Full Text PAR-97-016
NIH GUIDE, Volume 25, Number 43, December 13, 1996
PA NUMBER:  PAR-97-016
P.T. 22

  Biomedical Research Training 

National Institute of Nursing Research
The Congress of the United States enacted the National Research
Service Act (NRSA) Program in 1974 to help ensure that highly trained
scientists would be available in adequate numbers and in appropriate
research areas to carry out the Nation's biomedical and behavioral
research agenda.  Under this congressional authority, the National
Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) awards NRSA Individual
Predoctoral Fellowships (F31) to the most promising applicants. Up to
five years of aggregate NRSA support may be provided.  The proposed
NRSA training must be within the scope of biomedical or behavioral
research relevant to the NINR mission and must offer an opportunity
for research training.  Individuals are required to pursue their
research training on a full-time basis, devoting at least 40 hours
per week to the training program.  Research clinicians must devote
full-time to their proposed research training and must restrict
clinical duties within their full-time research training experience
to those that are part of the research training experience.
NIH recognizes the critical importance of training clinicians to
become researchers and encourages them to apply.  Women, minorities,
and individuals with disabilities are also encouraged to apply.  An
NRSA Award may not be used to support studies leading to the M.D.,
D.O., D.D.S., D.V.M., or other similar health-professional degrees.
Neither may this award be used to support the clinical years of
residency training.
Citizenship.  By the earliest possible start date of the individual
predoctoral fellowship award, individuals must be citizens or
noncitizen nationals of the United States, or have been lawfully
admitted to the United States for permanent residence (i.e., possess
a currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card I-551, or other
legal verification of such status). Noncitizen nationals are persons
born in outlying possessions of the United States (i.e., American
Samoa and Swains Island). Individuals on temporary or student visas
are not eligible.
Degree Requirements.  Applicants must be registered nurses (R.N.)
enrolled in doctoral programs or have been accepted by and agreed to
enroll in such a graduate program in the academic year in which funds
are awarded.
Sponsorship.  As part of the fellowship application process,
certification by an authorized official of the degree-granting
institution that the R.N. applicant is enrolled in the sponsoring
institution's doctoral program is required. The applicant must
identify an individual who will serve as a sponsor and will supervise
the training and research experience.  The sponsoring institution may
be private (profit or nonprofit) or public.
The applicant's sponsor should be an active investigator in the area
of the proposed research who will directly supervise the candidate's
research.  The sponsor must document, in the application, the
availability of staff, research support, and facilities for
high-quality research training.
This individual predoctoral fellowship (F31) program announcement is
issued under the auspices of the NRSA Act(see Authority and
Regulations). Awards will be administered under the Public Health
Service (PHS) Grants Policy Statement and the NRSA Guidelines for
Individual Awards. An applicant must work with her/his research
advisor or graduate program director in preparing the application.
Period of Support
Individuals may receive up to five years of aggregate NRSA support at
the predoctoral level, including any combination of support from
institutional training grants and individual fellowship awards.
Exceptions to the five-year limit require a waiver from NINR.
Individuals interested in a waiver should consult with NINR staff.
Award Provisions
The fellowship award provides an annual stipend of $11,496 as a
subsistence allowance to help defray living expenses during the
research training program, a tuition and fee allowance in accordance
with NIH policy, and an annual institutional allowance of $2,000.
The award is not provided as a condition of employment with either
the Federal Government or the sponsoring institution.
For fellows sponsored by domestic non-Federal institutions, the
stipend will be paid through the sponsoring institution.
Stipend Supplementation. Supplementation or additional support to
offset the cost of living may be provided by the awardee institution,
but must not require any additional obligation from the fellow.
Federal funds may not be used for supplementation unless specifically
authorized under the terms of both the program from which such
supplemental funds are to be received and the program whose funds are
to be supplemented.  Under no circumstances may PHS funds be used for
Compensation.  An institution may provide additional funds to a
fellow in the form of compensation (such as salary and/or tuition
remission) for services, such as teaching or laboratory
assistantships.  A fellow may receive compensation for services as a
research assistant or in some other position on a Federal research
grant, including a PHS research grant.  However, compensated services
must occur on a limited, part-time basis apart from the normal
research training activities, which require a minimum of 40 hours per
week.  In addition, compensation may not be paid from a research
grant supporting research that is part of the research training
Under no circumstances may the services provided for compensation
interfere with, detract from, or prolong the fellow's approved NRSA
training program.  Additionally, compensation must be in accordance
with institutional policies applied consistently to both Federally
and non-Federally supported activities and supported by acceptable
accounting records determined by the employer-employee relationship
Educational Loans or G.I. Bill.  An individual may make use of
Federal educational loan funds and assistance under the Veterans
Readjustment Benefits Act (G.I. Bill).  Such funds are not considered
supplementation or compensation.
Concurrent Awards.   An NRSA fellowship may not be held concurrently
with another Federally sponsored fellowship or similar award that
provides a stipend or otherwise duplicates provisions of the NRSA.
Fellows may continue to receive stipends during periods of vacation
and holidays available to individuals in comparable training
positions at the sponsoring institution. Also, fellows may continue
to receive stipends for up to 15 calendar days of sick leave per
year.  Sick leave may be used for the medical conditions related to
pregnancy and childbirth pursuant to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act
(42 USC 2000 e(k)).  Fellows may continue to receive stipends for up
to 30 calendar days of parental leave per year for the adoption or
the birth of a child when those in comparable training positions at
the grantee or sponsoring institution have access to paid leave for
this purpose and the use of parental leave is approved by the
sponsor. A period of terminal leave is not permitted and payment may
not be made from grant funds for leave not taken. Individuals
requiring extended periods of time away from their research training
experience must seek approval from NINR for an unpaid leave of
Tax Liability
The Internal Revenue Code, Section 117, applies to the tax treatment
of all scholarships and fellowships. Degree candidates may exclude
from gross income reported for tax purposes any amount used for
tuition and related expenses, such as fees, books, supplies, and
equipment required for courses of instruction at a qualified
educational organization.
The taxability of stipends, however, in no way alters the
relationship between NRSA fellows and institutions.  NRSA stipends
are not considered salaries.  NRSA fellows are not considered to be
in an employee-employer relationship with NIH or with the institution
in which they are pursuing research training.
The interpretation and implementation of the tax laws are the domain
of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the courts.  NIH takes no
position on the status of a particular taxpayer, and it does not have
the authority to dispense tax advice.  Individuals should consult
their local IRS office about the applicability of the law to their
situations and for information on the proper steps to be taken
regarding their tax obligations.
The business office of the sponsoring institution is responsible for
the annual preparation and issuance of the IRS form 1099 (Statement
of Miscellaneous Income) for fellows paid through the institution
(fellows at domestic non-Federal institutions).
Other Training Costs
NINR will provide an institutional allowance of $2,000 per 12-month
period to non-Federal, nonprofit sponsoring institutions to help
defray such awardee expenses as research supplies, equipment, and
travel to scientific meetings.  This allowance is intended to cover
training-related expenses for the individual awardee.  The allowance
is not available until the fellow officially activates the award.  If
an individual fellow is not enrolled or engaged in training for more
than 6 months of the award year, only one-half of that year's
allowance may be charged to the grant.  The Notice of Research
Fellowship Award will be revised and the balance must be refunded to
Tuition and Fees.  The NINR will offset the combined cost of tuition,
fees, and self-only health insurance at the following rate: 100
percent of all costs up to $2,000 and 60 percent of costs above
$2,000.  Costs associated with tuition and fees are allowable for
course work required under the research training program supported by
the fellowship.  Family medical insurance is not allowable under an
NRSA fellowship.  A description of this policy change appeared in the
NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Volume 25, No. 2, February 2,
Funds are not provided to cover the cost of travel between the
fellow's place of residence and a domestic training institution.
However, in cases of extreme need or hardship, a one-way travel
allowance may be authorized by NINR.  Such travel must be paid from
the institutional allowance. Indirect costs are not allowed on
individual fellowship awards.
Individuals must submit the application form, PHS Individual National
Research Service Award (PHS 416-1, rev. 8/95).  The applicant must
follow ALL general instructions in the application kit AND the
specific instructions included in the Appendix to this program
announcement, which is available from the program contact listed
under INQUIRIES.  Application kits are available at most
institutional offices of sponsored research.  Application forms and
the brochure "Helpful Hints on Preparing a Fellowship Application to
the National Institutes of Health" are available from the Office of
Extramural Outreach and Information Resources, National Institutes of
Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910,
telephone (301) 710-0267, Email: asknih@odrockm1.od.nih.gov.
Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with one of
the NINR program staff listed under INQUIRIES prior to submitting an
If the applicant has been lawfully admitted to the United States for
permanent residence, the appropriate item should be checked on the
Face Page of the application.  A notarized statement documenting
legal admission for permanent residence must be submitted prior to
the issuance of an award.
Applicants and sponsoring institutions must comply with policies and
procedures governing the protection of human subjects, the humane
care and use of live vertebrate animals, and the inclusion of women
and minorities in study populations.
Applicants should indicate in Item 3 on the face page of the
application the initials NR to represent that the National Institute
of Nursing Research is appropriate to the research area of the
application.  Also in Item 3, cite the number of this program
announcement (PAR-97-016) to assist in the assignment process.
Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application (including
the Checklist, Personal Data Form, at least three sealed reference
letters, a clear and legible copy of the applicant's transcript(s)
from all undergraduate and graduate institutions in which the
applicant is/has been enrolled, and all other required materials) and
two exact and clear, single-sided photocopies of the signed
application.  Appendices should contain three collated sets of
materials with items stapled where appropriate and each marked with
the name of the fellow.  Include a summary sheet listing all of the
items included in the appendix.  Mail all items in one package to:
BETHESDA, MD 20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD 20817 (express/courier service)
Application Receipt Dates and Review Schedule
The Individual (F31) NRSA Fellowship application undergoes a review
process that takes between 5 and 8 months.  The three annual review
cycles are as follows:
Application Receipt Date:   Apr 5           Aug 5           Dec 5
Initial Review Date:        Jun/Jul         Oct/Nov         Feb/Mar
Secondary Review Date:      Aug/Sep         Dec/Jan         Apr/May
Anticipated Date of Award:  Sept 1/Dec1     Jan 1/Mar 1     May 1/Jul
Applications receive two sequential levels of review.  The initial
review group (IRG), composed primarily of nongovernment scientists
who have been selected for their competence in particular scientific
areas, evaluate applications for merit.  A scientific review
administrator (SRA), a designated Federal official, coordinates the
review of applications for the IRG.
After the initial review meeting, the SRA prepares the summary
statement for each application and forwards it to the Division of
Extramural Activities in NINR.  There, a second level of review is
provided by the NINR program staff members before a funding decision
is made.
Review Criteria
The review criteria include the quality of the academic record and
the prior research experience of the applicant, the quality of the
graduate program in which the applicant is already enrolled or plans
to enroll, the qualifications and the research/research training
experience of the applicant's sponsor or research advisor, the match
between the research interests of the student and the research
advisor/sponsor; and for advanced graduate students, scientific
significance, originality, and feasibility of the proposed research;
for beginning students, quality and clarity of stated research
interests. This grant mechanism is used to provide predoctoral
individuals with supervised research training in specified health and
health-related areas leading toward the research degree.
Applicants for nursing individual predoctoral fellowship applications
fall into one of three categories:   Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3
candidates.  Because fellowship applications are submitted by
applicants in various stages of all three of these categories, the
information in each application and the items that need to be
evaluated will vary.  All of the review criteria will, therefore, not
be applicable in all cases.
or is in the first quarter/semester of graduate study.  The applicant
may or may not have a postmaster's research experience.
The review criteria will be based on an evaluation of the most recent
academic performance, past experiences, references supportive of a
research career, and evidence of scholarship and analytical ability.
Courses should support the research area, in addition to the required
courses.  There should be an adequate description on a problem area
in which a proposal can be developed and several potential research
questions.  The literature review should include interpretation and
identification of the critical concepts related to the problem area.
There should also be evidence of a critical analysis and synthesis of
key studies in the problem area.  The sponsor should have expertise
in the proposed research area. If the sponsor is an academic advisor
there should be a faculty mentor with research expertise in the
applicant's research area.
be the degree of course completion at the time the application was
written.  There should be a short description sufficient to indicate
the content of courses taken or planned relating to the research
area.  There should be a clearly defined problem area and statement
of purpose.  The review of the literature should include analyses and
synthesis related to concepts important to the research topic
proposed.  The project's research design and methods and its
significance and originality should be defined.  The sponsor should
have expertise in the content and methodology in the proposed
research.  The sponsor's statement should show knowledge of the
applicant's plan as well as a description of resources available.  If
the sponsor does not have total expertise, a cosponsorship should be
included with expertise in the content and/or methodology proposed.
The specific review criteria will be the same as for Level 2
applicants except for:  1) the research project should be defined and
detailed with a well-developed research design and methods section
and 2) the inclusion of dissertation
committee members and their areas of expertise, as well as the
university's resources in the sponsor's statement.
It is important to remember that the individual predoctoral
fellowship (F31) program is a training award and not a research
award.  Major considerations in the review are the potential for a
productive scientific career, the need for the proposed training, and
the degree to which the research training proposal, the sponsor, and
the environment will satisfy these needs.  For more details, see the
section on Peer Review Process in the PHS 416-1 application
Award Criteria
NINR staff use the following criteria in making awards:  priorities
and program balance, and
Activation.  An awardee has up to 6 months from the issue date on the
award notice to activate the award.  Under unusual circumstances,
NINR may grant an extension of the activation period upon receipt of
a specific request from the fellow.  In general, no awards may be
activated between October 1 and November 15.
Terms and Conditions of Support
Fellowships must be administered in accordance with the current
National Research Service Award Guidelines for Individual Awards and
Institutional Grants, the current award, the recipient is free to
arrange for copyright without approval when publications, data, or
other copyrightable works are developed in the course of work under a
PHS grant-supported project or activity.  Any such copyrighted or
copyrightable works shall be subject to a royalty-free, nonexclusive,
and irrevocable license to the Government to reproduce, publish, or
otherwise use them, and to authorize others to do so for Federal
Government purposes.
Nondiscrimination.  NINR research training and career development
programs are conducted in compliance with applicable laws that
provide that no person shall, on the grounds of race, color, national
origin, handicap, or age, be excluded from participation in, be
denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any
program or activity (or, on the basis of sex, with respect to any
education program or activity) receiving Federal assistance.
Inquiries are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any issues or
questions from potential applicants is welcome.
Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:
Dr. Lynn Amende - diabetes, and urinary incontinence; and in
long-term care and caregiving.
Dr. J. Taylor Harden - women's health; developmental transitions,
such as adolescence and menopause; and health and behavior research,
such as studies of smoking cessation.
Dr. Hilary Sigmon - care of individuals with cardiac or respiratory
conditions.  This area also includes research in critical care,
trauma, wound healing, and organ transplantation.
Dr. Mary Leveck - pain management, sleep disorders, symptom
management in persons with brain disorders such as Alzheimer's
disease, and rehabilitation following brain and spinal cord injury.
This area also includes research on patient care in acute care
Dr. Laura James - factors during pregnancy, delivery of prenatal
care, care of neonates, infant growth and development, and fertility
The address, telephone, FAX & email for the above listed staff
members are:
Building 45, Room 3AN-12
45 Center Drive, MSC 6300
Bethesda, MD 20892-6300
Telephone:   (301) 594-6906
FAX:  (301) 480-8260
Email:  Firstname_Lastname@nih.gov
For inquiries regarding fiscal matters, contact:
Mr. Jeff Carow
Grants Management Office
National Institute of Nursing Research
Building 45, Room 3AN-12
Bethesda, MD  20892-6301
Telephone:  (301) 594-5974
FAX:  (301) 480-8256
Email:  JCarow@ep.ninr.nih.gov
NRSA awards are made under the authority of Section 487 of the Public
Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 288), and Title 42 of the Code
of Federal Regulations, Part 66.  The following Catalog of Federal
Domestic Assistance number 93.361 applies to NINR supported
predoctoral awards.  This program is not subject to the
intergovernmental review
requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency
The PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to
provide a smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco
products.  In addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of
1994, prohibits smoking in certain facilities (or in some cases, any
portion of a facility) in which regular or routine education,
library, day care, health care or early childhood development
services are provided to children.  This is consistent with the PHS
mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of the
American people.

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