget Justification attachment stating the following information:

"The NIAID K22 grant mechanism provides $250,000 in funds to support the candidate's development of a research program at an institution. The funding is distributed as up to $150,000 the first year and up to $100,000 the second year. The funds can be used at the PD/PI's discretion for completing the research described in the application and no more than $50,000/year can be used to support the PD/PI's salary."

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 the candidate’s commitment to a career in a biomedical or behavioral research field relevant to the mission of the NIH.
  • For individuals in postdoctoral and similar positions (i.e. still in training), describe current training and research efforts of the candidate 
  • 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.

Career Goals and Objectives

  • Describe a systematic plan that shows a logical progression from prior research and training experiences to the research and career development experiences of the current position and subsequently then to independent investigator status
  • Describe the candidate's current as well as long-term research and career objectives.
  • Describe how the candidate plans to separate scientifically from his/her mentor and advance to research independence.

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

  • A systematic plan should be presented for obtaining the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical science background, research experience, and career development activities necessary to launch the stated independent research career. Describe current activities and how they relate to the candidate’s career development plans and career goals.
  • The candidate is responsible for the preparation of the career development plan and consultation with the current postdoctoral advisor is highly encouraged. A timeline including publications 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. This plan should describe activities such as those that will lead to new and/or enhanced research, grant-writing, communication and laboratory management skills and knowledge.
  • The candidate should describe how the career development plan will promote the candidate's success and scientific independence.
  • The candidate must describe the plan of his/her transition to the independent investigator status.

Research Plan Section

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

Research Strategy

  • 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 the quality of the candidate’s research thus far and also the novelty, significance, creativity and approach, as well as the ability of the candidate to carry out the research.
  • The application must also describe the relationship between the mentor’s research and the candidate’s proposed research plan. Describe how the candidate will gain independence from his/her current mentor(s) and achieve separation of his/her scientific research program from that of the postdoctoral advisor(s).
  • The candidate should include a description of the research conducted during the candidate's tenure as a postdoctoral researcher and a detailed description of the research planned during the phase 2/activation of the K22 award. This narrative should also describe what the candidate will accomplish during the K22 award period that will enable her/him to compete successfully for independent research support beyond the K22.

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 NIAID K22 Career Transition Award is not a mentored award. Once the candidate transitions to an independent faculty position, the (current) postdoctoral advisor may continue to foster the candidate's career as a scientific advisor, consultant and/or collaborator for the research project proposed in the K22 application. This required attachment allows the current postdoctoral advisor to provide information about their respective future interactions with the candidate during and after the transition to an independent faculty position.

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. Any other opportunities for the candidate’s professional growth should also be documented in these statements. 

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

  • Due to the nature of this award, the candidate may not have identified a sponsoring institution at the time of submitting the K22 application. Describe how the current institutional research environment is supportive in the development of the candidate's research career and transition to an independent investigator. If applicable, the application should also include a description in general terms of any specialized facilities or resources that will be required at the independent research institution.

Institutional Commitment to the Candidate’s Research Career Development

  • The current submitting institution must provide a statement of commitment to the candidate's development into a productive, independent investigator and to meeting the requirements of this 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.

For this particular announcement, note the following: The objective of the NIAID Career Transition Award is to support postdoctoral fellows transitioning to positions of assistant professor or equivalent, and initiate a successful biomedical career as an independent research. The K22 award will provide two years of support to conduct research as an independent scientist at an extramural sponsoring institution/organization to which the individual has been recruited, been offered and has accepted a tenure-track full-time assistant professor position (or equivalent). This support is to allow the individual to continue to work toward establishing his/her own independent research program and prepare an application for regular research grant support (R01).

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?
  • Are the candidate's prior research experience appropriate for this award?
  • Do the letters of reference address the above review criteria, and do they provide evidence that the candidate has a high potential for becoming an independent investigator?

Career Development Plan/Career Goals and Objectives

  • What is the likelihood that the plan will contribute substantially to the scientific development of the candidate and lead 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?

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?
  • Are the proposed research question, design, and methodology of significant scientific and technical merit?
  • Is the scientific and technical merit of the research plan appropriate and adequate for developing new or enhancing existing skills needed to meet the candidate’s career goals?
  • 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?

Consultant(s), Collaborator(s)

  • Is adequate information provided that clearly documents expertise in the proposed area(s) of consulting/collaboration?
  • Have the proposed consultant(s) and collaborator(s) provided evidence of commitment to the candidate and the candidate’s project?
  • Do the proposed consultant(s)/collaborator(s) provide the required expertise for successful conduct of the research project? 

Environment & Institutional Commitment to the Candidate

  • What evidence is provided that the candidate's current institution is strongly committed to fostering the candidate’s development and transition to become an independent investigator?
  • Is the current environment of high quality and relevance for scientific and professional development of the candidate’s transition to become an independent investigator?
  • Are there adequate opportunities at the candidate's current institution to foster the candidate's career development?
  • Does the application appropriately address if any specialized facilities or resources will be required at the independent research institution.
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 to NIAID. 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 NIAID's National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council. 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 after peer review of K22 applications. NIAID will transmit to the successful candidate an approval letter that will include the terms and conditions of the NIAID K22 award, as well as expectations for the transition to the independent investigator position.

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.

In accordance with the statutory provisions contained in Section 872 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417), NIH awards will be subject to the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) requirements.  FAPIIS requires Federal award making officials to review and consider information about an applicant in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS) prior to making an award.  An applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through FAPIIS and comment on any information about itself that a Federal agency previously entered and is currently in FAPIIS.  The Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgement about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 45 CFR Part 75.205 “Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.”  This provision will apply to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements except fellowships.

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.

Activation of the NIAID K22 Award - Transition to the Independent Phase

The activation of the NIAID K22 award is not automatic. If the candidate receives a fundable overall impact score after the review of the K22 application, s/he will be notified in writing of NIAID's commitment to make an award. The candidate will then have a period of up to 12 months to identify a suitable position as an assistant professor or equivalent at a domestic academic institution and negotiate an acceptable start-up package. As soon as negotiations between the candidate and the institution are complete, the updated information about the K22 application must be submitted.

The sponsoring institution will submit the updated information on behalf of the candidate for the K22 award using the PHS398 Application.

The updated information about the K22 application must include:

  • A new face page signed by the sponsoring institutional representative
  • Detailed budget pages for a non-modular budget
  • Budget Justification
  • A new Resources page
  • An updated career development plan
  • A new checklist

In addition, a letter from the sponsoring Department or Division Chair describing the sponsoring institution’s commitment to the candidate and plans for his/her career development should be submitted (i.e. percent effort, laboratory space, start-up funding; see also below).

These materials should be sent directly to NIAID. The original application plus one copy (preferably in a PDF format) are to be mailed to the NIAID Financial or Grants Management contact person (see below). The updated information about the K22 application will be evaluated by extramural program staff of NIAID for completeness and responsiveness to the program.

An institutional commitment agreement will be required at the time of activation of the K22 award. This agreement should satisfy the criteria described in the Career Development Award Section of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

In addition to space, facilities, resources, and other support needed to conduct the proposed research, the sponsoring institution must provide protected research time (minimum of 9 person-months [75% full time professional effort; consequently, teaching, clinical duties and other non-research activities can be up to 25% effort]) for the duration of the K22 award. The start-up package and other institutional support must be described as it is reviewed by NIAID staff prior to activation of the K22 award.  The start-up package and other institutional support should be comparable to that given to other faculty recently hired into tenure-track or equivalent positions. Institutions must provide a startup and salary package equivalent to that provided to a newly hired faculty member who does not have a grant; K22 funds may not be used to offset the typical startup package or to offset the usual institutional commitment to provide salary for tenure-track (or equivalent) assistant professors who are hired without grant support.  The K22 sponsoring institution should describe the candidate’s academic appointment, bearing in mind that it must be tenure-track assistant professor (or equivalent). The sponsoring institution must foster and support the awardee’s ability to apply for and secure independent research grant (R01) support.

It is suggested that the applicant and/or the hiring institution discuss the institutional commitment with the NIAID scientific/research official (see below) prior to submission of any updated information about the K22 application. NIAID will not issue the K22 award if the institutional commitment is deemed inadequate. Applicants who are approved will receive a Notice of Award for the K22 award.

Applicants are encouraged (but not required) to apply for independent positions at departments and institutions different from where they conducted their postdoctoral research. It is important for all applicants, but especially so for applicants who intend to stay at their postdoctoral institution for the independent phase, to provide a plan by which they will separate from their postdoctoral advisor and advance to independence. Awardees are also encouraged to include a plan and timeline for submitting an independent research grant application in a research area relevant to the mission of NIAID.  The K22 award is intended to facilitate successful transition to indpendence.

Candidates who are not approved for the K22 award will receive written notification from NIAID communicating the rationale for the disapproval. This letter typically will be sent within 60 days of receipt of the updated information about the K22 application.

Although the financial plans of the NIAID provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this funding opportunity are contingent upon the availability of funds.

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.

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. 

In accordance with the regulatory requirements provided at 45 CFR 75.113 and Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75, recipients that have currently active Federal grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from all Federal awarding agencies with a cumulative total value greater than $10,000,000 for any period of time during the period of performance of a Federal award, must report and maintain the currency of information reported in the System for Award Management (SAM) about civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings in connection with the award or performance of a Federal award that reached final disposition within the most recent five-year period.  The recipient must also make semiannual disclosures regarding such proceedings. Proceedings information will be made publicly available in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS).  This is a statutory requirement under section 872 of Public Law 110-417, as amended (41 U.S.C. 2313).  As required by section 3010 of Public Law 111-212, all information posted in the designated integrity and performance system on or after April 15, 2011, except past performance reviews required for Federal procurement contracts, will be publicly available.  Full reporting requirements and procedures are found in Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75 – Award Term and Conditions for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.

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
Web ticketing system: https://grants-portal.psc.gov/ContactUs.aspx
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)

Shawn Drew Gaillard, Ph.D.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Telephone: 240-627-3857
Email: Shawn.Gaillard@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Peter Jackson, Ph.D.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Telephone: 240-669-5049
Email: pjackson@niaid.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Mable Nee
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Telephone: (301) 761-7593
Email: Mable.Nee@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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