Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

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

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)

Funding Opportunity Title
INCLUDE (INvestigation of Co-occurring conditions across the Lifespan to Understand Down syndromE) Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award (F99/K00 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Activity Code

F99/K00 Pre-doc to Post-doc Transition Award/Post-doctoral Transition Award

Announcement Type
Reissue of RFA-OD-23-016
Related Notices
  • August 31, 2022- Implementation Changes for Genomic Data Sharing Plans Included with Applications Due on or after January 25, 2023. See Notice NOT-OD-22-198.
  • August 5, 2022- Implementation Details for the NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy. See Notice NOT-OD-22-189.
Funding Opportunity Number (FON)
RFA-OD-24-007
Companion Notice of Funding Opportunity
None
Number of Applications

See Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

Assistance Listing Number(s)
93.865, 93.846, 93.121
Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of the INvestigation of Co-occurring conditions across the Lifespan to Understand Down syndromE (INCLUDE) Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition award (F99/K00) is to recruit exceptional graduate students from a broad variety of research fields to pursue postdoctoral training focused on Down syndrome related research. Graduate students from disciplines including, but not limited to, genetics, biochemistry, data science, imaging, engineering, and neurobiology are invited to apply to this opportunity. Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the INCLUDE Program Staff prior to initiating plans for application submission.

This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) does not allow applicants to propose to lead an independent clinical trial, but does allow candidates to propose research experience in a clinical trial led by a sponsor or co-sponsor.

Key Dates

Posted Date
February 22, 2024
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
June 01, 2024
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Application Due Dates Review and Award Cycles
New Renewal / Resubmission / Revision (as allowed) AIDS - New/Renewal/Resubmission/Revision, as allowed Scientific Merit Review Advisory Council Review Earliest Start Date
July 01, 2024 Not Applicable Not Applicable November 2024 January 2025 April 2025
July 01, 2025 Not Applicable Not Applicable November 2025 January 2026 April 2026
July 01, 2026 Not Applicable Not Applicable November 2026 January 2027 April 2027

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

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

Expiration Date
July 02, 2026
Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the Fellowship (F) instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this NOFO or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the NOFO) 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 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) 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. NRSA fellowships support the training of pre-and postdoctoral scientists, dual-degree investigators, and senior researchers.  More information about NRSA programs may be found at the NIH Research Training and Career Development website.

Note: This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) does not allow candidates to propose to lead an independent clinical trial, but does allow candidates to propose research experience in a clinical trial led by a sponsor or co-sponsor.

The NIH INvestigation of Co-occurring conditions across the Lifespan to Understand Down syndromE (INCLUDE) Project seeks to improve health and quality-of-life for individuals with Down syndrome (DS). The objective of the INCLUDE Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award (F99/K00) is to identify and encourage graduate students with a strong interest in pursuing careers as independent researchers in a Down syndrome (DS)-related field to assist with their successful transition to postdoctoral positions.

The F99/K00 award is intended to support  individuals who require 1-2 years to complete their Ph.D. dissertation research training (F99 phase) before transitioning to mentored postdoctoral research training (K00 phase). Consequently, candidates are expected to propose an individualized research training plan for the next 1-2 years of dissertation research training and a plan for 3-4 years of mentored postdoctoral research and career development activities that will prepare them for independent research careers in a DS-related field. 

The F99/K00 award is meant to provide up to 6 years of support in two phases. The initial (F99) phase will provide support for 1-2 years of dissertation research (final experiments, dissertation preparation, and selection of a postdoctoral mentor). The second (K00) phase will provide up to 4 years of mentored postdoctoral research and career development support, contingent upon successful completion of the doctoral degree requirements and securing a DS-related postdoctoral position at a new institution. The two award phases are intended to be continuous in time meaning gaps are not permitted between the completion of the PhD requirements and the start of the K00 phase. A K00 award will be made only to support a PD/PI who has successfully completed the F99-supported training, secured a DS-related postdoctoral appointment, and provided INCLUDE with a strong research and career development plan. 

A list of Funding Priorities by Institute and Center is available on the INCLUDE website. Applications in response to this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) should be aligned with at least one of the three components of the overall NIH INCLUDE Project Research Plan:  

Component 1: Targeted, high risk-high reward, basic science studies in areas highly relevant to Down syndrome   

Component 2: Assembly of a large cohort of individuals with Down syndrome across the lifespan to perform deep phenotyping and study co-existing conditions   

Component 3: Inclusive clinical trials of existing and future treatments and interventions for co-occurring conditions in individuals with Down syndrome 

Applicants planning to submit applications in response to this NOFO are strongly encouraged to contact the scientific contacts for this announcement prior to submission to be advised on appropriateness of the intended research plans for this program, competitiveness of a potential application, and alignment with program priorities of the INCLUDE initiative. The INCLUDE website has a list of contacts for each participating NIH Institute and Center.  Please get in touch with the Scientific Contact listed for additional questions. Additional resources and answers to frequently asked questions can also be found here: FAQ for F99/K00.

Projects that propose to recruit subjects with DS are encouraged to promote enrollment of research subjects in the DS patient registry supported by NIH, DS-Connect®. For other data and biospecimens collected from human genetic or non-genetic studies, recipients are encouraged to use biorepositories designated by INCLUDE staff that meet requirements for broad sharing. An NIH resource describing Common Data Elements may be helpful during the planning phases of a project when considering ways to optimize data collection in order to facilitate broad data sharing. For those projects that will generate clinical data, it is expected that any required data sharing will include the INCLUDE Data Coordinating Center (DCC). 

Note: The four years of K00 support of this award will not preclude the supported PD/PIs from working with their institutions to apply for other mentored career development (K) awards such as K99/R00. Supported PD/PIs who can justify the need for additional mentored career development training beyond the four years of the K00 may work with their institutions to apply for additional mentored career development awards.

See Section VIII. Other Information for award authorities and regulations.

Section II. Award Information

Funding Instrument

Grant: A financial assistance mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity.

Application Types Allowed
New

The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types. Only those application types listed here are allowed for this NOFO.

Clinical Trial?

Not Allowed: Only accepting applications that do not propose independent clinical trials.

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

Need help determining whether you are doing a clinical trial?

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

INCLUDE intends to commit $1.5M to fund up to 20 awards in FY2025. However, the total amount awarded and the number of awards made will depend upon the number, quality, and cost of the applications received. Future year amounts will depend on annual appropriations.  

Award Budget

Award budgets are composed of stipends, tuition and fees, and institutional allowance, as described below.

Award Project Period

Individuals may receive up to 6 years combined support for both phases, which includes up to 2 years in the F99 fellowship phase and up to 4 years in the K00 career development phase.

Other Award Budget Information

Stipends

ALLOWABLE COSTS for the F99 phase: Stipends are provided as a subsistence allowance to help defray living expenses during the research training experience. The allowable stipend level for F99 predoctoral fellows is the same as for the F31 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) fellows. See https://researchtraining.nih.gov/programs/fellowships.

ALLOWABLE COSTS for the K00 phase: INCLUDE will contribute toward the salary of the career award recipient up to the NRSA postdoctoral stipend level based on the number of full years of relevant postdoctoral experience.

Tuition and Fees

Fellowship awards will contribute to the combined cost of tuition and fees at the rate in place at the time of award. See https://researchtraining.nih.gov/resources/policy-notices.

For the F99 phase, INCLUDE will contribute to the combined cost of tuition and fees at the rate in place at the time of award , at the same level set for the F31 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) fellowships, subject to the standard NRSA tuition/fees formula and cap; Refer to the NIH Guide Notice on Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award stipends for more information. Tuition and Fees are not allowable costs for the K00 Phase.

Institutional Allowance

ALLOWABLE COSTS: F99 PHASE The applicant should request an institutional allowance to help defray the cost of fellowship expenses such as relocation allowance, health insurance, a computer, research supplies, equipment, books, and travel to scientific meetings and related child-care costs. The annual institutional allowance level for the F99 phase is the same as that provided for the F31 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) awards (see https://researchtraining.nih.gov/programs/fellowships). In addition, the application budget should include an additional $1,500 in the first year of the F99 award to defray the travel costs to attend a mandatory Down Syndrome-related scientific workshop or INCLUDE related conference.

ALLOWABLE COSTS: K00 PHASE INCLUDE will contribute up to $3,000 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. In addition, the application budget should include an additional $1,500 in the first year of the K00 award to defray the travel costs to attend a mandatory Down Syndrome-related scientific workshop or INCLUDE sponsored conference. Salary for mentors, secretarial and administrative assistants, etc. is not allowed.

Indirect Costs

Fellowship awards do not include a separate reimbursement for indirect costs (also known as Facilities & Administrative [F&A] Costs). Instead of costs for administering fellowships are covered by the Institutional Allowance. See https://researchtraining.nih.gov/resources/policy-notices.

ALLOWABLE COSTS: K00 PHASE Indirect Costs (also known as Facilities & Administrative [F&A] Costs) are reimbursed at 8% of modified total direct costs

Stipend levels, as well as funding amounts for tuition and fees and the institutional allowance are announced annually in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, and are also posted on the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) webpage.

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

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

  • None
Other
  • None

F99 Eligibility: Domestic institution/organization types listed above that grant PhD or equivalent research degrees (e.g., Dr.P.H., Sc.D.) are eligible to submit an application. More than one F99 application per institution is allowed. 

  1. K00 Eligibility: Domestic institution/organization types listed above, including Federal laboratories, are eligible to submit K00 transition phase applications on behalf of individuals receiving support from F99 awards. There is no limit on the number of individuals that K00 recipient institutions  may sponsor. Note that if the individual receiving support under an F99 award accepts a postdoctoral position in the NIH intramural research program, the postdoctoral phase will be supported directly by NIH intramural funds and the K00 will not be awarded, since NIH intramural scientists are not eligible to receive support from NIH extramural grant awards.

Foreign Organizations

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

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

Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are allowed.

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. Failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission, please reference NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 2.3.9.2 Electronically Submitted Applications for additional information. 

  • System for Award Management (SAM) – Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
  • Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) – A UEI is issued as part of the SAM.gov registration process. The same UEI must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • eRA Commons - Once the unique organization identifier is established, organizations can register with eRA Commons in tandem with completing their Grants.gov registration; all registrations must be in place by time of submission. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • Grants.gov – Applicants must have an active SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

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

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

All PD(s)/PI(s) must be registered with ORCiD. The personal profile associated with the PD(s)/PI(s) eRA Commons account must be linked to a valid ORCID ID. For more information on linking an ORCID ID to an eRA Commons personal profile see the ORCID topic in our eRA Commons online help.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with their organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and women are always encouraged to apply for NIH support. See, Reminder: Notice of NIH's Encouragement of Applications Supporting Individuals from Underrepresented Ethnic and Racial Groups as well as Individuals with Disabilities, NOT-OD-22-019

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

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).  

The candidate must have a baccalaureate degree and be currently enrolled as a graduate student in the third or fourth year of a mentored PhD or equivalent research degree program (e.g., DrPH, ScD) in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences at a domestic institution. A candidate’s eligibility for support under an F99 award is determined from the date of enrollment as a graduate student at the PhD institution and includes the time spent earning a MS degree unless there was a major change in research area and a change in research mentor. The candidate must be at the dissertation research stage of training at the time of award, and must show evidence of high academic performance in previous coursework and research experiences, as well as a  commitment to a career as an independent research scientist in the field of Down syndrome research.

Exceptions: 

If a 2nd-year student is expected to graduate within 2 years, an exception may be requested. Applicants may check with the Program Official prior to the selection of the nominee. 

If a 5th-year student took a documented and extended Leave of Absence, an exception may be requested. Applicants may check with the Program Official prior to the selection of the nominee. Any requests for exceptions should be explained in Section IV. Institutional Environment and Commitment to Training Section

Potential candidates are encouraged to discuss their individual situation with the INCLUDE Scientific Program Contact prior to seeking institutional nomination. 

The F99/K00 award may not be used to support studies leading to the MD, DDS, or other clinical, health-professional degree (e.g., DC, DMD, DNP, DO, DPM, DVM, ND, OD, AuD). Students matriculated in a dual-degree program (e.g. MD/PhD, DO/PhD, DDS/PhD, or DVM/PhD) are not eligible for the F99/K00 program. 

If a candidate completes all doctoral dissertation requirements or begins a postdoctoral position before an F99 award is issued, neither the F99 nor the K00 will be awarded. 

2. Cost Sharing

This NOFO does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 1.2 Definition of Terms.

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

Number of Applications

NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time per NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 2.3.7.4 Submission of Resubmission Application. This means that the NIH will not accept:

  • A new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping new (A0) or resubmission (A1) application.
  • A resubmission (A1) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of the previous new (A0) application.
  • An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see NIH Grants Policy Statement 2.3.9.4 Similar, Essentially Identical, or Identical Applications).
Duration of Support
Level of Effort

At the time of award, individuals are required to pursue their research training on a full-time basis, normally defined as 40 hours per week or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies.

Sponsor

The primary sponsor should be an active investigator in the area of the proposed research training and be committed both to the candidate’s research training and to direct supervision of their research. The primary sponsor must document the availability of sufficient research funds and facilities for high-quality research training. The primary sponsor, or a member of the sponsor team, should have a successful track record of mentorship. The candidate must work with the primary sponsor(s) in preparing the application.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

The application forms package specific to this opportunity must be accessed through ASSIST, Grants.gov Workspace or an institutional system-to-system solution. Links to apply using ASSIST or Grants.gov Workspace are available in Part 1 of this NOFO. 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 Fellowship (F) instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide, except where instructed in this notice of funding opportunity 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.

Page Limitations

All page limitations described in the How to Apply - Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.

Instructions for Application Submission

The following section supplements the instructions found in the How to Apply - Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this NOFO.

Instructions for Application Submission
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.

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

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

IMPORTANT REMINDER: The personal profile associated with the eRA Commons username entered in the Credential field for the PD/PI (fellowship applicant) must include an ORCID ID. For more information on linking an ORCID ID to an eRA Commons personal profile see the ORCID topic in our eRA Commons online help

PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form

The PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form is comprised of the following sections:

  • Fellowship Applicant
  • Research Training Plan
  • Sponsor(s), Collaborator(s), and Consultant(s);
  • Institutional Environment & Commitment to Training
  • Other Research Training Plan Sections
  • Additional Information
  • Budget
  • Appendix

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

Fellowship Applicant Section

Candidate's Background and Goals for Fellowship Training

This section should address both the F99 phase and the K00 phase. 

Doctoral Dissertation and Research Experience 

Include a description of how the combination of past research experiences and the F99/K00 plans contribute to achieving the long-term career goals of the candidate. 

Training Goals and Objectives 

Describe the long-term career goal and explain how the F99/K00 will enable the attainment of that goal. For each phase, describe how the proposed research training and career development plan will enhance the candidate’s knowledge, technical expertise, and professional skills and advance the candidate’s progression towards becoming a productive and independent researcher in a DS-related field, keeping in mind existing strengths as well as any gaps in existing skills. If the K00 research direction is markedly different from the F99 research area, describe efforts and/or plans during the F99 phase training that provide preparation for the K00 research. Include a strategy for identifying a K00 mentor. 

Identify the skills, theories, conceptual approaches, etc., to be learned or enhanced during the award, including, as applicable, expertise in rigorous research design, experimental methods, quantitative approaches, and data analysis and interpretation, as applicable.

If the candidate proposes work in cohort-building or clinical trials administered by their research mentor, describe community engagement skills and strategies that will be learned or enhanced as part of fellowship training.

Activities Planned Under This Award 

Describe the scientific and professional development activities planned for each phase and explain how the activities will facilitate the transition to each subsequent career stage. Include a timeline with scientific, professional development, and career milestones.

Research Training Plan

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

Specific Aims:

Explain the importance of the problem or critical barrier to progress that the proposed project addresses and provide  an overview of the specific aims of the project.  All candidates must use the following two Specific Aims:

  • Specific Aim 1:  The Dissertation (F99) phase 
  • Specific Aim 2:  The Postdoctoral research (K00) phase

Research Strategy:

Candidates should individually address the Significance and Approach for each Specific Aim.

Specific Aim 1:  Dissertation (F99) Phase

Significance 

  • Provide an overview of the dissertation research, including the scientific question being addressed and its potential impact on the dissertation research field. 
  • Describe the strengths and weaknesses in the rigor of the prior research (both published and unpublished) that serves as the key support for the proposed project. 
  • Explain how the proposed project will improve scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice in one or more broad fields. 
  • Describe how the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field will be changed if the proposed aims are achieved. 

Approach 

The Approach for Aim 1 should be organized into two sections: 

  • A progress report on the dissertation research project thus far, including the approaches used, research outcomes obtained, and important methodologies learned; 
  • A detailed research proposal for the work to be completed in the F99 phase, including experimental design that encompasses rigor and reproducibility, anticipated results, potential problems, alternative strategies, and potential follow-up studies. 

Specific Aim 2: Postdoctoral Research (K00) Phase

Significance 

  • Explain the significance of the K00 research direction.  Describe a specific scientific question or observation that will be investigated. Explain how this question or observation is related to the candidate’s research interests and how this work will help advance this Down syndrome (DS)-related field,
  • Describe the strengths and weaknesses in the rigor of the prior research (both published and unpublished) that serves as the key support for the proposed project. 
  • Explain how the proposed project will improve scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice in one or more broad fields. 
  • Describe how the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field will be changed if the proposed aims are achieved. 

Approach 

  • Provide a general description of how the research will be conducted, including approaches and methodologies to be used, anticipated results, challenges that might arise and how to address them. 
  • Explain the importance of the problem or critical barrier to progress that the proposed project addresses. 
  • Describe the strengths and weaknesses in the rigor of the prior research (both published and unpublished) that serves as the key support for the proposed project. 
  • Explain how the proposed project will improve scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice in one or more broad fields. 
  • Describe how the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field will be changed if the proposed aims are achieved.  
  • If the candidate is proposing to gain experience in a clinical trial as part of his or her research training, describe the relationship of the proposed research project to the clinical trial.

Sponsor(s), Collaborator(s), and Consultant(s)

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

  • Follow the instructions for Sections A through E. Additionally, in Section E, the sponsor(s) should provide an assessment of the candidate’s qualifications and potential for transitioning to the postdoctoral phase (K00) and becoming a productive, independent researcher.
  • The Sponsor should also describe the roles and responsibilities that both they and the fellow are undertaking, including contributions to the research plan, the portion of the research ideas and plan that originated with the candidate, and the relationship between the proposed research plan and funded or unfunded research projects previously devised by the sponsor.
  • If the candidate is proposing to gain experience in a clinical trial as part of his or her research training, the sponsor or co-sponsor must include a statement to document leadership of the clinical trial including source of funding, NCT# and appropriate expertise to guide the candidate in any proposed clinical trials research experience. The individual receiving support for the clinical trial (i.e., the sponsor/primary mentor or a co-sponsor) is the responsible individual of record for oversight of the trial though fellows can take part in all components of a clinical trial. Oversight includes (but is not limited to): interacting with relevant Institutional Review Board (IRB) staff; reviewing all informed consent documents; reporting potential serious adverse events; and maintaining responsibility for patient safety. However, the fellow can gain experience in all these components in conjunction with the mentor or individual leading the trial.

Institutional Environment and Commitment to Training Section

Description of Institutional Environment and Commitment to Training

In addition to the content described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, institutions must include the Educational Information below. .

Educational Information

  • Describe the institution's graduate program in which the candidate is enrolled. This description should include the structure of the program, the required milestones and their usual timing, the number of courses, any teaching commitments or qualifying exams, and the average time to degree over the past 10 years.
  • Describe the progress/status of the candidate in relation to the program's timeline, and the frequency and method by which the program formally monitors and evaluates a student's progress.
  • Confirm that the candidate is in a PhD program in a neuroscience-relevant field (include month and year of entry into the PhD program) and has reached the dissertation phase (include month and year of transition to dissertation phase).
  • Confirm that the candidate has 1-2 years from time of award before completion of their PhD (include month and year of anticipated graduation) or any reasons for exceptions.
  • Provide the name of the primary sponsor or mentor and an affirmation of the institution's commitment to the candidate's training and research career goals.
  • Include the name of the individual providing this information at the end of the description. This information is typically provided by the director of the graduate program or the department chair.

Description of Candidate’s Contribution to Program Goals: The sponsoring institution must provide a document on institutional letterhead that explains how the candidate’s participation will further the goals of the fellowship program.

The "Description of Candidate’s Contribution to Program Goals” attachment must be dated and signed by an institutional official. In most cases, this will be the dean or the chairman of the department. The signature must appear over the signer's name and title at the end of the statement.

See instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

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.

Delayed Onset Study

Note: Delayed onset does NOT apply to a study that can be described, but will not start immediately (i.e., delayed start). 

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

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

Applicants 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 Reference Letter link and not through Grants.gov.

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

See Part 2. 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. 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 Grants Policy Statement Section 2.3.9.2 Electronically Submitted Applications.

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 How to Apply - 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. The National Research Service Award (NRSA) policies apply to this program.  A Kirschstein-NRSA fellowship may not be held concurrently with another federally sponsored fellowship or similar Federal award that provides a stipend or otherwise duplicates provisions of this award.

Pre-award costs are generally not allowable for Fellowships.

7. Other Submission Requirements and Information

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

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

For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit How to Apply – Application Guide. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Dealing with System Issues guidance. For assistance with application submission, contact the Application Submission Contacts in Section VII.

Important reminders:

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

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

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

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

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in the policy.

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process. 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:

  • A fellowship application must have  a research project that is integrated with the training plan. The review will emphasize the candidate’s potential for a productive career, the candidate’s need for the proposed training, and the degree to which the research project and training plan, the sponsor(s), and the environment will satisfy those needs. The review will also evaluate the research and career development plans for the K00 phase, emphasizing the need for the career development and the potential to lead to a productive, independent Down syndrome research career.
Overall Impact

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood that the fellowship will enhance the candidate’s potential for, and commitment to, a productive independent scientific research career in a health-related field, in consideration of the scored and additional review criteria.

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.

 
  • Are the candidate's academic record and research experience of high quality?
  • Does the candidate have the potential to develop into an independent and productive researcher who will contribute to Down Syndrome-related research?
  • Does the candidate demonstrate commitment to a research career in Down Syndrome-related research in the future?
  • Does the research project reflect a significant contribution of the candidate to the originality of the project idea, approach and/or hypotheses relative to the career stage of the candidate?
 

F99 phase:

  • Are the sponsor(s’) research qualifications (including recent publications) and track record of mentoring individuals at a similar stage appropriate for the needs of the candidate?
  • Is there evidence of a match between the research and clinical interests (if applicable) of the candidate and the sponsor(s)? 
  • How appropriate is  the sponsor(s) understanding of the candidate’s training needs as well as their ability and commitment to assist in meeting these needs?
  • Is there evidence of adequate research funds to support the candidate’s proposed research project and training for the duration of the fellowship (F99) phase?
  • If a team of sponsors is proposed, is the team structure well justified for the mentored training plan, and are the roles of the individual members appropriate and clearly defined?
  • Are the qualifications of any collaborator(s) and/or consultant(s), including their complementary expertise and previous experience in fostering the training of fellows, appropriate for the proposed project?
  • Does the sponsor's research and training record, as well as mentoring statement, indicate that the candidate will receive exceptional training in the proposed research area and have the opportunity to publish high quality papers and present research data at national meetings as the project progresses?

K00 phase:

  • How appropriate is the strategy for identifying a K00 mentor(s) and how likely is it that this strategy can identify a strong mentor who is capable of guiding the candidate's transition into INCLUDE-related research and successfully completing the proposed work?
  • If the candidate is proposing to gain experience in a clinical trial as part of his or her research training, is there evidence of the appropriate expertise, experience, resources, and ability on the part of the sponsor(s) to guide the applicant during the clinical trial research experience?
 

F99 phase:

  • Is the proposed research project of high scientific quality, and is it well integrated with the proposed research training plan?
  • Has the candidate presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed?
  • Has the candidate presented adequate plans to address relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies in vertebrate animals or human subjects?
  • Based on the sponsor’s description of their active research program, is the candidate’s proposed F99 research project sufficiently distinct from the sponsor’s funded research for the candidate’s career stage?
  • Are the proposed F99 and K00 research projects consistent with the candidate’s stage of research development?
  • Is the proposed F99 time frame feasible to accomplish the proposed training?
  • Does the training plan provide adequate opportunities to present and publish research findings and meet with scientists in the community at national meetings as the work progresses?
  • Will the F99 training plan provide the professional skills needed for the candidate to transition to the next stage of their research career?

K00 Phase:

  • Is the research direction outlined for the career development (K00) phase appropriate to the candidate’s anticipated stage of development and as a vehicle for developing the research skills described in the career development plan?
  • How appropriate is the proposed K00 research project for meeting the candidate’s long-term career goals?
  • How well does the proposed approach address the research questions being asked in the K00 phase?
  • If proposed, will the clinical trial experience contribute to the proposed project and/or the candidate’s research training? 
 
  • Does the training plan document a clear need for, and value of, the proposed training?
  • Are the proposed research project and training plan likely to provide the candidate with the requisite individualized and mentored experiences in order to obtain appropriate skills for a research career?
  • How well does the training plan take advantage of the candidate’s strengths and address gaps in needed skills? 
  • Does the proposed training have the potential to serve as a sound foundation that will clearly enhance the candidate’s ability to develop into a productive researcher?
 
  • Are the research facilities, resources (e.g., equipment, laboratory space, computer time, subject populations, clinical training settings) and training opportunities (e.g. seminars, workshops, professional development opportunities) adequate and appropriate?
  • Is adequate evidence provided that the F99-sponsoring institution is strongly committed to fostering the candidate’s development and preparation for transition to the K00 Phase?
  • Is the institutional environment for the candidate’s scientific development of high quality?
  • Is there appropriate institutional commitment to fostering the candidate’s mentored training?
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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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 Animals Section.

 

Not Applicable

 

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.

 

Not Applicable

 

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations

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

 

All applications for support under this NOFO 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 candidate, including any prior instruction or participation in RCR as appropriate for the candidate’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 sponsor(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 and NOT-OD-22-055.

 

Reviewers will assess whether the project presents special opportunities for furthering research programs through the use of unusual resources, populations, or environmental conditions that exist in other countries and either are not readily available in the United States or augment existing U.S. resources.

 

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).

 

Reviewers will comment on whether the Resource Sharing Plan(s) (e.g., Sharing Model Organisms) or the rationale for not sharing the resources, is reasonable.

 

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

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

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

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

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 NOFO. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. 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 their 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 2.4.4 Disposition of Applications.

Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization for successful applications. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document and will be sent via email to the recipient's business official.

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

Any application awarded in response to this NOFO will be subject to terms and conditions found on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website. This includes any recent legislation and policy applicable to awards that is highlighted on this website.

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

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

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

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

If a recipient receives an award, the recipient must follow all applicable nondiscrimination laws. The recipient agrees to this when registering in SAM.gov. The recipient must also submit an Assurance of Compliance (HHS-690). To learn more, see the HHS Office for Civil Rights website

HHS recognizes that NIH 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 NOFO.

Transition to the Postdoctoral Career Development K00 Phase

The F99/K00 award is intended to facilitate successful transition to the postdoctoral career stage. Consequently, a requirement for initiation of the K00 phase is successful completion of the Ph.D. degree. Candidates are encouraged to apply for postdoctoral positions in distinct environments from where they conducted their doctoral research to enhance the breadth of their scientific training and career development. It is important that all candidates, but especially candidates who intend to stay at the predoctoral phase institution for the postdoctoral phase, provide a plan that will clearly describe how they will separate scientifically from their Ph.D. sponsor(s).

The transition from the predoctoral phase to the postdoctoral phase is intended to be continuous in time and the NIH will not extend the F99 phase, except in unusual circumstances. Candidates are encouraged to contact the program official as soon as possible to discuss should an extension be needed. Transition from the predoctoral (F99) phase to the postdoctoral (K00) phase is not automatic. To activate the K00 phase of the grant, individuals must have been offered and accepted a full-time postdoctoral position. Upon starting the K00 phase of the award, the F99 phase of the award is terminated.

Prospective candidates are strongly encouraged to contact their Program Official as soon as a plan to assume a postdoctoral position develops, no later than 6 months prior to the proposed start date of the K00 award to discuss plans for transition to, and the application for, the K00 phase.

The sponsoring organization must submit an application for the K00 phase no later than 3 months prior to the proposed activation date of the K00 award. The institution's Authorized Organizational Representative will email the application in PDF format to the Financial or Grants Management contact person of the awarding NIH Institute or Center listed in the Notice of Award. The K00 application will be evaluated by extramural program and grants management staff of the awarding component for completeness and responsiveness to the program.

An eligible K00 institution must have appropriate infrastructure and research funding to support the proposed research program.Foreign institutions are not eligible. Candidates may apply for postdoctoral positions within the NIH intramural research program (IRP). However, should the individual accept such a position in the IRP, the postdoctoral phase of the award will not be activated. This is because NIH intramural scientists are supported directly by NIH intramural funds and are not eligible to receive support from  NIH extramural grant awards. F99 fellows who accept a postdoctoral position in the IRP will be required to submit a final progress report and a final evaluation statement by the primary F99 mentor instead of a K00 application. Eligibility of for-profit organizations for the K00 phase depends on the nature of the appointment, and the ability of the postdoctoral fellow to conduct mentored postdoctoral research and freely disseminate findings, including through peer reviewed publications and data sharing. Candidates are encouraged to discuss job offers at for-profit organizations with NIH Program staff well in advance of accepting such an offer.

Candidates who are approved to transition will receive a Notice of Award reflecting the new K00 activity code, the dollar amount, and the new grantee organization (if applicable). Candidates who are not approved to transition will receive written notification from the NIH awarding component communicating the rationale for the disapproval and should work with extramural program staff on resubmissions. This notification typically will be sent within 60 days of receipt of the K00 application.

Instructions for the K00 Transition Award

F99 awardees wishing to submit a K00 transition application must follow the Career Development (K) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise, as described below:

The K00 Transition Application will include the following components:

  • A new Cover Page Supplement Form signed by the K00 phase institutional representative;
  • Updated K00 Project Summary/Abstract, Project Narrative, Bibliography & References Cited, Facilities & Other Resources, and Equipment sections;
  • Other Attachments:
    • A final progress report for the F99 phase;
    • A final evaluation statement by the F99 primary sponsor;
  • Project/Performance Site Primary Location Form
  • Biographical sketches for candidate and K00 mentor(s).
    • Candidates should use the Non-Fellowship Biosketch format (as such, Section D “Scholastic Performance” is not required).
    • The mentor(s) personal statement(s) should include a description of their mentoring and training philosophy.
  • R&R Budget Form for a non-modular budget: K00 budgets consist of salary and fringe benefits, other program related expenses, and indirect costs, as described in Part II, Section II of this funding opportunity announcement. Other costs are not allowed;
  • Updated PHS Career Development Award Supplemental Form, which should include:
    • Candidate Section
      • In addition to the K application instructions, describe the candidate’s current and long-term research and career objectives.
      • Describe how the research and training experiences in the K00 phase of the award, combined with all previous research and training experiences, will provide the tools, skills and knowledge necessary to subsequently pursue a productive career within the biomedical research workforce.
      • Describe how the candidate plans to separate scientifically from their F99 and K00 sponsors.
      • Provide a timeline with milestones for the research and career development experiences proposed.
  • Research Plan section: The updated Specific Aims and Research Strategy should be described in less than 6 pages. These should reflect current plans for the K00 phase and may differ from what was originally proposed as the Postdoctoral Research Direction in the F99/K00 application.
  • Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Mentor, Co-Mentor, Consultant, Collaborators Section that includes a plan for fostering the candidate’s transition to the next stage of their career development. Candidates are encouraged to identify more than one mentor, i.e., a mentor team, if this is deemed advantageous for their training program. The role of each mentor, co-mentor, consultant and collaborator (as applicable) in the K00 and commitment to the candidate should be clearly described. When there is a mentor team, one individual must be identified as the primary mentor, and will be expected to coordinate the candidate’s overall K00 training. The primary mentor can be an independent investigator at any career stage, including an early-stage investigator. The mentor(s) should describe previous experience as a mentor over the past 10 years. For all postdoctoral individuals mentored, provide information on their time spent in the lab, their present employing organizations, and their present position titles or occupations. For early-career investigators, this may also include postdoctoral students that were mentored while the mentor was a senior postdoc or in a non-faculty position. Regardless of career stage, the mentor(s) should demonstrate a commitment to ensure the fellow receives tailored training that will facilitate their skills development and career advancement, describe their mentoring philosophies to support postdoctoral student achievements, and describe how any previous mentoring experience will support the success of the proposed project. Expand on the mentor/co-mentor's commitment to an inclusive research environment that promotes the success of individuals with a wide variety of backgrounds. The mentor should discuss the availability of adequate resources and research support available for the K00 project.
    • If the candidate is proposing to gain experience in a clinical trial as part of their research career development, the mentor or co-mentor must include a statement to document leadership of the clinical trial including source of funding, NCT# and appropriate expertise to guide the candidate in any proposed clinical trials research experience.  
  • Description of Institutional Environment section
  • Institutional Commitment to Candidate’s Research Career Development Section:
    • Provide a statement of commitment to the candidate and their career goals, i.e., conducting the proposed mentored research and career development activities during the K00 phase.
    • Provide assurance that the candidate will be able to devote a minimum of 9 person-months (75% of full-time professional effort) to the development of their research program. The remaining effort should be devoted to activities related to the development of the candidate's career in the biomedical research workforce.
    • Provide assurance that the research facilities, resources, and training opportunities will be available for the candidate’s planned career development and research programs during the K00 award period.
    • Provide assurance that appropriate time and support for any proposed mentor(s) and/or other staff consistent with the career development plan will be available during the K00 award period.
    • The institutional commitment must be dated and signed by the person who is authorized to commit the institution to the agreements and assurances listed above. In most cases, this will be the dean or the chairman of the department.
  • Other Research Plan Sections (as appropriate), including:
    • Vertebrate Animals;
    • Select Agent Research;
    • Resource Sharing Plans;
    • Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources; and
    • Biohazards
  • Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information (as appropriate);

Termination of the F99 award phase

If the transition from the F99 phase to the K00 phase at an extramural institution occurs prior to the scheduled end date of the F99 award phase, then a revised Notice of Award will be issued to terminate the F99 phase award. Institutional Allowances: Carry-over of unspent funds from a partially completed year in the F99 phase into the K00 phase is not permitted.

The taxability of stipends is described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Inventions and Copyrights

Fellowships funded primarily for educational purposes are exempted from the PHS invention requirements and thus invention reporting is not required. More details, including exceptions for fellows training at NIH are provided in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

3. Data Management and Sharing

Consistent with the 2023 NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing, when data management and sharing is applicable to the award, recipients will be required to adhere to the Data Management and Sharing requirements as outlined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Upon the approval of a Data Management and Sharing Plan, it is required for recipients to implement the plan as described.

4. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, recipients will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The report is due two months before the beginning date of the next budget period and must include information describing the current year's progress as well as the research and training plans for the coming year.

NIH NOFOs outline intended research goals and objectives. Post award, NIH will review and measure performance based on the details and outcomes that are shared within the RPPR, as described at 2 CFR 200.301.

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

Other Fellowship Reporting Requirements:

  • Individuals admitted to the United States as Permanent Residents must submit notarized evidence of legal admission prior to the award.
  • The fellowship award recipient has up to six months from the issue date on the Notice of Award to activate the award using the Kirschstein-NRSA Individual Fellowship Activation Notice (PHS 416-5). Under unusual circumstances, the activation period may be extended at the request of the fellow. Such a request must be countersigned by the sponsor and an authorized institutional official.
  • For the individual's initial 12 months of Kirschstein-NRSA postdoctoral support, a signed, original Payback Agreement Form (PHS 6031) must accompany the Activation Notice.
  • At the conclusion of a fellowship, the fellow must submit a Termination Notice (PHS 416-7) via xTrain to the NIH within 30 days of termination. Fellows with service payback requirements must notify the NIH of any change in address and submit Annual Payback Activities Certification Forms (PHS 6031-1) until the payback service obligation is satisfied.

5. Evaluation

In carrying out its stewardship of human resource-related programs, 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.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

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

Finding Help Online: https://www.era.nih.gov/need-help (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)

General Grants Information (Questions regarding application instructions, application processes, and NIH grant resources)
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-637-3015

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)

The primary point of contact for this NOFO should be:

Sujata Bardhan, MS, PhD 
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-435-0471 
Email: sujata.bardhan@nih.gov 

Marie Mancini, PhD
NIAMS - NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ARTHRITIS AND MUSCULOSKELETAL AND SKIN DISEASES
Phone: 301-594-5032
E-mail: mancinim2@mail.nih.gov


Anissa Brown, PhD
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Phone: 301-594-5006
Email: anissa.brown@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Center for Scientific Review (CSR)
Email: FOAReviewContact@csr.nih.gov  

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Margaret Young
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-642-4552
Email: margaret.young@nih.gov

Erik Edgerton
NIAMS - NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ARTHRITIS AND MUSCULOSKELETAL AND SKIN DISEASES
Phone: 301-594-7760
E-mail: erik.edgerton@nih.gov


Gabriel Hidalgo, MBA
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Phone: 301-827-4630
Email: hidalgoge@mail.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Please note that the NIH Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs) are a set of programs to attract and retain promising early-stage investigators in research careers by helping them to repay their student loans. Recipients of fellowship awards are encouraged to consider applying for an extramural LRP award.

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 63A and 2 CFR Part 200.

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