National Eye Institute (NEI)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research (http://neuroscienceblueprint.nih.gov)
Reissue of RFA-NS-19-007
Only one application per institution is allowed, as defined in Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility
93.853; 93.867; 93.866; 93.273; 93.286; 93.865; 93.279; 93.121; 93.113; 93.242; 93.361; 93.213
The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research education activities in the mission areas of the NIH. The over-arching 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:
The fully integrated educational activities should prepare undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral sciences to enter Ph.D. degree programs in the neurosciences. To accomplish this goal, this initiative will provide institutional awards to develop neuroscience research education programs comprised of collaborative partnerships integrated across different educational institution types.
Each partnership must include:
a) one or more institutions that either: 1) have a historical and current mission to educate students from any of the populations that have been identified as underrepresented in biomedical research as defined by the National Science Foundation NSF, see http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/) (i.e., African Americans or Blacks, Hispanic or Latino Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, U.S. Pacific Islanders, and persons with disabilities) or 2) have a documented track record of recruiting, training and/or educating, and graduating underrepresented students as defined by NSF (see above), which has resulted in an historically documented contribution by the institution to the national pool of graduates from underrepresented backgrounds who pursue biomedical research careers;
b) a research-intensive institution that has an established neuroscience or neuroscience-related program;
c) integrated curriculum/academic enhancement and research experience activities designed to increase participants' preparation to enter doctoral programs in the neurosciences; and
d) well-described plans to provide early communication and interaction between participating students and graduate neuroscience programs across the country.
November 19, 2019
January 19, 2020
, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on these dates.
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.
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.
The over-arching 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.
Research shows that diverse teams working together and capitalizing on innovative ideas and distinct perspectives outperform homogeneous teams. Scientists and trainees from diverse backgrounds and life experiences bring different perspectives, creativity, and individual enterprise to address complex scientific problems. There are many benefits that flow from a diverse NIH-supported scientific workforce, including: fostering scientific innovation; enhancing global competitiveness; contributing to robust learning environments; improving the quality of the researchers; advancing the likelihood that under-served or health disparity populations participate in, and benefit from, health research; and enhancing public trust.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Blueprint for Neuroscience Research is a collaborative and coordinated effort across 14 institutes and centers that support research, research education, and research training with the goal of accelerating the pace of discovery in neuroscience research. By pooling resources and expertise, the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research can take advantage of economies of scale, confront challenges too large for any specific institute or center, and develop research tools and infrastructure that will serve the entire neuroscience community.
The NIH Blueprint seeks to provide educational opportunities and authentic neuroscience research experiences during the undergraduate stage to a diverse pool of individuals, including those from underrepresented groups, at varied institutions and educational settings across the country. By doing this, the NIH Blueprint strives to ensure that the future generation of neuroscience researchers draws from the entire pool of talented individuals, bringing different aptitudes, perspectives, creativity, and experiences to address complex scientific problems.
Need for the Program
NIH's ability to help ensure that the nation remains a global leader in scientific discovery and innovation is dependent upon a pool of highly talented scientists from diverse backgrounds who will help to further NIH's mission. However, despite advancements in scientific research, some populations have not had access to cutting-edge research and scientific skill preparation[ , and do not participate fully in the biomedical sciences research workforce. These underrepresented groups include individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds , as described in NOT-OD-18-210.
The overall objective of this funding opportunity is to support a diverse pool of undergraduates, including those from underrepresented groups, to help prepare them to successfully enter and complete Ph.D. degree programs in the neurosciences and become available to participate in NIH-supported neuroscience research. Individuals currently underrepresented in neuroscience research on a national basis ( for example see surveys conducted by the Society for Neuroscience Committee on Neuroscience Departments and Programs), include: individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups or individuals with disabilities (see also http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/). Evidence from several reports demonstrate that an intervention designed to facilitate successful transitions along the pathway from undergraduate to graduate school would benefit the research community (Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads, From College to Careers: Fostering Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in STEM, 2014 National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine 2011 and Advancing the Nation’s Health Needs: NIH Research Training Programs).
The overarching objective of this funding opportunity is to encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research workforce, to pursue further studies or careers in neuroscience research. To achieve this goal, the initiative will support two-year neuroscience research education programs comprised of year-round authentic neuroscience research experiences, research and career development, and establishment of professional networks, implemented through collaborative partnerships integrated across different educational institution types. Proposed program interventions in response to this FOA should focus on asset models and leadership opportunities, rather than solely deficit models and remediation (recommendations from 2017 NINDS Activating a Neural Network and 2016 NINDS Forming a Neural Network Workshops).
Participating components of the collaborative research education partnerships must include:
To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on:
Research education programs may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, but the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those training and education programs currently receiving Federal support. R25 programs may augment institutional research training programs (e.g., T32, T90) but cannot be used to replace or circumvent Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) programs.
Grant: A support mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity.
The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.
Note: Appointed Participants are permitted to obtain research experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor or co-mentor.
The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.
The NIH Blueprint Institutes intend to commit $1 million in FY2020 to fund 3-4 awards. Awards issued under this FOA are contingent upon the availability of funds and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications. Because the nature and scope of the proposed research education program will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary. The total amount awarded and the number of awards will depend upon the quality, duration and costs of the applications received.
Although the size of award may vary with the scope of the research education program proposed and there are no specific budget limitations, the requested direct costs must be reasonable, well documented, fully justified and commensurate with the scope of the proposed program. The average cost per program is estimated between $250K - $300K.
The total project period for an application submitted in response to this funding opportunity may not exceed 5 years.
Limited administrative and clerical salary costs distinctly associated with the program that are not normally provided by the applicant organization may be direct charges to the grant only when specifically identified and justified. Salary support for the PD/PI/or combination of multiple PDs/PIs is limited to up to 3.6 person months (i.e., 30% on a 12-month basis), depending on person months devoted to the administration of the program.
Program coordinators are 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, with strong justification, must be included in the budget justification.
Participants may be paid if specifically required for the proposed research education program and sufficiently justified. Participant costs must be itemized in the proposed budget.
Salary support is allowed for sophomore, junior and/or senior year undergraduate students participating in a research experience, as long as there is an employee-employer relationship between the students and the institution. The total compensation must be reasonable and commensurate with the institution’s support scale for the work performed. Support for students is not provided for time spent by the students participating in this program’s sponsored, non-research activities, e.g., group learning/training activities.
It is a goal of this initiative that the NIH Blueprint Institutes will convene an annual meeting that will bring together BP-ENDURE program directors and participating students. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss best practices and provide a forum for student scientific and academic enhancing activities. Travel for attendance to this meeting must be included in the proposed budget.
The application should provide a description of any cost sharing (financial and otherwise) for the off-site summer research experiences being provided by the BP-ENDURE partnering institutions. The applicant should clearly indicate any support (financial and otherwise) being provided by the off-site institution(s) to assist in covering or defraying costs associated with the participants summer research training experiences. Providing funds for summer travel and modest housing arrangements for participants in the off-site summer programs by partnering institutions is encouraged.
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.
Consultant costs, equipment, supplies, travel for key persons, and other program-related expenses may be included in the proposed budget. These expenses must be justified as specifically required by the proposed program and must not duplicate items generally available at the applicant institution. Cost of consultants for evaluation of the program is allowed; however, if the evaluator is an employee of one of the collaborating institutions, the cost must be included in the category of key personnel salary.
Higher Education Institutions
The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:
Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education
Participating components of the collaborative research education partnerships should include:
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.
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.
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.
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.
For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
The PD/PI should be an established investigator in the scientific area in which the application is targeted and capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program. The PD/PI will be expected to monitor and assess the program and submit all documents and reports as required.
The proposed PD/PI should hold a basic or health professional degree (e.g., Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent), and have clearly demonstrated training/mentoring credentials. The PD/PI must have a regular, full-time appointment (i.e., not adjunct, part-time, retired, or emeritus) at the applicant institution and should have research, teaching, and/or academic administrative experience. Early stage investigators are eligible to serve as PD/PIs, as long as doing so will not detract from their research program and career advancement. .
This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time. This means that the NIH will not accept:
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.
Applications must describe the intended participants, and the eligibility 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 NIH Blueprint ENDURE Program, which is to support a diverse pool of undergraduate participants to help them successfully enter and complete Ph.D. degree programs in the neurosciences.
Undergraduate students from engineering, mathematics, computer science, physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, nursing and other relevant science programs who have an interest in the neurosciences should be encouraged to participate in the program.
To receive salary/wages from this initiative, individuals must be (a) U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, or permanent residents, and (b) must be full-time matriculated and be sophomores, juniors and/or seniors in a baccalaureate degree program at one of the partnering institutions.
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.
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:
The letter of intent should be sent to:
Michelle D. Jones-London, Ph.D.
Chief, Office of Programs to Enhance Neuroscience Workforce Diversity
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH
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.
Advisory Committee: 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. The following are some typical functions of an advisory committee: advise and assist in the development, standardization, and implementation of integrated program procedures and practices; assist in establishing criteria and procedures for the admittance/retention of students and faculty mentors across the partnering institutions; monitor progress of program activities and student participants; help expand the present effort by identifying internal and external funding sources; monitor compliance with NIH policies and regulations; and assist in addressing faculty and student grievances related the BP-ENDURE 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”.
Institutional Information: The application must include a single attachment titled "Institutional Information" that provides a description and evidence of the institution's explicit accomplishments in the education of students from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical research.
For institutions whose historical mission explicitly states that it was founded to educate students from nationally underrepresented backgrounds in biomedical research (i.e., underrepresented racial and ethnic groups [African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, U.S. Pacific Islanders], and individuals with disabilities and/or students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds, as defined in NOT-OD-18-210, provide the institution's original mission statement and any other information that justified the institution's creation and describes its main functions and services provided.
For institutions whose mission statement does not explicitly state that they were founded to educate any of the underrepresented groups mentioned above but have a demonstrable historical track record of recruiting, retaining, training, and graduating underrepresented students, the institution must provide information and current figures compared to baseline data from ten years ago that show how the institution's historical track record of training and graduating underrepresented students in biomedical and behavioral-related sciences has improved or maintained a high level of success over the past decade and how much it has contributed to an increase in the national pool of undergraduates from underrepresented backgrounds who have pursued or are pursuing biomedical research careers.
Participating Faculty Biosketches: Participating faculty should provide a personal statement within their biosketches that describes the appropriateness of their research background for the proposed r?e?s?e?a?r?c?h? ?e?d?u?c?a?t?i?o?n? program.
The filename provided for each “Other Attachment” will be the name used for the bookmark in the electronic application in eRA Commons.
Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following additional modifications:
The following account summarizes some of the non-allowable costs under the BP-ENDURE Program:
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. 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.
Program Director/Principal Investigator.
Describe arrangements for administration of the program, provide evidence that the Program Director(s) is actively engaged in research and/or teaching in an area related to the mission of the NIH Blueprint Institutes and Centers, and can organize, administer, monitor, and evaluate the research education program; and provide evidence of institutional and community commitment and support for the proposed 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. 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.
The PD(s)/PI(s) assumes responsibility for the overall execution of the BP-ENDURE Program and is typically responsible for placement of students in research laboratories and coordination and implementation of developmental education and mentoring activities across the different participating institutions. Describe how the PD(s)/PI(s) will work with the program evaluator (see below) 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. Biosketches of program faculty that have a substantial role in the program should be included in application (include in "Other Attachments").
Program Participants. Applications must describe the intended participants, and the selection criteria and/or specific educational background characteristics that are essential for participation in the proposed research education program. Applications must include a description (including number and percent) of the potential applicant pool from the partnering institutions based on the selection criteria established for the proposed BP-ENDURE 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 neuroscience research. Include the program selection criteria, candidate qualification process, and final selection process. Describe the retention strategies and follow-up activities across the participating institutions that would ensure students remain engaged and are receiving high quality mentorship and guidance within the program.
Institutional Environment and Commitment. Describe the institutional environment, reiterating the availability of facilities and educational resources (described separately under “Facilities & Other Resources”), that can contribute to the planned Research Education Program. Evidence of institutional commitment to the research educational program is required. A letter of institutional commitment must be attached as part of Letters of Support (see below). Appropriate institutional commitment should include the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned research education program.
Give a brief account of the equipment, space, and other resources available to implement the activities. The applicant institution must document the requisite administrative/technical capacity and support for the management of a collaborative multisite research education and research experience project. All collaborative arrangements must be clearly described and agreements must be included in the application. Each of the collaborative sites must include:
The application must also document the feasibility of the proposed program by describing the direct lines of communication and site-specific administrative, research education, and research experience responsibilities across the partnering institutions. Plans must be included for how early communication and interaction between the undergraduate participants and the graduate neuroscience program will enhance graduate school acceptance. Remote partnerships are allowable; however, applications for which integration is seriously compromised by geographical separation or other constraints are discouraged from applying. Although undergraduate education/training support may not be provided from NIH-supported T32 programs, the applicant should also include information describing other current federally-funded undergraduate research education and research training programs across the collaborating sites.
In spite of tremendous advancements in scientific research, information, educational and research opportunities are not equally available to all. NIH encourages institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations to enhance the participation of individuals from groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences, such as: Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see data at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/showpub.cfm?TopID=2&SubID=27) and the report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering).
The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.
In addition, it is recognized that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting; individuals from racial or ethnic groups that can be demonstrated convincingly to be underrepresented by the grantee institution should be encouraged to participate in this program. For more information on racial and ethnic categories and definitions, see NOT-OD-15-089.
New applications must include a description of plans to enhance recruitment of the potential candidates for available training opportunities, including the strategies that will be used to enhance the recruitment of candidates from underrepresented backgrounds and may wish to include data in support of past accomplishments .
Renewal applications must include a detailed account of experiences in recruiting individuals from underrepresented groups during the previous funding period, including successful and unsuccessful recruitment strategies. Information should be included on how the proposed plan reflects the program’s past experiences in recruiting individuals from underrepresented groups.
For those individuals who participated in the research education program, the report should include information about the duration of education and aggregate information on the number of individuals who finished the program in good standing. Additional information on the required Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity is available at Frequently Asked Questions: Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity (Diversity FAQs).
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 (a plan with only on-line instruction is not acceptable); 2) Subject Matter - the breadth of subject matter, e.g., conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, research ethics; 3) Faculty Participation - the role of the program faculty in the instruction; 4) Duration of Instruction - the number of contact hours of instruction, taking into consideration the duration of the program; and 5) Frequency of Instruction – instruction must occur during each career stage and at least once every four years. See also NOT-OD-10-019. The plan should be appropriate and reasonable for the nature and duration of the proposed program. Renewal (Type 2) applications must, in addition, describe any changes in formal instruction over the past project period and plans to address any weaknesses in the current instruction plan. All participating faculty who served as course directors, speakers, lecturers, and/or discussion leaders during the past project period must be named in the application.
Applications lacking a plan for instruction in responsible conduct of research will not be reviewed.
Evaluation Plan. Applications must include a plan for evaluating the activities supported by the award. ?Benchmarks should be specified, and specific plans and procedures must be described to capture, analyze and report short or long-term outcome measures that would determine the success of the research education program in achieving its objectives, such as baseline data and milestones for accomplishments and plans for tracking and monitoring participants' progress.Wherever appropriate, applicants are encouraged to obtain feedback from participants to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for improvements. For programs that aim to enhance institutional diversity, the emphasis of the evaluation activities in the plan should be on assessment of the overall impact of the program on the institution’s baseline numbers and efforts to accomplish the proposed goals of enhancing the diversity of the workforce in the neurosciences and improvement of the overall program outcome. The evaluation strategy and plan must be based on appropriate literature and cited methodology, and should identify the selected evaluator and present his/her credentials. Applications that lack an evaluation plan will not be reviewed.
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. Publication of the program's findings and outcomes in peer-reviewed journals is highly encouraged.
Letters of Support
A letter of institutional commitment must be attached as part of Letters of Support (see section above:”Institutional Environment and Commitment."
Letters of collaboration from partner sites must be provided by authorized officials from the partner institutions addressing their institutional commitment to the proposed project and ENDURE program goals. As applicable, key faculty or senior investigators at partner organizations who will have substantial involvement in curriculum development, teaching, research training and mentoring, or other activities should submit letters.
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:
Only limited Appendix materials are allowed. Follow the instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
The following modifications also apply:
Instructions provided here are in addition to the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide instructions. The Appendix is meant to provide additional details to the following topics, but not meant to substitute for clear descriptions in the body of the application. Do not include items other than the allowable materials described below, as doing so will result in administrative withdrawal of the application for noncompliance. A summary sheet listing all the items included in the Appendix may be included in the first Appendix attachment.
The following are allowable Appendix materials :
Applications that exceed the number of allowed appendices or the page limitation of any of the allowed materials will be considered noncompliant and will not be reviewed.
When involving NIH-defined human subjects research, clinical research, and/or 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.
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed with the following additional instructions:
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.
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
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.
This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.
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.
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.
All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH.
The applicant organization must ensure that the DUNS number it provides on the application is the same number used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the System for Award Management (SAM). Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
See more tips for avoiding common errors.
Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness and compliance with application instructions by the Center for Scientific Review and responsiveness by components of participating organizations, NIH. Applications that are incomplete, non-compliant and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.
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 individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research workforce, to pursue further studies or careers in research.
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?
Will the proposed BP-ENDURE program significantly improve the institutional baseline number of students from the partnering institutions that enter high-quality, competitive graduate programs in the neurosciences?
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?
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?
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?
Do the proposed research experiences and courses for skills development meet the needs of participating students who are enrolled full-time at one of the applicant institutions, including those from underrepresented groups, and are they designed to support their competitiveness for completion of a Ph.D. degree in neuroscience? Does the program demonstrate that participants will have authentic, meaningful research experiences in neuroscience-related laboratories?
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?
How well and in what ways does this program interact with on- and off-site neuroscience training programs (including NIH-supported T32 training programs)? Is there evidence of commitment and integration with the T32 program beyond summer research exposure (for example, graduate program faculty involved in teaching the undergraduate program during the academic year or research seminars)?
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.
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.
For Revisions, the committee will consider the appropriateness of the proposed expansion of the scope of the project. If the Revision application relates to a specific line of investigation presented in the original application that was not recommended for approval by the committee, then the committee will consider whether the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group are adequate and whether substantial changes are clearly evident.
For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the last funding period, and the success of the program in recruiting individuals from diverse populations, consistent with the objective of the Blueprint Program for Enhancing Neuroscience Diversity through Undergraduate Research Education (BP-ENDURE).
Are the evaluation plan and timeline adequate for assessing the effectiveness (process and outcome) of the program in achieving its goals and objectives? If applicable, are the plans for obtaining feedback from participants adequate to measure the quality and effectiveness of the research education programs? What is the overall performance evaluation plan (which may include baseline data and milestones for accomplishments as well as plans for tracking and monitoring participants' progress)?
Is the dissemination plan strong and of high quality?
Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity
Peer reviewers will separately evaluate the recruitment plan to enhance diversity after the overall score has been determined. Reviewers will examine the strategies to be used in the recruitment of individuals from underrepresented groups. The review panel’s evaluation will be included in the summary statement. Plans will be rated as acceptable or unacceptable, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.
Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research
Taking into account the specific characteristics of the proposed research education program, the level of participant experience, the reviewers will evaluate the adequacy of the proposed RCR training in relation to the following five required components: 1) Format - the required format of instruction, i.e., face-to-face lectures, coursework, and/or real-time discussion groups (a plan with only on-line instruction is not acceptable); 2) Subject Matter - the breadth of subject matter, e.g., conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, research ethics; 3) Faculty Participation - the role of the program faculty in the instruction; 4) Duration of Instruction - the number of contact hours of instruction, taking into consideration the duration of the program; and 5) Frequency of Instruction –instruction must occur during each career stage and at least once every four years. See also: NOT-OD-10-019. The review panel’s evaluation will be included in the summary statement. Plans will be rated as acceptable or unacceptable, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.
Applications from Foreign Organizations
Select Agent Research
Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.
Resource Sharing Plans
Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: 1) Data Sharing Plan; 2) Sharing Model Organisms; and 3) Genomic Data Sharing Plan.
If support for development, maintenance, or enhancement of software is requested in the application, the reviewers will comment on the proposed software dissemination plan.
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.
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.
Information regarding the disposition of applications is available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
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.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.
All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities. More information is provided at Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants.
Recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS must administer their programs in compliance with federal civil rights law. This means that recipients of HHS funds must ensure equal access to their programs without regard to a person’s race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, sex and religion. This includes ensuring your programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency. HHS recognizes that research projects are often limited in scope for many reasons that are nondiscriminatory, such as the principal investigator’s scientific interest, funding limitations, recruitment requirements, and other considerations. Thus, criteria in research protocols that target or exclude certain populations are warranted where nondiscriminatory justifications establish that such criteria are appropriate with respect to the health or safety of the subjects, the scientific study design, or the purpose of the research.
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.
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 https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/special-topics/limited-english-proficiency/index.html. The HHS Office for Civil Rights also provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/section-1557/index.html; and https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-providers/laws-regulations-guidance/index.html. Recipients of FFA also have specific legal obligations for serving qualified individuals with disabilities. Please see https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/disability/index.html 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. 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.
When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually. Continuation support will not be provided until the required forms are submitted and accepted.
When submitting RPPRs, funded programs are expected to provide evidence of accomplishing the research education objectives and results from the proposed evaluation plan. ?
Failure by the grantee institution to submit required forms in a timely, complete, and accurate manner may result in an expenditure disallowance or a delay in any continuation funding for the award.
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.
The Progress Report should provide information on the development and implementation of the proposed research education program (including education in the responsible conduct of research), modifications to the research education program as originally proposed, details about the applicant pool, updates on the evaluation of the research education program and dissemination activities (if applicable), and a list of any publications and/or other materials arising from the research education program. Each year, the progress report must include the number of appointed (program-supported) undergraduate participants current academic status, degree pursued and institution); the information and number of presentations, as well as information and the number of peer-reviewed publications including program-supported participants as co-authors; the number of former program-supported participants initiating and/or continuing Ph.D. degree training (including name, current academic status, degree pursued and institution), and the number of former program-supported participants engaged in research careers (including name, institution, and current academic status). Since the BP-ENDURE program is an institutional program, the report must also provide the following information: the total (cumulative) number of undergraduates and graduates (M.S. and/or PhD., as applicable) completing degrees at the applicant institution; the total (cumulative) number of students that completed a degree in biomedical and/or behavioral sciences at the applicant institution and then completed a Ph.D. in Neuroscience fields at the applicant institution (if applicable) or elsewhere; and the total (cumulative) number of undergraduate students that enrolled in Ph.D. programs in Neuroscience at institutions with research-intensive environments.
Upon the completion of a program evaluation, NIH and its ICs will determine whether to (a) continue a program as currently configured, (b) continue a program with modifications, or (c) discontinue a program.
In evaluating this research education program the NIH Blueprint expects to use the following evaluation measures:
Aggregate number and demographic characteristics of participants
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Michelle D. Jones-London, Ph.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Chief, Scientific Review Branch
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Tijuanna E. DeCoster, Ph.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
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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