NIGMS MARC PREDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP AWARDS Release Date: August 16, 1999 (see replacement PAR-03-114) PA NUMBER: PAR-99-142 Application Receipt Dates: April 5 and December 5 National Institute of General Medical Sciences PURPOSE This program announcement (PA) replaces the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) for National Research Service Award (NRSA) MARC Predoctoral Fellowships. The original announcement was published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Vol. 10, No. 1, January 2, 1981. MARC Predoctoral Fellowships will provide up to five years of support for research training leading to the Ph.D., M.D./Ph.D. or other combined professional degree/Ph.D. in the biomedical or behavioral sciences, including mathematics. These Fellowships are for selected students who are graduates of the MARC Honors Undergraduate Research Training (HURT) or MARC Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (U*STAR) programs. Support is not available for individuals enrolled in medical or other professional degree schools unless they are enrolled in a combined professional degree/Ph.D. program in the biomedical or behavioral sciences. The intent of the MARC Predoctoral Fellowship Program is to encourage students from minority groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences to seek graduate degrees, thus furthering the goal of the NIGMS MARC Branch of increasing the number of underrepresented minority scientists who are competitively trained to pursue careers in biomedical or behavioral research. It is expected that training will be conducted in graduate degree programs of the highest quality. HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000 The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000", a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas. This PA, MARC Predoctoral Fellowship Awards, is related to one or more of the priority areas. Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" at ELIGIBILITY Citizenship At the time of application, individuals must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States, or have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence (i.e., in possession of a currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card I-551, or other legal verification of such status). Non-citizen 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. MARC Status Applicants must be graduates of either the MARC HURT or the MARC U*STAR Programs. In addition, applicants must be currently enrolled in a Ph.D. or equivalent research degree program, a combined M.D./Ph.D. program or other combined professional degree/Ph.D. program in the biomedical or behavioral sciences, including mathematics, or have been accepted and agree to enroll in such a graduate program in the academic year in which support is sought. MECHANISM OF SUPPORT This PA for individual MARC Predoctoral Fellowships (F31) is issued under the auspices of the NRSA Act. An applicant must work with his/her research advisor or graduate program director in preparing the application. Awards will be administered under the NIH Grants Policy Statement and the NRSA Guidelines for Individual Awards and Institutional Grants. Period of Support The period of fellowship support requested in response to this PA may not exceed five years. The total period of predoctoral training support under the NRSA authorization is limited to five years except in unusual circumstances where a waiver has been requested from and granted by the funding component. Continuation of the fellowship award for each subsequent year beyond the first is based upon evidence of satisfactory progress in the graduate program. Award Provisions The fellowship award provides an annual stipend of $14,688, a tuition and fee allowance in accordance with NIH policy (see Other Training Costs), and an annual institutional allowance of $2,000, which may be used for travel to scientific meetings and for laboratory and other training expenses. Stipend Supplementation An institution is permitted to provide funds to a fellow in addition to the stipend paid by the NIH. Such additional amounts may be in the form of augmented stipends (supplementation) or compensation for services. Supplementation: Supplementation, when provided, must not obligate the fellow in any way. Additionally, no Federal funds may be used for supplementation unless specifically authorized under the terms of both the program from which supplemental funds are to be received and the program whose funds are to be supplemented. Under no circumstances may PHS grant funds be used for supplementation. Compensation: An institution may provide additional funds to a fellow in the form of compensation (as salary and/or tuition remission) for services, such as teaching or serving as a laboratory assistant. Compensation for services is not considered stipend supplementation. A fellow may receive compensations for services as a research assistant or in some other capacity on a Federal research grant, including a PHS research grant. However, compensation services must occur on a limited, part-time basis apart from the normal training activities, which require a minimum of 40 hours per week. Compensation may not be paid from a research grant that supports the same research that is part of the F31 training experience. Under no circumstances may the conditions of stipend supplementation or services interfere with, detract from, or prolong the fellow's approved NRSA training program. Concurrent Awards An F31 may not be held concurrently with another Federally sponsored fellowship or a similar fellowship award that provides a stipend or otherwise duplicates provisions of the NRSA. However, an individual may accept concurrent educational benefits from the Department of Veteran's Affairs (e.g., G.I. Bill) and Federal loans. Tax Liability Section 117 of the Internal Revenue Code 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 the NIH or with the institution in which they are pursuing their degree. The interpretation and implementation of the tax laws are the domain of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the courts. The NIH takes no position on what the status may be for 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 situation and for information on the proper steps to be taken regarding their tax obligation. The business office of the sponsoring institution is responsible for the annual preparation and issuance of IRS form 1099 (Statement of Miscellaneous Income) for fellows paid through the institution. Other Training Costs Tuition and fees, in accordance with NIH policy, will be provided for the fellow. According to the NRSA Guidelines, when tuition, fees and health insurance is awarded as a separate cost, this cost will be reimbursed at the following rate: 100% of all costs up to $2,000 and 60% of costs above $2,000, with no escalation provided in future years. In addition, an institutional allowance of $2,000 per 12 month period will be provided to non-Federal, nonprofit sponsoring institutions to help defray such awardee expenses as research supplies, equipment, travel to scientific meetings, and related items. 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 the fellow is not enrolled or not engaged in training for 6 months or more 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 NIH. Additional funds may be requested by the institution if the training of a fellow involves extraordinary costs for: (1) travel to field sites remote from the sponsoring institution; or (2) accommodations for fellows who are disabled, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The funds requested for extraordinary costs must be reasonable in relationship to the total dollars awarded under the fellowship. Such additional funds shall be provided only in exceptional circumstances that are fully justified and explained by the institution. Funds are not available to cover the cost of travel between the fellow's place of residence and a training institution. However, in cases of extreme need or hardship, a one-way travel allowance may be authorized by the sponsoring institution. Such travel must be paid from the institutional allowance. APPLICATION PROCEDURES The fellowship application kit, PHS 416-1 (rev. 12/98), is to be used in applying for these awards. These kits are available at most university offices of sponsored research and from the Division of Extramural Outreach and Information Resources, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892, telephone 301-435-0714, email Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with the MARC staff listed under INQUIRIES prior to submitting an application. The applicant must follow all general instructions in the application kit and the supplemental instructions in the Appendix of this program announcement. 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, the inclusion of children in research, and the inclusion of women and minorities in study populations. An individual may not have more than one competing NRSA individual application pending concurrently with the NIH or PHS. Furthermore, an application cannot be submitted in response to this PA that is essentially identical to one that has already been reviewed. This does not preclude the submission of substantial revisions of applications already reviewed, but such applications must include an INTRODUCTION addressing the previous critique. If a candidate submits an application in response to this PA that is substantially similar to one already submitted to NIH for review, but which has not yet been reviewed, the applicant will be asked to withdraw one of them. The following MUST be included with the application at the time of submission. At least three reference letters in sealed envelopes affixed to the face of the original application. APPLICATIONS WITHOUT THREE REFERENCE LETTERS WILL BE RETURNED WITHOUT REVIEW. A copy of the results of either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Medical College Admission Tests (MCAT) for M.D./Ph.D. applicants must be included at the end of the application. 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 must be included at the end of the application. A description of the graduate or combined degree program in which the applicant is either enrolled or has been admitted and agreed to enroll must be included as Item 33 of the application. INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE REVIEWED AND WILL BE RETURNED TO THE APPLICANT. Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application (including the checklist, Personal Data form, at least three sealed referenced letters, and all other required material) and one exact, clear single-spaced photocopy of the signed application, in one package to: CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC REVIEW NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH 6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 1040 7710 BETHESDA, MD 20872-7710 BETHESDA, MD 20817 (for express/courier service) At the time of submission, one additional copy of the application must be sent to: Helen Sunshine, Ph.D. Office of Scientific Review National Institute of General Medical Sciences 45 Center Drive, Room 1AS.13, MSC 6200 Bethesda, MD 20892 6200 Schedule Application Receipt Date: Apr 5 Dec 5 Initial Review Date: Jun/Jul Feb/Mar Secondary Review Date: Aug/Sep Apr/May Earliest Possible Start Date: Sep 15 May 15 REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS Applications will be assigned to NIGMS. Applications will be evaluated for the merit of the overall research training by the MARC review subcommittee composed primarily of non-government scientists selected for their competence in research and research training, and which is convened in accordance with the standard NIH peer review procedures. All applications will be discussed, assigned a priority score, receive a written critique, and will receive a second level of review by the NIGMS Fellowship Overview Group. Review Criteria The review criteria include: o The quality of the academic record and the prior research experience of the applicant; o The quality of the graduate program in which the applicant is already enrolled or plans to enroll; o The qualifications and the research/research training experience of the applicant's sponsor or research advisor; o The match between the research interests of the student and the research advisor/sponsor; and o For advanced graduate students, the scientific significance, originality, and feasibility of the proposed research and for beginning students, the quality and clarity of their stated research interest. AWARD CRITERIA The staff of the MARC Branch uses the following criteria in making funding decisions: o The eligibility of the applicant; o The recommendations of the MARC review subcommittee of the overall merit of the application; o The relevance of the application to the MARC Branch's research training priorities and program balance; and o The availability of funds. Activation No funds may be disbursed until the fellow has started training under the award and an Activation Notice (PHS 416-5) has been submitted to the NIGMS. An awardee has up to six months from the issue date on the Notice of Research Fellowship Award to activate the award. Under unusual circumstances, NIGMS may grant an extension of the activation period upon receipt of a specific request from the fellow. INQUIRIES Written and telephone inquiries concerning this PA are encouraged. The opportunity to clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is welcomed. Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to: Adolphus P. Toliver, Ph.D. Minority Access to Research Careers Branch National Institute of General Medical Sciences 45 Center Drive, Room 2AS.37, MSC 6200 Bethesda, MD 20892-6200 Telephone: (301) 594-3900 FAX: (301) 480-2753 Email: Hinda Zlotnik, Ph.D. Minority Access to Research Careers Branch National Institute of General Medical Sciences 45 Center Drive, Room 2AS.37, MSC 6200 Bethesda, MD 20892-6200 Telephone: (301) 594-3900 FAX: (301) 480-2753 Email: Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to: Ms. Antoinette Holland Grants Management Officer National Institute of General Medical Sciences 45 Center Drive, Room 2AN.50B, MSC 6200 Bethesda, MD 20982-6200 Telephone: (301) 594-5132 FAX: (301) 480-3423 Email: AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS NRSAs 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. Fellowships must be administered in accordance with the current NRSA Guidelines for Individual Awards and Institutional Grants, the current NIH Grants Policy Statement, and any terms and conditions specified on the Notice of Research Fellowship Award. This program is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review. The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products. In addition, Public Law 102-227, 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. APPENDIX This NIGMS MARC predoctoral fellowship program should not be confused with the Minority Predoctoral Fellowship Program, a trans-NIH supported program, which has different eligibility and program requirements, and different application receipt dates. SUPPLEMENTAL INSTRUCTIONS All instructions in the application kit (PHS Form 416-1, Revised 12/98) must be followed except for those which are modified by the supplemental instructions below. A. Section 1/Part 1 - Information about the Student Applicant APPLICANTS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR COMPLETING THE FOLLOWING SECTIONS OF THE FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION KIT: Face Page: Items 1-8, 15 Form Page 2: Items 16-18; 22 (if appropriate) Form Page 3: Table of Contents Form Page 4: All Form Page 5: All Form Page 6: All Personal Data Page: All Form Page 9 (checklist): Section I only Clarifying Instructions for Selected Items Face Page Item 2 (Face Page, Level of Fellowship): Type in the space provided "Predoctoral-MARC". Item 3 (Request for Applications): Type "MARC" in the space. Item 6 (Prior and/or Current NRSA Support): Check "yes" and complete Item 24, Form page 5. (Items 9 -14 should be completed by your sponsor or research advisor). Form Page 2 Item 17 (Form Page 2, Employment) - Your employment history during college should also be included if it involved a significant time commitment. Items 19, 20, and 21 should be completed by your sponsor or research advisor. Item 22 (Research Proposal Description): o If you have selected a thesis topic complete this section following the instructions in the kit (instruction pg. 8). o If you have NOT selected a thesis topic, provide a concise description of the area(s) of research that interests you most and your rationale. Form Page 4 Item 23 (Form Page 4, Scholastic Performance): Be sure to include your scores from the GRE or MCAT at the bottom of the page. Form Page 5 Item 24 (Form Page 5, Prior and/or Current NRSA Support): List the institution where you were a MARC Trainee and give the dates. If you have received any other support from a National Research Service Award grant, such as a predoctoral training grant, list the grant number, institution, and dates. If you are not sure, check with the director of your graduate program. Generally, only students already enrolled in a graduate program will have had such support. Item 25b (Title of Thesis/Dissertation): If you have a Master's Degree, give the title of your thesis and indicate that it is your MS thesis; otherwise leave blank. Item 26 (Name of Thesis Advisor): If you have selected your research thesis advisor, give the name, title, department, and institution. Form Page 6 Item 28 (Form page 6, Research Experience): Provide a thorough description of your relevant work and research experiences, including time, place, research director, the research projects, and your role in the research. Include a list of publications, abstracts, and poster presentations, if available. If you have them, submit three collated sets of copies of publications and abstracts as part of Section 3 (Appendix). Do not complete Item 28b. Item 29 (Revised Application) need not be completed unless THIS application is a revision of one submitted earlier. Item 30 (Research Training Plan) o Item 30a (Approximate Percentage ) Fill out the Table o Item 30b and 30c (Research Proposal and Respective Contributions) o If you have selected a thesis topic complete these items according to the instructions in the application kit (instruction page 9 & 10). You should work closely with your research advisor to complete this section. o If you have NOT selected a thesis topic describe the area of research you are most interested in and give your reasons for selecting this area. o Item 30d (Selection of a Sponsor and Institution): You should explain your reasons for selecting the degree program and school in which you have enrolled/decided to enroll. o If you have chosen your thesis research advisor, provide a rationale for choosing that particular individual as your mentor. o If you have NOT selected your thesis research advisor, list up to five individuals you are considering and the reasons for your interest. B. Information about the Faculty Sponsor and Graduate Program (Section 2/Part II) If you have selected your thesis research advisor that individual should complete these items. If you have not selected your thesis research advisor, the director of the graduate program in which you are enrolled or plan to enroll should select someone to serve as your sponsor for this application. Clarifying Instructions for Selected Items Items 9 -14 (Face Page), Items 19, 20, and 21 (page 2), and all of Section 2/Part II (Form Page 7) should be completed by the faculty sponsor. Item 32 and Item 33 (Form page 8) should be completed ONLY if the sponsor is the applicant's thesis research advisor. Item 34 (Training Plan, Environment, Research Facilities, Form Page 8): In addition to the Information requested in the application kit (instruction page 17), provide a full description of the graduate or combined degree program in which the applicant is/is to be enrolled. This description should also outline the normal course of study (both didactic and laboratory) for students enrolled in the program. For example, the description of a degree program would commonly sketch the program's administrative organization and responsibilities. The following questions include the kind of information that the review group finds useful in assessing a graduate program. (The specific features described should be tailored to the local program being presented and need not necessarily include all, or be limited to, the suggested questions.) o How does a student become aware of the laboratories/mentors available for thesis research? o Who advises a student concerning course and research mentor selection? o What are the qualifications required of a faculty member if he/she is to be eligible to serve as a Ph.D. mentor? o Who is responsible for monitoring a student's overall progress? o Describe any special program features (courses, seminars, retreats, teaching requirements, etc.) o What is the current student enrollment of the program, how many students have entered and how many have completed the program in each of the last five years? o What have these graduates done since graduation? o What proportion of the program's entering students complete their Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. degree studies? o What has the program's experience been in recruiting and training underrepresented minorities? o In the case of M.D./Ph.D. programs, how is the medical and graduate portions of a student's program integrated and how is the transition between the two assisted? If the applicant is already enrolled in the graduate program, describe his/her course of study up to the time of submission of the application and plans for further study. C. Section 3 - Reference Reports/Letters At least three faculty reference reports must be submitted with your application. You should complete the top part of the reference form (Name of Applicant, Proposed Sponsoring Institution) and give one form to each person writing a reference letter for you. o One reference report must be from the MARC program director or a MARC faculty member who knows you well. o We strongly advise that at least one letter be from an individual who was your supervisor/advisor for one of your major research experiences, preferably a research experience outside of your home institution. o APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED WITHOUT THE THREE REQUIRED REFERENCE REPORTS/LETTERS WILL BE RETURNED WITHOUT REVIEW. The reference letters must be in sealed envelopes and attached with a clip to the original copy of your applications. EVALUATION CRITERIA The selection of MARC predoctoral fellows is highly competitive. Prospective student applicants are strongly advised to seek the assistance of their MARC Program Director, graduate program director and/or research advisor in preparing his/her application. Items included in the evaluation of an application: o academic record, research experience and career goals of the applicant; quality of the graduate program in which the applicant has enrolled or agreed to enroll; o the proposed course of study and research plan as they relate to the applicant's proposed training and career goals; o qualifications and research/research training experience of the faculty mentor (if chosen); and o scientific significance and originality of the proposed research (if thesis topic chosen).

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