Part 1. Overview Information

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

Office of Strategic Coordination (Common Fund)

This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is developed as a Common Fund initiative (htts://commonfund.nih.gov/) through the Office of the NIH Director, Office of Strategic Coordination (https://commonfund.nih.gov/). All NIH Institutes and Centers participate in Common Fund initiatives. The NOFO will be administered by NIDCR on behalf of the NIH.

Funding Opportunity Title
Short Courses to Promote the Broad and Rigorous Use of Common Fund Data (R25 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Activity Code

R25 Education Projects

Announcement Type
New
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.
  • July 22, 2019- Requirement for ORCID iDs for Individuals Supported by R esearch Training, Fellowship, Research Education, and Career Development Awards Beginning in FY 2020. See Notice NOT-OD-19-109.
Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) Number
RFA-RM-23-014
Companion Funding Opportunity
None
Assistance Listing Number(s)
93.310
Funding Opportunity Purpose

The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research education activities in the mission areas of the NIH. The overarching goal of this R25 program is to support educational activities that complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs.

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

  • Courses for Skills Development
  • Mentoring Activities

Programs will promote the use of multiple Common Fund datasets in rigorous biomedical research through short training courses and support the inclusion and retention of a diverse community of Common Fund data users through professional mentoring.

Key Dates

Posted Date
November 28, 2023
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
January 14, 2024
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

January 16, 2024

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
February 14, 2024 Not Applicable Not Applicable July 2024 August 2024 December 2024

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.

No late applications will be accepted for this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).

Expiration Date
February 15, 2024
Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Research (R) Instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this NOFO or in a Notice from 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.


Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research educational activities that complement other formal training programs in the mission areas of the NIH Institutes and Centers.

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

This NOFO will accomplish the overarching goal by supporting educational activities that promote the broad and rigorous use of Common Fund data. Educational activities should include the following components.

  • Courses for Skills Development: Training should be provided through short courses to equip users to interact with and use two or more Common Fund datasets in rigorous biomedical research. Courses should cover technical (e.g., cloud computing, data management), scientific (e.g., biomedical significance, statistical power), and implementation-related (e.g., budgeting, teaming) aspects of interacting with Common Fund data.
  • Mentoring Activities: Mentoring activities should reflect dedicated efforts at providing not only technical expertise, but advice, insight, and professional career skills to course participants who may be new to using cloud computing and Common Fund datasets in biomedical research. Activities should support the growth of a diverse multi-disciplinary community of Common Fund data users. Interactions should build relationships meant to outlast the period of award.

This initiative is funded through the NIH Common Fund, which supports cross-cutting programs that are expected to have exceptionally high impact. All Common Fund initiatives invite investigators to develop bold, innovative, and often risky approaches to address problems that may seem intractable or to seize new opportunities that offer the potential for rapid progress. This R25 program is an initiative within the Common Fund Data Ecosystem (CFDE), which is an infrastructure investment made by the Common Fund to address the growing challenges facing scientific programs that leverage data-intensive strategies. To support these programs and downstream data users, the CFDE is helping to ensure that all Common Fund data sets are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR), providing training for users to operate on the data in a cloud environment, and ensuring that Common Fund data continue to be available after individual programs are completed.

Background

Since its initial inception as the NIH Roadmap for Biomedical Research, the NIH Common Fund (https://commonfund.nih.gov/) has supported many transformative research programs that generate new technologies, methods, and data. Many of these programs generate rich public data sets containing various multi-dimensional molecular and phenotypic data from several organisms including mice and human. This CFDE Research Education Program (R25) aims to maximize the impact of these data and engage a broader community of end-users for wider adoption of Common Fund data sets. These programs will provide short courses on how to access, integrate, and interpret two or more Common Fund data sets in rigorous biomedical research designs, and mentoring activities to support the career development and retention of course participants as long-term Common Fund data users. Mentoring activities are expected to foster a bi-directional relationship during the program between the mentor and mentee that serves the personal and professional growth of the mentee. All programs are expected to promote inclusive educational and research environments in which all members are respected and empowered to participate, and resources and opportunities are equitably provided. The CFDE encourages activities that have the potential to positively impact individuals from diverse backgrounds, including individuals from underrepresented groups, (see NOT-OD-20-031), and teach research methods that prioritize rigor and transparency (https://grants.nih.gov/policy/reproducibility/guidance.htm). Best practices for diversity and inclusion in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education and research by and for federal agencies can be found at https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/091621-Best-Practices-for-Diversity-Inclusion-in-STEM.pdf.

Program Considerations

Program Structure: Years 1-2 of the program should be dedicated to the development of program components (i.e., course syllabus, mentoring activities, evaluation metrics), and recruitment of a diverse cohort of prospective participants,including prospective candidates from underrepresented groups. The short course should be conducted before the end of Year 2 and evaluated according to the planned metrics. Year 3 of the program should be dedicated to making improvements to the training and mentoring activities and evaluation plan based on the outcomes of the Year 2 course. Before the end of Year 3, a second short course should be conducted based on the planned improvements and evaluated according to the planned metrics. Mentoring activities must occur during each short course and may additionally occur outside the period of the short courses, but within the period of award, as needed.

Course Format: The Year 2 course is expected to be in-person and approximately 1-2 weeks in duration, as needed to fulfill the planned objectives. Based on the in-person experience from the Year 2 course, programs may choose another format (e.g., synchronous or asynchronous online, Massive Online Open Courses [MOOC]) for the Year 3 course if applicable. Changing course formats from Year 2 to Year 3 may require alternate strategies for the course, participant recruitment, and course evaluation. The Year 3 course should be approximately 1-2 weeks in duration. Actual course attendance must be at least 85% of the planned enrollment size. A certificate of completion must be presented to each participant at the end of each course.

Training Topics: At the end of the training, participants should be able to analyze large complex datasets containing multiple data types, including but not limited to omics (e.g., genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics, spatial omics) and imaging. Topics may need to address data science, data resource management, data analytics, cloud computing, computational biology, study design, modeling, and simulation, including artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), depending on the focus of the course and the intended participant base. In addition, courses should cover implementation-related aspects of using and analyzing large datasets, including budgeting appropriately and developing relevant multi-disciplinary teams. At the completion of the short course, participants should be adept enough to begin bioinformatics research outside the classroom.

Public access: The CFDE includes a portal or central access point for Common Fund data sets, tools, and other digital objects. All R25 programs are expected to share any outputs via the CFDE portal’s dedicated training page for future and remote access. In addition to the CFDE portal, data may be shared through other web postings (e.g., public GitHub links), presentations at scientific meetings, and workshops.

Budgeting: Program budgets must accommodate funds for the travel and lodging of: (1) one expert from each Common Fund program whose data sets are being used as course material to attend the course (if the experts are not from the applicant institution); and (2) the PI to attend the spring CFDE Meeting annually.

Data Sets: The established Common Fund data sets listed below are well-poised to be incorporated into R25 programs. Applicants must propose using two or more Common Fund program data sets from the following list, and they are encouraged to propose using other data sets (including additional NIH Common Fund data sets not listed, other NIH data sets, and non-NIH data sets that are publicly available or will be made publicly available during the year of the award). Data from the multiple data sets must be integrated to enable complex analyses that could not be achieved with single data sets or single data types alone.

  • 4D Nucleome (4DN) (https://www/4dnucleome.org/): Reference nucleomics and imaging data sets, including an expanding tool set for open data processing and visualization
  • Acute to Chronic Pain Signatures (A2CPS) (https://a2cps.org/): Imaging, high-throughput omics, sensory testing, and psychosocial assessment data from patients who either transition to or are resilient to chronic pain.
  • Bridge to Artificial Intelligence (Bridge2AI) (https://bridge2ai.org/): Ethically sourced, trustworthy, and well-defined flagship biomedical and behavioral datasets on salutogenesis, clinical care, functional genomics, and voice as a biomarker. This program is in its early phase and data generation is ongoing.
  • Cellular Senescence Network (SenNet) (https://commonfund.nih.gov/senescence): Atlases and datasets of senescent cells and their secretomes. This program is in its early phase and data generation is ongoing.
  • Extracellular RNA Communication (exRNA) (https://exrna.org/): Catalog of exRNA molecules found in human biofluids like plasma, saliva, and urine; and potential exRNA biomarkers for diseases
  • Gabriella Miller Kids First (KF) (https://kidsfirstdrc.org/): Data from whole-genome sequencing of cohorts with structural birth defects and/or susceptibility to childhood cancer, with associated phenotypic and clinical data
  • Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) (https://www.gtexportal.org/home/): Whole genome- and RNA sequence data from multiple human tissues to study tissue-specific gene expression and regulation, including tissue samples
  • Glycoscience (GL) (https://glygen.org/): A data integration and dissemination project for carbohydrate and glycoconjugate related data
  • H3Africa (https://www.h3abionet.org/resources/h3africa-archive/): Genomic and phenotypic research data generated by the Human Heredity and Health in Africa program. Includes population-based genomic studies of common, non-communicable disorders (e.g., heart and renal disease), as well as communicable diseases (e.g., tuberculosis).
  • Human BioMolecular Atlas Program (HuBMAP) (https://hubmapconsortium.org/): An open and global platform to map healthy cells in the human body to determine how the relationships between cells can affect the health of an individual
  • Human Microbiome Project (https://www.hmpdacc.org/): Characterization of the microbiomes from healthy human participants at five major body sites using 16S metagenomic shotgun sequencing; as well as characterization of microbiome and human host from three cohorts of microbiome-associated conditions
  • Illuminating the Druggable Genome (IDG) (https://druggablegenome.net/): Data on understudied druggable proteins, including mRNA and protein expression data, phenotype associations, bioactivity data, drug target interactions, disease links, and functional information
  • Integrated Human Microbiome Project (iHMP) (https://hmpdacc.org/ihmp/): Microbiome, epigenomic, metabolomic, and phenotypic data for 3 cohorts
  • Knockout Mouse Phenotyping Program (KOMP2) (http://www.mousephenotype.org/): Data from broad, standardized phenotyping of a genome-wide collection of mouse knockouts
  • Library of Integrated Network-based Cellular Signatures (LINCS) (http://lincsproject.org/): Molecular signatures that describe how different types of cells respond to a variety of agents that disrupt normal cellular function
  • Metabolomics Workbench (https://www.metabolomicsworkbench.org/): Metabolomics data and metadata from studies on cells, tissues, and organisms
  • Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity in Humans (MoTrPAC) (https://motrpac-data.org/data-access): Data contain assay-specific results, associated metadata, quality control reports, and animal phenotype data related to molecular transducers that underlie the effects of physical activity
  • Nutrition for Precision Health (NPH) (https://commonfund.nih.gov/nutritionforprecisionhealth): The goal of the NPH program is to predict individual responses to food and dietary patterns. Data being collected include metabolomics, clinical assays, microbiome, and dietary assessments. This program is in its early phase and data generation is ongoing.
  • Somatic Mosaicism Across Human Tissues (SmaHT) (https://commonfund.nih.gov/smaht): Data on DNA sequence variants within personal genomes in tissues from human donors. This program is in its early phase and data generation is ongoing.
  • Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC) (https://sparc.science/): Maps and tools to identify and influence therapeutic targets that exist within the neural circuitry of a wide range of organs and tissues
  • Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN) (https://commonfund.nih.gov/Diseases): A network of clinical and research centers helping individual patients and families living with the burden of undiagnosed disease and using advanced technologies to solve the most challenging clinical mysteries.

Applications Not Responsive to this NOFO: This NOFO requires an Enhancing Educational Inclusivity Plan submitted as Other Project Information and a Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity submitted as a part of the Research Strategy (see Section IV below). Applications submitted without an Enhancing Educational Inclusivity Plan or a Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity will not be reviewed.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding this NOFO will be posted on the Common Fund Data Ecosystem Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (https://commonfund.nih.gov/dataecosystem/faqs) website. Applicants are encouraged to review the FAQs prior to submitting their applications.

Research education programs may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, but the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those training and education programs currently receiving Federal support. Research education programs may augment institutional research training programs (e.g., T32, T90) but cannot be used to replace or circumvent Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) programs.

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

Section II. Award Information

Funding Instrument

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

Application Types Allowed
New

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

Clinical Trial?

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

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

The NIH Common Fund intends to commit approximately $1,500,000 in total costs each year in FY 2024, FY 2025, and FY 2026. Approximately 3-6 awards are anticipated, contingent upon availability of funds and receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Award Budget

Application budgets should reflect the actual needs of the proposed project and are limited to $350,000 per year in direct costs.

Award Project Period

The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period. The maximum project period is three years.

Other Award Budget Information

Personnel Costs

Individuals designing, directing, and implementing the research education program may request salary and fringe benefits appropriate for the person months devoted to the program. Salaries requested may not exceed the levels commensurate with the institution's policy for similar positions and may not exceed the congressionally mandated cap. (If mentoring interactions and other activities with participants are considered a regular part of an individual's academic duties, then any costs associated with the mentoring and other interactions with participants are not allowable costs from grant funds).

Participant Costs

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

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

While generally not an allowable cost, with strong justification, participants in the research education program may receive per diem unless such costs are furnished as part of the registration fee. Participants may also receive funds to defray partial tuition and other education-related expenses.

Expenses for foreign travel must be exceptionally well justified.

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

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

Other Program-Related Expenses

Consultant costs, equipment, supplies, travel for key persons, and other program-related expenses may be included in the proposed budget. These expenses must be justified as specifically required by the proposed program and must not duplicate items generally available at the applicant institution.

Indirect Costs

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

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

  • Local Governments
  • State Governments
  • County Governments
  • City or Township Governments
  • Special District Governments
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American Tribal
  • Governments (Other than Federally Recognized)

Federal Governments

  • U.S. Territory or Possession
  • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government - NIH Intramural Program


Other

  • Independent School Districts
  • Public Housing Authorities/Indian Housing Authorities
  • Native American Tribal Organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Faith-based or Community-based Organizations
  • Regional Organizations

Institutional Development Award (IDeA) eligible institutions are encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education (https://www.nigms.nih.gov/capacity-building/division-for-research-capacity-building/institutional-development-award-(idea)).

The sponsoring institution must assure support for the proposed program. Appropriate institutional commitment to the program includes the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned program.

Institutions with existing Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) institutional training grants (e.g., T32) or other Federally funded training programs may apply for a research education grant provided that the proposed educational experiences are distinct from those training programs receiving federal support. In many cases, it is anticipated that the proposed research education program will complement ongoing research training occurring at the applicant institution.

Foreign Institutions

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

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

Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are not allowed.

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF424 (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 Grants Policy Statement Section 2.3.9.2 Electronically Submitted Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.

  • System for Award Management (SAM) Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
  • NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code Foreign organizations must obtain an NCAGE code (in lieu of a CAGE code) in order to register in SAM.
  • Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) A UEI is issued as part of the SAM.gov registration process. 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.

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.

2. Cost Sharing

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

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

Number of Applications

Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.

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).

Program Faculty

Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as mentors. Mentors should have research expertise and experience relevant to the proposed program. Collectively, the mentors expertise should span the multiple technical and scientific disciplines relevant to bioinformatics research using the planned Common Fund and other data sets. Mentors must be committed to continue their involvement throughout the total period of the mentee’s participation in this award.

Participants

Unless strongly justified on the basis of exceptional relevance to NIH, research education programs should be used primarily for the education of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. This research education program is designed for doctoral students, post-doctoral fellows and Early Stage Investigators (ESIs, see https://grants.nih.gov/policy/early-stage/index.htm) who have some prior training in research methods, biomedical science, and computational methods. This program does not include undergraduate participants. Prospective participants should be recruited to attend the course from as broad a geographical area as possible and from a variety of institutions (e.g., research-intensive, resource-limited), beyond the applicant institution.

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 instructions in the Research (R) 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 will not be reviewed.

Letter of Intent

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows IC staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

By the date listed in Part 1. Overview Information, prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • Name(s), address(es), and telephone number(s) of the PD(s)/PI(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Sahana N. Kukke, PhD
Email: sahana.kukke@nih.gov

Page Limitations

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

Instructions for Application Submission

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

SF424(R&R) Cover

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

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

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

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information Component

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following additional modifications:

Facilities & Other Resources. Describe the educational environment, including the facilities, laboratories, participating departments, computer services, and any other resources to be used in the development and implementation of the proposed program. List all thematically related sources of support for research training and education following the format for Current and Pending Support. Appropriate institutional commitment should include the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned research education program.

Other Attachments.

An Advisory Committee is not a required component of a Research Education program. However, if an Advisory Committee is intended, provide a plan for the appointment of an Advisory Committee to monitor progress of the research education program. The composition, roles, responsibilities, and desired expertise of committee members, frequency of committee meetings, and other relevant information should be included. Describe how the Advisory Committee will evaluate the overall effectiveness of the program. Proposed Advisory Committee members should be named in the application only if they have been invited to participate at the time the application is submitted. Please name your file Advisory_Committee.pdf . The page limit for this optional attachment is 2 pages.

Enhancing Educational Inclusivity Plan: As described in the report on Best Practices for Diversity and Inclusion in STEM Education and Research: A Guide by and for Federal Agencies, When an organization’s workforce is diverse in terms of gender, race, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, ability, geography, religion and other identities, and when that organization provides an inclusive environment, it better retains talent, and is more innovative and productive. The same report also indicates that workplace climate can be a significant barrier to inclusion when there are real or perceived differences in the way individuals are treated by peers and leaders based on their race, gender, disability, or other demographics. A critical component in addressing this barrier is intentionality, an approach outlined by the National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) report on Minority Serving Institutions: America’s Underutilized Resource for Strengthening the STEM Workforce. Intentionality is described as a purposeful, culturally mindful method of engagement that targets and tailors the design, implementation, and evaluation of an effort to effectively meet the needs of its intended population of students. To provide an inclusive, safe and supportive educational environment for all participants through intentionality, programs are expected to describe robust plans that they will implement if awarded. The Enhancing Educational Inclusivity Plan must describe:

  • Specific efforts to promote inclusion through an environment that supports the success of individuals with a wide variety of backgrounds, abilities, and perspectives. Some examples may include, but should not be limited to, querying participants previous knowledge of the subject to guide course content and delivery, gathering participant questions in advance to address their unique needs, developing and disseminating a clear class protocol, providing reasonable accommodations for participants who request them, and developing customized terms of engagement for mentor-mentee interactions.
  • Efforts to cultivate an environment free from harassment and intimidation, in which everyone participating is treated in a respectful and supportive manner (see https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/harassment/policy-requirement.htm).

Programs should include a description of their plans and how the effectiveness and impact of these activities will be monitored and evaluated. Centralized institutional efforts alone will not satisfy the requirement to create an inclusive environment. Please name the file EEI_Plan.pdf . The page limit for this attachment is 2 pages. This plan focuses on building an educational environment that welcomes and supports participants from all backgrounds enrolled in the course. It builds upon the Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity (described below). If this attachment is not included, the application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.

The filename provided for each Other Attachment will be the name used for the bookmark in the electronic application in eRA Commons.

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

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

R&R Budget

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide with the following additional modifications:

  • Include all personnel other than the PD(s)/PI(s) in the Other Personnel section, including clerical and administrative staff.
  • Use the section on Participant/Trainee Support Costs to include all allowable categories of funds requested to support participants in the program.
PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

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

PHS 398 Research Plan

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

Research Strategy

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

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

Research Education Program Plan

Proposed Research Education Program. While the proposed research education program may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those research training and research education programs currently receiving federal support. When research training programs are on-going in the same department, the applicant organization should clearly distinguish between the activities in the proposed research education program and the research training supported by the training program. As a reminder, applicants may choose to address one or more of the activities listed in Section I. Funding Opportunity Description.

Applicants should clearly describe the following:

  • Objectives: Describe the objectives of the program, making sure each objective is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. Indicate how this program fits into the goals of the Common Fund (https://commonfund.nih.gov/about) and the mission of NIH (https://www.nih.gov/about-nih/what-we-do/nih-almanac/about-nih).
  • Rationale: Describe how the planned program addresses the goals of this RFA. Indicate which datasets will be incorporated into the program, noting at least two must be Common Fund datasets, and explain why those datasets were chosen. Describe how the cost per participant for the course is calculated, and how that cost will be covered (e.g., participant registration fee, program budget), keeping in mind the potential financial constraints for individual participants from a range of backgrounds and training sites with a range of available resources.
  • Courses for Skill Development: Describe the overall strategy, course syllabus, and how the planned short course addresses the program objectives. Describe the educational concepts and principles on which the program is based. Identify areas of innovation in course design, implementation, and evaluation, and include references for the planned use of evidence-based methods and best practices supported by prior research.
  • Mentoring Activities: Describe the mentoring philosophy, plans for mentor-mentee interactions, and how the mentoring activities relate to the program objectives. Ensure that mentoring activities are relevant to promoting the participants careers in multi-disciplinary biomedical research that engages with Common Fund datasets. Identify areas of innovation in the planned mentoring activities and the use of latest best practices and evidence-based approaches to mentoring.
  • Program Integration: Develop and describe a central theme that underlies the individual activities in the program. Describe how program activities interact and complement one another to maximize the benefit of the program to participants and instructors. Describe how the program’s activities can be customized to integrate with each participant’s unique experience and career goals.
  • Potential Challenges and Alternative Strategies: Consider potential challenges in developing and executing the program and describe alternative strategies that could be employed.

Program Director/Principal Investigator. Describe arrangements for administration of the program. Provide evidence that the Program Director/Principal Investigator is actively engaged in research and/or teaching in an area related to the mission of NIH, and can organize, administer, monitor, and evaluate the research education program. For programs proposing multiple PDs/PIs, describe the complementary and integrated expertise of the PDs/PIs, their leadership approach, and governance appropriate for the planned project.

Provide evidence that an appropriate level of effort will be devoted by the program leadership to ensure the program's intended goal is accomplished.

Program Faculty. Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as program faculty. Faculty should have research expertise and experience relevant to the proposed program and demonstrate a history of, or the potential for, their intended roles. Indicate how the full range of topics addressed in the short course are reflected in the collective expertise of the faculty.

Program Participants. Applications must identify the career levels for which the proposed program is planned. Participants must be graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and/or Early Stage Investigators (https://grants.nih.gov/policy/early-stage/index.htm). This program does not include undergraduate participants. Indicate the planned number of participants enrolled per course and explain how that group size was determined.

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

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

The applicant must provide a Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity. Include outreach strategies and activities designed to recruit prospective participants from groups described in the Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity. Describe the specific efforts to be undertaken by the program and how the proposed plan reflects past experiences in recruiting individuals from underrepresented groups. This plan is different from the Enhancing Educational Inclusivity Plan (described above), which focuses on building an educational environment that welcomes and supports participants from all backgrounds enrolled in the course. Applications lacking a Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity will not be reviewed.

Training Plan in Methods to Enhance Reproducibility

Applicants must provide a Training Plan in Methods to Enhancing Reproducibility through rigor and transparency. The plan should describe how participants will be instructed in principles important for enhancing research reproducibility, for example, critical evaluation of foundational research underlying a project, rigorous experimental design and data interpretation, consideration of relevant biological variables such as sex, data and material sharing (e.g., data workflows, software tools), record keeping, and transparency in reporting. The plan should be appropriate and reasonable for the nature and duration of the proposed activities. For more information on enhancing reproducibility through rigor and transparency, see https://grants.nih.gov/policy/reproducibility/index.htm.

Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research. All applications must include a plan to fulfill NIH requirements for instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). The plan must address the five, required instructional components outlined in the NIH policy: 1) Format - the required format of instruction, i.e., face-to-face lectures, coursework, and/or real-time discussion groups (a plan with only on-line instruction is not acceptable); 2) Subject Matter - the breadth of subject matter, e.g., conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, research ethics; 3) Faculty Participation - the role of the program faculty in the instruction; 4) Duration of Instruction - the number of contact hours of instruction, taking into consideration the duration of the program; and 5) Frequency of Instruction instruction must occur during each career stage and at least once every four years. See also NOT-OD-10-019 and NOT-OD-22-055. The plan should be appropriate and reasonable for the nature and duration of the proposed program. Renewal (Type 2) applications must, in addition, describe any changes in formal instruction over the past project period and plans to address any weaknesses in the current instruction plan. All participating faculty who served as course directors, speakers, lecturers, and/or discussion leaders during the past project period must be named in the application.

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

Evaluation Plan. Applications must include a plan for evaluating the activities supported by the award. The application must specify baseline metrics (e.g., numbers, educational levels, and demographic characteristics of participants), as well as measures to gauge the short or long-term success of the research education award in achieving its objectives. Thresholds on metrics related to demographic characteristics (e.g., quotas) may not be used as measures of success. However, success may relate to changes in metrics, for example an increasing number of participants sharing certain demographic characteristics from the first run of the course to the second run may be considered as a measure of success. Wherever appropriate, applicants are encouraged to obtain feedback from participants to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for improvements.

Dissemination Plan. A specific plan must be provided to disseminate nationally any findings resulting from or materials developed under the auspices of the research education program, e.g., sharing course curricula, lectures, and related materials via the CFDE training portal, other web postings (e.g., public GitHub links), presentations at scientific meetings, and workshops.

Letters of Support: A letter of institutional commitment must be attached as part of Letters of Support (see section above: Institutional Environment and Commitment"). A letter of commitment must be attached from each proposed Common Fund program whose data will be included in the short course, and should detail the type of support (e.g., resources, consultation, teaching, mentoring) that program will provide.

Resource Sharing Plan
Note: Effective for due dates on or after January 25, 2023, a Data Management and Sharing Plan is not applicable for this NOFO.

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:

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

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

Appendix

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

PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

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

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

Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

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

Delayed Onset Study

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

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

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

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

4. Submission Dates and Times

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

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

Applications Involving the NIH Intramural Research Program

Should intramural scientists submit an application through this NOFO, or should an extramural application include a collaboration with NIH intramural scientists, the requests by NIH intramural scientists will be limited to the incremental costs required for participation. As such, these requests will not include any salary and related fringe benefits for career, career conditional or other Federal employees (civilian or uniformed service) with permanent appointments under existing position ceilings or any costs related to administrative or facilities support (equivalent to Facilities and Administrative or F&A costs). These costs may include salary for staff to be specifically hired under a temporary appointment for the project, consultant costs, equipment, supplies, travel, and other items typically listed under Other Expenses. Applicants should indicate the number of person-months devoted to the project, even if no funds are requested for salary and fringe benefits.

If selected, appropriate funding will be provided by the Common Fund through the NIH Intramural Program. NIH intramural scientists will participate in this program as PD/PIs in accord with the Terms and Conditions provided in this NOFO. Intellectual property will be managed in accord with established policy of the NIH in compliance with Executive Order 10096, as amended, 45 CFR Part 7; patent rights for inventions developed in NIH facilities are NIH property unless NIH waives its rights.

Should an extramural application include the collaboration with an intramural scientist, no funds for the support of the intramural scientist may be requested in the application. The intramural scientist may submit a separate request for intramural funding as described above in the NIH Intramural Source Book.

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 to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to strongly advance research education by fulfilling the goal of this research education program, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria, as applicable for the project proposed.

Scored Review Criteria

Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact.

Significance

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

Investigator(s)

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

Innovation

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

Approach

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

Specific for this NOFO:

Are the proposed syllabus and instructors appropriate for the number of participants anticipated? Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned, feasible, and appropriate to accomplish the objectives and timeline of the proposed research education program? Is the training in rigor and reproducibility appropriate? Is the Dissemination Plan strong and of high quality? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented?

Environment

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

  1. Specific for this NOFO:

Are this program’s efforts to promote inclusion through an environment that promotes the success of individuals with a wide variety of backgrounds, abilities, and perspectives well-described and likely to succeed in producing an inclusive environment?

Additional Review Criteria

As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will evaluate the following additional items while determining scientific and technical merit, and in providing an overall impact score, but will not give separate scores for these items.

Protections for Human Subjects

For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.

For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Individuals Across the Lifespan

When the proposed project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals of all ages (including children and older adults) to determine if it is justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed. For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following criteria: (1) description of proposed procedures involving animals, including species, strains, ages, sex, and total number to be used; (2) justifications for the use of animals versus alternative models and for the appropriateness of the species proposed; (3) interventions to minimize discomfort, distress, pain and injury; and (4) justification for euthanasia method if NOT consistent with the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals. Reviewers will assess the use of chimpanzees as they would any other application proposing the use of vertebrate animals. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animals Section.

Biohazards

Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.

Training in Methods for Enhancing Reproducibility

Does the Instruction in Methods for Enhancing Reproducibility plan describe how participants will be instructed in principles important for enhancing research reproducibility including, at a minimum, evaluation of foundational research underlying a project (i.e., scientific premise), rigorous experimental design, consideration of relevant biological variables such as sex, authentication of key biological and/or chemical resources, data and material sharing, record keeping, and transparency in reporting? Are the rigor and transparency components sufficiently well integrated into the overall curriculum? Are they taught at multiple stages of participant development and in a variety of formats and contexts? Does the teaching synergize with elements of the curriculum designed to enhance trainees' abilities to conduct responsible research? Is there evidence that all program faculty reiterate and augment key elements of methods for enhancing reproducibility when participants are performing mentored research in their laboratories?

Resubmissions

Not Applicable.

Revisions

Not Applicable.

Renewals

Not Applicable.

Additional Review Considerations

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

Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity

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

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

Taking into account the specific characteristics of the proposed research education program, the level of participant experience, the reviewers will evaluate the adequacy of the proposed RCR training in relation to the following five required components: 1) Format - the required format of instruction, i.e., face-to-face lectures, coursework, and/or real-time discussion groups (a plan with only on-line instruction is not acceptable); 2) Subject Matter - the breadth of subject matter, e.g., conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, research ethics; 3) Faculty Participation - the role of the program faculty in the instruction; 4) Duration of Instruction - the number of contact hours of instruction, taking into consideration the duration of the program; and 5) Frequency of Instruction instruction must occur during each career stage and at least once every four years. See also: NOT-OD-10-019 and NOT-OD-22-055. The review panel’s evaluation will be included in the summary statement. Plans will be rated as acceptable or unacceptable, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable.

Select Agent Research

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

Resource Sharing Plans

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. If support for development, maintenance, or enhancement of software is requested in the application, the reviewers will comment on the proposed software dissemination plan.

Budget and Period of Support

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

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s) convened by the Center for Scientific Review, 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 National Advisory Dental & Craniofacial Research 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.
  • Compliance with resource sharing policies.

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

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

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

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

Should the applicant organization successfully compete for an award, recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS will be required to complete an HHS Assurance of Compliance form (HHS Assurance of Compliance form (HHS 690)) in which the recipient agrees, as a condition of receiving the grant, to administer programs in compliance with federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex and disability, and agreeing to comply with federal conscience laws, where applicable. This includes ensuring that entities take meaningful steps to provide meaningful access to persons with limited English proficiency; and ensuring effective communication with persons with disabilities. Where applicable, Title XI and Section 1557 prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and gender identity, The HHS Office for Civil Rights provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. See https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-providers/provider-obligations/index.html and https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/nondiscrimination/index.html.

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

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

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

3. Data Management and Sharing

Note: The NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing is effective for due dates on or after January 25, 2023.

Consistent with the 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. Continuation support will not be provided until the required forms are submitted and accepted.

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

NIH 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 45 CFR Part 75.301 and 2 CFR 200.301.

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

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

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

Other Reporting Requirements

  • The institution must submit a completed Statement of Appointment (PHS Form 2271) for each participant appointed full time for eight weeks or more or the equivalent. Recipients must submit the PHS 2271 data electronically using the xTrain system. More information on xTrain is available at xTrain (eRA Commons). An appointment or reappointment may begin any time during the budget period, but not before the budget period start date of the grant year.
  • Participant Termination Notice: Within 30 days of the end of the total support period for each participant, the institution must submit a Termination Notice (PHS Form 416-7) via xTrain for each participant appointed full time for eight weeks or more, or the equivalent.

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.

5. Evaluation

In carrying out its stewardship of human resource-related programs, the NIH or its Institutes and Centers will periodically evaluate their R25 research education programs, employing the measures identified below. In assessing the effectiveness of its research education investments, NIH may request information from databases, PD/PIs, and from participants themselves. Where necessary, PD/PIs and participants may be contacted after the completion of a research education experience for periodic updates on participants subsequent educational or employment history and professional activities.

Upon the completion of a program evaluation, NIH and its ICs will determine whether to (a) continue a program as currently configured, (b) continue a program with modifications, or (c) discontinue a program.

In evaluating this research education program The Common Fund expects to use the following evaluation measures:

For Courses for Skills Development:

  • Aggregate number and demographic characteristics of participants
  • Educational level of participants
  • Content
  • Participants feedback on the program
  • New knowledge or skills acquired

For Research Experience and Mentoring Programs Involving the Following Groups:

Graduate Students:

  • Aggregate number and demographic characteristics of participants
  • Subsequent educational/career progress of participants, including:

Successful completion of a STEM graduate program
Subsequent participation in a formal research training or career development program in a STEM field
Subsequent participation in research
Subsequent employment in a research or research-related field
Subsequent authorship of scientific publications in a STEM field
Subsequent independent research grant support from NIH or another source

Postdoctorates and Early Career Investigators:

  • Aggregate number and demographic characteristics of participants
  • Subsequent educational/career progress of participants, including:

Subsequent participation in research
Subsequent employment in a research or research-related field
Subsequent authorship of scientific publications in a STEM field
Subsequent independent research grant support from NIH or another source

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

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

Finding Help Online: 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

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

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Sahana N. Kukke, PhD
Office of Strategic Coordination (OSC)
Office of the Director (OD)
Email: sahana.kukke@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

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

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Gabriel Hidalgo
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Telephone: 301-827-4630
Email: gabriel.hidalgo@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 and 2 CFR Part 200.

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