Part 1. Overview Information

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Library of Medicine (NLM)

Funding Opportunity Title
Short-Term Research Education Experiences to Attract Talented Students to Biomedical Informatics/Data Science Careers and Enhance Diversity (R25 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Activity Code

R25 Education Projects

Announcement Type
New
Related Notices

July 22, 2019 - Requirement for ORCID iDs for Individuals Supported by Research Training, Fellowship, Research Education, and Career Development Awards Beginning in FY 2020. See Notice NOT-OD-19-109

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number
RFA-LM-22-001
Companion Funding Opportunity
None
Assistance Listing Number(s)
93.879
Funding Opportunity Purpose

The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research education activities in the mission areas of the NIH.  The overarching goal of this R25 program is to support educational activities that encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, to pursue further studies or careers in research. 

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

  • Research Experiences

Key Dates

Posted Date
March 14, 2022
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
April 30, 2022
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

April 28, 2022

Application Due Dates Review and Award Cycles
New Renewal / Resubmission / Revision (as allowed) AIDS Scientific Merit Review Advisory Council Review Earliest Start Date
May 31, 2022 Not Applicable Not Applicable July 2022 August 2022 September 2022

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

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

Expiration Date
June 01, 2022
Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Research (R) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts).

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

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


Part 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 overarching goal of this R25 program is to support educational activities that encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, to pursue further studies or careers in research.

To accomplish the stated overarching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on:

  • Research Experiences in Biomedical Informatics and Data Science:
    • For undergraduate students: to provide hands-on exposure to research, to reinforce their intent to graduate with a college degree, and to prepare them for graduate school admissions.
    • For master’s students: to provide hands-on exposure to research, to extend their skills, experiences, and knowledge base, to prepare them for doctoral program admissions, and future careers in research.

Overview and Program Long-Term Goals

The goal of the National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) R25 program is to support educational activities that encourage talented undergraduate and master's students, including those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, to pursue further training and careers in biomedical informatics and data science. This R25 training program complements NLM's university-based Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Biomedical Informatics and Data Science Research Training Program (see https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-LM-21-001.html) by providing exposure to biomedical informatics and data science research to undergraduate and master's students and creating a pipeline that leads to future doctoral studies in this field. With both programs, NLM seeks to develop a cadre of scientists capable of leading biomedical informatics and data science research.

The NLM supports innovative research and development in biomedical informatics and data science. The scope of NLM's interest in these research domains is broad, with an emphasis on novel methods and approaches to foster data driven discovery in the biomedical and clinical health sciences as well as domain-independent, reusable approaches to discovery, curation, analysis, organization and management of health-related digital technologies. Biomedical informatics and data science draw upon many fields, including mathematics, statistics, information science, computer science and engineering, and social and behavioral sciences. Further, biomedical informatics is an interdisciplinary field that applies theories and processes to study and pursue the effective uses of biomedical data, information, and knowledge for scientific inquiry, problem solving and decision making, motivated by efforts to improve human health. NIH defines data science as the interdisciplinary field of inquiry in which quantitative and analytical approaches, processes, and systems are developed and used to extract knowledge and insights from increasingly large and/or complex sets of data. Research domains may include health care delivery, basic biomedical research, clinical and translational research, precision medicine, public health, biosurveillance, health information management, and related areas.

The NIH continues to encourage institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations and to enhance the participation of individuals from diverse groups, including those nationally underrepresented in biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences research, such as racial and ethnic minorities, those from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, and individuals with disabilities (see NOT-OD-20-031). Although the NIH currently provides multiple opportunities to develop research careers and improve participation for individuals from groups with lower representation in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, reports from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and others, provide strong evidence that diversity remains an ongoing challenge that must be addressed at every level of the educational pipeline.

The NSF Survey of Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering reported that of the U.S citizens and permanent residents who were awarded bachelor’s degrees in science or engineering, 21% were from underrepresented minority groups (URM), and for those awarded doctoral degrees, 14% were from URM. Thus, the undergraduate to graduate transition continues to be a transition point where science and engineering students from underrepresented groups leave the research enterprise, with the subfield of biomedical informatics and data science having less URMG representation overall. Specifically, the proportion of URG candidates, in particular, among biomedical informatics doctoral graduates has not increased over time and remains low (see https://academic.oup.com/jamia/article/27/11/1641/5923660?searchresult=1). URMG representation in this field is especially important at a time when informatics tools, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning approaches, are being criticized for amplifying and codifying racial/ethnic bias into mainstream application like health care (see https://doi.org/10.1093/jamia/ocaa094).

 

The NIH and NLM recognize a unique and compelling need to promote diversity in the biomedical, behavioral and clinical sciences research workforce exists. Many benefits result from a diverse NIH-supported scientific workforce, including: fostering scientific innovation; enhancing global competitiveness; contributing to robust learning environments; improving the quality of research; advancing the likelihood that underserved or health disparity populations will participate in, and benefit from health research; advancing health equity, and enhancing public trust. NLM seeks to further promote diversity and health equity in research training and education programs by developing programs that support the increased participation and retention of individuals from underrepresented backgrounds as defined in the Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity (see NOT-OD-20-031). Additionally, NLM strives to increase the pool of future research investigators from diverse backgrounds and facilitate the career advancement and/or transition of participants to the next step in their scientific careers by supporting educational activities that enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce.

This R25 research education program enhances NLM's training efforts by providing exposure to biomedical informatics research to talented undergraduate and master's students, including students underrepresented in the field. The program will complement these research experiences with activities to reinforce the students' intent to graduate and prepare them for doctoral admissions and/or careers in biomedical informatics and data science research.

To accomplish NLM’s goal, the R25 program will support creative educational activities that expose undergraduates and master’s students to research that NLM supports, to reinforce their intent to graduate, and prepare them for doctoral program admissions. Applicants to the R25 program will be expected to develop a bioinformatics research education program where participants will be supported short-term (i.e.,12 weeks during the summer). In addition, skills development courses/seminars/workshops that introduce participants to fundamental knowledge in such areas as biomedical, clinical, public health, translational, and consumer health informatics; machine learning, artificial intelligence, health equity, health disparities, and information science will be expected. Eligible participants consist of undergraduate and master's students who are currently enrolled at an accredited institution of higher learning in the United States. Post-baccalaureate students who are enrolled in an accredited post-bac program may also be considered. Additionally, undergraduate participants should have already successfully completed one academic year of post-secondary education with completion of at least two academic years preferred.

The R25 research experience program proposed should provide broad exposure to biomedical informatics and data science research and create a pipeline for future doctoral studies in biomedical informatics and/or data science. Fostering collaboration and partnerships across institutions will be important for creating this pipeline. Minority-serving institutions and/or IDeA-eligible institutions, when serving as lead applicant, are encouraged to partner with programs at institutions with established biomedical informatics or data science programs and have an established record of NIH funding. Similarly, institutions with established biomedical informatics or data science programs, when serving as lead applicant, are encouraged to partner with minority-serving institutions or IDeA-eligible institutions.

NIH realizes that quality mentorship is critical to the recruitment and retention of scientists, including those from underrepresented backgrounds, and encourages program activities to improve the caliber of mentorship. Mentoring and other educational activities are expected to be conducted at each collaborating institution to maximize the program's impact. Programs, in addition to research experiences, are expected to provide students with outstanding mentoring and education in other critical skills such as leadership, scientific writing and presentation skills, training in rigor and reproducibility and time management. There should be dedicated efforts to provide not only technical expertise, but advice, insight, and professional career skills to students in the program. Mentors should be encouraged to work with participants to design individualized development plans (IDPs) that are compatible with participants’ needs and experience. Dual mentoring is encouraged, with one faculty mentor focused more on scientific mentoring and another on career mentoring, and with mentors at each collaborating institute represented. Additionally, near-peer mentoring is encouraged (e.g., a graduate student who is working with an undergraduate student on a research project).

Courses for skills development should be uniquely designed to increase interest in and preparation to enter graduate programs in biomedical informatics and data science or a medical informatics-related field of scientific interest to NLM. It is expected that academic and curriculum enhancement activities may vary in how they are formalized and integrated; various strategies, rooted in education research, may be utilized. These approaches may include, but are not limited to: core biomedical informatics coursework tailored to students’ backgrounds and needs; curriculum for specialized research techniques; collaborative learning experiences and group activities to convey the excitement and relevance of biomedical informatics to students; advisement regarding the number, level, and sequence of courses that students should take to be competitive for graduate school programs in biomedical informatics; seminars emphasizing scientific reading comprehension, writing, and oral presentation skills; and research career seminars to help prepare students for the transition to a doctoral program.

The expected outcome of this program is increased admissions into graduate programs in research mission areas relevant to NLM among program participants. Additionally, it is expected that this R25 program will lead to enhanced participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds in the biomedical informatics research workforce who can bring their unique experiences, perspectives and innovation to addressing human disease and the public's health and/or the ethical or social implications of biomedical informatics research. Other desired program outcomes include completion of bachelor’s degrees, completion of doctoral programs, and achievement of subsequent research funding, such as an NLM individual fellowship or career development awards.

Research experience 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.

For specific eligibility requirements, see Section III. Eligibility Information. The institution will have responsibility for the conduct and oversight of the award, plus the flexibility to determine the optimal configuration with its partner(s) for maximum impact.

Technical Assistance Webinar

NLM will conduct a technical assistance webinar regarding RFA-LM-22-001 on April 13, 2022, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Eastern Daylight Time. The webinar will review the purpose and objectives of the FOA, review application instructions, and address questions from applicants concerning the FOA. All prospective applicants are encouraged to participate.

To participate, you must preregister at: https://nih.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_yG5mOvB0SgGAI4WITAh7YA.

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. Only those application types listed here are allowed for this FOA.
Clinical Trial?

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

Note: Appointed participants are permitted to obtain research experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor or co-mentor.

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NLM intends to commit $675,000 in FY 2022 to fund up to 5 awards.

Award Budget

Application budgets may not exceed $125,000 per year in direct costs. Applications 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 5 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).

PI/PD, Other Personnel, and Faculty Costs

Personnel costs associated with administering this R25 training program must be directly associated with the program and should be well-justified and reasonable.

Salary and fringe benefit support for the PD/PI or combination of multiple PDs/PIs is allowed. Support for program coordinator is allowed as long as their role is clearly defined and significantly different from the roles of the PDs/PIs. The duties and responsibilities of the program coordinators must be included in the budget justification. Salaries and fringe benefits for program faculty are allowed for activities that are not considered a regular part of the individual’s academic duties. Limited program-related administrative and clerical salary costs associated distinctly with the program that are not normally provided by the applicant organization may be direct charged to the grant only when they are in accordance with applicable cost principles.

Total personnel expenses for PD(s)/PI(s), program coordinator, and participating faculty may not exceed 30% of the total direct costs in any year of the project period.

Participant Costs

The salary and fringe benefits for a participant should be consistent with the institutional salary policies for employees in similar positions.

For non-local participants in summer research experiences, an additional amount up to $3,000 per participant may be requested for housing and round-trip travel to and from the research experience site. These costs must be itemized and justified in the proposed budget.

Participants may be compensated for participation in activities specifically required by the proposed research education program, if sufficiently justified. Participant costs must be itemized in the proposed budget.

Allowable participant costs depend on the educational level/career status of the individuals to be selected to participate in the program.

Expenses for foreign travel are not allowed.

Individuals supported by NIH training and career development mechanisms (K, T, or F awards) may receive, and indeed are encouraged to receive, educational experiences supported by an R25 program, as participants, but may not receive salary or stipend supplementation from a research education program.

Because the R25 program is not intended as a substitute for an NRSA institutional training program (e.g.,T32), costs to support full-time participants (supported for 40 hours/week for a continuous, 12-month period) are not allowable.

Other Program-Related Expenses

Consultant costs, evaluation 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.

Total expenses in this category may not exceed 10% of the total direct costs in any year of the project period.

Indirect Costs

Indirect Costs (also known as Facilities & Administrative [F&A] Costs) are reimbursed at 8% of modified total direct costs (exclusive of tuition and fees, expenditures for equipment and consortium costs in excess of $25,000), rather than on the basis of a negotiated rate agreement.

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

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.

  • System for Award Management (SAM) – Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
  • NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code – Foreign organizations must obtain an NCAGE code (in lieu of a CAGE code) in order to register in SAM.
  • Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)- A UEI is issued as part of the SAM.gov registration process. SAM registrations prior to fall 2021 were updated to include a UEI. For applications due on or after January 25, 2022, the UEI must be provided on the application forms (e.g., FORMS-G); the same UEI must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) – Organization registrations prior to April 2022 require applicants to obtain a DUNS prior to registering in SAM. By April 2022, the federal government will stop using the DUNS number as an entity identifier and will transition to the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) issued by SAM. Prior to April 2022, 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.
  • eRA Commons - Once the unique organization identifier (DUNS prior to April 2022; UEI after April 2022) is established, organizations can register with eRA Commons in tandem with completing their full SAM and Grants.gov registrations; all registrations must be in place by time of submission. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • Grants.gov – Applicants must have an active SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

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

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

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with 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. See, Reminder: Notice of NIH's Encouragement of Applications Supporting Individuals from Underrepresented Ethnic and Racial Groups as well as Individuals with Disabilities, NOT-OD-22-019.

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

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.

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 per 2.3.7.4 Submission of Resubmission Application. 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.

Program Faculty

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

Participants

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

Eligible students will have already successfully completed at least one academic year of undergraduate education at an accredited school or university with completion of at least two academic years preferred for participation in the program.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

The application forms package specific to this opportunity must be accessed through ASSIST, Grants.gov Workspace or an institutional system-to-system solution. Links to apply using ASSIST or Grants.gov Workspace are available in Part 1 of this 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 instructions in the Research (R) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions will not be reviewed.

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:

Zoe Huang, MD

Chief, Office of Scientific Review

National Library of Medicine

Email: huangz@mail.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

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 not a required component of a Research Education program. However, if an Advisory Committee is intended, provide a plan for the appointment of an Advisory Committee to monitor progress of the research education program. The composition, roles, responsibilities, and desired expertise of committee members, frequency of committee meetings, and other relevant information should be included. Describe how the Advisory Committee will evaluate the overall effectiveness of the program. Proposed Advisory Committee members should be named in the application if they have been invited to participate at the time the application is submitted. Renewal applications with Advisory Committees should include the names of all committee members during the past project period. Please name your file “Advisory_Committee.pdf”.

Data Tables: Tables should be included to show: (a) participating faculty members, (b) research support of participating faculty members, and for applicants with a previous history of funding for research education in diverse populations, (c) information about past participants and their subsequent activities. For this purpose, the following Data Tables should be used: Data Tables 2 and 4. These tables are not subject to a page limit. They should be compiled as a single pdf file and saved as "Data_Tables.pdf". Data tables are available here: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms-f/data-tables.htm.

Participating Faculty Biosketches: Combine all participating faculty biosketches into a single PDF and attach this information in the Other Attachments section. Faculty biosketches for participating faculty must follow the instructions for a biographical sketch (refer to Biosketch Format Pages, Instructions and Samples) with the following exception: a personal statement, while encouraged, is not required. Please note that the biosketches of the PD/PI and any other senior/key personnel (e.g., co-directors, if applicable, and program staff) should not be included here but they should instead be included in the R&R Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Form.

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.
  • Use the section on Participant/Trainee Support Costs to include all allowable categories of funds requested to support participants in the program.
  • Unallowable costs include, but are not limited to the following:
    • Salary and support for central institutional administrative personnel (e.g., budget officers, grant assistants, and building maintenance personnel), which are usually paid from institutional overhead charges.
    • Salary and support for administrative activities such as institutional public relations or health and educational services.
    • Undergraduate and graduate student tuition, housing, or food, during the academic year.
    • Daily meals and commuting costs.
    • Costs for textbooks, laptops, incentives, memberships, or subscriptions to internet services or journals.
    • Support for faculty research (all faculty mentors are expected to have their own research support).
    • Costs of workshops or courses with a limited focus such as preparation for a specific test, (i.e., GRE and MCAT costs are not allowable).
    • Gifts, such as hats, t-shirts, key rings, tote bags, etc.
    • Social functions that include food and beverages.
PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

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

PHS 398 Research Plan

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

Research Strategy

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

  • Proposed Research Education Program
  • Program Director/Principal Investigator
  • Program Faculty
  • Program Participants
  • Institutional Environment and Commitment
  • Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity
  • Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research
  • 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.

Applications must:

  • Use an evidence-based approach to justify activities proposed in the research plan. Applicants should review the substantial pedagogical literature concerning predictors of success in research careers and examine additional data/report resources at https://extramural-diversity.nih.gov/diversity-reports.
  • Address the overall goals and specific measurable objectives (including anticipated milestones defined as anticipated intermediate steps toward the objectives) that the institution expects to accomplish in preparing students to enter and complete graduate studies in biomedical informatics and data science research and/or pursue careers in the scientific, medical, ethical, and/or social areas of biomedical informatics and data science research.
  • Provide programmatic detail and rationale on the proposed research experiences and courses for skills development and describe how these activities will enrich the research skills and/or competence of participants so that they may further engage in biomedical informatics and data science research.
  • Describe how the research education plan will be integrated across the partnering institutions, including plans for coordination and communication between the sites.
  • Discuss any perceived impediments to implementing the proposed activities and alternative strategies to achieve the measurable objectives.
  • Provide the number of participants to be supported and concise information on the selection and retention process for the participants in the program, including the criteria related to the students’ academic status, participants’ research education and training progress, and role of the faculty/personnel involved.
  • Demonstrate that participants will have authentic, meaningful research experiences. This exposure to research should occur during the summer at the home institution or the partnering institution.
  • Describe the mentoring plan, including the mentoring network and efforts at providing not only technical expertise, but advice, insight, and professional career skills that will the advance the broad career goals of the students from diverse backgrounds. Describe any activities aimed at improving the caliber of mentorship.
  • Include a timetable for completing the planned activities.   

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.

Provide evidence that the Program Director(s) is actively engaged in research and/or teaching in an area related to the mission of the NLM. For early-stage investigators, there should be a statement of assurance that their research program and career advancement will not be impacted by duties as PD/PI.

Describe how the PD(s)/PI(s) will assume responsibility for the overall execution of the Program, including placement of participants in established research groups, and coordination and implementation of developmental education and mentoring activities across participating institutions. Describe how the PD(s)/PI(s) will work with program faculty and, if applicable, program coordinator(s) to monitor and evaluate the progress of the individual program elements and the overall functioning of the integrated program.  

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

Program Faculty may also serve as Mentors. All Program Faculty must conduct research that is relevant to NLM’s scientific mission. There should be clear involvement of faculty at both lead and partner institutions, with appropriate faculty coordination across institutions.

Program Participants. Applications must identify the career levels for which the proposed program is planned.

Applications must describe the intended participants, and the eligibility criteria and/or specific educational background characteristics that are essential for participation in the proposed research education program.  It is the responsibility of the institutions to establish the selection criteria for the students before they are allowed to participate in the program, and to establish selection criteria that will ensure a highly qualified applicant pool. Selection of program-supported participants is expected to take into consideration whether the participation would help achieve the overall goals/objectives of the Program, which is to support a diverse pool of talented participants to help them successfully enter and complete graduate programs in biomedical informatics and data science or related biomedical informatics field.

Students from such fields as engineering, mathematics, computer science, physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, sociology, public health and other relevant academic disciplines who have an interest in in biomedical informatics and/or data science should be encouraged to participate in the program.

Institutional Environment and Commitment. Describe any additional aspects of the Institutional Environment and Commitment not addressed under “Facilities & Other Resources” or the required “Institutional Commitment Letter of Support,” described below. Appropriate institutional commitment should include the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned research education program. This section should not duplicate information provided elsewhere.

Institutions should clearly state how scientific workforce diversity is consistent with its mission and describe efforts the institution has taken to promote a climate of inclusion that will help achieve the aims of the R25. The applicant institution must document the requisite administrative/technical capacity, and support for the management of a collaborative research education and research training project. All collaborative arrangements must be clearly described and agreements included in the application as letters of support. Additionally, applications must:

  • Include a description of the potential applicant pool based on the selection criteria established for the proposed program;
  • Describe the process for selection of the program-supported participants (examples of accepted indicators include, but are not limited to, previous academic success, practical research experience, written statements that express interest and commitment and letters of recommendations from faculty, research supervisors and/or other community leaders that speak to the applicant’s merit and interest in biomedical informatics and data science research);
  • Describe the retention strategies and follow-up activities that would ensure students remain engaged and are receiving high quality mentorship and guidance within the program.

Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity  (NOT-OD-20-031):

The applicant must provide a recruitment plan to enhance diversity. Include outreach strategies and activities designed to recruit prospective participants from diverse backgrounds, e.g. those from groups described in the Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity. Describe the specific efforts to be undertaken by the program and how the proposed plan reflects past experiences in recruiting individuals from underrepresented groups.

Applications lacking a diversity recruitment plan will not be reviewed.

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

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

Evaluation Plan. Applications must include a plan for evaluating the activities supported by the award.  The application must specify baseline metrics (e.g., numbers, educational levels, and demographic characteristics of participants), as well as measures to gauge the short or long-term success of the research education award in achieving its objectives. Wherever appropriate, applicants are encouraged to obtain feedback from participants to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for improvements.

Overall evaluation plans should include a logic model and include both process and outcome measures.  They must also include the following: 1) measures of effectiveness in outreach and dissemination of research education opportunities; 2) measures to monitor individual student progress and satisfaction during the course of their participation in the program; 3) measures to monitor the effectiveness of faculty mentoring; 4) the number of program participants entering or planning to enter graduate degree programs in biomedical informatics, data science, or a related field; and 5) the extent to which the program increases interest in NLM mission areas. The evaluation should also include a plan for assessing whether the program overall and its environments are effective, inclusive, safe and supportive for students while participating in the program. Applicants are expected to propose how they will implement their evaluation plan and ensure that course corrections are applied throughout the grant period. 

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.

Letters of Support

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

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.

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

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

Appendix

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

PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

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

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

Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

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

Delayed Onset Study

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

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

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

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

4. Submission Dates and Times

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

Organizations must submit applications to Grants.gov (the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies). Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration. NIH and Grants.gov systems check the application against many of the application instructions upon submission. Errors must be corrected and a changed/corrected application must be submitted to Grants.gov on or before the application due date and time.  If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late. Applications that miss the due date and time are subjected to the NIH 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 How to Apply – Application Guide. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Dealing with System Issues guidance. For assistance with application submission, contact the Application Submission Contacts in Section VII.

Important reminders:

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

The applicant organization must ensure that the unique entity identifier (DUNS number or UEI as required) provided 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 NIH Center for Scientific Review. Applications that are incomplete or 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. Any instructions provided here are in addition to the instructions in the policy.

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

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

For this particular announcement, note the following: the goal of this R25 program is to support educational activities that encourage talented students, including those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, to pursue further training and careers in biomedical informatics and data science research.

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.

Significance

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

Specific to this FOA

Will the proposed program significantly improve the baseline number of students that enter and, ultimately, complete doctoral programs in biomedical informatics and data science, and/or pursue careers in the scientific, medical, ethical, or social areas of biomedical informatics research? Does the proposed program provide compelling evidence of the impact it will have on the enrichment of the research skills and/or competence of participants so they may further engage in biomedical informatics or data science research?

Investigator(s)

Is the PD/PI capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program? Is there evidence that an appropriate level of effort will be devoted by the program leadership to ensure the program's intended goal is accomplished? If applicable, is there evidence that the participating faculty have experience in mentoring students and teaching science? If applicable, are the faculty good role models for the participants by nature of their scientific accomplishments? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?

Specific to this FOA

Is the PD/PI(s) actively engaged in research and/or teaching in an area related to the mission of the NLM? Is there an adequate description of how the PD/PI(s) will work with program faculty and, if applicable, program coordinator(s) to monitor and evaluate the progress of the individual program elements and the overall functioning of the integrated program? Is there compelling evidence that all Program Faculty are conducting research that is relevant to NLM’s scientific mission? Is there clear involvement of faculty at both lead and partner institutions, with appropriate faculty coordination across institutions?

Innovation

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

Specific to this FOA

Does the program use novel methods in reaching out to diverse and underrepresented student populations? Does the program use creative methods in mentoring? Does the program propose groundbreaking approaches to increase interest in biomedical informatics and data sciences?

Approach

Does the proposed program clearly state its goals and objectives, including the educational level of the audience to be reached, the content to be conveyed, and the intended outcome?  Is there evidence that the program is based on a sound rationale, as well as sound educational concepts and principles? Is the plan for evaluation sound and likely to provide information on the effectiveness of the program?  If the proposed program will recruit participants, are the planned recruitment, retention, and follow-up (if applicable) activities adequate to ensure a highly qualified participant pool?

Specific to this FOA

Do the proposed research experiences and courses for skills development meet the needs of participating students from diverse backgrounds, and are they designed to support their competitiveness for completion of a doctoral degree in a biomedical informatics or data science field? Does the program demonstrate that participants will have meaningful research experiences? Are the requirements and timetable for completing the planned activities, and the size and caliber of the applicant pool appropriate to achieve the described program goals? Is the mentoring plan sufficient to support the scope of this program? Are the selection criteria for participants and retention strategies clearly described and appropriate for ensuring that the program meets its goals?

Environment

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

Specific to this FOA

Is there compelling evidence of commitment and integration across the collaborating institutions? Are adequate plans provided for coordination and communication between the sites? Do the institutions or organizations have experience providing educational opportunities to students from diverse backgrounds, including those underrepresented in biomedical research? Is there sufficient evidence that the program and its environments are effective, inclusive, safe and supportive?

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 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  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 Individuals Across the Lifespan

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 individuals of all ages (including children and older adults) 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.

Revisions

Not Applicable.

Renewals

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 Plan to Enhance Diversity

Peer reviewers will separately evaluate the recruitment plan to enhance diversity after the overall score has been determined. Reviewers will examine the strategies to be used in the recruitment of prospective participants from underrepresented groups. The review panel’s evaluation will be included in the summary statement. Plans will be rated as acceptable or unacceptable, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

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

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable.

Select Agent Research

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

Resource Sharing Plans

Not Applicable.

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), in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.

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

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

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

Applications will be assigned to NLM. 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 appropriate national Advisory Council or Board. 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 recipient’s business official.

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

Any application awarded in response to this 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.

Institutional Review Board or Independent Ethics Committee Approval: Recipient institutions must ensure that protocols are reviewed by their IRB or IEC. To help ensure the safety of participants enrolled in NIH-funded studies, the recipient must provide NIH copies of documents related to all major changes in the status of ongoing protocols.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

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

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

Should the applicant organization successfully compete for an award, recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS must administer their programs in compliance with federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, religion, conscience, and sex (including gender identify, sexual orientation, and pregnancy). This includes ensuring programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency and persons with disabilities. The HHS Office for Civil Rights provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-providers/provider-obligations/index.html and https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/nondiscrimination/index.html

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

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

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

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, recipients 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.

Programs that involve participants should report on education in the responsible conduct of research and complete a Trainee Diversity Report, in accordance with the RPPR Instruction Guide.

NIH FOAs outline intended research goals

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

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later. All recipients of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over the threshold. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement.

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

In accordance with the regulatory requirements 45 CFR Part 75 and 2 CFR Part 200 and Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75.113 and 2 CFR Part 200.113, recipients that have currently active Federal grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from all Federal awarding agencies with a cumulative total value greater than $10,000,000 for any period of time during the period of performance of a Federal award, must report and maintain the currency of information reported in the System for Award Management (SAM) about civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings in connection with the award or performance of a Federal award that reached final disposition within the most recent five-year period. The recipient must also make semiannual disclosures regarding such proceedings. Proceedings information will be made publicly available in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS). This is a statutory requirement under section 872 of Public Law 110-417, as amended (41 U.S.C. 2313). As required by section 3010 of Public Law 111-212, all information posted in the designated integrity and performance system on or after April 15, 2011, except past performance reviews required for Federal procurement contracts, will be publicly available. Full reporting requirements and procedures are found in Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75 and 2 CFR Part 200 – Award Term and Condition for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.

Other Reporting Requirements

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

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

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 NLM expects to use the following evaluation measures:

For Research Experience and Mentoring Programs Involving the Following Groups:

Undergraduate Students:

  • Aggregate number and demographic characteristics of participants
  • Subsequent educational/career progress, including:
  • Successful completion of an undergraduate degree in a STEM field
  • Enrollment in an advanced degree program in a STEM field

Graduate Students:

  • Aggregate number and demographic characteristics of participants
  • Subsequent educational/career progress of participants, including:
  • Successful completion of a STEM graduate program
  • Subsequent participation in a formal research training or career development program in a STEM field
  • Subsequent participation in research
  • Subsequent employment in a research or research-related field
  • Subsequent authorship of scientific publications in a STEM field
  • Subsequent independent research grant support from NIH or another source

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

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

Finding Help Online: http://http://grants.nih.gov/support/ (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)

General Grants Information (Questions regarding application instructions, application processes, and NIH grant resources)
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-945-7573

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

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

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Meryl Sufian, PhD
National Library of Medicine (NLM)
Telephone: 301-496-4671
Email: sufianm@mail.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Zoe Huang, MD
National Library of Medicine (NLM)
Telephone: 301-594-4937
Email: huangz@mail.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Samantha J. Tempchin
National Library of Medicine (NLM)
Telephone: 301-496-4221
Email: tempchins@mail.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 42 USC 286b-3.

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