National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Institutional Training Programs to Advance Translational Research on Alzheimer's Disease and AD Related Dementias (T32)
T32 Institutional National Research Service Award (NRSA)
Reissue of RFA-AG-17-063
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) seeks to enable the development of a diverse, translational research workforce capable of participating and/or leading cross-disciplinary team science programs focused on advancing therapy development for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and AD-related dementias. This FOA will support institutional training programs for predoctoral and postdoctoral level researchers with diverse educational backgrounds (i.e. basic biology, translational and clinical research, data science). The program invites eligible institutions to develop interdisciplinary training programs that will provide trainees with the knowledge and skills in data science, disease biology, and traditional and emerging drug discovery disciplines necessary to conduct rigorous and cutting-edge basic, translational and clinical research for AD and AD-related dementias.
This FOA does not allow appointed Trainees to lead an independent clinical trial, but does allow them to obtain research experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor or co-mentor.
December 21, 2017
February 27, 2018
February 27, 2018
The first application due date is March 29, 2018, by 5:00 PM local time of the applicant organization. Subsequently, standard dates apply, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on these dates.
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.
January 8, 2021
It is critical that applicants follow the Training (T) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.
Part 1. Overview Information
Part 2. Full Text of the Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Section II. Award Information
Section III. Eligibility Information
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
Section V. Application Review Information
Section VI. Award Administration Information
Section VII. Agency Contacts
Section VIII. Other Information
The overall goal of the NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) program is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in appropriate scientific disciplines to address the Nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. In order to accomplish this goal, NRSA training programs are designed to train individuals to conduct research and to prepare for research careers. More information about NRSA programs may be found at the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) website.
Purpose and Background Information
The NRSA program has been the primary means of supporting predoctoral and postdoctoral research training programs since enactment of the NRSA legislation in 1974. Research training activities can be in basic biomedical or clinical sciences, in behavioral or social sciences, in health services research, or in any other discipline relevant to the NIH mission.
Institutional NRSA programs allow the Training Program Director/Principal Investigator (Training PD/PI) to select the trainees and develop a program of coursework, research experiences, and technical and/or professional skills development appropriate for the selected trainees. Each program should provide high-quality research training and offer opportunities in addition to conducting mentored research. The grant offsets the cost of stipends, tuition and fees, and training related expenses, including health insurance, for the appointed trainees in accordance with the approved NIH support levels.
The National Alzheimer's Project Act (NAPA), enacted into public law in January 2011, is a detailed plan that directs activities, drives the development of recommendations, and monitors progress on Alzheimer's disease (AD) and AD-related dementias (ADRD), with the ambitious goal of developing a treatment for AD by 2025.
The 2012 Alzheimer's Disease Research Summit also made several recommendations for enhancing research infrastructure, interdisciplinary collaboration and facilitating the creation of multidisciplinary teams. These goals were reiterated in the recommendations from the 2015 NIH Alzheimer's Disease Research Summit, where one of the overarching themes identified by the working group was to "Invest in the development of a new translational and data science workforce".
To bridge the existing expertise gaps in AD drug discovery and preclinical therapy development, building a scientific workforce trained to think creatively and to work collaboratively is key. Neuroscientists with expertise in big data science and computational biology, cell biologists versed in various aspects of drug discovery and drug development, and clinicians trained in the basic sciences are among the essential cross-disciplinary trained scientists needed to develop and advance treatments for Alzheimer's disease and AD-related dementias.
The specific purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to promote the development of a diverse, interdisciplinary workforce needed to conduct translational research on Alzheimer's disease and Alzheimer's-related dementias from target discovery through clinical development. This FOA will support institutional training programs for predoctoral and postdoctoral level researchers with diverse educational backgrounds (i.e. basic biology, translational and clinical research, data science). The program invites eligible institutions to develop interdisciplinary training programs that will provide trainees with the knowledge and skills in data science, disease biology, and traditional and emerging drug discovery disciplines necessary to conduct rigorous and cutting-edge basic, translational and clinical research for AD/ADRD.
Research institutions are strongly encouraged to develop and implement new, innovative, cross-disciplinary institutional training and education programs that will enable trainees to work effectively at the intersection of disease biology, data science and drug discovery/drug development. Central to these new programs is providing the trainees with the knowledge and skills required to participate in large-scale team-science efforts needed to solve data-intensive biomedical problems in basic research and therapy development for AD/ADRD, while nurturing the skills necessary to be an independent investigator leading team-science research.
The program will be open to academic institutions with expertise in one or more areas of translational research who can leverage NIA's investment in research on AD and aging to advance cross-disciplinary training in new approaches to AD/ADRD treatment and prevention, including research on health disparities in AD/ADRD. Applications appropriate to this FOA will have the active participation of training faculty with expertise in the following disciplines/research areas:
It is expected that these interdisciplinary training programs will involve multiple departments at the institution, including the biological, medical, bioinformatics, computational, engineering, and mathematical sciences. Trainees with backgrounds in clinical and behavioral research (e.g., epidemiology, psychology, geriatrics, health disparities), mathematics/computational biology/engineering, or biology/neuroscience with a strong interest in research on AD/ADRD would be considered among the eligible pool of applicants for the training program. Training programs may include partnerships among institutions and between academic institutions and industry.
An important component of the program will be providing trainees an opportunity to undertake a research project in one of the academic institutions affiliated with NIA's large-scale open science consortia such as AMP-AD, M2OVE-AD, or ADNI, or in the laboratories of industry partners participating in these consortia. Trainees in these programs should thus be mentored by two or more faculty mentors, who together with the trainee will develop an individualized training plan that will provide:
The proposed institutional research training program may complement other ongoing research training and career development programs at the applicant institution, but the proposed program must be clearly distinct from related programs currently receiving Federal support.
The duration of training, the transition of trainees to individual support mechanisms, and their transition to the next career stage are important considerations in institutional training programs. Training PDs/PIs should limit appointments to individuals who are committed to a research career and who plan to remain in training for no less than two years, whether that support comes from a training grant or some combination of NRSA and non-NRSA support programs. Training PDs/PIs should encourage and make available appropriate skills training so that trainees are prepared to apply for subsequent independent support for their training or research program (e.g., an individual fellowship award, mentored career development award, or research project grant), as appropriate for their career stage. In addition, past studies have shown that health professional trainees who train in programs with postdoctoral researchers who have intensive research backgrounds are more likely to apply for and receive subsequent research grant support. Programs that emphasize research training for individuals with the MD or other health-professional degrees are therefore encouraged to develop ties to basic science departments and include trainees with research doctorates when this approach is consistent with the goals of the proposed training program.
Biomedical research and the resulting scientific knowledge are increasingly complex and multidisciplinary in nature. Training PDs/PIs are encouraged to develop institutional training programs that will expose trainees to a diversity of scientific approaches, systems for study, research approaches, and tools and technologies. Consideration of team-based research approaches may also be warranted depending upon the goals of the proposed training program.
Within the framework of the NRSA program's longstanding commitment to excellence and the projected need for investigators in particular areas of research, attention must be given to recruiting trainees from racial or ethnic groups underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral and clinical sciences, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. See Section IV for more information.
The career outcomes of individuals supported by NRSA training programs include both research-intensive careers in academia and industry and research-related careers in various sectors such as academic institutions, government agencies, for-profit businesses, and private foundations. Training programs should make available structured, career development advising and learning opportunities (e.g., workshops, discussions, Individual Development Plans). Through such opportunities, trainees would obtain a working knowledge of various potential career directions that make strong use of the knowledge and skills gained during research training and the steps required to transition successfully to the next stage of their chosen career.
Institutional research training grants must be used to support a program of full-time research training. Within the full-time training period, research trainees who are also training as clinicians must devote their time to the proposed research training and must confine clinical duties to those that are an integral part of the research training experience. The program may not be used to support studies leading to the MD, DDS, or other clinical, health-professional training except when those studies are part of a formal combined research degree program, such as the MD/PhD. Similarly, trainees may not accept NRSA support for clinical training that is part of residency training leading to clinical certification in a medical or dental specialty or subspecialty. It is permissible and encouraged, however, for clinicians to engage in NRSA-supported, full-time postdoctoral research training even when that experience is creditable toward certification by a clinical specialty or subspecialty board.
Short-term training may be provided to expose trainees to research technologies and concepts that can be successfully acquired in a focused, intensive, two- to three-month exposure. The short-term training experience should enhance skill development in the core dimension(s) of translational research of the training program. Didactic instruction must include training in the responsible conduct of research. Short-term positions on NRSA institutional training grants may not be used for courses and study leading to the MD, DDS, DO, DVM, or other clinical, health professional degree, nor to support residency training.
Research elective credit may be granted for students who complete a short-term, research training experience supported by the T32. The decision to award elective credit will be at the discretion of the sponsoring institution and must be consistent with the policies of the institution (see Funding Restrictions).
Grantee organizations may provide training to students enrolled at other institutions through a partnership or consortium structure. Consortia should be well justified to enhance the goals and objectives of the training program. Consortium partners will be identified by the applicant organization, and each partner institution must identify faculty at their location who have agreed to serve as mentors.
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) does not allow appointed Trainees to lead an independent clinical trial, but does allow them to obtain research experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor or co-mentor. NIH strongly supports training towards a career in clinically relevant research, and so gaining experience in clinical trials under the guidance of a mentor or co-mentor is encouraged.
See Section VIII. Other Informationfor award authorities and regulations.
Grant: A support mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity.
The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.
Not Allowed: Only accepting applications that do not propose clinical trials
Note: Appointed Trainees are permitted to obtain research experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor or co-mentor.
NIH intends to commit $2.5M in fiscal year 2018 to fund 3-5 awards. The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.
Application budgets are not limited, but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.
Grantees are expected to be familiar with and comply with applicable cost policies and the NRSA Guidelines (NIH Grants Policy Statement - Institutional Research Training Grants). Funds may be used only for those expenses that are directly related to and necessary for the research training and must be expended in conformance with OMB Cost Principles, the NIH Grants Policy Statement, and the NRSA regulations, policies, guidelines, and conditions set forth in this document.
The maximum project period is 5 years.
Kirschstein-NRSA awards provide stipends as a subsistence
allowance to help defray living expenses during the research training experience.
NIA will contribute to the combined cost of tuition and fees at the rate in place at the time of award.
Stipend levels, as well as funding amounts for tuition and fees and the institutional allowance are announced annually in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, and are also posted on the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) webpage.
Trainee travel to attend scientific meetings and workshops that the institution determines to be necessary for the individual's research training experience is an allowable trainee expense for predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees. NIA will contribute up to $2,000 for trainee travel per trainee per year.
NIH will provide funds to help defray other research training expenses, such as health insurance, staff salaries, consultant costs, equipment, research supplies, and faculty/staff travel directly related to the research training program. The most recent levels of training related expenses are announced annually in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, and are also posted on the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) webpage.
Other program-related expenses may be included in the proposed budget, including salary support for 6 person months in year 1 to develop courses or other educational opportunities specifically designed for the program, as well as to facilitate trainee exposure to laboratories of industry and federal partners and other collaborative AD partners. These expenses must be justified as specifically required by the proposed program and must not duplicate items generally available at the applicant institution. This support can be used for a single person or divided among multiple people responsible for the overall program.
Indirect Costs (also known as Facilities & Administrative [F&A] Costs) are reimbursed at 8% of modified total direct costs (exclusive of tuition and fees, consortium costs in excess of $25,000, and expenditures for equipment), rather than on the basis of a negotiated rate agreement.
NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made from this FOA.
Higher Education Institutions
The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:
Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education
The sponsoring institution must assure support for the proposed program. Appropriate institutional commitment to the program includes the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned program.
The applicant institution must have a strong and high-quality research program in the area(s) proposed under this FOA and must have the requisite faculty, staff, potential trainees and facilities on site to conduct the proposed institutional program. In many cases, it is anticipated that the proposed program will complement other ongoing training programs occurring at the applicant institution and that a substantial number of program faculty will have active research projects in which participating trainees may gain relevant experiences consistent with their research interests and goals.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are not eligible to apply.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are
not eligible to apply.
Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.
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.
Any individual(s) with
the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research training program as the
Training Program Director/Principal Investigator (Training PD/PI) is invited to work with his/her organization to
develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial
and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always
encouraged to apply for NIH support.
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 SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide.
The PD/PI should be an established investigator in the scientific area in which the application is targeted and capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program. The PD/PI will be responsible for the selection and appointment of trainees to the approved research training program, and for the overall direction, management, administration, and evaluation of the program. The PD/PI will be expected to monitor and assess the program and submit all documents and reports as required. The PD/PI has responsibility for the day to day administration of the program and is responsible for appointing members of the Advisory Committee (when applicable), using their recommendations to determine the appropriate allotment of funds.
This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is programmatically distinct.
The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time. This means that the NIH will not accept:
Program faculty should have strong records as researchers, including recent publications and successful competition for research support in the area of the proposed research training program. Program faculty should also have a record of research training, including successful, former trainees who have established productive careers relevant to the NIH mission. Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as mentors.
Training faculty should have expertise in research in one or
more dimensions of: i) the biology of aging and neurodegeneration; ii) data
sciences, computational biology, statistics/mathematics/engineering, and
biophysics; and iii) traditional and emerging drug discovery/drug development
disciplines (medicinal chemistry, high-throughput screening, quantitative
pharmacology, toxicology, pharmacometrics, trial design, etc.). Training
faculty should also have a history of active collaborations across departments
and disciplines to facilitate program goals.
Trainees may be predoctoral students, medical students, and/or postdoctoral fellows (as described below).
The individual to be trained must be a citizen or a noncitizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of appointment. Additional details on citizenship, training period, and aggregate duration of support are available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
All trainees are required to pursue their research training full time, normally defined as 40 hours per week, or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies. Appointments are normally made in 12-month increments, and no trainee may be appointed for less than 9 months during the initial period of appointment, except with prior approval of the NIH awarding unit, or when trainees are appointed to approved, short-term training positions.
Predoctoral trainees must be enrolled in a program leading to a PhD or in an equivalent research doctoral degree program. Health-professional students who wish to interrupt their studies for a year or more to engage in full-time research training before completing their formal training programs are also eligible. Health-professional students may also be eligible for short term training.
Postdoctoral trainees must have received, as of the beginning date of the NRSA appointment, a Ph.D., M.D., D.D.S., or comparable doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution. Comparable doctoral degrees include, but are not limited to, the following: D.M.D., DC, DO, DVM., OD, DPM, ScD, EngD, DrPH, DNSc, DPT, PharmD, ND (Doctor of Naturopathy), DSW, PsyD, as well as a doctoral degree in nursing research. Documentation by an authorized official of the degree-granting institution certifying all degree requirements have been met prior to the beginning date of the training appointment is acceptable. Individuals in postgraduate clinical training, who wish to interrupt their studies for a year or more to engage in full-time research training before completing their formal training programs, are also eligible.
Trainees selected for short-term training are required to pursue research training for 2-3 months on a full-time basis devoting at least 40 hours per week, or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies. Within the full-time training period, trainees must devote their time to the proposed research training and must confine clinical duties to those that are an integral part of the research training experience. Successful trainees may be appointed for additional periods of short-term training or, if appropriate to their career level, they should be encouraged to apply for an extended period of full-time training supported by an NRSA training grant or fellowship, or an NIH career development award.
Short-term training is not intended, and may not be used, to support activities that would ordinarily be part of a research degree program, nor for any undergraduate-level training.
Short-term trainees must be medical students, dental students, students in other health-professional programs, or graduate students in the physical or quantitative sciences. To be eligible for short-term, predoctoral research training positions students must be enrolled, in good standing, and must have completed at least one quarter or semester in a program leading to a clinical doctorate or a doctorate in a physical or quantitative science such as physics, mathematics, or engineering before participating in the training program. Individuals already matriculated in a formal research degree program in the health sciences, or those holding a research doctorate, a master's degree, or a combined health-professional/research doctorate normally are not eligible for short-term training positions. Within schools of pharmacy, only individuals who are candidates for the PharmD degree are eligible for short-term, research training positions.
Buttons to access the online ASSIST system or to download application forms are available in Part 1 of this FOA. See your administrative office for instructions if you plan to use an institutional system-to-system solution.
It is critical that applicants follow the Training (T) Instructions
in the SF424
(R&R) Application Guide except where instructed in this funding
opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in
the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are
out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for
For information on Application Submission and Receipt, visit Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.
Letter of Intent
Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows IC staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.
By the date listed in Part 1. Overview Information, prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:
The letter of intent should be sent to:
Robin Barr, D.Phil.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
All page limitations described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.
Instructions for Application Submission
The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this FOA.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application, with the following additional modifications:
Project Summary/Abstract. Provide an abstract of the entire application. Include the objectives, rationale and design of the research training program, as well as key activities in the training plan. Indicate the planned duration of appointments, the projected number of trainees including their levels (i.e., predoctoral, postdoctoral, ), and intended trainee outcomes.
Other Attachments. An Advisory Committee is not a required component of a training program. However, if an Advisory Committee is intended, provide a plan for the appointment of an Advisory Committee to monitor progress of the training program. The composition, roles, responsibilities, and desired expertise of committee members, frequency of committee meetings, and other relevant information should be included. Describe how the Advisory Committee will evaluate the overall effectiveness of the program. Proposed Advisory Committee members should be named in the application if they have been invited to participate at the time the application is submitted. Please name your file "Advisory_Committee.pdf".
The filename provided for each "Other Attachment" will be the name used for the bookmark in the electronic application in eRA Commons.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following additional modifications:
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following additional modifications:
The PHS 398 Research Training Program Plan Form is comprised of the following sections:
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following additional modifications:
Particular attention must be given to the required Training Data Tables. Applicants should summarize, in the body of the application, key data from the tables that highlight the characteristics of the applicant pool, faculty mentors, the educational and career outcomes of participants, and other factors that contribute to the overall environment of the program.
The PD/PI should describe program activities intended to develop the working knowledge needed for trainees to select among and prepare for the next step in varied research career options available in the biomedical workforce. For example, programs should provide all trainees with instruction and training in oral and written presentation and in skills needed to apply for individual fellowship or grant support. All postdoctoral trainees should also be provided with instruction in laboratory and project management.
For programs that propose short-term training, any didactic training must be well structured and appropriately justified for the duration of the training experience. Short-term trainees must have the opportunity to carry out supervised biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research with the primary objective of developing or enhancing their research skills and knowledge in preparation for a health-related research career.
The application should describe plans to provide trainees an opportunity to undertake a research project or short-term training that will provide exposure to AD and AD-related dementias as related to one or more dimensions of translational research that may include partnerships with institutions affiliated with NIA's large-scale collaborative consortia such as AMP-AD, M2OVE-AD, or ADNI, or in the laboratories of industry partners participating in these consortia. The application should detail how these research experience opportunities will be integrated into the overall training experience.
Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research
Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
Faculty, Trainees, And Training Record Section
Proposed faculty should have expertise in research in one or more dimensions of i) the biology of aging and neurodegeneration, ii) data sciences, computational biology, statistics/mathematics/engineering, and biophysics, and iii) traditional and emerging drug discovery/drug development disciplines (medicinal chemistry, high-throughput screening, quantitative pharmacology, toxicology, pharmacometrics, trial design, etc.). Proposed preceptors/mentors should have a history of active collaborations across departments and disciplines.
Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity
Fostering diversity in the scientific research workforce is a key component of the NIH strategy to identify, develop, support and maintain the quality of our scientific human capital (NOT-OD-15-053).
Every facet of the United States scientific research enterprise-from basic laboratory research to clinical and translational research to policy formation-requires superior intellect, creativity and a wide range of skill sets and viewpoints. NIH's ability to help ensure that the nation remains a global leader in scientific discovery and innovation is dependent upon a pool of highly talented scientists from diverse backgrounds who will help to further NIH's mission.
Research shows that diverse teams working together and capitalizing on innovative ideas and distinct perspectives outperform homogenous teams. Scientists and trainees from diverse backgrounds and life experiences bring different perspectives, creativity, and individual enterprise to address complex scientific problems. There are many benefits that flow from a diverse NIH-supported scientific workforce, including: fostering scientific innovation, enhancing global competitiveness, contributing to robust learning environments, improving the quality of the researchers, advancing the likelihood that underserved or health disparity populations participate in, and benefit from health research, and enhancing the public trust.
In spite of tremendous advancements in scientific research, information, educational and research opportunities are not equally available to all. NIH encourages institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations to enhance the participation of individuals from groups identified as underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences such as:
A. Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see data at www.nsf.gov/statistics/showpub.cfm?TopID=2&SubID=27) and the report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.
B. Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended. See NSF data at, http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/2013/pdf/tab7-5_updated_2014_10.pdf.
C. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, defined as:
1. Individuals who come from a family with an annual income below established low income thresholds. These thresholds are based on family size, published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census; adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index; and adjusted by the Secretary for use in all health professions programs. The Secretary periodically publishes these income levels at http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/index.shtml.
2. Individuals who come from an educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments that has demonstrably and directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career.
The disadvantaged background category (C1 and C2) is applicable only to programs focused on high school and undergraduate candidates. Note: this group is generally NOT part of the recruitment plan for predoctoral trainees on institutional training grants (e.g., T32).
Applications must include a description of plans to enhance recruitment, including the strategies that will be used to enhance the recruitment of trainees from underrepresented backgrounds and may wish to include data in support of past accomplishments.
History and Achievements. Describe efforts to recruit trainees from Diversity groups A and B, as well as group C (when applicable), into the existing training program.
Proposed plans. Describe steps to be taken during the proposed award period regarding the identification, recruitment of graduate students from Diversity groups A and B, as well as group C (when applicable). Consider the success and/or failures of recruitment strategies used in the past. In particular, describe the specific efforts to be undertaken by the training program and how these might relate to the recruitment efforts of the medical school, graduate school, and/or the university at large. In most cases, institutional efforts alone will not satisfy the requirement to recruit individuals from underrepresented groups.
Applications without a Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.
Limited items are allowed in the Appendix. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide; any instructions provided here are in addition to theSF424 (R&R) Application Guide instructions.
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
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
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
Organizations must submit applications to Grants.gov (the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies). Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH's electronic system for grants administration. NIH and Grants.gov systems check the application against many of the application instructions upon submission. Errors must be corrected and a changed/corrected application must be submitted to Grants.gov on or before the application due date and time. If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late. Applications that miss the due date and time are subjected to the NIH Policy on Late Application Submission.
responsible for viewing their application before the due date in the eRA
Commons to ensure accurate and successful submission.
Information on the submission process and a definition of on-time submission are provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.
All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost
principles, and other considerations described in the NIH
Grants Policy Statement. The National
Research Service Award (NRSA) policies apply to this program. An NRSA
appointment may not be held concurrently with another Federally sponsored
fellowship, traineeship, or similar Federal award that provides a stipend or
otherwise duplicates provisions of the NRSA.
Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Note, however, that pre-award costs are not allowable charges for stipends or tuition/fees on institutional training grants because these costs may not be charged to the grant until a trainee has actually been appointed and the appropriate paperwork submitted to the NIH awarding component. Any additional costs associated with the decision to allow research elective credit for short-term research training are not allowable charges on an institutional training grant.
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 Applying Electronically. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Guidelines for Applicants Experiencing System Issues. For assistance with application submission, contact the Application Submission Contacts in Section VII.
All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in
the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the
SF424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons
and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent
the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH.
The applicant organization must ensure that the DUNS number it provides on the application is the same number used in the organization's profile in the eRA Commons and for the System for Award Management (SAM). Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
See more tips for avoiding common errors.
Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness and compliance with application instructions by the Center for Scientific Review, NIH. Applications that are incomplete or non-compliant will not be reviewed.
Applicants requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs in any year (excluding consortium F&A) must contact a Scientific/ Research Contact at least 6 weeks before submitting the application and follow the Policy on the Acceptance for Review of Unsolicited Applications that Request $500,000 or More in Direct Costs as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. Applicants are advised to refer to Agency Contacts for exceptions.
Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in the policy. Any instructions provided here are in addition to the instructions in the policy.
Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process. As part of the NIH mission, all applications submitted to the NIH in support of biomedical and behavioral research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.
Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood that the proposed training program will prepare individuals for successful, productive scientific research careers and thereby exert a sustained influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).
Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of the merit of the training program, and give a separate score for each. When applicable, the reviewers will consider relevant questions in the context of proposed short-term training. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact.
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 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.
For Revisions, the committee will consider the appropriateness of the proposed expansion of the scope of the project. If the Revision application relates to a specific line of investigation presented in the original application that was not recommended for approval by the committee, then the committee will consider whether the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group are adequate and whether substantial changes are clearly evident.
As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items, and should not consider them in providing an overall impact score.
Peer reviewers will separately evaluate the recruitment plan to enhance diversity after the overall score has been determined. Reviewers will examine the strategies to be used in the recruitment of individuals from underrepresented groups. The plan will be rated as ACCEPTABLE or UNACCEPTABLE, and the consensus of the review committee will be included in an administrative note in the summary statement.
All applications for support under this FOA must include a plan to fulfill NIH requirements for instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). Taking into account the specific characteristics of the training program, the level of trainee experience, and the particular circumstances of the trainees, the reviewers will evaluate the adequacy of the proposed RCR training in relation to the following five required components: 1) Format - Does the plan satisfactorily address the format of instruction, e.g. lectures, coursework and/or real-time discussion groups, including face-to-face interaction? (A plan involving only on-line instruction is not acceptable.); 2) Subject Matter – Does the plan include a sufficiently broad selection of subject matter, such as conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, research ethics? 3) Faculty Participation - Does the plan adequately describe how faculty will participate in the instruction? For renewal applications, are all training faculty who served as course directors, speakers, lecturers, and/or discussion leaders during the past project period named in the application? 4) Duration of Instruction - Does the plan meet the minimum requirements for RCR, i.e., at least eight contact hours of instruction? 5) Frequency of Instruction – Does the plan meet the minimum requirements for RCR, i.e., at least once during each career stage (undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, predoctoral, postdoctoral, and faculty levels) and at a frequency of no less than once every four years?
Plans and past record will be rated as ACCEPTABLE or UNACCEPTABLE, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.
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).
Budget and Period of Support
Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.
Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s), convened by the National Institute on Aging 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:
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:
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.
If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH
will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant as
described in the NIH
Grants Policy Statement.
A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization for successful applications. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document and will be sent via email to the grantee's business official.
Awardees must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions. Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.
Any application awarded in response to this FOA will be subject to terms and conditions found on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website. This includes any recent legislation and policy applicable to awards that is highlighted on this website.
All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities. More information is provided at Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants.
Recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS must administer their programs in compliance with federal civil rights law. This means that recipients of HHS funds must ensure equal access to their programs without regard to a person's race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, sex and religion. This includes ensuring your programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency. HHS recognizes that research projects are often limited in scope for many reasons that are nondiscriminatory, such as the principal investigator's scientific interest, funding limitations, recruitment requirements, and other considerations. Thus, criteria in research protocols that target or exclude certain populations are warranted where nondiscriminatory justifications establish that such criteria are appropriate with respect to the health or safety of the subjects, the scientific study design, or the purpose of the research.
For additional guidance regarding how the provisions apply to NIH grant programs, please contact the Scientific/Research Contact that is identified in Section VII under Agency Contacts of this FOA. HHS provides general guidance to recipients of FFA on meeting their legal obligation to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to their programs by persons with limited English proficiency. Please see https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/special-topics/limited-english-proficiency/index.html. The HHS Office for Civil Rights also provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/section1557/index.html; and https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-providers/laws-regulations-guidance/index.html. Recipients of FFA also have specific legal obligations for serving qualified individuals with disabilities. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/disability/index.html. Please contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights for more information about obligations and prohibitions under federal civil rights laws at https://www.hhs.gov/ocr/about-us/contact-us/index.html or call 1-800-368-1019 or TDD 1-800-537-7697. Also note it is an HHS Departmental goal to ensure access to quality, culturally competent care, including long-term services and supports, for vulnerable populations. For further guidance on providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services, recipients should review the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care at http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=2&lvlid=53.
In accordance with the statutory provisions contained in Section 872 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417), NIH awards will be subject to the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) requirements. FAPIIS requires Federal award making officials to review and consider information about an applicant in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS) prior to making an award. An applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through FAPIIS and comment on any information about itself that a Federal agency previously entered and is currently in FAPIIS. The Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgement about the applicant's integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 45 CFR Part 75.205 "Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants." This provision will apply to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements except fellowships.
Institutional NRSA training grants must be administered in accordance with the current NRSA section of the NIH Grants Policy Statement - Institutional Research Training Grants.
As specified in the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993,
Kirschstein-NRSA recipients incur a service payback obligation for the first 12
months of postdoctoral support. Policies regarding the Ruth L. Kirschstein-NRSA
payback obligation are explained in the NIH Grants
Policy Statement; and more details are in the Frequently
Asked Questions. Officials at the grantee institution have the
responsibility of explaining the terms of the payback requirements to all
prospective trainees before appointment to the training grant. Additionally,
all trainees recruited into the training program should be provided with
information related to the career options that might be available when they
complete the program. The suitability of such career options as methods to
satisfy the NRSA service payback obligation should be discussed.
Awards made primarily for educational purposes are exempted from the PHS invention requirements and thus invention reporting is not required, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually. Continuation support will not be provided until the required forms are submitted and accepted.
Failure by the grantee institution to submit required forms in a timely, complete, and accurate manner may result in an expenditure disallowance or a delay in any continuation funding for the award.
The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later. All awardees of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement.
A final RPPR, the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report, and Termination Notices for all Trainees, are required for closeout of an award as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
In accordance with the regulatory requirements provided at 45 CFR 75.113 and Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75, recipients that have currently active Federal grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from all Federal awarding agencies with a cumulative total value greater than $10,000,000 for any period of time during the period of performance of a Federal award, must report and maintain the currency of information reported in the System for Award Management (SAM) about civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings in connection with the award or performance of a Federal award that reached final disposition within the most recent five-year period. The recipient must also make semiannual disclosures regarding such proceedings. Proceedings information will be made publicly available in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS). This is a statutory requirement under section 872 of Public Law 110-417, as amended (41 U.S.C. 2313). As required by section 3010 of Public Law 111-212, all information posted in the designated integrity and performance system on or after April 15, 2011, except past performance reviews required for Federal procurement contracts, will be publicly available. Full reporting requirements and procedures are found in Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75 – Award Term and Conditions for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.
In carrying out its stewardship of human resource-related programs, the NIH may request information essential to an assessment of the effectiveness of this program from databases and from participants themselves. Participants may be contacted after the completion of this award for periodic updates on various aspects of their employment history, publications, support from research grants or contracts, honors and awards, professional activities, and other information helpful in evaluating the impact of the program.
The overall evaluation of the program will be based on metrics that will include, but are not limited to, the following:
For programs involving graduate students:
For programs involving postdoctorates and early career investigators:
We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity
and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.
eRA Commons Help Desk (Questions regarding eRA Commons registration,
submitting and tracking an application, documenting system problems that
threaten submission by the due date, post submission issues)
Finding Help Online: http://grants.nih.gov/support/ (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)
GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and
process, finding NIH grant resources)
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)
Robin Barr, D.Phil.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Ramesh Vemuri, Ph.D.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
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.
Awards are made under the authorization of Section 487 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 288) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 66.
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