June 12, 2017
August 25, 2017
At least 30 days prior to application due date.
September 25, 2017, September 25, 2018, September 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.
February 2018, 2019, 2020
May 2018, 2019, 2020
July 2018, July 2019, July 2020
September 26, 2019
It is critical that applicants follow the Research (R) 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 will not be reviewed
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 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 NINDS Neuroscience Development for Advancing the Careers of a Diverse Research Workforce R25 program is to support educational activities that enhance the pool of neuroscience researchers from underrepresented backgrounds who are available to participate in NIH-supported neuroscience research. The mission of NINDS is to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. The NINDS is committed to the development of a biomedical research workforce that is representative of the diversity in American society. NINDS seeks to promote diversity in all of its training and research programs and to increase the participation of underrepresented groups. As the US population becomes increasingly diverse, reflection of that diversity among the biomedical research workforce is vital to our science enterprise and the NIH research mission. Evidence from several reports demonstrates that an intervention designed to facilitate successful transitions along this pathway would benefit the research community (Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine 2011 and Advancing the Nation’s Health Needs: NIH Research Training Programs). Specifically for neuroscience early career researchers, there is a decrease in the proportion of underrepresented trainees from predoctoral (12%) to tenure-stream neuroscience faculty (5%); 2011 Survey Report of Neuroscience Departments and Programs. Active interventions are necessary to prevent the loss of talent at each level of educational advancement (PCAST, 2012).
This NINDS Neuroscience Development for Advancing the Careers of a Diverse Research Workforce (R25) is a flexible and specialized program designed to foster the development of neuroscience researchers from underrepresented backgrounds across career stages. Thus, it encourages applications from applicant organizations that propose innovative mentoring and professional development activities in the mission area(s) of the NINDS. The NINDS Diversity R25 initiative will focus on factors that have been shown to affect retention of underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral trainees, and junior faculty in neuroscience research such as mentoring, scientific networks and professional development (http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Training/Reports; http://acd.od.nih.gov/dbr.htm). The NINDS expects applicant institutions to propose programs that will lead to an improvement in the professional development, mentoring and technical expertise of individuals who are nationally underrepresented in neuroscience research.
Programs that target transitions and/or more than one career stage for neuroscience career advancement and progression are strongly encouraged. This initiative will support the development of collaborative research education partnerships that will increase participants’ awareness and interest in the neurosciences, develop participants’ scientific knowledge and research skills that will allow them to progress and transition to more advanced neuroscience-related research education and training activities. Proposed program interventions to increase workforce diversity in response to this FOA should also focus on asset models and leadership opportunities, rather than solely deficit models and remediation (recommendations from 2017 NINDS Activating a Neural Network and 2016 NINDS Forming a Neural Network Workshops).
Investigators with creative, innovative ideas for new programs are encouraged to discuss these with NINDS program officials. To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on:
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.
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 clinical trials
The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.
Application budgets are limited to a maximum of $250,000 direct cost per year, and must reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.
The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period. The maximum project period is 5 years.
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 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 specifically identified and justified.
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. All participants must have at least a month of effort and be reported in the RPPR Participants section.
Support may be requested to defray the cost of travel to and from the program site, housing at the program site, and other expenses associated with participation in the program. However, support for full participant expenses should not be requested except in strongly justified circumstances.
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
Expenses for foreign travel are generally not allowed, as programs must occur within the U.S.
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 an R25 program, as participants, but may not receive salary or stipend supplementation from a research education 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.
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. Research supplies for R25 participants at visiting institutions where research will be conducted may be requested (not to exceed $2,000/ year). Cost of consultants for evaluation of the program is allowed; however, if the evaluator is an employee of one of the applicant institutions, the cost must be included in the category of key personnel salary.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 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 proposed PD/PI should hold a basic or health professional degree (e.g., Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent), and have clearly demonstrated training/mentoring credentials. The PD/PI must have a regular, full-time appointment (i.e., not adjunct, part-time, retired, or emeritus) at the applicant institution and should have research, teaching, and/or academic administrative experience.
If a scientific society is identified as the applicant organization, the advisory board of the given scientific society or organization should identify an affiliated member to serve as PD/PI and work with them to develop an application for support.
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:
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 should have a history of neuroscience funding that is specifically relevant to the mission of NINDS. Mentors must be committed to continue their involvement throughout the total period of the mentee’s participation in this award.
Applications must describe the intended participants, and the eligibility and/or specific educational background characteristics that are essential for participation in the proposed research education program. The plan must identify the appropriate career levels essential for participation in the R25 program.
Selection of program-supported participants should take into consideration whether the participation would help achieve the overall goals/objectives of the NINDS Diversity R25 Program which is to lead to increased mentoring, education and retention of researchers from underrepresented backgrounds in the neuroscience scientific workforce at the one or more of the following career levels: undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral and/or junior faculty. For the purpose of this announcement, institutions are required to identify candidates who will increase diversity on a national basis. Programs that target transitions and/or more than one career stage for neuroscience career advancement and progression are strongly encouraged.
For the purpose of this announcement, institutions must identify candidates who will increase diversity within the neuroscience workforce on a national basis from the following groups:
For the career stages appropriate for this FOA, the disadvantaged background category is applicable to programs focused on undergraduate candidates only. See Section IV, Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity for further information on eligible diversity categories.
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 Research (R) 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 will not be reviewed.
For information on Application Submission and Receipt, visit Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.
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:
Michelle Jones-London, Ph.D.
Chief, Office of Programs to Enhance Neuroscience Workforce Diversity
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH
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 Guide.
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. A plan must be provided for the appointment of an Advisory Committee to monitor progress. 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 function in providing oversight of the development, implementation, and evaluation of recruitment strategies, the recruitment and retention of candidates, and the evaluation of 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”
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 Guide.
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.
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:
The Research Strategy section must be used to upload the Research Education Program Plan, which must include the following components described below:
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. If collaborations or partnerships exist, provide detailed information of an integrated plan across the partnering institutions to improve academic and research competiveness for the participants. Adaptations of existing research education programs may be considered innovative under special circumstances, e.g., the addition of unique components and/or a proposal to determine portability of an existing program. Describe the overall goals and objectives of the program, the number of participants to be supported, and how the program will be advertised. Provide a brief rationale for each activity (e.g., courses, seminars, workshops, research experiences, mentoring activities). Applicants should justify their choice of activities by showing how they will assist in the career development of selected participants and lead to the milestones (i.e., anticipated intermediate steps toward the objectives). All programs must use an evidence based approach to justify interventions or activities proposed in the research plan. Applicants should review the substantial pedagogical literature concerning predictors of success in research careers and examine additional data/report resources at https://extramural-diversity.nih.gov/diversity-reports and http://uiai.uccs.edu/. A timetable for completing the planned activities should be included.
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 NINDS, 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.
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. Research must be relevant to the NINDS mission.
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. Describe selection process and criteria (e.g., who will be on the selection committee; their experience evaluating such applications). Applications must include a description (including number and percent) of the potential applicant pool based on the selection criteria established for the proposed program.
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. The application must include a description of specific support (financial and otherwise) to be provided to the program. This could include support of curriculum implementation, support for additional participants in the program, release time for the Program Director(s) and participating faculty, coverage of summer housing or any other creative ways to improve and enhance the research education program. Institutions should clearly state the alignment of increasing scientific workforce diversity to its mission and accountability to enforce a climate of inclusion for participants within the institutional program. The applicant institution must document the requisite administrative/technical capacity and if applicable, support for the management of a collaborative multisite research education and research training project. All collaborative arrangements must be clearly described and agreements included in the application.
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.
Renewal applications must include a detailed account of experiences in recruiting individuals from underrepresented groups during the previous funding period, including successful and unsuccessful recruitment strategies. Information should be included on how the proposed plan reflects the program’s past experiences in recruiting individuals from underrepresented groups.
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 Plan to Enhance Diversity is available at Frequently Asked
Questions: Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity (Diversity
Applications lacking a diversity recruitment plan will not be reviewed.
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. A plan must be provided for program evaluation. Benchmarks should be specified, and specific plans and procedures must be described to capture, analyze and report short or long-term outcome measures that would determine the success of the research education program in achieving its objectives. Where appropriate, applicants are encouraged to include plans to obtain feedback from participants to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for program improvements. For programs that aim to enhance institutional diversity, the emphasis of the evaluation activities in the plan should be on assessment of the overall impact of the program on the institution’s baseline numbers and efforts to accomplish the proposed goals of increasing the diversity of the workforce in the neurosciences and improvement of the overall program outcome. The evaluation strategy and plan must be based on appropriate literature and cited methodology, and should identify the selected evaluator and present his/her credentials. Applications that lack an evaluation plan will not be reviewed.
Dissemination Plan. As appropriate, applications proposing short courses must provide a specific plan to disseminate nationally any curricula materials developed under the auspices of the research education program. e.g., sharing course curricula and related materials via web postings, presentations at scientific meetings, workshops, etc. Publication of the program's findings and outcomes in peer-reviewed journals is highly encouraged.
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
When relevant, applications are expected to include a software dissemination plan if support for development, maintenance, or enhancement of software is requested in the application. There is no prescribed single license for software produced. However, the software dissemination plan should address, as appropriate, the following goals:
Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide .
Form only available in FORMS-D application packages for use with due dates on or before January 24, 2018.
When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
Form only available in FORMS-E application packages for use with due dates on or after January 25, 2018.
When involving NIH-defined human subjects research, clinical research, and/or clinical trials follow all instructions for the PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following additional instructions:
If you answered "Yes" to the question "Are Human Subjects Involved?" on the R&R Other Project Information form, you must include at least one human subjects study record using the Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form or a Delayed Onset Study record.
Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
Delayed Onset Study: All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
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 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.
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.
Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
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.
In order to expedite review, applicants are requested to notify the NINDS Referral Office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org when the application has been submitted. Please include the FOA number and title, PD(s)/PI(s) name(s), and title of the application.
Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in the policy.
Important Update: See NOT-OD-18-228 for updated inclusion and human subjects review language for due dates on or after January 25, 2019.
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, behavioral and clinical research workforce by (1) increasing the pool of current and future Ph.D.-level research scientists from backgrounds underrepresented in neuroscience research; and (2) facilitating the career advancement/transition of the participants to the next step of their neuroscience careers.
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.
Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact.
Does the 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? If the aims of the education program are achieved, will they lead to the development of a diverse group of highly trained scientists in increased numbers and in neuroscience research areas? What effect will the enrichment program have on the research skills and/or competence of participants engaged in neuroscience research?
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, trainees, and/or early career reseachers, 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?
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? Does this proposed program duplicate, or overlap with, existing research education, training and/or career development activities currently supported at the applicant institution or available elsewhere?
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? Does the approach address asset models and leadership opportunities, rather than just deficit models and remediation? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the program is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed? Is the proposed plan for dissemination of the education program sound and likely to provide data on the effectiveness of the education program? Is the approach feasible and appropriate to achieve the stated research education goals?
Are the requirements and timetable for completing the planned activities, the plan for program advertisement, and the size and caliber of the applicant pool appropriate to achieve the described program goals? Are the mentoring capability and quality of research programs at mentor institutions outlined and sufficient to support the scope of the R25? Are the selection criteria for participants, meetings and workshops, and the mechanisms for getting feedback from students, fellows, etc. clearly described and appropriate for ensuring that the program meets its goals?
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? If multiple sites are participating, is this adequately justified in terms of the research education experiences provided? Are adequate plans provided for coordination and communication between multiple sites and quality control assurances for remote research experiences (if appropriate)?
Do the institutions or organizations have experience providing educational opportunities to students or faculty from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical science? If so, are outcomes described for previous or currently supported programs? How will this proposed program fit with the existing environment? What is the stated commiment for assuring a climate of inclusion for the R25 program participants?
Are plans for an Advisory Committee presented and is the proposed expertise adequate?
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.
For research that involves human subjects but does
not involve one of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR
Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human
subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation
according to the following five review criteria: (1) risk to subjects, (2)
adequacy of protection against risks, (3) potential benefits to the subjects
and others, (4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and (5) data and
safety monitoring for clinical trials.
For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: (1) the justification for the exemption, (2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and (3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.
When the proposed project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of children to determine if it is justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed. For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.
The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following criteria: (1) description of proposed procedures involving animals, including species, strains, ages, sex, and total number to be used; (2) justifications for the use of animals versus alternative models and for the appropriateness of the species proposed; (3) interventions to minimize discomfort, distress, pain and injury; and (4) justification for euthanasia method if NOT consistent with the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals. Reviewers will assess the use of chimpanzees as they would any other application proposing the use of vertebrate animals. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.
Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.
For Resubmissions, the committee will evaluate the application as now presented, taking into consideration the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group and changes made to the project.
For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the last funding period, and the success of the program in attracting and retaining individuals from diverse populations, including populations underrepresented in biomedical, behavioral and clinical neuroscience research on a national basis. Has the research education program successfully achieved its stated objectives during the prior project period(s)? Has there been an improvement in relation to baseline data? Has the program had a strong impact on student success and if appropriate, provided added value to the participating institutions? If so, how has the added value been integrated into the fabric of the participating institutions? Is there evidence toward institutionalization of NINDS funded components?
For Revisions, the committee will consider the appropriateness of the proposed expansion of the scope of the project. If the Revision application relates to a specific program intervention or education experience presented in the original application that was not recommended for approval by the committee, then the committee will consider whether the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group are adequate and whether substantial changes are clearly evident.
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 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.
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.
Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.
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
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 NINDS (assignments will be shown in the eRA Commons), 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 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 National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 NINDS expects to use the following evaluation measures:
For Courses for Skills Development:
For Research Experience and Mentoring Programs Involving the Following Groups:
Postdoctorates and Early Career Investigators:
We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.
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)
GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and
process, finding NIH grant resources)
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)
Michelle Jones-London, Ph.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Ernest Lyons, Ph.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Tijuanna E. DeCoster, Ph.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Part 75.
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