National Eye Institute (NEI)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Reissue of PAR-18-814
See Notices of Special Interest associated with this funding opportunity
93.853, 93.213, 93.867, 93.866, 93.273, 93.286, 93.865, 93.279, 93.173, 93.242
The purpose of the NIH BRAIN Initiative Advanced Postdoctoral Career Transition Award to Promote Diversity (K99/R00) program is to enhance workforce diversity in the neuroscience workforce and maintain a strong cohort of new and talented, NIH-supported, independent investigators from diverse backgrounds in BRAIN Initiative research areas. This program is designed to facilitate a timely transition of outstanding postdoctoral researchers with a research and/or clinical doctorate degree from mentored, postdoctoral research positions to independent, tenure-track or equivalent faculty positions. The program will provide independent NIH research support during this transition in order to help awardees to launch competitive, independent research careers.
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is designed specifically for applicants proposing research that does not involve leading an independent clinical trial, a clinical trial feasibility study, or an ancillary study to a clinical trial. Applicants to this FOA are permitted to propose research experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor or co-mentor. Applicants proposing a clinical trial or an ancillary study to an ongoing clinical trial as lead investigator, should apply to the companion FOA RFA-NS-19-044 .
November 14, 2019
February 10, 2020, June 10, 2020, October 9, 2020; February 10, 2021; June 9, 2021; October 6, 2021; February 10, 2022; June 8, 2022; October 11, 2022
March 10, 2020, July 10, 2020, November 10, 2020; March 10, 2021; July 8, 2021; November 08, 2021; March 10, 2022; July 8, 2022; November 11, 2022
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.
There are several options available to submit your application through Grants.gov to NIH and Department of Health and Human Services partners. You must use one of these submission options to access the application forms for this opportunity.
The objective of the NIH BRAIN Initiative Advanced Postdoctoral Career Transition Award to Promote Diversity (K99/R00) is to help outstanding postdoctoral researchers from diverse backgrounds with the opportunity to complete needed, mentored training and transition in a timely manner to independent, tenure-track or equivalent faculty positions. The BRAIN Initiative Diversity K99/R00 program is intended to foster the development of a creative, independent researcher that will be competitive for subsequent independent funding and that will help advance the mission of the NIH and BRAIN Initiative research areas in particular. Applicants must have no more than 5 years of postdoctoral research experience at the time of the initial or the subsequent resubmission application. The K99/R00 award is intended for individuals who require at least 12 months of mentored research training and career development (K99 phase) before transitioning to the R00 award phase of the program. Consequently, the strongest applicants will require, and will propose, a well-conceived plan for 1–2 years of substantive mentored research training and career development that will help them become competitive candidates for tenure-track faculty positions and prepare them to launch robust, independent research programs. An individual who cannot provide a compelling rationale for at least one year of additional mentored research training at the time of award is not a strong candidate for this award.
NIH and BRAIN Initiative Interest in Diversity
Fostering diversity in the scientific research workforce is a key component of the NIH strategy to identify, develop, support and maintain the quality of our scientific human capital. Promoting diversity in the extramural scientific workforce by enhancing the participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented groups, is critical to the success of the NIH mission and is consistent with the mandates of the 21st Century Cures Act. See the Policy Supporting the Next Generation Researchers Initiative, NOT-OD-17-101.
Every facet of the United States scientific research enterprise—from basic laboratory research to clinical and translational research to policy formation–requires superior intellect, creativity and a wide range of skill sets and viewpoints. NIH's ability to help ensure that the nation remains a global leader in scientific discovery and innovation is dependent upon a pool of highly talented scientists from diverse backgrounds, including those from underrepresented groups, who will help to further NIH's mission.
In spite of tremendous advancements in scientific research, information, educational and research opportunities are not equally available to all. NIH encourages institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations to enhance the participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social science. Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity, NOT-OD-18-129.
The Next Generation of Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences Researchers: Breaking Through (NASEM, 2018) encourages NIH and research institutions to diversify their postdoctorate and faculty populations to enhance the participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups identified as underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences. In addition, women have been shown to be underrepresented in doctorate-granting research institutions at senior faculty levels in most biomedical-relevant disciplines including those relevant to the BRAIN Intiative (See data from the National Science Foundation National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics: Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, special report available at https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2017/nsf17310/, especially the table describing science, engineering, and health doctorate holders employed in universities and 4-year colleges, by broad occupation, sex, years since doctorate, and faculty rank (Table 9-23 of Special Report NSF 13-304 from 2013.) .
There is a large loss of talented researchers during the transition from postdoctoral training to junior faculty positions, particularly those from underrepresented groups. Evidence from several reports demonstrates that an intervention designed to facilitate successful transition at this point would benefit the research community and scientific teaching environment and would provide, in particular, needed role models for students from underrepresented groups (Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads, National Academy of Sciences, 2011; Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering, NASEM, 2007; Bridges to Independence: Fostering the Independence of New Investigators in Biomedical Research, National Research Council, 2005; and Advancing the Nation's Health Needs: NIH Research Training Programs, National Academy of Sciences, 2005). In addition to growing the pool of diverse trainees, including those from underrepresented groups, targeted programs that focus on transition points along the postdoctorate to junior faculty career path could prevent the loss of highly trained scientists (The Next Generation of Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences Researchers: Breaking Through). For example, females make up more than half of biomedical science undergraduate (58%) and postgraduate (53%) degrees but only 18% of full professors in the biomedical sciences (www.nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/2013menu_tables.asp; https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2017/nsf17310/static/downloads/nsf17310-digest.pdf). Specifically for underrepresented minority neuroscience early career researchers, there is a decrease in the proportion of diverse trainees from postdoctoral (9%) to tenure-stream neuroscience faculty (5%); 2011 Survey Report Neuroscience Departments and Programs. A diverse faculty is critical for providing role models for aspiring scientists from all backgrounds and achieving a research agenda that benefits the nation. Moreover, surveys reveal that a diverse faculty is important for attracting diverse students to research and has a positive impact on retention and career mentoring for diverse students.
This FOA is designed to assist transition to secure faculty positions, enhance the diversity of faculty researchers, and enhance the skills needed to progress to independent NIH or other independent research support. As demonstrated in a 2011 NIH Individual Mentored Career Development Awards Program Evaluation, receipt of an individual mentored career development award had a measurable and significant impact on program participants, as seen in their publication records and subsequent applications for and receipt of NIH grants. Collectively, researchers who participated in a NIH K program had a significantly higher R01 success rate than those with no prior career development support. The BRAIN Initiative Diversity K99/R00 also aligns with the vision of NIH Leadership to "focus on the system's nodes where attrition is most common, which means focusing on retention, continuity, flexibility, and innovation across branch points in the career pathway" CBE Life Sci Educ. 2016 Fall; v.15(3). It is envisioned that funding support from this K99/R00 will enhance the pool of well-trained researchers who are available to compete competitively for research opportunities available under the auspices of the BRAIN Initiative.
Next Generation Researchers in the BRAIN Initiative
The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative is aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain. By accelerating the development and application of innovative technologies, researchers will be able to produce a new dynamic picture of the brain that, for the first time, will show how individual cells and complex neural circuits interact in both time and space. It is expected that the application of these new tools and technologies will ultimately lead to new ways to treat and prevent brain disorders.
NIH is one of several federal agencies involved in the BRAIN Initiative. Planning for the NIH component of the BRAIN Initiative is guided by the long-term scientific plan, "BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision," which details seven high-priority research areas and calls for a sustained federal commitment of $4.5 billion over 12 years. This FOA and other FOAs issued are based on careful consideration by the NIH of the recommendations of the BRAIN 2025 Report, and input from the NIH BRAIN Multi-Council Working Group. Videocasts of the NIH BRAIN Multi-Council Working Group are available at http://www.braininitiative.nih.gov/about/mcwg.htm. The BRAIN Initiative will require a high level of coordination and sharing between investigators. It is expected that BRAIN Initiative awardees will cooperate and coordinate their activities after awards are made by participating in Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) meetings and in other activities.
Postdoctoral scientists are a critical component of the U.S. workforce. Trained in the latest research practices, they bring new knowledge and techniques into the research workforce. This FOA is related to the education recommendations in Section II.7 of the BRAIN 2025 Report. Specifically, this FOA solicits applications from advanced-stage postdoctorates to acquire mentored research training using cutting-edge tools, theories and/or approaches in one or more of the seven, high-priority areas of the BRAIN Initiative, including neuroethics. The NIH BRAIN Initiative Advanced Postdoctoral Career Transition Award to Promote Diversity (K99/R00) is a trans-NIH effort to promote retention and advancement of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including women, individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, and individuals with disabilities in BRAIN Intiative research careers.
The BRAIN 2025 Report strongly encourages scientists to cross traditional areas of expertise to conduct interdisciplinary research, and acknowledges the need to attract investigators and faculty recruits to neuroscience from quantitative disciplines, e.g., statistics, computer science, physics, mathematics, and engineering. Given the expressed need to bring those trained in quantitative disciplines to neuroscience research, applications from individuals in quantitative disciplines are strongly encouraged.
In addition to the National BRAIN Initiative, the NIH continues to have a substantial annual investment in neuroscience research and research training. The Institutes and Centers contributing to the NIH BRAIN Initiative (http://braininitiative.nih.gov/) support those research and research training efforts through investigator-initiated applications as well as through specific FOAs. Potential applicants to this FOA are strongly encouraged to contact Scientific/Program staff if they have any questions about the best FOA for their career development .
For BRAIN Initiative awards to date and examples of research areas funded, see: http://www.braininitiative.nih.gov/funding/fundedAwards.htm.
Specific Objectives of the Career/Research Transition Opportunity
Individuals must be in mentored, postdoctoral training positions to be eligible to apply to the K99/R00 program. If an applicant achieves independence (any faculty or non-mentored research position) before a K99 award is made, neither the K99, nor the R00 award, will be made. The K99/R00 award will provide up to 5 years of support in two phases. The initial (K99) phase will provide support for up to 2 years of mentored postdoctoral research training and career development. The second (R00) phase will provide up to 3 years of independent research support, which is contingent on satisfactory progress during the K99 phase and an approved, independent, tenure-track (or equivalent) faculty position. The two award phases are intended to be continuous in time. Therefore, although exceptions may be possible in limited circumstances, R00 awards will generally only be made to those K99 PDs/PIs who accept independent, tenure-track (or equivalent) faculty positions by the end of the K99 award period.
Applicants for the NIH BRAIN Initiative Advanced Postdoctoral Career Transition Award to Promote Diversity (K99/R00) program are expected to propose a research project and training plan in a scientific area relevant to one or more of the goals of the BRAIN Initiative, including neuroethics (see http://braininitiative.nih.gov). The integrated program of research and training is expected to provide applicants with training using cutting-edge tools, theories and/or approaches that will prepare them to launch independent research careers in areas that will advance the goals of the BRAIN Initiative. To be considered responsive to this FOA, the proposed research training plan must be relevant to the scientific goals of the BRAIN 2025 Report, as described in the required Other Attachment for this application?.? Applications that are not relevant to one or more goals of the BRAIN 2025 report will not be reviewed.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with NIH scientific/research staff when planning an application. Early contact provides an opportunity for NIH scientific/research staff to provide guidance on program scope and appropriateness of the proposed research and training for potential funding in response to this FOA. Applicants should contact NIH scientific/research staff as early as possible before the due date.
Note: This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is designed specifically for applicants proposing research that does not involve leading an independent clinical trial, a clinical trial feasibility study, or an ancillary study to a clinical trial. Applicants to this FOA are permitted to propose research experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor or co-mentor. Applicants proposing a clinical trial or an ancillary study to an ongoing clinical trial as lead investigator, should apply to the companion FOA (RFA-NS-19-044).
NIH defines a clinical trial as "A research study in which one or more human subjects are prospectively assigned to one or more interventions (which may include placebo or other control) to evaluate the effects of those interventions on health-related biomedical or behavioral outcomes." (NOT-OD-15-015).NIH not only supports trials of safety and efficacy, it also supports mechanistic exploratory studies that meet the definition of a clinical trial and are designed to explore or understand a biological or behavioral process, the pathophysiology of a disease, or the mechanism of action of an intervention. These studies may focus on basic and/or translational discovery research in healthy human subjects and in human subjects who are affected by the pathophysiology of diseases and disorders. By addressing basic questions and concepts in biology, behavior, and pathophysiology, these studies may provide insight into understanding human diseases and disorders along with potential treatments or preventive strategies. NIH also supports biomarker studies that meet the definition of a clinical trial and that may provide information about physiological function, target engagement of novel therapeutics, and/or the impact of therapeutics on treatment response. NIH thus supports studies that meet the definition of clinical trials (as noted above) but do not seek to establish safety, clinical efficacy, effectiveness, clinical management, and/or implementation of preventive, therapeutic, and services interventions. See Section VIII. Other Information for award authorities and regulations.
Resubmission (PAR-18-814 and RFA-NS-19-043 only )
The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.
Note: Applicants may propose to gain experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor/co-mentor as part of their research career development.
The BRAIN Initiative intends to commit $4.0M per year in fiscal years 2020-2023 to fund an estimate of 20 awards per year.
Mentored Phase (K99)
Salary Support: The NIH BRAIN Initiative will provide K99 salary support commensurate with the applicant institution's salary structure for persons of equivalent qualifications, experience, and rank.
Intramural: Mentored candidates in the NIH intramural program will be supported by intramural funds provided by the NIH Institute/Center intramural laboratory in which they are conducting their research. Budget details for the mentored phase will be negotiated with the sponsoring intramural laboratory. Salary will be consistent with that offered scientists in similar, intramural NIH positions.
Extramural: Mentored candidates at an extramural sponsoring institution/organization will be supported by NIH extramural funds. The requested salary must be consistent both with the established salary structure at the institution and with salaries actually provided by the institution from its own funds to other staff members with equivalent qualifications, rank, and responsibilities in the department concerned. Further guidance on budgeting for career development salaries is provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
The total salary may not exceed the legislatively mandated salary cap. See: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/salcap_summary.htm.
Independent Phase (R00)
The total cost for the independent phase (R00) may not exceed $249,000 per year. This amount includes salary, fringe benefits, research costs, and applicable indirect costs. Indirect costs will be reimbursed at the extramural sponsoring institution's indirect cost rate. Indirect costs requested by consortium participants are included in the total cost limitation.
The BRAIN Initiative will contribute $25,000 per year toward the research development costs of the award recipient, which must be justified and consistent with the stage of development of the candidate and the proportion of time to be spent in research or career development activities. Expenses may include (a) tuition and fees related to career development activities; (b) supplies, equipment and technical personnel; and (c) statistical services including personnel and computer time. The application may request up to an additional $5,000 annually to defray the cost of participation in meetings including annual BRAIN Initiative meetings.
Salary for mentors, secretarial and administrative assistants, etc. is not allowed.
Higher Education Institutions
The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:
Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education
The applicant institution will be the mentored phase (K99) institution. All institution/organization types listed above are eligible for both the mentored (K99) and independent (R00) phase, with the following exceptions: (1) Eligible agencies of the Federal government, such as the NIH intramural program, are eligible only for the mentored phase; and (2) Eligibility of organizations, other than institutions of higher education, for the R00 phase depends on the nature of the appointment, and the ability of the PD/PI to conduct independent research and apply for NIH research (R01 or R01-equivalent) grants.
Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.
Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s))
All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account. PD(s)/PI(s) should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate their existing account with the applicant organization in eRA Commons. If the PD/PI is also the organizational Signing Official, they must have two distinct eRA Commons accounts, one for each role. Obtaining an eRA Commons account can take up to 2 weeks.
Any candidate with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) is invited to work with his/her mentor and organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support. Multiple PDs/PIs are not allowed.
By the time of award, the individual must be a citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., possess a currently valid Permanent Resident Card USCIS Form I-551, or other legal verification of such status).
The overarching goal of this program is to enhance the diversity of independent BRAIN Initiative research area investigators. NIH encourages participation by investigators from groups underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences. For the purpose of this announcement, institutions are encouraged to identify candidates who will enhance diversity as described in NOT-OD-18-210:
A. Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see data at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/showpub.cfm?TopID=2&SubID=27) and the report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. In addition, it is recognized that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting; individuals from racial or ethnic groups that can be demonstrated convincingly to be underrepresented by the grantee institution should be encouraged to participate in this program. For more information on racial and ethnic categories and definitions, see NOT-OD-15-089.
B. Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended. See NSF data at, http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/2013/pdf/tab7-5_updated_2014_10.pdf.
Women have been shown to be underrepresented in doctorate-granting research institutions at senior faculty levels in most biomedical-relevant disciplines and specifically in BRAIN Initiative research areas by the National Science Foundation. Literature also shows that women from the above backgrounds (categories A, B, and C) face particular challenges at the graduate level and beyond in scientific fields. (See, e.g., Inside the Double Bind, A Synthesis of Empirical Research on Undergraduate and Graduate Women of Color in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics http://her.hepg.org/content/t022245n7x4752v2/fulltext.pdf). For the purposes of this FOA, we consider women underrepresented in the disciplines pertinent to the BRAIN initiative (underrepresented in the neurosciences/biomedical sciences).
K99/R00 applicants for this specific FOA must have no more than 5 years of postdoctoral research experience as of the relevant application due date regardless of whether it is a new or resubmission application. Individuals must be in mentored, postdoctoral training positions to be eligible to apply to the K99/R00 program. If an applicant achieves independence (i.e., any faculty or non-mentored research position) before a K99 award is made, neither the K99 award, nor the R00 award, will be issued.
NIH considers requests for extension of the K99 eligibility window for various reasons, including medical concerns, disability, family care, extended periods of clinical training, natural disasters, and active duty military service. Each of these requests is reviewed on a case by case basis. Consistent with the NIH Extension Policy for Early Stage Investigator Status (ESI), effective immediately, NIH will approve an extension of one year for childbirth within the 5 year BRAIN Initiative K99 eligibility window. Applicants who will be PD/PIs on a K99 application must provide the child’s date of birth in the extension request justification submitted to IC program officials and/or scientific/research contacts listed in the FOA at least 12 weeks before submitting an application. Please refer to NIH Extension Policy for Eligibility Window for Pathway to Independence Awards (K99/R00).
In addition, time spent conducting postgraduate clinical training that does not involve research is not considered as part of the 5-year research training eligibility limit. Only time dedicated to research activities would count toward the 5-year limit.
Additional clarifications are provided under Frequently Asked Questions. Potential candidates are encouraged to discuss their individual situation with an NIH Institute or Center Scientific Program Contact before applying. - See more at: NOT-OD-15-013, and NOT-OD-15-153.
Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct, and each is from a different candidate.
The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time. An individual may not have two or more competing NIH career development applications pending review concurrently. In addition, NIH will not accept:
Candidates who have VA appointments may not consider part of the VA effort toward satisfying the full time requirement at the applicant institution. Candidates with VA appointments should contact the staff person in the relevant Institute or Center prior to preparing an application to discuss their eligibility.
After the receipt of the award, adjustments to the required level of effort may be made in certain circumstances. See NOT-OD-09-036 for more details.
R00 Phase. Although candidates are required to devote no less than 75% of their full-time, 12-month professional effort to research (i.e., full-time for 9 person-months), the required 9 person-months of research effort need not be devoted exclusively to the R00-supported research.
Before submitting the application, the candidate must identify a mentor who will supervise the proposed career development and research experience. The mentor should be an active investigator in the area of the proposed research and be committed both to the career development of the candidate and to the direct supervision of the candidate’s research. The mentor must document the availability of sufficient research support and facilities for high-quality research. Candidates are encouraged to identify more than one mentor, i.e., a mentoring team, if this is deemed advantageous for providing expert advice in all aspects of the research career development program. In such cases, one individual must be identified as the primary mentor who will coordinate the candidate’s research. Candidates holding a clinical doctorate should include at least one individual with a clinical doctorate on the mentoring team. Candidates also are encouraged to propose a mentoring team that will provide additional guidance typically towards professional aspects of the candidate's career development. The candidate must work with the mentor(s) in preparing the application. The mentor, or a member of the mentoring team, should have a successful track record of mentoring individuals at the candidate's career stage. If the primary mentor has limited training experience, a co-mentor with a strong, successful track record as a mentor should also be included.
Where feasible, women, individuals from diverse racial and ethnic groups, and individuals with disabilities should be involved as mentors to serve as role models.For this FOA, at minimum, the primary mentor should have research expertise relevant to one or more of the goals described in the BRAIN 2025 Report. NIH encourages the applicant institution to involve women, individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, and individuals with disabilities as mentors to the candidate.
The applicant institution must have a strong, well-established record of research and career development activities and faculty qualified to serve as mentors in BRAIN Initiative research areas.
Buttons to access the online ASSIST system or to download application forms are available in Part 1 of this FOA. See your administrative office for instructions if you plan to use an institutional system-to-system solution.
For information on Application Submission and Receipt, visit Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:
Facilities & Other Resources: Include a description of how the scientific environment is specifically conducive to the proposed research training in one or more of the high-priority areas described in the BRAIN 2025 Report.
Project Summary/Abstract: Include a description of your current research and the research you propose to continue in the independent phase.
BRAIN Initiative Relevance: Attach a one-page description of the relationship of the proposed Research Plan to one or more of the specific goals stated in the BRAIN 2025 Report. The first sentence of this description should state which of the seven, high-priority goals enumerated in this Report is addressed by the Research Training Plan. Name this file: BRAIN Relationship.pdf. The filename provided for each "Other Attachment" will be the name used for the bookmark in the electronic application in eRA Commons.
Institutional Letter: Applicants are required to attach a letter from the institution explaining how the candidate's participation would further the goals of the BRAIN Initiative Postdoctoral Career Transition Award, consistent with the Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity (NOT-OD-18-210). The letter from the institution must be on institutional letterhead and scanned so that an institutional official signature is visible. Name the PDF-formatted letter "Institutional_Ltr.pdf". This letter is limited to 1 page.
Provide itemized budget information for each budget period covered under the K99 phase.
Itemized budget information is not required for the R00 phase; a total requested amount for each budget period is acceptable. However, some basic information must be completed in order for NIH to successfully process the budget form. For each budget period of the R00 phase:
At the time of transition to the R00 phase, the R00 applicant institution will submit a detailed budget for each budget period of the R00 project period that reflects the direct and indirect costs at the R00 applicant institution
Other Candidate Information
Mentor, Co-Mentor, Consultant, Collaborators
Environment & Institutional Commitment to the Candidate
Other Research Plan Sections
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:
Candidate Information and Goals for Career Development
Career Goals and Objectives?
Candidate’s Plan for Career Development/Training Activities During Award Period
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:
Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research
Plans and Statements of Mentor and Co-mentor(s)
Letters of Support from Collaborators, Contributors and Consultants
Description of Institutional Environment
Institutional Commitment to the Candidate’s Research Career Development
Limited items are allowed in the Appendix. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide; any instructions provided here are in addition to the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide instructions.
When involving human subjects research, clinical research, and/or NIH-defined clinical trials (and when applicable, clinical trials research experience) follow all instructions for the PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following additional instructions:
If you answered “Yes” to the question “Are Human Subjects Involved?” on the R&R Other Project Information form, you must include at least one human subjects study record using the Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form or Delayed Onset Study record.
Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.The following additional instructions apply:
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
Candidates must carefully follow the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including the time period for when reference letters will be accepted. Applications lacking the appropriate required reference letters will not be reviewed. This is a separate process from submitting an application electronically. Reference letters are submitted directly through the eRA Commons Submit Referee Information link and not through Grants.gov.
See Part 1. Section III.1 for information regarding the requirement for obtaining a unique entity identifier and for completing and maintaining active registrations in System for Award Management (SAM), NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code (if applicable), eRA Commons, and Grants.gov
Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates and Times. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission. When a submission date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.
Organizations must submit applications to Grants.gov (the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies) using ASSIST or other electronic submission systems. Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration. NIH and Grants.gov systems check the application against many of the application instructions upon submission. Errors must be corrected and a changed/corrected application must be submitted to Grants.gov on or before the application due date and time. If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late. Applications that miss the due date and time are subjected to the NIH Policy on Late Application Submission.
Applicants are responsible for viewing their application before the due date in the eRA Commons to ensure accurate and successful submission.
Information on the submission process and a definition of on-time submission are provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. Paper applications will not be accepted.
Applicants must complete all required registrations before the application due date. Section III. Eligibility Information contains information about registration.
For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit Applying Electronically. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Guidelines for Applicants Experiencing System Issues. For assistance with application submission, contact the Application Submission Contacts in Section VII.
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.
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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.
In order to expedite review, applicants are requested to notify the NINDS Referral Office by email at BRAINDIVERSITYK99R00@nih.gov when the application has been submitted. Please include the FOA number and title, PD/PI name, and title of the application.
Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process. Applications submitted to the NIH in support of the NIH mission are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.For this particular announcement, note the following
Reviewers should evaluate the candidate's potential for obtaining a tenure-track or equivalent faculty position and developing an independent research program that will make important contributions to the BRAIN Initiative research field. Reviewers should consider in their evaluation the likely value of the proposed K99 phase research and career development in facilitating transition to research independence, and the feasibility of the proposed research project as a vehicle for developing a successful, independent research program after transition to the R00 award phase.
Career Development Plan/Career Goals and Objectives
Mentor(s), Co-Mentor(s), Consultant(s), Collaborator(s)
Environment & Institutional Commitment to the Candidate
For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.
For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.
When the proposed project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals of all ages (including children and older adults) to determine if it is justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed. For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.
The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following criteria: (1) description of proposed procedures involving animals, including species, strains, ages, sex, and total number to be used; (2) justifications for the use of animals versus alternative models and for the appropriateness of the species proposed; (3) interventions to minimize discomfort, distress, pain and injury; and (4) justification for euthanasia method if NOT consistent with the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals. Reviewers will assess the use of chimpanzees as they would any other application proposing the use of vertebrate animals. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.
Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.
For Resubmissions, the committee will evaluate the application as now presented, taking into consideration the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group and changes made to the project.
Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: (1) Data Sharing Plan; (2) Sharing Model Organisms; and (3) Genomic Data Sharing Plan (GDS).
All applications for support under this FOA must include a plan to fulfill NIH requirements for instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). Taking into account the level of experience of the applicant, including any prior instruction or participation in RCR as appropriate for the applicant’s career stage, the reviewers will evaluate the adequacy of the proposed RCR training in relation to the following five required components: 1) Format - the required format of instruction, i.e., face-to-face lectures, coursework, and/or real-time discussion groups (a plan with only on-line instruction is not acceptable); 2) Subject Matter - the breadth of subject matter, e.g., conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, research ethics; 3) Faculty Participation - the role of the mentor(s) and other faculty involvement in the fellow’s instruction; 4) Duration of Instruction - the number of contact hours of instruction (at least eight contact hours are required); and 5) Frequency of Instruction –instruction must occur during each career stage and at least once every four years. Plans and past record will be rated as ACCEPTABLE or UNACCEPTABLE, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee. See also: NOT-OD-10-019.
Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).
Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources:
For projects involving key biological and/or chemical resources, reviewers will comment on the brief plans proposed for identifying and ensuring the validity of those resources.
Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.
Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s), in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.
As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:
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.
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.
There will not be a formal Notice of Award (NoA) associated with the K99 phase of the award conducted in the NIH intramural program. The awarding Institute will transmit to the successful candidate an approval letter which will include the terms and conditions of the NIH intramural “K99” award, as well as expectations for the transition to the R00 phase of the award.
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 awardee must provide NIH copies of documents related to all major changes in the status of ongoing protocols.
Recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS must administer their programs in compliance with federal civil rights law. This means that recipients of HHS funds must ensure equal access to their programs without regard to a person’s race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, sex and religion. This includes ensuring your programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency. HHS recognizes that research projects are often limited in scope for many reasons that are nondiscriminatory, such as the principal investigator’s scientific interest, funding limitations, recruitment requirements, and other considerations. Thus, criteria in research protocols that target or exclude certain populations are warranted where nondiscriminatory justifications establish that such criteria are appropriate with respect to the health or safety of the subjects, the scientific study design, or the purpose of the research.
For additional guidance regarding how the provisions apply to NIH grant programs, please contact the Scientific/Research Contact that is identified in Section VII under Agency Contacts of this FOA. HHS provides general guidance to recipients of FFA on meeting their legal obligation to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to their programs by persons with limited English proficiency. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/resources/laws/revisedlep.html. The HHS Office for Civil Rights also provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/section1557/index.html; and http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/index.html. Recipients of FFA also have specific legal obligations for serving qualified individuals with disabilities. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/disability/index.html. Please contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights for more information about obligations and prohibitions under federal civil rights laws at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/office/about/rgn-hqaddresses.html or call 1-800-368-1019 or TDD 1-800-537-7697. Also note it is an HHS Departmental goal to ensure access to quality, culturally competent care, including long-term services and supports, for vulnerable populations. For further guidance on providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services, recipients should review the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care at http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=2&lvlid=53.
In accordance with the statutory provisions contained in Section 872 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417), NIH awards will be subject to the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) requirements. FAPIIS requires Federal award making officials to review and consider information about an applicant in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS) prior to making an award. An applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through FAPIIS and comment on any information about itself that a Federal agency previously entered and is currently in FAPIIS. The Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgement about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 45 CFR Part 75.205 “Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.” This provision will apply to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements except fellowships.
Transition from the mentored phase to the independent phase is intended to be continuous in time and, except in unusual, extenuating circumstances, the awarding NIH Institute/Center will not extend the K99 phase beyond the 2-year limit. ICs may, at their discretion, make exceptions to this time limitation when individuals have been invited for faculty job interviews but final decisions have not yet been made by the potential R00 institution or, rarely, because of unusual, extenuating circumstances. To activate the independent phase of the grant, individuals must have been offered and accepted a tenure-track, full-time assistant professor position (or equivalent) by the end of the K99 project period.
An eligible R00 institution will have appropriate infrastructure to support the proposed research program and a history of external research funding. Applicants are free to apply for independent phase positions within the NIH intramural research program (IRP). However, should the individual accept such a position in the IRP, the independent phase of the award will not be activated. This is because NIH intramural scientists are supported directly by NIH intramural funds and are not eligible for NIH extramural grant awards. Such outcomes are consistent with the goals of the K99/R00 award initiative. Eligibility of for-profit organizations for the R00 phase depends on the nature of the appointment, and the ability of the PD/PI to conduct independent research and apply for NIH R01 or R01-equivalent research grants. PIs are encouraged to discuss job offers at for-profit organizations with NIH Program staff well in advance of accepting such an offer.
To avoid potential problems in activating the independent phase, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact their NIH program official as soon as plans to apply for and, assume an independent position develop, and not later than 6 months prior to the termination of the K99 phase of the award.
At that time, individuals should discuss plans for transition to, and application for, the R00 phase with their NIH program official. The application for the R00 phase of the award should be submitted no later than 2 months prior to the proposed activation date of the R00 award by the R00 phase grantee organization.
The independent phase institution will submit an application on behalf of the candidate for the R00 award using the PHS 398 Application. The R00 application must include:
These materials should be sent directly to the awarding Institute or Center (IC). The original application plus one copy (preferably in PDF format) are to be mailed (or e-mailed) to the Financial or Grants Management contact person of the awarding NIH Institute or Center listed in the Notice of Award. The R00 application will be evaluated by extramural Program staff of the awarding component for completeness and appropriateness to the program.
Two additional documents are included with the R00 application. A letter from the R00 Department or Division Chairman must be submitted that describes the R00 institution’s commitment to the candidate and plans for his/her career development (see below). If not already provided, the final evaluation statement by the K99 phase mentor, must be provided.
An institutional commitment agreement will be required at the time of activation of the independent phase of the award. This agreement should satisfy the criteria described in the Career Development Award Section of the SF424(R&R) Application Guide.
In addition to space, facilities, resources, and other support needed to conduct the proposed research, the sponsoring institution must provide protected research time (minimum of 9 person-months or 75% of the candidate’s full time professional effort) at least for the duration of the R00 award. The start-up package and other institutional support must be described in detail and must be comparable to that given to other faculty recently hired into tenure-track or equivalent faculty positions. Institutions must provide a startup and salary package equivalent to that provided to a newly hired faculty member who does not have a grant; R00 funds may not be used to offset the typical startup package or to offset the usual institutional commitment to provide salary for tenure-track (or equivalent) assistant professors who are hired without grant support. The R00 sponsoring institution must describe the candidate’s academic appointment, bearing in mind that it must be tenure-track assistant professor (or equivalent), and confirm that the appointment is not contingent on the transfer of the award to the institution. The R00 phase institution must describe how the awardee’s ability to apply for and secure independent research grant (R01) support will be fostered and supported during the R00 phase of the award.
The R00 award requires that a minimum of 9 person-months (75% of the candidate’s full time professional effort) be devoted to research activities. Consequently, teaching, clinical duties and other non-research activities should be minimal during the R00 award period. NIH staff may review start-up packages and other commitments between the institution and candidate prior to activating the independent phase of the award. It is suggested that the applicant and/or the hiring institution discuss the institutional commitment with the relevant NIH institute Program Official prior to finalizing the offer. NIH will not activate the independent phase if the institutional commitment is deemed inadequate. Applicants who are approved to transition will receive a Notice of Award reflecting the new R00 grant mechanism, the dollar amount, and the new recipient organization (if applicable).
The K99/R00 award is intended to facilitate successful transition to independence. Consequently, a requirement for activation of the R00 phase is successful completion of this transition. Applicants are encouraged (but not required) to apply for independent positions at departments and institutions different from where they conducted their mentored research. It is important for all applicants, but especially so for applicants who intend to stay at the mentored phase institution for the independent phase, to provide a plan by which they will separate from their mentor and advance to independence. Awardees are also encouraged to include a plan and timeline for submitting an independent research grant application in a research area relevant to the mission of an NIH awarding component.
Candidates who are not approved to transition will receive written notification from the awarding component communicating the rationale for the disapproval. This notification typically will be sent within 60 days of receipt of the R00 application.
Although the financial plans of the NIH Institute or Center provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this funding opportunity are contingent upon the availability of funds.
If transition from the K99 phase at an extramural institution to the R00 phase occurs at the originally scheduled end date of the K99 award, then no specific steps to terminate the K99 award are necessary. If the transition at an extramural institution occurs prior to the scheduled end date, then a revised Notice of Award will be issued to terminate the K99 phase award. Carry-over of unspent funds from a partially completed year in the K99 phase into the R00 phase may be permitted.
A final RPPR, invention statement, and the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout of an award, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later. All awardees of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement.
In accordance with the regulatory requirements provided at 45 CFR 75.113 and Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75, recipients that have currently active Federal grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from all Federal awarding agencies with a cumulative total value greater than $10,000,000 for any period of time during the period of performance of a Federal award, must report and maintain the currency of information reported in the System for Award Management (SAM) about civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings in connection with the award or performance of a Federal award that reached final disposition within the most recent five-year period. The recipient must also make semiannual disclosures regarding such proceedings. Proceedings information will be made publicly available in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS). This is a statutory requirement under section 872 of Public Law 110-417, as amended (41 U.S.C. 2313). As required by section 3010 of Public Law 111-212, all information posted in the designated integrity and performance system on or after April 15, 2011, except past performance reviews required for Federal procurement contracts, will be publicly available. Full reporting requirements and procedures are found in Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75 – Award Term and Conditions for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.
In carrying out its stewardship of human resource-related programs, the NIH may request information essential to an assessment of the effectiveness of this program from databases and from participants themselves. Participants may be contacted after the completion of this award for periodic updates on various aspects of their employment history, publications, support from research grants or contracts, honors and awards, professional activities, and other information helpful in evaluating the impact of the program.
Within ten years of making awards under this program,the NIH BRAIN Initative Working Group
will assess the program’s overall outcomes, gauge its effectiveness in enhancing diversity, and consider whether there is a continuing need for the program. Upon the completion of this evaluation, NIH will determine whether to (a) continue the program as currently configured, (b) continue the program with modifications, or (c) discontinue the program.
The overall evaluation of the program will be based on metrics that will include, but are not limited to, the following:
We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.
Finding Help Online: http://grants.nih.gov/support/ (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)
General Grants Information (Questions regarding application processes and NIH grant resources)
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)
Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and Workspace)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726
For project relevance or scientific questions:
Edmund (Ned) Talley, PhD
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Michelle Jones-London, Ph.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Chief Grants Management Officer
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
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