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

Resource Centers for Minority Aging (RCMAR) Coordinating Center (R24)

Activity Code

R24 Resource-Related Research Projects

Announcement Type

New

Related Notices

None

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-AG-18-004

Companion Funding Opportunity

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

RFA-AG-18-002, P30 Center Core Grants

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

93.866 

Funding Opportunity Purpose

This FOA invites applications from qualified institutions to create or continue Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) Coordinating Center (CC). The RCMAR Program aims to enhance the diversity of the aging research workforce by mentoring promising scientists from under-represented groups for sustained careers in aging research. 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. The new cycle of RCMARs will expand the scientific scope of the program to encourage transdisciplinary social and behavioral science research on any theme addressed in the National Institute on Aging Strategic Plan, and will include a new cohort of RCMARs focused on behavioral and social science related to Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD). 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 investigator development programs, thereby enhancing the potential impact of research supported by the program on all sectors of our aging society. The RCMAR CC will facilitate and coordinate trans-RCMAR activities. The CC will work closely with the NIA Program Officer and, in coordination with all RCMAR sites, be responsive to requests generated by key RCMAR site personnel, NIA, NIH, the scientific community, and the general public.

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

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the Research (R) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.


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

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

  3. Go to Grants.gov to download an application package to complete the application forms offline or create a Workspace to complete the forms online; submit your application to Grants.gov; and track your application in eRA Commons.
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

This FOA invites applications to create or continue the Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) Coordinating Center (CC). The RCMAR Program aims to enhance the diversity of the aging research workforce by mentoring promising scientists from under-represented groups for sustained careers in aging research. 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. The new cycle of RCMARs will expand the scientific scope of the program to encourage transdisciplinary social and behavioral science research on any theme addressed in the National Institute on Aging Strategic Plan, and will include a new cohort of AD-RCMARs focused on behavioral and social science related to Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD). 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 investigator development programs, thereby enhancing the potential impact of research supported by the program on all sectors of our aging society. The RCMAR CC will facilitate and coordinate trans-RCMAR activities. The CC will work closely with the NIA Program Officer and, in coordination with all RCMAR sites, be responsive to requests generated by key RCMAR site personnel, NIA, NIH, the scientific community, and the general public.

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

Need for the Program

In 1997, the National Institute on Aging created the RCMAR program to establish a research infrastructure for attracting and developing scientists from diverse backgrounds for sustained careers in aging research and to address challenges of aging in diverse populations. 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 scholars’ success rates in receiving K, R01, R21 and R03 awards are comparable to overall NIA success rates. RCMAR scholars 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 scholars from diverse backgrounds for sustained careers in aging research.

RCMAR Program Goals

The NIH recognizes that there is a critical need to sustain a research workforce that is multidisciplinary and diverse (https://extramural-diversity.nih.gov/). 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.

The National Institute on Aging aims to enhance the pool of researchers from underrepresented backgrounds that conduct research in aging-related scientific disciplines (https://extramural-diversity.nih.gov/ic-pages/national-institute-of-aging). As life expectancy increases, our health care, insurance, and retirement systems face the daunting task of meeting the needs of a rising number of underserved population groups, and the impact of an increasingly diverse elderly population on our communities is not fully understood. To meet these challenges, the NIA strongly supports the development of a workforce of talented researchers and clinician scientists in aging and geriatrics. Researchers from underrepresented backgrounds can provide a valuable perspective on the development of approaches to promote health and limit disability in our population of older adults. The RCMAR program also plays an important part in addressing the goal to attract and train more researchers from underrepresented scientific backgrounds, and to recruit, train and retain scientists from under-represented groups in aging research. (See: Goal G-3 in the 2016 National Institute on Aging Strategic Plan.) To meet NIA’s long-range goals, the RCMAR program creates research infrastructure designed to strengthen and diversify the workforce in aging research in programs that focus and sustain progress in priority areas of behavioral and social science, through mentoring, pilot research support, and infrastructure development through combined Center (P30) and Research Education Component (RL5) awards.

Research Objectives

The RCMAR Coordinating Center is intended to support the RCMAR program by facilitating and coordinating trans-RCMAR activities. The CC will work closely with the NIA Program Officer and, in coordination with all RCMAR and AD-RCMAR sites, be responsive to requests generated by key RCMAR site personnel, NIA, NIH, the scientific community, and the general public.

The RCMAR CC will serve as a hub for the RCMAR program through coordination of cross-Center and cross-Research Education program activities. These may include, but are not limited to: supporting research networks across a distributed set of RCMAR and AD-RCMAR Centers; sharing of best practices for recruitment and mentoring of diverse scientists among the RCMAR and AD-RCMAR Research Education Components; and dissemination of RCMAR and AD-RCMAR scientific advances to the broader lay and scientific community.  

The CC will provide logistical support to the RCMARs and the NIA Program Officer by performing the following necessary functions:

  • Make arrangements for a yearly RCMAR meeting where scientific advances are shared.  In coordination with RCMAR and AD-RCMAR PD/PIs and NIA program staff, the CC will create the agenda for and chair that meeting. The CC will set aside a portion of its funds to support the Annual Investigators’ meeting.
  • Maintaining a centralized database through which the RCMAR and AD-RCMAR Research Education Components can track recruitment and retention of diverse scholars in aging research, progress from pilot projects, and scholars' subsequent career trajectories. The CC will collect information on research advances from RCMAR-supported pilot projects and RCMAR scholar progress (including peer-reviewed publications, grant awards, career status). These data should be collected and maintained in formats that are easily analyzable and shareable in order to better evaluate the progress and successes of the RCMAR program. The CC will use the information to prepare annual Program Emphases and Outcomes Reports for NIA. This report will be cumulative and highlight significant program developments, by individual RCMAR and AD-RCMAR centers and collectively across the RCMAR program, as that information relates to the RCMAR mission.
  • Foster communication and cooperative arrangements between RCMARs and other NIA research Centers (e.g., Centers on the Demography and Economics of Aging, Roybal Centers, Alzheimer's Disease Centers (ADCs), Nathan Shock Centers, Claude D. Pepper Centers).
  • Arrange for and host monthly PD/PI conference calls and arrange for similar calls for the various Cores, as needed.
  • Support centralized infrastructure, resources, and sharing of best practices for Cores common to multiple RCMARs, including Analytic Cores and Community Liaison Cores.

The CC will create mechanisms for maintaining active involvement for all sites in all aspects of the program. Such involvement should include:

  • Linking and fostering joint activities between various RCMAR sites, based upon available funds. This may include supporting pilot funding, workshops or other collaborative efforts serving the broader RCMAR program.
  • Answering queries from the scientific and lay communities about the program.
  • Linking other NIA-supported research activities and Centers to the unique expertise of the RCMARs.
  • Serving a "translation" role for science, policymakers, and public audiences regarding approaches to enhancing the diversity of the scientific research workforce.
  • Actively demonstrating to a broad and diverse audience the RCMARs’ impact upon the health of older Americans.
  • Coordinating and facilitating communication and activity among the Centers.

The CC will be proactive in establishing a mechanism for informing and making visible scientific advances of RCMAR scholars and affiliated scientists to the research community, policymakers, and other relevant stakeholders. This function should also involve:

  •  Highlighting RCMAR and AD-RCMAR research advances related to 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:
  • x
  • 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.
  • Keeping all RCMAR Centers apprised of each participating Center's scientific activities. Efforts in this regard should involve other NIA-funded Centers and major research projects as well as the broader research community, at relevant national and international scientific meetings.
  • Highlighting RCMAR advances in elucidating novel insights into the causes of health disparities among older adults, advances leading to reductions in those disparities, or identifying novel approaches to addressing the health challenges faced by minority elders.

The CC will maintain an active RCMAR website with links to each RCMAR site and the NIA. The website will serve as the source of information dissemination to scientific and lay audiences and will be accessible and readily identifiable.

Additional activities or functions may be proposed to promote collaboration among RCMAR sites, encourage interactions between the RCMAR program and other NIA- and NIH-supported resources, enhance the value and visibility of the RCMAR program as a whole, and contribute to the educational and professional experiences of RCMAR scholars.

Goals and Evaluation of Outcomes

The goal of this RFA (and its companion RFAs) is to provide coordination and support of a set of RCMAR and AD-RCMAR Centers and Research Education Programs aimed at enhancing the diversity of the aging research workforce by mentoring new leaders from underrepresented backgrounds in aging research. The success of the overall program will be determined by the extent to which investigator development activities and pilot funding on the part of the RCMARs and AD-RCMARs, supported by this Coordinating Center, leads to impactful publications and to successful grant awards for research in priority areas of behavioral and social research on aging. The Coordinating Center's role in maintaining data to facilitate future RCMAR program evaluation and in supporting information exchange, sharing of best practices, and scientific dissemination across participating RCMAR and AD-RCMAR Centers and Research Education programs, other NIA Centers, and the broader scientific community is considered essential to the success of the program.  

Evaluation Plan. Applications must include a plan for evaluating all activities supported by the Coordinating Center, in line with these broader RCMAR goals. The application must specify baseline metrics (e.g., numbers and characteristics of workshop participants, scientific dissemination, databases, users of resources), as well as measures to gauge the short or long-term success of the Coordinating Center in achieving its objectives. Wherever appropriate, applicants are encouraged to obtain feedback from participants to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for improvements. NIH will evaluate the program in five years.  Based on the review, NIA will evaluate the effectiveness of the program, and determine whether to (a) continue the program as currently configured; or (b) continue the program with modifications, or (c) discontinue the program after sunset and review period.

See Section VIII. Other Information for 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

NIA intends to commit $350,000 in FY 2018 to fund 1 award. The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations.

Award Budget

Direct costs may not exceed $200,000.

Award Project Period

The maximum 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:

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

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

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

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)
  • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
  • 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).
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Requesting an Application Package

Buttons to access the online ASSIST system or to download application forms are available in Part 1 of this FOA. See your administrative office for instructions if you plan to use an institutional system-to-system solution.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the Research (R) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Grant Application Instructions except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for 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

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

Instructions for Application Submission

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

SF424(R&R) Cover

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

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

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

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

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

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

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

The PD/PI of the RCMAR CC must be the lead Director of the center and is the person responsible for the overall management of the CC; if there are multiple PDs/PIs of the CC, the MPIs will serve as co-Directors. The relationship between the CC and the RCMARs and AD-RCMARs should be one of equal and substantial partners in all joint activities.

The CC team is expected to have significant experience and knowledge in priority areas of behavioral and social science research on aging, including research on health disparities; in program management and coordination; and in support of activities to promote diversity in the scientific research workforce.

R&R Budget

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

The CC will be responsible for organizing and attending annual face-to-face meetings. These meetings are meant to facilitate coordination among RCMARs, AD-RCMARs, and any subcommittees in which they participate. The CC application budget should include funds for organizing the annual meeting and for travel of the CC PD(s)/PI(s) and key CC personnel to the meeting. The CC is not responsible for the travel of participants from individual RCMAR and AD-RCMAR sites.

R&R Subaward Budget

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

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

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

PHS 398 Research Plan

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

Research Strategy: Describe plans for accomplishing the following four objectives of the RCMAR CC:

1) Working in collaboration with approximately 8-12 RCMARs/AD-RCMARs in order to facilitate and coordinate trans-RCMAR activities including: providing logistical support to the RCMARs and the NIA Program Officer to arrange a yearly RCMAR meeting; developing and maintaining a database for collecting information from the RCMAR Research Education Components on research advances from pilot projects and RCMAR scholar progress; fostering communication and collaborative arrangements between RCMARs and other NIA research Centers; and arranging for and hosting monthly PD/PI conference calls, as well as arranging for similar calls and support for the various Cores, as needed. 

2) Creating mechanisms for maintaining active involvement for all sites in all aspects of the program.

3) Establishing a mechanism for informing and making visible scientific advances of RCMAR scholars and affiliated scientists to the research community, policymakers, and other relevant stakeholders.

4) Maintaining an active RCMAR website with links to each RCMAR site and the NIA.

Applicants should describe how the CC will function to serve as the RCMARs’ point-of-contact for linking the RCMAR and AD-RCMAR Centers and linked Research Education Components with one another, with other NIA Centers, and with the broader scientific community around priority areas of behavioral and social science on aging, including topics related to ADRD. Applicants should describe how they will support RCMAR advances in measurement and analysis for aging research in the social, behavioral and biobehavioral sciences, as well as RCMAR activities related to the recruitment and retention of diverse older adults for aging research. Applicants should describe how they will support RCMAR activities aimed at diversifying the scientific workforce in behavioral and social research on aging. The application should highlight how the relevant expertise of the team will support these activities.

Applicants should describe their organizational plan and management structure for providing administrative support for the activities of the RCMAR program.

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, with the following modification:

  • 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

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

PHS Assignment Request Form

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

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

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

4. Submission Dates and Times

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

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

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) 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. See Section III of this FOA for information on registration requirements.

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. 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

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project 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 project proposed).

Scored Review Criteria

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

Significance

Does the proposed Center address the needs of the research network that it will coordinate? Is the scope of activities proposed for the Center appropriate to meet those needs? Will successful completion of the aims bring unique advantages or capabilities to the research network?  

Is there strong evidence of the availability of sufficient scientific expertise and of the ability to work with scientists to serve as the RCMARs’ point-of-contact for a broad scientific community around priority areas of behavioral and social science on aging, including topics related to ADRD; advances in measurement and analysis for aging research in the social, behavioral and biobehavioral sciences; recruitment and retention of diverse older adults for aging research; and activities aimed at diversifying the scientific workforce in behavioral and social research on aging?

Investigator(s)

Are the PD(s)/PI(s) and other personnel well suited to their roles in the Center? Do they have appropriate experience and training, and have they demonstrated experience and an ongoing record of accomplishments in managing aging research? Do the investigators demonstrate significant experience with coordinating collaborative basic or translational research? If the Center is multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise and skills; are their leadership approach, governance, plans for conflict resolution, and organizational structure appropriate for the Center? Does the applicant have experience overseeing selection and management of subawards, if needed?  

Does the investigative team have relevant experience and expertise in project management and coordination required for this CC? Will the investigative team proposed by the RCMAR CC be able to facilitate cooperation between behavioral and social scientists across a wide range of fields, including research on health disparities?

Innovation

Does the application propose novel organizational concepts or management strategies in coordinating the research network the Center will serve? Are the concepts, strategies, or instrumentation novel to one type of research program or applicable in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of organizational concepts or management strategies proposed?   

Approach

Are the overall strategy, operational plan, and organizational structure well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the goals of the research network the Center will serve? Will the investigators promote strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased scientific approach across the network, as appropriate for the work proposed? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the network is in the early stages of operation, does the proposed strategy adequately establish feasibility and manage the risks associated with the activities of the network? Are an appropriate plan for work-flow and a well-established timeline proposed? Have the investigators presented adequate plans to ensure consideration of relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies of vertebrate animals or human subjects?

Are the proposed procedures for communication and cooperation among RCMARs adequate? Are there appropriate plans to coordinate interaction between the RCMARs and other NIA Center programs?

Is the Center as a whole well-designed as a mechanism for enhancing progress and diversity of the aging research workforce in the behavioral and social sciences? How much evidence is there of the ability to work with a diverse group of scientists in translating findings to both scientific and lay audiences?

How extensive is the experience of the team, and how reasonable is it to expect further success, in providing diverse sites with logistic support in arranging annual meetings, preparing pre- and post-meeting materials, and the coordination of joint Center activities (e.g., preparation of presentations at professional meetings)? To what extent is there evidence that the CC will be able to foster or has fostered interaction between sites and between specific Cores for sharing developments and findings such as mentoring techniques, new research tools, recruitment and retention strategies that work/do not work, etc.? How strong is the evidence that the CC can coordinate and maintain on-time progress reporting through a database for the cumulative progress reports or other documents?

Environment

Will the institutional environment in which the Center will operate contribute to the probability of success in facilitating the research network it serves? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the Center proposed? Will the Center benefit from unique features of the institutional environment, infrastructure, or personnel?  Are resources available within the scientific environment to support electronic information handling?

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?

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 project 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

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

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 (GDS).

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.
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.

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.

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.

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: 301-710-0267

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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