Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information

Participating Organization(s)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Funding Opportunity Title
NIMH Career Enhancement Award to Advance Autism Services Research for Adults and Transition-Age Youth (K18 Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Activity Code
K18 Career Enhancement Award
Announcement Type

Reissue of RFA-MH-19-100

Related Notices

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

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number
RFA-MH-20-420
Companion Funding Opportunity

RFA-MH-20-421     K18 Career Enhancement Award (Clinical Trial Required)

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

93.242

Funding Opportunity Purpose

This NIMH Research Career Enhancement Award (K18) program invites applications from experienced investigators seeking to redirect or expand their research programs through the acquisition of new skills and knowledge in the area of autism services research for adults and transition-age youth, which is beyond and   complementary to their current areas of expertise. The program will support research training and career development experiences and a small-scale research project that will provide experienced investigators with the scientific competencies required to conduct research relevant to services for adults or transition-age youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Eligible candidates are independent investigators at any faculty rank or level.

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is designed specifically for applicants proposing research that does not involve leading an independent clinical trial, a clinical trial feasibility study, or an ancillary clinical trial  . Applicants to this FOA are permitted to propose research experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor or co-mentor. Applicants proposing a clinical trial or an ancillary clinical trial  as lead investigator, should apply to the companion FOA ( RFA-MH-20-421    ).

Key Dates

Posted Date

11/27/2019

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
January 13, 2020
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

January 13, 2020

Application Due Date(s)

February 13, 2020 and October 15, 2020

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

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

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review
June 2020 and March 2020
Advisory Council Review
October 2020 and May 2021
Earliest Start Date
December 2020 and July 2021
Expiration Date
October 16, 2020
Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

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

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

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

  3. Use Grants.gov Workspace to prepare and submit your application and eRA Commons to track your application.
  4. Table of Contents

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

The overall goal of the NIH Research Career Development program is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in appropriate scientific disciplines to address the Nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) support a variety of mentored and non-mentored career development award programs designed to foster the transition of new investigators to research independence and to support established investigators in achieving specific objectives. Candidates should review the different career development (K) award programs to determine the best program to support their goals. More information about Career programs may be found at the NIH Extramural Training Mechanisms website.

The objective of the Career Enhancement Award for Experienced Investigators (K18) is to provide support for experienced scientists who either wish to broaden their scientific capabilities or to make changes in their research careers by acquiring new research skills or knowledge. The purpose of this FOA is to provide such investigators with support for an intensive period of mentored research experience to acquire new research capabilities in research areas supported by the sponsoring NIH Institute(s)/Center(s). Such experiences will afford candidate investigators protected time to: 1) enrich and expand their expertise and research programs through retooling in new techniques, emerging technologies, and/or scientific areas; and/or 2) redirect their research programs in new trajectories; and/or 3) catalyze research collaborations in new research directions.  It is expected that this initiative will lead to new and/or augmented research programs competitive for NIH funding.

Background

Recent studies indicate that there are 5.3 million adults over the age of 20 in the United States diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), and that about a half million youth with ASD will enter adulthood over the next decade. In recognition of the need for evidence-based ASD services across the lifespan, the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) Strategic Plan for ASD has articulated research objectives for adult and transition-age youth services across multiple domains.

Among the growing number of studies developing and testing the effectiveness of services for people with ASD, the vast majority have focused on children. Because the impairments associated with the core deficits of ASD typically last into adulthood, research focused on developing effective and developmentally appropriate services for adults and transition-age youth with ASD is also needed. Adults with ASD are less likely to receive various types of services and more likely to have more and different needs for services than children. More investigators are needed to conduct research that provides an evidence base for policy makers, service systems, payors and other stakeholders involved in responding to the need for a range of empirically supported, effective, high-quality, cost-effective services for adults and transition-age youth with ASD.

Program Objective

The goal of this K18 initiative is to enhance research workforce capacity as rapidly as possible by supporting a program that will help established investigators in related or complementary fields to gain research expertise in ASD services for adults and transition-age youth. The purpose of enhancing workforce capacity is to increase the number and breadth of areas covered by funded NIMH Research Project Grants (RPGs) that address service needs related to the health and functioning of adults and transition-age youth with ASD.

    In addition to preparing the awardee to apply for independent funding to conduct research on services for transition-age youth or adults with ASD, it is expected that this initiative will also lead to new research collaborations that could be competitive for future NIMH funding.

This relatively short-term (12 to 24 months), intensive period of mentored research experience should expand the investigator's current expertise and lead to new knowledge and research skills related to services for transition-age youth or adults with ASD. The research career enhancement experience may be conducted in a different department within the candidate's home institution or in a different institutional setting from the location where the candidate holds his or her primary appointment. The research experience proposed must have the potential to substantially augment the research capabilities of the candidate at their institution and provide new research opportunities and benefits that would not be achievable through a collaborative research grant with the mentor(s). The research career enhancement experience should be tailored to the individual needs and level of experience of the candidate. The career enhancement plan should include (1) a didactic academic enrichment plan, e.g., coursework, seminars, journal clubs, etc., and (2) a small-scale research project focused on services for transition-age youth or adults with ASD. The research project is expected to expand the candidate's direct experience with individuals and services systems for the new age or diagnostic group.

Applicants are expected to identify one or more research mentors with relevant expertise in applicant knowledge-gap areas. The mentor(s) must be established, well qualified, and willing to support the applicant's short-term research career development experience. The candidate and the proposed mentor(s) should not already have established, longstanding collaborations at the time of the application. Candidates are expected to either establish new collaborative arrangements or strengthen and enhance relatively new or developing collaborations on a research project on services for transition-age youth or adults with ASD.

Examples of novel skill combinations that might result from the mentored training   include, but are not limited to:

  • for investigators with research expertise involving young children with ASD, training in the developmental and health services needs of transition-age youth and/or adults with ASD;
  • for investigators with other types of ASD research expertise (e.g. clinical and functional characteristics of people with ASD), training in health services research methods; or
  • for investigators with a record of productivity in mental health services research involving transition-age youth or adults,mentored career developmental and service needs of transition-age youth and adults with ASD.

Scale and Scope of the Research Project

This FOA is designed specifically for applicants who are proposing services research studies that are not immediate precursors to the development and testing of interventions. Such projects might include: 1) studies to identify mutable factors that impact access, utilization, quality, financing, and outcomes of ASD services, including disparities in outcomes, 2) variables that affect the scalability of ASD services, which may serve as targets in future intervention development; 3  ) development and testing of new research tools, measures, or methods; or 4  ) testing the feasibility of integrating existing data sets to understand factors affecting access, quality or outcomes of care.

Such research might take the form of:

  • conducting secondary analysis of a mentor's data set that includes transition-age youth or adults with ASD
  • supplementing data collection to expand the scope of the candidate's or mentor's ongoing study of transition-age youth with ASD to address a services-relevant research question
  • extending the inclusion criteria in an ongoing services study to expand the scope to transition-age youth or adults with ASD
  • initiating an appropriately sized, non-clinical trial pilot study related to services for transition-age youth or adults with ASD

The research project should expand the candidate's direct experience with individuals and services systems for the new age or diagnostic group.

For candidates planning to develop and test services interventions in subsequent research, data collected during the career enhancement project should position the candidate to conduct later projects consistent with the NIMH emphasis on an experimental therapeutics approach to intervention development and testing.

The structure and budgetary constraints associated with this career enhancement award will limit the scope of the research that can be achieved. Applicants will need to address the feasibility of completing their project within these constraints. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the Scientific/Research Contact for additional guidance.

Note: This FOA is designed specifically for applicants proposing research that does not involve leading an independent clinical trial, a clinical trial feasibility study, or an ancillary clinical trial  . Applicants to this FOA are permitted to propose research experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor or co-mentor. Applicants proposing a clinical trial or an ancillary clinical trial  as lead investigator, should apply to the companion FOA ( RFA-MH-20-421 ). Applicants to this FOA are permitted to propose research experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor or co-mentor.

Protection of Human Subjects: Applications with data collection plans that involve multiple respondent groups (e.g., clients/patients, therapists/providers, supervisors, administrators) should address provisions for human subject protections and consenting procedures for all participant groups, accordingly. The NIMH has published updated policies and guidance for investigators regarding human research protection and clinical research data and safety monitoring (NOT-MH-19-027). The application's Protection of Human Subjects section and data and safety monitoring plans should reflect the policies and guidance in this notice. Plans for the protection of research subjects and data and safety monitoring will be reviewed by the NIMH for consistency with NIMH and NIH policies and federal regulations.)

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with NIH staff as early as possible when developing plans for an application (see Scientific/Research Contacts, Section VII ). This early contact will provide an opportunity to clarify NIH policies and guidelines and help to identify whether the proposed project is consistent with NIMH program priorities and the goals of this FOA.

 
Special Note: Because of the differences in individual Institute and Center (IC) program requirements for this FOA, prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to consult the Table of IC-Specific Information, Requirements and Staff Contacts, to make sure that their application is appropriate for the requirements of one of the participating NIH ICs.
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
Resubmission

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

Clinical Trial?
Not Allowed: Only accepting applications that do not propose clinical trials.

Note: Applicants may propose to gain experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor/co-mentor as part of their research career development.

Need help determining whether you are doing a clinical trial?

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NIMH intends to commit an estimated $2M in FY 2021  to fund 7 awards to this FOA and the companion FOA ( RFA-MH-20-421  ).

Award Budget
Award budgets are composed of salary and other program-related expenses, as described below.
Award Project Period
A project period of 12 to 24 months may be requested.

Other Award Budget Information

Salary

NIMH will contribute salary for 6 person months minimum to 9 person months maximum per year toward the salary of the career award recipient. Further guidance on budgeting for career development salaries is provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. See also NOT-OD-17-094

The total NIH contribution to salary, however, may not exceed the legislatively mandated salary cap.  See: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/salcap_summary.htm.   

Other Program-Related Expenses

NIMH will contribute $50,000 per year toward the research development costs of the award recipient, which must be justified and consistent with the stage of development of the candidate and the proportion of time to be spent in research or career development activities.

Salary for mentors, secretarial and administrative assistants, etc. is not allowed.

Indirect Costs
Indirect Costs (also known as Facilities & Administrative [F&A] Costs) are reimbursed at 8% of modified total direct costs.
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
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 Grants.gov registration. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • Grants.gov – Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

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

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

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any candidate with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) is invited to work with his/her mentor and organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support. Multiple PDs/PIs are not allowed.

By the time of award, the individual must be a citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., possess a currently valid Permanent Resident Card USCIS Form I-551, or other legal verification of such status).

Eligible candidates are independent investigators with currently funded independent research at any faculty rank or level, from the research assistant professor to the senior faculty level, who have shown clear evidence of productivity and research excellence in the field of their training, and who propose to expand their research capability, with the goal of making significant contributions to research on services for transition-age youth or adults with ASD. Candidates may be at the rank of Assistant, Associate or full Professor and will be required to have active, independent research grant support at the time of application. Investigators funded under this FOA will be expected to continue involvement in their ongoing research programs and propose to expand their research capability, with the goal of making significant contributions to research on services for transition-age youth or adults with ASD.

PD/PIs who have been awarded a NIMH grant or contract with one or more specific aims related to ASD services research for adults and/or transition-age youth are not eligible for this funding opportunity.

Candidates for the K18 award must have a research or health-professional doctoral degree. This award is intended for well-established investigators who have established records of independent, peer-reviewed Federal or private research grant funding. Applicants are required to have active research grant support at the time of application for this award.  

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

Number of Applications

Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct, and each is from a different candidate.

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time. An individual may not have two or more competing NIH career development applications pending review concurrently. In addition, 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)
Level of Effort
At the time of award, the candidate must have a "full-time"appointment at the academic institution. Candidates are required to commit a minimum of 6 person months and a maximum of 9 person months professional effort on the K18. Candidates are expected to engage in other duties as part of the remaining percentage of their full-time professional effort not covered by this award, as long as such duties do not interfere with or detract from the proposed career development program.

Candidates may engage in other duties as part of the remaining 25% of their full-time professional effort not covered by this award, as long as such duties do not interfere with or detract from the proposed career development program.

Candidates who have VA appointments may not consider part of the VA effort toward satisfying the full time requirement at the applicant institution. Candidates with VA appointments should contact the staff person in the relevant Institute or Center prior to preparing an application to discuss their eligibility.

After the receipt of the award, adjustments to the required level of effort may be made in certain circumstances. See NOT-OD-09-036 for more details.

This award is intended for independent investigators at all career stages, but it requires the commitment of an experienced mentor from the proposed new discipline. Before submitting the application, the candidate must identify a mentor who will supervise the proposed career development and research experience. It is not a requirement that the proposed mentor receive his/her primary research funding from the NIMH. The mentor should be an active investigator in the area of the proposed research and be committed both to the career development of the candidate and to the direct supervision of the candidate’s research. The mentor must document the availability of sufficient research support and facilities for high-quality research. Candidates are encouraged to identify more than one mentor, i.e., a mentoring team, if this is deemed advantageous for providing expert advice in all aspects of the research career development program. In such cases, one individual must be identified as the primary mentor who will coordinate the candidate’s research. The candidate must work with the mentor(s) in preparing the application. The mentor, or a member of the mentoring team, should have a successful track record of mentoring individuals at the candidate’s career stage. Where feasible, women, individuals from diverse racial and ethnic groups, and individuals with disabilities should be involved as mentors to serve as role models.

Peer-Reviewed Research Support

The candidate must have independent, peer-reviewed research support from a Federal or non-Federal funder as PD/PI at the time of submitting the application. Training (T and D43), research education (R25, R90), fellowship (F32, F33), clinical trial or research project planning (R34), Pathways to Independence(K99/R00), or other career development (K) awards are not considered eligible research support for this FOA. It is not a requirement that the candidate receive his/her primary research funding from the NIH.

Institutional Environment
The applicant institution must have a strong, well-established record of research and career development activities and faculty qualified to serve as mentors in areas related or complementary to services for adults or transition-age youth with ASD.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

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

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Career Development (K) 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 may be delayed or not accepted for review.

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

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

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:

Email: nimhpeerreview@mail.nih.gov

Instructions for Application Submission
The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this FOA.
SF424(R&R) Cover
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
Other Project Information
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
Project Summary/Abstract

Include a description of your current research and the research you propose to continue in the independent phase.

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile Expanded
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
R&R Budget
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
PHS 398 Career Development Award Supplemental Form
The PHS 398 Career Development Award Supplemental Form is comprised of the following sections:

Candidate

Research Plan

Other Candidate Information

Mentor, Co-Mentor, Consultant, Collaborators

Environment & Institutional Commitment to the Candidate

Other Research Plan Sections

Appendix

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

 

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

Candidate Information and Goals for Career Development

Candidate’s Background

Describe the candidate's commitment to a career as a research scientist in the area of autism services for adults or transition-age youth. Describe the candidate's research efforts and accomplishments to date as an independent investigator, including publications, prior research interests and involvement, and history of research support; and describe how these prior research experiences are complementary to and inform the proposed program in ASD services research for transition-age youth or adults. Present evidence of the candidate's potential to augment his/her research career and to ultimately advance scientific progress in research on services for transition-age youth or adults with ASD through this career enhancement plan. Present evidence of the candidate's ability to interact and collaborate with other scientists, particularly those from other disciplines.    

  • Describe the candidate's prior research interests and experience and how this background will contribute to a program of research on ASD services research for transition-age youth or adults.

Career Goals and Objectives​

  • Describe the candidate's research career trajectory to date and future career goals and objectives and explain how these relate to the proposed research career development enhancement program. 
  • Justify the need for further career enhancement in order to achieve the candidate's future research goals. 
  • Demonstrate how the proposed career enhancement program and the research, educational and mentoring resources of the sponsoring laboratory and institution will further the stated research career goals.

Candidate’s Plan for Career Development/Training Activities During Award Period

  • The candidate and the mentor are jointly responsible for the preparation of the career development plan. The candidate and mentor may propose a mentoring team.
  • Describe the career development plan, tailoring it to the candidate's goals, prior experience and career level, as well as to the intent of the K18 program.
  • Provide a systematic plan for progression of career enhancement and research experiences for the period of the award and beyond, including a timeline for the phasing of the career enhancement and research activities.
  • Explain how the career development plan will enhance the candidate’s independent research career trajectory, including a description of any cutting-edge research skills and conceptual knowledge that will be acquired during the career award period.
  • Describe any clinical, administrative, teaching, mentoring or grant-related research commitments the applicant will maintain during the period of the award, and the arrangements to be made with the applicant institution and/or the host institution to ensure the requisite protected time for this award period.
  • •Describe how the candidate will continue to oversee their extant research activities while conducting the career enhancement award research.

 

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

Research Strategy

  • A sound research project that is consistent with the candidate’s level of research development and objectives of his/her career development plan must be provided. The research description should demonstrate the quality of the candidate’s research thus far and also the novelty, significance, creativity and approach, as well as the ability of the candidate to carry out the research.
  • The application must also describe the relationship between the mentor’s research and the candidate’s proposed research plan.
  • Although it is not expected that the description of the research would be as detailed as an application for an investigator-initiated research grant (e.g., R01), enough information should be provided to permit an evaluation of the scientific merit of the candidate's research activities and mentored research training.
  • Describe the strengths and weakness in the rigor of the prior research (both published and unpublished) that serves as the key support for the proposed project.
  • For research projects that involve supplemental data collection to on-going studies, address the following: current status of the parent study, including enrollment, to date; the anticipated number of data points that can be captured with the proposed ancillary assessments; and the plan for and potential utility of additional analyses using the new data that will be collected (e.g., utility for piloting data collection procedures, for generating hypotheses, or for informing larger scale, more definitive studies that will be pursued in the future).
  • Describe the planned research methods to be employed, the analyses and statistical approach and how the expected analytical approach is suited to the available resources, proposed study design, and scope of the project.

Training 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). See SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for instructions.

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

Plans and Statements of Mentor and Co-mentor(s)

  • The candidate must name a primary mentor who, together with the candidate, is responsible for the planning, directing, monitoring, and executing the proposed program.  The candidate may also nominate co-mentors as appropriate to the goals of the program.  
  • The mentor should be recognized as an accomplished investigator in the proposed research area and have a track record of success in training and placing independent investigators. 
  • The mentor should have sufficient independent research support to cover the costs of the proposed research project in excess of the allowable costs of this award. 
  • Include a statement that the candidate will commit at least 6 person-months (50% of full-time professional effort) to the career development program and related career development activities. 
  • The application must include a statement from the mentor providing: 1) information on his/her research qualifications and previous experience as a research supervisor; 2) a plan that describes the nature of the supervision and mentoring that will occur during the proposed award period; 3) a plan for career progression for the candidate to move from the mentored stage of his/her career to independent research investigator status during the project period of the award; and 4) a plan for monitoring the candidate’s research, publications, and progression towards independence. 
  • Similar information must be provided by any co-mentor.  If more than one co-mentor is proposed, the respective areas of expertise and responsibility of each should be described.  Co-mentors should clearly describe how they will coordinate the mentoring of the candidate. If any co-mentor is not located at the sponsoring institution, a statement should be provided describing the mechanism(s) and frequency of communication with the candidate, including the frequency of face-to-face meetings. 
  • The primary mentor must agree to provide annual evaluations of the candidate’s progress as required in the annual progress report.
  • If the applicant is proposing to gain experience in a clinical trial as part of his or her research career development, the mentor or a member of the mentoring team must include a statement to document leadership of the clinical trial, and appropriate expertise to guide the applicant in any proposed clinical trials research experience.
  • Where feasible, women, individuals from diverse racial and ethnic groups, and individuals with disabilities should be involved as mentors to serve as role models.

Letters of Support from Collaborators, Contributors and Consultants

  • Signed statements must be provided by all collaborators and/or consultants confirming their participation in the project and describing their specific roles. Unless also listed as senior/key personnel, collaborators and consultants do not need to provide their biographical sketches. However, information should be provided clearly documenting the appropriate expertise in the proposed areas of consulting/collaboration. 
  • Advisory committee members (if applicable): Signed statements must be provided by each member of the proposed advisory committee.  These statements should confirm their participation, describe their specific roles, and document the expertise they will contribute.  Unless also listed as senior/key personnel, these individuals do not need to provide their biographical sketches. 
 

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

Description of Institutional Environment

  • The sponsoring institution must document a strong, well-established research and career development program related to the candidate's area of interest, including a high-quality research environment with key faculty members and other investigators capable of productive collaboration with the candidate. 
  • Describe how the institutional research environment is particularly suited for the development of the candidate's research career and the pursuit of the proposed research plan.
  • Describe the resources and facilities that will be available to the candidate. 
  • Describe the resources and facilities that will be available to the candidate, including any clinical trial-related resources, such as specialized administrative, data coordinating, enrollment, and laboratory/testing support.  If applicable, include a description of the resources and facilities available at international sites.

Institutional Commitment to the Candidate’s Research Career Development

  • The sponsoring institution must provide a statement of commitment to the candidate's development into a productive, independent investigator and to meeting the requirements of this award. It should be clear that the institutional commitment to the candidate is not contingent upon receipt of this career award. 
  • Provide assurances that the candidate will be able to devote the required effort to activities under this award.The remaining effort should be devoted to activities related to the development of the candidate’s career as an independent scientist. 
  • Provide assurances that the candidate will have access to appropriate office and laboratory space, equipment, and other resources and facilities (including access to clinical and/or other research populations) to carry out the proposed research plan. 
  • Provide assurance that appropriate time and support will be available for any proposed mentor(s) and/or other staff consistent with the career development plan.

Appendix:

Limited items are allowed in the Appendix.  Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide; any instructions provided here are in addition to the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide instructions.

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.

The following additional instructions apply:
  • For FOAs that do not allow independent clinical trials, do not complete Section 4 – Protocol Synopsis information or Section 5 - Other Clinical Trial-related Attachments.
Delayed Onset Study

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.

Reference Letters

Candidates must carefully follow the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including the time period for when reference letters will be accepted. Applications lacking the appropriate required reference letters will not be reviewed. This is a separate process from submitting an application electronically. Reference letters are submitted directly through the eRA Commons Submit Referee Information link and not through Grants.gov. 

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

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

4. Submission Dates and Times

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

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

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

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

5. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

6. Funding Restrictions

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

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

7. Other Submission Requirements and Information

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

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

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

Important reminders:

All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH. See Section III of this FOA for information on registration requirements.

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

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness and compliance with application instructions by the Center for Scientific Review and responsiveness by components of participating organizations, NIH. Applications that are incomplete, non-compliant and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.

Post Submission Materials
Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in the policy. 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:
Reviewers should evaluate the candidate’s potential for developing an independent research program that will make important contributions to the field, taking into consideration the years of research experience and the likely value of the proposed research career development as a vehicle for developing a successful, independent research program.

Overall Impact
Reviewers should provide their assessment of the likelihood that the proposed career development and research plan will enhance the candidate’s potential for a productive, independent scientific research career in a health-related field, taking into consideration the criteria below in determining the overall impact score.
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.
 
  • Has the candidate provided evidence of excellence as an independent investigator, including a record of research support and peer-reviewed publications?
  • Does the candidate show evidence of a high level of commitment to meeting the program's career enhancement objectives?
  • Does the candidate have high potential for successfully augmenting his/her research career capabilities and becoming an outstanding contributor to the research field relevant to the proposed research enhancement experience?
  • Are the prior research experiences complementary to the proposed program in ASD services research for transition-age youth or adults?
  • Is there evidence of the need for further career enhancement to achieve the candidate's research goals in services for transition-age youth or adults with ASD?       

Career Development Plan/Career Goals and Objectives/Plan to Provide Mentoring

  • Is the career development plan appropriate in its content, scope, duration, and phasing for the candidate's stated career development goals?
  • Is there a high likelihood that the proposed program will contribute substantially to the research career enhancement of the candidate?
  • Is an appropriate level of the candidate's professional effort to the career development plan documented in the application?
  • If proposed, will the clinical trial experience contribute to the applicant’s research career development?
  • Is there a systematic plan for progression of career enhancement and research experiences for the period of the award, including a timeline for the phasing of the career enhancement and research activities?
  • Is there evidence that the career development plan will expand the candidate's independent research career into autism services research for transition-age youth or adults?
  • Is there evidence that the candidate will acquire state-of-the art research skills and conceptual knowledge during the career award period?
  • Is the plan realistic and feasible?
  • Is there a description about how the candidate will balance the time and effort needed to meet the goals of the career enhancement award and continue to oversee his or her extant research activities?  

Research Plan

  • Is the prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project rigorous?
  • Has the candidate included plans to address weaknesses in the rigor of prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project?
  • Are the scientific rationale and need for the study well supported by preliminary data, clinical and/or preclinical studies, or information in the literature or knowledge of biological mechanisms?
  • If proposing a small non-clinical trial feasibility study, is the study warranted and will it contribute to planning and preliminary data needed for design of future larger scale studies?
  • Is the study design justified and relevant to the clinical, biological, and statistical hypothesis(es) being tested?
  • Are the plans to standardize, assure quality of, and monitor adherence to, the protocol and data collection or distribution guidelines appropriate?
  • Are planned analyses and statistical approach appropriate for the proposed study design and methods?
  • Is the research project consistent with the candidate's level of research development and the objectives of his/her career development plan?
  • Is the project innovative?
  • Is the project feasible within the context and duration of the career enhancement award, and will the candidate be able to successfully conduct the research?
  • Does the application clearly describe the relationship between and distinction from the mentor's research and the candidate's proposed research plan?                
  • Has the mentor and/or candidate demonstrated the availability of sufficient research support to conduct the proposed research, in excess of the research development funds provided through this award?
  • If the candidate is proposing research and training in the context of an ongoing study, will the training contribute to the candidate's research project and/or career development?
  • If the research projects involve supplemental data collection to on-going studies, does the application clearly address: the current status of the parent study, including enrollment, to date; the anticipated number of data points that can be captured with the proposed ancillary assessments; and the plan for and potential utility of additional analyses using the new data that will be collected (e.g., utility for piloting data collection procedures, for generating hypotheses, or for informing larger scale, more definitive studies that will be pursued in the future)?
  • If proposed, will the clinical trial experience contribute to the proposed research project?

Mentor(s), Co-Mentor(s), Consultant(s), Collaborator(s)

  • Are the proposed collaborations with other active investigators and other opportunities for professional growth appropriate and of high quality? 
  • Is adequate information provided that clearly documents expertise in the proposed area(s) of consulting/collaboration?
  • Does the mentor(s) adequately address the candidate's potential and his/her strengths and areas needing improvement?
  • Is there adequate description of the quality and extent of the mentor's proposed role in providing guidance and advice to the candidate?
  • Is the mentor's description of the elements of the research career development activities, including formal course work adequate?
  • Is there evidence of the mentor's, consultant's, and/or collaborator's previous experience in fostering the development of independent investigators?
  • Is there evidence of the mentor's current research productivity and peer-reviewed support?
  • Is there evidence that the mentor and/or candidate have sufficient independent research support to cover the costs of the proposed research project in excess of the allowable costs of this award?
  • If co-mentors are proposed, are the respective areas of expertise and responsibility of each well-described?
  • If a co-mentoring model is proposed, is there a clear description of how co-mentors will coordinate the mentoring of the candidate?
  • If any co-mentor is not located at the sponsoring institution, is there a statement that adequately describes the mechanism(s) and frequency of communication with the candidate, including the frequency of face-to-face meetings?
  • Are there adequate plans for monitoring and evaluating the career development awardee's progress toward independence in research on services for transition-age youth or adults with ASD?
  • Do statements from collaborators/consultants clearly describe their roles and document the appropriate expertise in the proposed areas of consulting/collaboration?
  • If the applicant is proposing to gain experience in a clinical trial as part of his or her research career development, is there evidence of the appropriate expertise, experience, and ability on the part of the mentor(s) to guide the applicant during participation in the clinical trial?

Environment & Institutional Commitment to the Candidate

  • Are the research facilities, resources and training opportunities, including faculty capable of productive collaboration, available to the candidate?
  • Is there clear commitment from the institution(s) to ensure that the candidate will devote the requisite effort directly to the research career enhancement activities described in the application?
  • Is there strong institutional commitment to fostering the candidate’s advanced research career development? Are there unique features of the scientific environment of the institution(s) that will benefit the proposed research and career development plan (e.g., useful collaborative arrangements, special equipment or analytic methods, unique subject populations)?
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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

For Resubmissions, the committee will evaluate the application as now presented, taking into consideration the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group and changes made to the project.

 

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.

 

Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: (1) Data Sharing Plan; (2) Sharing Model Organisms; and (3)  Genomic Data Sharing Plan (GDS).

 

All applications for support under this FOA must include a plan to fulfill NIH requirements for instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).  Taking into account the level of experience of the applicant, including any prior instruction or participation in RCR as appropriate for the applicant’s career stage, the reviewers will evaluate the adequacy of the proposed RCR training in relation to the following five required components: 1) Format - the required format of instruction, i.e., face-to-face lectures, coursework, and/or real-time discussion groups (a plan with only on-line instruction is not acceptable); 2) Subject Matter - the breadth of subject matter, e.g., conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, research ethics; 3) Faculty Participation - the role of the mentor(s) and other faculty involvement in the fellow’s instruction; 4) Duration of Instruction - the number of contact hours of instruction (at least eight contact hours are required); and 5) Frequency of Instruction –instruction must occur during each career stage and at least once every four years.  Plans and past record will be rated as ACCEPTABLE or UNACCEPTABLE, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee. See also: NOT-OD-10-019.

 

Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources:

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

 

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:

  • 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 for initial peer review will not be accepted for applications submitted in response to this FOA.
Applications will be assigned to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the 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 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. More specifically, for K Awards, visit the Research Career Development (“K”) Awardees section of the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS must administer their programs in compliance with federal civil rights law. This means that recipients of HHS funds must ensure equal access to their programs without regard to a person’s race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, sex and religion. This includes ensuring your programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency.  HHS recognizes that research projects are often limited in scope for many reasons that are nondiscriminatory, such as the principal investigator’s scientific interest, funding limitations, recruitment requirements, and other considerations. Thus, criteria in research protocols that target or exclude certain populations are warranted where nondiscriminatory justifications establish that such criteria are appropriate with respect to the health or safety of the subjects, the scientific study design, or the purpose of the research.

For additional guidance regarding how the provisions apply to NIH grant programs, please contact the Scientific/Research Contact that is identified in Section VII under Agency Contacts of this FOA. HHS provides general guidance to recipients of FFA on meeting their legal obligation to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to their programs by persons with limited English proficiency. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/resources/laws/revisedlep.html. The HHS Office for Civil Rights also provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/section1557/index.html; and http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/index.html. Recipients of FFA also have specific legal obligations for serving qualified individuals with disabilities. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/disability/index.html. Please contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights for more information about obligations and prohibitions under federal civil rights laws at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/office/about/rgn-hqaddresses.html or call 1-800-368-1019 or TDD 1-800-537-7697. Also note it is an HHS Departmental goal to ensure access to quality, culturally competent care, including long-term services and supports, for vulnerable populations. For further guidance on providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services, recipients should review the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care at http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=2&lvlid=53.

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

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The Supplemental Instructions for Individual Career Development (K) RPPRs must be followed. The Mentor’s Report must include an annual evaluation statement of the candidate’s progress.

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

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later.  All awardees of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000.  See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement. 

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

4. Evaluation

In carrying out its stewardship of human resource-related programs, the NIH may request information essential to an assessment of the effectiveness of this program from databases and from participants themselves. Participants may be contacted after the completion of this award for periodic updates on various aspects of their employment history, publications, support from research grants or contracts, honors and awards, professional activities, and other information helpful in evaluating the impact of the program.

Within ten years of making awards under this program, NIH [or insert IC name] will assess the program’s overall outcomes, gauge its effectiveness in enhancing diversity, and consider whether there is a continuing need for the program.  Upon the completion of this evaluation, NIH will determine whether to (a) continue the program as currently configured, (b) continue the program with modifications, or (c) discontinue the program. 

The overall evaluation of the program will be based on metrics that will include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Subsequent participation in research or employment in a STEM field
  • 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.

Because of the difference in individual Institute and Center (IC) program requirements for this FOA, prospective applications MUST consult the Table of IC-Specific Information, Requirements, and Staff Contacts, to make sure that their application is responsive to the requirements of one of the participating NIH ICs. Prior consultation with NIH staff is strongly encouraged.
Application Submission Contacts
eRA Service Desk (Questions regarding ASSIST, eRA Commons, application errors and warnings, documenting system problems that threaten on-time submission, and post-submission issues)

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

General Grants Information (Questions regarding 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

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Lauren D. Hill, PhD
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Telephone: 301-443-2638
Email: hillla@mail.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Aileen Schulte, PhD
National Institute of Mental Health
Telephone: 301-443-1225
Email: aileen.Schulte@nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Tamara Kees
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH))
Telephone: 301-443-8811
Email: tamara.kees@nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Authority and Regulations
Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Part 75.


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