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 General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

Funding Opportunity Title

Research Education: Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) Program (R25)

Activity Code

R25 Education Projects

Announcement Type

Reissue of PAR-17-040

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-17-053

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

Number of Applications

Only one application per institution is allowed, as defined in Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

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

93.859

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research education activities in the mission areas of the NIH.  The over-arching goal of this NIGMS R25 program is to support educational activities that enhance the diversity of the biomedical workforce.

To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on research experiences and courses for skills development.

Key Dates

 

Posted Date

November 10, 2016

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

December 27, 2016

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Application Due Date(s)

January 27, 2017; January 26, 2018; and January 28, 2019, 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)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

June/July, 2017; June/July, 2018; June/July, 2019

Advisory Council Review

October, 2017; October, 2018; October, 2019

Earliest Start Date

December, 2017; December, 2018; December, 2019

Expiration Date

January 29, 2019

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Research 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 will not be reviewed.


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 NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research educational activities that complement other formal training programs in the mission areas of the NIH Institutes and Centers. The over-arching goals of the NIH R25 program are to: (1) complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs; (2) enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce; (3) help recruit individuals with specific specialty or disciplinary backgrounds to research careers in biomedical, behavioral and clinical sciences; and (4) foster a better understanding of biomedical, behavioral and clinical research and its implications.

The over-arching goal of this  NIGMS  R25 program is to support educational activities that    enhance the diversity of the biomedical research workforce.       To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on:

  • Courses for Skills Development: For example, advanced courses in a specific discipline or research area, clinical procedures for research, or specialized research techniques.   
  • Research Experiences: For example, for undergraduate students: to provide hands-on exposure to research, to reinforce their intent to graduate with a cutting-edge science degree, and/or to prepare them for graduate school admissions and/or careers in research; for graduate students: to provide cutting-edge modern research experiences and related training and mentoring not available through formal NIH training mechanisms.  An integral part of the program will be to engage in unique, targeted recruitment of individuals from currently underrepresented groups in the biomedical sciences research enterprise to ensure a diverse student cohort.         
Purpose and Background

The mission of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) is to support research that increases our understanding of life processes and lays the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention. To ensure the vitality and continued productivity of the research enterprise, NIGMS provides leadership in training the next generation of biomedical scientists, in enhancing the diversity of the scientific workforce, and developing research capacities throughout the country.

NIGMS seeks to enhance the pool of individuals from groups underrepresented in the biomedical workforce by providing training opportunities during multiple training and career stages at varied institutions and educational settings across the country. By enhancing the pool  of students from underrepresented groups pursuing advanced training in the biomedical sciences, NIGMS strives to ensure that the future generation of researchers will draw from the entire pool of talented individuals, bringing different aptitudes, perspectives, creativity and experiences to address complex scientific problems.

Need for the Program

Every facet of the United States scientific research enterprise—from basic laboratory research to clinical and translational research to policy formation–requires superior intellect, creativity and a wide range of skill sets and viewpoints.

NIH’s ability to help ensure that the nation remains a global leader in scientific discovery and innovation depends upon having a pool of highly talented scientists from diverse backgrounds who will help to further NIH's mission. However, in spite of advancements in scientific research, some populations have not had access to cutting-edge research and training opportunities, and do not participate fully in the biomedical sciences research workforce. These underrepresented groups include individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds (at the undergraduate level and below), as described in NOT-OD-15-053.

Currently these groups are not only underrepresented in science, technology and engineering (NSF, 2016), their underrepresentation in these fields also increases throughout the training stages. For example, students from certain racial and ethnic groups, including Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders currently comprise ~39 percent of the college age population (Census Bureau), but earn only ~17 percent of bachelor’s degrees and ~11 percent of the Ph.D.s in the biological sciences (NSF, 2016).

Similarly, a report from the Census Bureau shows that in 2010, nearly 20 percent of the U. S. population had a disability. In 2012, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that 11 percent of college students had a disability, and 34 percent of undergraduates with disabilities are from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. According to the Council of Graduate Schools and statistics from NCES, in 2008 about 7 percent of all doctoral students and about 6 percent of doctoral students in health or life science programs had a disability.

Further, individuals from low income families are underrepresented in scientific careers, and have limited access to necessary science and math prerequisites at every academic level (Civil Rights Data Collection Data Snapshot: College and Career Readiness (2014). Data shows that while half of all individuals from high-income families have a bachelor’s degree by age 25, only 1 in 10 individuals from low-income families do. Low-income students are less likely to take a science-oriented core curriculum, and less likely to meet readiness benchmarks on college entrance exams. This can be attributed in part to data showing that nationwide, between 10-25 percent of high schools do not offer more than one of the core courses in the typical sequence of high school math and science education— such as algebra I and II, geometry, biology, and chemistry. Such educational environments predominate in communities with low socioeconomic status.

Students from underrepresented groups face a number of challenges that influence their success in obtaining a Ph.D. in the biomedical sciences. Some of these challenges include lack of adequate knowledge of academic development activities designed to improve scientific critical thinking and quantitative skills, limited access to independent bench research skills, limited/poor mentoring, and limited professional networking to successfully bridge to the next career level.

The creation of a diverse biomedical workforce requires active interventions aimed at addressing this persistent underrepresentation, as well as preventing the loss of talent at each level of educational advancement. Accordingly, several reports (see for example, PCAST Report, 2012; From College to Careers: Fostering Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in STEM, 2014; and Increasing College Opportunity for Low Income Students, 2014) recommended supporting programs that strive to recruit, retain, and train students from underrepresented groups who have an interest in science, technology, engineering and math as a means to effectively build a diverse and competitive scientific workforce.

The IMSD program provides support for institutions to develop and implement effective program interventions to address the challenges students from underrepresented groups face. The program also encourages institutions to diversify their student population. In doing so, the IMSD program is expected to enhance the pool of individuals currently underrepresented in the biomedical sciences research enterprise, and ultimately contribute to NIH’s ability to ensure that it remains a leader in scientific discovery and innovation.

Programmatic Approach

IMSD grants are awards to institutions that confer the baccalaureate and/or doctoral degree in biomedical fields, have a demonstrated commitment to encourage and assist students from underrepresented backgrounds, and have a research-intensive environment with a large pool of mentors with R01 or equivalent grants.

The IMSD program supports institutions to develop a research education program in basic biomedical sciences relevant to the NIGMS mission, with the overarching goal of enhancing the pool of students from underrepresented groups who successfully complete a Ph.D. degree in biomedical sciences. Ultimately, the program goal is to enhance  the diversity of the biomedical research workforce.

Applicant institutions must conduct an institutional self-assessment of their research environment and student outcomes to inform the design of their proposed IMSD program, to include:

  • Demographics of students enrolled in biomedical science departments.
  • Number of students that complete the baccalaureate and/or Ph.D. degree, as applicable.
  • Challenges/impediments that the students encounter in completing the baccalaureate and/or Ph.D. degree, as applicable.

As a result of the self-assessment, each applicant must establish the program's goals and specific measurable objectives with regard to the outreach and recruitment of individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, and the programmatic objectives should be consonant with NIGMS IMSD program expectations. The proposed program should be interdisciplinary in design and should emphasize the skills, abilities and knowledge needed to prepare a strong and diverse biomedical research workforce. Programs are encouraged to integrate quantitative biology or advanced statistical approaches in their research education curriculum to develop a quantitative fluency among all trainees. This curriculum may include quantitative problem-solving, statistical analysis, and/or other didactic or hands-on activities that will enhance student understanding of the value of quantitative approaches to answering scientific questions. Programs should also provide students with outstanding mentoring and education in other critical skills such as written and oral presentation, leadership, grant and manuscript writing, and time management.

Various strategies may be utilized to attain the objective of enhancing the pool of underrepresented researchers via the IMSD program. These may include, but are not limited to, the initiation of new academic developmental activities as well as the expansion, enhancement and/or improvement of existing activities. Some institutions may opt to offer programs to improve preparation of undergraduate students for admission to research doctoral degree programs. Others may concentrate on providing research education experiences to graduate students that will help them obtain doctoral degrees and prepare for successful research careers, while others may concentrate on both.

The IMSD program can provide support for student academic development activities designed to improve scientific critical thinking and quantitative skills, communication skills, time management, group learning opportunities, independent bench research skills, interdisciplinary or advanced research-based courses and opportunities to meet and discuss career choices with appropriate role models.

Typically, IMSD provides 2-year support at the undergraduate and/or graduate level. NIGMS recognizes that the wide range of knowledge and skills, including communication, teamwork, management and leadership skills needed for success in a scientific endeavor, cannot be gained by students merely within this supportive period, but are met by a continuous training and mentoring enviornment throughout their under-graduate/graduate school career.

IMSD programs are encouraged to develop a partnership with NIH-funded T32 training program(s) (http://projectreporter.nih.gov/reporter.cfm) at the applicant institution or another institution in order to facilitate the networking and transition of IMSD students to T32 training programs, as well as to identify the institutional impact of the program. Program directors are expected to characterize intended and actualized improvements to research education experiences for the general student population that originate in or are inspired by the implementation of the IMSD program.

Goals and Outcomes

The goal of the IMSD program is to provide research experiences for students in the institution and to enhance the pool of students from underrepresented groups who successfully complete Ph.D. degrees in biomedical sciences. In doing so, the expectation is that by supporting new and ongoing institutionally-designed student developmental programs, the IMSD program will help reduce the gap in the completion of Ph.D. degrees between underrepresented and non-underrepresented students in the biomedical sciences at the national level. The IMSD program should make available structured, career development advising and learning opportunities (e.g., workshops, discussions, Individual Development Plans). Through such opportunities, all students are expected to obtain a working knowledge of various potential career paths that would make strong use of the knowledge and skills gained during research experience and the steps required to transition successfully to the next stage of their chosen career. At the institutional level, the IMSD program should develop undergraduate and/or graduate students who are proficient in biomedical science for the purpose of training the next generation of the modern research workforce. Furthermore, the institution is expected to identify and address the barriers that might impede the participation and retention of all students, with attention to the types of issues that students from underrepresented backgrounds face.   Specifically, it is expected that the following objectives will be achieved:

  • Enhancement of the pool of underrepresented students that complete a Ph.D. and continue in biomedical research careers.
  • At least 60% of IMSD-supported undergraduate and 80% of Ph.D. students will complete the Ph.D. degree.
  • Contribute to ongoing student and faculty efforts to reduce the gap in the completion of Ph.D. degrees between underrepresented students and those from other backgrounds in participating departments.

Research education programs may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, but the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those training and education programs currently receiving Federal support. R25 programs may augment institutional research training programs (e.g., T32, T90) but cannot be used to replace or circumvent Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) programs.

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
Renewal
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 total amount to be awarded is approximately $5 million (total costs) per year. Awards issued under this FOA are contingent upon the availability of funds and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications. Because the nature and scope of the proposed research education program will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary. The total amount awarded and the number of awards will depend upon the quality, duration and costs of the applications received.

Award Budget

Although the size of award may vary with the scope of the research education program proposed and there are no specific budget limitations, the requested direct costs must be reasonable, well documented, fully justified and commensurate with the scope of the proposed program. All awards are subject to the availability of funds.

Award Project Period

The total project period for an application submitted in response to this funding opportunity may not exceed 5 years.  

Other Award Budget Information
Personnel Costs

Individuals designing, directing, and implementing the research education program may request salary and fringe benefits appropriate for the person months devoted to the program. Salaries requested may not exceed the levels commensurate with the institution's policy for similar positions and may not exceed the congressionally mandated cap. (If mentoring interactions and other activities with participants are considered a regular part of an individual's academic duties, then any costs associated with the mentoring and other interactions with participants are not allowable costs from grant funds).

Limited program-related administrative and clerical salary costs associated distinctly with the program that are not normally provided by the applicant organization may be direct charges to the grant only when they are in accordance with applicable cost principles. Salary support for the PD/PI (or combination of multiple PDs/PIs) is limited to up to 1.8 person months (i.e., 15% on a 12-month basis), depending on the number of participants in the program and person months devoted to the administration of the program. The total salary support for a Program Administrator and/or Program Assistant is limited to up to 6.0 person months (i.e., 50% on a 12-month basis), depending on the number of participants in the program and person months devoted to the administration of the program.

Participant Costs

Participants may be paid if specifically required for the proposed research education program and sufficiently justified. Participant costs must be itemized in the proposed budget.

Allowable participant costs depend on the educational level/career status of the individuals to be selected to participate in the program.

While generally not an allowable cost, with strong justification, participants in the research education program may receive per diem unless such costs are furnished as part of the registration fee. Participants may also receive funds to defray partial tuition and other education-related expenses.

Individuals supported by NIH training and career development mechanisms (K, T, or F awards) may receive, and indeed are encouraged to receive, educational experiences supported by IMSD program, as participants, but may not receive salary or stipend supplementation from a IMSD program.

Because the R25 program is not intended as a substitute for an NRSA institutional training program (e.g.,T32), costs to support full-time participants (supported for 40 hours/week for a continuous, 12-month period) are not allowable.

Other Program-Related Expenses

Consultant costs, equipment, supplies, travel for key persons, and other program-related expenses may be included in the proposed budget. These expenses must be justified as specifically required by the proposed program and must not duplicate items generally available at the applicant institution.  In addition, limited program evaluation costs are allowed up to a maximum of $3,000 for the 5 year project period. This includes salaries for evaluation consultants, if any.

Indirect Costs

Indirect Costs (also known as Facilities & Administrative [F&A] Costs) are reimbursed at 8% of modified total direct costs (exclusive of tuition and fees and expenditures for equipment), rather than on the basis of a negotiated rate agreement.

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

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)

The applicant institution must be a research-intensive institution that has a significant number of faculty mentors with active and extramurally funded (such as R01 or equivalent) research programs to support adequate research and academic training of the participants.  It must be an institution with strong baccalaureate and/or doctoral degree programs in biomedical sciences that could provide excellent, challenging, and supportive, peer groups for the IMSD participants to interact and network with and also serve as peer mentors. Institutions supported by the NIGMS Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) programs are not eligible to apply for or receive IMSD grants.

The sponsoring institution must assure support for the proposed program. Appropriate institutional commitment to the program includes the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned program.

Institutions with existing Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) institutional training grants (e.g., T32) or other Federally funded training programs may apply for a research education grant provided that the proposed educational experiences are distinct from those training programs receiving federal support. In many cases, it is anticipated that the proposed research education program will complement ongoing research training occurring at the applicant 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 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 individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and women are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

The PD/PI should be an established investigator in the scientific area in which the application is targeted and capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program. The PD/PI will be expected to monitor and assess the program and submit all documents and reports as required.

The PD(s)/PI(s) must have a regular full-time appointment (i.e., not adjunct, part-time, retired, or emeritus) at the applicant institution.

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

Only one application per institution (normally identified by having a unique DUNS number or NIH IPF number) is allowed for the IMSD Program.

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time.  This means that the 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).
Program Faculty

Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as preceptors/mentors. Mentors should have research expertise and experience relevant to the proposed program. Mentors must be committed to continue their involvement throughout the total period of the mentee’s participation in this award.

Participants

The program-supported participants are selected by the applicant institution. To receive salary support from the IMSD program, students must be U.S. citizens or non-citizen nationals or permanent residents and must be matriculated full-time in baccalaureate or doctoral degree programs in biomedical fields at the applicant institution. A non-citizen national is a person who, although not a citizen of the United States, owes permanent allegiance to the U.S. This is generally a person born in a land that is not a state, but that is under U.S. sovereignty, jurisdiction or administration (e.g., American Samoa). An individual lawfully admitted for permanent residence must possess an alien registration receipt card (I-551) prior to appointment on the grant. Individuals on temporary visas, those seeking asylum or refugees are not eligible for support from the IMSD Program.

The purpose of the IMSD program is to provide research experiences and to enhance the ability of underrepresented students to complete the Ph.D. and engage in biomedical research in the current workforce. The currently underrepresented groups in the biomedical sciences research enterprise are described in NOT-OD-15-053. Selection of program-supported participants should take into consideration whether the students' participation would help achieve the overall goals/objectives of the proposed institutional program and the IMSD goals. It is the responsibility of the applicant institution to establish the qualifications of students prior to their selection for the IMSD program.

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 Research 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 will not be reviewed.

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 SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this FOA.

SF424(R&R) Cover

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

 
SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

 
SF424 (R&R) Other Project Information Component

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following additional modifications:

Facilities & Other Resources. Describe the educational environment, including the facilities, laboratories, participating departments, computer services, and any other resources to be used in the development and implementation of the proposed program. List all thematically related sources of support for research training and education following the format for Current and Pending Support.

Other Attachments.

Tables. The IMSD is an institutional program and as such applicants must provide details about the institution and its setting using Data Tables 2, 4, 8A, and 8D (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/datatables.htm). 


The following Tables are required for new applications:
Training Table 2. Participating Faculty Members, Undergraduate and/or Predoctoral Training Table, as applicable 
Training Table 4. Research Support of Participating Faculty Members

Trainng Table 8A (Part III). Program Outcomes: Predoctoral
Training Table 8D (Part II only). Program Outcomes: Undergraduate

The following Tables are required for renewals:
Training Table 2. Participating Faculty Members, Undergraduate and/or Predoctoral Training Table, as applicable 
Training Table 4. Research Support of Participating Faculty Members

Trainng Table 8A (Part I) Program Outcomes: Predoctoral
Training Table 8D (Part I only). Program Outcomes: Undergraduate

Please name your file "Table 2.pdf", Table 4.pdf", "Table 8A.pdf", or "Table 8D" as appropriate.

Institutional Student Profile for the last five years: Provide the numbers and trends of the total number and ratio of underrepresented/non-underrepresented students that completed B.S./B.A. degrees in biomedical science-related disciplines at the institution and completed Ph.D. degrees in biomedical sciences at institutions with research-intensive environments.

Applications must include data for underrepresented groups as well as data for non-underrepresented groups. Applicants are encouraged to provide data using the suggested Sample Format Table A

Advisory Committee Plan. An institutional IMSD Advisory Committee may be included as a component of the program. Describe its role and how it will provide counsel to the PD/PI and to the chief executive of the institution in meeting the goals of the IMSD program and the institution. The composition of the committee must reflect the institutional approach and support for the proposed program and may include representatives of the administration, faculty, investigators, mentors, collaborators, PD/PIs of other T32 training and student development programs at the institution and current and former student participants. Describe the composition and functions of the advisory committee.

Proposed Advisory Committee members should be named in the application only if they have been invited to participate at the time the application is submitted.  Renewal applications with Advisory Committees should include the names of all committee members during the past project period.  Please name your file “Advisory_Committee.pdf”

The filename provided for each “Other Attachment” will be the name used for the bookmark in the electronic application in eRA Commons.

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

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

R&R Budget

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following additional modifications:

  • Include all personnel other than the PD(s)/PI(s) in the Other Personnel section, including clerical and administrative staff.
  • Use the section on Participant/Trainee Support Costs to include all allowable categories of funds requested to support participants in the program.

IMSD applications must present an integrated set of courses for skills development, research experiences and therefore a single consolidated budget is required. Each item in the budget must be clearly justified. IMSD grant awards include some restrictions as to how the funds may be used. The following account summarizes the non-allowable costs under the IMSD program.

Non-allowable Costs include:

  • Faculty research mentors' time or effort compensation.
  • Undergraduate student tuition, housing, food, foreign travel, or recruitment expenses.
  • Graduate student housing, food, or recruitment expenses.
  • Undergraduate or graduate student support in the form of a stipend (note: stipend differs technically from salary/wages described above, which is allowable).
  • Support for either graduate or undergraduate students not matriculated at the applicant institution.
  • Costs for textbooks, incentives (including laptop computers), memberships, or subscriptions to Internet services or journals.
  • Support for faculty research or purchase of research equipment.
  • A summer stand-alone program for students not matriculated as full-time students at the applicant/grantee institution.
  • Costs of workshops or courses with a limited focus of preparation for a specific test, including GRE and MCAT.
  • Alterations and renovations.
  • Consortium/contractual arrangements.
PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

PHS 398 Research Plan Component

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

Research Strategy

The Research Strategy section must be used to upload the Research Education Program Plan, which must include the following components described below:

  • Proposed Research Education Program
  • Program Director/Principal Investigator
  • Program Faculty
  • Program Participants
  • Institutional Environment and Commitment
  • Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity
  • Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Evaluation Plan
  • Dissemination Plan

Research Education Program Plan

Proposed Research Education Program. While the proposed research education program may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those research training and research education programs currently receiving federal support. When research training programs are on-going in the same department, the applicant organization should clearly distinguish between the activities in the proposed research education program and the research training supported by the training program.  The description should include the educational and/or career level(s) of the planned participants. 

The Research Education Program Plan should be organized to reflect the institutional scope of the proposed program, and it should be presented as an integrated set of courses for skills development and research experiences, that enhance academic excellence and promote timely progression of students to the next academic/career step.   Applicants are encouraged to summarize what they view as especially important results contained in the data tables within the Research Education Program Plan of the application. This summary does not replace the data tables, and applicants are urged to ensure consistency between the summary and the relevant table information.

The Proposed Research Education Program Plan should include the following specific items:

1) Institutional Setting and Current Status of the Undergraduate and/or Graduate Biomedical Science-Related Academic Programs: Provide a brief description of the mission of the institution and its participating academic components. Applicants must provide their institution type according to the Carnegie Basic Classification System. Provide evidence of the institution's commitment to diversify the student demographics in the biomedical sciences. Briefly describe the current diversity programs and counseling/mentoring services (funded by the institution and by sponsoring entities) and their success in preparing and graduating underrepresented students as well as all other students in the sciences.

Describe the institution's vision of the IMSD program and how it will be integrated into any of the existing academic programs and how it will partner with or complement other externally funded and institutionally funded educational research training programs, including NIH T32 training programs and other undergraduate/graduate student training programs. Describe options available to the institution for embracing and incorporating, beyond the scope of the grant, any particularly effective curricular, research, programmatic elements, etc., that may be developed within the institution's IMSD program.

2) Progress Report (for Renewal Applications). For renewal applications, a detailed Progress Report must be included. Applications with only one previous funding cycle must provide information on the past funding cycle. Applications with more than one previous funding cycle must provide information on the past three consecutive funding cycles or on progress since program inception. In the report, state the original goals and specific aims, anticipated milestones and outcomes, as well as a summary of the specific accomplishments of the IMSD program in the context of the previous application’s baseline.

Additionally, applicants must provide a summary of student outcomes for up to 15 years, if applicable, in the narrative of the application.

Programs with an undergraduate component must report:

  • The number of IMSD-supported undergraduate students
  • The number who graduated with B.S./B.A. degrees in biomedical science-related  disciplines
  • The number who matriculated into Ph.D. programs in biomedical sciences at institutions with research intensive environments (including the applicant institution if applicable)
  • The status of those who entered Ph.D. programs (number who remain in training, completed Ph.D. training, or withdrew from Ph.D. training)

Programs with a graduate component must report:

  • The number of IMSD-supported graduate students
  • The number who remain in training or other support
  • The number who graduated
  • The number who pursue(d) postdoctoral positions and the number who pursue(d) academic, research-related or non-research-related career paths.

Progress reports must clearly report outcomes from undergraduate and graduate components separately.

Describe the impact of the IMSD program as a result of program-supported activities in areas such as courses/curricular enhancements, faculty and student development, and increases in the number of students transferring to and successfully completing the doctorate degree in biomedical sciences.

Describe any previously funded IMSD activities that are now continuing (or will continue) on institutional funds.

3) Student Development Activities: Provide programmatic detail on the student development activities proposed (e.g., courses, curricula, seminars, workshops). Describe what makes the IMSD experience unique to participants. Include description of activities (if any) that will be available only to IMSD participants. Provide detailed information on plans to improve the academic and research competitiveness of underrepresented students at the undergraduate and/or graduate levels and to increase their graduation from Ph.D. programs. Provide a coordinated development plan that describes overall goals and specific measurable objectives of the proposed program. Provide information on the selection process for the participants in the IMSD program. Explain the plan for monitoring student progress and roles of the faculty/personnel involved. Describe how each proposed specific academic development activity will contribute toward realization of the measurable objectives. Describe the milestones (i.e., anticipated intermediate steps toward the objectives). Give a brief account of the proposed schedule of the activities and whether these activities will be available to all students. Discuss any perceived impediments to implementing the proposed activities and alternative strategies to achieve the measurable objectives.

Potential student development activities are listed below. The list is not required or exhaustive; any activities that lead to enhanced research experience and persistence may be proposed.

  • Development of scientific critical-thinking and problem-solving skills;
  • Development of oral and writing communication skills;
  • Incorporation of quantitative sciences (math, statistics, physics, engineering, and/or computer science) into the study of biology;
  • Implementation of innovative teaching strategies for improved learning such as active learning, inquiry-based learning, problem-based learning, peer collaborative/group assignments, etc.;
  • Utilization of supplemental instruction, tutoring and learning communities;
  • Utilization of service learning, a strategy that integrates meaningful, scientifically relevant community service with instruction;
  • Promotion of student self-efficacy;
  • Utilization of time-management and group learning opportunities;
  • Workshops on stereotype threat, the imposter syndrome and implicit bias;
  • Promotion of networking and presentation opportunities (national meetings, workshops, webinars, etc.);
  • Introduction to the culture and requirements of competitive Ph.D. graduate programs, particularly those with NIH funded T32 Predoctoral Training Programs;
  • Seminars on securing independent funding; and
  • Encouraging self-advocacy through workshops, discussions and Individual Development Plans.

In addition, independent library and/or bench research should be included in each student's activities.

These activities may be offered to full-time matriculated students during the academic year and/or in special summer sessions. Activities may also expand the scope of ongoing institutional efforts to diversify the pool of students engaged in biomedical research and broadening the opportunities for their participation in biomedical research. 

The IMSD program seeks to improve participation of underrepresented students while sponsoring enhancements to the training experience for all, thereby promoting long-lasting and positive institutional change. Describe the impact and/or value of IMSD program activities on the enrollment numbers, profile, academic environment and graduation rates of underrepresented students and other related aspects of the institution. Report activities and impact that directly result from the IMSD program that would not occur in the absence of IMSD support. Explain the value added to the institutional setting. PD(s)/PI(s) are expected to identify successful curricular innovations and promote the adoption of these innovations by the undergraduate and graduate programs at large within the environment harboring the IMSD Program. Also, explain how IMSD efforts address any gap at the institution in retention, graduation and degree completion between underrepresented and non-underrepresented students. Describe what has been learned through the program evaluation and any changes made in the program as a result of the evaluation.           

Program Director/Principal Investigator. Describe arrangements for administration of the program.  Provide evidence that the Program Director/Principal Investigator is actively engaged in research and/or teaching in an area related to the mission of NIH, and can organize, administer, monitor, and evaluate the research education program. For programs proposing multiple PDs/PIs, describe the complementary and integrated expertise of the PDs/PIs; their leadership approach, and governance appropriate for the planned project.

The PD(s)/PI(s) is responsible for ensuring that the IMSD participants are placed in highly productive research environment with faculty mentors who will provide the proper guidance and instruction for the participants. In consultation with the advisory committee, if one is included, the PD(s)/PI(s) should describe how they will oversee the preparation and development of an IDP for each participant, as well as design program activities that will further enhance the academic preparation and research skills of the participants. The PD(s)/PI(s) is also responsible for the preparation and submission of required reports (annual progress reports, changes in the program, etc.) in a timely manner.

Applicants must also describe the organization, administration, communication, and leadership succession plan for critical positions (e.g. PD/PI) in the administrative structure.        

Program Faculty. Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as program faculty. Faculty should have research expertise and experience relevant to the proposed program and demonstrate a history of, or the potential for, their intended roles.  IMSD mentors are expected to have NIH R01 or equivalent extramural research support as well as high-impact publications in their fields. Provide the biographical sketches of the faculty members with past records in training and mentoring underrepresented students, include their teaching and/or research achievements, and extramural research support in the Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile Section.      

Program Participants. Applications must describe the intended participants, and the eligibility criteria and/or specific educational background characteristics that are essential for participation in the proposed research education program. Identify the career levels  for which the proposed program is planned. NIGMS strongly encourages the use of Individual Development Plans for graduate students (See NOT-OD-13-093).

Institutional Environment and Commitment. Describe the institutional environment, reiterating the availability of facilities and educational resources (described separately under “Facilities & Other Resources”), that can contribute to the planned Research Education Program. Evidence of institutional commitment to the research educational program is required. A letter of institutional commitment must be attached as part of Letters of Support (see below). Appropriate institutional commitment should include the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned research education program. 

Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity: Fostering diversity in the scientific research workforce is a key component of the NIH strategy to identify, develop, support and maintain the quality of our scientific human capital (NOT-OD-15-053). Every facet of the United States scientific research enterprise—from basic laboratory research to clinical and translational research to policy formation–requires superior intellect, creativity and a wide range of skill sets and viewpoints. NIH’s ability to help ensure that the nation remains a global leader in scientific discovery and innovation is dependent upon a pool of highly talented scientists from diverse backgrounds who will help to further NIH's mission.

Research shows that diverse teams working together and capitalizing on innovative ideas and distinct perspectives outperform homogenous teams. Scientists and trainees from diverse backgrounds and life experiences bring different perspectives, creativity, and individual enterprise to address complex scientific problems. There are many benefits that flow from a diverse NIH-supported scientific workforce, including: fostering scientific innovation, enhancing global competitiveness, contributing to robust learning environments, improving the quality of the researchers, advancing the likelihood that underserved or health disparity populations participate in, and benefit from health research, and enhancing public trust.

In spite of tremendous advancements in scientific research, information, educational and research opportunities are not equally available to all. NIH encourages institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations to enhance the participation of individuals from groups identified as underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences, such as:

A. Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see data at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/showpub.cfm?TopID=2&SubID=27) and the report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.

B. Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended.  See NSF data at, http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/2013/pdf/tab7-5_updated_2014_10.pdf.

C. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, defined as:

1. Individuals who come from a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds. These thresholds are based on family size, published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census; adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index; and adjusted by the Secretary for use in all health professions programs. The Secretary periodically publishes these income levels at http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/index.shtml.

2. Individuals who come from an educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments that has demonstrably and directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career.    

The disadvantaged background category (C1 and C2) is applicable to programs focused on high school and undergraduate candidates.

Literature shows that women from the above backgrounds (categories A, B, and C) face particular challenges at the graduate level and beyond in scientific fields. (See, e.g., Inside the Double

Bind, A Synthesis of Empirical Research on Undergraduate and Graduate Women of Color in Science, Technology, Engineering, and mathematics   http://her.hepg.org/content/t022245n7x4752v2/fulltext.pdf).

New applications must include a description of plans to enhance recruitment, including the strategies that will be used to enhance the recruitment of trainees from underrepresented backgrounds and may wish to include data in support of past accomplishments. Consider the success and/or failures of recruitment strategies used in the past. In particular, describe the specific efforts to be undertaken by the research education program and how these might relate to the recruitment efforts of the institution. Institutional efforts alone will not satisfy the requirement to recruit individuals from underrepresented groups.

Renewal applications must include a detailed account of experiences in recruiting individuals from underrepresented groups during the previous funding period. Information must be included on successful and unsuccessful recruitment strategies including aggregate information on the distribution of:

  • Individuals who applied for admission to the research education program,
  • Individuals who were offered admission to the research education program,
  • Individuals who participated in the research education program. 

For those individuals who participated in the research education program, the report should include information about the duration of education and aggregate information on the number of individuals who finished the program in good standing. Additional information on the required Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity is available at Frequently Asked Questions: Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity (Diversity FAQs).

Applications lacking a diversity recruitment and retention plan will not be reviewed.

Plan for Instruction 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).  The plan must address the five, required instructional components outlined in the NIH policy: 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 program faculty in the instruction; 4) Duration of Instruction - the number of contact hours of instruction, taking into consideration the duration of the program; and 5) Frequency of Instruction –instruction must occur during each career stage and at least once every four years. See also  NOT-OD-10-019. The plan should be appropriate and reasonable for the nature and duration of the proposed program. Renewal (Type 2) applications must, in addition, describe any changes in formal instruction over the past project period and plans to address any weaknesses in the current instruction plan. All participating faculty who served as course directors, speakers, lecturers, and/or discussion leaders during the past project period must be named in the application.


Applications lacking a plan for instruction in responsible conduct of research will not be reviewed.

Evaluation Plan. Applications must include a plan for evaluating the activities supported by the award.  The application must specify baseline metrics (e.g., numbers, educational levels, and demographic characteristics of participants), as well as measures to gauge the short-or long-term success of the research education award in achieving its objectives. Wherever appropriate, applicants are encouraged to obtain feedback from participants to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for improvements.

Letters of Support

A letter of institutional commitment must be attached as part of Letters of Support (see section above:”Institutional Environment and Commitment).

Resource Sharing Plans

Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans  as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following Guide.

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. 

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). 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. Add 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
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, behavioral, and clinical research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

For this particular announcement, note the following: The goal of this R25 program is to support educational activities that enhance the diversity of the biomedical workforce with a primary focus on cutting-edge research experience, and courses for modern skills development.

Overall Impact

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to strongly advance research education by fulfilling the goal of this R25 Education Program, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria, as applicable for the project proposed.

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.

Significance

Does the proposed program address a key audience and an important aspect or important need in research education? Is there convincing evidence in the application that the proposed program will significantly advance the stated goal of the program?

Investigator(s)

Is the PD/PI capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program? Is there evidence that an appropriate level of effort will be devoted by the program leadership to ensure the program's intended goal is accomplished? If applicable, is there evidence that the participating faculty have experience in mentoring students and teaching science? If applicable, are the faculty good role models for the participants by nature of their scientific accomplishments? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?

Innovation

Taking into consideration the nature of the proposed research education program, does the applicant make a strong case for this program effectively reaching an audience in need of the program’s offerings? Where appropriate, is the proposed program developing or utilizing innovative approaches and latest best practices to improve the knowledge and/or skills of the intended audience?

Approach

Does the proposed program clearly state its goals and objectives, including the educational level of the audience to be reached, the content to be conveyed, and the intended outcome?  Is there evidence that the program is based on a sound rationale, as well as sound educational concepts and principles? Is the plan for evaluation sound and likely to provide information on the effectiveness of the program?  If the proposed program will recruit participants, are the planned recruitment, retention, and follow-up (if applicable) activities adequate to ensure a highly qualified participant pool?

Environment

Will the scientific and educational environment of the proposed program contribute to its intended goals? Is there a plan to take advantage of this environment to enhance the educational value of the program? Is there tangible evidence of institutional commitment? Is there evidence that the faculty have sufficient institutional support to create a sound educational environment for the participants?  Where appropriate, is there evidence of collaboration and buy-in among participating programs, departments, and institutions?

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

Generally not applicable.  Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.

Vertebrate Animals

Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.

Biohazards

Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.

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

For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the last three consecutive funding cycles, if applicable, and the success of the program in attracting and retaining individuals from diverse populations, including populations underrepresented in biomedical research on a national basis. The committee will also consider the progress made in institutionalizing previously-supported IMSD activities (such as courses for skills development).

In addition, the committee will consider the following:

  • Has the research education program successfully achieved its stated objectives during the prior project period(s), especially in the context of institutional baseline and NIGMS’s expectations (see Section I for details)? Has there been an improvement in baseline data?
  • Has the research education program successfully recruited the expected number of IMSD participants during the prior project period? Has the PD(s)/PI(s) effectively shaped the recruitment plan in response to recruitment outcomes?
  • Has the program had a strong success rate of having its participants enroll and completion of rigorous undergraduate/graduate programs? Were the retention and completion rates in  programs of past IMSD participants adequately monitored? Do past participants who have enrolled in undergraduate/graduate programs have strong retention and completion rates?
  • Has the program had a strong impact and provided added value to the institution?

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.

Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity

Peer reviewers will separately evaluate the recruitment plan to enhance diversity after the overall score has been determined. Reviewers will examine the strategies to be used in the recruitment of individuals from underrepresented groups. The review panel’s evaluation will be included in the summary statement. Plans will be rated as acceptable or unacceptable, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

Taking into account the specific characteristics of the proposed research education program, the level of participant experience, 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 program faculty in the instruction; 4) Duration of Instruction - the number of contact hours of instruction, taking into consideration the duration of the program; and 5) Frequency of Instruction –instruction must occur during each career stage and at least once every four years.  See also: NOT-OD-10-019. The review panel’s evaluation will be included in the summary statement. Plans will be rated as acceptable or unacceptable, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable

Select Agent Research

Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.

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. If support for development, maintenance, or enhancement of software is requested in the application, the reviewers will comment on the proposed software dissemination plan.

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) convened by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, 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 General Medical 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.  
  • For renewal applications:  Performance of the IMSD program in achieving its stated goals and objectives during the prior project period(s).
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.

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.

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.

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually. Continuation support will not be provided until the required forms are submitted and accepted. Programs that involve participants should report on education in the responsible conduct of research and complete a Training Diversity Report, in accordance with the RPPR Instruction Guide.

Additionally, applicants should submit the NRSA Training Table 8A: Predoctoral Program Outcome and 8D: Undergraduate Program Outcomes, as applicable, in Section G1 of the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR).  Sample and table description can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms/data-tables/forms-d.htm.

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. 

Failure by the grantee institution to submit required forms in a timely, complete, and accurate manner may result in an expenditure disallowance or a delay in any continuation funding for the award.

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.

Other Reporting Requirements
  • The institution must submit a completed Statement of Appointment (PHS Form 2271) for each participant appointed full time for eight weeks or more or the equivalent. Grantees must submit the PHS 2271 data electronically using the xTrain system. More information on xTrain is available at xTrain (eRA Commons). An appointment or reappointment may begin any time during the budget period, but not before the budget period start date of the grant year.
  • Participant Termination Notice: Within 30 days of the end of the total support period for each participant, the institution must submit a Termination Notice (PHS Form 416-7) via xTrain for each participant appointed full time for eight weeks or more, or the equivalent.

A final progress report 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.

4. Evaluation

In carrying out its stewardship of human resource-related programs, the NIH or its Institutes and Centers will periodically evaluate their R25 research education programs, employing the measures identified below.  In assessing the effectiveness of its research education investments, NIH may request information from databases, PD/PIs, and from participants themselves.  Where necessary, PD/PIs and participants may be contacted after the completion of a research education experience for periodic updates on participants’ subsequent educational or employment history and professional activities.

Upon the completion of a program evaluation, NIH and its ICs will determine whether to (a) continue a program as currently configured, (b) continue a program with modifications, or (c) discontinue a program.

In evaluating this research education program NIGMS expects to use the following evaluation measures:

  • The IMSD students are expected to earn a baccalaureate degree in a science field relevant to the NIH mission;
  • The majority of IMSD students should enroll in a biomedically-relevant Ph.D. program after earning a baccalaureate degree;
  • The IMSD students who enter Ph.D. programs should have a completion rates equivalent or better than the national average for all biomedical predoctoral trainees;
  • The IMSD Program should contribute to an increase in the number of underrepresented individuals receiving a baccalaureate degree in science areas relevant to the NIH; and
  • The IMSD Program should contribute to an increase in the number of underrepresented individuals entering and completing a PhD degree in science areas relevant to the NIH.

As well as the following:

Undergraduate Students:

  • Aggregate number and demographic characteristics of participants
  • Subsequent educational/career progress, including:
  • Successful completion of an undergraduate degree in a STEM field
  • Enrollment in an advanced degree program in a STEM field

Graduate Students:

  • Aggregate number and demographic characteristics of participants
  • Subsequent educational/career progress of participants, including:
  • Successful completion of a STEM graduate program
  • Subsequent participation in a formal research training or career development program in a STEM field
  • Subsequent participation in research
  • Subsequent employment in a research or research-related field
  • Subsequent authorship of scientific publications in a STEM field
  • Subsequent independent research grant support from NIH or another source
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: http://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: 301-710-0267

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Veerasamy Ravichandran, Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Telephone: 301-451-9822
Email: veerasamy.ravichandra@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Brian Pike, Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Telephone: 301-594-3907
Email:pikbr@nigms.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Lori Burge
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Telephone: 301-451-3781
Email: burgel@nigms.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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