Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

National Eye Institute (NEI)

National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)

National Institute on Aging (NIA)

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)

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

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)

National Cancer Institute ( NCI)

Funding Opportunity Title
Support for Research Excellence (SuRE) Award (R16 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Activity Code

R16 - Research Excellence Award

Announcement Type
New
Related Notices

April 16, 2021 Notice of NCI's Participation in PAR-21-169. See Notice NOT-CA-21-056.

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number
PAR-21-169
Companion Funding Opportunity

PAR-21-227, U24 Resource-Related Research Projects – Cooperative Agreements

PAR-21-173 , R16 Research Excellence Award


Assistance Listing Number(s)
93.859, 93.113, 93.853, 93.121, 93.865, 93.867, 93.866, 93.855, 93.286, 93.847, 93.173, 93.279, 93.273, 93.361, 93.172
Funding Opportunity Purpose

SuRE is a research capacity building program designed to develop and sustain research excellence in U.S. higher education institutions that receive limited NIH research support and serve students from groups underrepresented in biomedical research NOT-OD-20-031 with an emphasis on providing students with research opportunities and enriching the research environment at the applicant institutions.

The purpose of SuRE awards is to provide research grant support for faculty investigators who have prior experience in leading externally-funded, independent research but are not currently funded by any NIH Research Project Grants with the exception of SuRE or SuRE-First awards.

Key Dates

Posted Date
March 18, 2021
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
April 26, 2021
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

Not applicable

The following table includes NIH standard due dates marked with an asterisk.
Application Due Dates Review and Award Cycles
New Renewal / Resubmission / Revision (as allowed) AIDS Scientific Merit Review Advisory Council Review Earliest Start Date
May 26, 2021 May 26, 2021 September 07, 2021 * November 2021 January 2022 April 2022
May 26, 2022 May 26, 2022 September 07, 2022 * November 2022 January 2023 April 2023
May 26, 2023 May 26, 2023 September 07, 2023 * November 2023 January 2024 April 2024

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.

Expiration Date
September 08, 2023
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 National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognizes that scientists and students from diverse backgrounds and life experiences bring different perspectives, creativity, and individual enterprise to address complex scientific problems. Benefits of a diverse scientific workforce include fostering scientific innovation, enhancing global competitiveness, contributing to robust learning environments, improving the quality of the research, advancing the likelihood that underserved populations participate in, and benefit from health research, and enhancing public trust. Yet many institutions that enroll significant numbers of students from groups underrepresented in science are under-resourced and their faculty receive fewer NIH research grants (Hoppe 2019). There is a pressing need to enhance biomedical research capacity and opportunities for student research at these institutions. The Support of Research Excellence (SuRE) program aims to develop and sustain research excellence at such institutions through supporting investigator-initiated research with strong student participation and providing resources to establish and enhance Offices of Sponsored Programs.

Program Objectives

The SuRE program supports research capacity building at institutions that enroll significant numbers of students from backgrounds nationally underrepresented in biomedical research (see NOT-OD-20-031), award baccalaureate and/or graduate degrees in biomedical sciences, and receive limited NIH Research Project Grant funding. It seeks to develop and sustain research excellence of faculty investigators and provide students with research opportunities while catalyzing institutional research and enriching the research environment. The SuRE program will support investigator-initiated research in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences (collectively termed "biomedical" sciences) that falls in the mission areas of NIH Institutes, Centers and Offices.  Research activities funded by the SuRE program require participation by students. Two distinct funding opportunity announcements will be utilized to support research projects led by faculty investigators at different career stages. A third SuRE funding opportunity announcement will support a national resource center to provide infrastructure development to SuRE-eligible institutions and application services to faculty investigators.

This funding opportunity announcement is for the SuRE Award that supports faculty investigators with prior experience in leading independent research who are not currently funded by an NIH Research Project Grant with the exception of SuRE or SuRE-First awards. SuRE-supported projects must have student participation in the execution, analysis, and reporting of the research. An applicant institution must demonstrate a commitment to build its research capacity and support the Principal Investigator for the award.

 Program Considerations

SuRE investigator-initiated research projects must fall within the scope of the NIH mission or they will be withdrawn prior to review. More complete information about the mission of each NIH Institute/Center (IC) can be found at http://www.nih.gov/icd. Applicants are encouraged to contact the NIH IC scientific representative listed in Section VII. Agency Contacts that best aligns with their proposed research. For ICs not listed, contact the NIGMS representative.

NIA will accept applications for research projects in areas within the Institute's mission that includes genetic, biological, behavior, social, and economic research on aging. In addition, NIA encourages applications on Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and AD Related Dementias (ADRD). The NIA website (https://www.nia.nih.gov/) provides additional information about the Institute mission and areas of research interest. For additional scientific program information and for pre-application guidance, a potential applicant is encouraged to contact the NIA Program Director whose portfolio covers the scientific topic of interest.

NIAID conducts and supports basic and applied research to better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases, with the goal of developing new therapies, vaccines, diagnostic tests, and other technologies. Research areas include microbiology and infectious diseases, AIDS and AIDS-related research, immunology, allergy, transplantation, and biodefense https://www.niaid.nih.gov/research/role

NIDCD is interested in supporting applications that propose research projects in the normal and disordered processes of hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech, and language. Applicants are strongly encouraged to learn more about NIDCD research areas at https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/research/extramural.

NIAAA supports basic, translational, and clinical research on the causes, consequences, prevention, diagnosis, progression, and treatment of alcohol-related problems across the lifespan. NIAAA encourages meritorious alcohol research projects in the broad areas of neuroscience and behavior, organ damage and other health effects, epidemiology and prevention, and treatment and recovery. NIAAA also encourages meritorious research projects on alcohol-related topics of relevance to understanding and addressing minority health and health disparities and that focus on the training of a diverse research workforce. More information about NIAAA’s mission and research priorities is available in the NIAAA Strategic Plan at https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/strategic-plan. For specific programmatic questions, please contact NIAAA point of contact as listed in this FOA

NINDS will support applications that address or seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system by supporting and conducting research on the healthy and diseased brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. NINDS also encourages activities focused on understanding and addressing disparities in neurologic health, healthcare, and health outcomes in disparate populations, including racial and ethnic minorities, the geographically disadvantaged, sex and gender minorities, and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent inequality and socioeconomic disadvantage. NINDS supports basic, translational, and clinical research: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Current-Research/Research-Funded-NINDS.

NICHD supports research and training in areas relevant to NICHD’s mission, including normal and abnormal human development; male and female fertility and infertility; developing and evaluating contraceptive methods; pregnancy and childbirth; prenatal and postnatal development; childhood development and behavior through adolescence; improving the safety and efficacy of pharmaceuticals for use in pregnant women, infants, and children; HIV infection and transmission, AIDS, and associated infections in infants, children and adolescents and among pregnant and lactating women; pediatric growth and endocrine research; developmental biology and typical and atypical development; intellectual and developmental disabilities; reproductive biology and medicine; gynecologic health conditions, including pelvic floor disorders; childhood injury and critical illness; population dynamics; and medical rehabilitation. More detailed information and Program Staff contacts may be found at  https://www.nichd.nih.gov/about/org/der/branches

The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) supports research that builds the scientific foundation for nursing practice and policy across clinical and community settings, and advances the prevention, detection, and management of disease and disability. Drawing on nursing’s holistic perspective, NINR funds basic, clinical, population, and translational research that integrates factors at multiple levels to identify their role in health, health improvement and health inequities. NINR promotes research that improves the health of individuals, families, and populations in a variety of settings, translating science in order to maximize the impact of findings on practice and policy.

The National Eye Institute (www.nei.nih.gov) supports basic science and clinical research into diseases and disorders of the visual system and the special needs of patients with blindness or low vision. For the purposes of this initiative, we are particularly interested in research of improved methods for delivering vision care and rehabilitation in underserved populations including those in urban and rural settings. Research topics may include but are not limited to telemedicine, screening and automated diagnosis, medication compliance, quality of life, and rehabilitation strategies for those with vision loss.

For general programmatic questions, inquiries should be directed to the NIGMS representative.

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
New
Renewal
Resubmission

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 trials.

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 numbers of meritorious applications received.

Award Budget

Applications may request up to $100,000 direct costs/year.

Award Project Period

The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period. The maximum period of support is 4 years.

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)

This funding opportunity announcement is open to all institutions of higher education that:

1) award undergraduate (B.S. or B.A.) and/or graduate degrees in biomedical sciences; and

2) at the time of the application, have received no more than $6 million dollars per year (total costs) from NIH Research Project Grants (RPGs) in each of the preceding two fiscal years, calculated using NIH RePORTER; and

3) enroll at least 25% of undergraduate students supported by Pell grants based on the most recent two years of data available from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) database maintained by the National Center for Education Statistics,  or are an accredited medical/health professional school with a historical mission statement that explicitly states that it was founded to educate students from nationally underrepresented backgrounds.

An institution with a combined total of 20 or more active SuRE, SCORE SC1, and SCORE SC3 awards is not eligible to apply.

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 underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

Since the SuRE Award is structured to best support a single PD/PI, multiple PD(s)/PI(s) are not allowed. PD(s)/PI(s) with similar or complementary research interests may apply separately.

A PD/PI must have a full-time tenure-track (or equivalent) faculty appointment at the applicant institution and be eligible to apply for NIH research project grants. Postdoctoral fellows, part-time or adjunct faculty, emeritus/retired investigators/professors, and individuals on appointments contingent on securing his/her salary from grants are not eligible to apply.

The PD/PI of an active SCORE, SuRE or SuRE-First grant may apply in the last year of funding. The PD/PI of other active NIH Research Project Grants (RPG), most commonly R01s, R35s, U01s, P01s, R21s, R00s, and R15s, is not eligible to apply for a SuRE Award. A complete list of NIH RPG grants can be found in the NIH Glossary. Grants in no-cost extension are considered active grants. NIH research project grants that name the SuRE PD/PI as a co-investigator, collaborator, consultant, or to a position other than PD/PI do not disqualify an applicant from applying for SuRE support. Concurrent or duplicate applications to the SuRE and SuRE-First Awards are not allowed. 

The SuRE Award is renewable. A PD/PI may hold only one SuRE, SuRE-First, or SCORE Award at any time. The SuRE Award cannot be transferred from one institution to another. Transfer of the award to another PD/PI in the same institution is allowable only under extremely unusual circumstances and requires prior NIH approval. .

2. Cost Sharing

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

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

Number of Applications

Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.

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)

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 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.
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

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

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

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

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

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

Other Attachments: The application must include three attachments titled A) "Institutional Letter – Strategic Plan for Building Research Capacity and Research Excellence”, B) Institutional Letter – Support for the PD/PI’s Research Career Development", and C) “Current and Pending Support.” Applications missing any of these attachments will be considered incomplete and will be withdrawn without review.

A) Institutional Letter – Strategic Plan for Building Research Capacity and Research Excellence:

A letter from the Provost, the President, the Vice-President for Research or equivalent senior institutional official that describes the institution’s strategic plan for the development of research capacity and research excellence is required. The letter should address the institution’s vision and commitment to develop and sustain an environment that enables and rewards research and how this research will support the educational mission of the institution.

B) Institutional Letter - Support for the PD/PI’s Research Career Development:

A letter from the Department Chair or Dean confirming that the time and effort requested by the PD/PI for the proposed project will be provided. Additional institutional support to the PD/PI, including mentoring, may also be described.

C) Current and Pending Support:

The application must include the following information about the applicant’s current and pending research grants, and current and pending non-research grant support including: fellowship, career development, and institutional support, and research grants and contracts for which the applicant made significant contributions but was not the PD/PI.

  • Source of Funding and Title of the Project (or Subproject)
  • Role on the Project
  • Dates of Approved/Proposed Project
  • Annual Direct Costs
  • Project Goal

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

It is expected that the research will be directed by the PD/PI and the majority of experiments will be conducted at the applicant institution. Limited use of special facilities or equipment at another institution is permitted but should be well-justified. For any proposed research facilities or equipment at a site(s) other than the applicant institution, provide a description of the resource(s) and describe the PD/PI’s access to these resources.

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

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

Biographical Sketch: The Personal Statement of the PD/PI’s biosketch should include a summary of prior and current experience supervising students in research. Publications should indicate with an asterisk the names of any student authors who were directly supervised by the PD/PI.

R&R Budget

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

R&R Subaward Budget

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

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

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

PHS 398 Research Plan

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

 Research Strategy: The Research Strategy must include a separate section entitled "Student Involvement Plan" that describes how students will be involved and supervised in conducting hands-on, rigorous research, including their participation in the execution, analysis, and reporting of the research. This section should also include a plan to recruit students from diverse backgrounds, including those under-represented in biomedical research (see NOT-OD-20-031), to participate in the proposed research. Formal training plans (e.g., non-research activities, didactic training, seminars) should not be provided.

Progress Report for Renewal Applications: For renewals, include a report of student participation in the previous SuRE project, their time spent in the lab, degree(s) obtained, and last known occupations and employing organizations.

 Progress Report Publication List: Indicate the names of student co-authors on each relevant publication.

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

Appendix:
Only limited Appendix materials are allowed. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

When involving human subjects research and/or clinical research, 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. See Section III of this FOA for information on registration requirements.

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. 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 and/or non-compliant will not be reviewed.

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described 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 SuRE Award provides support for meritorious research to faculty investigators who have prior experience in leading externally-funded, independent research and who are at institutions with limited NIH Research Project Grant funding that educate significant numbers of students from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical sciences. Additional objectives are to provide students opportunities to participate in high-quality biomedical research and to strengthen the research capacity of these institutions.

Overall Impact

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, 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. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

Significance

Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? Is the prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project rigorous? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?

Will successful completion of the proposed research objectives allow the PD/PI to achieve and/or maintain strong  research productivity and achieve research excellence? Will this project provide students with high-quality research experience in the execution, analysis, and reporting of the study? Does the applicant institution present a credible plan to build its research capacity and support the PD/PI?

Investigator(s)

Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? If Early Stage Investigators or those in the early stages of independent careers, do they have appropriate experience and training? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? If the project is collaborative , do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?

Does the description of the proposed work indicate that the majority of the research will be directed by the PD/PI and conducted at the grantee institution? Do the proposed project and PD/PI's prior research experience render confidence that the PD/PI will achieve and/or maintain strong research productivity, particularly the number of peer-reviewed publications? Does the applicant have appropriate experience in supervising and engaging students in research? 

Innovation

Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Have the investigators included plans to address weaknesses in the rigor of prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project? Have the investigators presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed? Have the investigators presented adequate plans to address relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies in vertebrate animals or human subjects?

If the project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) 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), justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?

Environment

Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements?

Does the PD/PI have sufficient time and institutional support to conduct the proposed research? Is the applicant institution making a credible effort to build its research capacity and culture?

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.

Protections for Human Subjects

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.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Individuals Across the Lifespan

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.

Vertebrate Animals

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

Biohazards

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

Resubmissions

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

Renewals

For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the last funding period.

Revisions

Not Applicable

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.

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable.

Select Agent Research

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

Resource Sharing Plans

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

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources:

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

Budget and Period of Support

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

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s) convened by NIGMS, 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 will receive a written critique.

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.

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
  • Geographic, institutional, and scientific portfolio balance

Upon receipt, applications that fall in the mission areas of all NIH ICs except NIAID will be assigned to NIGMS. All applications in the mission of NIAID, including AIDS and AIDS-related applications, will be assigned to NIAID.

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 recipient'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.

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

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, Recipients, 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.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

Not Applicable

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

PD/PI is required to report information on students participating in the project in section D. Participants of the RPPR, to report publications co-authored by students and students’ educational and career outcomes (e.g., degree completion, subsequent employment or degrees sought).

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

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

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

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

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Irina N. Krasnova, Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Email: irina.krasnova@nih.gov

Ivana Grakalic, Ph.D.
National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Phone: (301) 443-7600
Email: igrakalic@mail.nih.gov

Mariela Shirley, Ph.D.
National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Phone: (301) 402-9389
Email: shirleym@mail.nih.gov

Lawrence Agodoa, M.D., FACP
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Phone: (301) 594-9650
Email: AgodoaL@extra.niddk.nih.gov 

Albert Avila Ph.D.
National Institute On Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Phone: (301) 496-8804
Email: aavila@nida.nih.gov

Joan Marie Greve, Ph.D.
National Institute Of Biomedical Imaging And Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Phone: (301) 451-6649
Email: joan.greve@nih.gov

Rene Etcheberrigaray, M.D.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Phone: (301) 451-9798
Email: rene.etcheberrigaray@nih.gov

Lauren Ullrich, Ph.D.
National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Phone: (301) 451-7964
E-mail: lauren.ullrich@nih.gov

Amanda Alise Price, Ph.D.
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Telephone: 301-827-8391
Email: amanda.price2@nih.gov

Toccara Chamberlain
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Phone: 984-287-4482
E-mail: toccara.chamberlain@nih.gov 

Marion Koso-Thomas, MD, MPH
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute Of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Phone: (301) 435-6873
Email: kosomari@mail.nih.gov

Luis Angel Cubano, Ph.D.
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
Phone: (301) 480-3435
Email: luis.cubano@nih.gov

Diane S. Adger-Johnson, MPH
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Phone: (240) 669-2924
Email: DAdger@niaid.nih.gov

Cheri Wiggs, Ph.D.
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Phone: (301) 451-2020
Email: cheri.wiggs@nih.gov

Lynn M King, PhD
National Institute Of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Phone: 301-594-5006
E-mail: lynn.king@nih.gov

Alberto L. Rivera-Rentas, Ph.D.
National Institute On Deafness And Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Phone: (301) 496-1804
Email: alberto.rivera-rentas@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Stephanie Constant, Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Email: stephanie.constant@nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Arina Kramer
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Email: Arina.Kramer@nih.gov

Judy Fox
National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Phone: (301) 443-4704
Email: judy.fox@nih.gov 

Helen Hunter Cox, MHS
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Phone: (301) 496-7274
Email: Helen.Cox@nih.gov

Pamela G Fleming
National Institute On Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Phone: (301) 480-1159
Email: pfleming@nida.nih.gov

James E Huff
National Institute Of Biomedical Imaging And Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Phone: (301) 451-4786
Email: james.huff@nih.gov

E.C. Melvin 
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Phone: (301) 480-8991
Email: e.melvin@nih.gov

Chief Grants Management Officer
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Email: ChiefGrantsManagementOfficer@ninds.nih.gov

Ronald Wertz
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Telephone: 301-594-2807
Email: wertzr@mail.nih.gov 

Jenny L Greer
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Phone: 984-287-3332
E-mail: jenny.greer@nih.gov 

Margaret Young
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Phone: (301) 642-4552
Email: Margaret.young@nih.gov

Monika Christman
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
Phone: (301) 435-7860
Email: christmm@mail.nih.gov

Ann W. Devine
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Phone: (240) 669-2988
Email: ADEVINE@niaid.nih.gov 

Karen Robinsonsmith
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Phone: (301) 451-2020
Email: karen.robinson.smith@nei.nih.gov

Diana Rutberg, MBA
National Institute Of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Phone: (301) 594-4798
E-mail: rutbergd@mail.nih.gov

Christopher Myers
National Institute On Deafness And Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Phone: (301) 435-0713
Email: myersc@nidcd.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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