Part 1. Overview Information

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

Sexual and Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO)

Funding Opportunity Title
Advancing Research Careers (ARC) Institutionally-Focused Research Education Award to Promote Diversity (UE5 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Activity Code

UE5 Education Projects- Cooperative Agreements

Announcement Type
New
Related Notices
  • December 6, 2023 - Notice of Change to First Application Due Date in PAR-23-221 "Advancing Research Careers (ARC) Institutionally-Focused Research Education Award to Promote Diversity (UE5 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)". See Notice NOT-GM-24-015
  • October 6, 2023- Notice of Informational Webinar on the NIH Advancing Research Careers (ARC) Program Notices of Funding Opportunity (F99/K00 and UE5). See Notice NOT-GM-24-002.
  • August 31, 2022- Implementation Changes for Genomic Data Sharing Plans Included with Applications Due on or after January 25, 2023. See Notice NOT-OD-22-198.
  • August 5, 2022- Implementation Details for the NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy. See Notice NOT-OD-22-189.
  • July 22, 2019- Requirement for ORCID iDs for Individuals Supported by Research Training, Fellowship, Research Education, and Career Development Awards Beginning in FY 2020. See Notice NOT-OD-19-109.
Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) Number
PAR-23-221
Companion Funding Opportunity
PAR-23-222 , F99/ K00 Pre-doc to Post-doc Transition Award/Post-doctoral Transition Award
Number of Applications

See Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

Assistance Listing Number(s)
93.859, 93.213
Funding Opportunity Purpose

The NIH Research Education Program supports research education activities in the mission areas of the NIH. The overarching goal of this ARC UE5 program is to support educational activities that encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds, for example those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences (see Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity ), to pursue further studies or careers in research.

To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this NOFO will support educational activities with a primary focus on:

  • Courses for Skills Development
  • Mentoring Activities

Applications are encouraged from organizations that have:

  • Experience enhancing scientific communication and networking among early-career biomedical researchers;
  • An established record of providing professional development and networking activities for future biomedical researchers; and
  • A demonstrated commitment to enhancing the diversity of the biomedical research workforce.

The program provides support for well-designed courses for skills development and mentoring activities to prepare cohorts of ARC predoctoral F99 fellows and K00 postdoctoral scholars to transition into and succeed in mentored postdoctoral research, positioning them to advance in impactful careers in the biomedical research workforce that typically require postdoctoral training (e.g., academic research and teaching at a range of institution types, industry or government research).

Recipient organizations must provide career development and mentoring activities aligned with and appropriate for the disciplinary backgrounds and career goals of scholars supported through the ARC F99/K00 program.

Key Dates

Posted Date
October 03, 2023
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
New Date January 9, 2024 (Original Date: December 29, 2023) per issuance of NOT-GM-24-015
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Application Due Dates Review and Award Cycles
New Renewal / Resubmission / Revision (as allowed) AIDS - New/Renewal/Resubmission/Revision, as allowed Scientific Merit Review Advisory Council Review Earliest Start Date
February 9, 2024 Not Applicable Not Applicable July 2024 October 2024 December 2024
January 29, 2025 Not Applicable Not Applicable July 2025 October 2025 December 2025
January 29, 2026 Not Applicable Not Applicable July 2026 October 2026 December 2026

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

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.

Expiration Date
January 30, 2026
Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Research (R) Instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this NOFO or in a Notice from NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts).

Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the NOFO) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions.

Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

There are several options available to submit your application through Grants.gov to NIH and Department of Health and Human Services partners. You must use one of these submission options to access the application forms for this opportunity.

  1. Use the NIH ASSIST system to prepare, submit and track your application online.
  2. Use an institutional system-to-system (S2S) solution to prepare and submit your application to Grants.gov and eRA Commons to track your application. Check with your institutional officials regarding availability.

  3. Use Grants.gov Workspace to prepare and submit your application and eRA Commons to track your application.


  4. Table of Contents

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

The overarching goal of this UE5 program is to support educational activities that encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds, for example those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences (see Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity), to pursue further studies or careers in research.

Background Information

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognizes the need to diversify the scientific workforce by enhancing the participation of individuals from groups underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences (collectively termed "biomedical") research workforce. Individuals from all backgrounds deserve an equitable opportunity to engage in the biomedical research enterprise, to pursue their scientific interests and further their careers. Moreover, diversity at all levels from the kinds of science to the regions in which it is conducted to the backgrounds of the people conducting it is integral to scientific excellence and strengthens the research enterprise. 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 research, enhancing public trust, and increasing the likelihood that health disparities and the needs of underserved populations are addressed in biomedical research. 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 interests to address complex scientific problems. NIH strives to ensure that future generations of researchers will be drawn from the entire pool of talented individuals, bringing different aptitudes, perspectives, interests, and experiences to address complex scientific problems.

Need for the Program

Promoting diversity in the extramural scientific workforce is critical to the success of the NIH mission and is consistent with the mandates of the 21st Century Cures Act. While scientific workforce diversity supports and is integral to the NIH mission, expanding the pool of scientists from nationally underrepresented backgrounds in the biomedical research workforce has remained an elusive goal (see Policy Supporting Next Generation Researchers Initiative). NIH has a longstanding commitment to training future biomedical scientists and supporting training of students from diverse backgrounds, for example groups underrepresented in biomedical research, through a variety of fellowships, career development awards, and institutional training and student development programs. Despite recent advances, individuals from certain groups and backgrounds remain underrepresented in the biomedical sciences research workforce as described in the Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity.

The severity of the underrepresentation of these groups increases throughout the training stages. For example, students from certain racial and ethnic groups, including Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander comprise ~38 percent of the college age population, but earn only ~23 percent of bachelor’s degrees and ~16 percent of Ph.D. degrees in the life sciences (as per data from the Census Bureau, the National Center for Education Statistics, and the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics).Additionally, while the United States has seen a significant increase in the number of Ph.D. degrees in the biomedical sciences earned by scientists from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, corresponding increases in the ranks of the faculty in basic science departments (Gibbs, et al., eLife 2016) or NIH-funded investigators (Hoppe et al, 2019; Lauer and Bernard, 2023) have not occurred. The representation of scientists with disabilities in the scientific workforce decreases throughout academic career paths (i.e., from undergraduate to academic leadership), despite the increasing prevalence of disabilities during the active years of research careers (ACD WGD Subgroup on Individuals with Disabilities Report, 2022). Similarly, women have earned a majority of biomedical Ph.Ds. since 2008 (NSF data), but only approximately 1/3 of NIH-funded principal investigators are women (NIH Databook). The lack of diversity is also observed among those pursuing biomedical careers in government agencies, industry, and nonprofit organizations (NIH Workforce Demographics, 2021; NSF NCSES Table 9-19, 2019; Measuring Diversity in the Biotech Industry, 2022). NIH aims to enhance support for trainees and scholars from diverse backgrounds through critical career transition points as they progress towards positions in the range of biomedical careers that utilize their scientific training.

Graduate education and postdoctoral training are often challenging for trainees from all backgrounds, and they are accompanied by significant changes in career interests and knowledge about career opportunities (Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century, 2018). There are often unique, additional challenges faced by trainees from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. For example, graduate students from underrepresented groups, especially underrepresented women, report lower levels of belonging in their research groups and departments, less confidence in their abilities as an independent researcher, and distinct career interest profiles when compared to their counterparts from well represented racial and ethnic backgrounds differences that were not explained by research productivity (Gibbs et al, 2014; Gibbs et al., 2015). Moreover, postdoctoral researchers from underrepresented and well-represented racial and ethnic backgrounds report differences in the types of support that would increase their likelihood of pursuing academic research careers (Lambert et al, 2020). Importantly, access to high quality mentoring, robust professional networks, and opportunities for skills development through structured formalized programs have been linked to enhanced trainee productivity, increased self-efficacy and strengthening an individual’s commitment to a research career (The Science of Effective Mentoring in STEMM, 2019). Therefore, there remains a strong need to develop additional opportunities to address these challenges, supporting the career progression of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers from diverse backgrounds, for example those from underrepresented groups.

Program Goal

The ARC Program is part of NIH’s efforts to promote diversity within the biomedical research workforce and is designed as a structured program to enhance participation of trainees from diverse backgrounds, for example individuals from underrepresented groups (see Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity), as they transition from predoctoral research training to postdoctoral research and career development activities. ARC has two components: an institutionally-focused research education cooperative agreement (UE5) and an individual predoctoral career transition award (F99/K00) to enhance diversity.

The overarching goal of the ARC UE5 program is to provide ARC F99 fellows/K00 scholars with professional skills and the appropriate mentoring and networks to allow them to transition into and succeed in postdoctoral research and career development opportunities, positioning them to advance in impactful careers in the biomedical research workforce that typically require postdoctoral training (e.g., academic research and teaching at a range of institution types, industry or government research).

To accomplish the stated overarching goal, this Notice of Funding Opportunity will support evidence-informed educational activities with a primary focus on:

  • Courses for Skills Development: For example, activities focused on skills related to the career advancement of cohorts of ARC F99 fellows/K00 scholars. Support for short courses designed to enhance skills appropriate to transition into and advance in careers in the biomedical research workforce, e.g., communication skills, grant proposal preparation, scientific publishing, scientific writing, data management and visualization, leadership, project and people management, mentoring, managing career challenges and expectations, career advancement strategies, wellness and resiliency, and life-work balance. These activities could be in-person or provided electronically, synchronously or asynchronously.
  • Mentoring Activities: One-on-one and group mentoring for professional and career development. Activities to enhance the mentoring networks of ARC scholars and prepare participants with a working knowledge of the opportunities and challenges associated with careers in the biomedical research workforce and how to identify and pursue desired career tracks. Activities to engage ARC F99/K00 primary research sponsors/mentors on how to effectively support the scholars in the program.

Programmatic Approach

The ARC Research Education Awards are intended to fund organizations that can provide robust mentoring and career development opportunities for ARC F99 fellows/K00 scholars to:

  • Develop cohesive and mutually supportive cohorts that span the F99 to K00 award phases;
  • Assist ARC scholars with identifying and obtaining postdoctoral positions with strong mentoring and scientific opportunities;
  • Provide opportunities for ARC scholars to engage in career development activities that will foster their progression to and success in impactful careers in the biomedical research workforce that benefit from and utilize their postdoctoral training;
  • Enhance the scientific and professional networks of ARC scholars beyond their local institutions;
  • Identify and connect scholars with additional mentors who can facilitate appropriate career advancement and skills development;
  • Provide skills development for scholars in areas such as grant application writing, communication, and mentorship;
  • Engage primary research sponsors/mentors of ARC scholars to enhance mentoring relationships, and promote career development of the scholars; and
  • Track and publicize outcomes (e.g., publicly available websites).

Program Considerations

NIH intends to fund applications that propose feasible and effective research education activities that align with the overarching goal of the ARC initiative to enhance diversity of the biomedical research workforce. Applicants are expected to identify objectives (i.e., specific, measurable, and obtainable outcomes the program intends to achieve) and to develop plans to implement evidence-informed skills development and mentoring activities that are grounded in the literature and from evaluations of existing relevant programs. NIH intends to support renewals through future reissuances of this funding announcement. Funded programs are expected to provide evidence of accomplishing the objectives in progress reports and upon renewal applications, to make aggregate outcomes publicly available, and to disseminate successful mentoring and skills development practices to the broader community.

The participants in ARC UE5 programs will be scholars at institutions across the nation selected through the ARC F99/K00 program. UE5 recipients are not responsible for the selection of the ARC F99/K00 scholars - this will be managed by an NIH competitive peer review process as described in the ARC F99/K00 NOFO (see Companion Funding Opportunity in the Overview Section). The funded UE5 recipients will develop cohorts of ARC F99/K00 scholars assigned by NIH staff (see below in the Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions in Section VI. Award Administration Information). ARC scholars are expected to be assigned to ARC UE5 recipients three times each year (i.e., after each advisory council round). ARC F99/K00 scholars will be at different points of development when assigned (e.g., not yet looking for a postdoctoral position, or having a postdoctoral mentor identified and planning their transition). Applicants should consider these factors when designing a program to allow newly selected scholars to be integrated into the program on a rolling basis, and to provide activities that align with the varying needs of the scholars.

Funded programs should address the career needs of scholars in both the predoctoral (F99) and postdoctoral (K00) research phases. Activities should synergize with and supplement, but not duplicate, career development activities ARC scholars participate in as part of their F99/K00 awards. Program activities should build upon the strengths and assets of ARC F99/K00 scholars and should not reflect deficit-models (i.e., those that focus primarily on remediation of perceived weaknesses) of career development.

Funded programs must provide career development and mentoring activities aligned with and appropriate for the disciplinary backgrounds and career goals of scholars supported through the ARC F99/K00 program. The specific NIH institute and center areas supported through this NOFO include:

NIGMS supports basic research that increases our understanding of biological processes and lays the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. NIGMS' research mission is aimed at understanding the principles, mechanisms, and processes that underlie living systems. It also supports research in specific clinical areas that affect multiple organs, particularly those related to injury and critical illness: sepsis, trauma, burn, wound healing, anesthesiology, and clinical pharmacology. NIGMS does not support research that is relevant to the diseases, organ systems, or stages of life within the mission areas of other NIH Institutes and Centers. To ensure the vitality and continued productivity of the research enterprise, NIGMS provides leadership in training future scientists, enhancing the diversity of the scientific workforce, and developing research capacity throughout the country. For more information see https://www.nigms.nih.gov/about-nigms/who-we-are/overview

NCCIH has a mission to determine, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary health approaches, and their roles in improving health and healthcare. NCCIH will accept applications that promote mentoring, networking, and professional skills development for scholars conducting research projects in areas that are well-aligned with NCCIH’s strategic priorities. Studies may range from basic, through translational, epidemiological, health services, and other human subjects research.

Research education programs may complement ongoing research training and education activities occurring at the applicant organization, but the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those training and education programs currently receiving Federal support.

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

Section II. Award Information

Funding Instrument

Cooperative Agreement: A support mechanism used when there will be substantial Federal scientific or programmatic involvement. Substantial involvement means that, after award, NIH scientific or program staff will assist, guide, coordinate, or participate in project activities. See Section VI.2 for additional information about the substantial involvement for this NOFO.

Application Types Allowed
New

The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types. Only those application types listed here are allowed for this NOFO.

Clinical Trial?

Not Allowed: Only accepting applications that do not propose clinical trial(s).

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Award Budget

Although the size of award may vary with the scope of the research education program proposed and there are no specific budget limitations, the average award size is expected to be $400,000 in direct costs per year. The requested direct costs must be reasonable, well documented, fully justified and commensurate with the scope of the proposed program.

Award budgets should reflect the fact that the number of ARC scholars is expected to grow through time. Each UE5 awardee is expected to be assigned a cohort of ~7 scholars each year, and these scholars will have staggered start dates (i.e., after each advisory council round). The scholars are expected to participate in the UE5 activities for the entirety of their F99 and K00 awards. Thus, it is expected that each UE5 will grow to support ~ 35 scholars by the fifth year of the award.

Award Project Period

The project period may not exceed 5 years.

Other Award Budget Information

Personnel Costs

NIH recognizes that the development and management of the ARC UE5 activities will require staff and these costs are allowable as described below. Individuals designing, directing, and implementing the research education program may request salary and fringe benefits appropriate for the person months devoted to the program. Salaries requested may not exceed the levels commensurate with the institution's policy for similar positions and may not exceed the congressionally mandated cap. Program coordinators are allowed as long as their role is clearly defined and significantly different from the roles of the PD(s)/PI(s).

Participant Costs

Participants (i.e., ARC scholars participating in the research education activities) may be paid if specifically required for the proposed research education program and sufficiently justified (e.g., reimbursement for travel to ARC associated meetings). However, reimbursement of any participants costs applies only to those participants who are NOT federal employees.

Participant costs must be itemized in the proposed budget.

NIH ARC F99/K00 scholars are expected to receive educational experiences supported by an UE5 program, as participants, but may not receive salary or stipend supplementation from the UE5 program. Funds may be requested for the travel of ARC scholars to UE5 activities. Travel costs may not exceed coach class fares. In all cases, U.S. Flag carriers must be used where possible.

Per diem costs for meals and lodging for participants may be requested and will be limited to the days of attendance at the meeting, conference, workshop, or other planned activity plus the actual travel time to and from the activity location. Where meals and/or lodging are furnished without charge or at a nominal cost, such as part of the registration fee, an appropriate deduction must be made from the authorized per diem.

Other Program-Related Expenses

Consultant costs, equipment, supplies, travel for key persons (e.g., the mentors of ARC scholars, invited speakers participating in the research education activities, etc.), and other program-related expenses may be included in the proposed budget. These expenses must be justified as specifically required by the proposed program and must not duplicate items generally available at the applicant organization. Limited program evaluation costs are allowed up to a maximum of 5% of direct costs per year for the 5-year project period. This includes costs of evaluation consultant services, if any. Organizational membership fees for ARC F99/K00 scholars or mentors are unallowable costs.

Indirect Costs

Indirect Costs (also known as Facilities & Administrative [F&A] Costs) are reimbursed at 8% of modified total direct costs (exclusive of tuition and fees, expenditures for equipment and consortium costs in excess of $25,000), 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 NOFO.

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

  • Public/State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education
  • Private Institutions of Higher Education

The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:

  • Hispanic-serving Institutions
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)
  • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions
  • Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

  • Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)
  • Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)

Applications are encouraged from organizations that have:

  • Experience serving to enhance scientific communication and networking among early-career biomedical researchers;
  • An established record of providing professional development and networking activities for future biomedical researchers; and
  • A demonstrated commitment to enhancing the diversity of the biomedical research workforce.

Eligible organizations must have the resources to support the proposed program (e.g., the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational capacity). Multiple organizations can partner for an ARC UE5 application, with one organization serving as Primary Performance Site Location. If multiple organizations partner for an UE5 application, follow all instructions for Consortium/Contractual Arrangements in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Organizations with existing federally funded programs may apply for an ARC UE5 research education award provided that the proposed educational experiences are distinct from those training programs already receiving federal support.

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.

Foreign Institutions

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are not eligible to apply

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply.

Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are not allowed.

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 2.3.9.2 Electronically Submitted Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.

  • System for Award Management (SAM) Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
  • NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code Foreign organizations must obtain an NCAGE code (in lieu of a CAGE code) in order to register in SAM.
  • Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) A UEI is issued as part of the SAM.gov registration process. The same UEI must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • eRA Commons - Once the unique organization identifier is established, organizations can register with eRA Commons in tandem with completing their Grants.gov registration; all registrations must be in place by time of submission. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • Grants.gov Applicants must have an active SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s))

All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account. PD(s)/PI(s) should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate their existing account with the applicant organization in eRA Commons. If the PD/PI is also the organizational Signing Official, they must have two distinct eRA Commons accounts, one for each role. Obtaining an eRA Commons account can take up to 2 weeks.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with their organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and women are always encouraged to apply for NIH support. See, Reminder: Notice of NIH's Encouragement of Applications Supporting Individuals from Underrepresented Ethnic and Racial Groups as well as Individuals with Disabilities, NOT-OD-22-019.

For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

NIH encourages multiple PD(s)/PI(s), particularly when each brings a unique perspective and skill set that will enhance the research education program. The PD/PI team should consider including individuals with experience in areas such as biomedical research, program evaluation, mentoring, efforts to promote diversity, and career development and advancement for early-career scientists.

The PD(s)/PI(s) should have appropriate professional experience and be capable of providing both administrative and training leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program.

For applications including multiple PDs/PIs, the contact PD/PI is expected to be a full-time employee of the applicant organization. The contact PD/PI is also expected to monitor and assess the program and submit all documents and reports as required.

2. Cost Sharing

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

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

Number of Applications

Note that this NOFO does not allow resubmissions.

Only one application per institution (normally identified by having a unique NIH Institutional Profile Number, IPF) is allowed.

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time. This means that the NIH will not accept:

  • A new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping new (A0) or resubmission (A1) application.
  • An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review.

ARC Career Mentors

Professionals in the biomedical research workforce from diverse backgrounds, for example individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as mentors. Mentors should have expertise and professional experience relevant to the proposed program (e.g., in academic research or teaching at a range of institution types, industry or government research, or research-related careers such as scientific or academic administration or science communication). Mentors are expected to be committed to continue their involvement throughout the total period of the mentee’s participation in this award.

Participants

Scholars supported by NIH ARC F99/K00 awards are the primary participants for UE5 programs supported through this NOFO. ARC F99/K00 scholars will be selected by a competitive peer review process managed by the NIH and be assigned to UE5 recipients up to three times per year (i.e., after each advisory council round).

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

The application forms package specific to this opportunity must be accessed through ASSIST, Grants.gov Workspace or an institutional system-to-system solution. Links to apply using ASSIST or Grants.gov Workspace are available in Part 1 of this NOFO. See your administrative office for instructions if you plan to use an institutional system-to-system solution.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Research (R) Instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide, except where instructed in this Notice of Funding Opportunity to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions will not be reviewed.

Page Limitations
All page limitations described in the SF424 Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.
Instructions for Application Submission

The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this NOFO.

SF424(R&R) Cover

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information Component

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following modifications:

Facilities & Other Resources. Describe the administrative structure of the applicant organization, and how the PD(s)/PI(s) fit into that structure. Describe the educational environment, including, as applicable, the facilities, laboratories, participating departments, computer services, staff, and any other resources to be used in the development and implementation of the proposed program. List all thematically related sources of support for research training and education, and provide a brief summary of the goals and participants for each.

Other Attachments.

Advisory Committee Plan: An Advisory Committee is a required component of this Research Education program. Applicants must provide a plan for the appointment of an Advisory Committee to monitor progress and relevance of the research education program. The composition, roles, responsibilities, and desired expertise of committee members, frequency of committee meetings, and other relevant information should be included. Advisory Committee members should come from diverse backgrounds, institutions, and sectors of the biomedical research workforce (e.g., academic research and teaching, industry or government research, and research-related careers). Describe how the Advisory Committee will assess and advise the applicant/recipient organization on the overall effectiveness of the program (e.g., how the advisory committee will engage with results from program evaluation activities). To avoid conflicts in the review process, only pre-existing Advisory Committee members should be named in the application. Potential Advisory Committee members should not be identified or contacted prior to receiving an award. Please name the file Advisory_Committee.pdf

Applications lacking an advisory committee attachment will not be reviewed.

Career Mentor Biosketches: If career mentors have been identified, their Biosketches may be included. The personal statement should describe a commitment to mentoring as well as promoting diverse, inclusive, safe, and supportive environments. Please upload all the biosketches as a single PDF and name the file Career Mentor Biosketches.pdf .

The filename provided for each Other Attachment will be the name used for the bookmark in the electronic application in eRA Commons.

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile Expanded

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

R&R Budget

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following additional modifications:

  • Include all personnel other than the PD(s)/PI(s) in the Other Personnel section, including clerical and administrative staff.
PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

PHS 398 Research Plan

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

Research Strategy

Research Strategy section must be used to upload the Research Education Program Plan, which must include the following components described below:

  • Proposed Research Education Program
  • Program Director/Principal Investigator
  • ARC Career Mentors
  • Program Participants
  • Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity
  • Plan for Instruction in Methods for Enhancing Rigor and Reproducibility
  • Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Evaluation Plan
  • Dissemination Plan

Research Education Program Plan

Proposed Research Education Program. The application must describe the rationale, goals and measurable objectives of activities proposed. The application must describe the short- and long-term goals for participants that the activities are designed to address and how these outcomes will be measured (see the Evaluation Plan section below). Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult individuals with evaluation experience from the outset of research education program planning, and to review relevant data/report resources (e.g., at Diversity Reports) when preparing the application. Applicants should utilize the substantial pedagogical literature concerning predictors of success in research careers when designing activities (e.g., reducing stereotype threat, diminishing imposter feelings, overcoming microaggressions, navigating structural barriers to career advancement, utilizing cultural assets, and achieving life-work balance).The application must describe how the proposed activities will synergize with the ARC scholars' F99/K00 career development plans and will address the needs of scholars in both the predoctoral (F99) and postdoctoral (K00) research phases. Program activities should reflect a strengths- or assets-based model of career development rather than a deficit remediation approach. Applications should include a description of the following areas:

  • Organizational setting and current efforts to enhance diversity in the biomedical research trainee pool and workforce: Describe current efforts to enhance biomedical workforce diversity, the number of trainees and scientists served, and the impact of past efforts. Elaborate on any aspects of the organizational environment likely to foster the success of the ARC program (do not repeat information found in the "Facilities & Other Resources" section). Describe and summarize any organizational and externally sponsored programs that have promoted the success of predoctoral to postdoctoral career transitions, enhanced trainee career development, or addressed the needs of predoctoral and postdoctoral scholars from diverse backgrounds, for example those from underrepresented groups, within the last 5 years (see Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity).
  • Cohort formation and activities: Describe activities that will enhance the sense of community among the cohorts of ARC scholars who will be conducting research at institutions across the nation. Describe how each year the newly selected ARC scholars will be integrated into the program on a rolling basis (e.g., after each NIH advisory council round) and how the activities will align with the needs of the scholars according to their career development stage (i.e., not yet looking for a postdoctoral position or having a postdoctoral mentor identified and planning their transition). Describe strategies that will be used to develop a strong, mutually supportive network within and among each cohort of ARC scholars. Cohort formation and activities should take into account program structure (e.g., NIH intends to fund ~ 7 ARC scholars per UE5 per year who will be assigned to UE5 recipients up to three times per year i.e., after each advisory council round), and that scholars are expected to participate in the UE5 activities for the entirety of their F99 and K00 awards, which can be up to 5 years.
  • Courses for skills development: Provide the underlying rationale and evidence supporting the proposed activities in professional skills development. Describe the educational concepts and principles on which the activities are based and the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses to be employed. Describe delivery format (e.g., in-person, online, or a combination; synchronous or asynchronous). Activities should be designed to enhance skills appropriate for promoting the transition into postdoctoral research and success during that career phase, e.g., postdoc search strategies, communication skills, grant proposal preparation, scientific writing and publishing, data management and visualization, leadership, project and people management, mentoring, managing career challenges and expectations, career advancement, wellness and resiliency, and life-work balance. Describe plans to ensure activities will synergize with, but not duplicate the institutional career development plans developed by the ARC scholars. Describe the use of Individual Development Plans (IDPs) for each participant to leverage their unique assets and address their specific points of development, enhancing their ability to transition into and succeed in a postdoctoral position, and to prepare for a biomedical research career.
  • Career Mentorship: Describe the process for matching ARC scholars with additional mentors who can facilitate career advancement appropriate to the scholars individual goals and enhance the scholars scientific and professional networks beyond their local institutions. Describe plans to provide appropriate professional development and enhance the professional networks of ARC F99/K00 scholars.
  • Research Sponsor/Mentor Engagement: Describe the process for engaging the research sponsors/mentors of ARC scholars during both the F99 and K00 phases to enhance the mentored training experience. For example, describe plans to acclimate predoctoral research sponsors and postdoctoral research mentors to program expectations, and to provide opportunities for them to engage with the literature on effective mentoring practices and share evidence-informed approaches to improve mentoring relationships.

Describe the rationale underlying the balance of effort and resources dedicated to each activity, how the proposed activities integrate, and the objective indicators that can measure the effectiveness of the program and its activities. Describe potential challenges that may be encountered and alternative strategies that could be employed in response to these challenges.

Program Director/Principal Investigator. The application should describe how the Research Education Program PD(s)/PI(s) will promote the success of the participants and research education program. Describe the experience of the PD(s)/PI(s) in efforts to enhance diversity, promote inclusive environments, and foster career progressions for biomedical trainees. Describe any training the PD(s)/PI(s) have received or will receive on how to effectively mentor individuals from diverse backgrounds, for example those from underrepresented groups.

ARC Career Mentors. The ARC research education program should recruit professionals in biomedical research careers (e.g., academic research and teaching, industry or government research, and research-related careers) to provide the scholars with additional mentors.The program is encouraged to recruit ARC Career Mentors who are from diverse backgrounds, for example individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, persons with disabilities, and women. Mentors should have professional expertise and experience relevant to the proposed program and demonstrate potential for their intended roles. If mentors have been identified, applicants should synthesize and expand on the material presented in the biosketches. If mentors have not been identified, applicants should describe their access to a broad and diverse mentor pool with appropriate skills and experience. The application should address how the participating mentors will receive training on how to effectively mentor individuals from diverse backgrounds, for example those from underrepresented groups.

Program Participants. ARC F99 scholars will be assigned by the NIH up to three times per year (i.e., after each advisory council round) and are expected to remain in the program through the completion of their K00 award (up to five years). Describe the scientific and career interests of ARC F99/K00 scholars best aligned with the proposed research education activities.

Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity. All applications must include a description of plans to recruit prospective Career Mentors from diverse backgrounds, for example those underrepresented in the biomedical sciences, to help scholars gain access to potential role models within the program and to enhance the excellence of the research education program.

Applications lacking a Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity will not be reviewed.

Plan for Instruction in Methods for Enhancing Rigor and Reproducibility. Applicants must provide a Plan for Instruction in Methods for Enhancing Rigor and Reproducibility. The plan should describe how the program will reinforce the principles important for enhancing research rigor and reproducibility, for example, critical evaluation of foundational research underlying a project, rigorous experimental design and data interpretation, computational and quantitative approaches, consideration of relevant biological variables such as sex, authentication of key biological and/or chemical resources, data and material sharing, record keeping, and transparency in reporting. The plan should be appropriate and reasonable for the nature and duration of the proposed activities. Applicants are encouraged to consult the NIGMS clearinghouse for training modules to enhance data reproducibility and other resources when developing the plans.

Applications lacking a plan for instruction in methods for enhancing rigor and reproducibility will not be reviewed.

Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research. Applicants must provide a plan in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). Examples of potential topics may include conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, research ethics, and sexual harassment. The plan should be appropriate and reasonable for the nature and duration of the proposed activities. Explain how the teaching of RCR principles synergizes with elements of the activities designed to enhance the participants ability to conduct rigorous and reproducible research.

Applications lacking a plan for instruction in responsible conduct of research will not be reviewed.

Evaluation Plan. Applications must include a plan for evaluating the effectiveness of the programmatic and mentoring activities supported by the ARC research education award and the extent to which the measurable objectives are accomplished. The evaluation plan must explain how each outcome will be measured, and should specify baseline metrics, as well as measures to gauge the short- and long-term success of the research education award in achieving its objectives.

The metrics are expected to move beyond participant satisfaction, self-reporting of perceived skills gained, or self-reporting of effectiveness. Programs are encouraged, when appropriate, to measure psychosocial indicators of progress (e.g., science identity, a sense of belonging in the research community); however, these indicators should be linked to measurable outcomes (e.g., successful predoctoral to postdoctoral transitions; peer-reviewed publications; scientific presentations; honors/awards; leadership positions). Applicants should describe how participant outcomes will be tracked.

Applicants should describe plans to obtain feedback from participants to help identify program strengths and areas of development, to provide suggestions for improvements on program administration and effectiveness, and indicate the likelihood of utilizing the knowledge and skills gained for future education and career development. Applicants should also describe plans for being responsive to such feedback. As mentioned above, applicants are strongly encouraged to develop the programmatic activities and evaluation plan early in the planning phases and in consultation with an experienced evaluator. Individuals within the organization with evaluation experience are encouraged to serve as the consultants.

Applications lacking an Evaluation Plan will not be reviewed.

Dissemination Plan. A specific plan must be provided to disseminate nationally any findings resulting from or materials developed under the auspices of the research education program, e.g., sharing course curricula and related materials via web postings, presentations at scientific meetings, or workshops.

Applications lacking a Dissemination Plan will not be reviewed.

Consortium/Contractual Arrangement

If multiple organizations are collaborating to support a single ARC UE5 application, arrangements between the applicant organization and the consortium organization(s) should be included in the application as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Letters of Support

Organizational Commitment. (3-page maximum): Applications must include a letter from a Senior Administration Official at the applicant organization. This letter should be a signed letter on organizational letterhead, and it should describe the applicant organization’s commitment to the planned program. Appropriate commitment should include the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned research education program. The letter should describe how the organization ensures that proper policies, procedures, and oversight are in place to prevent discriminatory harassment and other discriminatory policies; responds appropriately to allegations of discriminatory practices , including any required notifications to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights ; and adopts and follows institutional procedure for requesting NIH prior approval of a change in the status of the Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) or other senior/key personnel if administrative or disciplinary action is taken that impacts the ability of the PD/PI or other key personnel to continue their roles on the NIH award described in the research education program application (also see NOT-OD-22-129 regarding policy on change in PD/PI status).

If the applicant proposes a multi-site research education project, the applicant organization must document the requisite administrative/technical capacity to support the management of a proposed collaborative multi-site project. All collaborative arrangements must be clearly described, and the applicant must provide assurances it is aware of NIH consortium policy and prepared to establish the necessary agreements.

Applications lacking an Organizational Commitment letter will not be reviewed.

Resource Sharing Plan
Note: Effective for due dates on or after January 25, 2023, a Data Management and Sharing Plan is not applicable for this NOFO.

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

Generally, Resource Sharing Plans are not applicable to this Program.

When relevant, applications are expected to include a software dissemination plan if support for development, maintenance, or enhancement of software is requested in the application. There is no prescribed single license for software produced. However, the software dissemination plan should address, as appropriate, the following goals:

  • Software source code should be freely available to biomedical researchers and educators in the non-profit sector, such as institutions of education, research institutions, and government laboratories. Users should be permitted to modify the code and share their modifications with others.
  • The terms of software availability should permit the commercialization of enhanced or customized versions of the software, or incorporation of the software or pieces of it into other software packages.
  • To preserve utility to the community, the software should be transferable such that another individual or team can continue development in the event that the original investigators are unwilling or unable to do so.

Appendix

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

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

PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

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

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

Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

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

Delayed Onset Study

Note: Delayed onset does NOT apply to a study that can be described but will not start immediately (i.e., delayed start). All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS Assignment Request Form
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

See Part 1. Section III.1 for information regarding the requirement for obtaining a unique entity identifier and for completing and maintaining active registrations in System for Award Management (SAM), NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code (if applicable), eRA Commons, and Grants.gov

4. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates and times. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission. When a submission date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.

Organizations must submit applications to Grants.gov (the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies). Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration. NIH and Grants.gov systems check the application against many of the application instructions upon submission. Errors must be corrected and a changed/corrected application must be submitted to Grants.gov on or before the application due date and time. If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late. Applications that miss the due date and time are subjected to the NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 2.3.9.2 Electronically Submitted Applications.

Applicants are responsible for viewing their application before the due date in the eRA Commons to ensure accurate and successful submission.

Information on the submission process and a definition of on-time submission are provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

5. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

6. Funding Restrictions

All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

7. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. Paper applications will not be accepted.

Applicants must complete all required registrations before the application due date. Section III. Eligibility Information contains information about registration.

For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit How to Apply Application Guide. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Dealing with System Issues guidance. For assistance with application submission, contact the Application Submission Contacts in Section VII.

Important reminders:

All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile form. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH.

The applicant organization must ensure that the unique entity identifier provided on the application is the same identifier used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the System for Award Management. Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness and compliance with application instructions by the Center for Scientific Review and the participating ICs. Applications that are incomplete or non-compliant will not be reviewed.

Requests of $500,000 or more for direct costs in any year

Applicants requesting $500,000 or more for direct costs (less consortium F&A) in any year are not required to contact a Scientific/ Research Contact prior to submitting an application. 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 is not applicable to this NOFO.

Post Submission Materials

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

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process. Applications submitted to the NIH in support of the NIH mission are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

For this NOFO, note the following: The goal of the ARC UE5 program is to support educational activities for cohorts of ARC F99 fellows/K00 scholars that will provide them with professional skills, mentoring and networks to allow them to transition into and succeed in postdoctoral research and career development opportunities.

Overall Impact

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to strongly advance research education by fulfilling the goal of this research education program, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria, as applicable for the project proposed.

Scored Review Criteria

Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact.


Is there convincing evidence in the application that the proposed research education program will significantly advance the stated goals of the overall ARC program?

Specific to this NOFO: How likely is the proposed research education program to provide ARC F99/K00 scholars opportunities for skills development, career development, and enhanced mentoring networks to facilitate their transition into and success in biomedical postdoctoral positions and, ultimately, impactful biomedical research careers?


Is/are the PD/PI(s) capable of providing both administrative and educational leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program? Is there evidence that an appropriate level of effort will be devoted by the program leadership to ensure the program's intended goal is accomplished? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project? If ARC career mentors have been identified, is there evidence that they have appropriate experience to mentor students and will be good role models for the participants by nature of their professional accomplishments? If ARC career mentors have not yet been identified, did the applicant have a convincing plan to recruit mentors with the appropriate skills and experience to be strong mentors and role models?

Specific to this NOFO: Do the PD(s)/PI(s) have a track record of involvement in, or leadership of, successful efforts to enhance diversity within the biomedical research workforce? Is there a robust plan to recruit prospective career mentors from diverse backgrounds (for example, those underrepresented in the biomedical sciences) and biomedical research careers (for example, academic research and teaching, industry or government research, and research-related careers)? Will career mentors receive training on how to effectively mentor individuals from diverse backgrounds?


Taking into consideration the nature of the proposed research education program, does the applicant make a strong case for this program effectively reaching an audience in need of the program’s offerings? Where appropriate, is the proposed program developing or utilizing innovative approaches and latest best practices to improve the knowledge and/or skills of the intended audience?


Is there evidence that the program goals and objectives are based on a sound rationale, as well as sound educational concepts and principles? Is the plan for evaluation sound and likely to provide information on the effectiveness of the program?

Specific to this NOFO: Is there a clear and convincing plan to ensure robust and appropriate career development and mentoring for ARC scholars in both the predoctoral (F99) and postdoctoral (K00) phases of the award? Will the proposed courses for skills development and mentoring activities prepare ARC scholars to transition into and succeed in postdoctoral positions? Does the research education plan address how the proposed activities will synergize with and not duplicate the ARC scholars individual career development plans? Is there a clear and convincing plan to provide activities that will enhance community among the ARC scholars and strengthen their cohorts? As appropriate, are there robust plans to leverage existing organizational structures to enhance the career development of ARC scholars? As appropriate, will the plans to engage with ARC scholars research sponsors/mentors improve the scholars mentoring and career development? Is there sufficient consideration of potential challenges that may be encountered and an appropriate description of alternative strategies that could be employed? Are the plans for building the ARC scholars' skills and knowledge to enhance the rigor, reproducibility and responsible conduct of their research well-conceived and likely to yield the desired results?


Will the scientific and educational environment of the proposed program contribute to its intended goals? Is there a plan to take advantage of this environment to enhance the educational value of the program? Is there tangible evidence of organizational commitment? Is there evidence that the PD/PI(s) have sufficient organizational support to create a sound educational environment for the participants? Where appropriate, is there evidence of collaboration and buy-in among participating programs, departments, and organizations?

Specific for this NOFO: Do outcomes from any relevant programs currently or previously administered by the organization suggest the environment can successfully achieve the goals of ARC?

Additional Review Criteria

As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will evaluate the following additional items while determining scientific and technical merit, and in providing an overall impact score, but will not give separate scores for these items.


Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.


Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.


Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.


Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.


Not Applicable


Not Applicable


Not Applicable


Taking into account the specific characteristics of the proposed research education program and, the level of participant experience, the reviewers will evaluate the adequacy of the proposed Training in Methods for Enhancing Rigor and Reproducibility.


Taking into account the specific characteristics of the proposed research education program and the level of participant experience, the reviewers will evaluate the adequacy of the proposed RCR training.


Reviewers will evaluate the strategies to be used in the recruitment of a diverse pool of potential career mentors.

Additional Review Considerations

As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items, and should not consider them in providing an overall impact score.


Not Applicable


Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.


Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.

If support for development, maintenance, or enhancement of software is requested in the application, the reviewers will comment on the proposed software dissemination plan.


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

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit, in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications will receive a written critique.

Applications may undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific and technical merit (generally the top half of applications under review) will be discussed and assigned an overall impact score.

Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this NOFO. 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, consistent with applicable law:

  • Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by scientific peer review.
  • Availability of funds.
  • Relevance of the proposed project to program priorities.
  • Portfolio breadth and appropriate distribution across scientific disciplines.
  • Geographic distribution.

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD/PI will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written critique) via the eRA Commons. Refer to Part 1 for dates for peer review, advisory council review, and earliest start date.

Information regarding the disposition of applications is available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 2.4.4 Disposition of Applications.

Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization for successful applications. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document and will be sent via email to the recipient’s business official.

Awardees must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.6. Funding Restrictions. Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.

Any application awarded in response to this NOFO will be subject to terms and conditions found on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website. This includes any recent legislation and policy applicable to awards that is highlighted on this website.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Recipients, and Activities, including of note, but not limited to:

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

Should the applicant organization successfully compete for an award, recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS will be required to complete an HHS Assurance of Compliance form (HHS Assurance of Compliance form (HHS 690)) in which the recipient agrees, as a condition of receiving the grant, to administer programs in compliance with federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex and disability, and agreeing to comply with federal conscience laws, where applicable. This includes ensuring that entities take meaningful steps to provide meaningful access to persons with limited English proficiency; and ensuring effective communication with persons with disabilities. Where applicable, Title XI and Section 1557 prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and gender identity, The HHS Office for Civil Rights provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. See https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-providers/provider-obligations/index.html and https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/nondiscrimination/index.html.

HHS recognizes that research projects are often limited in scope for many reasons that are nondiscriminatory, such as the principal investigator’s scientific interest, funding limitations, recruitment requirements, and other considerations. Thus, criteria in research protocols that target or exclude certain populations are warranted where nondiscriminatory justifications establish that such criteria are appropriate with respect to the health or safety of the subjects, the scientific study design, or the purpose of the research. For additional guidance regarding how the provisions apply to NIH grant programs, please contact the Scientific/Research Contact that is identified in Section VII under Agency Contacts of this NOFO.

Please contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights for more information about obligations and prohibitions under federal civil rights laws at https://www.hhs.gov/ocr/about-us/contact-us/index.html or call 1-800-368-1019 or TDD 1-800-537-7697.

In accordance with the statutory provisions contained in Section 872 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417), NIH awards will be subject to the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) requirements. FAPIIS requires Federal award making officials to review and consider information about an applicant in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS) prior to making an award. An applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through FAPIIS and comment on any information about itself that a federal agency previously entered and is currently in FAPIIS. The Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgement about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 45 CFR Part 75.205 and 2 CFR Part 200.206 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants. This provision will apply to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements except fellowships.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

The following special terms of award are in addition to, and not in lieu of, otherwise applicable U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) administrative guidelines, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) grant administration regulations at 2 CFR 200 and other HHS, PHS, and NIH grant administration policies. The administrative and funding instrument used for this program will function as a cooperative agreement, an "assistance" mechanism (rather than an "acquisition" mechanism), in which substantial NIH programmatic involvement with the recipients is anticipated during the performance of the activities. Under the cooperative agreement, the NIH purpose is to support and stimulate the recipients' activities by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the award recipients in a partnership role; it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activities. Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility will remain with the awardees for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities may be shared among the recipients and the NIH as defined below.

The PD(s)/PI(s) will have the primary responsibility for:

  • Adhering to the overall objective of the ARC program.
  • Developing and implementing the courses for skills development, mentoring, and networking activities.
  • Managing the programmatic activities such as:
    • Handling the logistics of participant registration and associated payments/reimbursements for non-federal participants;
    • Contracting the facilities that will host the courses and provide housing for course faculty, staff, and participants;
    • Developing and administering course-specific evaluation instruments to course participants, faculty, and administrators;
    • Analyzing course-specific evaluation data and presenting the results at professional conferences and/or in publications;
    • Collecting ARC-specific evaluation data in and participating in ARC-specific analyses, presentations, and publications;
  • Contributing to the cooperative nature of the ARC program, recipients will retain custody of and have primary rights to the data and software developed under these awards, subject to Government rights of access consistent with current DHHS, PHS, and NIH policies.

NIH staff have substantial programmatic involvement that is above and beyond the normal stewardship role in awards, as described below:

Project Coordinator: NIH Project Coordinator(s) with expertise in relevant areas will:

  • Help guide the development of each ARC research education award and the ARC network by providing overall advice and coordination;
  • Facilitate a partnership with NIH and ensure that the directions taken by the ARC research education award are consistent with NIH missions and goals;
  • Make recommendations regarding project direction to maintain scientific balance between accomplishing the goal and objectives of ARC and addressing emerging opportunities;
  • Promote communication between NIH and the recipient; and
  • Facilitate, not direct, activities.

The Project Coordinator will not participate in the oversight of the funding announcement, application review or programmatic and budgetary stewardship of the award. The Project Coordinator will also not participate as an active researcher in the execution of the funded research and will not be an author on any publications resulting from the project.

Program Official: The NIH Program Official will be responsible for oversight of the funding announcement and the normal programmatic stewardship of the award, including participating in funding recommendations, and will be named in the award notice. The program official will make assignments of ARC F99 scholars to UE5 awardees in consultation with the ARC F99 Scientific/Research Contacts at Participating NIH Institutes and Centers. The Program Official will not partake of the duties of the Project Coordinator.

Areas of Joint Responsibility include:

During the course of the award period, the recipient(s) will be invited to meet with NIH staff, and/or other interested parties at an annual meeting either in Bethesda, MD or virtually convened to review progress, and share outcomes. Recipients and NIH staff (i.e., project coordinator(s)) will work together to plan these meetings. Recipients will be responsible for paying travel expenses for the annual meeting from the award budget.

Dispute Resolution: Disagreements between award recipients and the NIH that arise regarding matters related to the scientific direction of the funded program may be brought to Dispute Resolution. A Dispute Resolution Panel composed of three members will be convened. The panel will consist of a designee of the recipient, one NIH designee, and a third designee with expertise in the relevant area who is chosen by the other two. This special dispute resolution procedure does not alter the awardee's right to appeal an adverse action that is otherwise appealable in accordance with PHS regulation 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D and DHHS regulation 45 CFR Part 16.

3. Data Management and Sharing

Note: The NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing is effective for due dates on or after January 25, 2023.

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

4. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, recipients will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Continuation support will not be provided until the required forms are submitted and accepted.

Programs that involve participants should report on education in the responsible conduct of research and complete a Trainee Diversity Report in accordance with the RPPR Instruction Guide. Additionally, applicants should submit the NRSA Training Table 8A: Predoctoral Program Outcomes in Section G1 of the RPPR.

NIH NOFOs outline intended research goals and objectives. Post award, NIH will review and measure performance based on the details and outcomes that are shared within the RPPR, as described at 45 CFR Part 75.301 and 2 CFR 200.301.

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 recipients of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over the threshold. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement.

Failure by the recipient 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.

In accordance with the regulatory requirements 45 CFR Part 75 and 2 CFR Part 200 and Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75.113 and 2 CFR Part 200.113, 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 and 2 CFR Part 200 Award Term and Condition for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.

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

5. Evaluation

In carrying out its stewardship of human resource-related programs, the NIH or its Institutes and Centers will periodically evaluate their research education programs, employing the measures identified below. In assessing the effectiveness of its research education investments, NIH may request information from databases, PD/PIs, and from participants themselves. Where necessary, PD/PIs and participants may be contacted after the completion of a research education experience for periodic updates on participants subsequent educational or employment history and professional activities.

In evaluating this research education program NIH expects to use evaluation measures including (but not limited to):

For Courses for Skills Development and Mentoring Programs for Predoctorates and Postdoctorates:

  • Aggregate number and demographic characteristics of participants
  • Course/Activity Content
  • Participants feedback on the program
  • New knowledge or skills acquired
  • Participants' psychosocial measures (e.g., self-efficacy for biomedical research career search, science identity)
  • Size and breadth of participants' professional networks
  • Subsequent educational/career progress of participants, including:
    • Subsequent participation in research
    • Subsequent employment in a research or research-related field
    • Subsequent authorship of scientific publications in a STEM field
    • Subsequent independent research grant support from NIH or another source

Section VII. Agency Contacts

We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.

Application Submission Contacts

eRA Service Desk (Questions regarding ASSIST, eRA Commons, application errors and warnings, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, and post-submission issues)

Finding Help Online: https://www.era.nih.gov/need-help (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)

General Grants Information (Questions regarding application instructions, application processes, and NIH grant resources)
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-637-3015

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and Workspace)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726
Email: support@grants.gov

SBA Company Registry (Questions regarding required registration at the SBA Company Registry and for technical questions or issues)
Website to Email: http://sbir.gov/feedback?type=reg

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Laurie Stepanek, Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Email: laurie.stepanek@nih.gov

Lameese D. Akacem, Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Email: lameese.akacem@nih.gov

Christopher Barnhart, PhD
Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO)
Telephone: 301-594-8983
Email: christopher.barnhart@nih.gov

Sekai Chideya-Chihota, Ph.D.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Phone: 240-552-2994
Email: sekai.chideya@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Email: NIGMSReview@mail.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Justin Rosenzweig
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Email: justin.rosenzweig@nih.gov

Debbie Chen
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Phone: 301-594-3788
Email: debbie.chen@nih.gov


Section VIII. Other Information

Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Authority and Regulations

Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Part 75 and 2 CFR Part 200.

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