Department of Health and Human Services
Part 1. Overview Information

 

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute on Aging (NIA)

Funding Opportunity Title

Alzheimer's-related Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (AD-RCMAR) (P30)

Activity Code

P30 Center Core Grants

Successful applicants will receive support through the Linked Center Core Grant mechanism that includes a primary P30 (Center Core grant) award and an RL5 (Linked Education Project) award.

Announcement Type

New

Related Notices

None

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-AG-18-002

Companion Funding Opportunity

RFA-AG-18-004, R24 Resource-Related Research Projects

RFA-AG-18-003, P30 Center Core Grants

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)

93.866 

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) invites applications from qualified institutions for the creation of Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMARs) with a focus on behavioral or social science research related to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD). The primary purpose of this FOA is (1) to support centers that will enhance the diversity of the aging research workforce by mentoring promising scientists from under-represented groups for sustained careers in ADRD-relevant research in a selected area of scientific focus, and (2) to develop infrastructure to promote advances in this area and increase the number of researchers focused on the health and well-being of minority elders. RCMARs focus on priority areas of social, behavioral, and economic research on the processes of aging at the individual or societal level. The program supports research at multiple levels from genetics to cross-national comparative research, and at stages from basic through translational, with the goal to improve the health, well-being, function, and independence of older Americans. This new cycle of RCMARs will expand the scientific scope of the program to include a subset of centers focused on priority areas of social and behavioral science related to Alzheimer’s disease, including research on the epidemiology of ADRD, preventive interventions for ADRD, and the formal and informal care challenges of individuals with ADRD and their family members. Consistent with the longstanding focus of the RCMAR program on minority aging research, all centers are also expected to offer mentoring in health disparities and minority aging issues as a major component of their research education programs, thereby enhancing the potential impact of research supported by the program on all sectors of our aging society.  

Key Dates

 

Posted Date

April 5, 2017

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

June 20, 2017

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

June 20, 2017

Application Due Date(s)

July 20, 2017, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on this date. 

No late applications will be accepted for this Funding Opportunity Announcement.

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.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

September/October 2017

Advisory Council Review

January 2018

Earliest Start Date

April 2018)

Expiration Date

July 21, 2017

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

** ELECTRONIC APPLICATION SUBMISSION REQUIRED**

NIH’s new Application Submission System & Interface for Submission Tracking (ASSIST) is available for the electronic preparation and submission of multi-project applications through Grants.gov to NIH. Applications to this FOA must be submitted electronically using ASSIST or an institutional system-to-system solution; paper applications will not be accepted. ASSIST replaces the Grants.gov downloadable forms currently used with most NIH opportunities and provides many features to enable electronic multi-project application submission and improve data quality, including: pre-population of organization and PD/PI data, pre-submission validation of many agency business rules and the generation of data summaries in the application image used for review.

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the Multi-Project (M) 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) and where instructions in the Application Guide are directly related to the Grants.gov downloadable forms currently used with most NIH opportunities. 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.


There are several options available to submit your application through Grants.gov to NIH and Department of Health and Human Services partners.

  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.

Learn more about the various submission options.

Table of Contents

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


Part 2. Full Text of Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Purpose

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) invites applications from qualified institutions for the creation of Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMARs) with a focus on behavioral or social science research related to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD). The primary purpose of this FOA is (1) to support centers that will enhance the diversity of the aging research workforce by providing enrichment support to promising scientists from under-represented groups for sustained careers in ADRD-relevant research in a selected area of scientific focus, and (2) to develop infrastructure to promote advances in this area and increase the number of researchers focused on the health and well-being of minority elders. RCMARs focus on priority areas of social, behavioral, and economic research on the processes of aging at the individual or societal level. The program supports research at multiple levels from genetics to cross-national comparative research, and at stages from basic through translational, with the goal to improve the health, well-being, function, and independence of older Americans. This new cycle of RCMARs will expand the scientific scope of the program to include a subset of centers focused on priority areas of social and behavioral science related to Alzheimer’s disease, including research on the epidemiology of ADRD, preventive interventions for ADRD, and the formal and informal care challenges of individuals with ADRD and their family members. Consistent with the longstanding focus of the RCMAR program on minority aging research, all centers are also expected to offer mentoring in health disparities and minority aging issues as a major component of their research education programs, thereby enhancing the potential impact of research supported by the program on all sectors of our aging society.

Applicants are encouraged to check the NIA webpage periodically for frequently asked questions about applying to the RCMAR program.

Research Objectives

The AD-RCMAR awards are designed to strengthen and diversify the aging research workforce by mentoring diverse scientists in programs that focus and sustain progress on a key area in aging research in a selected area of scientific focus, and to develop infrastructure to promote advances in this area and increase the number of researchers focused on the health and well-being of minority elders.

There is a critical need to sustain a research workforce that is multidisciplinary and diverse. 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 public trust.

In spite of tremendous advancements in scientific research, information and educational and research opportunities are not equally available to all.

Programmatic Approach

To meet NIA’s long-range goals, AD-RCMARs will create research infrastructure by establishing a mechanism for mentoring sustained careers in ADRD-relevant research in a selected area of scientific focus for scientists from groups under-represented in the scientific workforce. AD-RCMARs will also develop infrastructure to promote advances in this area and increase the number of researchers focused on the health and well-being of minority elders. Since 1997, the National Institute on Aging has supported the RCMAR program as an infrastructure and mentoring program aimed at diversifying the aging research workforce focused on minority aging and health disparities research. The success of this program in preparing early-stage investigators for productive research careers motivates the expansion of the program to address workforce diversity needs in all areas of the social and behavioral sciences addressing issues relevant to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

The primary AD-RCMAR objective is to enhance the pool of researchers from underrepresented backgrounds in the professional scientific workforce who conduct independent social and behavioral research on the health of older populations and to advance scientific progress in a ADRD-relevant research area through mentoring, pilot research support, and infrastructure development. Applicants will design a research and mentoring program focusing upon a site’s scientific strengths. The focus may be defined broadly but should constitute the organizing idea for the Center and be apparent in the application. Centers are encouraged to embrace transdisciplinary research, in particular the integration of the biological, social, and behavioral sciences in ways that are innovative and illuminating for topics relevant to the NIA mission. Therefore, interaction among social, behavioral, economic, biological, neural, and clinical sciences is both anticipated and encouraged in addressing a site-specific ADRD-relevant research focus.

The AD-RCMAR solicitation is intended to meet its objectives by embracing the following general requirements:

  • Concentrate mentoring and research in the behavioral, social, and/or economic sciences using multiple disciplines and multiple levels of analyses on a defined ADRD-relevant research focus or domain;
  • Foster mentoring relationships between experienced researchers and junior colleagues, or those recruited from other areas;
  • Enhance the pool of researchers from underrepresented backgrounds conducting research on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias;
  • Support and mentor pilot research projects addressing a site’s research focus that are designed to help new or early career investigators achieve independence in ADRD-relevant research in the behavioral or social sciences and allied fields;
  • Support long-term mentoring relationships that will establish enduring careers of researchers from underrepresented backgrounds conducting ADRD-relevant research;
  • Provide education in health disparities and the unique challenges facing minority elders, so that mentored scientists will have the skills necessary to ensure that their research has the potential to improve the lives of all sectors of the aging population.

The NIA welcomes applications for centers with a primary focus on a specific area of health disparities or minority aging research in ADRD, although this focus is not required. RCMARs have historically played an important role in enhancing the capacity of social, behavioral, and economic scientists to conduct research among and within diverse populations, so that the field can make advances in closing the health disparities gap between minority and non-minority elderly populations. Mentoring of researchers from underrepresented backgrounds to meet this objective is a pressing need. Regardless of the primary area of scientific focus, all centers should include in their Research Education Component (described below) plans to provide early investigators with skills needed to engage in research addressing health disparities and issues facing minority elders. 

As with all research, mentoring in methodological and measurement issues is essential. To compete in the current research environment, scientists will need skills that can cut across multiple scientific disciplines. All AD-RCMARs should incorporate approaches to equip mentored investigators with strong analytic and methodological skills needed to work successfully on multidisciplinary teams in an increasingly transdisciplinary scientific environment. Expertise in methodology is critical on the mentoring team and leadership of the Research Education Component and (optional) Analytic Core, as outlined below.

Each selected AD-RCMAR will be required to work with a Coordinating Center (CC) to agree on common reporting standards which may include a program wide, semi-annual Program Emphasis and Outcomes Report. Each site will also be required to send a minimum of three participants (one of whom is the PD/PI) to an Annual Investigators’ Meeting to be held at an AD-RCMAR or RCMAR site that is mutually agreeable to AD-RCMAR and RCMAR PD/PIs and NIA program staff. Finally, all funded AD-RCMARs will implement, in conjunction with the CC, a reporting and tracking system for any pilot investigators funded by the specific Center. 

Area of Scientific Focus

With this announcement, NIA seeks to diversify the research workforce working to advance behavioral and social sciences research relevant to Alzheimer’s disease through the support of ADRD-focused RCMAR Centers. To achieve the objectives listed above, each AD-RCMAR should create the infrastructure to promote a sustained program in an ADRD-relevant area of focus through which the center will accomplish the innovation, leadership, collaboration, and mentoring functions described above. It is crucial to the design of an AD-RCMAR to identify an important research area to be addressed, to specify the goals to be achieved within the five-year AD-RCMAR award period, to provide a plan to reach these goals, and to outline a method to evaluate progress toward these goals during the course of the AD-RCMAR award. The selection of Core activities (see below) should follow from these considerations. For this announcement, an AD-RCMAR may select an area of research focus from a broad range of social and behavioral science themes relevant to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Research on the role of social, behavioral, and environmental factors in the etiology of Alzheimer’s disease;
  • Development of preventive interventions based on a deeper understanding of those factors and their hypothesized causal role;
  • Research aimed at better understanding and addressing the caregiving needs of individuals suffering from ADRD as well as those of their formal and informal caregivers;
  • Advance care planning and end-of-life decision making, and interventions to support families of individuals with advanced dementia;
  • Health disparities research on ADRD, focused on the study of biological, behavioral, sociocultural, and environmental factors that influence population-level health differences;
  • Health services research on ADRD, including design, organization, and financing of Long-term Services and Supports;
  • Cross-national research on the epidemiology, demography, and economic impact of dementia.

NIA is particularly interested in applications with an ADRD-relevant research focus within one or more of the four integrative research areas designated by the National Advisory Council on Aging, in their 2013 review of the Division of Behavioral and Social Research, as meriting high-priority support:

  • Research that illuminates the pathways by which social, psychological, economic, and behavioral factors affect health in middle-aged and older adults.
  • Research aimed at understanding and modifying organizational or individual behaviors associated with positive and negative health outcomes in later life, including organizational and individual interventions in the health care system.
  • Research on factors that affect population aging, as well as the consequences of population aging, particularly in the context of demographic and epidemiologic transitions in progress and macro aspects about health, economics, and retirement.
  • Research that ameliorates the impact of disadvantaged position in society, including research that focuses on critical periods for reversing such effects and/or the optimal timing of intervention.

Centers should encourage investigators supported by the RCMAR to pursue innovative, cross-disciplinary research and emphasize the integration of biology, social and behavioral science, and the environment in studies relevant to understanding individual and population aging.

In pursuit of a Center’s focus, applicants are strongly encouraged to collaborate with at least one other NIA research center (e.g., Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMARs), Centers on the Demography and Economics of Aging, Roybal Centers, Alzheimer's Disease Centers (ADCs), Nathan Shock Centers, Claude D. Pepper Centers ) and/or established Clinical and Translation Science Institutions (CTSAs), if appropriate. The application should demonstrate how the collaboration would mutually benefit the scientific goals of collaborating centers.

The AD-RCMARs will demonstrate their ADRD-relevant scientific focus or research domain by internally funding Pilot Studies, typically to new or early career investigators called RCMAR Scientists. Pilot projects may be in any area of ADRD-relevant research relevant to the center’s scientific focus and the NIA mission. Greater detail on Pilot Studies is found below in the FOA section, “Organization” and in Section IV.2 of this announcement. 

Organization

Each AD-RCMAR should be organized around a series of core activities related to the center's infrastructure-building and mentoring goals. The cores should be organized to provide intellectual leadership and innovation; facilitate and develop novel multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary research strategies; stimulate incorporation of emerging technologies, methods and scientific advances into research designs as appropriate; and provide mentoring for future leaders in aging research from underrepresented backgrounds. 

A minimum of three Cores/Components is required: Each application must include an Administrative Core (AC) and a Research Education Component (REC); the composition of a third Resources Core is at the applicant's discretion. The Administrative Core (AC) will provide intellectual leadership for the AD-RCMAR and insure the focus of activities remains within the Center's scientific area of focus. The goal of the REC is to provide a mentoring mechanism leading to enduring careers in ADRD-relevant research for RCMAR Scientists. Individuals targeted for mentoring relationships may include early-career researchers and/or mid-career scientists newly transitioning into research on ADRD. Given advances in new analytic approaches and the need for advanced education in statistics and emerging methodologies, an Analysis Core (AnC) is strongly encouraged. A Community Liaison and Recruitment Core (CLRC), or other Resource Cores, as needed, may be included at the applicant institution’s discretion. Applicants should refer to Section IV.2 of this announcement for specific instructions on requirements for each of the Cores.

Centers are expected to provide intellectual leadership and create an organization that integrates activities across the site’s Cores to support scientific and educational advancement in the Center's scientific area of focus.

Special Requirements: Administrative Core (Required Core)

The Administrative Core (AC) will provide intellectual leadership for the AD-RCMAR. AD-RCMARs should have strong and experienced central leadership with an Administrative Core (AC) directed by the PD/PI(s). The PD/PI(s) should be recognized leaders in the AD-RCMAR’s ADRD-relevant scientific area of focus and experienced in successfully mentoring investigators from underrepresented backgrounds. This Core will coordinate proposed activities and maintain internal information flow. The administrative core is responsible for managing and coordinating interaction among the PD/PI(s), the core leaders, RCMAR Scientists, mentors of pilot projects, other researchers at the applicant institution as well as outside institutions, other NIA-funded Centers, appropriate institutional administrative personnel, the staff of the awarding agency, and the members of the community in which the Center is located, as appropriate to the scientific focus of the AD-RCMAR.

The AC is responsible for ensuring the focus of all activities on the AD-RCMAR’s ADRD-relevant area of scientific focus and for completion of a semi-annual Report, which, together with the Coordinating Center (CC), may yield a mechanism for synthesizing research findings, mentoring activities, and progress toward meeting AD-RCMAR-specific goals. The Report may be disseminated to scientific, host community, and policy audiences, as well as within NIA/NIH. Key responsibilities of the Administrative Core include:

  • Creating mechanisms and procedures for ensuring interaction between the site’s Cores.
  • Ensuring that AD-RCMAR researchers and pilot investigators interact with colleagues at the parent and affiliated institutions.  
  • Developing approaches to ensure recruitment and retention of investigators from underrepresented backgrounds (RCMAR Scientists) and the viability of mentoring and training relationships among affiliated institutions.
  • Oversight of solicitation, review and selection of pilot studies for funding. The AC should ensure that the Center’s ADRD-relevant research focus is maintained. 
  • Planning for solicitation of pilot projects and submission of recommendations to the Project Officers.
  • Coordinating AD-RCMAR participation in the Annual RCMAR Investigators Meeting.
  • Coordinating and maintaining an External Advisory Group to advise the AD-RCMAR on its recruitment strategies, mentoring program, and ability to exert significant scientific impact in its ADRD-relevant area of focus through pilot funding and infrastructure development activities.

Special Requirements: Research Education Component (Required)

The goal of the Research Education Component (REC) is to provide a mentoring mechanism leading to enduring careers in ADRD-relevant research for RCMAR Scientists. Individuals participating in mentoring relationships may include early-career researchers and/or mid-career scientists newly transitioning into ADRD-relevant research. It is the responsibility of the REC to assure successful mentoring of, and collaboration with, researchers from underrepresented backgrounds. The purpose of the REC is to enhance diversity in the professional research workforce dealing with the health of older adults by: supporting Pilot Studies for RCMAR Scientists in areas relevant to the Center's scientific area of focus; providing Continuing Mentoring Activity for RCMAR Scientists to achieve independent investigator status; offering education in Health Disparities and Minority Aging Research; and providing activities and resources to the Scientists throughout their AD-RCMAR affiliation, both during and after pilot funding.

Research Education Component: Pilot Studies (Required Activity)

A core function of the Research Education Component is to support a minimum of three pilot studies per year, with named investigators, for the first year and should anticipate funding a minimum of three pilot studies during each subsequent year. First year pilots should be described in the application (see Section IV.2). Topics chosen for pilot studies by RCMAR Scientists should be germane to the ADRD-relevant research focus of the AD-RCMAR (see Area of Scientific Focus, above). These pilot studies are intended to be the primary focus of the AD-RCMAR’s mentoring activity. Support for each pilot study is expected to last a minimum of one year and should be of sufficient scope, duration, and amount to result in at least one peer-reviewed publication in a major journal of the appropriate field. 

In years 02 through 05, each AD-RCMAR will be responsible for: (1) selecting and funding a minimum of three new pilot investigators in each year unless a different strategy is warranted and justified (note that the Project Officer must approve all new pilot projects at the time that the Type 5 non-competing continuation application is submitted); (2) demonstrating that prior years’ pilot studies led to success in obtaining independent investigator awards (see "Continuing Mentoring Activity," below); and (3) tracking the successes of its pilot investigators through publications and awards.

Research Education Component: Continuing Mentoring Activity (Required Activity)

A second role of the Research Education Component is to support RCMAR Scientists in the process of attaining independent investigator status, ideally in fields that address ADRD-relevant priorities in the behavioral and social sciences, as articulated above. Each AD-RCMAR, in conjunction with the Coordinating Center, should plan to participate in a semi-annual reporting procedure to track the success of its pilot investigators.

Research Education Component: Mentoring in Health Disparities and Minority Aging Research (Required Activity)

Each AD-RCMAR should design strategies for mentoring RCMAR Scientists in research on aging health disparities and minority aging issues relevant to the ADRD scientific focus of the center. This should include mentoring in measurement and methodology for working with diverse aging populations or in use of existing or secondary data in areas of investigation related to ADRD-relevant health disparities. 

Special Requirements:  Analysis Core (Encouraged but not required)

The Analysis Core (AnC) may have one or both Core functions: (1) identifying, cataloging, distributing and/or creating culturally informed and scientifically valid epidemiological, behavioral, or social measurement tools and/or (2) the analysis of secondary data, such as economic, behavioral, psychological, biological, or genetic data. Regardless of the creation of an Analysis Core, methodological and statistical support is expected for all RCMAR Scientists. Including an AnC in the application requires a commitment beyond this minimal mentoring activity. AnC personnel should have expertise in research methodology and measurement especially related to the scientific area of focus upon which the AD-RCMAR concentrates its efforts, or unique expertise on the use of secondary data of social and behavioral (including biosocial and biobehavioral) datasets.  

It is the responsibility of the AnC, in conjunction with the Coordinating Center (see below), to create, identify, catalogue, and disseminate scientific information regarding novel methodological developments or measurement approaches or new data resources produced by the AD-RCMAR. 

Special Requirements:  Community Liaison and Recruitment Core (Optional)

Another infrastructure need for ADRD-relevant research is the recruitment and maintenance of diverse older adult populations as research participants in social, behavioral, and biomedical research.  Knowledge of recruitment and retention techniques to include representative populations in aging and ADRD-relevant research is imperative. Involvement with participant communities and the development of scientifically verifiable techniques for participant recruitment and retention (especially among health disparities populations) may be critical for advancement in the AD-RCMAR’s area of focus.

A Community Liaison and Recruitment Core (CLRC) may serve several functions, such as: (1) increasing the scientific knowledge of techniques for recruiting and retaining diverse and population-representative research participants; (2) working with the host community in providing research participants for research projects funded by the Center; and (3) providing feedback to the host community on research advances impacting its members. This research translation function is essential to ensure the generalizability of NIH-funded research to all sectors of our society. These objectives can be met in tandem with other NIA Centers, at the discretion of both the AD-RCMAR and the other Centers. NOTE: The CLRC is not intended as a service function for AD-RCMAR targeted study communities. It is a science-generating Core.

The CLRC should create and disseminate scientific information regarding techniques for recruiting and retaining diverse, population-representative research participants into ADRD research, including participants with dementia and their family members and informal caregivers, as appropriate to the scientific focus of the AD-RCMAR. 

Special Requirements:  Additional Cores

Other cores can be proposed if they contribute to the overall mission of the Center, are scientifically justified, support research affiliated with the Center, and fit within the budget guidelines. 

Goals and Evaluation of Outcomes

The goal of this FOA (and its companion FOAs) is to increase the diversity of the aging research workforce by mentoring new leaders in aging research, promote advances in a particular area of ADRD-relevant research in the behavioral and social sciences, and increase the number of investigators addressing issues related to minority aging populations The success of the program will be determined by the extent to which investigator development activities and pilot funding lead to impactful publications and to successful grant awards for research on AD and related dementias.  

Evaluation Plan. Applications must include a plan for evaluating the activities supported by the Research Education Component, with clearly specified metrics for assessing the success of the program in diversifying the aging research workforce in priority areas of AD-relevant behavioral and social research on aging and creating the infrastructure to support rigorous research on minority aging populations. Please see Section IV.2 for details about the requirements of the evaluation plan.

In 2015, the NIA evaluated the RCMAR program and found that the program has been successful in recruiting a highly diverse group of researchers. RCMAR Scientists’ success rates in receiving K, R01, R21 and R03 awards are comparable to overall NIA success rates. RCMAR Scientists are publishing highly cited and influential articles, and the majority are continuing careers in areas related to aging, health disparities, or some combination of the two. The NIA considers the RCMAR program as a model for mentoring promising new and early stage investigators from underrepresented backgrounds for sustained careers in aging research, and will continue to evaluate the program every 5-10 years to ensure that it is meeting these goals.

See Section VIII. Other Informationfor award authorities and regulations.

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

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

Application Types Allowed

New  

The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

National Institute on Aging intends to commit $2.25 million in total costs in FY 2018 to fund 3-4 new awards. The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations.

Award Budget

NIA expects to fund Centers of different sizes. Application budgets are limited to $500K in direct costs and should reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

Award Project Period

 The project period is 5 years.  

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

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:

o   Hispanic-serving Institutions

o   Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

o   Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)

o   Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions

o   Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

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

For-Profit Organizations

  • Small Businesses
  • For-Profit Organizations (Other than Small Businesses)

Governments

  • State Governments
  • County Governments
  • City or Township Governments
  • Special District Governments
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized)
  • U.S. Territory or Possession

Other

  • Independent School Districts
  • Public Housing Authorities/Indian Housing Authorities
  • Native American Tribal Organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Faith-based or Community-based Organizations
  • Regional Organizations
Foreign 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 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 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.

  • Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) - All registrations require that applicants be issued a DUNS number. After obtaining a DUNS number, applicants can begin both SAM and eRA Commons registrations. The same DUNS number must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly CCR) – 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. 
  • eRA Commons - Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the eRA Commons registration. Organizations can register with the eRA Commons as they are working through their SAM or Grants.gov registration. 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 DUNS number and 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 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 SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

2. Cost Sharing

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

3. Additional Information on Eligibility
Number of Applications

Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.

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

  • A new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping new (A0) or resubmission (A1) application.
  • A resubmission (A1) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of the previous new (A0) application.
  • An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see NOT-OD-11-101).
Research Education Component Only
 
Program Faculty

Researchers from underrepresented backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as preceptors/mentors. Mentors should have research expertise and experience relevant to the proposed program. Mentors must be committed to continue their involvement throughout the total period of the mentee’s participation in this award.

Participants

Unless strongly justified on the basis of exceptional relevance to NIH, research education programs should be used primarily for the education of U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Requesting an Application Package

A button to access the online ASSIST system is available in Part 1 of this FOA. See your administrative office for instructions if you plan to use an institutional system-to-system solution.

Most applicants will use NIH’s ASSIST system to prepare and submit applications through Grants.gov to NIH. Applications prepared and submitted using applicant systems capable of submitting electronic multi-project applications to Grants.gov will also be accepted.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the Multi-Project (M) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Grant Application Instructions except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise and where instructions in the Application Guide are directly related to the Grants.gov downloadable forms currently used with most NIH opportunities. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

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

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:

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • Name(s), address(es), and telephone number(s) of the PD(s)/PI(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Lis Nielsen, Ph.D.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Telephone: 301-402-4156
Email: nielsenli@nia.nih.gov

Page Limitations

Component Types Available in ASSIST

Research Strategy/Program Plan Page Limits

Overall

6

Admin Core (use for Administrative Core)

6

Res Ed Component (use for Research Education Component)

12

Resources Core (use for Analysis Core, Community Liaison and Recruitment Core, or Other Core)

6

Additional page limits described in the SF424 Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.

Instructions for the Submission of Multi-Component Applications

The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, and should be used for preparing a multi-component application.

The application should consist of the following components:

  • Overall: required
  • Administrative Core: required; maximum of 1
  • Research Education Component: required; maximum of 1

Resources Core: at least 1 (use for Analysis Core, Community Liaison and Recruitment Core, Other Cores as appropriate)

Overall Component

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type ‘Overall’.

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Overall)

Complete entire form.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement  (Overall)

Note: Human Embryonic Stem Cell lines from other components should be repeated in cell line table in Overall component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Overall)

Follow standard instructions.

Project Summary: Present a brief overview of the entire application and summarize the general plan and goals for the proposed AD-RCMAR.

Facilities and Other Resources: Include information here regarding the interrelationship of the AD-RCMAR to other activities in the applicant's institution (e.g., other relevant research centers and projects) and the extent of institutional, departmental, and interdepartmental cooperation. (A chart or diagram may be used.) In addition, describe the administrative relationships of the proposed AD-RCMAR to the institution. Include relevant issues relating to institutional commitment and settings. Information provided in this section should be limited to describing the resources and environment available to the AD-RCMAR as a whole or its components. All applicant institutions should demonstrate a history of commitment to mentoring scientists from underrepresented backgrounds.

Project/Performance Site Location(s) (Overall)

Enter primary site only.

A summary of Project/Performance Sites in the Overall section of the assembled application image in eRA Commons compiled from data collected in the other components will be generated upon submission.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Overall)

Include only the Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) and any multi-PDs/PIs (if applicable to this FOA) for the entire application.

The PD/PI should be a scientific leader experienced in the AD-RCMAR's scientific area of focus, have a history of commitment to mentoring new investigators, and be able to coordinate, integrate, and provide guidance in the establishment of programs in the AD-RCMAR's area of scientific focus.

A summary of Senior/Key Persons followed by their Biographical Sketches in the Overall section of the assembled application image in eRA Commons will be generated upon submission.

Budget (Overall)

The only budget information included in the Overall component is the Estimated Project Funding section of the SF424 (R&R) Cover.  

A budget summary in the Overall section of the assembled application image in eRA Commons compiled from detailed budget data collected in the other components will be generated upon submission.

PHS 398 Research Plan (Overall)

Specific Aims: Describe the aims of the overall center and outline how the different cores will contribute to these aims.   

Research Strategy:

Significance. Focusing on the AD-RCMAR as a whole, address (i) the importance of the problem or critical barrier to progress in the ADRD-relevant area of scientific focus that the proposed RCMAR addresses, (ii) how the proposed RCMAR activities will enhance diversity and improve scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or practice in one or more ADRD-relevant fields, (iii) how the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventive interventions that drive this field will be changed if the proposed aims are achieved.

Approach. Present the AD-RCMAR's overall strategy for serving as a sustained resource to the research field in its selected area of focus. Describe how it will accomplish the innovation, intellectual leadership, translational, interdisciplinary, collaborative, and investigator development functions expected of an AD-RCMAR. Describe how the AD-RCMAR will provide a supportive environment for early stage and new investigators from underrepresented backgrounds who are supported through different awards. Describe how the different components of the AD-RCMAR will interact to help accomplish its aims, how the approaches of the Cores and Research Education Component complement each other or are inter-dependent, the mechanisms to ensure coherence of the Center and maintenance of scientific focus, and the mechanisms to be used in assessing progress toward the AD-RCMAR's goals. Where appropriate, provide timelines and organizational charts. Note the major AD-RCMAR Cores and other activities, referencing but not repeating appropriate subsequent sections of this application that contain more detail.

Applications should use this section to present preliminary data or evidence of preparatory activities for establishing an AD-RCMAR. Applicants may describe preliminary organizational work, experience with mentoring diverse new and early stage investigators from underrepresented backgrounds for careers in aging and/or ADRD-relevant research, experience with and potential for developing new and exciting research in the AD-RCMAR's ADRD-relevant scientific area of focus, and specific plans for organization and implementation of the new program.

Innovation. Considering the AD-RCMAR as a whole, show how the proposed AD-RCMAR seeks to shift current research or practice paradigms through use of novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions. Does the proposed work refine, improve, or apply in a new way, the concepts, approaches, methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?

Protection of Human Subjects: Describe fully the general principles and policies that will apply to protection of human subjects for the AD-RCMAR as a whole. List all components of the application that involve human subjects. If the AD-RCMAR will support human intervention studies, describe general procedures for developing data and safety monitoring plans and notification of NIA staff consistent with NIA policies for human intervention studies. Procedures for human subjects' protection that are specific to individual cores should be described in those respective sections of the application.

Vertebrate Animals: Describe the general principles and policies that will apply to the treatment of vertebrate animals . List the components in the application that involve vertebrate animals. IACUC approval should be submitted as Just-In-Time information.  

Letters of Support: Place institutional letters of support for the AD-RCMAR as a whole in this section.

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. Include a plan for software dissemination if support for development, maintenance, or enhancement of software is being requested.

Appendix:

 Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.   

PHS Assignment Request Form (Overall)

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

Administrative Core

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type ‘Admin Core.’

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Administrative Core)

Complete only the following fields:

  • Applicant Information
  • Type of Applicant (optional)
  • Descriptive Title of Applicant’s Project
  • Proposed Project Start/Ending Dates
PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Administrative Core)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Administrative Core)

Human Subjects: Answer only the ‘Are Human Subjects Involved?’ and 'Is the Project Exempt from Federal regulations?’ questions.

Vertebrate Animals: Answer only the ‘Are Vertebrate Animals Used?’ question.

Project Narrative:  Do not complete. Note: ASSIST screens will show an asterisk for this attachment indicating it is required. However, eRA systems only enforce this requirement in the Overall component and applications will not receive an error if omitted in other components.

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Administrative Core)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

Note: The Project Performance Site form allows up to 300 sites, prior to using additional attachment for additional entries.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Administrative Core)
  • In the Project Director/Principal Investigator section of the form, use Project Role of ‘Other’ with Category of ‘Core Lead’ and provide a valid eRA Commons ID in the Credential field.
  • In the additional Senior/Key Profiles section, list Senior/Key persons that are working in the component.
  • Include a single Biographical Sketch for each Senior/Key person listed in the application regardless of the number of components in which they participate. When a Senior/Key person is listed in multiple components, the Biographical Sketch can be included in any one component.
  • If more than 100 Senior/Key persons are included in a component, the Additional Senior Key Person attachments should be used.
  • The PD/PI(s) should be recognized leaders in the AD-RCMAR’s ADRD-relevant scientific area of focus and experienced in successfully mentoring junior investigators for independent research careers.
  • The PD/PI(s) should have demonstrated leadership and administrative skills. The Program Director/Principal Investigator of the proposed AD-RCMAR must also be the Administrative Core Leader; sufficient time should be devoted to the core to ensure that the aims are met and required functions are carried out efficiently. The PD/PI’s biographical sketch should present evidence of scientific expertise relevant to the themes of the AD-RCMAR and demonstrate the capacity for the leadership of a AD-RCMAR.
  • An Associate Director may be named who will be involved in the administrative and scientific efforts of the Center.  
Budget (Administrative Core)

Budget forms appropriate for the specific component will be included in the application package.

A significant time commitment (2.4 person months is recommended) should be made by the AC leader.

Domestic and foreign travel of project personnel directly related to the core and scientific activities of the AD-RCMAR is allowable. Budgeting should include travel and lodging 1) for relevant Center personnel to attend the annual meetings of the Center Directors; 2) for visits of Center investigators or Scientists to other RCMARs for the exchange of scientific ideas or planning of multi-Center research projects, or to training sites for mentoring activities; and 3) for core leaders to attend meetings with core leaders from other RCMARs

Note: The R&R Budget form included in many of the component types allows for up to 100 Senior/Key Persons in section A and 100 Equipment Items in section C prior to using attachments for additional entries. All other SF424 (R&R) instructions apply.

PHS 398 Research Plan (Administrative Core)

Specific Aims: Clearly state how the Administrative Core (AC) will provide intellectual leadership for the AD-RCMAR and coordinate the proposed activities and maintain internal information flow. This includes managing and coordinating interaction among the PD/PI(s), the core leaders, RCMAR Scientists, mentors of pilot projects, other researchers at the applicant institution as well as outside institutions, other NIA-funded Centers, appropriate institutional administrative personnel, the staff of the awarding agency, and the members of the community in which the Center is located, as appropriate to the scientific focus of the AD-RCMAR.

Research Strategy: Organize the Research Strategy into sections on: Significance, Innovation and Approach.

Significance: Explain the role of the Administrative core in the center as a whole and as a resource for other ongoing activities in the AD-RCMAR's ADRD-relevant area of scientific focus. 

Approach: Describe how the center's administrative structure will:

  • Maintain the focus of center activities on and promote innovation in the AD-RCMAR's ADRD-relevant area of scientific focus;
  • Create mechanisms and procedures for ensuring interaction between the site’s Cores and specify the objectives of that interaction; 
  • Ensure that AD-RCMAR researchers and pilot investigators interact with colleagues at the parent and affiliated institutions; 
  • Support interaction between the AD-RCMAR and other NIA Center programs; 
  • Ensure recruitment and retention of investigators from underrepresented backgrounds (RCMAR Scientists) and the viability of mentoring and collaboration relationships among affiliated institutions;
  • Provide oversight on the selection of pilot studies for funding, and ensure that recommendations for the forthcoming year’s pilot studies are submitted to the NIA with the non-competing continuation (Type 5) application;
  • Create and maintain a system for tracking pilot-study investigators through award of independent research funding;
  • Facilitate completion of a semi-annual Report, which together with the Coordinating Center (CC), may yield a mechanism for synthesizing research findings, mentoring activities, and progress toward meeting AD-RCMAR-specific goals; 
  • Facilitate regular interaction with the Coordinating Center (CC) to complete shared tasks of reporting and presentation and to advance AD-RCMAR program goals;
  • Select a minimum of two AD RCMAR participants who, with the PD/PI, will attend an Annual Investigator’s Meeting, typically lasting a day and a half, to discuss scientific advances, progress, and problems common in the operation of the Centers. 
  • Interact with the scientific and lay communities to develop relevant goals for the Center;
  • Coordinate and organize external and internal advisory committee meetings;
  • Assure compliance with human subjects, animal welfare, scientific integrity, data and sample sharing as appropriate, and financial policy requirements of NIH.

Additionally, the AC should present plans to establish and operate Center advisory panels including:

  • An executive committee (composed of core leaders and other administrative staff, as appropriate) to assist the Director in making the scientific and administrative decisions relating to the center, and in monitoring and developing the scientific content and direction of the center;
  • A review panel to assist in selecting pilot projects. Criteria for selecting committee members, how they will be identified, the operating procedures of the groups and the frequency of meetings should be described. Review should include a statistician as well as scientists from outside the Center. Members from the External Advisory Committee may serve as reviewers for the pilot applications, provided their expertise is appropriate for the submitted applications. Applications should not select committee members prior to peer review of the Center application, to avoid creating conflicts of interest for review.
  • An External Advisory Group that will meet annually to advise the AD-RCMAR on its Research Education Component and ability to exert significant scientific impact in its ADRD-relevant area of scientific focus through pilot funding and infrastructure development activities. Summary recommendations from the External Advisory Group should be included with the non-competing continuation (Type 5) application. New applications should not select committee members prior to peer review of the Center application.

Applications should describe preliminary organizational work, institutional experience with mentoring diverse junior investigators for independent research careers, experience in and potential for developing new and innovative research in the AD-RCMAR's scientific area of focus, and specific plans for implementation of the new program.

Letters of Support: Place institutional letters of support specific to the AC in this section.

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

All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan.

Appendix:

Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.   

PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report (Administrative Core)

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.  

Research Education Component

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type ‘Res Ed Component’

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Research Education Component)

Complete only the following fields:

  • Applicant Information
  • Type of Applicant (optional)
  • Descriptive Title of Applicant’s Project
  • Proposed Project Start/Ending Dates

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Research Education Component)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

Note: The Project Performance Site form allows up to 300 sites, prior to using additional attachment for additional entries.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Research Education Component)

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

Human Subjects. Answer only the ‘Are Human Subjects Involved?’ and 'Is the Project Exempt from Federal regulations?’ questions.

Vertebrate Animals. Answer only the ‘Are Vertebrate Animals Used?’ question.

Project Narrative.  Do not complete.

Facilities & Other Resources. Describe the educational environment, including the facilities, laboratories, participating departments, computer services, 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 following the format for Current and Pending Support.   

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Research Education Component)

  • In the Project Director/Principal Investigator section of the form, use Project Role of ‘Other’ with Category of ‘Core Lead’ and provide a valid eRA Commons ID in the Credential field.
  • In the additional Senior/Key Profiles section, list Senior/Key persons that are working in the component.
  • Include a single Biographical Sketch for each Senior/Key person listed in the application regardless of the number of components in which they participate. When a Senior/Key person is listed in multiple components, the Biographical Sketch can be included in any one component.
  • If more than 100 Senior/Key persons are included in a component, the Additional Senior Key Person attachments should be used.
  • Core leaders should be leaders in the scientific area of focus of the RCMAR, have experience in successfully mentoring investigators from underrepresented backgrounds.
  • Core personnel should include individuals from diverse backgrounds as well as individuals with expertise in health disparities or minority aging research.
  • Additional pages containing the standard PHS Biographical Sketch for the RCMAR Scientists should be included with the remainder of the REC Biographical Sketches.

Budget (Research Education Component)

Budget forms appropriate for the specific component will be included in the application package.

Note: The R&R Budget form included in many of the component types allows for up to 100 Senior/Key Persons in section A and 100 Equipment Items in section C prior to using attachments for additional entries. All other SF424 (R&R) instructions apply.

  • Include all personnel other than the PD(s)/PI(s) in the Other Personnel section, including clerical and administrative staff.
  • Use the section on Participant/Trainee Support Costs to include all allowable categories of funds requested to support participants in the program.

Travel: Applicants should budget to send a minimum of two RCMAR Scientists and the PD/PI to an Annual Investigators' meeting typically held at one of the sites.

Pilot Project Budgets: Pilot costs should be in the range of $25,000-$35,000 direct costs per year. Pilot projects may be awarded to investigators outside of the home institution. Funds for the proposed pilot projects should be included under the other expenses. 

Future-year pilots must be submitted with the annual non-competing renewal applications.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Research Education Component)

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

PHS 398 Research Plan (Research Education Component)

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

Specific Aims: Clearly state how the Research Education Component (REC) will provide a mentoring mechanism leading to enduring careers for RCMAR Scientists in priority areas of ADRD-relevant behavioral or social research on aging. This includes successful mentoring of, and collaboration with, researchers from underrepresented backgrounds to enhance the diversity in the professional research workforce dealing with the health of older adults. Individuals targeted for mentoring relationships (RCMAR Scientists) may include early-career researchers and/or mid-career scientists newly transitioning into research on ADRD. 

Research Strategy:

The Research Strategy must include the following subsections:

Proposed Research Education Program. While the proposed research education program may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those research training and research education programs currently receiving federal support. When research training programs are on-going in the same department, the applicant organization should clearly distinguish between the activities in the proposed research education program and the research training supported by the training program.

Significance: Explain the role of the Research Education Component (REC) in the center as a whole and as a mechanism for enhancing progress and diversity of the workforce in the AD-RCMAR's ADRD-relevant scientific area of focus. 

Approach: Describe how the REC will implement a mentoring plan to enhance diversity in the professional research workforce in a focal ADRD-relevant area of social and behavioral science relevant to the health of older adults. This plan should have eight components: Pilot Studies for RCMAR Scientists, Continuing Mentoring Activity, and Mentoring in Health Disparities and Minority Aging Research, Core Lead(s), Program Faculty, Program Participants, Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity, Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research, and Evaluation Plan. The REC should specify its role implementing the solicitation, review and selection of pilot studies for funding. Applications should provide a site-specific definition of RCMAR Scientist and articulate the activities and resources available to the Scientists throughout their AD-RCMAR affiliation, both during and after pilot funding.

Research Education Program Pilot Studies (Required Activity)

Number of pilots: Each REC should propose a minimum of three pilot studies, with named investigators, for the first year and should anticipate funding a minimum of three pilot studies during each subsequent year. The application should include an Abstract of each of the three selected pilot studies proposed for the first year of funding. (NOTE: Funds designated for pilots are restricted until the pilots receive NIA approval. A more complete description of the aims of first-year pilot research and detailed pilot budgets, human subjects information, inclusion enrollment reports, and IRB clearances, for the first year of Center funding will be requested as Just-in-Time information through the eRA Commons shortly before the award of successful applications. Abstracts, aims and budgets for future-year pilots should be submitted with the annual non-competing renewal applications. Facilities & Administrative costs will be provided in accordance with these budgets.)

Scope and duration of pilots: This funding mechanism is intended to allow an investigator the opportunity to develop preliminary data sufficient to provide the basis for a publication in a major journal. Pilot projects are designed for new or early stage level investigators from underrepresented backgrounds, although mid-career scientists newly transitioning to ADRD-relevant research are also eligible. Any one investigator is eligible only once for pilot support, unless the additional proposed pilot project constitutes a real departure from his or her ongoing research. Pilot projects are typically limited to a nonrenewable single year of support. If described and well-justified, two years of support may be requested.

The Pilot Studies portion of the REC application should include: 

  • A plan for recruiting RCMAR Scientists through solicitation of pilot project proposals in the grant’s out-years. Plans for solicitation of pilot projects should be developed such that, for awarded AD-RCMARs, the AC can submit their recommendations for the forthcoming year’s pilot studies to NIA with the non-competing continuation (Type 5) application.
  • Selection criteria for the submitted pilot studies. Topics chosen for pilot studies by RCMAR Scientists should be germane to the research focus of the AD-RCMAR.
  • A plan for reviewing subsequent pilot applications.
  • A plan for continued evaluation of pilot study progress toward eventual research independence.
  • Evidence of an adequate pool of high-quality, early-stage or transitioning investigators to fill the three pilot study positions each year. 
  • A description of the announcement for pilot funding, which should include a description of data or research resources available to pilot investigators through the AD-RCMAR.

Research Education Program Continuing Mentoring Activity (Required Activity)

Each AD-RCMAR should specify strategies for mentoring RCMAR Scientists to facilitate the process of attaining independent investigator status. It is strongly urged that these submissions address the NIA Division of Behavioral and Social Research (BSR) areas articulated above. The application should specify how continuing mentoring of RCMAR Scientists to the point of an independent research award is to be accomplished.

The application should specify strategies for:

  • Mentoring RCMAR Scientists to the point of receiving independent investigator research awards, building on initial AD-RCMAR pilot research;
  • Participating, in conjunction with the Administrative Core and the Coordinating Center, in a semi-annual reporting procedure to track the success of its pilot investigators;
  • Creating and maintaining a system for tracking its pilot study investigators through award of independent research funding.

Research Education Program Mentoring in Health Disparities and Minority Aging Research (Required Activity)

The application should specify strategies for:

  • Mentoring RCMAR Scientists in research on aging health disparities and minority aging issues relevant to ADRD;
  • Mentoring in measurement and methodology for working with diverse aging populations and/or;
  • Mentoring in use of existing or secondary data in areas of investigation related to ADRD health disparities. 

Core Lead(s). Describe arrangements for administration of the program.  Provide evidence that the Program Director/Principal Investigator is actively engaged in research and/or teaching in an area related to the mission of NIH, and can organize, administer, monitor, and evaluate the research education program.

Program Faculty. Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as program faculty. Faculty should have research expertise and experience relevant to the proposed program and demonstrate a history of, or the potential for, their intended roles.

Program Participants. Applications must describe the intended participants, and the eligibility criteria and/or specific educational background characteristics that are essential for participation in the proposed research education program. Identify the career levels for which the proposed program is planned.       

Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity:

Applications must include a description of plans to enhance recruitment, including the strategies that will be used to enhance the recruitment of RCMAR Scientists from underrepresented backgrounds and may wish to include data in support of past accomplishments.

Additional information on the required Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity is available at Frequently Asked Questions: Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity (Diversity FAQs).

Applications lacking a diversity recruitment and retention plan will not be reviewed

Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research: All applications must include a plan to fulfill NIH requirements for instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).  The plan must address the five, required instructional components outlined in the NIH policy: 1) Format - the required format of instruction, i.e., face-to-face lectures, coursework, and/or real-time discussion groups (a plan with only on-line instruction is not acceptable); 2) Subject Matter - the breadth of subject matter, e.g., conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, research ethics; 3) Faculty Participation - the role of the program faculty in the instruction; 4) Duration of Instruction - the number of contact hours of instruction, taking into consideration the duration of the program; and 5) Frequency of Instruction –instruction must occur during each career stage and at least once every four years. See also NOT-OD-10-019. The plan should be appropriate and reasonable for the nature and duration of the proposed program. All participating faculty who served as course directors, speakers, lecturers, and/or discussion leaders during the past project period must be named in the application.

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

Evaluation Plan. Finally, applications must include a plan for evaluating the activities supported by the Research Education Component. The application must specify baseline metrics (e.g., numbers, career levels, and demographic characteristics of participants), as well as measures to gauge the short- or long-term success of the Research Education Component in achieving its objectives, including publications stemming from pilot projects, grant submissions, and grant awards of RCMAR Scientists. Wherever appropriate, applicants are encouraged to obtain feedback from participants and advisory committees to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for improvements.

Progress Report Publication List: Publications resulting from resources or developmental work carried out by the core should be listed.

Letters of Support: A letter of institutional commitment must be attached as part of Letters of Support. Appropriate institutional commitment should include the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned research education program.

Resource Sharing Plans

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

Appendix

Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Planned Enrollment Report  (Research Education Component)

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Planned Enrollment Reports as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. 

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report (Research Education Component)

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Analysis Core

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type ‘Resources Core.’

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Analysis Core)

Complete only the following fields:

  • Applicant Information
  • Type of Applicant (optional)
  • Descriptive Title of Applicant’s Project
  • Proposed Project Start/Ending Dates

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Analysis Core)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Analysis Core)

Human Subjects: Answer only the ‘Are Human Subjects Involved?’ and 'Is the Project Exempt from Federal regulations?’ questions.

Vertebrate Animals: Answer only the ‘Are Vertebrate Animals Used?’ question.

Project Narrative: Do not complete. Note: ASSIST screens will show an asterisk for this attachment indicating it is required. However, eRA systems only enforce this requirement in the Overall component and applications will not receive an error if omitted in other components.

Application guide states that Project Narrative is required. However it is only required for the Overall component.

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Analysis Core)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

Note: The Project Performance Site form allows up to 300 sites, prior to using additional attachment for additional entries.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Analysis Core)

  • In the Project Director/Principal Investigator section of the form, use Project Role of ‘Other’ with Category of ‘Core Lead’ and provide a valid eRA Commons ID in the Credential field.
  • In the additional Senior/Key Profiles section, list Senior/Key persons that are working in the component.
  • Include a single Biographical Sketch for each Senior/Key person listed in the application regardless of the number of components in which they participate. When a Senior/Key person is listed in multiple components, the Biographical Sketch can be included in any one component.
  • If more than 100 Senior/Key persons are included in a component, the Additional Senior Key Person attachments should be used. 
  • Analysis Core (AnC) personnel should have expertise in research methodology and measurement especially related to the ADRD-relevant scientific area of focus upon which the AD-RCMAR concentrates its efforts, or unique expertise on the use of secondary data of social and behavioral (including biosocial and biobehavioral) datasets. 

Budget (Analysis Core)

Budget forms appropriate for the specific component will be included in the application package.

Note: The R&R Budget form included in many of the component types allows for up to 100 Senior/Key Persons in section A and 100 Equipment Items in section C prior to using attachments for additional entries. All other SF424 (R&R) instructions apply.

PHS 398 Research Plan (Analysis Core)

Specific Aims:   Clearly state how the Analysis Core (AnC) will support the AD-RCMAR and RCMAR Scientists in conducting high-quality, cutting-edge research in priority areas of aging-relevant behavioral or social research science. 

Research Strategy: Organize the Research Strategy into sections on: Significance, Innovation and Approach.

Significance: Explain the role of the Analysis Core (AnC) in the center as a whole and as a mechanism for enhancing the rigor and impact of the work conducted in the AD-RCMAR's scientific area of focus. 

Approach: Describe how the AnC will implement a plan to support the rigor and impact of scientific work conducted by RCMAR Scientists and investigators. This plan may have one or both of the following functions: (1) identifying, cataloging, distributing and/or creating culturally informed and scientifically valid epidemiological, behavioral, or social measurement tools and/or (2) the analysis of secondary data, such as economic, behavioral, psychological, biological, or genetic data. A plan for enhancing or disseminating such knowledge should be included in the AnC application.

The application should describe how the AnC will:

  • Support RCMAR Scientists' development of methodological skills needed for independent research careers through consultation and provision of data resources, as appropriate to the scientific area of focus;
  • Create, identify, catalogue, and disseminate scientific information regarding novel methodological developments or measurement approaches or new data resources produced by the AD-RCMAR. This plan may include publications and presentations of information, conferences and symposia, and outreach activities to other institutions and Centers conducting social, behavioral, and/or clinical research on aging;
  • Work with the REC and with cooperating research centers (e.g., Roybal Centers, Demography and Economics of Aging Centers, Alzheimer's Disease Research Centers);
  • Work in conjunction with the Coordinating Center (see RFA-AG-18-004) to develop and disseminate its products.

Letters of Support: Place letters of support for the Analysis Core in this section.

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

All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan.

Appendix: Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.   

 
Community Liaison and Recruitment Core

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type ‘Resources Core'

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Community Liaison and Recruitment Core)

Complete only the following fields:

  • Applicant Information
  • Type of Applicant (optional)
  • Descriptive Title of Applicant’s Project
  • Proposed Project Start/Ending Dates

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Community Liaison and Recruitment Core)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Community Liaison and Recruitment Core)

Human Subjects: Answer only the ‘Are Human Subjects Involved?’ and 'Is the Project Exempt from Federal regulations?’ questions.

Vertebrate Animals: Answer only the ‘Are Vertebrate Animals Used?’ question.

Project Narrative: Do not complete. Note: ASSIST screens will show an asterisk for this attachment indicating it is required. However, eRA systems only enforce this requirement in the Overall component and applications will not receive an error if omitted in other components.

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Community Liaison and Recruitment Core)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

Note: The Project Performance Site form allows up to 300 sites, prior to using additional attachment for additional entries.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Community Liaison and Recruitment Core)

  • In the Project Director/Principal Investigator section of the form, use Project Role of ‘Other’ with Category of ‘Core Lead’ and provide a valid eRA Commons ID in the Credential field.
  • In the additional Senior/Key Profiles section, list Senior/Key persons that are working in the component.
  • Include a single Biographical Sketch for each Senior/Key person listed in the application regardless of the number of components in which they participate. When a Senior/Key person is listed in multiple components, the Biographical Sketch can be included in any one component.
  • If more than 100 Senior/Key persons are included in a component, the Additional Senior Key Person attachments should be used.   

PHS 398 Research Plan (Community Liaison and Recruitment Core)

Specific Aims: Clearly state how the Community Liaison and Recruitment Core (CLRC) will support the AD-RCMAR and RCMAR Scientists in conducting high-quality, cutting-edge research in priority areas of aging-relevant behavioral and social science.

Research Strategy: Organize the Research Strategy into sections on: Significance, Innovation and Approach.

Significance: Explain the role of the CLRC in the center as a whole and as a mechanism for enhancing the generalizability and impact of the work conducted in the RCMAR's scientific area of focus. 

Approach: Describe how the CLRC will provide mentoring and support for recruitment and maintenance of diverse older adult populations as research participants in social, behavioral, and biomedical research on ADRD. A plan for enhancing or disseminating scientific information regarding techniques for recruiting and retaining diverse, population-representative research participants should be included in the application, if a CLRC is included.

The application should describe how the CLRC will:

  • Generate new knowledge of recruitment and retention techniques to include representative populations in research on ADRD;
  • Support involvement with participant communities;
  • Develop scientifically verifiable techniques for participant recruitment and retention (especially among health disparities populations) critical for advancement in the AD-RCMAR’s area of focus;
  • Disseminate scientific information regarding techniques for recruiting and retaining diverse, population-representative research participants as appropriate to the scientific focus of the RCMAR. The plan may include publications and presentations of information, conferences and symposia, and outreach activities to other institutions and Centers conducting social, behavioral, and/or clinical research on aging; 
  • Work with the REC and with cooperating research centers (e.g., Roybal Centers, Demography and Economics of Aging Centers, Alzheimer's Disease Centers), as appropriate, to advance these goals. 

Letters of Support: Place letters of support for the Community Liaison and Recruitment Core in this section.

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

All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan.

Appendix: Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.   

Core

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type ‘Resources Core.’

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Core)

Complete only the following fields:

  • Applicant Information
  • Type of Applicant (optional)
  • Descriptive Title of Applicant’s Project
  • Proposed Project Start/Ending Dates

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Core)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Core)

Human Subjects: Answer only the ‘Are Human Subjects Involved?’ and 'Is the Project Exempt from Federal regulations?’ questions.

Vertebrate Animals: Answer only the ‘Are Vertebrate Animals Used?’ question.

Project Narrative: Do not complete. Note: ASSIST screens will show an asterisk for this attachment indicating it is required. However, eRA systems only enforce this requirement in the Overall component and applications will not receive an error if omitted in other components.

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Core)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

Note: The Project Performance Site form allows up to 300 sites, prior to using additional attachment for additional entries.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Core)

  • In the Project Director/Principal Investigator section of the form, use Project Role of ‘Other’ with Category of ‘Core Lead’ and provide a valid eRA Commons ID in the Credential field.
  • In the additional Senior/Key Profiles section, list Senior/Key persons that are working in the component.
  • Include a single Biographical Sketch for each Senior/Key person listed in the application regardless of the number of components in which they participate. When a Senior/Key person is listed in multiple components, the Biographical Sketch can be included in any one component.
  • If more than 100 Senior/Key persons are included in a component, the Additional Senior Key Person attachments should be used. 

Budget (Core)

Budget forms appropriate for the specific component will be included in the application package.

Note: The R&R Budget form included in many of the component types allows for up to 100 Senior/Key Persons in section A and 100 Equipment Items in section C prior to using attachments for additional entries. All other SF424 (R&R) instructions apply.

PHS 398 Research Plan (Core)

Specific Aims:   Clearly state how the proposed Core will support the AD-RCMAR and RCMAR Scientists in conducting high-quality, cutting-edge research in priority areas of ADRD-relevant behavioral or social science. 

Research Strategy: Organize the Research Strategy into sections on: Significance, Innovation and Approach.

Significance: Explain the role of the proposed Core in the center as a whole and as a mechanism for enhancing the impact of the work conducted in the RCMAR's scientific area of focus. 

Approach: Describe how the proposed core will implement a plan to support the scientific work conducted by RCMAR Scientists and investigators. 

The application should describe how the proposed will work with the other Cores, the Coordinating Center, and other NIA-funded Centers, as appropriate, to advance its goals.

Letters of Support: Place letters of support for the Core in this section.

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

All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan.

Appendix: Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

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) using ASSIST or other electronic submission systems. 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.

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.

For information on how your application will be automatically assembled for review and funding consideration after submission go to: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/ElectronicReceipt/files/Electronic_Multi-project_Application_Image_Assembly.pdf.

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.

Important reminders:

All PD(s)/PI(s) and component Project Leads 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 and responsiveness by components of participating organizations, NIH. Applications that are incomplete, non-compliant and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.

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. 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.

Overall Impact - Overall

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the AD-RCMAR Center to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the AD-RCMAR Centert proposed).

Scored Review Criteria - Overall

Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, an AD-RCMAR Center that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

Significance

Does the AD-RCMAR Center address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? Is there a strong scientific premise for the project? If the aims of the Center are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?

How well will the Center’s activities prepare RCMAR Scientists for independent research careers in priority areas of ADRD-relevant social and behavioral research on aging? Is the proposed Center’s focus sufficiently strong to assure progress toward meeting Center objectives to diversify the aging research workforce in the proposed area of scientific focus?  

Investigator(s)

Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the AD-RCMAR Center? If Early Stage Investigators or New Investigators, or in the early stages of independent careers, do they have appropriate experience and training? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?

Do the PD/PIs present evidence of scientific expertise relevant to the themes of the AD-RCMAR, mentoring of junior investigators from underrepresented backgrounds, and capacity for the leadership of an AD-RCMAR? Are the Research Education Component (REC) leaders accomplished leaders in the ADRD-relevant scientific area of focus of the AD-RCMAR? Do they have experience in successfully mentoring diverse investigators toward independent research careers? Do Analysis Core (AnC) personnel have expertise in ADRD-relevant research methodology and measurement especially related to the scientific area of focus upon which the AD-RCMAR concentrates its efforts, and/or unique expertise on the use of secondary data of social and behavioral (including biosocial and biobehavioral) datasets?

How much sustained experience does the research team possess in the areas selected for the AD-RCMAR's focus and in mentoring junior investigators in these areas? How much experience and commitment to furthering AD-RCMAR objectives through prior or planned professional activities does the team of investigators show in creating an infrastructure for increasing minority researcher mentoring? How well do the investigators and staff provide creative scientific and administrative leadership of the Center and demonstrate a commitment to devote adequate time to the management of the AD-RCMAR program? Is there evidence of collaboration and interdisciplinary research among the investigators who will be associated with the AD-RCMAR? To what extent is there evidence of the inclusion of minority researchers among the leadership of the AD-RCMAR application? Does the application include individuals with expertise in health disparities or minority aging research?

Innovation

Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?

How well do the proposed center and each component demonstrate the capacity to prepare investigators from diverse backgrounds to make innovative contributions to ADRD-relevant behavioral and social research on aging in the selected area of scientific focus?

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the AD-RCMAR Center? Have the investigators presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed?  Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the Center is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed? Have the investigators presented adequate plans to address relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies in vertebrate animals or human subjects?

If the AD-RCMAR Center involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?  

How well does the proposed Center demonstrate appropriate organization and core management? Are the organizational plan and management structure adequate to meet Center goals? Are the procedures for internal communication and cooperation among the investigators adequate? Are there appropriate plans to coordinate interaction between the AD-RCMAR and other NIA Center programs? To what extent do plans or prior evidence show willingness and ability to cooperate with the Coordinating Center in its RCMAR “Resource" function through dissemination of information to general scientific and other relevant stakeholders?

Is the Center as a whole well-designed as a mechanism for enhancing progress and diversity of the workforce in the AD-RCMAR's ADRD-relevant scientific area of focus? If appropriate, to what extent is there evidence of existing linkages, or a reasonable expectation of such linkages, with minority institutions and/or community organizations?

Environment

Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements?

Is there evidence that the host institution is sufficiently flexible to foster multidisciplinary interaction between its Administrative units, the AD-RCMAR, and organizations external to it? How much evidence is there of the host institution’s(s’) fostering of, and commitment to, minority researchers? How adequate are the relevant facilities for the proposed work? Does the geographic relationship between facilities seem reasonable to carry out the proposed work? How strong are the environment and core resources to enhance cutting-edge research in the scientific area of focus? 

Additional Review Criteria - Cores

As applicable for the AD-RCMAR Center 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.

Administrative Core

  • How well do the organization and processes proposed for internal communication and synthesis of Core activities advance AD-RCMAR objectives?
  • How well is time allocated to program management among senior staff?
  • Is there evidence of ability to successfully cooperate with a Coordinating Center to report on center progress and collaboratively advance AD-RCMAR program goals?
  • Is there an appropriate plan to coordinate and solicit expert input on program goals through advisory panels?
  • Is there an appropriate plan for evaluating the center's progress toward achieving its objectives?

Analysis Core (optional)

  • How extensive is the background of the investigators in research methodology and measurement especially related to the scientific area of focus upon which the AD-RCMAR concentrates its efforts, and/or on the use of secondary data of social and behavioral (including biosocial and biobehavioral) datasets?
  • How well-coordinated is this Core with the Research Education Component (REC) in the mentoring of pilot investigators and other institutionally based researchers in the use of culturally sensitive measurement, research methodology, and or large data sets?
  • To what extent is there evidence of a willingness to work with the Coordinating Center in the dissemination of measures, methods, and/or the use of large data sets?
  • Is there strong evidence that the AnC is or has the potential to be a leader in the field conducting research on measurement and/or analysis in ADRD-relevant behavioral and social science?
  • To what extent is there evidence that the AnC has the potential for sharing its results with the scientific community?
  • Are both database services and statistical mentoring offered to AD-RCMAR investigators sufficiently described? Is it clear how the core will contribute to the goals of the AD-RCMAR as well as the national efforts of the RCMAR program?

Community Liaison and Recruitment Core (optional)

  • What is the quality of the ongoing relationship, or of evidence for creating a strong relationship with diverse community groups?
  • To what extent is there evidence that the CLRC is, or has the potential to be, a leader in the field conducting research on recruiting and retaining older diverse individuals for research?
  • Is there strong evidence that the CLRC has the potential for sharing its results with the scientific community?
  • Is it clear how the CLRC will work with the REC and with cooperating NIA-funded research centers (e.g., Roybal Centers, Demography and Economics of Aging Centers, Alzheimer's Disease Centers), as appropriate, to contribute to the goals of the AD-RCMAR as well as the national efforts of the RCMAR program? Does the core serve as a community resource?
  • Are interactions of this core with the other cores well described?

Additional Cores (optional)

  • Is it clear how the core will contribute to the goals of the AD-RCMAR as well as the national and international research goals in the selected area of scientific focus?
  • Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the center?
  • Are the activities of the core likely to contribute to AD-RCMAR goals of enhancing the diversity of the scientific workforce in priority areas of ADRD-relevant social and behavioral science?
Review Criteria - Research Education Component
Overall Impact - Research Education Component

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 Component, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria, as applicable for the project proposed.

Scored Review Criteria - Research Education Component

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.

Significance

Does the proposed program address a key audience and an important aspect or important need in research education? Is there convincing evidence in the application that the proposed program will significantly advance the stated goal of the program?

Investigator(s)

Is the PD/PI capable of providing both administrative and scientific 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 applicable, is there evidence that the participating faculty have experience in mentoring students and teaching science? If applicable, are the faculty good role models for the participants by nature of their scientific accomplishments? 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? 

Innovation

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?  

Approach

Does the proposed program clearly state its goals and objectives, including the educational level of the audience to be reached, the content to be conveyed, and the intended outcome?  Is there evidence that the program is 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?  If the proposed program will recruit participants, are the planned recruitment, retention, and follow-up (if applicable) activities adequate to ensure a highly qualified participant pool?   

Environment

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 institutional commitment? Is there evidence that the faculty have sufficient institutional 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 institutions?

Additional Review Criteria - Research Education Component

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.

  • How well-developed and realistic are plans to advance pilot studies and pilot-funded investigators to successful completion of their projects?
  • How viable is the plan for continuing the mentoring of pilot investigators through a successful independent investigator award?
  • How strong is the evidence that during years two through five of the AD-RCMAR, there is a sufficient pool of researchers to submit excellent pilot study applications?
  • What is the quality of the evidence that the pilot study solicitation and selection process will provide scientifically rigorous and potentially fundable projects?
  • How likely is the mentoring strategy to produce and retain diverse professionals in ADRD-relevant behavioral or social science research?
  • What is the quality of the initial pilot studies and of the mechanisms for review and administration of subsequent pilot studies? How well do the studies and mechanisms match the focus of the AD-RCMAR program?  
  • How strong is the program of mentoring in research on aging health disparities and minority aging issues? Is this mentoring appropriately tailored to the scientific focus of the center?
Protections for Human Subjects

For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.

For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

When the proposed RCMAR Center involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of children to determine if it is justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed.  For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following criteria: (1) description of proposed procedures involving animals, including species, strains, ages, sex, and total number to be used; (2) justifications for the use of animals versus alternative models and for the appropriateness of the species proposed; (3) interventions to minimize discomfort, distress, pain and injury; and (4) justification for euthanasia method if NOT consistent with the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals. Reviewers will assess the use of chimpanzees as they would any other application proposing the use of vertebrate animals. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.

Biohazards

Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.

Resubmissions

Not Applicable

Renewals

Not Applicable

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations - Overall

As applicable for the AD-RCMAR Center 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.

Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity

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 review panel’s evaluation will be included in the summary statement. Plans will be rated as acceptable or unacceptable, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

Taking into account the specific characteristics of the proposed research education program, the level of participant experience, the reviewers will evaluate the adequacy of the proposed RCR training in relation to the following five required components: 1) Format - the required format of instruction, i.e., face-to-face lectures, coursework, and/or real-time discussion groups (a plan with only on-line instruction is not acceptable); 2) Subject Matter - the breadth of subject matter, e.g., conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, research ethics; 3) Faculty Participation - the role of the program faculty in the instruction; 4) Duration of Instruction - the number of contact hours of instruction, taking into consideration the duration of the program; and 5) Frequency of Instruction –instruction must occur during each career stage and at least once every four years.  See also: NOT-OD-10-019. The review panel’s evaluation will be included in the summary statement. Plans will be rated as acceptable or unacceptable, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.    

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable

Select Agent Research

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).

Resource Sharing Plans

Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: 1) Data Sharing Plan; 2) Sharing Model Organisms; and 3) Genomic Data Sharing Plan If support for development, maintenance, or enhancement of software is requested in the application, the reviewers will comment on the proposed software dissemination plan.


Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources

For projects involving key biological and/or chemical resources, reviewers will comment on the brief plans proposed for identifying and ensuring the validity of those resources.

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.

2. Review and Selection Process

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:

  • 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.
  • Will receive a written critique.

Appeals of initial peer review will not be accepted for applications submitted in response to this FOA.

Applications will be assigned to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the National Advisory Council on Aging. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

  • Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by scientific peer review.
  • Availability of funds.
  • Relevance of the proposed project to program priorities.
  • Programmatic balance in the RCMAR Centers program in terms of scientific area of focus and diverse investigator groups targeted for the mentoring program.
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 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 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.

Prior Approval of Pilot Projects

Awardee-selected projects that involve clinical trials or studies involving greater than minimal risk to human subjects require approval by NIH prior to initiation. 

  • In the competing year, pilot projects (including those described in the competing application) must be submitted for approval within 60 days of the start of the award. Descriptions should be a maximum of 2 pages in length. Human Subjects information (enrollment tables, IRB clearances, training certificates) for pilot projects should be submitted at the same time.
  • All pilot projects for subsequent award years should be described in the non-competing continuation progress report; descriptions should be a maximum of 2 pages in length and included in the Special Reporting Requirements section of the RPPR. The progress report should include detailed budgets for proposed pilots and the Curriculum Vitae of the proposed pilot project investigator. The progress report should also contain appropriate human subjects clearances for proposed pilot projects in accordance with NIH's Instructions for Preparing the Human Subjects Section of the Research Plan. Pilot projects with foreign components will require NIH and State Department foreign clearance prior to award. (See Sec. VI.3 below for further reporting requirements.)
  • NIA will only accept pilot project proposals at other times during the year when unexpected opportunities or timeliness issues arise, if the institution wishes to redirect existing funds within the Center. These pilot projects should be sent by email directly to the NIA Program Official and the NIA Grants Specialist, along with an explanation of how funds would be redirected
  • The awardee institution will provide NIH with written study protocols that address risks and protections for human subjects in accordance with NIH’s Instructions for Preparing the Human Subjects Section of the Research Plan.
  • The awardee institution will provide NIH with specific plans for data and safety monitoring, and will notify the IRB and NIH of serious adverse events and unanticipated problems, consistent with NIH DSMP policies.
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, 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 http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/resources/laws/revisedlep.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 http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/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 http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/office/about/rgn-hqaddresses.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.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

Not Applicable

3. Reporting

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

Progress reports should briefly describe status of pilot projects, including data and safety monitoring, and should notify NIH of serious adverse events and unanticipated problems.

 
Prior Approval of Pilot Projects

Awardee-selected projects that involve clinical trials or studies involving greater than minimal risk to human subjects require approval by NIH prior to initiation. 

  • In the competing year, pilot projects (including those described in the competing application) must be submitted for approval within 60 days of the start of the award. Descriptions should be a maximum of 2 pages in length. Human Subjects information (enrollment tables, IRB clearances, training certificates) for pilot projects should be submitted at the same time.
  • All pilot projects for subsequent award years should be described in the non-competing continuation progress report; descriptions should be a maximum of 2 pages in length and included in the Special Reporting Requirements section of the RPPR. The progress report should include detailed budgets for proposed pilots and the Curriculum Vitae of the proposed pilot project investigator. The progress report should also contain appropriate human subjects clearances for proposed pilot projects in accordance with NIH's Instructions for Preparing the Human Subjects Section of the Research Plan. Pilot projects with foreign components will require NIH and State Department foreign clearance prior to award. (See Sec. VI.3 below for further reporting requirements.)
  • NIA will only accept pilot project proposals at other times during the year when unexpected opportunities or timeliness issues arise, if the institution wishes to redirect existing funds within the Center. These pilot projects should be sent by email directly to the NIA Program Official and the NIA Grants Specialist, along with an explanation of how funds would be redirected
  • The awardee institution will provide NIH with written study protocols that address risks and protections for human subjects in accordance with NIH’s Instructions for Preparing the Human Subjects Section of the Research Plan.

The awardee institution will provide NIH with specific plans for data and safety monitoring, and will notify the IRB and NIH of serious adverse events and unanticipated problems, consistent with NIH DSMP policies.

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 Training Diversity Report, in accordance with the RPPR Instruction Guide.

Other Reporting Requirements

The institution must submit a completed Statement of Appointment (PHS Form 2271) for each participant appointed full time for eight weeks or more or the equivalent. Grantees must submit the PHS 2271 data electronically using the xTrain system. More information on xTrain is available at xTrain (eRA Commons). An appointment or reappointment may begin any time during the budget period, but not before the budget period start date of the grant year.

Participant Termination Notice: Within 30 days of the end of the total support period for each participant, the institution must submit a Termination Notice (PHS Form 416-7) via xTrain for each participant appointed full time for eight weeks or more, or the equivalent.

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

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. 

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.

4. 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.

Upon the completion of a program evaluation, NIH and its ICs will determine whether to (a) continue a program as currently configured, (b) continue a program with modifications, or (c) discontinue a program.

In evaluating this research education program NIA expects to use the following evaluation measures:

For Research Experience and Mentoring Programs Involving the Following Groups:

Postdoctorates and Early Career Investigators:

  • Aggregate number and demographic characteristics of participants
  • 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

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 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)

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission, downloading forms and application packages)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726

Email: support@grants.gov

GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and process, finding NIH grant resources)
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)

Telephone: 301-945-7573

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Lis Nielsen, Ph.D.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Telephone: 301-402-4156
Email: nielsenli@nia.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Ramesh Vemuri, Ph.D.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Telephone: 301-496-9666
Email: ramesh.vemuri@nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Jeff Ball
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Telephone: 301- 402-7732
Email: ballj@nia.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.

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