National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Reissue of PAR-17-339
May 11, 2020 - Notice of Change to Eligibility for PAR-20-153. See Notice NOT-GM-20-031.
July 26, 2019- Changes to NIH Requirements Regarding Proposed Human Fetal Tissue Research. See Notice NOT-OD-19-128
August 23, 2019- Clarifying Competing Application Instructions and Notice of Publication of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Regarding Proposed Human Fetal Tissue Research. See Notice NOT-OD-19-137
Only one application per institution is allowed on each due date. See Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.
The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research education activities in the mission areas of the NIH. The overarching goal of this R25 program is to support educational activities that complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs.
To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on:
Information on current SEPA projects can be found at: https://www.nigms.nih.gov/Research/crcb/sepa/Pages/default.aspx and https://www.nihsepa.org
Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with the SEPA Scientific/Research Contact to be advised on the appropriateness of the intended project for SEPA program objectives and the priorities of the NIGMS.
March 30, 2020
30 days prior to the application due date
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.
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.
The overarching goal of this R25 program is to support educational activities that complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs.
To assure the vitality and continued productivity of the research enterprise, the NIGMS provides leadership in training the next generation of scientists, in enhancing the diversity of the scientific workforce, and in developing research capacity throughout the country.
The SEPA program supports P-12 and informal science education (ISE) activities that: (1) enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce and (2) foster a better understanding of NIH-funded biomedical, behavioral and clinical research and its public health implications.The SEPA program targets two primary audiences: (1) SEPA formal or classroom-based projects, provide STEM content, pedagogical expertise, and problem solving skills to teachers, students, and families in communities not generally supported by advanced and innovative educational practices: (2) SEPA informal science education (ISE) activities, conducted in outside-the-classroom venues as well as in science centers and museums, target both workforce diversity and improved public health literacy.
Applications that target pre-kindergarten to grade 12 (P-12) or ISE topics that are not be addressed by existing school, community, or ISE-based activities are encouraged.
To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support innovative educational activities with a primary focus on:
Examples of projects within the scope of activity of SEPA include:
New areas of high SEPA programmatic interest include:
NOTE: SEPA funding does not support large scale STEM or ISE projects where the total cost of the project will exceed the total amount of the requested SEPA award, e.g., "seed money" for a project larger and longer term than the proposed SEPA project.
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 the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) programs.
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.
The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.
NIGMS intends to commit an estimated total of $2,000,000 per fiscal year for new awards.
Direct costs are limited to $250,000 annually.
The SEPA project period is 5 years.
Participants for this FOA are those individuals who are involved in the proposed research education activity. 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.
The Annual SEPA PD/PI Conference is held in Washington, DC. PD/PI(s) are expected to attend this meeting and are encouraged to bring key personnel, e.g., the project evaluator, to the annual conference. Funds to support travel to the annual conference should be requested in the budget.
A minimum of ten percent (10%) of the direct costs requested must be devoted to project evaluation.
Indirect Costs (also known as Facilities & Administrative [F&A] Costs) are reimbursed at 8% of modified total direct costs (exclusive of consortiums in excess of $25,000,tuition and fees, and expenditures for equipment), rather than on the basis of a negotiated rate agreement.
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
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.
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.
This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time. This means that the NIH will not accept:
An eligible institution, defined as a university, an independent college/institute, a museum, a hospital, or a professional society, may submit one application per due date. An institution with an active SEPA award is ineligible to submit another SEPA application.
Organizations with a contractual fee for service or consortium partnership with an active SEPA award may submit a SEPA application if the proposed new project is independent of the existing SEPA contractual, fee for service or consortium partnership.
It is appropriate for applicants to use an existing P-12 or ISE project strategy and infrastructure as the platform for a new SEPA application. The proposed new SEPA project may complement, but cannot overlap, the ongoing P-12 or ISE project at the applicant organization.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Scientific/Research staff to discuss eligibility and appropriateness of topic prior to committing significant effort in preparing a SEPA application.
Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as preceptors/mentors. Mentors should have research expertise and experience relevant to the proposed program. Mentors must be committed to continue their involvement throughout the total period of the mentee’s participation in this award.
Participants in SEPA programs should be reflective of the proposed project goals and the P-12 and/or communities of interest listed in the application. In addition, if a proposed project could be of significant benefit to a particular population of participants, e.g., a STEM learning game with specific applicability for students with physical or developmental disabilities, the applicant should plan for the inclusion of those populations.
Unless strongly justified on the basis of exceptional relevance to NIH, research education programs should be used primarily for the education of U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
The application forms package specific to this opportunity must be accessed through ASSIST, Grants.gov Workspace or an institutional system-to-system solution. Links to apply using ASSIST or Grants.gov Workspace 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 instructions in the Research (R) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guideexcept 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.
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 by email to:
Tony Beck, Ph.D.
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.
Project Narrative. The Project Narrative should discuss the broader impact potential for the proposed SEPA project to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired workforce diversity, societal and health literacy outcomes.
Other Attachments. An Advisory Committee is not a required component of a Research Education program. However, if an Advisory Committee is intended, provide a plan for the appointment of an Advisory Committee to monitor progress of the research education program. The composition, roles, responsibilities, and desired expertise of committee members, frequency of committee meetings, and other relevant information should be included. Describe how the Advisory Committee will evaluate the overall effectiveness of the program. Advisory committee members should not be identified or contacted prior to receiving an award.
An independent evaluator must be identified as a member of of the key personnel. The independent evaluator must be free from direct or perceived conflict of interest and have formal training and experience in P-12 STEM or ISE evaluation methodology and statistics as demonstrated by relevant publications or reports. These r qualifications should t be documented in the evaluator's Biosketch.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following additional modifications:
Research Strategy section must be used to upload the Research Education Program Plan, which must include the following components described below:
Proposed Research Education Program. While the proposed research education program may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those research training and research education programs currently receiving federal support. When research training programs are on-going in the same department, the applicant organization should clearly distinguish between the activities in the proposed research education program and the research training supported by the training program.
The proposed research education plan should target underserved communities and/or identified needs in the health-related and scientific workforce, and build upon evidence-based practices from the STEM education field and include:
The project should:
Content of the proposed SEPA project must align with the Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The NGSS are pre-college science standards created through a collaborative, state-led process and identifies what students need to know and be able to do to be a functional citizen, which includes being scientifically literate and an effective member of the U.S. workforce. A detailed justification should be presented for proposed projects where the proposed Disciplinary Core Ideas do not specifically align with NGSS in terms of STEM content or grade level.
NOTE: All projects that target pre-kindergarten, elementary, or middle school (P-8), regardless of the topic, must have embedded instructional content designed to improve: (1) student numeracy, i.e., basic computational arithmetic, essential mathematics, social mathematics, survival skills for everyday life, quantitative literacy, mathematical literacy, and an aspect of mathematical power; and (2) critical reading comprehension skills.
Program Director/Principal Investigator. Describe arrangements for administration of the program. Provide evidence that the Program Director/Principal Investigator is actively engaged in research and/or teaching in an area related to the mission of NIH, and can organize, administer, monitor, and evaluate the research education program. For programs proposing multiple PDs/PIs, describe the complementary and integrated expertise of the PDs/PIs,their leadership approach, and governance appropriate for the planned project.
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. SEPA encourages the inclusion of project faculty who can serve as role models or near-peer mentors of age, gender, race, or ethnicity similar to the target audience(s). Projects with role models/mentors must include a description of the mentor selection and training process.
Classroom-based P-12 SEPA projects must have a rigorous evaluation plan, which may be the equivalent to a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) or Well-Matched Case Comparison Study.
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. SEPA applicants are also encouraged to ensure that their programs can effectively include and engage students with learning and physical disabilities In addition, if a proposed project could be of significant benefit to a particular population, e.g, a STEM educational game with specific applicability for students with physical or developmental disabilities, there should be a discussion of the plan to include those populations.
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.
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 research, 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 that are underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences, such as:
Students from low socioeconomic (SES) status backgrounds have been shown to obtain bachelor’s and advanced degrees at significantly lower rates than students from middle and high SES groups (see https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_tva.asp), and are subsequently less likely to be represented in biomedical research. For background see Department of Education data at, https://nces.ed.gov/; https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_tva.asp; https://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/advancing-diversity-inclusion.pdf.
Women have been shown to be underrepresented in doctorate-granting research institutions at senior faculty levels in most biomedical-relevant disciplines, and may also be underrepresented at other faculty levels in some scientific disciplines (See data from the National Science Foundation National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics: Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, special report available at https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2017/nsf17310/, especially Table 9-23, describing science, engineering, and health doctorate holders employed in universities and 4-year colleges, by broad occupation, sex, years since doctorate, and faculty rank).
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.
NOTE: Applications lacking a diversity recruitment plan will not be reviewed.
Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research. A responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) plan should be tailored to the participants involved in the supported project. SEPA projects with a goal of stimulating interest in, and providing exposure to, STEM topics, such as curricula development, after-school science clubs, museum exhibits, mobile laboratories, and interactive digital media (IDM)-based projects should use innovative strategies to address RCR, and do not necessarily need to meet the same strict RCR standards as traditional research education programs. For all other applications, the RCR 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, on-line instruction, coursework, and/or real-time discussion groups; 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 should 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.
Projects proposing student or teacher laboratory internships must include plans to improve the culture and practice of laboratory safety through the implementation of best safety practices in the laboratory as described by the UC Center for Laboratory Safety (UCCLS).
Evaluation Plan. Applications must include a plan for rigorous evaluation of the activities supported by the award. The application must specify baseline metrics (e.g., numbers, educational levels, and demographic characteristics of participants), as well as measures to gauge the short or long-term success of the research education award in achieving its objectives. Wherever appropriate, applicants are encouraged to obtain feedback from participants to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for improvements.
Descriptions of outcome measures, the purpose of data collected, and how those data will be used in assessing the efficiency of a particular research education program should be clearly stated.
The evaluation plan should build upon current knowledge in the field, provide quantitative assessment of project impact, and advance our understanding of STEM learning.
SEPA classroom-based projects must utilize an evaluation design equivalent to a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) or a Well-Matched Comparison study to evaluate project effectiveness.
SEPA out-of-classroom projects must have a rigorous evaluation plan to measure impact. When appropriate, proposed out-of-classroom projects are encouraged to employ evaluation designs equivalent to an RCT or a Well-Matched Case Comparison evaluation design.
. Please note that the use of an evaluation design similar to an RCT or Well-Matched Case Comparison Study does not mean that a proposed project is clinical research. Program evaluation in R25-supported programs is not considered clinical research, and information on the characteristics of participants should not be included in the PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information section. For additional information, please see the NIH Definition of Clinical Research.
The Evaluation Plan should detail the data to be collected during the conduct of the project, how the data will be analyzed, and what evaluation instrument(s) will be used.
The use of an external evaluator is not mandated in this FOA. However, the evaluator must be independent, i.e., free of real or perceived conflict of interest. The evaluator must have formal training and experience in P-12 STEM evaluation methodology and statistics, as demonstrated by relevant publications or reports. As indicated in the instructions for the SF424 (R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile Expanded form, evaluator expertise in STEM education must be documented in the Biosketch section of the application. The evaluator should provide training and technical assistance as necessary to key staff and project partners to ensure integrity and adequacy of data capture, analysis and reporting.
PD(s)/PI(s) and other Key Personnel may collect evaluation data. However, analysis of evaluation data must be performed by the independent evaluator.
Projects proposing to replicate an existing or components of an existing SEPA project should include a Process Evaluation plan.
Dissemination Plan. A specific plan must be provided to disseminate nationally any findings resulting from or 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.
All SEPA applications must include a project website development plan for dissemination of resources developed as the result of SEPA funding. The website may be a new website or a SEPA-specific component added to an existing website. The SEPA website must be launched within 6 months from the initial award date. Credit text for NIH, NIGMS and SEPA must be displayed on the website Home Page.
A letter of institutional commitment must be attached as part of Letters of Support (see section above:”Institutional Environment and Commitment"). Letters of support from superintendents, principals and other decision makers should be provided to demonstrate commitment to the proposed project.
Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application 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:
Only limited Appendix materials are allowed. Follow the instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
When involving NIH-defined human subjects research, clinical research, and/or NIH-defined 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 Delayed Onset Study record.
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed with the following additional instructions:
Please note that the use of an evaluation design similar to an RCT or Well-Matched Case Comparison Study does not mean that a proposed project is clinical research. Program evaluation in R25-supported programs is not considered clinical research, and information on the characteristics of participants should not be included in the PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information section.
For additional information, please see the NIH Definition of Clinical Research.
Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information
Note: Delayed onset does NOT apply to a study that can be described but will not start immediately (i.e., delayed start).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. 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.
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.
Below are examples of allowable and unallowable costs frequently requested in SEPA applications. This list is a guide to help applicants when preparing budget requests. This list does not include all allowable and unallowable costs for an application. Applicants should review the NIH Grants Policy Statement for a complete list of allowable and unallowable costs as well as any section of this announcement that specifically mentions allowable and unallowable costs.
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 How to Apply – Application Guide. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Dealing with System Issues guidance. 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.
Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process. Applications submitted to the NIH in support of the NIH mission 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: (1) provide P-12 STEM resources that will increase teacher STEM content and teaching skills, (2) stimulate the interest of students from underserved communities in careers in basic and clinical medical research and (3) educate the community on the correlation between lifestyle and health.
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?
Does the proposed research education program address an important problem or critical question in research education or other key STEM issues? How will implementation of the proposed program encourage students from underserved communities to consider careers in health and medicine? Does the proposed project incorporate what is known about effective STEM education practices? Will this project generate resources that will increase career opportunities for underrepresented minorities and women, groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields? Will the projectimprove teacher effectiveness through professional development? Is the proposed program hypothesis driven such that it may advance the field of evidence-based STEM education practices?
Is the PD/PI capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program? Is there evidence that an appropriate level of effort will be devoted by the program leadership to ensure the program's intended goal is accomplished? If applicable, is there evidence that the participating faculty have experience in mentoring students and teaching science? If applicable, are the faculty good role models for the participants by nature of their scientific accomplishments? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?
Will there be an appropriate level of effort by the program leadership to ensure the program's success? Do the PD(s)/PI(s) or key personnel have expertise in evaluation that is relevant to the proposed project? If it is appropriate for the proposed project, do the program faculty include role models or near-peer mentors of age, gender, race, or ethnicity similar to the target audience(s)?
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?
Is the proposed research education program characterized by innovation and scholarship? Is a clear case made for the proposed innovation? Does the proposed program challenge current research education paradigms or address an innovative hypothesis and critical barriers to progress in the STEM field? Are the proposed concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools, or technologies novel? Does the research plan maintain a balance between innovation and novel application of established STEM curriculum, pedagogy, and evaluation metrics? Does the applicant make clear case made, based on published reports, for using current, well-tested techniques to develop and implement the proposed project?
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?
Is the project design culturally relevant to the target audience? Is there input from the teachers, parents, community, and other stakeholders that will generate buy-in and ownership? If appropriate for the proposed project, is the plan for teacher professional development in science content and pedagogical skills, both pre-service and as a continuing education process for in-service teachers, well described? Does the content of the proposed project align with the Next Generation Science Standards? If appropriate, is there a plan for a public outreach component?
Evaluation Plan: Does the evaluation staff have the appropriate training and experience in evaluation methodology to manage the proposed evaluation plan? Is the percent effort of the independent evaluator and key project personnel sufficient? Is the evaluation plan based on appropriate literature and best practices in the STEM field? Does the Logic Model clearly link the proposed inputs and activities with short-, mid-, and long-term outcomes? Are the evaluation benchmarks, timeline, and metrics sufficient to capture, analyze, and report outcome measures that would determine the success of the project in achieving its objectives? Does the evaluation plan have the flexibility to allow for shifting goals and program changes? Is there a discussion of the selection and appropriateness of control groups? If applicable, are the plans for obtaining feedback from participants adequate to measure the quality and effectiveness of the proposed P-12 STEM project?
Dissemination Plan: Is the dissemination plan well-designed and appropriate for the materials that will be created?
Is Are the proposed dissemination material(s) relevant to the target audience and are the target audiences likely to be aware of these resources? Does the dissemination plan include underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, and individuals with disabilities? Does the dissemination plan include both genders? Does the dissemination plan take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to their programs and activities by Limited English Proficient Persons (LEP) persons? Will the dissemination plan leverage and/or support collaborations with other SEPA projects, NIH-funded programs, or other federal agency-supported P-12 projects? Do the PD(s)/PI(s) discuss plans for posters, presentations, workshops, and other dissemination practices at local, regional, and national conferences? Are there plans to utilize cutting-edge social media venues such as Wikis, YouTube, Facebook, etc?.
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?
For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the 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 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 individuals of all ages (including children and older adults) 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.
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.
In addition, and as applicable to the proposed program, reviewers will evaluate the plan to improve the culture and practice of laboratory safety.
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.
If support for development, maintenance, or enhancement of software is requested in the application, the reviewers will comment on the proposed software dissemination 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 the Center for Scientific Review, 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.
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 submitted in response to this FOA. 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:
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.6. 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.
In accordance with the statutory provisions contained in Section 872 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417), NIH awards will be subject to the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) requirements. FAPIIS requires Federal award making officials to review and consider information about an applicant in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS) prior to making an award. An applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through FAPIIS and comment on any information about itself that a Federal agency previously entered and is currently in FAPIIS. The Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgement about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 45 CFR Part 75.205 “Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.” This provision will apply to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements except fellowships.
For additional guidance regarding how the provisions apply to NIH grant programs, please contact the Scientific/Research Contact that is identified in Section VII under Agency Contacts of this FOA. HHS provides general guidance to recipients of FFA on meeting their legal obligation to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to their programs by persons with limited English proficiency. Please see 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 https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/section-1557/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 https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/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.
This project/exhibit was made possible by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA), Grant Number ________, from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), National Institutes of Health (NIH). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIGMS or NIH.
When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually. Continuation support will not be provided until the required forms are submitted and accepted.
Failure by the grantee institution to submit required forms in a timely, complete, and accurate manner may result in an expenditure disallowance or a delay in any continuation funding for the award.
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.
Upon the completion of a program evaluation, NIH and its ICs will determine whether to (a) continue a program as currently configured, (b) continue a program with modifications, or (c) discontinue a program.
In evaluating this research education program, NIGMS expects to use the following evaluation measures:
For Courses for Skills Development:
For Programs Focusing on Curriculum or Methods Development:
For Outreach Programs:
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Tony Beck, Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Masquood Wani, Ph.D.
Center for Scientific Review (CSR)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
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