Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

Office of Nutrition Research (ONR)

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

National Institute on Aging (NIA)

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

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

All applications to this funding opportunity announcement should fall within the mission of the Institutes/Centers. The following NIH Offices may co-fund applications assigned to those Institutes/Centers.

Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH)

Special Note: Not all NIH Institutes and Centers participate in every (or all) funding opportunity announcements. . Applicants should carefully note which ICs participate in this announcement and view their respective areas of research interest and requirements at the Table of IC-Specific Information, Requirements and Staff Contacts website. ICs that do not participate in this announcement will not consider applications for funding. Consultation with NIH staff before submitting an application is strongly encouraged.

Funding Opportunity Title
Advanced Training in Artificial Intelligence for Precision Nutrition Science Research (AIPrN) – Institutional Research Training Programs (T32)
Activity Code

T32 Institutional National Research Service Award (NRSA)

Announcement Type
New
Related Notices

NOT-OD-23-012 Reminder: FORMS-H Grant Application Forms and Instructions Must be Used for Due Dates On or After January 25, 2023 - New Grant Application Instructions Now Available

NOT-OD-23-020 - Notice of Change: Advanced Training in Artificial Intelligence for Precision Nutrition Science Research (AIPrN) – Institutional Research Training Programs (T32)

NOT-OD-22-190 - Adjustments to NIH and AHRQ Grant Application Due Dates Between September 22 and September 30, 2022

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number
RFA-OD-22-027
Companion Funding Opportunity
None
Number of Applications

See Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

Assistance Listing Number(s)
93.213, 93.313, 93.853, 93.865, 93.847, 93.837, 93.838, 93.839, 93.840, 93.233, 93.361, 93.866, 93.307, 93.398, 93.121
Funding Opportunity Purpose

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites applications for new institutional training programs (predoctoral, postdoctoral or both) in Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Precision Nutrition (AIPrN) focused on the integration of precision nutrition, AI, machine learning (ML), systems biology, systems science, Big Data, and computational analytics. The goal is to build a future workforce that will be able to use growing data resources to tackle complex biomedical challenges in nutrition science that are beyond human intuition. It is expected that such research will lead to the development of innovative solutions to combat diet-related chronic diseases and nutrition disparities within the mission areas of the participating NIH Institutes and Offices. The vision for the AIPrN training program is to support the development of a diverse research workforce with advanced competencies in AI, ML, and data science analytics to apply to an increasingly complex landscape of Big Data including molecular, organismal, community and societal-levels related to nutrition and diet-related conditions.

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) does not allow appointed Trainees to lead an independent clinical trial, but does allow them to obtain research experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor or co-mentor.

Key Dates

Posted Date
October 03, 2022
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
November 08, 2022
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

November 8, 2022

Application Due Dates Review and Award Cycles
New Renewal / Resubmission / Revision (as allowed) AIDS Scientific Merit Review Advisory Council Review Earliest Start Date
December 08, 2022 Not Applicable Not Applicable March 2023 May 2023 July 2023

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

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

Expiration Date
January 16, 2023
Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

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

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

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

  3. Use Grants.gov Workspace to prepare and submit your application and eRA Commons to track your application.


  4. Table of Contents

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

The overall goal of the NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) program is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in appropriate scientific disciplines to address the Nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. In order to accomplish this goal, NRSA training programs are designed to train individuals to conduct research and to prepare for research careers. More information about NRSA programs may be found at the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) website.

Purpose and Background Information

The NRSA program has been the primary means of supporting predoctoral and postdoctoral research training programs since enactment of the NRSA legislation in 1974. Research training activities can be in basic biomedical or clinical sciences, in behavioral or social sciences, in health services research, or in any other discipline relevant to the NIH mission.

Institutional NRSA programs allow the Training Program Director/Principal Investigator (Training PD/PI) to select the trainees and develop a program of coursework, research experiences, and technical and/or professional skills development appropriate for the selected trainees. Each program should provide high-quality research training and offer opportunities in addition to conducting mentored research. The grant offsets the cost of stipends, tuition and fees, and training related expenses, including health insurance, for the appointed trainees in accordance with agency-approved support levels.

Program Objective

The objective of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grant (T32) program is to develop and/or enhance research training opportunities for individuals interested in careers in biomedical, behavioral and clinical research that are relevant to the NIH mission. The training program should provide:

  • A strong foundation in research design, methods, and analytic techniques appropriate for the proposed research area;
  • The enhancement of the trainees’ ability to conceptualize and think through research problems with increasing independence;
  • Experience conducting research using state-of-the-art methods as well as presenting and publishing their research findings;
  • The opportunity to interact with members of the scientific community at appropriate scientific meetings and workshops; and
  • The enhancement of the trainees’ understanding of the health-related sciences and the relationship of their research training to health and disease.

The proposed institutional research training program may complement other ongoing research training and career development programs at the applicant institution, but must be clearly distinct from related programs currently receiving Federal support.

Program Considerations

The duration of training, the transition of trainees to individual support mechanisms, and their transition to the next career stage are important considerations in institutional training programs. Training PDs/PIs should limit appointments to individuals who are committed to a research career and who plan to remain in training for no less than two years, whether that support comes from a training grant or some combination of NRSA and non-NRSA support programs. Training PDs/PIs should encourage and make available appropriate skills training so that trainees are prepared to apply for subsequent independent support for their training or research program (e.g., an individual fellowship award, mentored career development award, or research project grant), as appropriate for their career stage. In addition, past studies have shown that health professional trainees who train in programs with postdoctoral researchers who have intensive research backgrounds are more likely to apply for and receive subsequent research grant support. Programs that emphasize research training for individuals with the MD or other health-professional degrees are therefore encouraged to develop ties to basic science departments and include trainees with research doctorates when this approach is consistent with the goals of the proposed training program.

Biomedical research and the resulting scientific knowledge are increasingly complex and multidisciplinary in nature. Training PDs/PIs are encouraged to develop institutional training programs that will expose trainees to a variety of scientific approaches, systems for study, research approaches, and tools and technologies. Consideration of team-based research approaches may also be warranted depending upon the goals of the proposed training program.

Within the framework of the NRSA program’s longstanding commitment to excellence and the projected need for investigators in particular areas of research, attention must be given to recruiting prospective trainees from racial or ethnic groups underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral and clinical sciences, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. See the Training (T) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for further background and instructions.

The career outcomes of individuals supported by NRSA training programs include both research-intensive careers in academia and industry and research-related careers in various sectors, e.g., academic institutions, government agencies, for-profit businesses, and private foundations. Training programs should make available structured, career development advising and learning opportunities (e.g., workshops, discussions, Individual Development Plans). Through such opportunities, trainees are expected to obtain a working knowledge of various potential career directions that make strong use of the knowledge and skills gained during research training and the steps required to transition successfully to the next stage of their chosen career.

Institutional research training grants must be used to support a program of full-time research training. Within the full-time training period, research trainees who are also training as clinicians must devote their time to the proposed research training and must confine clinical duties to those that are an integral part of the research training experience. The program may not be used to support studies leading to the MD, DDS, or other clinical, health-professional training except when those studies are part of a formal combined research degree program, such as the MD/PhD. Similarly, trainees may not accept NRSA support for clinical training that is part of residency training leading to clinical certification in a medical or dental specialty or subspecialty. It is permissible and encouraged, however, for clinicians to engage in NRSA-supported, full-time postdoctoral research training even when that experience is creditable toward certification by a clinical specialty or subspecialty board.

Short-term training is not intended, and may not be used, to support activities that would ordinarily be part of a research degree program, nor for any undergraduate-level training. Short-term positions should be requested at the time of application as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Research training programs solely for short-term research training should not apply to this announcement, but rather the T35 NRSA FOA, which can be found in the NIH Training Kiosk.

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) does not allow appointed Trainees to lead an independent clinical trial, but does allow them to obtain research experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor or co-mentor. NIH strongly supports training towards a career in clinically relevant research and so gaining experience in clinical trials under the guidance of a mentor or co-mentor is encouraged.

Program Considerations

To be deemed responsive to this FOA, applications must propose programs designed for the training of predoctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, or both. The training program is intended to create new intradepartmental/intercollege programs or augment the core methods courses in potentially two types of Ph.D. or postdoctoral training programs:

  1. Biomedical sciences related to diet-related diseases, nutrition disparities, or nutrition science across the translational spectrum. In this situation, for applications to be deemed responsive to this FOA, the applicants must describe plans and curricula that will offer new courses including practical and hands-on experience with AI including ML, advanced data analytics and computational modeling approaches specifically designed to handle the kinds of big and complex data described below as applied to health research at any different levels of focus (e.g., microscale, mesoscale or macroscale). While there are many different research topics trainees may select, ultimately the topic selected should be directly relevant to one or more objectives within the Strategic Plan for NIH Nutrition Research.
  2. Mathematics, data science, AI, ML, computer science or computer engineering. In this situation, for applications to be deemed responsive to this FOA, the applicants must describe plans and curricula that will offer new courses including practical and hands-on experience in biomedical/nutrition sciences relevant to diet-related chronic diseases across the translational spectrum and scales.

For either situation, next generation AIPrN scientists should be trained to curate, link, and mine large complex datasets. Inferential statistics developed for small sample surveys are inappropriate for analyzing populations with billions of records, which is why these trainees will require training in innovative computational and mathematical modeling approaches, techniques for data mining and harmonization, and methods for addressing data heterogeneity.

The foundational training for these AIPrN programs should include all of the following:

  • Coursework and training experiences in academia or industry using a multidisciplinary approach;
  • Collaborative research opportunities;
  • Mentorship in advanced computational methods; and
  • Training that promotes reproducibility of results and scientific rigor

This program is not intended to support training or research in nutrition epidemiology or research that examines questions in food science or agricultural sciences.

Training Flexibilities

It is expected that trainees will acquire (or possess from previous experience) core knowledge in two overarching areas: (1) systems biology or systems science research in a chosen area of nutrition science or a biomedical health domain relevant to the mission of at least one NIH Institute or Center (IC) participating in this FOA; (2) AI/ML with competencies in computer science/informatics, along with biostatistics/mathematics.

Primary Organizational Focus of the Training Program

Given the cross-disciplinary focus of this AIPrN program, multiple PDs/PIs are required and necessary. This FOA requires applicants to assemble an interdisciplinary team of scientific mentors to design and direct a cross-disciplinary training program.

Dual Primary Mentors

While traditional Ph.D. or postdoctoral programs may have a primary mentor for each trainee, this program requires two primary mentors (or thesis advisors) for each trainee. Mentors should have expertise in one of the following two areas:

  1. Nutrition science or relevant biomedical research discipline; or
  2. AI including ML, computational or data science analytic approaches such as engineering, computer science, applied mathematics, or statistics.

Enhancing Trainee Diversity

Within the framework of the NIH’s longstanding commitment to excellence, attention must be given to efforts to diversify the applicant pool for prospective trainees from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups nationally underrepresented in biomedical, behavioral and clinical research (See Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity). It is expected that the program will provide research training opportunities in a manner that will result in the recruitment and the provision of research training to women and individuals from groups that have been shown to be nationally underrepresented in health-related research, consistent with Section 487(a)(4) of the Public Health Service Act. The applicants to this training program should also provide the Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity and elaborate on their institutional success at recruiting trainees and their successful completion of the graduate program and transition to their next position. Programs are also expected to expose students to a variety of different topics from discipline-specific faculty. Notably, among other outreach and recruiting efforts, the applicants are encouraged to pursue potential partnerships with and recruit prospective trainees and faculty for their proposed training programs from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) or other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). Applicants should also consider trainees who have completed an RD-MS or equivalent dietician program as described in the NIH Strategic Plan for Nutrition Research along with other relevant academic backgrounds for this kind of interdisciplinary program.

Research Topics

While projects selected for training across the translational spectrum of the sponsoring institutes are encouraged, ideally a number of those should aim to make discoveries from large datasets in order to reduce the rate of diet-related chronic diseases that disproportionally affect racial and ethnic minority populations and NIH-designated populations that experience health disparities, including less privileged socioeconomic status (SES) populations, underserved rural populations, sexual and gender minorities (SGM). See, https://www.nimhd.nih.gov/about/strategic-plan/nih-strategic-plan-definitions-and-parameters.html#:~:text=NIH%20defines%20health%20disparity%20populations,or%20more%20of%20these%20descriptions.and/or reduce food insecurity and hunger.

Cross-Program Team Building Coordinated by ONR

The Office of Nutrition Research (ONR) will facilitate and convene annual cross-site meetings with program faculty and trainees. Training programs supported through this FOA will be required to participate in these meetings, which may be held in-person, and periodic training webinars. The goals for these cross-site meetings are to bring together the mentors and trainees from the different programs in order to exchange best practices in training and course design, as well as to build a network for collaboration among the trainees.

Institutional Letter Ensuring Success of Training Program and Trainees

As described later, responsive applications to this FOA must include a letter signed by institutional leadership (e.g., Dean, Vice President for Research, Provost, etc.) that describes the activities and resources that will be provided to ensure the success of the planned training program and its trainees and sustainability after termination of the program.

Areas of Research Interest

Applications proposing AIPrN training programs should adequately prepare predoctoral and/or postdoctoral AIPrN candidates with expertise in biomedical sciences with skills in AI, ML, computational modeling and/or data science methods or vice-versa. These skills and knowledge should be applied as part of that training to topics that address objectives or cross-cutting areas in the Strategic Plan for NIH Nutrition Research, including but not limited to ingestive behaviors, imaging, precision nutrition science, dietary intake assessment, specific life stages or special populations, microbiome-host-disease interrelationships, diet-related chronic diseases, biomarkers, clinical nutrition, nutrition health disparities or other nutrition research topics of interest to one or more of the participating NIH Institutes and Offices as described below.

NIH strongly encourages institutions with expertise in the areas discussed above who have not previously received training grants from NIH to apply. Proposed training programs may complement other ongoing research training and career development programs at the applicant institution. However, the research training experiences for this new program must be distinct from those currently receiving NIH support or that already exist at the applicant institution. The purpose is to create a new predoctoral and/or postdoctoral training program that is not presently available to potential AIPrN candidates at the applicant institution. Current P50 Program Directors or applicants at institutions with NIH center grant awards or other programmatic awards such as Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) awards who wish to apply for this program are encouraged to describe how these other awards will be used to provide professional development opportunities or serve as a research hub for these new AIPrN trainees.

Institutional research training grants must be used to support a program of full-time research training. The program may not be used to support studies leading to M.D., D.D.S., or other clinical, health-professional training. Short-term training is not intended. However, trainees can be supported for the Ph.D. part of a dual degree program designed to train academic research physicians or dentists. Research training programs solely for short-term research training should not apply to this announcement.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Scientific/Research Contacts in advance to discuss their application for its overall relevance and responsiveness to this ONR-led training program and its specific relevance to the interests of the participating ICs (see Section VII., Agency Contacts).

Examples of the training focus for each of the participating ICs includes:

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

NCCIH supports training programs that are relevant to our mission and strategic priorities for mapping a pathway to research on whole person health focusing on restoring health, promoting resilience, and preventing diseases across a lifespan. NCCIH supports research on various nondrug and noninvasive health practices encompassing nutritional, psychological, and physical approaches. Specific to the AIPrN program, NCCIH encourages applications for programs that integrate training in advanced data science with research on natural products, such as dietary supplements, plant-based products, probiotics, and microbial-based interventions for prevention and/or treatment of diet-related chronic diseases. Computational methods in data science for studying complex systems to advance research on Whole Person Health including machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms, mathematical and computational modeling, predictive multisystem models, problem-driven multi-models, mechanistic multisystem models, or simulation modeling are of interest. Proposed research training activities should include basic, translational, clinical, and behavioral focuses on nutrition and natural products research in the context of whole person health. Investigators are strongly encouraged to discuss their plans with NCCIH program staff prior to applying.

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

NCI leads and supports research to advance scientific knowledge and help people live longer, healthier lives. NCI has a strong interest in primary prevention and in understanding the development, maintenance, and improvement of diet and multiple health behaviors associated with risk of cancer and with health disparities that emerge over the life course. Because of the long latency of cancer and tracking of diet and other health behaviors over the life course, systems science can play a vital role in understanding the development of risk-related behavior over the life course and its consequences of cancer incidence and mortality, as well as modeling positive and negative consequences of programs, policies, and environments aimed at improving health. NCI is interested in research proposals that address cancer risk factors and cancer incidence and mortality over the life course, including, but not limited to:

  • Models that address the complex interactions of diet, alcohol, physical activity, sedentary behavior, sleep, and/or obesity over the trajectory of the life course.
  • Models that address how changes in diet, nutrition, alcohol use, and other cancer risk factors influence population-level cancer incidence, treatment response, and mortality.
  • Investigation of the interplay between nutrition and the microbiome and their impact on cancer incidence and outcome.
  • Models that address specific programs and policies, such as obesity prevention and their cancer-related consequences. Such models could explore how to optimize and estimate long term effects on cancer incidence of primary prevention over the life course.
  • Models that validate and optimize mobile and wearable technologies, medical informatics and bioinformatics, big data analytics, machine learning and AI; also encourage empirical validation of new concepts through research prototypes, ranging from specific components to entire systems.
  • The above and other modeling efforts are encouraged to explore disparities and interactions between interventions and at-risk populations to better understand consequences of environments, programs, and policies relevant for health disparities as well as potential unintended consequences such as inadvertent increases in disparities over time.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

NHLBI supports programs that provide data science training to behavioral and social science fellows in research areas pertaining to the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders (HLBS), as well as the promotion of health in these areas, both domestically and internationally. NHLBI also has interests in research that addresses social determinants of health and health disparities, resilience in HLBS disease, and implementation research of proven-effective evidence-based interventions in clinical, community, or other settings for the prevention and treatment of HLBS. NHLBI strongly supports research to address health disparities and encourages individuals from diverse backgrounds, including individuals underrepresented in biomedical research to work with their institutions to apply for funding opportunity announcements related to HLBS. In addition to predocs, NHLBI will support post docs and Early-Stage Investigators for this FOA. Details of NHLBI’s research priorities are provided in the NHLBI Strategic Vision Plan. NHLBI has the biodata Catalyst, https://biodatacatalyst.nhlbi.nih.gov/about, a resource for investigators who need to find, access, share, store, and compute on large scale datasets. NHLBI BioData Catalyst serves as a cloud-based ecosystem providing tools, applications, and workflows for researchers. NHLBI BioData Catalyst increases access to NHLBI datasets and innovative data analysis capabilities and accelerates efficient biomedical research that drives discovery and scientific advancement, leading to novel diagnostic tools, therapeutic options, and prevention strategies for heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders. Datasets include TOPMed and NIH database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP). NHLBI BIOLINCC (NHLBI Biologic Specimen and Data Repository (BioLINCC) has myriad of cohort studies data (MESA, JHS, CARDIA, FHS, HCHS, etc.). Data from these and others could be harmonized and used to develop predictive algorithms to identify metabolically healthy (or unhealthy) individuals in whom healthy dietary patterns may lead to resistance to develop chronic diseases (e.g., diabetes or cardiovascular diseases). Advances in systems science, including computational biology, cohort datasets, machine learning, big data, omics (genomics, proteomics, metabolomics), neighborhood GIS, dietary, and environmental data could be harnessed for preventive prediction. Once such predictive models are developed and evaluated through simulation models, they could then be tested in real world settings for clinical implementation. NHLBI is interested in supporting both pre- and post-doctoral training in response to the FOA.

Training should include multidisciplinary teams and a comprehensive approach from data collection and data management (including data privacy and security) to advanced data analytical strategies and techniques in HLBS. These can include, but are not limited to, training in: 1) collection of dynamic, longitudinal data in real-time with wearables, sensors, and smartphones (i.e., the internet of things (IoT)); data collection through information sharing platforms and virtual communities/networks (i.e., social media); crowdsourcing and citizen science; in-depth analysis of existing study databases; 2) data harmonization, integration, and linking of data across studies or diverse data sources; and 3) data mining, data visualization, pattern recognition, simulation modeling and systems science to address the prevention and treatment of HLBS disease. Data analyses from multi-level, adaptive, or other complex technological interventions are also encouraged. Training in analytical strategies to understand the influence and interactions of social determinants of health at multiple levels so as to inform the development of multilevel interventions to reduce inequities in HLBS diseases are encouraged. Research training that examines the effects of multiple and potentially interacting factors ranging from genetics, biology, psychology, and health behaviors to the built environment and HLBS-related health policies, and maintenance of health behaviors over time are also encouraged. Applicants may consider the following phased approach:

  • Phase 1: data collection, integration and statistical analysis. Applicants may leverage NHLBI datasets, link data from various sources and conduct statistical approaches including, for example matching, weighting, and sensitivity analysis, to identify clusters of individuals with specific phenotypes
  • Phase 2: In Situ trial simulation. Modeled effects of potential trial and what intervention may have positive effects
  • Phase 3: Testing simulated interventions in real-world settings

Potential research questions include:

1. What are the predictive models that rely on a “human systems biology” framework including omics (genomics, proteomics, metabolomics), diet and timing of dietary intake, lifestyle, neighborhood GIS and environmental data, health status, social determinants of health that can be derived using big-data analytics (machine learning) to understand inter-individual variation and personalized responsiveness to various dietary approaches?

2. Using predictive models from big data analytics, what types of dietary patterns are appropriate for individuals with HLBS diseases and conditions including timing of diet and circadian control of various disease states (e.g., circadian rhythm of blood pressure and its control?)

3. Will studies testing simulated interventions and predictive models in the real world be effective in reducing HLBS disease?

Other examples of research of interest to NHLBI are those indicated in the research recommendations from the workshop on precision nutrition: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/events/2021/precision-nutrition-research-gaps-and-opportunities-workshop

National Institute on Aging (NIA)

NIA supports applications that are relevant to the mission and strategic priorities of NIA to improve the health and well-being of older adults through genetic, biological, behavioral, social, and economical research on aging and longevity.

NIA encourages applications that propose training in advanced data analytics, statistical learning, and data visualization for the use of Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) approaches that advance our understanding of the interplay between nutrition, age, and diseases and conditions associated with aging, with the aim to improve health span and longevity. Proposed research training activities should include basic, translational, clinical, and behavioral focuses on nutrition and aging over the life span, in the context of health and disease.

Examples of relevant research areas include, but are not limited to:

  • Generation of machine learning algorithms to analyze the effects of interventions in humans involving dietary patterns that affect the amount (i.e., caloric restriction), timing (e.g., time-restricted eating), source (e.g., whole-food-plant-based), or macronutrient composition (e.g., high-carbohydrate low-fat)
  • The design of targeted dietary interventions for precision nutrition that address the special needs of older adults
  • The prevention, reversal, and/or increased targeted resilience to age-related degenerative diseases and conditions of age, and the potential effects on life span
  • Application of advanced computational approaches to predict longitudinal dynamics between diet and health trajectories across the lifespan and in aging.
  • Development of informatics platforms that interrogate health and biomedical datasets to predict the effects of diet and nutrition in special subpopulations of older people at nutritional risk (e.g., frail individuals and those with multiple chronic conditions).
  • Application of AI/ML methods, including linkage and use of neural network and deep learning methods to gain insight about nutrient uptake and health outcomes among older adults by integrating food shopping behavior data with contextual data, menu labeling, and health outcomes data.
  • Use of deep learning approaches and integrative analyses to create predictive models that elucidate age-related changes in nutritional requirements/dietary needs.
  • The effects of age on physiological processes through which nutrients and dietary supplements are absorbed, metabolized, and excreted in humans.
  • Nutritional factors associated with physiologic and psychological changes such as immunocompetence, cardiovascular function, neurological and cognitive function, body composition, physical function, control of appetite, macronutrient utilization, and emotional regulation.
  • The role of nutritional factors, including dietary supplements, in the prevention and treatment of age-related diseases including diabetes, osteoporosis, neurological disorders, immune deficits, heart disease, cancer, gastrointestinal diseases, and other comorbidities.
  • Using the framework of the “Hallmarks of Aging” and employing AI approaches to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms of aging that contribute to precision nutrition. Specifically, the three Hallmarks: deregulated nutrient sensing, stem cell dysfunction, and epigenetic alterations are of particular interest and importance with this funding opportunity.
  • Develop and/or use AI and machine learning approaches to study systems and/or integrative biology in middle to older ages that identify cellular or intrinsic physiological pathways in tissues that impact nutrient sensing systems.
    • What are the age-associated changes in nutrient sensing systems, metabolomes and microbiomes related to rates of aging and age-associated metabolic disorders?
    • What are the mechanisms of stem cell fitness either extrinsically, in the aging niche or intrinsic to aging stem cells that impact nutrition?
    • What is the role of nutritional status on the cellular and molecular mechanisms impacting the rates of aging especially in communities and populations that experience health disparities related to food insecurity?
    • What is the role of nutritional status on age-associated changes in genomic stability and epigenetic changes?
    • What is the role of nutritional status on age-associated changes and damage in protein, DNA, and lipids.?
  • Research training with a focus on brain aging and age-related neurodegenerative Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and AD related dementia (AD/ADRD) is encouraged:
    • Using AI approaches to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms of brain aging and AD/ADRD that would contribute to the development of precision nutrition
    • What are the age-associated changes in nutrient sensing systems, metabolomes and microbiomes related to brain aging and AD/ADRD?
    • Acquiring skills in AI, machine learning, computational modeling and/or data science methods, and apply them to the understanding of the role of nutrition and diet in the maintenance of brain function and performance (cognition, movement, sensation, emotion) with age, the prevention of and/or slowing of progression of AD/ADRD.
    • Interactions between nutrition, other lifestyle/environmental factors, and genetics on age-related cognitive decline and progression of AD/ADRD in individuals of different race/ethnic backgrounds.
  • Develop and/or use AI and machine learning approaches to study systems neurobiology in middle to older ages that identify cellular or intrinsic physiological pathways in tissues that impact nutrient sensing systems.
  • What is the role of nutritional status on brain function in aging especially in communities and populations that experience health disparities related to food insecurity?
  • What are the dietary patterns/nutritional intake patterns that best support brain health and performance (cognition, movement, sensation, and/or emotion) in older adults?

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

NICHD is particularly interested in precision nutrition-related research relevant to pregnancy, lactation, infants, and children, and individuals with disabilities and undergoing medical rehabilitation. Further, NICHD is interested in sophisticated modeling and analysis of multi-level influences on racial and ethnic minority populations and NIH-designated populations that experience health disparities, including less privileged socioeconomic status (SES) populations, underserved rural populations, sexual and gender minorities (SGM).  . For any applicant, NICHD will require a strong plan for efforts to diversify the applicant pool for prospective trainees from diverse backgrounds including those from groups nationally underrepresented in biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research (see Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity).

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)

NIDCR is interested in supporting predoctoral training and development of a diverse and innovative next generation research workforce pursuing applications of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to advance knowledge in the interface of precision nutrition, and Dental, Oral and Craniofacial (DOC) diseases and conditions, and responses to treatments. Specific areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Integration and analysis of molecular, omic, genetic, physiologic, phenotypic, behavioral, environmental, socioeconomic and other relevant data, including data from electronic health records and data repositories, to identify role of nutrition that influences underlying molecular and genetic mechanisms of DOC diseases and conditions;
  • Identification and validation, using AI/ML approaches, of the effects of DOC conditions on human nutrition and vice versa, and effects of nutrition on development and progression of DOC diseases and conditions, to identify targets of nutrition-based clinical interventions;
  • Development of criteria and approaches to generate AI/ML-ready, high-quality data and to transform existing data to make it usable for AI/ML applications;
  • Develop and/or apply DOC ontologies and standard terminologies, innovative knowledge representation and exchange approaches, to facilitate findability, accessibility, interoperability and reusability (FAIR) of information from multi-dimensional AI/ML-ready DOC datasets generated from diverse populations;
  • Apply common data elements (CDE) to maximize data reusability and interoperability.
  • Development of AI/ML-based modeling for nutrition-based treatment planning and assessment of treatment outcomes; and
  • Assessment of ethical, legal, and social issues related to applications of AI/ML in DOC and nutrition research.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

NIDDK is interested in supporting training applications in artificial intelligence (AI) for precision nutrition (AIPrN) that will focus on integration of the domains of precision nutrition, AI including machine learning (ML), systems biology, systems science, “Big Data”, and computational analytics within the mission areas of the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases (DEM) and the Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition (DDN). With the tremendous growth in data collection, coupled with advances in computing power and data accessibility, researchers can apply artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, such as machine learning, in many scientific disciplines to enhance analysis of complex data. Applications may focus on aspects of nutrition, on the categorization, statistical analysis, and modeling of prevention, etiology, and treatment of diseases within these mission areas. Applications may focus on preclinical, translational and/or clinical research. Only research areas specific to obesity, diabetes, gastrointestinal, hepatobiliary, other metabolic diseases, and exocrine pancreatic diseases within NIDDK’s mission will be considered. Applications proposing to support trainees from diverse backgrounds including groups nationally underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research are particularly encouraged. Some specific areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Models that use precision nutrition to help characterize the treatment responses of people with diabetes, and use physiological, behavioral and omics analyses to elucidate potential disease heterogeneity and define subgroups of patients;
  • Models that integrate precision nutrition with physiological and behavioral factors and omics data to understand the degree and duration of physiological and behavioral interventions that can induce substantiable changes to reverse disease conditions and improve health;
  • Understanding the role(s) of gastrointestinal microbiota and downstream metabolites in the development or changes in response to specific foods or dietary pattern challenges;
  • Interactions between eating and sensory cues (e.g., chemosensory and taste reception) as well as the pathways, mechanisms, and substrates responsible for nutrition-related behaviors and food choice with relevance to the development, progression, prevention, and treatment;
  • Development of methods, measures, and tools for network interventions of prevision nutrition, guided by Social Network Analysis, to improve the outreach to marginalized populations, and to improve dissemination, implementation, sustainment, and evaluation of health behavior interventions;
  • Development of data science technologies that integrate automated meal detection and nutrition analysis, mobile technologies, assessment of contextual and psychosocial factors and wearable sensors, toward a joint social and medical care of patients;
  • Development of methods and models to support precision nutrition in salutogenesis across lifespan;
  • Brain-gut interactions of nutrients with the gut microbiome and digestive system in functional digestive and motility disorders.

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)

The mission of the NIMHD is to lead scientific research to improve minority health and reduce health disparities. NIMHD focuses on all aspects of health and health care for racial and ethnic minority populations in the U.S. and the full continuum of health disparity causes as well as the interrelation of these causes. NIMHD is interested in training programs that focus on innovative computational, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and/or data science analytic approaches in diet-related chronic disease research and nutrition-related disparities with a focus on one or more of the following populations that NIH-designates as experiencing health disparities in the United States and its territories: African Americans, Latinos/Hispanics, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, less privileged socioeconomic groups, underserved rural populations, and sexual and gender minorities.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

NINDS will support applications that address or seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system by supporting and conducting research on the healthy and diseased brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. NINDS supports basic, translational, and clinical research.

NINDS encourages applications that propose training focused on the integration of precision nutrition, AI, machine learning (ML), systems biology, systems science, Big Data, and computational analytics, particularly involving data from cohorts of all ages with neurodegenerative diseases, neurodevelopmental disorders, cerebrovascular diseases, paroxysmal neurological disorders, neuroimmune diseases, TBI, spinal cord disorders, peripheral nerve diseases, microbiome projects with a connection to the nervous system, or rare diseases involving the nervous system.

Only applications that fall within the scientific mission of the NINDS will be considered for funding.

National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)

NINR encourages applications from Schools of Nursing that propose training that addresses its Strategic Plan and advances its mission: to lead nursing research to solve pressing health challenges and inform practice and policy - optimizing health and advancing health equity into the future. NINR discovers solutions to health challenges through the lenses of health equity, social determinants of health, population and community health, prevention and health promotion, and systems and models of care. Drawing on the strengths of nursing’s holistic, contextualized perspective, core values, and broad reach, NINR funds multilevel and cross-sectoral research that examines the factors that impact health across the many settings in which nurses work, including homes, schools, workplaces, clinics, justice settings, and the community.

Career opportunities. The career outcomes of individuals supported by these NRSA training programs include research careers in academia and industry and research-related careers in various sectors, e.g., academic institutions, government agencies, for-profit businesses, and private foundations. The training programs should provide students access to a wide range of structured, career development advising and learning opportunities (e.g., coursework, workshops, discussions, research projects).

Oversight of trainee mentoring and progression. Trainees supported by this program will be expected to have formal individual development plans to ensure that they obtain a Ph.D. degree or post-doctoral training in a timely manner, and with 1) a publication record that will allow them to progress to outstanding postdoctoral research opportunities, 2) written and oral presentation skills that will facilitate their ability to publish their results as first author, submit competitive grant applications, speak at national meetings and interview for future positions, 3) a working knowledge of various potential career directions that make strong use of the knowledge and skills gained during research training and the steps required to transition successfully to the next stage of their chosen career.

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) does not allow appointed Trainees to lead an independent clinical trial, but it does allow them to obtain research experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor or co-mentor. NIH strongly supports training towards a career in clinically relevant research and so gaining experience in clinical trials under the guidance of a mentor or co-mentor is encouraged.

Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH)

The Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) is part of the Office of the Director of NIH and works in partnership with the 27 NIH Institutes and Centers to ensure that women's health research is part of the scientific framework at the NIH, and throughout the health research community. The mission of ORWH is to enhance research related to diseases, disorders, and conditions affecting women; to help ensure that women are appropriately represented in biomedical research supported by the NIH; and to improve the advancement of women in biomedical careers and of investigators conducting research addressing women’s health issues.

ORWH is interested in co-funding institutional training programs (predoctoral, postdoctoral or both) that are intended to build a diverse research workforce in Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Precision Nutrition (AIPrN) focused on the integration of precision nutrition, AI, machine learning (ML), systems biology, systems science, Big Data, and computational analytics to address women’s nutritional issues across the lifespan. ORWH is committed to supporting opportunities that will enable early career scientists of both sexes to apply the principles of Artificial Intelligence to Precision Nutrition, as well as to other areas related to women’s health or sex difference research.

ORWH co-funds applications and/or research project awards from any of the participating NIH Institutes and Centers (ICOs) listed in the announcement and where one of the research goals or aims is aligned with at least one of the strategic goals and objectives outlined in the Trans-NIH Strategic Plan for Women’s Health Research. Please contact the relevant ICO Scientific/Research Contact(s) listed for questions regarding IC research priorities and funding.

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

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 FOA.

Clinical Trial?

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

Note: Appointed Trainees are permitted to obtain research experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor or co-mentor.

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications. ONR and the participating ICs intend to commit an estimated total of $4 million (per year) to fund ~10 awards in FY2023, depending on receipt of meritorious applications and availability of funds.

Award Budget

Application budgets are not limited, but budgets need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

Recipients are expected to be familiar with and comply with applicable cost policies and the NRSA Guidelines (NIH Grants Policy Statement - Institutional Research Training Grants). Funds may be used only for those expenses that are directly related to and necessary for the research training and must be expended in conformance with OMB Cost Principles, the NIH Grants Policy Statement, and the NRSA regulations, policies, guidelines, and conditions set forth in this document.

Award Project Period

The maximum project period is 5 years.

Other Award Budget Information

Stipends, Tuition, and Fees

Kirschstein-NRSA awards provide stipends as a subsistence allowance to help defray living expenses during the research training experience.

NIH will contribute to the combined cost of tuition and fees at the rate in place at the time of award.

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

Trainee Travel

Travel funds may be requested for up to two scientific meetings per trainee for the duration of the grant. One of these trips must be to attend a required cross-site grantee meetings to be convened by ONR, and the other to a scientific meeting in an area related to the trainees' areas of research. Travel funds should also be requested for the travel of all the PDs/PIs to attend the annual cross-site BSSR Data Analytics T32 Program grantee meetings. The travel cost should be limited to $1,500 per trip.

Training Related Expenses

NIH will provide funds to help defray other research training expenses, such as health insurance, staff salaries, consultant costs, equipment, research supplies, and faculty/staff travel directly related to the research training program. The most recent levels of training related expenses are announced annually in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, and are also posted on the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) webpage.

In addition to the standard NIH allocation for training related expenses, applicants may request up to $20,000 for new curriculum development staff salary support in the first budget year of the award only. These funds must be justified and should be used to develop courses and/or other teaching materials specifically related to developing a new formal training program in advanced data analytics.

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, consortium costs in excess of $25,000, and expenditures for equipment), 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 FOA.

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

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

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

  • 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)

Governments

  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized)
  • U.S. Territory or Possession

Other

  • Native American Tribal Organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Faith-based or Community-based Organizations

Federal Governments

  • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
  • U.S. Territory or Possession

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.

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. The applicant institution must also have a strong and high-quality research program in the area(s) proposed under this FOA and must have the requisite faculty, staff, potential trainees and facilities on site to conduct the proposed institutional program. In many cases, it is anticipated that the proposed program will complement other ongoing career development programs occurring at the applicant institution and that a substantial number of program faculty will have active research projects in which participating scholars may gain relevant experiences consistent with their research interests and goals.

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.

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

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

  • 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 full SAM and Grants.gov registrations; 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 training program as the Training Program Director/Principal Investigator (Training PD/PI) is invited to work with his/her 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 SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide.

The PD/PI should be an established investigator in the scientific area in which the application is targeted and capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program. The PD/PI will be responsible for the selection and appointment of trainees to the approved research training program, and for the overall direction, management, administration, and evaluation of the program. The PD/PI will be expected to monitor and assess the program and submit all documents and reports as required. The PD/PI has responsibility for the day-to-day administration of the program and is responsible for appointing members of the Advisory Committee (when applicable), using their recommendations to determine the appropriate allotment of funds.

2. Cost Sharing

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

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

Number of Applications

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

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time, per 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 2.3.9.4 Similar, Essentially Identical, or Identical Applications).
Preceptors/Mentors

Program faculty should have strong records as researchers, including recent publications and successful competition for research support in the area of the proposed research training program. Program faculty should also have a record of research training, including successful, former trainees who have established productive careers relevant to the NIH mission. Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as mentors. (See the Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity). This funding opportunity announcement requires applicants to assemble an interdisciplinary team of scientific mentors to design and direct a training program. Applications must include mentors from relevant nutrition science research (NSR) disciplines such as bioinformatics, OMICs, diet-related disease pathophysiology or public health, microbiome-host interrelationships, nutrition disparities etc. as well as experts in computational or data science analysis approaches from relevant disciplines such as engineering, computer science, applied mathematics, statistics, or physics departments.

The trainees will be required to have at least two main mentors as outlined earlier and who represent completely different areas of expertise to foster a truly cross-disciplinary training experience (e.g., one mentor would be from a nutrition science domain and one mentor would be in a computer science, computer engineering, computational biostatistics or informatics domain). NIH strongly encourages institutions with relevant expertise who have not previously received training grants from NIH to apply. NIH also encourages institutions that currently have multiple NIH training grants and who now wish to apply for this training grant program to consider drawing on and taking advantage of existing training activities, through collaborative approaches to expand beyond what their current training programs offer to create a unique, effective data analytics training program, and one which can augment the training of people in content areas relevant to NIH institutes. In this regard, proposed training programs may complement other ongoing research training and career development programs at the applicant institution; however, the research training experiences for this new program must be distinct from those currently receiving Federal support or that already exist at the applicant institution. The purpose is to create an entirely new predoctoral and or postdoctoral training program that is not presently available to trainees at the applicant institution. Current P50 or U54 Program Directors or applicants at institutions with NIH center grant awards or other programmatic awards such as Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) awards who wish to apply for this program are encouraged to describe how these other awards will be used to provide professional development opportunities or serve as a research hub for these new trainees.

Trainees

The individual to be trained must be a citizen or a noncitizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of appointment. Additional details on citizenship, training period, and aggregate duration of support are available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

All trainees are required to pursue their research training full time, normally defined as 40 hours per week, or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies. Appointments are normally made in 12-month increments, and no trainee may be appointed for less than 9 months during the initial period of appointment, except with prior approval of the awarding unit, or when trainees are appointed to approved, short-term training positions.

The predoctoral trainees must be enrolled in a program leading to a Ph.D. or in an equivalent research doctoral degree program leading to a career in nutrition science research in health.

Postdoctoral trainees must have received, as of the beginning date of the NRSA appointment, a Ph.D., M.D., D.D.S., or comparable doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution. Comparable doctoral degrees include, but are not limited to, the following: D.M.D., D.C., D.O., D.V.M., O.D., D.P.M., Sc.D., Eng.D., Dr.P.H., D.N.Sc., D.P.T., Pharm.D., D.S.W., Psy.D., as well as a doctoral degree in nursing research. Documentation by an authorized official of the degree-granting institution certifying all degree requirements have been met prior to the beginning date of the training appointment is acceptable. Individuals in postgraduate clinical training, who wish to interrupt their studies for a year or more to engage in full-time research training before completing their formal training programs, are also eligible.

Trainees should be appointed in the early stages of their graduate or postdoctoral training program. Because of the great need for comprehensive knowledge and skills trainees should be appointed for a minimum of 2 years with additional 1-2 years allowed as justified by the program plans. Training programs are encouraged to transition trainees to other support such as individual fellowships (F31) or to research grants when feasible.

All trainees are required to pursue their research training full time, normally defined as 40 hours per week, or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies. Appointments are normally made in 12-month increments, and no trainee may be appointed for less than 9 months during the initial period of appointment, except with prior approval of the NIH awarding unit, or when trainees are appointed to approved, short-term training positions.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

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

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the Training (T) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

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:

Christopher Lynch, Ph.D.
Office of Nutrition Research
Telephone: 301-827-3988
E-mail: christopher.lynch@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 FOA.

SF424(R&R) Cover

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

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

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

SF424 (R&R) Other Project Information

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed. The following additional instructions apply:

Project Summary/Abstract. Provide an abstract of the entire application. Include the objectives, rationale and design of the research training program, as well as key activities in the training plan. Indicate the planned duration of appointments, the projected number of trainees including their levels (i.e., year of predoctoral training, and intended trainee outcomes).

Other Attachments - (There are four, Appendix A - D)

    1. Plan to ensure successful outcomes of the training program and trainees: The application must include a signed letter of assurance on institutional letterhead from a President, Provost, Dean or key institutional leader that describes the activities and resources provided by the institution that will ensure the ensure success in achieving the next level of the planned training program and its trainees (not to exceed 10 pages). Please name your file "Letter from Leadership.pdf” without the quotation marks. The letter should address and/or include a description of the following:
      • the financial and non-financial resources that are directly committed or available to the proposed T32 program, including the specific resources that are intended to directly aid in accomplishing the programmatic mission of the training program to be supported by this T32;
      • support for the PDs/PIs and other key staff associated with the planned training program and policies that ensure that faculty with a role in the proposed program have time available to devote to their responsibilities to the program;
      • for NINDS-supported projects only: assurance that the institution will strongly encourage trainees to attend the annual NINDS T32 Workshop once during their tenure of support by the training grant to present their research and engage in scientific discussion, and that the training grant PD/PI(s) attend each year;
      • for NINDS-supported projects only: assurance that the institution will strongly encourage trainees to attend the annual NINDS T32 Workshop once during their tenure of support by the training grant to present their research and engage in scientific discussion, and that the training grant PD/PI(s) attend each year;
      • active institutional efforts to develop and promote a culture in which the highest standards of scientific rigor and responsible conduct are advanced;
      • efforts to ensure that all faculty, including early-stage faculty, are recognized for their participation and effort in training and mentoring;
      • the institution’s consideration of activities integral to excellent research training (such as teaching and mentorship) in tenure and promotion decisions;
      • policies that ensure availability of funding so that graduate students are able to complete their doctoral training if their mentor experiences a hiatus in funds or leaves the institution;
      • active efforts to promote diversity and inclusion and create a positive, supportive and inclusive research and training environment for individuals from all backgrounds, at all levels of the research training environment (trainees, staff, faculty, leadership);
      • efforts to ensure accessibility of research facilities to trainees with disabilities;
      • the institution’s efforts to recruit prospective faculty for this program from diverse backgrounds (including women, individuals from different backgrounds and with different perspectives, senior faculty and junior faculty) to serve as role models;
      • the institutional involvement in providing resources and expertise for evaluating the training outcomes of the program.
      • a paragraph that describes the institution’s efforts to provide family-friendly environments, accommodations and leave policies (see examples in Model Policy on Pregnancy and Parenting Leave and Accommodations and Promising Practices for Addressing the Underrepresentation of Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine). These policies and accommodations would address, but are not limited to, timely access to affordable childcare services and accommodations for extended medical, family care or emergency circumstances that may impact or cause delays in scientific productivity. The institutional support letter must describe the financial and/or environmental support mechanisms available to trainees to help achieve their full career development potential despite the occurrence of critical life events.
      • the institutional support letter must also include a separate paragraph describing the institutional commitment to providing an environment free of discriminatory harassment and other discriminatory practices. The letter must explicitly address the areas laid out in NOT-OD-19-029.
    1. An Advisory Committeeis not a required component of a training program. However, if an Advisory Committee is intended, mention in the application that this is described in an attachment. Within that attachment provide a plan for the appointment of an Advisory Committee to monitor progress of the training [career development] 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 attachment if they have been invited to participate at the time the application is submitted. Please name your optional file “Advisory_Committee.pdf" without the quotation marks.
    2. A plan for training in advanced data analytics or computational methods relevant to precision nutrition or other aspects of nutrition science or diet related disease research, and quantitative skills and literacy, is a required program component, and must be included in the body of the application. However, for programs requesting funds to develop curricula in these areas, a detailed syllabi outlining the format and subject matter content of activities must be included as an attachment to the application. Curriculum development funds will not be provided without a well-conceived plan for training in quantitative computational skills, AI/ML and literacy AND/OR biomedical or nutrition sciences depending on the trainee’s previous academic background. Curriculum enhancement of existing statistics courses may be insufficient to warrant curriculum development support. Please name your file "AIPrN_Training_Syllabi.pdf" without the quotation marks.
    1. A simple statement indicating willingness to take part in annual AIPrN T32 Program grantee meetings that will include opportunities for intellectual exchange between faculty and students should be provided. The Office of Nutrition Research will convene and facilitate annual cross-site exchanges among faculty and trainees. Please name your file "Willingness_to_Participate.pdf” without the quotation marks.

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.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

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

PHS 398 Training Subaward Budget Attachment(s)

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

Training Budget

  • Include all personnel other than the Training PD(s)/PI(s) in the Other Personnel section, including clerical and administrative staff.
  • Include requests for curriculum development funds as part of the Training Related Expenses (up to $20,000 in the first budget year of the project). Include a justification for these funds and itemize how the support will be used for the development and/or enhancement of curricula and activities to meet this FOA's training requirement for advanced data analytics or computational methods relevant to nutrition science research in health, and quantitative skills and literacy. Include a description of who will be supported by the funds, their qualifications and the level of effort required.
  • Programs seeking funds to invite outside experts to conduct workshops to enhance quantitative skills and literacy should include a request in the Training Budget. Provide a justification for these funds and describe how the support will be used for the development and/or enhancement of activities to meet this FOA's training requirement for quantitative literacy and the use of quantitative approaches. Provide several examples of the types of experts to be invited and the anticipated value of including them in the training program.
  • Programs seeking funds to support up to 1.2 person months effort for a faculty-level statistician to be integrated into the training program should include a request in the Training Budget. Provide a justification for these funds that includes the name and qualifications of the individual to be supported, and a detailed description of his or her role, contribution and responsibilities in providing statistical training and support for trainees and the program."

PHS 398 Research Training Program Plan

The PHS 398 Research Training Program Plan Form is comprised of the following sections:

  • Training Program
  • Faculty, Trainees, and Training Record
  • Other Training Program Sections
  • Appendix Note that the Appendix should only be used in circumstances covered in the NIH policy on appendix materials or if the FOA specifically instructs applicants to do so. This FOA does require appendix materials: see required and optional attachments, Appendices A-D (described above).

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

The following modifications apply:

Particular attention must be given to the required Training Data Tables. Applicants should summarize, in the body of the application, key data from the tables that highlight the characteristics of the applicant pool, faculty mentors, the educational and career outcomes of participants, and other factors that contribute to the overall environment of the program.

Training Program

Program Plan

The PD/PI should describe program activities intended to develop the working knowledge needed for trainees to select among and prepare for the next step in varied research career options available in the workforce. For example, programs should provide all trainees with instruction and training in oral and written presentation and in skills needed to apply for individual fellowship or grant support.

The training program should be designed to ensure that by the end of the training period, trainees would have received sufficient breadth in knowledge and skills in the areas that complement their undergraduate degree as well as depth in complementary data science or computational modeling areas. Because trainees will enter the program with different knowledge and skill sets, a trainee's program may have to be customized or personalized to accommodate their background.

Program Administration

Institutions with existing programs must explain what distinguishes this program from the others already in existence, how their programs will synergize with one another, if applicable, and make it clear that the pool of faculty, potential scholars, and resources are robust enough to support additional programs.

Describe the strengths, leadership and administrative skills, training experience, scientific expertise, and active research of the PD/PI. Relate these strengths to the proposed management of the training program. Describe the planned strategy and administrative structure to be used to oversee and monitor the program. If there are multiple PDs/PIs, then the plan for Program Administration is expected to synergize with the "Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan" section of the application.

Program Director and Administrative Information

The application should describe the planned strategy and administrative structure to be used to oversee and monitor the program, to provide oversight that will ensure outstanding mentorship and guidance for each trainee, and to ensure appropriate and timely trainee progress for the duration of the training program.

The application should describe how the Training Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PDs/PIs) will promote the success of the trainees and training program. If there are multiple PDs/PIs, the plan for Program Administration is expected to synergize with the "Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan" section of the application. Applicants should provide a clear leadership plan, including designated roles and responsibilities for each of the PDs/PIs and describe how their respective expertise and experience will benefit the trainees and enhance the ability of the program to achieve its training goals. The application should expand on the information in the biosketches to address how the PD/PI or PD/PI team has:

  • the scientific expertise as well as the administrative and training experience to provide strong leadership, direction, management and administration of the proposed research training program; and
  • the time to commit sufficient effort to ensure the program's success given other professional obligations (applicants should indicate the percent effort to be devoted to the proposed program for each PD/PI and describe the institutional commitment to the PD/PI devoting the necessary time to directing the program).

The application should also describe the plans by program leadership, and if relevant, other program-affiliated faculty, to affirmatively build and/or expand on an inclusive environment that values a wide variety of perspectives and welcomes input from and, participation of, individuals from different backgrounds and different perspectives. The application should describe measures by which leadership will ensure that trainees will be introduced to, and have access to, a variety of role models and individuals with different perspectives.


Program Faculty

The application must include information about the program faculty who will serve as preceptors/mentors and, if relevant, distinguish between faculty members who will serve as primary mentors and those who have other roles in the training program. It should expand on the information in the biosketches (see "Participating Faculty Biosketches") to address the following:

  • the complementary expertise and experiences of the program faculty as they relate specifically to the programmatic structure and goals of the proposed program, as well as how the faculty interact and collaborate;
  • expectations for faculty participation in programmatic activities beyond training within their labs; what mechanisms are in place to ensure faculty participation in programmatic activities?
  • how the program will ensure the involvement of participating mentors in equipping trainees to approach their research with a quantitative mindset, and with attention to rigorous experimental design, use of appropriate statistical methodology and an understanding of appropriate, statistically rigorous, interpretation of results;
  • the plans and specific approach to recruiting a diverse team of program faculty (including individuals from underrepresented groups(NOT-OD-20-031), and faculty at different career stages) so that trainees will have access to a wide variety of role models within the training program;
  • the commitment of preceptors/mentors to effective mentoring and promoting inclusive and supportive scientific and training environments;
  • a plan to ensure that preceptors who lack a strong research training record will provide strong and effective mentoring;
  • a plan for oversight of mentorship by program leadership that will ensure that each trainee will obtain appropriate guidance for achieving success in the program.
  • the plan for evaluation of participating faculty for their contribution to the following: high quality mentorship, attention to robust experimental design and statistical and experimental rigor, promoting the values of quantitative literacy expected by the T32-funded program, and creating an inclusive environment that welcomes open discussion and varied perspectives of both trainees and faculty. The evaluation plan should describe the approach to, and timeline for making changes to the cohort of participating faculty based on their commitment to and/or success in achieving the goals of the program.

Fostering excellence in mentorship

One key to scientific and career success of trainees is exposure to outstanding mentorship. Programs are encouraged to create activities that are designed to foster outstanding mentorship among faculty. Examples of such activities might include those designed to mentor mentors or meetings among faculty designed to engage all training faculty in peer-peer discussions of the many issues that come up both routinely and sporadically in a lab or research environment.

Participating Faculty Biosketches

Program faculty must provide a personal statement that describes the appropriateness of their research background for the proposed training program, and their approach to and/or record of the following:

  • training, mentoring and promoting an inclusive and supportive scientific research environment;
  • training in sound experimental design, statistical methodology and the application of quantitative approaches in their research;
  • support for trainees' participation in activities required to identify and transition into careers in the biomedical research workforce that are consistent with the trainees' skills, interests, and values; and
  • fulfilling the need of trainees to progress to the next career stage in a timely manner with the skills, credentials and experiences necessary for careers in the biomedical research workforce.

Proposed Training

The application should describe how the program will develop a diverse pool of outstanding neuroscientists who have the technical, operational and professional skills required to conduct research in an ethically responsible and rigorous manner, and to enter careers in the biomedical research workforce as delineated in the Program Objectives. The application should describe how this program specifically will enhance the breadth and depth of training obtained by trainees, and more broadly, enhance the training environment.

Rationale

The application should explain the rationale and need for the specifically proposed research training program, the relevant background history and the research training activities of the participating department(s) or unit(s). The application should demonstrate the presence of a sufficient number of potential trainees in appropriate disciplines and program faculty with the appropriate scientific expertise, as well as the resources to achieve the training objectives. When other neuroscience related T32s exist at the institution, describe the ways in which the training plan is distinct from these other funded T32 programs.

Program Purpose and Goals

Provide an overview of the proposed program. Describe the programmatic theme and scientific area(s) to be included. Outline the objectives of the program and the programmatic activities that will be used to meet these objectives. Include information about planned courses, mentored research experiences and any structured activities designed to develop specific technical skills or other skills essential for the proposed research training. Describe specifically how the program will ensure that all trainees will be exposed to a broad range of scientific approaches, systems for study and tools and technologies relevant to neuroscience research.

Describe how the programmatic activities will unify a cohort of trainees and expand their expertise beyond what would occur in the absence of this program. For programs proposing to train a combination of predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees, describe the activities in which each group of trainees will participate, and how they will interact and benefit from the interaction, programmatic activities, and collaborative possibilities that the program creates. For multi-disciplinary and/or multi-departmental programs such as this, indicate how the individual disciplinary and/or departmental components of the program are integrated and coordinated and how they will relate to (be personalized for) an individual trainee's experience.

Rotations and External Internships

Rotations are widely recognized as effective means to introduce students to the broadest range of the myriad types of datasets that are a challenge to data science. For example, describe how the training program will offer rotations in computer or in clinical laboratories after trainees have had sufficient course work to gain basic applications of their data science training in relevant areas. As another example, programs can describe experiences in academic, industrial, and other relevant settings that may be provided for trainees to introduce them to a variety of creative approaches to conducting complex data research.

Joint Primary Mentorship

Describe how the program will structure arrangements for joint mentorship of trainees and for peer-to-peer mentoring between more senior trainees and more junior trainees. One way to enhance training and communication among disciplines is for trainees to have mentors from more than one of the interdisciplinary scientific areas (computer science, statistics, and the nutrition sciences). Trainees will also have at least two main/primary mentors who represent completely different areas of expertise to foster a truly cross-disciplinary training experience (e.g., one mentor could be from a nutrition science, diet-related disease domain and one mentor would be in a computer science, AI/ML or informatics domain).

Multiple Interdisciplinary and Team-based Science Training Team/Committee

Each institutional training program should include interdisciplinary faculty, e.g., with expertise in nutrition, bioinformatics, or biomedical sciences (focused on diet-related diseases of interest to participating Institutes), AI/ML, computational/data sciences, or computer engineering, applied mathematics and biostatistics/informatics, etc. Multiple primary mentors and secondary (e.g., members of thesis committee) are strongly encouraged. The intended FOA requires applicants to assemble an interdisciplinary team of scientific mentors to design and direct a training program matched to the applicant’s expertise and individual research activities.

Experimental Design and Statistical Methodology

Experimental Design: Describe the formal programmatic activities designed to reinforce the principles of experimental design to ensure that trainees understand the practices required for robust hypothesis testing. Describe the principles that will be covered and the format and timeframe for instruction. Topics should include, but are not limited to, education in the design of well-controlled experiments; the difference between hypothesis-generating and hypothesis-testing experimentation, and the differences in design and statistical/analytical approach required for each; scientifically appropriate determination of sample size; the appropriate use of statistics in experimental design and data analysis; and criteria for inclusion and exclusion of data for analysis. Describe plans to expose trainees to the analytical approaches used in common experimental systems (e.g., electrophysiology, imaging, behavior, genetics etc.) such that they will be able to evaluate scientific data presented in the literature, seminars and other contexts. Describe the program’s approach to ensuring that each trainee will develop a practical appreciation of these principles and their application to their individual research.

Statistical Methodology: Applications must include a detailed description of the plan for ensuring that each trainee is equipped with a thorough understanding of statistical methodology relevant to neuroscience research. Describe how trainees will be educated in the different types of statistical tests appropriate for different experimental paradigms, the appropriate application of statistics in analyzing data, interpreting results and forming conclusions, and the practical application of statistics to data in their own experimental systems. Describe the program's approach to instilling trainees with the depth and breadth of statistical understanding to enable them to adapt and appropriately apply statistical approaches as their experimental repertoire changes. While trainees may take, or have taken, an introductory statistics course, this is not sufficient to achieve the goals of this FOA.

Statistical Training and Support

Applications should describe how statistical support will be provided to the trainees, and if funds are requested for incorporation of a faculty-level statistician into the program, a detailed description of the role, contribution and responsibilities of that individual with respect to the program. As stated above, the intent of providing salary for a statistician to be integrated into the program is for the statistician to participate in regular meetings with trainees and training program faculty. Whereas individual consultation between the statistician and trainees is highly desirable, that activity alone, or simply the teaching of a course, is insufficient justification for obtaining salary funds for a statistician.

Quantitative Literacy and the Use of Quantitative Approaches

Describe the formal programmatic activities designed to provide trainees with an understanding of the use and value of quantitative reasoning skills and approaches for application to neuroscience research. Provide a specific plan designed to enhance trainees' quantitative literacy and to encourage them to adopt a quantitative mindset. Describe the concepts that will be covered, and the practical tools and approaches that will be used to ensure that each trainee gains knowledge of, and experience in, quantitative exploration, interpretation and evaluation of data relevant to the thematic area of the program and to their own research. This plan might include programming skills for evaluating biological phenomena, systems and data, quantitative problem-solving exercises for understanding biological data and/or other didactic or hands-on activities designed to develop such skills. Programs should describe how quantitative approaches will be integrated across the program's training activities.

Programs may wish to enhance and expand upon their current offerings for developing quantitative skills and literacy. Funds may be requested to bring in experts to conduct workshops or other activities to enhance training in this area. To be eligible for these funds, applications must include a detailed plan for the proposed activities.

Program-Wide Meetings: Experimental Design, Statistics and Quantitative Literacy

Describe plans for ensuring that trainees and program faculty meet regularly as a group to discuss and evaluate the experimental and statistical approaches used in their own work and in literature relevant to the thematic area of the program, and as relevant, discussions of the variety of quantitative tools and approaches used to examine different types of data, and potential approaches to modeling experimental systems. Plans should include a description of the format and timeframe for these meetings. If funds are requested for support of a statistician, describe the plans for participation and the role of the statistician in these meetings.

Scientific Rigor

Describe the programmatic activities designed to ensure that trainees gain a thorough understanding of the principles of scientific rigor. Describe the principles that will be covered and the format and timeframe for instruction. Topics should include, but are not limited to, the potential for infiltration of bias into experimental approaches, interpretation and publication, approaches to minimize bias in experimental design, analyses, and data interpretation; transparent reporting of results; and acceptable and unacceptable approaches to image manipulation and figure preparation. Education in the role of human decision-making tendencies and cognitive biases in data interpretation (c.f. Kahneman, D. 2011 Thinking, Fast and Slow. New York. Farrar, Straus and Giroux) is strongly encouraged. Additional topics may include proper data storage, data labelling, data organization and archiving, and when applicable, preparation of computer code for public sharing so that it can be interpreted by others in the scientific community.

Ethics

Programs should describe the plan to incorporate regular discussion of ethical issues and questions associated with the program’s research and training goals into programmatic activities. This is distinct from RCR requirements – it is expected that programs will build in discussions of ethical issues, challenges and considerations into seminars, journal clubs, research presentations, and other programmatic activities.

Professional Skills

Describe the activities intended to provide trainees with outstanding oral and written presentation skills for both lay and scientifically literate audiences, and the typical frequency of public oral presentations by trainees. The NINDS T32 Workshop will be held annually and is expected to include opportunities for 5- to 10-minute talks and/or poster presentations by the trainees. Describe any anticipated activities that will prepare trainees for effective presentations at this meeting in either format. Describe policies and expectations related to trainee submission of individual funding applications (e.g., fellowships, foundation awards, etc.). Describe required and optional programmatic activities intended to develop skills needed to apply successfully for individual fellowships or other types of grant support.

Understanding Career Opportunities

Describe the opportunities for trainees to learn about the many potential career paths available to them so that they may pursue a career of their choice that draws upon their Ph.D. training. Such opportunities may include, for example, access to formal career advising, internship/externships, or exposure to individuals with different kinds of jobs in the workforce. Describe the oversight mechanism that will ensure that all trainees, in the context of meeting the program's expectations for research excellence and productivity, can pursue their desired career.

Program Evaluation

The application should describe an evaluation process to determine the effectiveness of the program. The overall evaluation plan should include the metrics to be evaluated (e.g., program activities completed, degree completion (if applicable), publications, fellowships/honors, subsequent positions, access of all trainees and engagement of appropriate role models as well as plans to obtain feedback from current and former trainees to provide suggestions for program improvement. The evaluation should address not only the cumulative record of the program, but the individual training records of each participating mentor. Describe plans to have the program evaluated by internal and external faculty with relevant experience or expertise in evaluation.

Trainee Candidates

Through the narrative, summaries of the information presented in the Training Tables and the attachments, the following areas relevant to trainees should be addressed:

  • Describe the characteristics of the applicant pool, applicants eligible for support, new entrants into the program and new entrants eligible for support. The application should avoid inclusion of trainees within participating departments and units who are not candidates for this program.
  • Describe the ability of participating department(s) and/or the institution(s) to support trainees for the duration of their training.
  • Define and justify the selection and re-appointment criteria for trainees in the training program.
  • Explain how the program's support for courses, seminars, workshops and other activities may benefit other students or postdoctorates at the institution.
  • Describe the trainees' academic and research background needed to pursue the proposed training and plans to accommodate differences in preparation among trainees.
  • Describe the institution's experience in training individuals from diverse backgrounds, including, for example, those from population groups that have been shown to be underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research workforce, such as underrepresented racial and ethnic groups and those with disabilities (see NOT-OD-20-031).
  • For those institutions that also have MSTP programs and intend to support MD/PhD students with this funding opportunity, the PD/PI should explain the process by which MD/PhD students will be selected for support (including the anticipated number of MSTP students supported) and how he/she will ensure that the majority of trainees supported by the program are those seeking a PhD rather than an MD/PhD.

Institutional Environment and Commitment to Training

The application should describe how the level of institutional and departmental commitment to research and training excellence will promote the success of the trainees and training program. Applications should describe, when applicable, resources provided by the institution that will contribute to educating trainees in this program in ethical issues, experimental design, statistics, as well as any other resources being provided specifically for this program. A letter providing assurances of the institutional commitment should be provided in the Letters of Support section of the application (see Appendix A).

Inclusive Research Environment: Describe efforts to promote an inclusive research environment (e.g., institutional and departmental environments in which trainees from all backgrounds are integrated into, and supported by, the institution). Describe efforts to ensure that trainees have access to role models with varying expertise, experiences, and backgrounds, both within the institution and through activities such as invited seminars. For example, the pool of role models should include senior faculty who have the benefit of long experience, and junior faculty who have more recent experience in transitioning from training to independent positions. Note that it is insufficient for efforts designed to enhance diversity and inclusivity to be wholly pursued within the centralized domain of the institution; individual T32 programs are expected to actively pursue both diversity and inclusiveness across the entire T32 program environment, which includes faculty, trainees and invited speakers. The application should describe efforts within the program to promote and ensure a positive, inclusive research environment at both the departmental and individual laboratory or research environment level.

Applicant Academic Background: Applicants should also consider trainees who are either enrolled in a RD-MS (or equivalent) or Ph.D. program or have obtained either of these degrees—as described in the NIH Strategic Plan for Nutrition Research. Programs should have flexibility to train those with either previous AI/computational science training or in biomedical (diet related disease) /nutrition research or the converse.

research topics: While projects selected for training across the translational spectrum of the sponsoring institutes are encouraged, ideally a number of those should aim to make discoveries from large datasets in order to reduce the rate of diet-related chronic diseases that disproportionally , and/or reduce food insecurity and hunger.

Institutional Support Letter

See instructions for Appendix A.

Program Outcomes

The application should provide the information below about recent trainee outcomes through narrative descriptions and a summary of the data presented in the training tables. Although the training tables for new applications only allow for five years of recent graduate outcomes, applicants may describe up to 15 years of outcomes in the narrative. Describe the following:

  • evidence that the productivity (quality and number of publications, authorship placement) of trainees in related programs is appropriate for an outstanding training program, and the ability to continue toward successful independent scientific careers
  • the rate of Ph.D. degree attainment and time-to-degree for recent graduates of related predoctoral training programs
  • the record of a related program (or, for new applications, the existing training environment that houses the program) at producing trainees who transition to excellent next research positions, as well as other research-intensive or research-related positions that make use of their training
  • the record of recent trainees (or, for new applications, other past trainees in similar training) in achieving productive scientific careers as evidenced by successful competition for research and other research-related positions in industry, academia, government or other research venues; grants; receipt of honors; high-impact publications; promotion to scientific leadership positions; and/or other such measures of success

Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research

Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

In addition, describe how the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) components are sufficiently well integrated into the overall curriculum, i.e., how they are taught at multiple stages of trainee development and in a variety of formats and contexts. Explain how the teaching of RCR synergizes with elements of the curriculum designed to enhance trainees' abilities to conduct rigorous scientific research. Describe how all program faculty will reiterate and augment key elements of responsible conduct when trainees are performing mentored research their laboratories.

Appendix:

Limited items are allowed in the Appendix. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide; any instructions provided here are in addition to theSF424 (R&R) Application Guide instructions.

PHS Assignment Request Form

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

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

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

4. Submission Dates and Times

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

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

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

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

5. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

6. Funding Restrictions

All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The National Research Service Award (NRSA) policies apply to this program. An NRSA appointment may not be held concurrently with another Federally sponsored fellowship, traineeship, or similar Federal award that provides a stipend or otherwise duplicates provisions of the NRSA.

Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Note, however, that pre-award costs are not allowable charges for stipends or tuition/fees on institutional training grants because these costs may not be charged to the grant until a trainee has actually been appointed and the appropriate paperwork submitted to the NIH awarding component. Any additional costs associated with the decision to allow research elective credit for short-term research training are not allowable charges on an institutional training grant.

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 fieldof the Senior/Key Person Profile form.Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH.

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

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

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

Post Submission Materials

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

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

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

Applications submitted to the NIH in support of the NIH mission are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

For this particular announcement, note the following:
Reviewers should evaluate the candidate’s potential for developing an independent research program that will make important contributions to the field, taking into consideration the years of research experience and the likely value of the proposed research career development as a vehicle for developing a successful, independent research program

Overall Impact

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood that the proposed training program will prepare individuals for successful, productive scientific research careers and thereby exert a sustained influence on the research field(s) involved, 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 the merit of the training program and give a separate score for each. When applicable, the reviewers will consider relevant questions in the context of proposed short-term training. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact.

Training Program and Environment

  • Are the research facilities and research environment conducive to preparing trainees for successful careers as biomedical research scientists?
  • Are the objectives, design and direction of the proposed research training program likely to ensure effective training?
  • Do the courses, where relevant, and research experiences provide opportunities for trainees to acquire skill and expertise in transparent, rigorous, and reproducible research methodologies and state-of-the-art scientific methods and tools applicable to the goals of the training program, including relevant areas of data science?
  • Does the program provide appropriate inter- or multidisciplinary research training opportunities?
  • Is the proposed training program likely to ensure trainees will be well prepared for research-intensive and research-related careers?
  • Is the level of institutional commitment to the training program, including administrative and research training support, sufficient to ensure the success of the program?
  • Is it clear how the proposed training program is distinguished from other externally funded training programs at the institution?
  • Is there a written commitment from the applicant(s) indicating willingness to take part in annual AIPrN T32 Program grantee meetings that will include opportunities for intellectual exchange between faculty and students should be provided?
  • Does the program describe formal programmatic activities that will reinforce the principles of sound experimental design and the appropriate use of statistics, such that they will foster an understanding of the critical need for the rigorous application of the concepts covered, and their incorporation into the trainees' individual research?
  • Does the institutional training program include interdisciplinary faculty, e.g., with expertise in nutrition, bioinformatics, or biomedical sciences (focused on diet-related diseases of interest to participating Institutes), computational and data sciences, computer engineering, and biostatistics/informatics, etc.?
  • Are there formal programmatic activities designed to provide trainees with an understanding of the use and value of quantitative reasoning skills and approaches for the chosen area of research? Are the planned activities likely to significantly enhance trainees' quantitative literacy and encourage them to adopt a quantitative mindset?
  • Does the proposed thesis or trainee oversight committees for trainees require multiple mentors and team-based science? The intended FOA requires applicants to assemble an interdisciplinary team of scientific mentors to design and direct a training program matched to the applicant’s expertise and individual research activities.
  • Does the institution have policies in place to ensure a family-friendly environment, such as access to affordable child-care and medical and family leave policies, that facilitate the ability of all trainees to pursue their training and career development goals in concert with fulfilling typical and/or transient life needs?
  • Is there a commitment to recruiting prospective faculty for this program from diverse backgrounds, including women, individuals from different backgrounds and with different perspectives, as well as both senior and junior faculty?
  • What are the Strengths and Weaknesses of the applicant's plan to promote diversity and inclusion?
  • Is there a potential impact of some of the example projects described to make discoveries that could decrease the rate of diet-related chronic diseases that disproportionally affect minorities and those with other disparities, reduce nutrition health disparities due to race, ethnicity, geographical location, income or educational attainment, and/or reduce food insecurity and hunger?

Training Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s))

  • Does the PD/PI have the scientific background, expertise, and administrative and training experience to provide strong leadership, direction, management, and administration of the proposed research training program?
  • Does the PD/PI plan to commit sufficient effort to ensure the program’s success?
  • For applications designating multiple PDs/PIs:
    • Is a strong justification provided that the multiple PD/PI leadership approach will benefit the training program and the trainees?
    • Is a strong and compelling leadership approach evident, including the designated roles and responsibilities, governance, and organizational structure consistent with and justified by the aims of the training program and the complementary expertise of the PDs/PIs?
    •  
  • Does the program clearly indicate whom will be the primary mentors for the program?

Preceptors/Mentors

  • Are sufficient numbers of experienced preceptors/mentors with appropriate expertise and funding available to support the number and level of trainees (including short-term trainees, if applicable) proposed in the application?
  • Do the preceptors/mentors have strong records as researchers, including recent publications and successful competition for research support in areas directly related to the proposed research training program?
  • Do the preceptors/mentors have strong records of training individuals at the level of trainees (including short-term trainees, if applicable) proposed in the program? Are appropriate plans in place to ensure that preceptors lacking sufficient research training experience are likely to provide strong and successful mentoring?
  • If the program will support clinical trial research experience for the Trainees, do the mentor(s) who will supervise the Trainee(s) have the expertise, experience, resources, and ability to provide appropriate guidance and help the Trainee(s) to meet the timelines?

Trainees

  • Is a recruitment plan proposed with strategies likely to attract well-qualified trainees for the training program?
  • Is there a competitive applicant pool of sufficient size and quality, at each of the proposed levels (predoctoral, postdoctoral and/or short-term), to ensure a successful training program?
  • Are there well-defined and justified selection and re-appointment criteria as well as retention strategies?
  • Does the recruitment plan include a strategy for recruiting prospective trainees from population groups that have been shown to be underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research workforce?

Training Record

  • How successful are the trainees (or, for new applications, other past students/postdoctorates in similar training) in completing the program?
  • Has the training program ensured that trainees are productive (or, for new applications, other past students/postdoctorates in similar training) in terms of research accomplishments, publication of research conducted during the training period, and subsequent training appointments and fellowship or career development awards?
  • How successful are the trainees (or, for new applications, other past students/postdoctorates in similar training) in achieving productive scientific careers as evidenced by successful competition for research science positions in industry, academia, government or other research venues; grants; receipt of honors, awards, or patents; high-impact publications; promotion to scientific leadership positions; and/or other such measures of success?
  • To what extent do trainees’ subsequent positions in industrial, academic, government, non-profit, or other sectors benefit from their NRSA-supported research training and directly benefit the broader biomedical research enterprise?
  • Does the program propose a rigorous evaluation plan to assess the quality and effectiveness of the training? Are effective mechanisms in place for obtaining feedback from current and former trainees?
  • For applications that request short-term research training positions, is there a record of retaining health professional trainees in research training or other research activities for at least two years?
  • Does the program describe its experience in training individuals from diverse backgrounds, including, for example, those from population groups that have been shown to be underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research workforce?
Additional Review Criteria
As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will evaluate the following additional items while determining scientific and technical merit, and in providing an overall impact score, but will not give separate scores for these items.

Protections for Human Subjects

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

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Individuals Across the Lifespan

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

Vertebrate Animals

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

Biohazards

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

Training in Methods for Enhancing Reproducibility

Does the plan for Instruction in Methods for Enhancing Reproducibility describe how the program will provide training in scientific reasoning, rigorous research design, relevant experimental methods, consideration of relevant biological variables such as sex, authentication of key biological and/or chemical resources, quantitative approaches, and data analysis and interpretation, appropriate to field of study and the level and prior preparation of the trainees?

Resubmissions

Not applicable.

Renewals

Not applicable.

Revisions

Not applicable.

Additional Review Considerations

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

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 individuals from underrepresented groups. The plan will be rated as ACCEPTABLE or UNACCEPTABLE, and the consensus of the review committee will be included in an administrative note in the summary statement.

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

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 specific characteristics of the training program, the level of trainee experience, and the particular circumstances of the trainees, the reviewers will evaluate the adequacy of the proposed RCR training in relation to the following five required components: 1) Format - Does the plan satisfactorily address the format of instruction, e.g., lectures, coursework and/or real-time discussion groups, including face-to-face interaction? (A plan involving only on-line instruction is not acceptable.); 2) Subject Matter – Does the plan include a sufficiently broad selection of subject matter, such as conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, research ethics? 3) Faculty Participation - Does the plan adequately describe how faculty will participate in the instruction? For renewal applications, are all training faculty who served as course directors, speakers, lecturers, and/or discussion leaders during the past project period named in the application? 4) Duration of Instruction - Does the plan meet the minimum requirements for RCR, i.e., at least eight contact hours of instruction? 5) Frequency of Instruction – Does the plan meet the minimum requirements for RCR, i.e., at least once during each career stage (undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, predoctoral, postdoctoral, and faculty levels) and at a frequency of no less than once every four years?

For renewal applications, does the progress report document acceptable RCR instruction in the five components described above? Does the plan describe how participation in RCR instruction is being monitored? Are appropriate changes in the plan for RCR instruction proposed in response to feedback and in response to evolving issues related to responsible conduct of research?

Plans and past record will be rated as ACCEPTABLE or UNACCEPTABLE, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.

Select Agent Research

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).

Budget and Period of Support

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

2. Review and Selection Process

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

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

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

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

Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the Council of Councils.

The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

  • Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by scientific peer review.
  • Availability of funds.
  • Relevance of the proposed project to program priorities
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

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

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

Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

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

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

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

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

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, 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 must administer their programs in compliance with federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, religion, conscience, and sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy). This includes ensuring programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency and persons with disabilities. The HHS Office for Civil Rights provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please 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 FOA.

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.

Institutional NRSA training grants must be administered in accordance with the current NRSA section of the NIH Grants Policy Statement - Institutional Research Training Grants.

The taxability of stipends is described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Policies regarding the Ruth L. Kirschstein-NRSA payback obligation are explained in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

As specified in the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, Kirschstein-NRSA recipients incur a service payback obligation for the first 12 months of postdoctoral support. Policies regarding the Ruth L. Kirschstein-NRSA payback obligation are explained in the NIH Grants Policy Statement; and more details are in the Frequently Asked Questions. Officials at the recipient institution have the responsibility of explaining the terms of the payback requirements to all prospective trainees before appointment to the training grant. Additionally, all trainees recruited into the training program should be provided with information related to the career options that might be available when they complete the program. The suitability of such career options as methods to satisfy the NRSA service payback obligation should be discussed.

Inventions and Copyrights Awards made primarily for educational purposes are exempted from the PHS invention requirements and thus invention reporting is not required, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

Not Applicable

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, recipients will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually. Continuation support will not be provided until the required forms are submitted and accepted.

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.

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.

Other Reporting Requirements

The institution must submit a completed Statement of Appointment (PHS Form 2271) for each trainee appointed or reappointed to the training grant for 8 weeks or more. 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.

  • Additionally, a completed Payback Agreement Form (PHS Form 6031) must be submitted for each postdoctoral trainee in his or her first 12 months of support.
  • A notarized statement verifying possession of permanent residency documentation must be submitted with the Statement of Appointment (PHS Form 2271). Individuals with a Conditional Permanent Resident status must first meet full (non-conditional) Permanent Residency requirements before receiving support.
  • Termination Notice: Within 30 days of the end of the total support period, the institution must submit a Termination Notice (PHS Form 416-7) via xTrain for each trainee appointed for eight weeks or more. Trainees with service payback requirements must notify the NIH of any change in address and submit Annual Payback Activities Certification Forms (PHS Form 6031-1) until the payback service obligation is satisfied.

A final RPPR, the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report, and Termination Notices for all Trainees, are required for closeout of an award as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. NIH FOAs 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 Part 200.301.

In accordance with the regulatory requirements provided at 45 CFR 75.113 and 2 CFR Part 200.113 and Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75 and 2 CFR Part 200, 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.

4. Evaluation

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, NIH 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:

For programs involving graduate students:

  • 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 or employment in a STEM field
  • 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 on-time submission, and post-submission issues)

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

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

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

Scientific/Research Contacts

Christopher Lynch, PhD 
Office of Nutrition Research (ONR) 
Telephone 301-827-3988 
Email: christopher.lynch@nih.gov 

Dr. Delany Torres Salazar
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
delany.torressalazar@nih.gov

Yih-Woei Fridell, Ph.D.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Phone: 301.496.7847
E-mail: yih-woei.fridell@nih.gov

For inquiries related to cancer focused training grant aspects, contact:
Susan Lim, PhD
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-5630 
Email: lims@mail.nih.gov

For inquiries related to the scope of cancer prevention and AI-related research, contact:
Marissa Shams-White, PhD, MSTOM, MS, MPH
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-7654
Email: marissa.shams-white@nih.gov 
 

Lynn S. Adams, PhD
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Telephone: 301-594-8911
Email: adamsls@mail.nih.gov
 

Regine Douthard, M.D., M.P.H.
Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH)
Phone: 301-451-2729
E-mail: douthardr@mail.nih.gov

Alison Gwendolynmary Brown
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Phone: 301-435-0583
E-mail: alison.brown@nih.gov

Lanay M. Mudd, Ph.D., FACSM
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Phone: 301-594-9346
Email: lanay.mudd@nih.gov

Priscah Mujuru, DrPH, MPH, RN
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Phone: 301-594-9765
E-mail: mujurup@mail.nih.gov

Christine Densmore, M.S.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) 
Phone: 301-402-8714
Email: christine.densmore@nih.gov

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

Andrew Bremer, M.D. Ph.D.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-402-7886
Email: andrew.bremer@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

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

Financial/Grants Management Contacts

Chief Grants Management Officer
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Email: ChiefGrantsManagementOfficer@ninds.nih.gov

Jessica Perez
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Phone: 301 496-1472
E-mail: perezj@mail.nih.gov

Amy R. Bartosch
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-6375
Email: amy.bartosch@nih.gov
 

Randi Freundlich
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Telephone: 301-594-5974
Email: freundlichr@mail.nih.gov
 

Amy Gipson
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Phone: 301-827-8026
E-mail: amy.gipson@nih.gov

Debbie Chen
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Phone: 301-594-3788
Email: debbie.chen@nih.gov

Priscilla Grant, JD
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Phone: 301-594-8412
E-mail: pg38h@nih.gov

Crystal McDade-Ngutter
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) 
Phone: 301-451-2064
Email: mcdadengutterc@mail.nih.gov

Diana Rutberg, MBA
National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Phone: (301) 594-4798
E-mail: dr258t@nih.gov

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

Section VIII. Other Information

Section VIII. Other Information header text

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 63A and 45 CFR Part 75 and 2 CFR Part 200.

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