Department of Health and Human Services
Part 1. Overview Information

 

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is developed as a Common Fund initiative through the NIH Office of the Director, Office of Strategic Coordination. All NIH Institutes and Centers participate in Common Fund initiatives. The FOA will be administered by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) on behalf of the NIH

Funding Opportunity Title

Sponsored Programs Administration Development (SPAD) Program (UC2  Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Activity Code

UC2 High Impact Research and Research Infrastructure Cooperative Agreement Programs

Announcement Type

New

Related Notices
  • May 28, 2019 - Notice of Pre-Application Webinar for RFA-RM-19-004. See Notice NOT-GM-19-043.
  • May 28, 2019 - Notice of Clarification of Institutional Eligibility for RFA-RM-19-004 . See Notice NOT-GM-19-044.
  • NOT-RM-19-002
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-RM-19-004

Companion Funding Opportunity
Number of Applications

Only one application per institution (normally identified by having a unique DUNS number or NIH-IPF number) is allowed, as defined in Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

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

93.310

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to invite applications that propose to establish Offices of Sponsored Programs (OSPs) or enhance the services of existing OSPs or similar entities at domestic institutions of higher learning.  Program priorities include funding primarily undergraduate institutions with emerging biomedical research and/or undergraduate research training programs.  

Key Dates

 

Posted Date

May 17, 2019

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

June 25, 2019

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Application Due Date(s)

July 25, 2019 and June 26, 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.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

October/November 2019 and October/November 2020  

Advisory Council Review

January 2020 and January 2021

Earliest Start Date

April 2020 and April 2021

Expiration Date

June 27, 2020

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

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


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

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

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

    Part 1. Overview Information
    Part 2. Full Text of the Announcement

    Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
    Section II. Award Information
    Section III. Eligibility Information
    Section IV. Application and Submission Information
    Section V. Application Review Information
    Section VI. Award Administration Information
    Section VII. Agency Contacts
    Section VIII. Other Information


    Part 2. Full Text of Announcement
    Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

      The NIH recognizes the need to diversify the scientific workforce by enhancing the participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups identified as nationallyunderrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences (collectively termed "biomedical") research workforce. Scientists and trainees from different backgrounds bring a variety of perspectives, creativity, and individual enterprise to address complex scientific problems. A diverse NIH-supported scientific workforce will also improve global competitiveness, contribute to robust learning environments, and enhance public trust.

    The United States has seen an increase in the number of Ph.D. degrees in the biomedical sciences earned by scientists from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in the biomedical sciences (Gibbs, et al., 2016, eLife 2016;5:e21393); however, the attrition rate of scientists from underrepresented groups continues to be an issue (Valantine, Lund & Gammie, CBE-Life Sciences Education, 2016, 15:fe4, 1-5).

    With the recognized need to enhance diversity in the biomedical research workforce, the NIH Director requested input from the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) regarding actions that the NIH should take to make transformative progress in this area. In 2012, the ACD Working Group on Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce explored ways to improve the recruitment of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from underrepresented groups, in biomedical research and methods to sustain their interest in and prepare them for successful biomedical research careers. The Working Group provided recommendations, endorsed by the ACD, about ways to develop and support individuals from groups underrepresented in the biomedical sciences, throughout their research career (from undergraduate study to acquisition of tenure in an academic position or the equivalent in a non-academic setting). In response to these recommendations, the NIH established the Common Fund Program "Enhancing the Diversity of the NIH-Funded Workforce," also known as the Diversity Program Consortium (DPC).

    The first phase of the Enhancing the Diversity of the NIH-Funded Workforce Common Fund program allowed for the formation of a national consortium through which awardee institutions, in partnership with the NIH, began implementing and evaluating training and mentoring programs to engage individuals, including those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical sciences, and help them prepare for and succeed in biomedical research careers. The DPC was developed in the context of existing programs through which NIH and other entities have made significant investments to engage scientists and institutions using a variety of training, mentoring, and research capacity-building approaches. The primary goal of the DPC is to provide robust evidence on effective ways to enhance diversity by engaging and sustaining the interest of individuals in the biomedical research workforce and to encourage the dissemination of successful diversity enhancing interventions to a wide variety of institutions across the United States.

    The DPC implemented interventions and evaluative practices designed to understand effective approaches to mentoring, student engagement, research capacity building, faculty development, and infrastructure development.  One of the lessons learned from Phase I of the DPC was the importance of a robust, efficient, consistent, and responsive Office of Sponsored Programs. Accordingly, for the second phase of the DPC, the Office of Strategic Coordination (Common Fund) solicits applications aimed at developing and/or enhancing the institutional sponsored programs infrastructure necessary to provide robust, efficient, consistent, and responsive service for sponsored programs administration.

    Program Objective

    The objective of the Sponsored Programs Administration Development (SPAD) program is to increase the productivity of sponsored programs activities to enhance biomedical research and/or research training. The objective may be determined by short-term metrics such as an increase in the number of grant application submissions, awards, and subcontracts, and longer-term metrics such as enhanced research activity (e.g., publications, presentations, awards) and/or an increase in the number of students who pursue biomedical research careers.

    Program Considerations

    Through this FOA, NIH intends to fund primarily undergraduate institutions with a demonstrated commitment to training students from diverse backgrounds (see NIH’s Interest in Diversity) enrolled in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines to create or enhance an Office of Sponsored Programs (OSPs). The SPAD program is not intended for professional schools or previous/current awardees of NIH infrastructure development and/or research capacity programs (see Section III.1. Eligible Applicants  below). 

    SPAD is intended for institutions at the early phases of development of sponsored programs and will measure success in moving from one phase to the next. The SPAD program is designed to fund institutions: 1) without an OSP or those with a limited capacity for sponsored programs administration; 2) with subawards and/or research training programs, but not NIH research project grants; or 3) with limited NIH research project grant awards (see Section III.1. Eligible Applicants below).

    Funded institutions are expected to develop and sustain offices that facilitate the development of a culture of biomedical research or research training by providing services such as professional development in targeted areas (e.g., enhancing grant-writing skills), pre- and post-award services (e.g., when submitting grant applications and for regulatory compliance), and certification-guided training of sponsored program staff and leadership. A major goal of the program is to enhance faculty and student participation in biomedical research and research training programs, including but not limited to a range of undergraduate research programs, Academic Research Enhancement Awards (R15), Support of Competitive Research (SCORE) (SC1, SC2, SC3), among others.

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

    Section II. Award Information
    Funding Instrument

    Cooperative Agreement: A support mechanism used when there will be substantial Federal scientific or programmatic involvement. Substantial involvement means that, after award, NIH scientific or program staff will assist, guide, coordinate, or participate in project activities. See Section VI.2 for additional information about the substantial involvement for this FOA.

    Application Types Allowed

    New
    Resubmission

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

    Clinical Trial?

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

    Need help determining whether you are doing a clinical trial?

    Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

    NIH intends to fund an estimate of 10-15 awards, corresponding to a total of $3,000,000

    Award Budget

    Application budgets are limited to $200,000 direct costs per year.

    Award Project Period

    The project may not exceed 3 years.  

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

    Section III. Eligibility Information
    1. Eligible Applicants
    Eligible Organizations

    Higher Education Institutions

    • Public/State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education
    • Private Institutions of Higher Education

    The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:

    o   Hispanic-serving Institutions

    o   Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

    o   Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)

    o   Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions

    o   Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)

    Applicant institutions are limited to domestic associate’s degree-granting and baccalaureate degree-granting colleges/universities that received an average of NIH research project grant (RPG) funding of less than $7.5 million total costs per year over the past 3 fiscal years and have at least 25% of undergraduate students supported by Pell grants. These eligibility requirements are intended to target funds to relatively under-resourced institutions with a demonstrated commitment to students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds. These requirements are based on the recognition that (1) many students from low-income backgrounds are also nationally underrepresented in biomedical research, and (2) institutional commitment to these students often takes priority over investments in research infrastructure.

    For the purposes of determining eligibility, the annual level of NIH RPG funding will be calculated over the preceding three fiscal years (e.g., FY 2016, FY 2017 and FY 2018 if submitting in FY2019), as reported on the NIH RePORT website under NIH Awards by Location & Organization. The percentage of undergraduates with Pell grants will be based on 2012 student financial aid data for the applicant institution, as reflected in the National Center for Education Statistics IPEDS Data Center website, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter/Default.aspx.

    Health Professional Schools are not eligible to apply to this FOA.

    Current awardees of BUILD grants are not eligible to apply.  In this context, awardees are defined as the institutions cited in the Notice of Award.

    A signed letter is required from the Provost or similar official with institution-wide responsibility verifying the eligibility of the applicant institution at the time of application submission according to the eligibility criteria indicated above. See the application instructions for the Letters of Support attachment on the PHS 398 Research Plan form in Section IV.2 Instructions for Application Submission.

    Foreign Institutions

    Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are not eligible to apply.
    Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply.
    Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are not allowed.

    Required Registrations

    Applicant Organizations

    Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.

    • Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) - All registrations require that applicants be issued a DUNS number. After obtaining a DUNS number, applicants can begin both SAM and eRA Commons registrations. The same DUNS number must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
    • System for Award Management (SAM)– Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
    • eRA Commons - Applicants must have an active DUNS number to register in eRA Commons.  Organizations can register with the eRA Commons as they are working through their SAM or Grants.gov registration, but 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 DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

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

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

    Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

    Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

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

    The SPAD program requires a multi-PD/PI submission. One PD/PI must be the current or future Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs (DOSP) and the other PD/PI must be a senior institutional official (SIO).

    Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs (DOSP): The DOSP should have full project authority to manage and direct the SPAD program resources and to make decisions regarding program direction. The DOSP should have the support of the applicant institution and be empowered with the authority to oversee and execute the Institutional Development Plan described below for sponsored programs administration.  The PDs/PIs should also have the flexibility to dedicate the allowable level of effort to carry out the expectations described in this FOA.  A Ph.D. is not required. 

    Senior Institutional Official (SIO): The role of the SIO is to provide leadership for planning, developing, and evaluating the outcomes of the Institutional Development Plan for the sponsored programs administration.  The SIO is envisioned as a senior-level administrator such as a Dean, Provost, Vice-President or President whose scope of authority may include three key decision-making areas such as faculty time commitment, the scope of sponsored programs administration services, and the integration of evidence-based best practices into any pre-existing sponsored programs administration infrastructure.  The SIO is expected to serve as an effective advocate for faculty research and research training and for the development of capacity in sponsored programs administration.

    The PDs/PIs must have a regular, full-time appointment (i.e., not adjunct, part-time, retired, or emeritus) at the applicant institution; have an interest in promoting institutional research capacity building and biomedical research training of students from diverse background (e.g., those from underrepresented groups); and be capable of providing administrative and scientific leadership for the proposed program.  The PDs/PIs will be expected to monitor and assess the program and submit all documents and reports as required.

    2. Cost Sharing

    This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

    3. Additional Information on Eligibility
    Number of Applications

    The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time.  This means that the NIH will not accept:

    • A new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping new (A0) or resubmission (A1) application.
    • A resubmission (A1) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of the previous new (A0) application.
    • An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see NOT-OD-11-101).
    Section IV. Application and Submission Information
    1. Requesting an Application Package

    The application forms package specific to this opportunity must be accessed through ASSIST, Grants.gov Workspace or an institutional system-to-system solution. Links to apply using ASSIST or Grants.gov Workspace are available in Part 1 of this FOA. See your administrative office for instructions if you plan to use an institutional system-to-system solution.

    2. Content and Form of Application Submission

    It is critical that applicants follow the 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 may be delayed or not accepted for review.
     

    Page Limitations

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

    Instructions for Application Submission

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

    SF424(R&R) Cover

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

    Descriptive Title of Applicant's Project: Use the format “SPAD at Name of Institution”

    SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

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

    SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

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

    SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

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

    Mentors:  Office-to-office mentoring is an effective practice for building capacity in Offices of Sponsored Programs.  Within this context, each member of the PD/PI team must identify a mentor.  The mentor should be an individual from a different institution with a grant portfolio greater than or equal to $40,000,000 and must have experience with NIH and other federal research and research training grant mechanisms.  The mentor must be listed as a member of the Senior/Key Personnel.   

    R&R Budget

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

    A. Senior/Key Personnel

    Budgeted personnel costs may include effort for the Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs, the Senior Institutional Official, and a sponsored programs administrator. There is an expectation that the institution will support these positions when the award ends. No associated salary or fringe benefits should be requested for the mentors.

    B. Other Personnel

    Examples of other personnel include individuals who will assist in developing pre-award and post-award processes and services.

    C. Equipment Description

    Describe any equipment exceeding $5,000 that is necessary to implement pre-award and post-award processes and services.

    D. Travel

    The travel budget should include expenses related to:

    • Competency-based training at professional society conferences (i.e., the Society of Research Administrators International, National Council of University Research Administrators) or similar venues. The training budget may include travel, membership, registration, and course fees.
    • The mentoring plan (i.e., mentors to travel to the grantee institution, or for the PD(s)/PI(s) to travel to the mentor's institution).
    • PD(s)/PI(s)' attendance at the Diversity Program Consortium Annual meeting and the bi-annual Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity Program Directors meeting. 

    E. Participant/Trainee Support Costs

    Not applicable

    F. Other Direct Costs

    1. Materials and Supplies: Allowable costs for the SPAD program include support for the following types of activities:

    • Development and implementation of pre-award and post-award processes and services;
    • Development of systems that enable grantee institutions to better comply with research-related federal and state statutes and regulations;
    • Development of communications and information systems (websites, administrative systems, and databases);
    • The development of systems to enhance regulatory compliance;
    • The development of activities that enhance faculty competitiveness for accessing external research support;
    • Competency-based training for research administrators/grant managers to ensure that support staff has the requisite knowledge and skills to provide efficient pre- and post-award services throughout the life cycle of the research award.

    2. Publication costs: generally, not allowed

    3. Consultants: Itemize non-travel costs associated with the mentors, Steering Committee members, and invited facilitators who will assist in the conduct of sponsored programs services assessment, workshops, short courses, and similar activities.

    4. Automatic Data Processing (ADP)/Computer Services: generally, not applicable

    5. Subawards/Consortium/Contractual Costs: generally, not allowed

    6. Equipment or Facility Rental/User Fees: generally, not allowed

    7. Alterations and Renovations: not allowed

    Funds may not be used for:

    • Research infrastructure (such as laboratory supplies, laboratory equipment)
    • Research projects or pilot projects
    R&R Subaward Budget

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

    PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

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

    PHS 398 Research Plan

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

    Specific Aims: State the specific, obtainable, and measurable goals of the program. The specific aims should provide solutions to identified institutional problems or challenges. Applicants should provide an overview of how the proposed plan will meet the objective of increasing the productivity of the sponsored projects administration and enhancing biomedical research and research training.  

    Research Strategy:

    Significance

    Explain the importance of the problem or critical barrier to progress that the proposed project addresses.  Describe the benefits if the proposed aims are achieved with respect to enhanced biomedical research and/or the development of a diverse pool of students who pursue biomedical careers.

    Innovation

    Applicants should address the innovative aspects of the proposed OSP. For the SPAD program, innovation is considered the use of existing products or processes in different and more effective ways or in the creation of more effective processes or products. Describe any novel concepts or approaches that will be used to build capacity in sponsored projects administration, to increase faculty interest in research, to increase faculty competitiveness in obtaining external research support, and/or to enhance biomedical research training. 

    Approach

    A. Institutional Self-Assessment

    NIGMS recognizes and values the heterogeneity in institutional settings and the students they serve. Applicants must describe their distinctive biomedical research and research training environment and the current services in place to support them. Applications must:

    • Expand upon the information provided in the “Facilities and Other Resources” section to describe the types of research facilities available for biomedical research and research training;
    • List and describe the outcomes of any capacity-building or infrastructure grants the institution has received over the past 10 years, including the source and total costs of each award;
    • Describe the research-active STEM faculty;
    • Describe the student enrollment in the STEM areas, including the number and percentage of undergraduate and graduate students, the enrollment of students who are Pell-grant eligible, and students from groups underrepresented in the scientific workforce (see NIH’s Interest in Diversity); and
    • Describe the current level of student participation in research.

    An institutional self-assessment of sponsored programs administration must be provided and should inform the design of the SPAD program. The institutional self-assessment should include the following baseline data:

    • The current sponsored projects administration (or similar entity) personnel;
    • The types of services provided by the existing sponsored projects administration (or similar entity);
    • Current levels of sponsored programs productivity (e.g., number of applications submitted, number of applications funded, number of subcontracts);
    • The level of external sponsored programs support including, but not limited to federal support. Applicants should identify where the institution is in the developmental pathway:
    • Level 1: no Office of Sponsored Project and no sponsored programs;
    • Level 2: research education or training grants, subcontracts and collaborative agreements, no research project grants; or
    • Level 3: limited research grants (see institutional eligibility).
    • Key barriers to participation in sponsored programs (e.g., lack of biomedical, research-oriented faculty, lack of knowledge of external funding opportunities and processes, lack of infrastructure, teaching and service workload issues, failure to recognize participation in sponsored research or research training in tenure and promotion, etc.).

    B. Institutional Development Plan for Sponsored Programs Administration

    The Institutional Development Plan for sponsored programs administration is intended to serve as a roadmap for enhancing the sponsored projects administration infrastructure and capacity at the applicant institution. The Institutional Development Plan must be endorsed by an institutional leader, e.g., the Provost or President (see Letters of Support). The plan must include:

    (1) The rationale for the program. Based on the institutional self-assessment, describe the need for the proposed program.

    (2) The institutional commitment to enhancing biomedical research and/or research training found in the Diversity Program Consortium’s Hallmarks of Success. Examples for enhancing biomedical research include but are not limited to:

    • Appointing administrative leadership for research activities (e.g., Dean of Research)
    • Implementing policies that encourage research participation and intra-institutional collaboration (e.g., indirect cost distributions and protected time for research)
    • Hiring a critical mass of biomedical full-time-equivalent slots
    • Providing adequate faculty research startup, sustaining funds, or pilot project funds (including those that encouraging hiring students in research roles)
    • Providing protected time to conduct research and to write publications and grant applications (e.g., sabbaticals)
    • Supporting travel to develop collaborations, attend research conferences, and national training opportunities
    • Counting research mentoring towards teaching load requirements
    • Providing dedicated research space
    • Providing centralized, shared research resources and services
    • Hosting biomedical seminar series and Research Symposium

    Examples for enhancing biomedical research training include but are not limited to:

    • Providing funds and protected time for faculty to develop course-based undergraduate research experiences that will fulfill degree requirements
    • Providing funds to sustain research-oriented courses
    • Supporting an Office of Undergraduate Research
    • Supporting research training administrators and coordinators
    • Providing stipend and tuition remission for research-oriented students
    • Providing student training in responsible and safe conduct of research
    • Allowing supervised student access to research facilities during non-standard work hours
    • Allowing credit hours for biomedical research that will count towards degree requirements with limited costs to students
    • Providing facilities to ensure that students have access to affordable food, housing, healthcare facilities, and counseling services

    Examples for enhancing partnerships include but are not limited to:

    • Establishing research and teaching collaborations with partner institutions
    • Developing agreements for trainees to conduct research training at partner institutions
    • Allowing faculty sabbaticals at partner institutions
    • Developing agreements for sharing resources including library materials, equipment, supplies
    • Establishing inter-institutional access to seminars, journal clubs, scientific meetings, workshops, research administration, intellectual property offices.

    (3) The short-, medium-, and long- term measurable objectives and milestones for the sponsored projects activities and the corresponding timeline. The objectives should align with the over-arching objective of the SPAD program.

    (4) The methods and activities to address the barriers to success and to achieve the stated objectives. Applicants must provide specific details about how such changes will be implemented and how the activities will benefit faculty, research support staff, and students at participating institutions, and ultimately increase the likelihood of achieving the stated outcomes of enhanced sponsored programs activity and capacity. Applications are encouraged to describe activities that:

    (a) Facilitate the development of sponsored programs capacity and administration. Examples of areas of development include but are not limited to:

    - Enhanced OSP staffing on the condition that the personnel will be sustained beyond the award

    - Competency-based training for research administrators/grant managers to ensure that support staff has the requisite knowledge and skills to provide efficient pre- and post-award services throughout the life cycle of the research award with a goal of obtaining certification in Sponsored Programs Administration.  Professional development in research administration and grants management may include but not be limited to participation at local workshops (seminars, learning communities, or the train-the-trainer models) or at national meetings on research administration, e.g., the Society of Research Administrators International or the National Council of University Research Administrators. 

    - Mechanisms for communication (including website development)

    - Information systems (administrative systems and database development)

    (b) Develop or enhance the sponsored programs infrastructure. The focus should be on providing efficient, consistent, and responsive services, for example:

    - Pre-award related services and processes development (e.g., setting up eRA Commons accounts, identification of appropriate funding opportunities, preparations of budgets, submission of the applications)

    - Post-award related services and processes development (e.g., establishing accounts, monitoring spending, management of budgets, assistance in the preparation of reports, data management, compliance, performing close-out activities)

    - Regulatory compliance development, for example, human and animal subjects research expertise (Institutional Review Board, Institutional Care and Animal Use Committees); chemical, biological and laboratory safety; and technology transfer compliance

    (c) Promote biomedical research and/or research training.  For example, the development and implementation of:

    - Policies and procedures for the submission of applications and management of sponsored programs

    - Policies that eliminate barriers to proposal development and management

    - Activities to support individuals applying for funding, including short courses/workshops that focus on enhancing sponsored programs competencies and productivity (i.e., institutional and/or regional workshops or webinars on scientific writing and grantsmanship, research process and design, statistical tools, research ethics, consortium research arrangements, laboratory management, balancing teaching and research roles, and evaluation)

    (5) Discuss potential challenges to implementing the Institutional Development Plan and how such challenges will be addressed. 

    C. Sustainability Plan

    A primary goal of the SPAD Program is to lead to sustainable institutional change to enhance biomedical research and research training. This section of the application should describe steps that will be undertaken to ensure long-term sustainability of successful approaches. The sustainability plan must be endorsed by an institutional leader, e.g., the Provost or President (see Letters of Support). Applicants must describe the following:

    • How the institution will support the outlined activities during and beyond the funding period to improve the biomedical research culture at the institution (e.g., salary support for OSP staff, space, creative ways to enable faculty to achieve a workable balance of teaching and research).
    • The structures that will ensure continuity of services and efficiencies despite potential OSP staff turnover.
    • Plans for institutional change, including incentives for faculty engaging in sponsored programs and faculty reward structures for mentoring students and/or engaging in research activities. Applicants should describe how the enhanced sponsored programs capacity will be leveraged to sustain research and/or research training sponsored programs activity.

    D. Structure and Governance

    The emphasis on program structure and governance is intended to ensure that all allowable activities supported by SPAD are in alignment with the strategic plans of the applicant institutions. This section of the application should focus on the roles of key personnel, structures, and policies. Applicants are encouraged to use an organizational chart. A brief description of the roles of the Key Personnel and Steering Committee should be described including the following:

    PDs/PIs:  Expand upon the qualifications provided in the biosketch to illustrate how the PDs/PIs' knowledge and skills prepare him/her to provide leadership for the proposed Institutional Development Plan. The description should address each PD/PI's:

    • Rapport with faculty and students, ability to motivate and advise others, and commitment to serve the institution;
    • Commitment to sponsored programs administration;
    • Ability to oversee the development and management of an Office of Sponsored Programs; and
    • Commitment to increasing and strengthening biomedical research and/or research training capacity at the institution.

    Mentors: Expand upon the qualifications provided in the mentors' biosketches to illustrate how the proposed individuals are suited to fulfill the mentoring role. Describe the mentor's role in contributing to the success of the Institutional Development Plan. Describe the frequency of meetings, the mode of the meetings, and the training topics.

    Steering Committee: The Steering Committee will serve as the primary governing and oversight board for the cooperative agreement funded under this FOA. The Steering Committee will: (1) contribute to the development of a cohesive and sustainable program; (2) provide advice on key issues such as resource allocation for sponsored programs administration, existing institutional policies and capabilities, and opportunities for growth; (3) ensure that the implementation of the Institutional Development Plan and Sustainability Plan is occurring on schedule and continues to align with the applicant institution's strategic vision for biomedical research and/or research training; and (4) alert NIH to emerging needs and impediments.

    Steering Committee members should be appointed by the PDs/PIs after award and should be comprised of the following: (1) at least two senior level stakeholders in the applicant institution’s research and/or training enterprise (e.g., Director of Finance, Dean of Administration, Vice President/Director of Development, Vice President/Director of Faculty Development, Representative of Tribal Council), one of whom will serve as the Steering Committee Chair; (2) end-users of sponsored program activities, such as biomedical research faculty as voting members; (3) NIH Officials (see the Terms and Conditions of the Cooperative Agreement below; and (4) any additional stakeholders deemed necessary.

    Applicants should describe the plan for appointing and engaging members of the Steering Committee, including its composition, desired expertise of its members, and how it will achieve the goals outlined above. Include the frequency of meetings and any other relevant information.

    E. Timeline and Evaluation Plan

    Describe the timeline of when the objectives and milestones will be achieved. The timeline and evaluation plan should be developed with a realistic expectation of the time needed to bring about organizational change.

    Describe the evaluation plan to inform the continuous improvement of the services provided by the Office of Sponsored Programs. Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with individuals with expertise in evaluations when drafting the application. Applications should consider using the logic model process for developing the evaluation plan. The evaluation plan should describe how the data generated will assist the institution in improving its internal policies and procedures to increase the number of sponsored programs at the institution.

    In determining their progress, institutions should use the Diversity Program Consortium’s metrics associated with the Institutional Hallmarks of Success for biomedical research and research training capacity building. Specifically, applicants are encouraged to use metrics appropriate for the institutional setting, the level in the sponsored programs developmental pathway, and the program objectives. Examples of metrics may include, but are not limited to:

    • Institutional support for an Office of Sponsored Projects (e.g., the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and support processes and resources that will contribute to the planned capacity; building efforts and sustain them beyond the grant);
    • Appointment of OSP staff with expertise in biomedical research and research training funding agencies and with grants management certification;
    • Development of OSP training modules to ensure continuity despite staff turnover;
    • Development of OSP policies, practices, and services;
    • Development and frequent offering of OSP professional development activities;
    • Establishment of institutional committees to address compliance in biomedical research grants (e.g., Institutional Review Board to protect the rights and welfare of human research, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, and Biological, Chemical, and Laboratory Safety Committees);
    • Institutional rewards for participation in research and/or research training activities (e.g., recognizing in tenure and promotion teaching research-based courses, publishing, application submissions, grant awards, and research mentoring);
    • Enhanced collaborative agreements with research-intensive and emerging research institutions
    • Enhanced applications/proposals submitted to private and public funding sources;
    • Increased success rate in obtaining private and public funding; and
    • Implementation of research and research training activities.

    Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan: In addition to the standard instructions for this section, the application should also include a Leadership Succession Plan for the DOSP and SIO in the event that one of the PDs/PIs leaves the project.

    Letters of Support: Provide letters of support for the proposed SPAD program following instructions in the SF424 Application Guide.

    Institutional Eligibility Letter (1-page maximum). The Provost or similar official with institution-wide responsibility must certify that all the components of the institution under the applicant DUNS number received an average of NIH research project grant (RPG) funding of less than $7.5 million total costs over the past 3 fiscal years and have at least 25% of undergraduate students supported by Pell grants, as described in Section III, "Eligible Organization". If this letter is not included, the application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.

    Institutional Commitment Letter. The application must include an Institutional Commitment Letter from the President or designated high-ranking official such as the Provost, Vice President or Dean. The letter should include a commitment to the following:

    • Providing adequate funding, facilities, and resources to implement and sustain the Institutional Development Plan;
    • Empowering the PDs/PIs with the authority to establish or enhance an Office of Sponsored Programs. The letter should describe the authorities, and institution-wide accessibility during and after the funding period;
    • Providing resources to evaluate and refine the Office of Sponsored Projects and the associated services; and
    • Maintaining and improving the biomedical research and research training during and after the funding period.

    If this letter is not included, the application will be considered incomplete and will be withdrawn, and will not be reviewed.

    Mentors' Letters of Support. The application must include a letter from the designated mentor for each of the PD/PIs. The mentors should identify their institution(s) and describe their experience with NIH and other federal funders of research and research training grant mechanisms. The letter should agree to the frequency of meetings, the mode of the meetings, and the topics outlined in the application. If the letters are not included, the application will be considered incomplete and will be withdrawn and will not be reviewed.

    Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modification:

    • Generally, Resource Sharing Plans are expected, but they are not applicable for this FOA.

    Appendix:  

    Not Allowed

    PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

    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.

    Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

    Not applicable. Do not complete.

    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).

    Not applicable. Do not complete.

    PHS Assignment Request Form

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

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

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

    4. Submission Dates and Times

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

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

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

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

    5. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

    This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

    6. Funding Restrictions

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

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

    7. Other Submission Requirements and Information

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

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

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

    Important reminders:

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

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

    See more tips for avoiding common errors.

    Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness and compliance with application instructions by the Center for Scientific Review and responsiveness by NIGMS. 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.

     
    Overall Impact

    Reviewers will provide an overall impact score that reflects the reviewer assessment of the likelihood that the proposed activities will have a sustained, positive impact on the applicant institution’s sponsored programs administration infrastructure and thereby increase the likelihood of improvements in participation in externally funded programs that will have an impact on biomedical research and/or research training, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).

    Scored Review Criteria

    Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

    Significance

    Does the application address a problem or critical barrier to progress in the existing research administration infrastructure? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will completion of the aims change the institution’s biomedical research capacity and/or the development of a diverse pool of students who pursue biomedical careers?

    Investigator(s)

    Do the PDs/PIs have the qualifications and experiences to provide administrative leadership and direction? Have the PDs/PIs demonstrated the ability to perform in a team environment to accomplish objectives that require coordination across multiple organizational entities? Do the PDs/PIs have the requisite authority to implement the proposed Institutional Development Plan for research administration? 

    Innovation

    Does the application create or use existing products or processes in different and more effective ways? Does the application describe any novel concepts or approaches to build sponsored projects capacities, to increase faculty competitiveness in obtaining external research support, and/or to enhance biomedical research training? 

    Approach

    Is the proposed project well justified in terms of addressing deficiencies or gaps in the existing research and/or research training? If the institution had other grants to support research capacity or infrastructure development over the past 10 years, how do the outcomes of those awards influence the need for a SPAD grant and the likelihood of its success?  Does the Institutional Development Plan address current barriers and gaps?  Is the level of institutional support adequate to sustain the activities beyond the granting period? Is the structure and governance plan likely to lead to implementation of the proposed plan? Do the proposed mentors have the experience to provide advice and facilitate the continuing professional development of the PDs/PIs?  Are the roles and responsibilities of the Steering Committee appropriate and likely to contribute to the success of the program? Is the timeline feasible? Will the evaluation plan adequately assess the effectiveness of program implementation and its impact on the sponsored programs administration infrastructure?  Does the applicant identify the Hallmarks of Success as well as the metrics that will be used to assess the anticipated outcomes?

    Environment

    Will the institution's facilities, resources, faculty, student body and other features contribute to the success of the program? Does the institutional leadership exhibit solid support for strengthening the institution’s sponsored programs infrastructure as a pre-requisite to increasing the level and quality of biomedical research and research 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.

    Protections for Human Subjects

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

    Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Individuals Across the Lifespan 

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

    Vertebrate Animals

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

    Biohazards

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

    Resubmissions

    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.

    Renewals

    Not Applicable

    Revisions

    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.

    Applications from Foreign Organizations

    Not Applicable

    Select Agent Research

    Not Applicable

    Resource Sharing Plans

    Not Applicable

    Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources:

    Not Applicable

    Budget and Period of Support

    Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.

    2. Review and Selection Process

    Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s) convened by the Office of Scientific Review at NIGMS, in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.

    As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

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

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

    Applications will be assigned to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council. 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.
    • Geographical distribution of the portfolio.
    3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

    After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD/PI will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written critique) via the eRA Commons. Refer to Part 1 for dates for peer review, advisory council review, and earliest start date.

    Information regarding the disposition of applications is available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

    Section VI. Award Administration Information
    1. Award Notices

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

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

    Awardees must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions. Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.

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

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

    All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General  and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities. More information is provided at Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants.

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

    For additional guidance regarding how the provisions apply to NIH grant programs, please contact the Scientific/Research Contact that is identified in Section VII under Agency Contacts of this FOA. HHS provides general guidance to recipients of FFA on meeting their legal obligation to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to their programs by persons with limited English proficiency. Please see 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.

    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.

    Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

    The following special terms of award are in addition to, and not in lieu of, otherwise applicable U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) administrative guidelines, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) grant administration regulations at 45 CFR Part 75, and other HHS, PHS, and NIH grant administration policies. 

    The administrative and funding instrument used for this program will continue as a cooperative agreement, an "assistance" mechanism (rather than an "acquisition" mechanism), in which substantial NIH programmatic involvement with the awardees is anticipated during the performance of the activities. Under the cooperative agreement, the NIH purpose is to support and stimulate the recipients' activities by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the award recipients in a partnership role; it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activities. Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility has been and will remain with the awardees for the project, although specific tasks and activities may be shared among the awardees and the NIH as defined below.

    The PDs/PIs will have the primary responsibility for:

    Participating in a grantee training webinar. The webinar is a requirement for the PI/PDs. A designated representative of the grantee institution’s administrative and/or scientific leadership (e.g., Vice President for Academic Affairs, Research, or Finance and Administration, the Provost, Dean) is also encouraged to attend.  The purpose of the webinar is to familiarize the grantee institution’s leadership with the strategic mission of the program as well as to ensure concurrence of the grantee institution's priorities with the SPAD program goal.

    • Implementing the Institutional Development and Sustainability Plans.
    • Contributing to the cooperative nature of the effort.
    • Participating in scheduled meetings with the designated mentors, Steering Committee members, and NIH officials.
    • Evaluating progress using defined milestones and metrics. Awardees will provide NIH with progress reports at regular intervals as requested.
    • Sharing evaluation-related data with the NIH at the end of the award. Awardee will retain custody of and have primary rights to the data and software developed under these awards, subject to Government rights of access consistent with current DHHS, PHS, and NIH policies.

    NIH staff will have substantial programmatic involvement that is above and beyond the normal stewardship role in awards, as described below:

    The Project Coordinator will:

    • Aid the awardee in performing project activities (e.g., coordinating sponsored projects networks; providing access to NIH supported resources; identifying other resources for the project);
    • Facilitate, not direct, activities;
    • Participate on the Steering Committee (see below) or in other functions to guide the course of the program (e.g., Diversity Program Consortium Annual Meeting and the bi-annual NIGMS Program Directors’ meeting);
    • Ensure that the directions taken are consistent with the NIH Diversity Program Consortium missions and goals;
    • Serve as a liaison between the awardee and the Diversity Program Consortium and the NIH.

    The Project Coordinator will not participate in the oversight of the funding opportunity announcement, application review, or programmatic and budgetary stewardship of the award.

    The Program Official will be responsible for the normal programmatic stewardship of the award, including funding decisions, and will be named in the award notice. The Program Official will not serve as a voting member of the Steering Committee or partake of the duties of the Project Coordinator.

    Areas of joint responsibility

    The Steering Committee. The Steering Committee is the governing and oversight body for the SPAD Program. Members, who are appointed by the PDs/PIs of the award, will be comprised of the following:

    • Two senior level stakeholders in the applicant institution’s research and/or training enterprise (e.g., Director of Finance, Dean of Administration, Vice President/Director of Development, Vice President/Director of Faculty Development, Representative of Tribal Council). One senior level stakeholder will serve as the Steering Committee Chair.
    • End-users of sponsored program activities, such as biomedical research faculty.
    • NIH Project Coordinator.
    • Additional members from the NIH may be appointed, but the total number of NIH votes may not exceed 1/3 of the Steering Committee voting membership. Other government staff may attend the Steering Committee meetings, if their expertise is required for specific discussions.

    The Program Official is a central contact for all fiscal issues and serves as a resource to the project regarding DHHS, NIH, and NIGMS recommendations and policies. The Program Official or designate will attend all Steering Committee meetings but is not a voting member of the Steering Committee.

    The Steering Committee also may add members, with the approval of the Project Coordinator.

    The Steering Committee will:

    • Serve as the primary governing and oversight board for the awards funded under this FOA.
    • Decide on the schedule of meetings once each year. The Steering Committee may also call meetings to address urgent needs and will participate in network meetings and teleconferences as needed.
    • Contribute to the development of a cohesive and sustainable program.
    • Provide advice on key issues such as resource allocation for sponsored programs administration, existing institutional policies and capabilities, and opportunities for growth.
    • Ensure that the implementation of the Institutional Development Plan and Sustainability Plan is occurring on schedule and continues to align with the applicant institution's strategic vision for biomedical research and/or research training.
    • Alert NIH to emerging needs and impediments.
    • Prepare concise (1-2 page) summaries of the Steering Committee recommendations, which will be delivered to the PDs/PIs and members of the group within 30 days after each meeting.

    Dispute Resolution:

    Any disagreements that may arise in scientific or programmatic matters (within the scope of the award) between award recipients and the NIH may be brought to dispute resolution. A Dispute Resolution Panel composed of three members will be convened. The three members will be a designee of the SPAD Steering Committee chosen without NIH staff voting, one NIH designee, and a third designee with expertise in the relevant area who is chosen by the other two. In the case of individual disagreement, the first member may be chosen by the individual awardee. This special dispute resolution procedure does not alter the awardee's right to appeal an adverse action that is otherwise appealable in accordance with PHS regulation 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D and DHHS regulation 45 CFR Part 16.

    The NIH reserves the right to withhold funding or curtail the program (of an individual award) in the event of: (a) substantive changes in the agreed-upon work scope with which NIH cannot concur; (b) human subject ethical issues that may dictate a premature termination; or (c) the project not progressing well.

    3. Reporting

    When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

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

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

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

    Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

    Application Submission Contacts

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

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

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

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

    Scientific/Research Contact(s)

    Luis A. Cubano, Ph.D.
    National Institute of General Medical Sciences
    Email: luis.cubano@nih.gov

    Peer Review Contact(s)

    Stephanie Constant, Ph.D.
    National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
    Email: stephanie.constant@nih.gov

    Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

    Justin Rosenzweig
    National Institute of General Medical Sciences
    Email: rosenzwj@nigms.nih.gov 

    Section VIII. Other Information

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

    Authority and Regulations

    Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Part 75.

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