Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Library of Medicine (NLM)

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

National Eye Institute (NEI)

National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)

National Institute on Aging (NIA)

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH formerly NCCAM)

National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)

Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives

Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP)

Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR)

Office of Strategic Coordination (Common Fund)

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Funding Opportunity Title

NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Initiative Research Education: Open Educational Resources for Sharing, Annotating and Curating Biomedical Big Data (R25)

Activity Code

R25 Education Projects

Announcement Type


Related Notices

  • December 17, 2014 - See Notice NOT-HL-14-244. Notice of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Participation in RFA-LM-15-002 "NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Initiative Research Education: Open Educational Resources for Sharing, Annotating and Curating Biomedical Big Data (R25)"

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number


Companion Funding Opportunity

RFA-LM-15-001, R25 Education Projects

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

93.879; 93.213; 93.859; 93.113; 93.846; 93.310; 93.847; 93.279; 93.307; 93.350; 93.121; 93.867; 93.351; 93.286; 93.361; 93.856; 93.855; 93.173; 93.242; 93.273; 93.853; 93.172; 93.398; 93.866; 93.837, 93.838, 93.839, 93.233

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research education activities in the mission areas of the NIH. The over-arching goal of this BD2K R25 funding announcement is to complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs. To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will focus on Curriculum or Methods Development. In particular, this FOA seeks applications for development of open educational resources.

Key Dates

Posted Date

November 26, 2014

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

February 17, 2015

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

February 17, 2015

Application Due Date(s)

March 17, 2015, 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.

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

June 2015

Advisory Council Review

August 2015

Earliest Start Date

September 2015

Expiration Date

March 18, 2015

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the 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 will not be reviewed

Table of Contents

  1. Part 1. Overview Information
  2. Part 2. Full Text of the Announcement
    1. Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
    2. Section II. Award Information
    3. Section III. Eligibility Information
    4. Section IV. Application and Submission Information
    5. Section V. Application Review Information
    6. Section VI. Award Administration Information
    7. Section VII. Agency Contacts
    8. Section VIII. Other Information

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research educational activities that complement other formal training programs in the mission areas of the NIH Institutes and Centers. The over-arching goals of the NIH R25 program are to: (1) complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs; (2) enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce; (3) help recruit individuals with specific specialty or disciplinary backgrounds to research careers in biomedical, behavioral and clinical sciences; and (4) foster a better understanding of biomedical, behavioral and clinical research and its implications.

The over-arching goal of this NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) R25 program is to support educational activities that complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs, by creating educational resources to foster sharing, curating, and annotating of biomedical Big Data. To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on:

  • Curriculum or Methods Development: Development of open educational resources that cover concepts, approaches, relevant use cases and requirements for sharing, annotating and curating biomedical Big Data research resources, for use by librarians and other instructors to train researchers and graduate students for active roles in the connected biomedical enterprise.


The ability to harvest the wealth of information contained in biomedical Big Data has the potential to advance our understanding of human health and disease; however, the enormity of Big Data creates major organizational and analytical impediments to rapid translational impact. As biomedical datasets become increasingly large, diverse, and complex, they tax conventional methods for sharing, managing, and analyzing data. Furthermore, researchers’ abilities to capitalize on biomedical Big Data science-based approaches are limited by poor data accessibility and interoperability, the lack of appropriate tools, and insufficient training.

In response to the opportunities and challenges presented by the dawning era of "Big Data" in biomedical research, the NIH launched the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative as a trans-NIH initiative to cultivate the digital research enterprise within biomedicine, to facilitate discovery and support new knowledge, and to maximize community engagement.

BD2K addresses four major aims that, in combination, are meant to enhance the utility of biomedical Big Data: 1) to facilitate broad use of biomedical digital assets by making them discoverable, accessible, and citable; 2) to conduct research and develop the methods, software, and tools needed to fully analyze biomedical Big Data; 3) to enhance training in the development and use of methods and tools necessary for biomedical Big Data science; and 4) to enable a data ecosystem that accelerates both basic and translational discovery as part of a digital enterprise.

Biomedical Big Data come from many sources, from massive stand-alone datasets generated by large collaborations to the small datasets produced by individual investigators. The value of all these data can be amplified through aggregation and integration. The BD2K initiative is a community-enabled endeavor towards maximizing the collective value of current and future biomedical digital assets to better inform and protect human health. BD2K is part of a larger ecosystem driven by data policies and shared infrastructure.

In the BD2K initiative, the term "Biomedical Big Data" is inclusive of the diverse digital objects which may have impact in basic, translational, clinical, social, behavioral, environmental, or informatics research questions. Such data types may include imaging, phenotypic, genotypic, molecular, clinical, behavioral, environmental, and many other types of biological and biomedical data. They may also include data generated for other purposes (e.g., social media, search histories, economic, geographical, or cell phone data). Finally, they also encompass the metadata, data standards, and software tools involved in data processing and analysis.

NIH leaders have articulated an exciting vision of a connected biomedical digital enterprise, in which data and metadata about them can be stored, accessed and used, employing tools that are brought to the data. Achieving the vision of anytime, anywhere access to research data and related resources will require many changes in current research and service operations in the global scientific community. NIH is undertaking a number of initiatives in support of this vision, including curriculum development and training in data science, software development and research into new data science approaches (see This FOA and its companion, RFA LM-15-001, NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Research Education: Massive, Open Online Course (MOOC) on Data Management for Biomedical Big Data (R25), seek to strengthen the infrastructure for the biomedical digital enterprise by providing curriculum materials that librarians and other information specialists can use to teach faculty, graduate students and research staff about finding, managing and using biomedical Big Data. This FOA calls for development of open educational resources about sharing, annotating and and curating biomedical Big Data.

Biomedical research can be viewed as a global connected enterprise, consisting of digital research objects such as data sets, software, pipelines, publications, grant applications, curriculum modules and metadata that describe them. Metadata can also be used to characterize the physical objects used in experiments. Weaving these disparate elements together into an accessible, interoperable whole will require many changes in current research and service operations in local settings.

For a global research resource of this scale to come together and be useful, the community of researchers needs additional skills and knowledge relating to the management of biomedical Big Data. Conceptually, this global research resource can be seen as a community-owned virtual library in which each tool or data set or instructional resource is assigned a unique identifier that allows it to be found, used, referenced, and tracked. The 'research objects' in this virtual library could have associated metadata added to facilitate their use, including descriptions of content, details of access rights, evaluative comments of other users, version numbers, update dates and other similar information. To deliver full benefits to the researchers who create and use it, the information elements about objects in the virtual library should be consistent and complete for each type of object. For example,

  • Where annotations are present, they should use a common format;
  • Metadata tags should use a common vocabulary;
  • Object identifiers should use a standard format;
  • Data standards should be identified by name and a link to the source.


This funding announcement seeks applications for the development of curriculum modules that can be used by librarians and other information specialists to prepare researchers, graduate students and research staff to be full participants in the global community that maintains and accesses digitally-stored biomedical Big Data. Content of the training material might include, but not be limited to, topics such as:

  • Basics of contributing to and using a shared research resource;
  • Data sharing guidelines or requirements of NIH and the other federal agencies that support biomedical research;
  • Persistent unique identifiers for research objects;
  • Assigment of descriptive metadata;
  • Curation of datasets, tools and other research resources;
  • Seeking and finding digital biomedical big data;
  • Use cases for clinical and basic biomedical research, showing how data sets and tools stored in a shared research resource might be processed, used or repurposed;
  • Use cases demonstrating replication of research findings using the original data set;
  • Access to BD2K open educational resources, courses in data science and other appropriate training materials for self instruction ;
  • A module on ethics issues relating to storage, sharing and management and use of biomedical research data;
  • Evaluation metrics for use with the instruction that is provided, pre and post instruction.

As the envisioned global biomedical research resource grows and develops, it is expected that content of the curriculum modules will change frequently.

Below are examples of projects that are not responsive:

  • Databases
  • Static textbooks, even if downloadable online
  • Courses that require significant per-participant expenditures
  • Existing online courses or MOOCs on general management or use of biomedical Big Data.

Research education programs may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, but the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those training and education programs currently receiving Federal support. R25 programs may augment institutional research training programs (e.g., T32, T90) but cannot be used to replace or circumvent Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) programs.

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


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

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

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

NIH intends to fund an estimate of four to six awards, corresponding to a total of $300,000, for fiscal year 2015.

Award Budget

Application budgets may not exceed $50,000 per year in direct costs and should reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

Award Project Period

The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period. The maximum project period is 2 years.

Other Award Budget Information

Personnel Costs

Individuals designing, directing, and implementing the research education program may request salary and fringe benefits appropriate for the person months devoted to the program. Salaries requested may not exceed the levels commensurate with the institution's policy for similar positions and may not exceed the congressionally mandated cap. (If mentoring interactions and other activities with participants are considered a regular part of an individual's academic duties, then any costs associated with the mentoring and other interactions with participants are not allowable costs from grant funds).

Participant Costs

Not Applicable

Other Program-Related Expenses

Consultant costs, equipment, supplies, travel for key persons, and other program-related expenses may be included in the proposed budget. These expenses must be justified as specifically required by the proposed program and must not duplicate items generally available at the applicant institution. Costs for travel to professional meetings to describe the resource(s) may be included. Costs may include support for meetings of the advisory committee.

Indirect Costs

Indirect Costs (also known as Facilities & Administrative [F&A] Costs) are reimbursed at 8% of modified total direct costs (exclusive of tuition and fees and expenditures for equipment), rather than on the basis of a negotiated rate agreement.

NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made 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)

The sponsoring institution must assure support for the proposed program. Appropriate institutional commitment to the program includes the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned program.

Institutions with existing Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) institutional training grants (e.g., T32) or other Federally funded training programs may apply for a research education grant provided that the proposed educational experiences are distinct from those training programs receiving federal support. In many cases, it is anticipated that the proposed research education program will complement ongoing research training occurring at the applicant institution.

Foreign Institutions

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

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

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

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH 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.
  • 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 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.
  • – Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the 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 diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and women 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.

The PD/PI should be an established investigator in the scientific area in which the application is targeted and capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program. The PD/PI will be expected to monitor and assess the program and submit all documents and reports as required.

The PD/PI should have appropriate expertise or experience to oversee the design, testing and assessment of online learning resources.

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).

In addition, the NIH will not accept a resubmission (A1) application that is submitted later than 37 months after submission of the new (A0) application that it follows. The NIH will accept submission:

  • To an RFA of an application that was submitted previously as an investigator-initiated application but not paid;
  • Of an investigator-initiated application that was originally submitted to an RFA but not paid; or
  • Of an application with a changed grant activity code.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

Applicants must download the SF424 (R&R) application package associated with this funding opportunity using the "Apply for Grant Electronically" button in this FOA or following the directions provided at

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the 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 will not be reviewed.

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:

Valerie Florance, Ph.D.
Telephone: 301-496-4621

Page Limitations

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

Instructions for Application Submission

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

SF424(R&R) Cover

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

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

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

SF424 (R&R) Other Project Information Component

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

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.

Other Attachments. An Advisory Committee is a required component of the proposed open education resources development. Describe the role of the Advisory Committee in the project. Proposed Advisory Committee members should be named in the application if they have been invited to participate at the time the application is submitted. Please name your file "Advisory_Committee.pdf"

Attach a syllabus outlining the topics and subtopics to be covered. Please name your file "OER-syllabus.pdf"

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

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

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

R&R Budget

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

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

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

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

PHS 398 Research Plan Component

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

Research Strategy

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

  • Proposed Research Education Program identifying the topic(s) to be covered
  • Needs Assessment
  • Program Director/Principal Investigator
  • Institutional Environment and Commitment
  • Evaluation Plan
  • Dissemination Plan

Research Education Program Plan

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. The description should include the educational and/or career level(s) of the planned participants.

For each module proposed, applicants must include a content outline based on assessment of user needs, an evaluation plan that focuses on results of the training by measuring outcomes for the learner, and a dissemination plan (see below). A pilot evaluation of the resource(s) should be undertaken to provide evidence of its usability. Applicants should indicate how the resources will be shared, with a timetable for full implementation and a description of how the materials will be made discoverable. The instructional materials should be constructed in modular fashion, so that subcomponents can be used for special instructional purposes. Applicants should explain how evaluation feedback during development will be incorporated to improve the modules.

The applicant must establish a committee of advisors that can advise on content and usability. The committee should include researchers, librarians and other stakeholders . The advisory group should meet at least once each year, either in person or in a virtual meeting, to provide feedback on the developing resource.

A Needs Assessment should provide justification for the selection of topics to be covered in the modules.

Program Director/Principal Investigator. 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. For programs proposing multiple PDs/PIs, describe the complementary and integrated expertise of the PDs/PIs; their leadership approach, and governance appropriate for the planned project. The project team should include expertise in data management and instructional evaluation.

Institutional Environment and Commitment. Describe the institutional environment, reiterating the availability of facilities and educational resources (described separately under "Facilities & Other Resources"), that can contribute to the planned Research Education Program. Evidence of institutional commitment to the research educational program is required. A letter of institutional commitment must be attached as part of Letters of Support (see below). Appropriate institutional commitment should include the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned research education program.

Evaluation Plan. Applications must include a plan for evaluating the activities supported by the award. The application must specify baseline metrics (e.g., numbers, educational levels, and demographic characteristics of primary audiences), as well as measures to gauge the short or long-term success of the research education award in achieving its objectives. This evaluation should be framed in terms of results, measuring outcomes for the learner. Applicants are encouraged to include short- and long-term self-assessment for learners, both before learners utilize materials as well as after. Applicants should explain how user feedback will be used to improve the modules.

Dissemination Plan. A specific plan must be provided to disseminate nationally any findings resulting from or materials developed under the auspices of the research education program, e.g., sharing course curricula and related materials via web postings, presentations at scientific meetings, workshops. A goal for this R25 award is to release training materials into the public domain. Use of a public domain license such as Creative commons is strongly encouraged. Materials must be 508 compliant..

Letters of Support

A letter of institutional commitment must be attached as part of Letters of Support (see section above:"Institutional Environment and Commitment."

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, with the following Guide, with the following modification:

  • All applications submitted for the January 25, 2015, due date or after are expected to comply with the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy as detailed in NOT-OD-14-111, as applicable.

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

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


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

Not Applicable

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report

Not Applicable

3. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates. 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.

Organizations must submit applications to (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.

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.

4. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. 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.

6. 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.

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.

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

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness and compliance with application instructions by the Center for Scientific Review, NIH and for responsiveness by the BD2K Subcommittee on Training, 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 NOT-OD-13-030.

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, behavioral, and clinical research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

For this particular announcement, note the following: The goal of this R25 program is to support educational activities that complement or enhance the training of biomedical researchers who want to acquire skills necessary to use biomedical big data. The curriculum materials it supports must be made openly available so that access is not restricted by either lack of funds, lack of time or geographic distance. Although the primary audience is librarians and information specialists, ideally, the resource should be useful to individuals at all career levels, from students to established investigators.

Overall Impact

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to strongly advance research education by fulfilling the goal of this R25 Education Program, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria, as applicable for the project proposed.

Scored Review Criteria

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


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? Is the topical coverage comprehensive and appropriate for use in training researchers, graduate students and academic staff who work with biomedical Big Data?


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? Does the team include expertise in the areas of data management and instructional evaluation?


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


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? As described, would the proposed approach be feasible and effective? Are plans for updating reasonable?

Evaluation Plan: Are the proposed plan and timeline for evaluation sound and likely to provide data on effectiveness at the 'results' level? Is the program evaluation guided by an adequately-developed model? Will user feedback be used to improve the modules?

Dissemination Plan: Is the proposed dissemination plan appropriate? Are the developed resources 508 compliant and accessible in the public domain, consistent with achieving the goals of the program? Does the dissemination plan include communicating the availability of the modules?


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

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.

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

Not Applicable


Not Applicable


Not Applicable


Not Applicable


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.

Recruitment & Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity

Not Applicable

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

Not Applicable

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable

Select Agent Research

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

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) Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS)/Genomic Data Sharing Plan. If development, maintenance, or enhancement of software or online educational resources is proposed in the application, the reviewers will comment on the proposed software dissemination plan.

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 Center for Scientific Review, 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 on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the National Library of Medicine Board of Regents. 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.

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.

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually. Continuation support will not be provided until the required forms are submitted and accepted.

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 on all subawards over $25,000. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement.

Failure by the grantee institution to submit required forms in a timely, complete, and accurate manner may result in an expenditure disallowance or a delay in any continuation funding for the award.

Other Reporting Requirements

A final progress report 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.

4. Evaluation

  • In carrying out its stewardship of human resource-related programs, the NIH or its Institutes and Centers will periodically evaluate their R25 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 the NIH BD2K Initiative expects to use the following evaluation measures:

  • Aggregate number and demographic characteristics of participants exposed to the new curricula or methods
  • Number and general educational level of users, by type of user (e.g., instructor, student, self-instruction)
  • Knowledge gain as measured by pre/post test;
  • Frequency of content updates
  • Frequency of module use, by module methods assessed by skills/competencies
  • Broad accessibility, as measured by location of users

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 Commons Help Desk (Questions regarding eRA Commons registration, submitting and tracking an application, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, post submission issues)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)
Finding Help Online:
Email: Customer Support (Questions regarding registration and submission, downloading forms and application packages)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726

GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and process, finding NIH grant resources)
Telephone: 301-710-0267

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Valerie Florance, Ph.D.
National Library of Medicine (NLM)
Telephone: 301-496-4621

Peer Review Contact(s)

Raymond Jacobson, Ph.D.
Center for Scientific Review (CSR)
Telephone: 301-996-7702

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Dwight W. Mowery, CGMO
National Library of Medicine (NLM)
Telephone: 301-496-4221

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 Parts 74 and 92.

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