National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences Predoctoral Institutional Research Training Grant (T32 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
T32 Institutional National Research Service Award (NRSA)
Reissue of PAR-17-341
PAR-19-036 - Medical Scientist Training Program (T32)
The goal of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Predoctoral Institutional Research Training Grant (T32) program is to develop a diverse pool of well-trained scientists available to address the Nation’s biomedical research agenda. Specifically, this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) provides support to eligible, domestic institutions to develop and implement effective, evidence-informed approaches to biomedical graduate training and mentoring that will keep pace with the rapid evolution of the biomedical research enterprise. NIGMS expects that the proposed research training programs will incorporate didactic, research, and career development elements to prepare trainees for careers that will have a significant impact on the health-related research needs of the Nation.
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) does not allow appointed Trainees to lead an independent clinical trial but does allow them to obtain research experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor or co-mentor.
June 1, 2020
August 25, 2020
Standard dates apply
All applications are due by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on the listed date(s).
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.
Standard dates apply
Standard dates apply
July 2021, July 2022, July 2023
May 26, 2023
It is critical that applicants follow the Training (T) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.
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.
Part 1. Overview Information
Part 2. Full Text of the Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Section II. Award Information
Section III. Eligibility Information
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
Section V. Application Review Information
Section VI. Award Administration Information
Section VII. Agency Contacts
Section VIII. Other Information
The overall goal of the NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) program is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in appropriate scientific disciplines to address the Nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. In order to accomplish this goal, NRSA training programs are designed to train individuals to conduct research and to prepare for research careers. More information about NRSA programs may be found at the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) website.
Purpose and Background Information
The NRSA program has been the primary means of supporting predoctoral and postdoctoral research training programs since enactment of the NRSA legislation in 1974. Each program should provide high-quality research training, mentored research experiences, and additional training opportunities that equip trainees with the technical (e.g., appropriate methods, technologies, and quantitative/computational approaches), operational (e.g., independent knowledge acquisition, rigorous experimental design and interpretation of data, conducting research in the safest manner possible) and professional (e.g., management, leadership, communication, and teamwork) skills required for careers in the biomedical research workforce.
Through this funding announcement, NIGMS encourages changes in biomedical graduate research training to keep pace with the rapid evolution of the biomedical research enterprise that is increasingly complex, interdisciplinary, quantitative, and collaborative. Other changes in the biomedical research enterprise include greater diversity in the backgrounds of people participating in biomedical research, the approaches utilized to investigate research questions, and the range of the careers that biomedical Ph.D. recipients are pursuing. Additionally, there is an increasing recognition of the need to enhance reproducibility of biomedical research results through scientific rigor and transparency, and to promote a culture where the highest standards of practice are used to ensure the safety of all individuals in the research environment. This FOA is intended to encourage and enable the scientific community to develop and implement evidence-informed approaches to biomedical research training and mentoring that will effectively train future generations of rigorous biomedical scientists.
Each funded program should provide high-quality research training, mentored research experiences, and additional opportunities that equip trainees with the technical, operational, and professional skills required for careers in the biomedical research workforce. The intention is not to layer additional activities onto existing structures; instead, this FOA is designed to allow for creative and transformational approaches to biomedical graduate training, including curricular reform, that preserve the best elements of current programs, while enhancing the focus on the development of trainee skills.
The Overarching Objective of the NIGMS Predoctoral Institutional Research Training Grant (T32) program is to develop a diverse pool of well-trained scientists who have the following:
Diversity at all levels—from the kinds of science to the regions in which it is conducted to the backgrounds of the people conducting it— contributes to excellence in research training environments and strengthens the research enterprise. This FOA is intended to support outstanding research training programs that will enhance diversity at all levels (e.g., see the Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity).
NIGMS will accept predoctoral training grant applications in a broad range of basic biomedical sciences (integrated medical and graduate research training through the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) is not supported on this FOA). Applicants are strongly encouraged to read information about NIGMS Institutional Predoctoral Training Grants found on the NIGMS website and to contact program staff before submitting an application. All NIGMS predoctoral T32 applications in basic biomedical disciplines submitted after the May 2020 receipt date must follow the guidelines in this FOA (MSTP programs submit applications through a separate FOA, PAR-19-036 and subsequent reissuances). NIGMS will not accept applications for predoctoral training submitted through the Parent T32 FOA, PA-20-142 and subsequent reissuances.
Applicants are expected to identify training needs and objectives (i.e., specific and measurable outcomes the program intends to achieve) and develop plans to implement evidence-informed training and mentoring activities (i.e., approaches that are grounded in the literature and from evaluations of existing relevant training programs). Funded training programs must ensure that trainees have a solid foundation in methods to enhance data reproducibility through rigor and transparency. Applicants are encouraged to consult the NIGMS clearinghouse for training modules to enhance data reproducibility, and other resources when developing the plans.
Funded programs are expected to implement robust plans to enhance diversity and to promote inclusive, safe, and supportive research environments. Specifically, funded programs should have institutional and departmental environments where individuals from all backgrounds are welcomed and feel integrated into and supported by the biomedical community. Programs are also expected to implement plans to enhance trainee retention, i.e., to sustain the scientific interests and participation of trainees from all backgrounds. Additionally, safety in research training should encompass (1) environments free from harassment and intimidation, in which everyone participating is treated in a respectful and supportive manner, (2) laboratory and clinical settings where individuals exercise the highest standards of practice for chemical, biological and physical safety, and (3) practices at the institutional leadership and research community levels that demonstrate core values and behaviors to emphasize safety over competing goals.
Funded programs are expected to provide evidence of accomplishing the training objectives in progress reports and upon renewal, to make training and career outcomes publicly available, and are strongly encouraged to disseminate successful training practices to the broader training community.
Institutional commitment and support for the proposed training program are important elements of the application. The research training program may complement and synergize with other ongoing federally-supported predoctoral research training programs at the applicant institution (e.g., in the development of skills needed for careers in the biomedical research workforce that are not discipline-specific); however, the scientific training goals must be distinct from related programs at the same institution currently receiving federal support. In cases where an institution has multiple NIGMS predoctoral training grants, it is expected that these programs will seek to create administrative and training efficiencies to reduce costs and improve trainee services and outcomes. The training grant should be well integrated within one or more graduate department(s)/program(s) and should exert a strong, positive influence on the development and execution of the outreach and recruitment of potential trainees, graduate curriculum, training opportunities and mentoring. Training grant funds may not be used solely as a vehicle to provide stipends for trainees to conduct research.
NIGMS does not accept applications for predoctoral T32 programs proposing only short-term research training. Programs proposing short-term research training should apply to the Kirschstein-NRSA Short-Term Institutional Research Training Grant Program (T35) exclusively reserved for predoctoral, short-term research training (see PA-20-162 and subsequent reissuances). NIGMS will not accept applications proposing combined predoctoral and postdoctoral training under this FOA.
Training grants are usually awarded for 5 years. The grant offsets the cost of stipends, tuition and fees, and training related expenses, including health insurance, for the appointed trainees in accordance with the approved NIH support levels. Students are typically provided full-time support for 1-2 years of graduate studies. Use of training grant support in the first three years of graduate research training is strongly encouraged to provide maximum flexibility in the participation in courses, laboratory rotations, and professional development activities.
For applicants that currently have an NIGMS institutional predoctoral training program in a specific area, NIGMS recommends that applicants plan to submit an application under this FOA at least one- to one-and-a-half years before the current grant is scheduled to terminate. For example, if the current grant is scheduled to terminate on June 30, 2022, applicants are advised to submit an application under this FOA no later than May 25, 2021. Please consult the NIGMS website for more information on Predoctoral Training Grant Application Deadlines.
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) does not allow appointed Trainees to lead an independent clinical trial but does allow them to obtain research experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor or co-mentor. NIH strongly supports training towards a career in clinically relevant research and so gaining experience in clinical trials under the guidance of a mentor or co-mentor is encouraged.
See Section VIII. Other Information for award authorities and regulations.
Grant: A support mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity.
Not Allowed: Only accepting applications that do not propose clinical trials
Note: Appointed trainees are permitted to obtain research experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor or co-mentor.
The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.
Application budgets are not limited, but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.
Grantees are expected to be familiar with and comply with applicable cost policies and the NRSA Guidelines (NIH Grants Policy Statement - Institutional Research Training Grants). Funds may be used only for those expenses that are directly related to and necessary for the research training and must be expended in conformance with OMB Cost Principles, the NIH Grants Policy Statement, and the NRSA regulations, policies, guidelines, and conditions set forth in this document.
Awards may be for project periods up to five years in duration and are renewable.
Kirschstein-NRSA awards provide stipends as a subsistence
allowance to help defray living expenses during the research training
NIH will contribute to the combined cost of tuition and fees at the rate in place at the time of award.
Stipend levels, as well as funding amounts for tuition and fees and the institutional allowance are announced annually in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, and are also posted on the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) webpage.
NIGMS will provide up to $300 per trainee to travel to scientific meetings or training experiences that will enhance their development. Plans for trainee travel should be well justified.
NIH will provide funds to help defray other research training expenses, such as health insurance, staff salaries, consultant costs, equipment, research supplies, and faculty/staff travel directly related to the research training program. The most recent levels of training related expenses are announced annually in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, and are also posted on the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) webpage.
Indirect Costs (also known as Facilities & Administrative [F&A] Costs) are reimbursed at 8% of modified total direct costs (exclusive of tuition and fees, consortium costs in excess of $25,000, and expenditures for equipment), rather than on the basis of a negotiated rate agreement.
NIGMS does not permit automatic carryover from one budget period to the next. NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made from this FOA.
Higher Education Institutions
The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:
Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education
The sponsoring institution must assure support for the proposed program. Appropriate institutional commitment to the program should be detailed in the Institutional Support Letter in the Letters of Support attachment instructions in Section IV.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are
not eligible to apply.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply.
Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.
Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s))
All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account. PD(s)/PI(s) should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate their existing account with the applicant organization in eRA Commons. If the PD/PI is also the organizational Signing Official, they must have two distinct eRA Commons accounts, one for each role. Obtaining an eRA Commons account can take up to 2 weeks.
Any individual(s) with the
skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research training program as the
Training Program Director/Principal Investigator (Training PD/PI) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop
an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic
groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply
for NIH support.
For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide.
As described in the instructions for the Training Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) in Section IV.2 below, NIGMS encourages multiple PDs/PIs, particularly when each brings a unique perspective and skill set that will enhance training. At least one of the training PDs/PIs 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. Additional PDs/PIs, including individuals with experience in the science of education, relevant social science disciplines, program evaluation, mentoring, and university administration may be included to achieve the training goals. Any of the PDs/PIs may serve as the contact PD/PI. The contact PD/PI is expected to have a full-time appointment at the applicant institution unless extremely well-justified. If the full-time status of the contact PD/PI changes after the award, the institution must obtain prior program approval to appoint a new PD/PI or request a deviation from the full-time rule. The PDs/PIs will be responsible for the selection and appointment of trainees to the approved research training program, and for the overall direction, management, administration, and evaluation of the program. The PDs/PIs will be expected to monitor and assess the program and submit all documents and reports as required. The PDs/PIs have responsibility for the day-to-day administration of the program and are responsible for appointing members of the Advisory Committee (when applicable) and using their recommendations to determine the appropriate allotment of funds.
This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is programmatically distinct. NIGMS accepts predoctoral training grant applications to enhance graduate research training in 12 broad areas of basic biomedical sciences. NIGMS will support only one training program in each training area per institution (normally identified by having a unique DUNS number or NIH IPF number). Applicants are expected to identify the program area to which they are applying on the Cover Page (see below).
The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time. This means that the NIH will not accept:
The selected faculty should be active researchers in the biomedical sciences as demonstrated by recent publications and research support. When building a training team, programs should include faculty who are committed to training, mentoring, and providing inclusive, safe and supportive research environments. Programs are encouraged to build a diverse team of preceptors/mentors that includes, for example, faculty from underrepresented groups (see Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity) and at different career stages (i.e., early-career as well as established faculty).
The individual to be trained must be a citizen or a noncitizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of appointment. Additional details on citizenship, training period, and aggregate duration of support are available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
All trainees are required to pursue their research training full time, normally defined as 40 hours per week, or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies. Appointments are normally made in 12-month increments, and no trainee may be appointed for less than 9 months during the initial period of appointment, except with prior approval of the awarding unit.
Predoctoral trainees must be enrolled in a program leading to a PhD.
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 Training (T) 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.
All page limitations described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.
Instructions for Application Submission
The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this FOA.
Follow all instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, along with the following additional instructions:
Routing Identifier Field: NIGMS accepts predoctoral training
grant applications to enhance graduate research training in 12
broad areas of basic biomedical sciences. Applicants are expected to identify
the program area to which they are applying from the list below by entering the
one-digit code and abbreviation (e.g., 1 BBS) in the Agency Routing Identifier
Field of the application.
1 BBS: Behavioral-Biomedical Sciences Interface
2 BS: Biostatistics
3 BT: Biotechnology
4 CBM: Cellular, Biochemical, and Molecular Sciences
5 CBI: Chemistry-Biology Interface
6 CBB: Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, and Biomedical Data Science
7 GEN: Genetics
8 MB: Molecular Biophysics
9 MM: Molecular Medicine
10 PS: Pharmacological Sciences
11 SIB: Systems and Integrative Biology
12 TBB: Transdisciplinary Basic Biomedical Sciences
For more information on each program area, please see NIGMS Predoctoral Training Grant Program Areas and Contacts.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application, with the following additional modifications:
Project Summary/Abstract. Provide an overview of the entire program. Include the mission, objectives, rationale and design of the research training program. Highlight key activities in the training plan that promote skills development and successful transitions into careers in the biomedical research workforce. Indicate the planned duration of appointments, the projected number of trainees and intended trainee outcomes.
Advisory Committee (1-page maximum). An Advisory Committee is not a required component of a training program. However, if an Advisory Committee is intended, provide a plan for the appointment of an Advisory Committee to monitor progress of the training program. The 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 assess the overall effectiveness of the program. To avoid conflicts in the review process, only pre-existing Advisory Committee members should be named in the application. Potential Advisory Committee members should not be identified or contacted prior to receiving an award. Please name the file “Advisory_Committee.pdf”.
Application and Admissions Data. The applicant must provide Application and Admissions Data to allow for the evaluation of the ability of participating departments/interdepartmental programs to recruit training grant eligible individuals. These data are useful in assessing the admissions and recruitment process, the diversity of the pool, and the appropriate number of training positions to be awarded. Provide the numbers and characteristics of training grant eligible (I) applicants, (II) admitted individuals, and (III) matriculants for each of the past 5 academic years as well as the average over those years. Applicants are encouraged to use the Suggested Table Format Table A provided on the NIGMS website and to report on the categories listed in NIH’s Interest in Diversity listed below. Demographic data should be from voluntary self-reporting.
If the training program is interdepartmental with separate admissions for each department, provide the number of training grant eligible (I) applicants, (II) admitted individuals, and (III) matriculants in the relevant departments described in the application for each of the past 5 academic years. Please name the file “Application_Admissions_Data.pdf”. If this attachment is not included, the application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.
Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity (3-page maximum). The applicant must provide a Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity. The application should include outreach strategies and activities designed to recruit potential training program candidates who are from diverse backgrounds, including students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and students from disadvantaged backgrounds (see Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity). Applicants are encouraged to consult the NIGMS webpage for strategies to enhance diversity in training programs when designing their plans. Describe the specific efforts to be undertaken by the training program and how these might coordinate with trainee recruitment efforts of the institution. Centralized institutional efforts alone will not satisfy the requirement to recruit individuals from underrepresented groups. Participating faculty are expected to be actively involved in recruitment efforts. Please name the file “Recruitment_Plan.pdf”. If this attachment is not included, the application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.
Trainee Retention Plan (3-page maximum). The applicant must provide a Trainee Retention Plan. The Trainee Retention Plan must describe efforts to sustain the scientific interests as well as monitor the academic and research progress of trainees from all backgrounds within a program (i.e., retention). Applicants are encouraged to consult the NIH’s extramural diversity website to identify promising retention practices and to use evidence-informed practices for retention with the recognition that the variety of trainee backgrounds and experiences may necessitate the need to tailor retention approaches. Describe the specific efforts to be undertaken by the training program and how these might coordinate with trainee retention efforts of the institution(s). Centralized institutional efforts alone will not satisfy the requirement to implement robust and successful mechanisms to retain all trainees (e.g., participating faculty are expected to be actively involved in trainee retention efforts). Please name the file “Retention_Plan.pdf”. If this attachment is not included, the application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.
Outcomes Data Collection and Storage Plan (2-page maximum). The applicant must provide an Outcomes Data Collection and Storage Plan to track the outcomes for all supported trainees for a minimum of 15 years beyond the trainee’s participation in the program. Programs are encouraged to make the aggregate outcome data available on the institution's website. If the applicant intends to make the data available, describe how the aggregate data will be de-identified before public posting. The applicant must include a strategy to ensure the secure storage and preservation of program data and outcomes. Describe how the data will be centralized, safeguarded, and retrievable during leadership changes. Please name the file “Data_Collection_Storage_Plan.pdf”. If this attachment is not included, the application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.
Dissemination Plan (1-page maximum). The application must provide a specific Dissemination Plan to publish or present nationally any findings or materials developed under the auspices of the program. Examples of dissemination may include data or materials from successful training or mentoring interventions via web postings, presentations at scientific meetings, and/or workshops. Please name the file “Dissemination_Plan.pdf”. If this attachment is not included, the application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.
The filename provided for each “Other Attachment” will be the name used for the bookmark in the electronic application in eRA Commons.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application with the following modifications.
Biographical sketch. The personal statement should describe a commitment to scientific rigor, training, mentoring, as well as to promoting inclusive, safe and supportive scientific environments.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following additional modifications:
The PHS 398 Research Training Program Plan Form is comprised of the following sections:
Faculty, Trainees, and Training Record
Other Training Program Sections
Appendix - Note that the Appendix should only be used in circumstances covered in the NIH policy on appendix materials or if the FOA specifically instructs applicants to do so.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following additional modifications:
Attention must be given to the required Training Data Tables for New or Renewal applications. Table 6A is not required for NIGMS Predoctoral Training Grant applications, and applicants must not include it. In the Program Plan, applicants should summarize key data from the tables that highlight the characteristics of the applicant pool, program faculty, institutional support, student outcomes, and other factors that contribute to the overall training environment of the program.
The "Program Plan" attachment is required and must adhere to the NIH Table of Page Limits, as well as the organization and instructions provided below. Do not follow the organization and instructions provided in the in the SF424 (R&R) application guide for the Program Plan attachment; instead applicants must use the instructions below. Start each section with the appropriate heading.
Rationale, Mission, and Objectives
The application should describe how the program will develop a diverse pool of well-trained scientists who have the technical, operational, and professional skills required to conduct research in a safe, ethically responsible and rigorous manner, and to enter careers in the biomedical research workforce as delineated in the Program Objective. The application should describe how the program will enhance the training environment and not simply provide financial support to graduate trainees. Specifically, applicants should describe the following:
Curriculum and Overall Training Plan
The application should describe the following:
The application should describe the following:
Program Oversight, Participating Faculty Selection, and Mentor Training
The application should include the planned strategy and administrative structure to oversee and monitor the program, and to ensure appropriate and timely trainee progress for the duration of the trainees' graduate careers (the application may include the "Evaluation and Assessment Instruments" Appendix to provide blank rubrics or forms). The application should describe how the participating faculty are trained to ensure the use of evidence-informed teaching, training and mentoring practices that promote the development of trainees from all backgrounds e.g., trainees from groups underrepresented in the biomedical sciences (see Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity). The application should describe the following:
A letter providing assurances of the institutional commitment to the program must be included in the "Letters of Support" section of the application. Applicants may use this section to expand upon the “Facilities & Other Resources” section and the “Letters of Support” section, as necessary, to provide additional information regarding the institutional and departmental commitment to the program. Do not repeat information contained elsewhere in the application.
Training Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PDs/PIs)
The application should describe how the Training Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PDs/PIs) will promote the success of the trainees and training program. NIGMS encourages multiple PDs/PIs, particularly when each brings a unique perspective and skill set that will enhance training as described in the Eligible Individuals section. The application should expand on the information in the biosketch(es) to address how the PD/PI or PD/PI team has:
Preceptors/Mentors (Participating faculty)
The application should describe how the participating faculty will promote the success of the trainees and training program, as well as conducting responsible and rigorous research. Describe how the program has or will assemble a diverse team of participating faculty (e.g., individuals from underrepresented backgrounds (see Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity) and at different career stages) to provide potential role models within the training program and to enhance the excellence of the training environment. The application should summarize and expand on the material presented in the Training Tables and biosketches and address how the participating faculty:
Through the narrative and summaries of the information presented in the required Training Tables and the required attachments (i.e., Application and Admissions Data for all applications) the following areas relevant to trainees should be addressed.
Retention and Support
This section is intended to provide outcomes for the program described in the application (or for new programs, to provide outcomes for training grant eligible students for the proposed program). The application should provide the information below about recent outcomes through narrative descriptions and a summary of the data presented in the required training tables. Although the training tables for new applications only allow for five years of recent outcomes, the application may describe up to 15 years of outcomes in the narrative. The application should describe the following:
Program Evaluation and Dissemination
NIGMS funded training programs must conduct ongoing evaluations to monitor the success of the training and mentoring activities. The application should describe:
Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research
Applicants are required to comply with the instructions for Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, along with the following additional instructions:
Describe how the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) components are well integrated into the overall curriculum, i.e., how they are taught at multiple stages of trainee development and in a variety of formats and contexts. Explain how the teaching of RCR synergizes with elements of the curriculum designed to enhance trainees’ abilities to conduct rigorous and reproducible research. Describe how all participating faculty will reiterate and augment key elements of responsible conduct when trainees are performing mentored research in their laboratories.
Plan for Instruction in Methods for Enhancing Reproducibility
Applicants are required to provide a Plan for Instruction in Methods for Enhancing Reproducibility using the following instructions:
A “Plan for Instruction in Methods for Enhancing Reproducibility” attachment is required (not to exceed three pages). The plan must describe how trainees will be instructed in principles important for enhancing research reproducibility including, at a minimum, critical evaluation of foundational research underlying a project, rigorous experimental design and data interpretation, consideration of relevant biological variables such as sex, authentication of key biological and/or chemical resources, data and material sharing, record keeping, and transparency in reporting. Applicants are encouraged to consult the NIGMS clearinghouse for training modules to enhance data reproducibility and other resources when developing the plans. Describe how instruction strategies are sufficiently well integrated into the overall curriculum, that is, how they are taught at multiple stages of trainee development and in a variety of formats and contexts. Describe how all participating faculty will reiterate and augment key elements of methods for enhancing scientific rigor and reproducibility when trainees are performing research in their laboratories.
Progress Report (only for Renewal applications)
Follow the instructions in the in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following exceptions:
For the "Program Overview" section, follow the page limit indicated in the SF424 (R&R) application guide, but follow the instructions below instead:
Faculty, Trainees, And Training Record Section
Participating Faculty Biosketches
Participating faculty should provide a personal statement that describes the appropriateness of their research background for the proposed training program, and their commitment to the following:
Institutional Support Letter (10-page maximum). The application must include a signed letter on institutional letterhead from a President, Provost, Dean, or similar key institutional leader that describes the activities and resources provided by the institution that will ensure the success of the planned training program and its trainees. If this letter is not included, the application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed. The institutional commitment to the following areas should be described (as applicable):
Other Letters of Support. Additional letters of support (e.g., from partner institutions or organizations) are permitted; however, these letters may not contain any information required in the Institutional Support Letter.
Combine all Letters of Support into a single PDF file.
Data Tables: The application must include the required Training Data Tables for New or Renewal pre-doctoral training applications, with the exception of Table 6A. Applications that do not contain the required tables, or that submit any additional tables in this attachment will be considered noncompliant and will not be reviewed.
Limited items are allowed in the Appendix. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide; any instructions provided here are in addition to the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide instructions.
The Appendix is meant to provide additional details to the following topics but is not meant to substitute for clear descriptions in the body of the application. Do not include items other than the required and allowable materials described below, as doing so will result in administrative withdrawal of the application. Name the file according to the headings below. A summary sheet listing all the items included in the Appendix may be included in the first Appendix attachment.
The following are required Appendix materials:
The following are allowable Appendix materials:
Applications that exceed the number of allowed appendices or the page limitation of any of the allowed materials will be considered noncompliant and will not be reviewed.
Generally, not applicable. All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional modifications:
Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information
DO NOT USE. Attempts to submit a full, detailed study record will result in a validation error.
Delayed Onset Study
Generally, not applicable. Note: Delayed onset does NOT apply to a program that 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
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. The National
Research Service Award (NRSA) policies apply to this program. An NRSA
appointment may not be held concurrently with another Federally sponsored
fellowship, traineeship, or similar Federal award that provides a stipend or
otherwise duplicates provisions of the NRSA.
Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Note, however, that pre-award costs are not allowable charges for stipends or tuition/fees on institutional training grants because these costs may not be charged to the grant until a trainee has actually been appointed and the appropriate paperwork submitted to the NIH awarding component. Any additional costs associated with the decision to allow research elective credit for short-term research training are not allowable charges on an institutional training grant.
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 and NIGMS. Applications that are incomplete or non-compliant will not be reviewed.
Applicants Requesting $500,000 or more for direct costs (less consortium F&A) in any year Applicants requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs in any year are not required to contact a Scientific/ Research Contact prior to submitting an application. The Policy on the Acceptance for Review of Unsolicited Applications that Request $500,000 or More in Direct Costs as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide is not applicable to this FOA.
Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in the policy.
Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process.
Applications submitted to the NIH in support of the NIH mission are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.
Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood that the proposed training program will produce a diverse pool of well-trained scientists with the technical (e.g., appropriate methods, technologies, and quantitative/computational approaches), operational (e.g., independent knowledge acquisition, rigorous experimental design, and interpretation of data, conducting research in the safest manner possible), and professional (e.g., management, leadership, communication, and teamwork) skills necessary to conduct rigorous and reproducible research, and transition into careers in the biomedical research workforce, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).
Specifically, do the courses, structured training activities, mentoring, and research experiences equip the trainees with:
Does the proposed program support outstanding research training that will enhance diversity at all levels?
Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of the merit of the training program, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact.
Rationale, Mission, and Objectives
Curriculum and Overall Training Plan
For applications designating multiple PDs/PIs:
Retention and Support
Training Outcomes for Trainees (renewals) or Training Grant Eligible Pool (new applications)
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.
Training in Methods for Enhancing Reproducibility
Does the Instruction in Methods for Enhancing Reproducibility plan describe how trainees will be instructed in principles important for enhancing research reproducibility including, at a minimum, evaluation of foundational research underlying a project, rigorous experimental design and data analysis, consideration of relevant biological variables such as sex, authentication of key biological and/or chemical resources, data and material sharing, record keeping, and transparency in reporting? Are the rigor and transparency components sufficiently well integrated into the overall curriculum? Are they taught at multiple stages of trainee development and in a variety of formats and contexts? Does the teaching synergize with elements of the curriculum designed to enhance trainees' abilities to conduct responsible research? Is there evidence that all participating faculty reiterate and augment key elements of methods for enhancing reproducibility when trainees are performing mentored in research their laboratories? The plan 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.
Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.
Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.
For Resubmissions, the committee will evaluate the application as now presented, taking into consideration the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group and changes made to the project. Undue weight should not be given for simply responding to previous comments; instead the content of the responses and how the application project will be improved by any proposed changes should be considered.
For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the last funding period, including on the Training in Methods for Enhancing Reproducibility Plan, Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity, and Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research Plan.
As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items, and should not consider them in providing an overall impact score.
Peer reviewers will separately evaluate the recruitment plan to enhance diversity after the overall score has been determined. Reviewers will examine the strategies to be used to recruit a diverse pool of potential candidates that includes individuals from underrepresented groups. The overall plan will be rated as ACCEPTABLE only if the recruitment strategies for all of the relevant groups identified in the Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity are viewed by the review panel as acceptable, otherwise the plan will be rated as UNACCEPTABLE. The consensus of the review committee will be included in an administrative note in the summary statement.
All applications for support under this FOA must include a plan to fulfill NIH requirements for instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). Taking into account the specific characteristics of the training program, the level of trainee experience, and the particular circumstances of the trainees, the reviewers will evaluate the adequacy of the proposed RCR training in relation to the following five required components: 1) Format - Does the plan satisfactorily address the format of instruction, e.g. lectures, coursework and/or real-time discussion groups, including face-to-face interaction? (A plan involving only on-line instruction is not acceptable); 2) Subject Matter – Does the plan include a sufficiently broad selection of subject matter, such as conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, and research ethics? 3) Faculty Participation - Does the plan adequately describe how faculty will participate in the instruction? For renewal applications, are all training faculty who served as course directors, speakers, lecturers, and/or discussion leaders during the past project period named in the application? 4) Duration of Instruction - Does the plan meet the minimum requirements for RCR, i.e., at least eight contact hours of instruction? 5) Frequency of Instruction – Does the plan meet the minimum requirements for RCR, i.e., at least once during each career stage (undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, predoctoral, postdoctoral, and faculty levels) and at a frequency of no less than once every four years?
Are the RCR components sufficiently well integrated into the overall curriculum? Are they taught at multiple stages of trainee development and in a variety of formats and contexts? Does the teaching of RCR synergize with elements of the curriculum designed to enhance trainees' abilities to conduct rigorous and reproducible research? Is there evidence that all participating faculty reiterate and augment key elements of responsible conduct when trainees are performing mentored research their laboratories?
Plans and past record will be rated as ACCEPTABLE or UNACCEPTABLE, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.
Budget and Period of Support
Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.
Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s), convened by the NIGMS Scientific Review Branch in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.
As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:
Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications . Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:
After the peer review of the application is completed, the
PD/PI will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written critique)
via the eRA
Commons. Refer to Part 1 for dates for peer review, advisory council
review, and earliest start date
Information regarding the disposition of applications is available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will
request "just-in-time" information from the applicant as described in
Grants Policy Statement.
A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization for successful applications. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document and will be sent via email to the grantee’s business official.
Awardees must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions. Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.
Any application awarded in response to this FOA will be subject to terms and conditions found on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website. This includes any recent legislation and policy applicable to awards that is highlighted on this website.
All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities. More information is provided at Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants.
Recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS must administer their programs in compliance with federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, religion, conscience, and sex. This includes ensuring programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency. The HHS Office for Civil Rights provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-providers/provider-obligations/index.html and http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/section1557/index.html.
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.
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.
In accordance with the statutory provisions contained in Section 872 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417), NIH awards will be subject to the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) requirements. FAPIIS requires Federal award making officials to review and consider information about an applicant in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS) prior to making an award. An applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through FAPIIS and comment on any information about itself that a Federal agency previously entered and is currently in FAPIIS. The Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgement about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 45 CFR Part 75.205 “Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.” This provision will apply to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements except fellowships.
Institutional NRSA training grants must be administered in accordance with the current NRSA section of the NIH Grants Policy Statement - Institutional Research Training Grants.
Awards made primarily for educational purposes are exempted from the PHS invention requirements and thus invention reporting is not required, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually. Continuation support will not be provided until the required forms are submitted and accepted.
Failure by the grantee institution to submit required forms in a timely, complete, and accurate manner may result in an expenditure disallowance or a delay in any continuation funding for the award.
The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later. All awardees of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement.
A final RPPR, the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report, and Termination Notices for all Trainees, are required for closeout of an award as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
In accordance with the regulatory requirements provided at 45 CFR 75.113 and Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75, recipients that have currently active Federal grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from all Federal awarding agencies with a cumulative total value greater than $10,000,000 for any period of time during the period of performance of a Federal award, must report and maintain the currency of information reported in the System for Award Management (SAM) about civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings in connection with the award or performance of a Federal award that reached final disposition within the most recent five-year period. The recipient must also make semiannual disclosures regarding such proceedings. Proceedings information will be made publicly available in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS). This is a statutory requirement under section 872 of Public Law 110-417, as amended (41 U.S.C. 2313). As required by section 3010 of Public Law 111-212, all information posted in the designated integrity and performance system on or after April 15, 2011, except past performance reviews required for Federal procurement contracts, will be publicly available. Full reporting requirements and procedures are found in Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75 – Award Term and Conditions for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.
In carrying out its stewardship of human resource-related programs, the NIH may request information essential to an assessment of the effectiveness of this program from databases and from participants themselves. Participants may be contacted after the completion of this award for periodic updates on various aspects of their employment history, publications, support from research grants or contracts, honors and awards, professional activities, and other information helpful in evaluating the impact of the program.
Within 10 years of making awards under this program, NIGMS will assess the program’s overall outcomes. The overall evaluation of the program will be based on metrics that will include, but are not limited to, the following:
We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.
eRA Commons Help Desk (Questions regarding ASSIST, eRA
Commons, application errors and warnings, documenting system problems that threaten
submission by the due date, and 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)
General Grants Information (Questions regarding application instructions,
application processes, and NIH grant resources)
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)
Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726
For general information, contact Dr. Alison Gammie or Dr. Shiva Singh. For specific information about an area of training or questions about the application process, contact the relevant NIGMS Program Director.
Stephanie Constant, Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Awards are made under the authorization of Section 487 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 288) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 66.
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