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

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Funding Opportunity Title

NCI Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award to Promote Diversity (K08  Clinical Trial Required)

Activity Code

K08 Clinical Investigator Award (CIA)

Announcement Type

 Reissue of PAR-16-400 

Related Notices

None

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

PAR-18-336

Companion Funding Opportunity

PAR-18-337, NCI Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award to Promote Diversity (K08,  No Independent Clinical Trials)

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

  93.398  

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of the NCI Mentored Clinical Scientist Career Development Award (K08) program is to prepare individuals for careers that have a significant impact on the health-related research needs of the nation. This program represents the continuation of a long-standing NIH program that provides support and protected time to individuals with a clinical doctoral degree for an intensive, supervised research career development experience in the fields of biomedical and behavioral research, including translational research. The NCI-sponsored K08 award is specifically designed to promote career development of clinical scientists from backgrounds that have been shown to be nationally underrepresented in health-related science and for those who are committed to a career in basic biomedical, behavioral or translational cancer research, including research on cancer health disparities. The expectation is that through this sustained period of research career development and training, awardees will develop enhanced research capabilities for cancer research careers and be better prepared to compete for research project grants (e.g. R03, R21, or R01) funding.   

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is designed specifically for applicants proposing to serve as the lead investigator of an independent clinical trial, a clinical trial feasibility study, or a separate ancillary study to an existing trial, as part of their research and career development. Applicants not planning an independent clinical trial, or proposing to gain research experience in a clinical trial led by another investigator, must apply to companion FOA (PAR-18-337).    

Key Dates

 

Posted Date

October 31, 2017

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

 January 12, 2018

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Application Due Date(s)

Standard dates ), by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on  .

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

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

  Not Applicable.

Scientific Merit Review
Advisory Council Review
Earliest Start Date
Expiration Date

January 8, 2021

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the Career Development (K) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.


There are several options available to submit your application through Grants.gov to NIH and Department of Health and Human Services partners. You must use one of these submission options to access the application forms for this opportunity.

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

  3. Use Grants.gov Workspace to prepare and submit your application and eRA Commons to track your application.
  4.  

    Table of Contents

    Part 1. Overview Information
    Part 2. Full Text of the Announcement

    Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
    Section II. Award Information
    Section III. Eligibility Information
    Section IV. Application and Submission Information
    Section V. Application Review Information
    Section VI. Award Administration Information
    Section VII. Agency Contacts
    Section VIII. Other Information


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

    The overall goal of the NIH Research Career Development program is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in appropriate scientific disciplines to address the Nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) support a variety of mentored and non-mentored career development award programs designed to foster the transition of new investigators to research independence and to support established investigators in achieving specific objectives. Candidates should review the different career development (K) award programs, to determine the best program to support their goals. More information about Career programs may be found at the NIH Extramural Training Mechanisms website.

    The objective of the NIH Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award (K08) is to provide salary and research support for a sustained period of "protected time" (3-5 years) to support didactic study and/or mentored research for individuals with clinical doctoral degrees (e.g., MD, DDS, DMD, DO, DC, OD, ND, DVM, PharmD, or PhD in clinical disciplines). The K08 provides support for an intensive, mentored research career development experience in biomedical or behavioral research, including translational research. For the purpose of this award, translational research is defined as the application of basic research discoveries toward the diagnosis, management, and prevention of human disease.

    Purpose

    The purpose of the NCI Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award to Promote Diversity (K08) program is to enhance the pool of qualified individuals for careers that have a significant impact on the health-related research needs of the Nation. This program represents the continuation of a long-standing NIH program that provides support and protected time to individuals with a clinical doctoral degree or a health professional doctoral degree for an intensive, supervised research career development experience in the fields of basic biomedical, clinical, behavioral, translational, or patient-oriented (POR) cancer research, including research on cancer health disparities. The NCI-sponsored K08 award is specifically designed to promote career development of scientists from backgrounds who are nationally underrepresented in health-related science. The research criteria for the K08 award include POR which is defined as research conducted with human subjects (or on material of human origin  such as tissues, specimens and and cognitive phenomena) for which an investigator (or colleague) directly interacts with human subjects. This area of research includes: 1) mechanisms of human disease; 2) therapeutic interventions; 3) clinical trials; 4) the development of new technologies.  Individuals (or scientists) with a health professional doctoral degree from groups currently underrepresented on a national level in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences and who wish to apply for a research Career Development Award in cancer-focused POR should submit applications to this NCI Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award to Promote Diversity (K08).

    Background

    Substantial national and local efforts are directed toward a reduction in cancer morbidity and mortality in the general population. However, in spite of these efforts, the American Cancer Society estimates that in 2017, approximately 1.7 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed and 600,920 deaths cancer deaths in the United States. Past patterns of cancer incidence and mortality predict that the disproportionate increase in U.S. cancer incidence and mortality will be experienced by both underrepresented and underserved populations

    (https://www.cancer.org/research/cancer-facts-statistics/all-cancer-facts-figures/cancer-facts-figures-2017.html). Specifically, cancer rates for stomach, liver, gall bladder, and cervix are higher in Hispanics than in non-Hispanic whites

    (http://www.cancer.org/research/cancerfactsfigures/cancerfactsfiguresforhispanicslatinos/). Stomach and liver cancer incidence and death rates are more than twice as high in Asian American/Pacific Islanders as in Caucasians, and cancer mortality rates from prostate, stomach, and cervical cancers among African Americans are more than twice those in Caucasians.

    The K08 mechanism supports a mentored research experience that integrates didactic studies with basic biomedical, behavioral, translational  or clinical (patient-oriented) cancer research. The proposed research must have intrinsic research importance and serve as a suitable vehicle for learning the methodology, theories, and conceptualizations necessary for a well-trained independent clinical scientist researcher.

    Underrepresentation in the Biomedical Research Workforce

    The National Science Foundation reports that African Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Hispanics (or Latinos), Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders are underrepresented at many career stages in health-related sciences on a national basis. (See the report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, 2015). Individuals from these groups are under-represented when compared to their age-cohorts in science-baccalaureate earners, among science-PhD earners, and in the biomedical workforce.

    In 2013, only 6 percent of science and engineering doctorate holders employed as full-time, full professors at all institutions were from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, and at Research Intensive institutions, this proportion falls to only four percent. Moreover, among science and engineering doctorate holders with full-time faculty employment at any four-year institution, those from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups were less likely to receive federal grants or contracts than their white counterparts.

    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines an individual with a disability as a person with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. In 2010, the Bureau of the Census reported that nearly 20 percent of the United States population had a disability. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that in 2012, 11 percent of college students had a disability, and 34 percent of undergraduates with disabilities are from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. According to the Council of Graduate Schools and statistics from NCES, in 2008 about seven percent of all doctoral students and about six percent of doctoral students in health or life science programs had a disability.

    Underrepresentation in the Physician-Scientist Research Workforce

    According to the 2014 Physician-Scientist Workforce Working Group (PSW-WG) Report, "Nearly three-quarters of the MD RPG awardees were white and another one in five were Asian. Although there has been significant growth for Asian and Hispanic awardees over the past decade, there has been less growth for African-Americans and Native Americans. The lack of diversity of the physician-scientist workforce is a source of very serious concern to the NIH and to the professions. Other groups are addressing these difficult issues; the PSW-WG did not attempt to duplicate their efforts, and endorses strong investment in improving minority participation in scientific leadership."  In addition, "Female physician-scientists remain underrepresented in some segments of the NIH-funded physician-scientist workforce. For physician-scientists with a medical degree, the percentage of female MDs who are RPG grant holders has increased from 17 percent in the mid-1990s to 29 percent currently. However, for MD/PhDs, growth in women investigators has been slower, increasing from 17 percent in the mid- 1990s to 22 percent at the present time. Among veterinarian-scientists who receive RPGs from the NIH, men outnumber women by about three to one, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority (90 percent) of students enrolled in schools of veterinary medicine are women."

    See, https://acd.od.nih.gov/documents/reports/PSW_Report_ACD_06042014.pdf and  https://extramural-diversity.nih.gov/sites/diversity/files/upload/2016_03_16_PSW%20Analysis%20of%20Public%20Comments_DRAFT%20v18_Accessible.pdf

    NCI's Interest in Diversity

    NCI is committed to making sure that all Americans share equally in the medical advances that result from cancer research, and that current disparities in the burden of several diseases, including cancers, are reduced or eliminated. As part of that mission, NCI is helping to build a diverse workforce for the biomedical sciences—a critical step in reducing the burden of cancer for an increasingly diverse America. This includes providing a smoother path towards careers in science and medicine as an important means to attract and engage the nation's most talented students, especially those from backgrounds nationally underrepresented in cancer research and care.

    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 nationally underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences.  See, NOT-OD-15-053

    Promoting diversity in the extramural scientific workforce is critical to the success of NIH/NCI mission, and is consistent with the mandates of the 21st Century Cures Act. While scientific workforce diversity supports the NIH/NCI mission, expanding the pool of investigators from nationally underrepresented backgrounds in the biomedical research workforce remains an elusive goal.

    Since the late 1970s, leaders of medical institutions, universities, academic centers, biomedical research institutions, and various other groups, notably, the American Society of clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the National Academy of Sciences, have expressed increasing concern about the shortage of clinical researchers such as oncologists, clinical nurse investigators, end-of-life, and hospice physician-Scientists, particularly those from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. For example, in "The State of Cancer Care in America, 2017," ASCO stated: "the oncology workforce continues to struggle with adequate representation of racial and ethnic minorities." ASCO stated further that "These workforce trends pose potential challenges to meeting rising and changing demands for cancer care across the country",  http://ascopubs.org/doi/pdf/10.1200/JOP.2016.020743.   This is consistent with the Institute of Medicine's (IOM's) 2013 report on the Workforce Caring for Patients with Cancer, which stated that "Workforce shortages among many of the professionals involved in providing cancer care are projected to worsen in the near future, and the educational system lacks the capacity to quickly train new members of the workforce." (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK202148/pdf/Bookshelf_NBK202148.pdf). In response to these emerging concerns and problems of physician-scientists in the U.S health care workforce, NCI CRCHD held several workshops at various levels relating to the training and retaining of clinical investigators in oncology (Research Physicians in cancer field). One common opinion that emerged from these workshops was that "More flexibility is needed in existing NIH/NCI training grant mechanisms for the support of clinical oncology researcher. The goal of the NCI Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award to Promote Diversity (K08) program is to enhance the pool of qualified individuals from nationally underrepresented backgrounds for careers that have a significant impact on the health-related research needs of the Nation by identifying, growing and retaining early stage investigators (ESIs) and early career investigators (EEI) from nationally underrepresented backgrounds. 

    Programmatic Approach

    The NCI CRCHD OD will:

    Monitor the implementation of the NCI Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award to Promote Diversity (K08) program to determine the impact on individuals from nationally underrepresented backgrounds in the NIH portfolio;

    Track and maintain an updated census of the status of  funded K08 grantees from  nationally underrepresented backgrounds in the NIH portfolio;

    Encourage development and testing of metrics that can be used to assess the impact of the NCI Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award to Promote Diversity (K08) program on scientific and workforce diversity progress

    Specific Research Objectives

    The Diversity Training Branch (DTB) of NCI's Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD) seeks to promote diversity in basic biomedical, behavioral, translational and patient-oriented (POR) cancer research.  The K08 award may be used by candidates with different levels of prior research training and at different stages in their career development. For example, a candidate with limited experience in a given field of research may use an award to support a career development experience that includes a designated period of didactic training followed by a period of mentored research experience. A candidate with previous research experience and training may not require extensive additional didactic preparation, and may use an award to support a career development experience that focuses on an intensive, supervised research experience.

    The primary objectives of this program are to:

    Enhance the pool of physician-scientists from backgrounds shown to be nationally underrepresented  in biomedical, behavioral, translational, clinical, patient-oriented cancer research;

    Develop the research careers of recently trained individuals from nationally underrepresented backgrounds who hold a clinical doctoral degree or its equivalent;

    Capture those health professionals from nationally underrepresented backgrounds with variable backgrounds in clinical practice and limited investigative science experience to re-direct their careers toward cancer research by acquiring critical research skills in a mentored research environment; and,

    Provide an opportunity for clinicians from nationally underrepresented backgrounds engaged in non-cancer related research areas to re-direct their research focus to cancer or cancer health disparity research.

    Note:  This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is designed specifically for applicants proposing to serve as the lead investigator of an independent clinical trial, a clinical trial a feasibility study, or a separate ancillary study to an existing trial, as part of their research and career development. Applicants not planning an independent clinical trial, or proposing to gain research experience in a clinical trial led by another investigator, must apply to companion FOA (PA-18-NNN).

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

    Section II. Award Information
    Funding Instrument

    Grant: A support mechanism providing money to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project.

    Application Types Allowed

    New
    Resubmission
    The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.

    Clinical Trial?

    Required: Only accepting applications that propose clinical trial(s)

    Need help determining whether you are doing a clinical trial?

    Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

    The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

    Award Budget

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

    Award Project Period

    The total project period may not exceed 5 years.

    Other Award Budget Information
    Salary

    NCI    will contribute up to the legislative salary cap   per year toward the salary of the career award recipient. Further guidance on budgeting for career development salaries is provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.  

    The total salary, however, may not exceed the legislatively mandated salary cap.  See: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/salcap_summary.htm.

    Other Program-Related Expenses

    NCI   will contribute $ 50,000   per year toward the research development costs of the award recipient, which must be justified and consistent with the stage of development of the candidate and the proportion of time to be spent in research or career development activities.

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

    Indirect Costs

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

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

    Section III. Eligibility Information
    1. Eligible Applicants
    Eligible Organizations

    Higher Education Institutions

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

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

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

    Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

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

    For-Profit Organizations

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

    Governments

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

    Other

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

    The sponsoring institution may be private (profit or nonprofit) or public.

    Foreign Institutions

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

    Required Registrations

    Applicant Organizations

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

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

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

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

    Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

    Any candidate who meets the eligibility criteria below (see Enhancing Diversity), and who has the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) is invited to work with his/her mentor and organization to develop an application for support. Multiple PDs/PIs are not allowed.

    By the time of award, the individual must be a citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., possess a currently valid Permanent Resident Card USCIS Form I-551, or other legal verification of such status

    Enhancing Diversity

    The overarching goal of NIH diversity programs is to enhance the pool of independent cancer research investigators from backgrounds nationally underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences (NOT-OD-15-053), which includes:

    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, 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. 

    For the purposes of this funding opportunity announcement, only individuals from categories A and B are eligible to apply for support under this program.

    Current and former PDs/PIs on NIH research project (R01), program project (P01), center grants (P50), sub-projects of program project (P01), sub-projects of center grants (P50), other career development awards (K–awards), or the equivalent are not eligible. Current and former PDs/PIs of an NIH Small Grant (R03), Exploratory/Developmental Grant (R21), Dissertation Award (R36), or SBIR/STTR (R41, R42, R43, R44) remain eligible.

    Candidates for the K08  award must have a clinical doctoral degree. Such degrees include, but are not limited to, the MD, DO, DDS, DMD, OD, DC, PharmD, ND (Doctor of Naturopathy), and DVM.  Individuals with the PhD or other doctoral degree in clinical disciplines such as clinical psychology, nursing, clinical genetics, speech-language pathology, audiology or rehabilitation are also eligible. Individuals holding the PhD in a non-clinical discipline who are certified to perform clinical duties should contact the National Cancer Institute (NCI) concerning their eligibility for a K08 award.

    2. Cost Sharing

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

    3. Additional Information on Eligibility
    Number of Applications

    Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct, and each is from a different candidate.

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

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

    Candidates may submit research project grant (RPG) applications concurrently with the K application. However, any concurrent RPG application may not have substantial scientific and/or budgetary overlap with the career award application. K award recipients are encouraged to obtain funding from NIH or other Federal sources either as a PD/PI on a competing research grant award or cooperative agreement, or as project leader on a competing multi-project award as described in NOT-OD-08-065.

    Level of Effort

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

    Candidates who have VA appointments may not consider part of the VA effort toward satisfying the full time requirement at the applicant institution. Candidates with VA appointments should contact the staff person in the relevant Institute or Center prior to preparing an application to discuss their eligibility. Under certain circumstances, an awardee may submit a written request to the awarding component requesting a reduction in minimum required percent effort, which will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Details on this policy are provided in  NOT-OD-09-036

    Mentor(s)

    Before submitting the application, the candidate must identify a mentor who will supervise the proposed career development and research experience. The mentor should be an active investigator in the area of the proposed research and be committed both to the career development of the candidate and to the direct supervision of the candidate's research. The mentor must document the availability of sufficient research support and facilities for high-quality research. Candidates are encouraged to identify more than one mentor, i.e., a mentoring team (or advisory committee), if this is deemed advantageous for providing expert advice in all aspects of the research career development program. In such cases, one individual must be identified as the primary mentor who will coordinate the candidate's research. The candidate must work with the mentor(s) in preparing the application. The mentor, or a member of the mentoring team, should have a successful track record of mentoring individuals at the candidate's career stage.

    The mentor(s) or mentoring team must demonstrate appropriate expertise, experience, and ability to guide the applicant in the organization, management and implementation of the proposed research and clinical trial.

    Institutional Environment

    The applicant institution must have a strong, well-established record of research and career development activities and faculty qualified to serve as mentors in biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research.

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

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

    2. Content and Form of Application Submission

    It is critical that applicants follow the Career Development (K) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

    For information on Application Submission and Receipt, visit Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.

    Page Limitations

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

    Instructions for Application Submission

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

    SF424(R&R) Cover

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

    SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

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

    Other Project Information

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

    Candidate eligibility information must be submitted by the applicant Institution in a letter certifying that the applicant belongs to category A or B above. Name the PDF formatted letter 'Eligibility Certification.pdf' .

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

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

    R&R Budget

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

    PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

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

    PHS 398 Career Development Award Supplemental Form

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

    Candidate

    Research Plan

    Other Candidate Information

    Mentor, Co-Mentor, Consultant, Collaborators

    Environment & Institutional Commitment to the Candidate

    Other Research Plan Sections

    Appendix

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

    Candidate Section

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

    Candidate Information and Goals for Career Development

    Candidate's Background

    • Describe the candidate's commitment to a health-related or patient-oriented research career. Describe all the candidate's professional responsibilities in the grantee institution and elsewhere and describe their relationship to the proposed activities on the career award.
    • Describe prior training and how it relates to the objectives and long-term career plans of the candidate.
    • Describe the candidate's research efforts to this point in his/her research career, including any publications, prior research interests and experience.
    • Provide evidence of the candidate's potential to develop into an independent investigator.
    • If applicable, describe the candidate's prior clinical trials research efforts, prior research interests and experience.

    Career Goals and Objectives

    • Describe a systematic plan: (1) that shows a logical progression from prior research and training experiences to the research and career development experiences that will occur during the career award period and then to independent investigator status; and (2) that justifies the need for further career development to become an independent investigator.
    • The candidate must demonstrate they have received training or will participate in courses such as: data management, epidemiology, study design (including statistics), hypothesis development, drug development, etc., as well as the legal and ethical issues associated with research on human subjects and clinical trials.

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

    • The candidate and the mentor are jointly responsible for the preparation of the career development plan.  A career development timeline is often helpful. The mentor and any co-mentor may form a mentoring team (or an advisory committee) to assist with the development of a program of study or to monitor the candidate's progress through the career development program.
    • The didactic (if any) and the research aspects of the plan must be designed to develop the necessary knowledge and research skills in scientific areas relevant to the candidate's career goals.
    • Describe the professional responsibilities/activities including other research projects beyond the minimum required 9 person-months (75% full-time professional effort) commitment to the career award.  Explain how these responsibilities/activities will help ensure career progression to achieve independence as an investigator.
    Research Plan Section

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

    Research Strategy

    • A sound research project that is consistent with the candidate's level of research development and objectives of his/her career development plan must be provided. The research description should demonstrate the quality of the candidate's research thus far and also the novelty, significance, creativity and approach, as well as the ability of the candidate to carry out the research.
    • The application must also describe the relationship between the mentor's research and the candidate's proposed research plan.
    • If more than one mentor is proposed, the respective areas of expertise and responsibility should be described.
    • Applicants proposing a clinical trial, ancillary or feasibility study should describe the planned analyses and statistical approach and how the expected analytical approach is suited to the available resources, proposed study design, scope of the project, and methods used to assign trial participants and deliver interventions.
    • If proposing an ancillary study to an ongoing clinical trial, provide a brief description of its relationship to the larger clinical trial.
    • If proposing a feasibility study, to begin to address a clinical question, provide justification why this is warranted and how it will contribute the overall goals of the research project including planning and preliminary data for future, larger scale clinical trials.
    • Describe the proposed timelines for the proposed clinical trial, feasibility or ancillary study, including any potential challenges and solutions (e.g., enrollment shortfalls or inability to attribute causal inference to the results of an intervention when performing a small feasibility study).
    • Describe how the proposed clinical trial or ancillary study will test the safety, efficacy or effectiveness of an intervention that could lead to a change in clinical practice, community behaviors or health care policy (This would not apply to a feasibility study).

    Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

    • All applications must include a plan to fulfill NIH requirements for instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). See SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for instructions.
    Mentor, Co-Mentor, Consultant, Collaborators Section

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

    • The candidate must name a primary mentor who, together with the candidate, is responsible for the planning, directing, monitoring, and executing the proposed program.  The candidate may also nominate co-mentors as appropriate to the goals of the program. 
    • The mentor should be recognized as an accomplished investigator in the proposed research area and have a track record of success in training and placing independent investigators.
    • The mentor should have sufficient independent research support to cover the costs of the proposed research project in excess of the allowable costs of this award.
    • Where feasible, women, individuals from diverse racial and ethnic groups, and individuals with disabilities should be involved as mentors to serve as role models.
    • Include a statement that the candidate will commit at least 9 person-months (75% of full-time professional effort) to the career development program and related career development activities.
    • The application must include a statement from the mentor providing: 1) information on his/her research qualifications and previous experience as a research supervisor; 2) a plan that describes the nature of the supervision and mentoring that will occur during the proposed award period; 3) a plan for career progression for the candidate to move from the mentored stage of his/her career to independent research investigator status during the project period of the award; and 4) a plan for monitoring the candidate's research, publications, and progression towards independence.
    • Similar information must be provided by any co-mentor.  If more than one co-mentor is proposed, the respective areas of expertise and responsibility of each should be described.  Co-mentors should clearly describe how they will coordinate the mentoring of the candidate. If any co-mentor is not located at the sponsoring institution, a statement should be provided describing the mechanism(s) and frequency of communication with the candidate, including the frequency of face-to-face meetings.
    • The mentor must agree to provide annual evaluations of the candidate's progress as required in the annual progress report.
    • The mentor or mentoring team must provide evidence of expertise, experience, and ability to guide the applicant in the organization, management and implementation of the proposed clinical trial, ancillary or feasibility study and help him/her to meet timelines.

    Letters of Support from Collaborators, Contributors and Consultants

    • Signed statements must be provided by all collaborators and/or consultants confirming their participation in the project and describing their specific roles. Collaborators and consultants do not need to provide their biographical sketches unless also listed as senior/key personnel. However, information should be provided clearly documenting the appropriate expertise in the proposed areas of consulting/collaboration. Collaborators/consultants are generally not directly involved in the development of the career of the candidate as an independent investigator.
    • Advisory committee members (if applicable): Signed statements must be provided by each member of the proposed advisory committee.  These statements should confirm their participation, describe their specific roles, and document the expertise they will contribute.  Unless also listed as senior/key personnel, these individuals do not need to provide their biographical sketches

    Environmental and Institutional Commitment to the Candidate

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

    Description of Institutional Environment

    • The sponsoring institution must document a strong, well-established research and career development program related to the candidate's area of interest, including a high-quality research environment with key faculty members and other investigators capable of productive collaboration with the candidate.
    • Describe how the institutional research environment is particularly suited for the development of the candidate's research career and the pursuit of the proposed research plan.
    • Describe the resources and facilities that will be available to the candidate, including any clinical trial-related resources, such as specialized administrative, data coordinating, enrollment, and laboratory/testing support.  If applicable, include a description of the resources and facilities available at international sites.:

    Institutional Commitment to the Candidate's Research Career Development

    • The sponsoring institution must provide a statement of commitment to the candidate's development into a productive, independent investigator and to meeting the requirements of this award. It should be clear that the institutional commitment to the candidate is not contingent upon receipt of this career award.
    • Provide assurances that the candidate will be able to devote the required effort to activities under this award.The remaining effort should be devoted to activities related to the development of the candidate's career as an independent scientist.
    • Provide assurances that the candidate will have access to appropriate office and laboratory space, equipment, and other resources and facilities (including access to clinical and/or other research populations) to carry out the proposed research plan.
    • Provide assurance that appropriate time and support will be available for any proposed mentor(s) and/or other staff consistent with the career development plan.
    • Candidates who will be using resources associated with a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) during the course of their career development award should include a letter of agreement from the CTSA PD/PI as part of their application.

    Appendix

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

    PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

    When involving NIH-defined human subjects research, clinical research, and/or clinical trials (and when applicable, clinical trials research experience) 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. If gaining research experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor/co-mentor, provide the mentor's ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (i.e., NCT number).

    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. 

    PHS Assignment Request Form

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

    Reference Letters

    Candidates must carefully follow the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including the time period for when reference letters will be accepted. Applications lacking the appropriate required reference letters will not be reviewed. This is a separate process from submitting an application electronically. Reference letters are submitted directly through the eRA Commons Submit Referee Information link and not through Grants.gov.

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

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

    4. Submission Dates and Times

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

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

    Applicants are responsible for viewing their application before the due date in the eRA Commons to ensure accurate and successful submission.

    Information on the submission process and a definition of on-time submission are provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

    5. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

    This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

    6. Funding Restrictions

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

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

    7. Other Submission Requirements and Information

    Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.  Paper applications will not be accepted.

    Applicants must complete all required registrations before the application due date. Section III. Eligibility Information contains information about registration.

    For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit Applying Electronically. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Guidelines for Applicants Experiencing System Issues. For assistance with application submission contact the Application Submission Contacts in Section VII.

    Important reminders:

    All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH.

    The applicant organization must ensure that the DUNS number it provides on the application is the same number used in the organization's profile in the eRA Commons and for the System for Award Management (SAM). Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

    See more tips for avoiding common errors.

    Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness and compliance with application instructions by the Center for Scientific Review, NIH. Applications that are incomplete or non-compliant will not be reviewed.

    In order to expedite review, applicants are requested to notify the  NCI Referral Office by email at ncirefof@dea.nci.nih.gov  when the application has been submitted. Please include the FOA number and title, PD/PI name, and title of the application.

    Post Submission Materials

    Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in the policy.

    Because the mentor(s)' funding is an important factor in the review of a career (K) application, post-submission material that updates the mentor(s)' funding information in the originally submitted application is allowed. Information on the mentor(s)' funding information must not exceed 1 page, and is limited to the project title, funding source (e.g., NIH grant number), and a brief description of the Specific Aims and relevance to the K application under review.  This additional material is due no later than 30 days prior to the meeting of the review committee. No additional data are permitted.

    Section V. Application Review Information
    1. Criteria

    Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process. As part of the NIH mission, all applications submitted to the NIH in support of biomedical and behavioral research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

    For this particular announcement, note the following:    

    The reviewers will consider that the clinical trial may include study design, methods, and intervention that are not by themselves innovative, but address important questions or unmet needs. Reviewers should also consider the scope of the clinical trial relative to the available resources, including the possibility that research support provided through K awards may be sufficient to support only small feasibility studies.

    Overall Impact

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

    Scored Review Criteria

    Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact.

    Candidate
    • Does the candidate have the potential to develop as an independent and productive researcher?
    • Are the candidate's prior training and research experience appropriate for this award?
    • Is the candidate's academic, clinical (if relevant), and research record of high quality?
    • Is there evidence of the candidate's commitment to meeting the program objectives to become an independent investigator in research?
    • Do the reference letters address the above review criteria, and do they provide evidence that the candidate has a high potential for becoming an independent investigator?
    • Does the candidate have the potential to organize, manage, and implement the proposed clinical trial, feasibility or ancillary study? 
    • Does the candidate have training (or plans to receive training) in data management and statistics including those relevant to clinical trials?
    Career Development Plan/Career Goals and Objectives/Plan to Provide Mentoring
    • What is the likelihood that the plan will contribute substantially to the scientific development of the candidate and lead to scientific independence?
    • Are the candidate's prior training and research experience appropriate for this award?
    • Are the content, scope, phasing, and duration of the career development plan appropriate when considered in the context of prior training/research experience and the stated training and research objectives for achieving research independence?
    • Are there adequate plans for monitoring and evaluating the candidate's research and career development progress?
    Research Plan
    • Is there a strong scientific premise for the project?
    • Has the candidate presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed?
    • Has the candidate presented adequate plans to address relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies in vertebrate animals or human subjects?
    • Are the proposed research question, design, and methodology of significant scientific and technical merit?
    • Is the research plan relevant to the candidate's research career objectives?
    • Is the research plan appropriate to the candidate's stage of research development and as a vehicle for developing the research skills described in the career development plan?
    • Will the proposed research lead to an independent line of research for the candidate?
    • Is the proposed research project appropriate for the candidate's stage of research development and as a vehicle for developing the research skills described in the career development plan?
    • Is the research plan, including the research question, specific aims, design and methods, of high scientific and technical merit?
    • Are the scientific rationale and need for a clinical trial, feasibility or ancillary study well supported by preliminary data, clinical and/or preclinical studies, or information in the literature or knowledge of biological mechanisms?
    • If proposing a small feasibility study, is the study warranted and will it contribute to planning and preliminary data needed for design of future larger scale clinical trials?
    • Is the clinical trial or ancillary study necessary for testing the safety, efficacy or effectiveness of an intervention?, or in the case of a feasibility study necessary to establish feasibility of future clinical trial?
    • Is the study design justified and relevant to the clinical and statistical hypothesis being tested?
    • Are the plans to standardize, assure quality of, and monitor adherence to, the clinical protocol and data collection or distribution guidelines appropriate?
    • Are planned analyses and statistical approach appropriate for the proposed study design and methods used to assign participants and deliver interventions?
    Mentor(s), Co-Mentor(s), Consultant(s), Collaborator(s)
    • Are the qualifications of the mentor(s) in the area of the proposed research appropriate?
    • Does the mentor(s) adequately address the candidate's potential and his/her strengths and areas needing improvement?
    • Is there adequate description of the quality and extent of the mentor's proposed role in providing guidance and advice to the candidate?
    • Is the mentor's description of the elements of the research career development activities, including formal course work adequate?
    • Is there evidence of the mentor's, consultant's, and/or collaborator's previous experience in fostering the development of independent investigators?
    • Is there evidence of the mentor's current research productivity and peer-reviewed support?
    • Is active/pending support for the proposed research project appropriate and adequate?
    • Are there adequate plans for monitoring and evaluating the career development awardee's progress toward independence?
    • Are the mentor's research qualifications, scientific stature, experience, and mentoring track record appropriate for the candidate's research career development needs?
    • Are the nature and extent of the proposed mentorship adequate and appropriate, and is the commitment of the mentor(s) to the candidate's advanced research career development appropriate?
    • Does the mentor(s) have a history of research productivity and support?
    • Does the mentor or mentoring team have the expertise, experience, and ability to guide the applicant in the organization, management and implementation of the proposed clinical trial, ancillary, or feasibility study and help him/her to meet milestones and timelines?
    Environment & Institutional Commitment to the Candidate
    • Is there clear commitment of the sponsoring institution to ensure that the required minimum of the candidate's effort will be devoted directly to the research described in the application, with the remaining percent effort being devoted to an appropriate balance of research, teaching, administrative, and clinical responsibilities?
    • Is the institutional commitment to the career development of the candidate appropriately strong?
    • Are the research facilities, resources and training opportunities, including faculty capable of productive collaboration with the candidate adequate and appropriate?
    • Is the environment for the candidate's scientific and professional development of high quality?
    • Is there assurance that the institution intends the candidate to be an integral part of its research program as an independent investigator?
    • Are the administrative, data coordinating, enrollment and laboratory/testing centers, appropriate for the trial proposed?
    • Does the application adequately address the capability and ability to conduct the trial feasibility or ancillary study at the proposed site(s) or centers? If applicable, are there plans to add or drop enrollment centers, as needed, appropriate?
    • If international site(s) is/are proposed, does the application adequately address the complexity of executing the clinical trial?
    Additional Review Criteria

    As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will evaluate the following additional items while determining scientific and technical merit, and in providing an overall impact score, but will not give separate scores for these items.

    Study Timeline for Clinical Trials

    Is the study timeline described in detail, taking into account start-up activities, the anticipated rate of enrollment, and planned follow-up assessment? Is the projected timeline feasible and well justified? Does the project incorporate efficiencies and utilize existing resources (e.g., CTSAs, practice-based research networks, electronic medical records, administrative database, or patient registries) to increase the efficiency of participant enrollment and data collection, as appropriate?

    Are potential challenges and corresponding solutions discussed (e.g., strategies that can be implemented in the event of enrollment shortfalls)?

    Protections for Human Subjects

    For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: (1) risk to subjects, (2) adequacy of protection against risks, (3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, (4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and (5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.

    For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: (1) the justification for the exemption, (2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and (3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.

    Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

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

    Vertebrate Animals

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

    Biohazards

    Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.

    Resubmissions

    For Resubmissions, the committee will evaluate the application as now presented, taking into consideration the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group and changes made to the project.

    Renewals

    Not Applicable

    Revisions

    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 line of investigation 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.

    Additional Review Considerations

    As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items, and should not consider them in providing an overall impact score.

    Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

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

    Select Agent Research

    Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including (1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, (2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, (3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and (4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).

    Resource Sharing Plans

    Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: (1) Data Sharing Plan; (2) Sharing Model Organisms; and (3)  Genomic Data Sharing Plan (GDS).

    Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources

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

    Budget and Period of Support

    Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.

    2. Review and Selection Process
    • Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s), in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.

    As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

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

    Will receive a written critique.

    Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the appropriate national Advisory Council or Board. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

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

    After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD/PI will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written critique) via the eRA Commons. Refer to Part 1 for dates for peer review, advisory council review, and earliest start date

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

    Section VI. Award Administration Information
    1. Award Notices

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

    A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization for successful applications. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document and will be sent via email to the grantee's business official.

    Awardees must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions. Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.

    Any application awarded in response to this FOA will be subject to terms and conditions found on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.  This includes any recent legislation and policy applicable to awards that is highlighted on this website.

    Specific to applications proposing clinical trials, ancillary or feasibility studies

    Additionally, ICs may specify any special reporting requirements for the proposed clinical trial to be included under IC-specific terms and conditions in the NoA.

    For example: If the proposed clinical trial has elevated risks, ICs may require closer programmatic monitoring and it may be necessary to require the awardee to provide more frequent information and data as a term of the award (e.g., to clarify issues, address and evaluate concerns, provide documentation). All additional communications and information related to programmatic monitoring must be documented and incorporated into the official project file.

    Individual awards are based on the application submitted to, and as approved by, the NIH and are subject to the IC-specific terms and conditions identified in the NoA.

    ClinicalTrials.gov: If an award provides for one or more clinical trials, or a new ancillary study to an ongoing clinical trial. By law (Title VIII, Section 801 of Public Law 110-85), the lead investigator must register and submit results information for certain "applicable clinical trials" on the ClinicalTrials.gov Protocol Registration and Results System Information Website (https://register.clinicaltrials.gov). NIH expects registration of all trials whether required under the law or not. For more information, see http://grants.nih.gov/ClinicalTrials_fdaaa/

    Institutional Review Board or Independent Ethics Committee Approval: Grantee institutions must ensure that the application as well as all protocols are reviewed by their IRB or IEC. To help ensure the safety of participants enrolled in NIH-funded studies, the awardee must provide NIH copies of documents related to all major changes in the status of ongoing protocols.

    Data and Safety Monitoring Requirements: The NIH policy for data and safety monitoring requires oversight and monitoring of all NIH-conducted or -supported human biomedical and behavioral intervention studies (clinical trials) to ensure the safety of participants and the validity and integrity of the data. Further information concerning these requirements is found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/hs/data_safety.htm and in the application instructions (SF424 (R&R) and PHS 398).

    Investigational New Drug or Investigational Device Exemption Requirements: Consistent with federal regulations, clinical research projects involving the use of investigational therapeutics, vaccines, or other medical interventions (including licensed products and devices for a purpose other than that for which they were licensed) in humans under a research protocol must be performed under a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigational new drug (IND) or investigational device exemption (IDE).

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

    All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General  and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities. More information is provided at Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants. More specifically, for K Awards, visit the Research Career Development ("K") Awardees section of the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

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

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

    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.

    3. Reporting

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

    A final RPPR, invention statement, and the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout of an award, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

    The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later.  All awardees of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000.  See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement. 

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

    4. Evaluation

    In carrying out its stewardship of human resource-related programs, the NIH may request information essential to an assessment of the effectiveness of this program from databases and from participants themselves. Participants may be contacted after the completion of this award for periodic updates on various aspects of their employment history, publications, support from research grants or contracts, honors and awards, professional activities, and other information helpful in evaluating the impact of the program.

    Within ten years of making awards under this program, NIH will assess the program's overall outcomes, gauge its effectiveness in enhancing diversity, and consider whether there is a continuing need for the program.  Upon the completion of this evaluation, NIH will determine whether to (a) continue the program as currently configured, (b) continue the program with modifications, or (c) discontinue the program. 

    The overall evaluation of the program will be based on metrics that will include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Subsequent participation in research or employment in a STEM field
    • Authorship of scientific publications in a STEM field
    • Subsequent independent research grant support from NIH or another source 
    Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

    Application Submission Contacts

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

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

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

    Scientific/Research Contact(s)

    John O. Ojeifo, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A.
    National Cancer Institute (NCI)
    Telephone: 240-276-6186
    Email: ojeifojo@mail.nih.gov 

    Peer Review Contact(s)

     Referral Officer
    National Cancer Institute (NCI)
    Telephone: 240-276-6390
    Email: ncirefof@dea.nci.nih.gov 

    Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

     Sean Hine
    National Cancer Institute (NCI)
    Telephone: 240-276-6291 
    Email: hines@mail.nih.gov 

    Section VIII. Other Information

    Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

    Authority and Regulations

    Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Part 75.  

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