National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Jointly Sponsored Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Institutional Predoctoral Training Program in the Neurosciences (T32)
T32 Institutional National Research Service Award (NRSA)
Reissue of PAR-15-178
Only one application per institution is allowed, as defined in Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.
93.853, 93.279, 93.859, 93.242, 93.866
The Jointly Sponsored NIH Predoctoral Training Program in the Neurosciences (JSPTPN) is an institutional program that supports broad and fundamental research training in the neurosciences. In addition to a broad education in the neurosciences, a key component will be a curriculum that provides a strong foundation in experimental design, statistical methodology and quantitative reasoning. . JSPTPN programs are intended to be two years in duration, and students may only be appointed to this training grant during the first 2 years of their graduate research training. The primary objective is to prepare individuals for careers in neuroscience that will have a significant impact on our understanding of nervous system function and the health-related research needs of the nation.
December 22, 2016
April 25, 2017
30 days prior to the application due date
May 25, 2017; May 25, 2018; May 25, 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.
October 2017; October 2018; October 2019
January 2018; January 2019; January 2020
April 2018; April 2019; April 2020
May 26, 2019
It is critical that applicants follow the Training (T) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.
Part 1. Overview Information
Part 2. Full Text of the Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Section II. Award Information
Section III. Eligibility Information
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
Section V. Application Review Information
Section VI. Award Administration Information
Section VII. Agency Contacts
Section VIII. Other Information
The overall goal of the
NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) 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 order to accomplish this goal, NRSA training programs
are designed to train individuals to conduct research and to prepare for
research careers. More information
about NRSA programs may be found at the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service
Award (NRSA) website.
The NRSA program has been the primary means of supporting predoctoral and postdoctoral research training programs since enactment of the NRSA legislation in 1974. Research training activities can be in basic biomedical or clinical sciences, in behavioral or social sciences, in health services research, or in any other discipline relevant to the NIH mission.
Institutional NRSA programs allow the Training Program Director/Principal Investigator (Training PD/PI) to select the trainees and develop a program of coursework, research experiences, and technical and/or professional skills development appropriate for the selected trainees. Each program should provide high-quality research training and offer opportunities in addition to conducting mentored research. The grant offsets the cost of stipends, tuition and fees, and training related expenses, including health insurance, for the appointed trainees in accordance with the approved NIH support levels.
The purpose of the Jointly Sponsored Predoctoral Training
Program in the Neurosciences (JSPTPN) is to provide strong, broad neuroscience
training that will enable students to become successful research scientists at
a time when the field is advancing at an astonishing pace. Neuroscience
research increasingly requires investigators who can cross boundaries, draw on
knowledge and approaches from various disciplines and levels of analysis, and
apply this breadth of knowledge in novel ways to yield new discoveries about
the nervous system. Moreover, the ability to conduct impactful neuroscience
research requires strong foundational skills in experimental design,
statistical methodology and quantitative reasoning related to study design,
analysis and interpretation.
Breakthroughs in neuroscience have come, and will continue to come, not only from a deep and broad understanding of the nervous system, but also from an understanding of biological systems not historically associated with neuroscience. For example, blood brain barrier function is now known to be heavily dependent on the multidrug resistance transporter, inflammatory responses are key components of many neurological disorders, and metabolic processes historically associated with biology or diseases outside the nervous system are now known to play a role in both normal brain function and neurobiological disorders. To achieve the goals of the JSPTPN, students should therefore be exposed to a broad spectrum of relevant science. In addition, the training supported by the JSPTPN must be grounded in principles of rigorous experimental design, an understanding of the critical need for, and proper use of, statistics, and quantitative literacy.
Broad-based research training. The JSPTPN supports a program of broad-based education and research experience during the first two years of graduate training. As such, training programs supported by a JSPTPN training grant must have a comprehensive, two-year training plan.
Core knowledge expectations
JSPTPN Programs should define the core knowledge that each student is expected to gain, and build on the core knowledge to provide depth of understanding in specific areas. Programs must have a clear, comprehensive plan that will ensure that each student has the tools and experience necessary for future research success. Whereas programs may provide specially tailored curricula based on individual trainee background and needs, each program is expected to define the core knowledge, breadth of knowledge, minimum expertise and research experience expected of all trainees.
Trainees are expected to participate in a curriculum that incorporates education in multiple levels of analysis, which may include, for example, genetic, molecular, cellular, systems, behavioral and/or computational approaches. Students should also gain an understanding of the tools, technologies, and methods used in contemporary neuroscience research. Note that not all programs will necessarily cover all levels of analysis and types of technologies. However, there must be enough coverage to be considered adequate for a broad understanding of neurobiological function and the tools used for neuroscience research. Breadth may be achieved through any combination of formal courses, laboratory rotations, workshops and other programmatic activities. Regardless of their individual curricular plan, all students should gain an understanding of the neurobiological basis of diseases and disorders of the nervous system. Students should leave JPSTPN programs with the fundamental knowledge and skills to enable them to lead, and confidently adapt to, the rapidly growing, technologically changing, field of neuroscience research.
Programs are expected to include laboratory rotations that allow students to explore different research areas and scientific approaches. Rotations should have a purpose and goals, and should be designed to provide students with a practical understanding of the tools and experimental approaches that drive the research in the rotation laboratory. Rotations should be of sufficient duration to generate a product that results from the scientific and technological knowledge gained in the rotation laboratory.
Experimental design and statistical methodology. Programs are expected to provide formal instruction in the strict application of the scientific method to ensure that trainees understand the practices that underlie robust and unbiased experimental approaches, methods, analyses, data interpretation and transparent reporting of results. Topics may include, but are not limited to, education in the design of well-controlled experiments; scientifically appropriate determination of sample size; the appropriate use of statistics in data analysis; proper data storage; data labelling; data organization and archiving; acceptable and unacceptable approaches to image manipulation; figure preparation; criteria for inclusion and exclusion of data for analysis; and when applicable, preparation of computer code for public sharing so that it can be interpreted by others in the scientific community.
Programs should equip students with a solid understanding of statistical methodology relevant to contemporary neuroscience research, and provide exposure to quantitative approaches used for a variety of experimental systems. The goals of this training are to educate students in 1) the importance of considering statistical principles in the design of their research, 2) the need for appropriate use of statistics in analyzing data, interpreting results and forming conclusions and 3) the practical application of statistics to data in different experimental paradigms.
Quantitative skills and literacy. JSPTPN programs are expected to provide the background necessary for development of quantitative skills and literacy needed to conduct rigorous neuroscience research. Programs should provide knowledge of, and experience in, the use of practical tools for quantitative exploration, interpretation and evaluation of biological data. Approaches may include, for example, the use of programming tools to understand the logic and practice of evaluating biological events, systems and data; theoretical approaches that promote fluency in abstracting an experimental system into quantitative form or language; problem-solving exercises that develop skills in quantitative exploration of one or more types of biological data; and/or other didactic or hands-on activities that will enhance a student's ability to use quantitative approaches to answer scientific questions and guide the next steps in their research. In addition to skills, an important goal of this training is to provide an appreciation of the benefits of quantitative approaches to experimentation, which will foster quantitative incorporation of these approaches into their research throughout their careers.
Training in quantitative tools and approaches should be integrated into the program and reinforced during the students' graduate careers. Ideally, training will be ongoing and progressive, with proactive approaches in place to encourage the application of quantitative thinking in the students' dissertation research. For example, a program may wish to cover general principles early in the training program, and incorporate quantitative approaches that are directly applicable to each trainee's research topic as they advance. Regardless of the approach taken, and the specific curricular activities developed, the program should be designed to produce a cohort of quantitatively savvy neuroscientists prepared to become future leaders in their area of research interest.
The existing curriculum within the overall graduate program for training in experimental design, relevant statistical methodology and quantitative skills may not be sufficient to accomplish the objectives of the JSPTPN. Funds for curriculum development may be available for programs that describe specific, well-conceived plans for enhancing training in these areas. For information on requesting funds, see "Training Budget" in Section IV. For information on submission requirements, see "Training in Quantitative Skills and Literacy" in Section IV.
Professional skills. Programs should provide students with training in professional skills such as written and oral presentation. When appropriate, programs should encourage students to apply for individual support, such as fellowships and other individual awards from federal and non-federal sources. Further, programs should provide training in the skills necessary for grant applications, such as grant writing, understanding the grant submission and review process, and understanding and responding to critiques.
Oversight of trainee mentoring and progression. In addition to outstanding scientific training, solid mentoring and regular career guidance are critical for advancement and success in science. Consequently, graduate programs supported by the JSPTPN are expected to have a formal oversight plan to ensure that students who obtain a Ph.D. degree do so in a timely manner, and with 1) a publication record that will allow them to progress to outstanding postdoctoral research opportunities, 2) written and oral presentation skills that will facilitate their ability to publish their results as first author, submit competitive grant applications, , speak at national meetings and interview for future positions, 3) an understanding of the many career opportunities available to them as PhD scientists and what is required for them to compete for these different opportunities.
This wide range of skills and knowledge needed for success in a scientific endeavor cannot be gained by students entirely within the first two years of graduate school, but is achieved with ongoing training and mentoring throughout their graduate school careers. The longitudinal oversight process designed to ensure appropriate student progress is a critical aspect of the environment in which the JSPTPN operates. Although the JSPTPN is not responsible for providing guidance beyond graduate year two, it is encouraged to include more advanced students in its mentoring activities.
Enhancing workforce diversity. Within the framework of this program’s longstanding commitment to excellence, attention must be given to recruitment of trainees from racial or ethnic groups underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral and clinical sciences, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. See SF424 Application Guide for instructions. The JSPTPN are strongly encouraged to recruit students from diverse backgrounds, and foster their successful completion of the graduate program and transition to their next position. Programs are also expected to expose students to appropriate role models as faculty, seminar speakers and leaders.
Career opportunities. The career outcomes of individuals supported by NRSA training programs include research careers in academia and industry and research-related careers in various sectors, e.g., academic institutions, government agencies, for-profit businesses, and private foundations. Training programs should provide students access to structured, career development advising and learning opportunities (e.g., workshops, discussions, Individual Development Plans). Through such opportunities, trainees should obtain a working knowledge of various potential career directions that make strong use of the knowledge and skills gained during research training and the steps required to transition successfully to the next stage of their chosen career.
Evaluation. It is expected that JSPTPN programs will undergo regular internal and external evaluation in order to promote innovation and evolution, as well as to bring attention to any deficiencies that arise.
Special Note: Consultation with the Chair of the JSPTPN steering committee prior to application preparation is encouraged (see JSPTPN homepage).
The proposed JSPTPN program may complement other ongoing research training and career development programs at the applicant institution, but the proposed research training experiences must be distinct from those research training programs currently receiving Federal support. Institutional research training grants must be used to support a program of full-time research training. The program may not be used to support studies leading to M.D., D.D.S., or other clinical, health-professional training.
See Section VIII. Other Information for award authorities and regulations.
Grant: A support mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity.
The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.
Clinical Trials Not Allowed for due dates on or after January 25, 2018: Only accepting applications that do not propose independent clinical trials
Note: Appointed Trainees are permitted to obtain research experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor or co-mentor.
The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.
Application budgets are not limited, but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.
Grantees are expected to be familiar with and comply with applicable cost policies and the NRSA Guidelines (NIH Grants Policy Statement - Institutional Research Training Grants). Funds may be used only for those expenses that are directly related to and necessary for the research training and must be expended in conformance with OMB Cost Principles, the NIH Grants Policy Statement, and the NRSA regulations, policies, guidelines, and conditions set forth in this document.
Up to 5 years
Kirschstein-NRSA awards provide stipends as a subsistence
allowance to help defray living expenses during the research training
NIH will contribute to the combined cost of tuition and fees at the rate in place at the time of award.
Stipend levels, as well as funding amounts for tuition and fees and the institutional allowance are announced annually in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, and are also posted on the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) webpage.
$750 will be provided for each trainee, to support travel to attend scientific meetings and workshops that the institution determines to be appropriate for the individual’s research training experience.
NIH will provide funds to help defray other research training expenses, such as health insurance, research and training costs for activities that directly benefit the supported students. The standard training related expenses should not be used for administrative costs or faculty salary. The most recent levels of training related expenses are announced annually in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, and are also posted on the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) webpage.
In addition to the standard NIH allocation for training related expenses, applicants may request funds for curriculum development to cover salary support for up to 6 person-months effort, only in the first budget year of the award. These funds are available to develop courses and/or other teaching materials (e.g. problem sets, etc.) specifically designed for this program, related to formal training in experimental design, statistical methodology and/or development of quantitative skills and literacy. This support can be used for a single person or divided among multiple people responsible for the curriculum development.
Indirect Costs (also known as Facilities & Administrative [F&A] Costs) are reimbursed at 8% of modified total direct costs (exclusive of tuition and fees, consortium costs in excess of $25,000, 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.
Higher Education Institutions
The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:
Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education
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 that directly contribute to the planned program.
The applicant institution must have a strong and high quality research program in the area(s) proposed under this FOA and must have the requisite faculty, staff, potential trainees and facilities on site to conduct the proposed institutional program. In many cases, it is anticipated that the proposed program will complement other ongoing training programs occurring at the applicant institution and that a substantial number of program faculty will have active research projects in which participating trainees may gain relevant experiences consistent with their research interests and goals.
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.
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.
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.
Any individual(s) with
the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research training program as the
Training Program Director/Principal Investigator (Training 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.
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 SF 424 (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 responsible for the selection and appointment of trainees to the approved research training program, and for the overall direction, management, administration, and evaluation of the program. The PD/PI will be expected to monitor and assess the program and submit all documents and reports as required. The PD/PI has responsibility for the day to day administration of the program and is responsible for appointing members of the Advisory Committee (when applicable), using their recommendations to determine the appropriate allotment of funds.
This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Only one application per institution (normally identified by having a unique DUNS number or NIH IPF number) is allowed.
The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time. This means that the NIH will not accept:
Program faculty should have strong records as researchers, including recent publications and successful competition for research support in the area of the proposed research training program. Established program faculty should also have a record of successful research training, including former trainees who have productive research careers relevant to the NIH mission.. Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as mentors.
The individual to be trained must be a citizen or a noncitizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of appointment. Additional details on citizenship, training period, and aggregate duration of support are available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Trainees may only be supported during years 1 and/or 2 of graduate research training.
All trainees are required to pursue their research training full time, normally defined as 40 hours per week, or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies. Appointments are normally made in 12-month increments, and no trainee may be appointed for less than 9 months during the initial period of appointment, except with prior approval of the NIH awarding unit.
Predoctoral trainees must be enrolled in a program leading to a PhD or in an equivalent research doctoral degree program. Students in the PhD phase of dual-degree programs are eligible for the JSPTPN program. Health-professional students who wish to interrupt their studies for two years or more to engage in full-time neuroscience research training in a degree-granting program before completing their formal training programs are also eligible.
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.
It is critical that applicants follow the Training (T) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide including Supplemental Grant Application Instructions except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.
For information on Application Submission and Receipt, visit Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.
Letter of Intent
Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows IC staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.
By the date listed in Part 1. Overview Information, prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:
The letter of intent should be sent to:
Stephen Korn, PhD
Director, NINDS Office of Training, Career Development and Workforce Diversity
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.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application, with the following additional modifications:
Project Summary/Abstract. Provide an abstract of the entire application, including reference to the broad neuroscience training and the required training component in experimental design, statistical methodology and quantitative skills and literacy. Include the objectives, rationale and design of the research training program, as well as key activities in the training plan. Indicate the planned duration of appointments, the projected number of trainees including their levels (i.e., year 1 and/or year 2 of predoctoral training,), and intended trainee outcomes.
Other Attachments. An Advisory Committee is not a required component of a training program. However, if an Advisory Committee is intended, provide a plan for the appointment of an Advisory Committee to monitor progress of the training program. The composition, roles, responsibilities, and desired expertise of committee members, frequency of committee meetings, and other relevant information should be included. Describe how the Advisory Committee will evaluate the overall effectiveness of the program. Proposed Advisory Committee members should be named in the application 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”.
A plan for training in experimental design, statistical methodology relevant to neuroscience research, and quantitative skills and literacy, is a required program component, and must be included in the body of the application. For programs requesting funds to develop curricula in these three areas, detailed syllabi outlining the format and subject matter content of activities must be included as an attachment to the application. Curriculum development funds may not be provided without a well-conceived plan for training in quantitative skills and literacy (curriculum enhancement in experimental design and statistics may be insufficient to warrant curriculum development support). Please name your file "Quantitative_Training_Syllabi.pdf".
The filename provided for each “Other Attachment” will be the name used for the bookmark in the electronic application in eRA Commons.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following additional modifications:
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following additional modifications:
Include requests for curriculum development funds as part of the Training Related Expenses (up to 6 person-months effort in the first budget year of the project). Include a justification for these funds, and itemize how the support will be used for the development and/or enhancement of curricula and activities to meet this FOA's training requirement for experimental design, statistical methodology and quantitative skills and literacy. Include a description of who will be supported by the funds, their qualifications and the level of effort required.
The PHS 398 Research Training Program Plan Form is comprised of the following sections:
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following additional modifications:
Particular attention must be given to the required Training Data Tables. Applicants should summarize, in the body of the application, key data from the tables that highlight the characteristics of the applicant pool, faculty mentors, training outcomes, and other factors that contribute to the overall training environment of the program.
Describe the strengths, leadership and administrative skills, training experience, scientific expertise, and active research of the PD/PI. Relate these strengths to the proposed management of the training program. Describe the planned strategy and administrative structure to be used to oversee and monitor the program. If there are multiple PDs/PIs, then the plan for Program Administration is expected to synergize with the "Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan" section of the application.
The application must include information about the program faculty who will serve as preceptors/mentors and, if relevant, distinguish between faculty members who will serve as primary mentors and those who have other roles in the JSPTPN. Describe the complementary expertise and experiences of the program faculty as they relate specifically to the programmatic structure and goals of the JSPTPN. Describe expectations for faculty participation in programmatic activities beyond training within their labs. Describe the involvement of participating mentors in training students to conduct their research with quantitative rigor.
Broad-based research training. Provide an overview of the proposed program. Outline the objectives of the program and the program activities that will be used to meet these objectives. Include information about planned courses, mentored research experiences, and any activities designed to develop specific technical skills or other skills essential for the proposed research training. Describe how trainees will be educated in the neurobiological basis of diseases and disorders of the nervous system.
Describe the breadth and depth of the program, discriminating between the core knowledge that all students will be expected to obtain and the elective opportunities for the students. This description should include information on both the neuroscience principles and the levels of analysis (e.g. molecular, cellular, systems, computational, behavioral, genetics, etc.) covered. Describe the training activities that will be required to obtain this core knowledge. Applicants that propose individualized curricula for trainees should explain how the program will ensure a solid understanding in all of the expected core levels of analysis. Describe the plans for exposing students to tools, technologies and methods relevant to neuroscience research. Describe the number and duration of rotations in which students will participate, how the rotations will be selected and, the goals and expected outcomes of the rotations.
Training in experimental design and statistical methodology. Describe the formal programmatic activities designed to equip students with a thorough understanding of experimental design and statistical methodology appropriate for neuroscience research.
Applications must include a detailed training plan that includes the following:
Training in quantitative skills and literacy. Describe the formal programmatic activities designed to provide students with an understanding of the use and value of the quantitative reasoning skills and approaches for application to neuroscience research. Provide a specific plan designed to enhance students' quantitative skills and literacy. This plan might include programming skills for evaluating biological phenomena, systems and data; quantitative problem solving exercises for understanding biological data; and/or other didactic or hands-on activities designed to develop such skills. Programs should describe how quantitative approaches will be integrated across the program's training activities.
Programs may wish to substantially enhance and expand upon their current curricular offerings in experimental design, statistical methodology and quantitative skills and literacy. Funds may be available for curriculum development. To be eligible for these funds, applications must include detailed syllabi for the proposed offerings, as well as a description of the qualifications of the faculty who will develop them, and the level of effort required. Priority will be given to programs that wish to design comprehensive curricular offerings related to the development of quantitative skills and literacy, and funds may not be provided without this component. Although it is anticipated that curricula will develop and evolve over time, it is expected that implementation of the new curriculum in the program will be initiated by year two of the award. Syllabi for the proposed offerings should be included in the Other Attachments section of the application (see "Other Attachments" above).
Mentoring and professional skills development. Describe the mentoring and oversight that will take place during the program, and by whom. Describe the oversight/mentoring process for the trainees provided by each of the participating departments that is designed to ensure that students obtain a degree in a timely manner with the credentials appropriate for transition to a more advanced research position. Describe the opportunities available to students to learn about the many potential career paths available to them so that they may pursue a career of their choice that draws upon their PhD training.
Describe the activities intended to provide trainees with outstanding oral and written presentation skills, the typical frequency of public oral presentations by students during their graduate career, and when students will participate in these activities (i.e. what will occur during the JSPTPN funding period and what typically occurs beyond the JSPTPN funding period).
Describe policies and expectations related to trainee submission of individual funding applications (e.g. fellowships, foundation awards, etc.). Describe required and optional programmatic activities intended to develop skills needed to apply successfully for individual fellowship or grant support.
Training Program Evaluation.
The overall evaluation/assessment plan should include the metrics to be evaluated (e.g. program activities completed, degree completion (if applicable), publications, fellowships/honors, subsequent positions, etc.) as well as plans to obtain feedback from current and former trainees to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for program improvements. Specific evaluation metrics should be tied to the goals of the program. Describe plans to have the program evaluated by internal or external faculty.
In addition to plans for evaluation of the overall training program, include a detailed description of the plans for evaluation or assessment (including timeframe) of the quantitative training component. In addition, applicants should present a vision of how the quantitative training component will evolve and how this evolution will be guided by an assessment of this component's strengths and limitations.
For JSPTPN programs that draw students from a larger umbrella program, describe the anticipated number and qualifications of students relative to the JSPTPN program, and how this is determined. Do not name prospective trainees. Describe the process by which trainees choose their dissertation laboratories and when this decision occurs.
The PD/PI should explain the role, if any, of the JSPTPN program in the training of any students not financially supported by this grant.
For those institutions that also have MSTP programs, and intend to support MD/PhD students with this funding opportunity, the PD/PI should explain the process by which MD/PhD students will be selected for support (including the anticipated number of MSTP students supported) and how he/she will ensure that the JSPTPN supports primarily PhD students.
For renewal applications, highlight how the training program has evolved in response to changes in relevant scientific and technical knowledge, educational practices, and to evaluation of the training program.
Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research
Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
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
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
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. Applications that miss the due date and time are subjected to the NIH Policy on Late Application Submission.
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.
This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.
All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost
principles, and other considerations described in the NIH
Grants Policy Statement. The National
Research Service Award (NRSA) policies apply to this program. An NRSA
appointment may not be held concurrently with another Federally sponsored
fellowship, traineeship, or similar Federal award that provides a stipend or
otherwise duplicates provisions of the NRSA.
Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Note, however, that pre-award costs are not allowable charges for stipends or tuition/fees on institutional training grants because these costs may not be charged to the grant until a trainee has actually been appointed and the appropriate paperwork submitted to the NIH awarding component.
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.
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.
Applicants requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs in any year (excluding consortium F&A) must contact a Scientific/ Research Contact at least 6 weeks before submitting the application and follow the Policy on the Acceptance for Review of Unsolicited Applications that Request $500,000 or More in Direct Costs as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. Applicants are advised to refer to Agency Contacts for exceptions.
Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in the policy.
Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process. As part of the NIH mission, all applications submitted to the NIH in support of biomedical and behavioral research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.
Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood that the proposed training program will prepare individuals for successful, productive scientific research careers and thereby exert a sustained influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).
Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of the merit of the training program, and give a separate score for each. When applicable, the reviewers will consider relevant questions in the context of proposed short-term training. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact.
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.
Plans for Curriculum Development
If the applicant requested funds for curriculum development, are specific curricular plans provided? Are they designed to foster an understanding of the critical need for experimental, statistical and quantitative rigor, and an appreciation of the value of quantitative approaches to experimentation? Will the curriculum proposed provide the skills needed to apply the concepts in experimental design, statistical methodology and quantitative reasoning to the trainees' research, regardless of research area?
Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.
Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.
Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.
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.
For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the last funding period, including on the Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity, and Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research. Does the application describe the program’s accomplishments over the past funding period(s)? Is the program achieving its training objectives? Does the record of productivity of prior trainees reflect that expected of an outstanding training program, and have prior trainees transitioned to high-quality research or research-related positions in a timely manner? Has the program evaluated the quality and effectiveness of the training experience, and is there evidence that the evaluation outcomes and feedback from trainees have been acted upon? Are changes proposed that are likely to improve or strengthen the research training experience during the next project period? Does the program continue to evolve and reflect changes in the research area in which the training occurs?
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.
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 plan will be rated as ACCEPTABLE or UNACCEPTABLE, and the consensus of the review committee will be included in an administrative note in the summary statement.
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 specific characteristics of the training program, the level of trainee experience, and the particular circumstances of the trainees, the reviewers will evaluate the adequacy of the proposed RCR training in relation to the following five required components: 1) Format - Does the plan satisfactorily address the format of instruction, e.g. lectures, coursework and/or real-time discussion groups, including face-to-face interaction? (A plan involving only on-line instruction is not acceptable.); 2) Subject Matter – Does the plan include a sufficiently broad selection of subject matter, such as conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, research ethics? 3) Faculty Participation - Does the plan adequately describe how faculty will participate in the instruction? For renewal applications, are all training faculty who served as course directors, speakers, lecturers, and/or discussion leaders during the past project period named in the application? 4) Duration of Instruction - Does the plan meet the minimum requirements for RCR, i.e., at least eight contact hours of instruction? 5) Frequency of Instruction – Does the plan meet the minimum requirements for RCR, i.e., at least once during each career stage (undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, predoctoral, postdoctoral, and faculty levels) and at a frequency of no less than once every four years?
For renewal applications, does the progress report document acceptable RCR instruction in the five components described above? Does the plan describe how participation in RCR instruction is being monitored? Are appropriate changes in the plan for RCR instruction proposed in response to feedback and in response to evolving issues related to responsible conduct of research?
Plans and past record will be rated as ACCEPTABLE or UNACCEPTABLE, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.
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).
Budget and Period of Support
Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.
Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s), convened by the participating NIH ICs} 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:
Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications . Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the appropriate national Advisory Council or Board. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:
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.
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.
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.
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 https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/special-topics/limited-english-proficiency/index.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 https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-providers/laws-regulations-guidance/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 https://www.hhs.gov/ocr/about-us/contact-us/index.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.
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.
Institutional NRSA training grants must be administered in accordance with the current NRSA section of the NIH Grants Policy Statement - Institutional Research Training Grants.
As specified in the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, Kirschstein-NRSA recipients incur a service payback obligation for the first 12 months of postdoctoral support. Policies regarding the Ruth L. Kirschstein-NRSA payback obligation are explained in the NIH Grants Policy Statement; and more details are in the Frequently Asked Questions. Officials at the grantee institution have the responsibility of explaining the terms of the payback requirements to all prospective trainees before appointment to the training grant. Additionally, all trainees recruited into the training program should be provided with information related to the career options that might be available when they complete the program. The suitability of such career options as methods to satisfy the NRSA service payback obligation should be discussed.
Awards made primarily for educational purposes are exempted from the PHS invention requirements and thus invention reporting is not required, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
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.
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.
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.
A final Progress Report, the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report, and Termination Notices for all Trainees, are required for closeout of an award as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
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.
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.
We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.
eRA Commons Help Desk (Questions regarding 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)
GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and
process, finding NIH grant resources)
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)
Applicants should refer to the (Table of Institute and Center Contacts) for each IC's scientific/research contact for this NRSA T32 program. Applicants should contact the Chair of the JSPTPN Steering Committee with questions about this FOA or the application itself.
Chief Scientific Review Branch
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Applicants should refer to the (JSPTPN
website) for the list of NIH grants management contacts for this NRSA T32.
Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Awards are made under the authorization of Section 487 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 288) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 66.
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