Part 1. Overview Information

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

Funding Opportunity Title
Enhancing Science, Technology, EnginEering, and Math Educational Diversity (ESTEEMED) Research Education Experiences (R25)
Activity Code

R25 Education Projects

Announcement Type

Reissue of PAR-17-221

Related Notices

July 22, 2019 - Requirement for ORCID iDs for Individuals Supported by Research Training, Fellowship, Research Education, and Career Development Awards Beginning in FY 2020. See Notice NOT-OD-19-109

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number
PAR-20-223
Companion Funding Opportunity

None

Number of Applications

Only one application per institution is allowed as defined in See Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

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

93.286

Funding Opportunity Purpose

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 encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, to pursue further studies or careers in research 

To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on:

  • Courses for Skills Development
  • Research Experiences

for undergraduate freshmen and sophomores from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups underrepresented in bioengineering or STEM fields relevant to bioengineering, such as engineering or the physical/computational sciences, which play key roles in biomedical technologies and innovation. The ESTEEMED program is intended to expose students to bioengineering research early in their college careers and interest them in potentially pursuing advanced studies in bioengineering or a related field. It will prepare students to join, in their junior and senior years, an honors program, supported by federal or institutional funds, that promotes STEM and entrance into a Ph.D. program. The ultimate goal is for the participants to pursue a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. degree and a subsequent research career integrating engineering and the physical sciences with medicine and biology in academia or industry.

Key Dates

Posted Date

June 1, 2020

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
June 24, 2020
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

June 24, 2020; May 24, 2021; May 24, 2022

Application Due Date(s)

July 24, 2020; June 24, 2021; June 24, 2022

All applications are due by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS 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.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

October-November 2020; October-November 2021; October-November 2022

Advisory Council Review

January, 2021; January, 2022; January, 2023

Earliest Start Date

March 2021; March 2022; March 2023

Expiration Date
June 25, 2022
Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Research (R) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide,except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts ).

Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions.

Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

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

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

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


  4. Table of Contents

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research educational activities that complement other formal training programs in the mission areas of the NIH Institutes and Centers. The overarching goals of the NIH R25 program are to: (1) complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs; (2) encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, to pursue further studies or careers in research; (3) help recruit individuals with specific specialty or disciplinary backgrounds to research careers in biomedical, behavioral and clinical sciences; and (4) foster a better understanding of biomedical, behavioral and clinical research and its implications.

The overarching goal of this R25 program is to support educational activities that encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, to pursue further studies or careers in research.

With ESTEEMED, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) focuses on early preparation for undergraduate students in bioengineering or STEM fields relevant to bioengineering, such as engineering or the physical/computational sciences, which play key roles in biomedical technologies and innovation. Participants should be from diverse backgrounds and interested in ultimately pursuing a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. degree and a research career integrating engineering and the physical sciences with medicine and biology. The program activities will begin in the summer before the freshman year and continue through the summer following the sophomore year. At that time, participants will be expected to enter an honors program that prepares high-achieving STEM students for doctoral programs in biomedical research fields. Therefore, only institutions with a federally or institutionally funded honors program that is open to students in the junior and senior years and that promotes STEM and entrance into a Ph.D. program are eligible to apply.

NIBIB's Interest in Diversity

The mission of the NIBIB is to improve human health by leading the development and accelerating the application of biomedical technologies. NIBIB is committed to fostering diversity in its training programs so that innovations in technology for healthcare benefit from the human capital of the entire nation. To this end, the institute develops and supports programs, across the career continuum, that enhance the recruitment, retention, training, and career development of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented minorities, people with disabilities, and people from disadvantaged backgrounds. NIBIB’s proactive approach to promoting a diverse and sustainable biomedical workforce is to develop programs targeting roadblocks at critical transition points in the biomedical research pipeline that hinder the participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds. The ESTEEMED program seeks to facilitate the training of freshmen and sophomores from diverse backgrounds majoring in STEM fields critical to the mission of NIBIB.

Need for the Program

Racial and ethnic minorities and persons with disabilities (PWD) are critically underrepresented in the science and engineering fields. The 2019 NSF report “Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering” (https://ncses.nsf.gov/pubs/nsf19304/) indicates that racial or ethnic minorities form ~26% of the United States resident population aged 18-64. However, despite the gains in recent years, underrepresented minority students received 22% of all science and engineering bachelor’s degrees and only 9% of all science and engineering doctorate degrees. The underrepresentation is even more pronounced in engineering disciplines: less than 15% of bachelor's degrees and 11% of doctorates were awarded to underrepresented groups. This demonstrates an acute need for an intervention to encourage more students from underrepresented groups to continue on to doctorate degrees and successful research careers in science and engineering fields.

Several reports (see for example, ACD Working Group on Diversity in the Biomedical Workforce, 2012; PCAST Report, 2012; From College to Careers: Fostering Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in STEM, 2014; Increasing College Opportunity for Low Income Students, 2014; and Understanding the Educational and Career Pathways of Engineers, 2018) recommend supporting programs to recruit, train, and mentor students from nationally underrepresented groups who have an interest in STEM as a means to effectively build a diverse and competitive scientific workforce.

To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on:

  • Courses for Skills Development: For example, to provide preparation for hands-on exposure to research for freshmen and sophomores. At a minimum, this preparation must include a summer bridge program (or summer bootcamp) for incoming freshmen and additional activities during the freshman and sophomore academic years, including, but not limited to seminars and/or workshops that enhance skills in the basic sciences, computation, and scientific communication as well as introduce students to the laboratory environment.
  • Research Experiences: For example, to provide hands-on exposure to bioengineering research for freshman and sophomores, to interest them in pursuing advanced studies in bioengineering or a related STEM field and ultimately a career in the biomedical research workforce.

Programmatic Approach Analysis of outcomes of an earlier NIBIB contract-based program identified several critical elements for attracting, retaining, and preparing a diverse group of students, including those underrepresented in STEM fields for subsequent biomedical research careers. These elements include summer bridge programs preceding freshman year; strong mentoring by faculty, peers, alumni, and family; and early exposure to biomedical research.

The program supported by this FOA must contain at least three elements:

1. Summer Bridge Program

The Summer Bridge Program is a bootcamp, that occurs before the start of the freshman year, to prepare participants for their first year of college, introducing them to the ESTEEMED program and providing a review of basic topics and skills necessary for success. It must take place during the summer before the freshman year, last at least five weeks, emphasize basic sciences, computation, and science communication, and provide survival skills to help participants transition from high school to college.

In the summer between their freshman and sophomore years, rising sophomores are encouraged to mentor incoming freshman participants in the Summer Bridge Program.

2. Academic Year Activities

In addition to continuing to emphasize basic sciences, computation, and science communication during the freshman and sophomore academic years, the Academic Year Activities should help participants maximize their academic performance and prepare them for summer research experiences and eventual entry into an honors program. Academic year activities should include, but are not limited to, courses, journal clubs, individual development plans for each participant, seminars/workshops, professional development programs, internal and external speakers to introduce the students to different career paths, and participation in national scientific meetings. Activities such as workshops on scientific presentation and writing that promote scientific communication skills are highly encouraged. There should be an increasing sophistication in these activities as participants proceed from the freshman to the sophomore year.

3. Summer Research Experience

At the end of their sophomore year, each participant is expected to take part in a hands-on summer research experience that involves a defined research project and includes a final oral presentation and written report of their work. This could take place in an on-campus laboratory or be an off-campus research experience for high achieving undergraduate students, such as the National Science Foundation (NSF)-sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates Summer Programs (REU), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)-sponsored Janelia Undergraduate Scholars Program, or a research-focused industry internship. The Summer Research Experience is expected to last at least eight weeks or the majority of the summer.

Participants are encouraged to engage in an on- or off-campus summer research experience also after the freshman year. However, program funds will only be provided for the Summer Research Experience after the sophomore year.

Mentoring

The research education supported by the ESTEEMED program is expected to provide not only technical expertise, but advice, individual coaching, professional development, and career guidance to the participants. As discussed in The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM, mentorship that recognizes a person’s identities and sociodemographic background is critical for students in STEM. Programs should ideally include mentoring by faculty, peers, and alumni, and encourage family engagement. For institutions with graduate degree programs, Ph.D. candidates may also participate as mentors.

Honors Program

The ESTEEMED program to be supported with this FOA is intended to expose students to bioengineering research in their freshman and sophomore years and interest them in pursuing advanced studies in bioengineering or a related field. In their junior and senior years, the students are expected to enter an honors program that promotes graduate study in STEM fields. For the purposes of this FOA, an honors program is defined as a program, typically offered to high-achieving students at the institution, consisting of in-class and extracurricular activities that are broader, deeper, or more complex than comparable learning experiences at the institution. The availability of the honors program makes it possible for ESTEEMED participants to have a full four years of research preparation throughout their undergraduate education. Applicants are therefore required to describe the ESTEEMED program, the honors program, and the conditions for ESTEEMED students to enter and remain in the honors program in their final two years of college.

While clinical trials are not allowed on this FOA, participants are permitted to obtain research experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor or co-mentor.

Research education programs may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, but the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those training and education programs currently receiving Federal support. R25 programs may augment institutional research training programs (e.g., T32, T90) but cannot be used to replace or circumvent Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) programs

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

Section II. Award Information

Funding Instrument

Grant: A support mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity.

Application Types Allowed
Resubmission
New
Renewal

The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.Only those application types listed here are allowed for this FOA.

Clinical Trial?

Not Allowed: Only accepting applications that do not propose clinical trial(s).

Note: Appointed participants are permitted to obtain research experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor or co-mentor.

Need help determining whether you are doing a clinical trial?

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

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

Award Budget

Application budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

Award Project Period

The maximum project period is 4 years.

Other Award Budget Information

Personnel Costs

Individuals designing, directing, and implementing the research education program may request salary and fringe benefits appropriate for the person months devoted to the program. Salaries requested may not exceed the levels commensurate with the institution's policy for similar positions and may not exceed the congressionally mandated cap. (If mentoring interactions and other activities with participants are considered a regular part of an individual's academic duties, then any costs associated with the mentoring and other interactions with participants are not allowable costs from grant funds).

Annual costs that may be requested are:

1) Up to a total of $30,000 as summer or other salary for faculty members involved in the design, implementation and management of the program.

2) Up to a total of $30,000 for non-faculty administrators who manage the day-to-day activities of the program; and

3) Up to $5,000 towards the salary of (an) external evaluator(s)

Participant Costs

Participants may be paid if specifically required for the proposed research education program and sufficiently justified. Participant costs must be itemized in the proposed budget.

• Allowable participant costs depend on the educational level/career status of the individuals to be selected to participate in the program.

• While generally not an allowable cost, with strong justification, participants in the research education program may receive per diem unless such costs are furnished as part of the registration fee. Participants may also receive funds to defray partial tuition and other education-related expenses.

• Individuals supported by NIH training and career development mechanisms (K, T, or F awards) may receive, and indeed are encouraged to receive, educational experiences supported by an R25 program, as participants, but may not receive salary or stipend supplementation from a research education program.

• Because the R25 program is not intended as a substitute for an NRSA institutional training program (e.g.,T32), costs to support full-time participants (supported for 40 hours/week for a continuous, 12-month period) are not allowable.

Participant support costs can include student salaries and travel costs.

During the academic year, participants may be compensated for part-time work related to research education. Examples of such work include but are not limited to: assistance with work in research labs; data entry, processing and analysis; peer-mentoring; tutoring; producing supplementary materials, such as detailed notes and illustrations or videos for use in program evaluation, to be used in future offerings of course, and/or for dissemination to other students; leading discussion sessions; and moderating or posting answers to questions on online class bulletin boards. The total compensation during the academic year cannot exceed $10,000 in the freshman year and $12,000 in the sophomore year.

Participants may be compensated for performing necessary work during the summer research experience in the summer following the sophomore year. The total compensation cannot exceed $4,000 during the summer. Students participating in federally or privately funded summer research programs that offer compensation may choose to receive compensation from ESTEEMED or the external program, but not both.

Participants may receive per diem during the Summer Bridge program that takes place before the freshman year. Total per diem for the summer may not exceed $4,000.

Any compensation provided to the participants must be commensurate with compensation paid by the institution to other students under similar circumstances.

Participants, while in the program, will be allowed $500 per year to travel to relevant scientific meetings. In addition, participants undertaking an off-campus summer research experience will be allowed an additional $500 for travel to the site if this cost is not covered through other sources. Expenses for local and foreign travel are not allowed.

Other Program-Related Expenses

Consultant costs, equipment, supplies, travel for key persons, and other program-related expenses may be included in the proposed budget. These expenses must be justified as specifically required by the proposed program and must not duplicate items generally available at the applicant institution.

Annual program-related expenses may be requested up to $20,000 for general program expenses plus $1,000 per trainee to cover costs associated with each participant.

Indirect Costs

Indirect Costs (also known as Facilities & Administrative [F&A] Costs) are reimbursed at 8% of modified total direct costs (exclusive of tuition and fees and expenditures for equipment), rather than on the basis of a negotiated rate agreement.

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

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

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

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

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

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

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

For-Profit Organizations

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

Governments

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


Other

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

The applicant institution must be an accredited public or non-profit private school that grants baccalaureate degrees in engineering or the physical/computational sciences. The institution must either have a bioengineering or biomedical engineering department (or concentration/track) or must have a critical mass of faculty with background in above areas and experience in the application of engineering and the physical/computational sciences in medicine and/or biology. At the time of application, the applicant institution must have an honors program promoting graduate studies and open to students in their junior and senior years.

The sponsoring institution must assure support for the proposed program. Appropriate institutional commitment to the program includes the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned program.

Institutions with existing Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) institutional training grants (e.g., T32) or other Federally funded training programs may apply for a research education grant provided that the proposed educational experiences are distinct from those training programs receiving federal support. In many cases, it is anticipated that the proposed research education program will complement ongoing research training occurring at the applicant institution.

Foreign Institutions

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are not eligible to apply

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply.

Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are not allowed. 

Required Registrations

Applicant organizations

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

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

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

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

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and women are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

The PD/PI should be an established investigator in the scientific area in which the application is targeted and capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program. The PD/PI will be expected to monitor and assess the program and submit all documents and reports as required.

The PD/PI should have a background in bioengineering or a closely related field in engineering or the physical/computational sciences and should have demonstrated experience in the applications of these fields in medicine and/or biology. Ideally, the PD/PI should have a strong history of mentoring and/or designing courses for individuals from diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented students, as well as experience managing diversity-based programs similar to ESTEEMED.

2. Cost Sharing

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

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

Number of Applications

Only one application per institution (normally identified by having a unique DUNS number or NIH IPF number) is allowed.

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time. This means that the NIH will not accept:

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

Program Faculty

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.

Mentors are expected to have a history of training diverse students.

Participants

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.

Selection of program-supported participants is expected to take into consideration whether the participation would help achieve the overall goals/objectives of the ESTEEMED Program, which is to support a diverse pool of undergraduate participants in the critical first two years of college to help them complete their undergraduate degree and successfully enter and complete Ph.D. degree programs integrating engineering and the physical sciences with medicine and biology.

Participants must matriculate as full-time students in a four-year bachelor's degree program majoring in a STEM field relevant to NIBIB's mission of developing novel technologies to improve human health, such as engineering or the physical/computational sciences.

Individuals are eligible to participate in this program from the summer before matriculation to the end of the summer following their sophomore year.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

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.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

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.

Letter of Intent

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows IC staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

By the date listed in Part 1. Overview Information, prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • Name(s), address(es), and telephone number(s) of the PD(s)/PI(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Zeynep Erim, Ph.D.
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Telephone: 301-451-4797
Email: erimz@mail.nih.gov

Page Limitations
All page limitations described in the SF424 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.

SF424(R&R) Cover

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information Component

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following additional modifications:

Facilities & Other Resources. Describe the educational environment, including the facilities, laboratories, participating departments, computer services, and any other resources to be used in the development and implementation of the proposed program. List all thematically related sources of support for research training and education following the format for Current and Pending Support.

Other Attachments.

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.

For New applications, potential Advisory Committee members should not be contacted or appointed prior to completion of the review process ; however, the scientific disciplines and relevant expertise of anticipated committee members should be described. The application should not list the names of potential members of the Advisory Committee.

Include Undergraduate Training Tables 2, 3, 4, 5C, and 8D as Other Attachments.

The filename provided for each “Other Attachment” will be the name used for the bookmark in the electronic application in eRA Commons.

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

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

R&R Budget

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following additional modifications:

  • Include all personnel other than the PD(s)/PI(s) in the Other Personnel section, including clerical and administrative staff.
  • Use the section on Participant/Trainee Support Costs to include all allowable categories of funds requested to support participants in the program.
PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

PHS 398 Research Plan

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

Research Strategy

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
  • Program Director/Principal Investigator
  • Program Faculty
  • Program Participants
  • Institutional Environment and Commitment
  • Diversity Recruitment Plan
  • Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Evaluation Plan
  • Dissemination Plan

Research Education Program Plan

Proposed Research Education Program. While the proposed research education program may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those research training and research education programs currently receiving federal support. When research training programs are on-going in the same department, the applicant organization should clearly distinguish between the activities in the proposed research education program and the research training supported by the training program.

Provide an overview of the research education plan and describe how it will provide added value to the participants' education and achieve the goals of the FOA. Describe the Summer Bridge program, Academic Year Activities, and Summer Research Experience, providing details on the specific activities planned, including their duration, timing and the faculty involved. Describe how the activities in the Summer Bridge Program will ensure a successful transition from high school to college. Describe the Academic Year Activities in the freshman and sophomore years and discuss how they differ from one another. Discuss why each activity proposed will be useful to the participants and how theproposed components build upon one another. Describe any collaborations with other institutions to place the students in research labs in the summer following the sophomore year, especially if such opportunities are limited on campus. Describe any training on mentoring that will be offered to the faculty and peer mentors. In addition, provide a brief description of the honors program, its size and history, and how participants from the ESTEEMED program are expected to transition to the honors program and/or interact with honors students in the course of the ESTEEMED program. rovide a brief description of the honors program, its size and history, and how participants from the ESTEEMED program are expected to transition to the honors program and/or interact with honors students in the course of the ESTEEMED program..

Provide a Mentoring Plan comprising details of mentoring that will be provided to the participants, including matching of students to faculty, any training on mentoring that will be offered to faculty or peer mentors, and use of individual development plans (IDPs) and/or mentoring contracts.

For all components of the program, provide sufficient detail to address the review criteria listed below.

Particular attention must be given to the required Training Data Tables, Tables for Undergraduate Programs (2, 3, 4, 5C and 8D) should be included as Other Attachments. Applicants should summarize, in the body of the application, key data from the tables that highlight the characteristics of the applicant pool, faculty mentors, the educational and career outcomes of participants, and other factors that contribute to the overall environment of the program.

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.

Without repeating information from biosketches, describe the PDs/PI's history of mentoring students/trainees from diverse backgrounds, including those from underrepresented groups, and the PD/PI's experience in developing and leading similar programs. If not apparent from the biosketches, discuss why the PDs/PIs are appropriate to lead an ESTEEMED program designed to support participation of students from diverse backgrounds in bioengineering and related fields.

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, including the mentoring of students from diverse backgrounds.

Using your Training Data Tables to be included as Other Attachments, summarize in this section the key data on program faculty (Table 2) and their external funding (Tables 3 and 4), if any.

Lack of Tables 3 or 4 will be interpreted as lack of external funding for training and/or research.

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.

Describe in detail the procedures and requirements for 1) Admission of students, and 2) Retention of students, including remedies/interventions for struggling students. Programs are encouraged to use admission and retention criteria in the spirit of the ESTEEMED program to support students that may not have had exposures and resources to meet requirements based on standardized tests, strict GPA levels, or a history of research involvement. Teachers' recommendations and class rankings may represent more suitable criteria for admission while recommendations and comments from faculty advisors, mentors, and program monitors should be taken into consideration along with GPAs in the determination of continued participation in the program. Use the data tables for undergraduate training available along with instructions at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms/data-tables.htm to provide information on student publications (Table 5C) and program outcomes (Table 8D). New programs should list in these tables students who would have been eligible for the proposed ESTEEMED program while Renewal applicants should list students that were appointed to the program in the previous funding period(s).

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.

Describe other undergraduate programs designed to foster diversity in STEM at the institution, if any, including their source(s) of support and outcomes using the measures in Section VI.4. Describe how the proposed research education program differs from or complements these programs. Describe the resources the institution provides to accommodate persons with disabilities. If the home institution has any partnerships with other institution(s), describe the benefit of these partnerships to the proposed program and for the program participants. Partnerships, especially for institutions without a sufficient number of on-campus research opportunities for students, are encouraged. Describe any partnerships with industry that may benefit the program and/or the participants, for instance by providing externships, site visits or staff to participate as speakers or advisory board members.

Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity (NOT-OD-20-031): Every facet of the United States scientific research enterprise—from basic laboratory research to clinical and translational research to policy formation–requires superior intellect, creativity and a wide range of skill sets and viewpoints . NIH’s ability to help ensure that the nation remains a global leader in scientific discovery and innovation is dependent upon a pool of highly talented scientists from diverse backgrounds who will help to further NIH's mission.

Research shows that diverse teams working together and capitalizing on innovative ideas and distinct perspectives outperform homogenous teams. Scientists and trainees from diverse backgrounds and life experiences bring different perspectives, creativity, and individual enterprise to address complex scientific problems. There are many benefits that flow from a diverse NIH-supported scientific workforce, including: fostering scientific innovation, enhancing global competitiveness, contributing to robust learning environments, improving the quality of the research, advancing the likelihood that underserved or health disparity populations participate in, and benefit from health research, and enhancing public trust.

Underrepresented Populations in the U.S. Biomedical, Clinical, Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Enterprise

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:

A. Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see data at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/showpub.cfm?TopID=2&SubID=27) and the report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. In addition, it is recognized that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting; individuals from racial or ethnic groups that can be demonstrated convincingly to be underrepresented by the grantee institution should be encouraged to participate in this program. For more information on racial and ethnic categories and definitions, see the OMB Revisions to the Standards for Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity (https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-1997-10-30/html/97-28653.htm).

B. Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended. See NSF data at, https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2017/nsf17310/static/data/tab7-5.pdf.

C. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, defined as those who meet two or more of the following criteria:

1. Were or currently are homeless, as defined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (Definition: https://nche.ed.gov/mckinney-vento/);

2. Were or currently are in the foster care system, as defined by the Administration for Children and Families (Definition: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/focus-areas/foster-care);

3. Were eligible for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program for two or more years (Definition: https://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/income-eligibility-guidelines);

4. Have/had no parents or legal guardians who completed a bachelor’s degree (see https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2018/2018009.pdf);

5. Were or currently are eligible for Federal Pell grants (Definition: https://www2.ed.gov/programs/fpg/eligibility.html);

6. Received support from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) as a parent or child (Definition: https://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/wic-eligibility-requirements).

7. Grew up in one of the following areas: a) a U.S. rural area, as designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer (https://data.hrsa.gov/tools/rural-health), or b) a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-designated Low-Income and Health Professional Shortage Areas (qualifying zipcodes are included in the file). Only one of the two possibilities in #7 can be used as a criterion for the disadvantaged background definition.

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.

D. Literature shows that women from the above backgrounds (categories A, B, and C) face particular challenges at the graduate level and beyond in scientific fields. (See, e.g., From the NIH: A Systems Approach to Increasing the Diversity of Biomedical Research Workforce https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5008902/).

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 prospective participants from underrepresented backgrounds and may wish to include data in support of past accomplishments.

Renewal applications must include a detailed account of experiences in recruiting individuals from underrepresented groups during the previous funding period, including successful and unsuccessful recruitment strategies. Information should be included on how the proposed plan reflects the program’s past experiences in recruiting individuals from underrepresented groups.

For those individuals who participated in the research education program, the report should include information about the duration of education and aggregate information on the number of individuals who finished the program in good standing.

Applications lacking a diversity recruitment plan will not be reviewed.

Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research. All applications must include a plan to fulfill NIH requirements for instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). The plan must address the five, required instructional components outlined in the NIH policy: 1) Format - the required format of instruction, i.e., face-to-face lectures, coursework, and/or real-time discussion groups (a plan with only on-line instruction is not acceptable); 2) Subject Matter - the breadth of subject matter, e.g., conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, research ethics; 3) Faculty Participation - the role of the program faculty in the instruction; 4) Duration of Instruction - the number of contact hours of instruction, taking into consideration the duration of the program; and 5) Frequency of Instruction – instruction must occur during each career stage and at least once every four years. See also NOT-OD-10-019. The plan should be appropriate and reasonable for the nature and duration of the proposed program. Renewal (Type 2) applications must, in addition, describe any changes in formal instruction over the past project period and plans to address any weaknesses in the current instruction plan. All participating faculty who served as course directors, speakers, lecturers, and/or discussion leaders during the past project period must be named in the application.

Applications lacking a plan for instruction in responsible conduct of research will not be reviewed.

Evaluation Plan. Applications must include a plan for evaluating the activities supported by the award. The application must specify baseline metrics (e.g., numbers, educational levels, and demographic characteristics of participants and any comparator groups), as well as measures to gauge the short or long-term success of the research education award in achieving its objectives. Applicants are strongly encouraged to assess the impact of the program using the hallmarks of success listed at https://www.nigms.nih.gov/training/dpc/Pages/success.aspx. Applications must describe a comparator group (a similar group not in the program), and the timepoints when data will be acquired from the participant and comparator groups (e.g., baseline, after freshman year, after sophomore year, at graduation, etc.) and the means to do so. Wherever appropriate, applicants are encouraged to obtain feedback from participants to help identify weaknesses and provide suggestions for improvements, as well as to identify the strengths of the program to expand on and share with the education community.

Applications lacking a detailed evaluation plan addressing the above points will not be reviewed.

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.

Letters of Support

A letter of institutional commitment must be attached as part of Letters of Support (see section above:”Institutional Environment and Commitment." Applicants should also include letters of support from the directors of any existing Summer Bridge and honors programs. Any outside individual or entity involved in the program must provide a letter of support stating their willingness to collaborate and describing how their background relates to the program and the specific responsibilities they will assume.

Resource Sharing Plans

Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

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:

  • Software source code should be freely available to biomedical researchers and educators in the non-profit sector, such as institutions of education, research institutions, and government laboratories. Users should be permitted to modify the code and share their modifications with others.
  • The terms of software availability should permit the commercialization of enhanced or customized versions of the software, or incorporation of the software or pieces of it into other software packages.
  • To preserve utility to the community, the software should be transferable such that another individual or team can continue development in the event that the original investigators are unwilling or unable to do so.

Appendix

Only limited Appendix materials are allowed. Follow the instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

When involvinghuman 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.

Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

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

Delayed Onset Study

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.

PHS Assignment Request Form
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

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

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

4. Submission Dates and Times

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

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

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

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

5. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

6. Funding Restrictions

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

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

7. Other Submission Requirements and Information

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

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

For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit 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.

Important reminders:

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

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

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

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

Requests of $500,000 or more for direct costs in any year

Applicants requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs in any year (excluding consortium F&A) must contact a Scientific/ Research Contact at least 6 weeks before submitting the application and follow the Policy on the Acceptance for Review of Unsolicited Applications that Request $500,000 or More in Direct Costs as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Post Submission Materials
Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in the policy. Any instructions provided here are in addition to the instructions in the policy.

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

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 the ESTEEMED program is to support educational activities to enhance the diversity of the biomedical research workforce by providing research experiences and courses for skills development for a diverse group of undergraduate students in bioengineering or related STEM fields who are interested in ultimately pursuing a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph. D degree and a biomedical research career in academia or industry

Overall Impact

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to strongly advance research education by fulfilling the goal of this R25 Education Program, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria, as applicable for the project proposed.

Scored Review Criteria

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

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?

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?

Do the PD/PI(s) and program faculty have a history of effectively mentoring students from diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented students in STEM fields? Does the PD/PI(s) have experience in developing and leading similar programs? Do the PDs/PIs have the appropriate background and expertise in bioengineering or more broadly, applications of engineering and the physical/computational sciences in medicine and biology?

Taking into consideration the nature of the proposed research education program, does the applicant make a strong case for this program effectively reaching an audience in need of the program’s offerings? Where appropriate, is the proposed program developing or utilizing innovative approaches and latest best practices to improve the knowledge and/or skills of the intended audience?

Does 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?

Are the proposed contents of the Summer Bridge Program, Academic Year Activities, and the Summer Research Experience likely to achieve program goals?

Summer bridge Program: Are the proposed activities of the summer program likely to prepare the students for a successful transition from high school to college? Do they provide good learning habits and coping skills as well as a review of basic academic skills such as basic sciences, computation, and science communication?

Academic Year Activities: Do the academic year activities appropriately address academic success, professional development (including the use of IDPs), and career choices? Are the proposed activities for freshman and sophomore years clearly described and represent a meaningful progression? Is there strong focus on bioengineering or related disciplines ?

Summer Research Experiences: Does the institution offer enough opportunities for summer research experiences? Otherwise, is there evidence of collaborations with other institutions and appropriate arrangements to place the students in research labs in the summer following the sophomore year? Is the summer research component designed to provide students ownership of projects? Will it provide meaningful experiences in the design and conduct of research and in the written and oral presentation of findings?

Mentoring: Does the institution have mentors with appropriate expertise in bio engineering and relevant areas? Is their number commensurate with the number of participant slots proposed? Do these mentors have sufficient experience in mentoring undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds, including those from underrepresented groups? Have such mentees moved on to doctoral programs and ultimately embarked on research careers? Are the roles of the mentors in the proposed program and their interaction with the students clearly described? Is there evidence that the participants will receive effective and sufficient mentoring? Are the procedures for assigning mentors to individual students explained in enough detail in terms of matching criteria and timing? Are these procedures reasonable? Will the institution offer any training on mentoring to the faculty and peer mentors?

Admission of Participants: Are the eligibility for participation in the program and the criteria used for selecting program participants among applicants clear and reasonable? Are they likely to result in a strong pool of students for the program?

Retention of Participants: Are the requirements for participants to remain in the program clearly specified and sound? Are the procedures to help struggling students remain in the program sufficiently detailed?

Honors Program: Are the admission and retention requirements clear and reasonable? Are the procedures for any ESTEEMED students that do not meet the admission or retention criteria of the honors program described and sound?

Evaluation Plan:

Does the plan use appropriate markers of success and a reasonable comparator group? Does the plan include data acquisition at meaningful points along the participants' careers? Do the applicants have a feasible strategy to track the participants over time and to gauge the impact of the program? Are there sufficiently frequent efforts to obtain participant feedback and incorporate these to improve the program

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?

Additional Review Criteria

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

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.

Not Applicable

For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the last funding period, and the success of the program in attracting individuals from diverse populations, including populations underrepresented in biomedical, behavioral and clinical research on a national basis.

Additional Review Considerations

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

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 prospective participants from underrepresented groups. The review panel’s evaluation will be included in the summary statement. Plans will be rated as acceptable or unacceptable, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.

Taking into account the specific characteristics of the proposed research education program, the level of participant experience, the reviewers will evaluate the adequacy of the proposed RCR training in relation to the following five required components: 1) Format - the required format of instruction, i.e., face-to-face lectures, coursework, and/or real-time discussion groups (a plan with only on-line instruction is not acceptable); 2) Subject Matter - the breadth of subject matter, e.g., conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, research ethics; 3) Faculty Participation - the role of the program faculty in the instruction; 4) Duration of Instruction - the number of contact hours of instruction, taking into consideration the duration of the program; and 5) Frequency of Instruction –instruction must occur during each career stage and at least once every four years. See also: NOT-OD-10-019. The review panel’s evaluation will be included in the summary statement. Plans will be rated as acceptable or unacceptable, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.

Not Applicable

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.

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s), convened by National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

  • May undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific and technical merit (generally the top half of applications under review) will be discussed and assigned an overall impact score.
  • Will receive a written critique.
Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications 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:
  • Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by scientific peer review.
  • Availability of funds.
  • Relevance of the proposed project to program priorities.

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

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

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

Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

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

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

Awardees must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.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.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

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

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.

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually. Continuation support will not be provided until the required forms are submitted and accepted.

Programs that involve participants should report on education in the responsible conduct of research and complete a Trainee Diversity Report, in accordance with the RPPR Instruction Guide. In addition, information on participant publications and program outcomes should be listed in Undergraduate Training Tables 5C and 8D, respectively

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 agreementsare required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement.

Failure by the grantee institution to submit required forms in a timely, complete, and accurate manner may result in an expenditure disallowance or a delay in any continuation funding for the award.

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

Other Reporting Requirements

  • The institution must submit a completedStatement of Appointment(PHS Form 2271) for each participant appointed full time for eight weeks or more or the equivalent. Grantees must submit the PHS 2271 data electronically using the xTrain system. More information on xTrain is available at xTrain (eRA Commons). An appointment or reappointment may begin any time during the budget period, but not before the budget period start date of the grant year.
  • Participant Termination Notice: Within 30 days of the end of the total support period for each participant, the institution must submit a Termination Notice (PHS Form 416-7) via xTrain for each participant appointed full time for eight weeks or more, or the equivalent.

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

4. Evaluation

In carrying out its stewardship of human resource-related programs, the NIH or its Institutes and Centers will periodically evaluate their R25 research education programs, employing the measures identified below. In assessing the effectiveness of its research education investments, NIH may request information from databases, PD/PIs, and from participants themselves. Where necessary, PD/PIs and participants may be contacted after the completion of a research education experience for periodic updates on participants’ subsequent educational or employment history and professional activities.

Upon the completion of a program evaluation, NIH and its ICs will determine whether to (a) continue a program as currently configured, (b) continue a program with modifications, or (c) discontinue a program.

In evaluating this research education program National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) expects to use the following evaluation measures:

Number and demographic characteristics of participants:

  • Entering the program
  • Entering an honors program
  • Completing an undergraduate degree in bioengineering or related STEM field
  • Enrolling in an advanced degree program in bioengineering or related STEM field
  • Completing a doctorate degree in bioengineering or related STEM field
  • Obtaining a postdoctoral position
  • Entering a biomedical research or research-related career
  • Participants' feedback at the end of each component of the program: the summer bridge, academic year, and summer research experience.

NIBIB may conduct surveys to further assess the impact of the program using the hallmarks of success listed at https://www.nigms.nih.gov/training/dpc/Pages/success.aspx

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

eRA Service Desk (Questions regarding ASSIST, eRA Commons, 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)
Telephone: 301-945-7573

Grants.gov Customer Support(Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and Workspace)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726
Email:support@grants.gov

SBA Company Registry (Questions regarding required registration at the SBA Company Registry and for technical questions or issues)
Website to Email: http://sbir.gov/feedback?type=reg

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Zeynep Erim, Ph.D.
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Telephone: (301) 451-4797
Email: erimz@mail.nih.gov

Ralph Nitkin, PhD
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-402-4206
Email: rn21e@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Manana Sukhareva, Ph.D
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Telephone: (301) 451-3397
Email: sukharem@mail.nih.gov

Sherry Dupere, Ph.D.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-496-3415
Email: duperes@mail.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Monique Binger, Ph.D.
National Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Telephone: 301-451-4787
Email: Monique.binger@nih.gov

Bryan Clark, M.B.A.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-435-6975
Email: clarkb1@mail.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

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

Authority and Regulations

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


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