Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute on Aging (NIA)

Funding Opportunity Title
Aging Research Dissertation Awards to Promote Diversity (R36 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Activity Code

R36 Dissertation Award

Announcement Type
Reissue of PAR-23-174
Related Notices

    See Notices of Special Interest associated with this funding opportunity

  • November 15, 2023 - Notice of Early Expiration of PAR-23-174 "Aging Research Dissertation Awards to Promote Diversity (R36 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)". See Notice NOT-AG-23-064
  • August 31, 2022- Implementation Changes for Genomic Data Sharing Plans Included with Applications Due on or after January 25, 2023. See Notice NOT-OD-22-198.
  • August 5, 2022- Implementation Details for the NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy. See Notice NOT-OD-22-189.
Funding Opportunity Number (FON)
PAR-24-052
Companion Funding Opportunity
None
Assistance Listing Number(s)
93.866
Funding Opportunity Purpose

This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) aims to promote diversity in the scientific research workforce engaged in research on aging and aging-related health conditions by providing R36 dissertation awards in all areas of research within the National Institute on Aging's (NIA) strategic priorities.

Key Dates

Posted Date
November 15, 2023
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
January 16, 2024
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 - New/Renewal/Resubmission/Revision, as allowed Scientific Merit Review Advisory Council Review Earliest Start Date
February 16, 2024 * March 16, 2024 * Not Applicable July 2024 October 2024 December 2024
June 16, 2024 * July 16, 2024 * Not Applicable November 2024 January 2025 April 2025
October 16, 2024 * November 16, 2024 * Not Applicable March 2025 May 2025 July 2025
February 16, 2025 * March 16, 2025 * Not Applicable July 2025 October 2025 December 2025
June 16, 2025 * July 16, 2025 * Not Applicable November 2025 January 2026 April 2026
October 16, 2025 * November 16, 2025 * Not Applicable March 2026 May 2026 July 2026
February 16, 2026 * March 16, 2026 * Not Applicable July 2026 October 2026 December 2026
June 16, 2026 * July 16, 2026 * Not Applicable November 2026 January 2027 April 2027
October 16, 2026 * November 16, 2026 * Not Applicable March 2027 May 2027 July 2027

All applications are due by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

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
January 08, 2027
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 How to Apply - Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this NOFO or in a Notice from NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts).

Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the NOFO) 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. Notice of Funding Opportunity Description

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) invites R36 applications to support senior graduate students with Aging Research Dissertation Awards to Promote Diversity. These awards provide funding to support graduate students from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, in finishing their dissertations. Specifically, the award supports dissertation research costs of students enrolled in accredited research doctoral programs in the United States (including Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories or possessions).

Background

The National Institutes of Health's (NIH) ability to 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 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. To promote the health of an aging and increasingly diverse U.S. population, it is important to diversify the pool of doctoral-level candidates engaged in research and practice on aging and aging-related health conditions to promote such diversity later in the pipeline. In spite of tremendous advancements in scientific research, informational, educational, and research opportunities are not equally available to all. Reports from NIH and the National Science Foundation provide strong evidence that low representation of certain groups in biomedical research remains an important problem. NIH encourages institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations to enhance the participation of individuals from groups identified as underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences, such as those groups outlined in the Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity (NOT-OD-20-031).

Purpose

This NOFO announces the availability of R36 dissertation awards to support individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, to promote a diverse pool of highly trained scientists in scientific disciplines related to the NIA mission. That mission includes research on the basic biology of aging; chronic, disabling, and degenerative diseases of aging, with a particular focus on Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and caregiving associated with those diseases; multiple morbidities; social, behavioral, psychological, and economic processes of aging at the individual and societal levels; longevity; and the consequences of an aging population on society. The purpose of this NOFO is in alignment with key elements of NIA's Strategic Directions for Research on Aging, including fostering the development of researchers and clinician-scientists in aging and to work to recruit, train, and retain scientists from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. This program will support individuals at a particularly critical juncture in their doctoral training a period during which institutional support often declines or terminates altogether with support not readily or sufficiently available in Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) predoctoral (F31) programs, which limits support to stipends, tuition and fees, and institutional allowance. These awards are available to support predoctoral students, including those from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral sciences, who are enrolled, and in good standing, in accredited research-doctoral programs in the United States (including Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories or possessions).

For the purpose of this announcement, institutions are encouraged to recruit potential candidates who will enhance diversity on a national basis, such as those described in NIH’s Notice of interest in Diversity (NOT-OD-20-031). In addition, it is recognized that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting; individuals from racial or ethnic groups that are underrepresented at the grantee institution also should be encouraged to participate in this program.

Special Note: Consultation with the listed NIA staff person (see: Section VII: Agency Contacts, Scientific/Research Contact) prior to submission is strongly encouraged.

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

Section II. Award Information

Funding Instrument

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

Application Types Allowed
New
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 NOFO.

Clinical Trial?

Not Allowed: Only accepting applications that do not propose clinical trials.

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NIA intends to commit $768,420 in FY 2025, 2026, and 2027 to fund approximately 10 awards each year from this NOFO. Additional awards are contingent upon annual appropriations and submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Award Budget

Award budgets are composed of salary and additional expenses.

Salary. NIH will fund up to $42,500 per year in salary.

Additional Expenses. NIH will fund up to $28,656 for additional expenses such as fringe benefits (e.g., health insurance for self and family members), travel to scientific meetings, and dissertation research costs in accordance with institutional policies. With the exception of costs associated with the dissertation (i.e., dissertation credits), no funds may be used to pay tuition or fees.

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

Award Project Period

Support is provided for up to two years.

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

    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)

    Local 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)

    Federal Governments

    • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
    • 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
    Foreign Organizations

    Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Organizations) 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. Failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission, please reference NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 2.3.9.2 Electronically Submitted Applications for additional information

    • 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.
      • NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code Foreign organizations must obtain an NCAGE code (in lieu of a CAGE code) in order to register in SAM.
      • Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) - A UEI is issued as part of the SAM.gov registration process. The same UEI must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
    • eRA Commons - Once the unique organization identifier is established, organizations can register with eRA Commons in tandem with completing their Grants.gov registrations; 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 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 their 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. See, Reminder: Notice of NIH's Encouragement of Applications Supporting Individuals from Underrepresented Ethnic and Racial Groups as well as Individuals with Disabilities, NOT-OD-22-019.

    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.

    Multiple PDs/PIs are not permitted.

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

    The individual must have a baccalaureate degree and be enrolled in a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree program (e.g., Dr.PH., D.NSC., Sc.D.), a formally combined M.D./Ph.D. program, or other combined professional/clinical and research doctoral program in biomedical, behavioral, clinical, or social research.

    Funding decisions will be made consistent with applicable law.

    2. Cost Sharing

    This NOFO does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 1.2 Definition of Terms.

    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, per NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 2.3.7.4 Submission of Resubmission Application. 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 NIH Grants Policy Statement 2.3.9.4 Similar, Essentially Identical, or Identical Applications).

    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 NOFO. 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 How to Apply - Application Guide except where instructed in this notice of funding opportunity to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

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

      Page Limitations

      All page limitations described in the How to Apply Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.

      Instructions for Application Submission

      The following section supplements the instructions found in the How to Apply Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this NOFO.

      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.

      SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

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

      A Mentor must be identified for this application by specifying a Project Role of Other and an Other Project Role category of Mentor .

      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 candidate must explain how the proposed research will enable completion of the dissertation and facilitate transition to their next career phase. The candidate must discuss the research progress to date that forms the foundation for the proposed next steps.

        Biosketches: The candidate and other key personnel should submit biosketches using the Non-Fellowship format. In other words, Biosketch Section D., Scholastic Performance, should not be included. The candidate should discuss their doctoral research progress to date, their career plans, and their commitment to a career in aging-health research.

        Letters of Support: The faculty advisor and at least one other member of the dissertation committee must submit letters of support, each no longer than two pages, that assess (a) the doctoral candidate’s progress to date; and (b) the candidate’s commitment to aging-health-related research and prospect for a career in this area. All letters of support must be combined into a single PDF file and attached as letters of support to the main application package. Applicants should NOT use the NIH Reference Letter submission system.

        Letter of Certification: The graduate program advisor, dissertation committee chair, or university official directly responsible for supervising the dissertation research must submit a letter certifying that the PD/PI meets the eligibility criteria for this award noted in Section III. The letter should also include evidence that the individual is in good standing as a student in a doctoral research program. The letter of certification must be on institutional letterhead and scanned so that the signature of the signing institutional official is visible. Entitle the Certification letter "Eligibility_Ltr" and submit it as a separate attachment.

        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.

        Other Plan(s): Note: Effective for due dates on or after January 25, 2023, the Data Management and Sharing Plan will be attached in the Other Plan(s) attachment in FORMS-H application forms packages.

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

        • A Data Management and Sharing Plan is not applicable for this NOFO.

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

        • No publications or other material, with the exception of blank questionnaires or blank surveys, may be included in the Appendix.

          PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

          When involving human subjects research, clinical research, and/or NIH-defined clinical trials (and when applicable, clinical trials research experience) follow all instructions for the PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following additional instructions:

          If you answered Yes to the question Are Human Subjects Involved? on the R&R Other Project Information form, you must include at least one human subjects study record using the Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form or Delayed Onset Study record.

          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 Grants Policy Statement Section 2.3.9.2 Electronically Submitted Applications.

          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 How to Apply 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 Section 7.9.1 Selected Items of Cost.

          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 form. 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 NOFO for information on registration requirements.

          The applicant organization must ensure that the unique entity identifier provided on the application is the same identifier 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, NIH. Applications that are incomplete or non-compliant will not be reviewed.

          In order to expedite review, applicants are requested to notify the NIA Referral Office by email at ramesh.vemuri@nih.gov when the application has been submitted. Please include the NOFO number and title, PD/PI name, and title of the application.

          Post Submission Materials

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

          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.

          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.


          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?


          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 or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance, and organizational structure appropriate for the project?

          Specific to this NOFO:

          How acceptable is the PI's progress to date towards completion of the dissertation? How strong are the PI's commitment to and prospects for a career in aging-health research?


          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?


          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?

          Specific to this NOFO:

          How sufficient is the proposed research for the PI to complete the dissertation?


          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?

          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 will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following three points: (1) a complete description of all proposed procedures including the species, strains, ages, sex, and total numbers of animals to be used; (2) justifications that the species is appropriate for the proposed research and why the research goals cannot be accomplished using an alternative non-animal model; and (3) interventions including analgesia, anesthesia, sedation, palliative care, and humane endpoints that will be used to limit any unavoidable discomfort, distress, pain and injury in the conduct of scientifically valuable research. Methods of euthanasia and justification for selected methods, if NOT consistent with the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals, is also required but is found in a separate section of the application. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals Section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animals 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


          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.


          Reviewers will assess whether the project presents special opportunities for furthering research programs through the use of unusual talent, resources, populations, or environmental conditions that exist in other countries and either are not readily available in the United States or augment existing U.S. resources.

          Not applicable.


          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).


          Reviewers will comment on whether the Resource Sharing Plan(s) (e.g., Sharing Model Organisms) or the rationale for not sharing the resources, is reasonable.


          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.


          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 NIA, 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. 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 2.4.4 Disposition of Applications.

          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.

          Recipients 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 NOFO 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 recipient 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: Generaland Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Recipients, and Activities, including of note, but not limited to:

          If a recipient is successful and receives a Notice of Award, in accepting the award, the recipient agrees that any activities under the award are subject to all provisions currently in effect or implemented during the period of the award, other Department regulations and policies in effect at the time of the award, and applicable statutory provisions.

          If a recipient receives an award, the recipient must follow all applicable nondiscrimination laws. The recipient agrees to this when registering in SAM.gov. The recipient must also submit an Assurance of Compliance (HHS-690). To learn more, see the HHS Office for Civil Rights website.

          HHS recognizes that NIH 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 NOFO.

          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 2 CFR Part 200.206 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. Data Management and Sharing

          Consistent with the 2023 NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing, when data management and sharing is applicable to the award, recipients will be required to adhere to the Data Management and Sharing requirements as outlined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Upon the approval of a Data Management and Sharing Plan, it is required for recipients to implement the plan as described.

          4. Reporting

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

          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. NIH NOFOs outline intended research goals and objectives. Post award, NIH will review and measure performance based on the details and outcomes that are shared within the RPPR, as described at 2 CFR Part 200.301.

          The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 as amended (FFATA), includes a requirement for recipients of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later. All recipients 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 the threshold. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement.

          In accordance with the regulatory requirements provided at 2 CFR Part 200.113 and Appendix XII to 2 CFR Part 200, 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 2 CFR Part 200 Award Term and Condition 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: https://www.era.nih.gov/need-help (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: 301-637-3015

          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)

          Jamie Lahvic, Ph.D.
          National Institute on Aging (NIA)
          Email: NIATraining@mail.nih.gov

          Peer Review Contact(s)

          Ramesh Vemuri, Ph.D.
          National Institute on Aging (NIA)
          Telephone: 301-402-7700
          Email: ramesh.vemuri@nih.gov

          Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

          Jessica Perez
          National Institute on Aging (NIA)
          Telephone: 301-402-7739
          Email: jessi.perez@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 2 CFR Part 200.

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