Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards, NRSAs, NRSA, eRA commons registration, letters of reference, responsible conduct of research, concurrent applications, receipt dates, individual fellowship
Each fellowship applicant must submit an application based on the application package provided as part of the FOA. Individual fellowship applications are submitted electronically through Grants.gov using an application package that combines form components from the SF424 (R&R) application with the PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form.
The major emphasis of the application should be the research training experience and broadening of scientific competence. The AOR of the sponsoring institution agrees to secure and retain, but need not submit to NIH, the assurance signatures of the fellowship applicant and sponsor. For postdoctoral fellowship applicants, the assurance of the fellowship applicant includes certification that they have read the payback information and will meet any payback provisions required under the law as a condition for accepting the award.
Fellowship applicants and sponsoring institutions must comply with policies and procedures governing such requirements as civil rights; the protection of human subjects, including data and safety monitoring requirements; research misconduct Fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them. Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that research is not accurately represented in the research record. Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit. Research misconduct does not include honest error or honest differences of opinion.; the humane care and use of live vertebrate animals; the inclusion of women, minorities and individuals across the lifespan in study populations; human embryonic stem cells; and recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid research. (For a complete list of applicable requirements, see Exhibit 4, Public Policy Requirements, Objectives and Appropriation Mandates in IIA.)
All fellowship applicants and sponsoring institutions must be registered in the eRA Commons. The fellowship applicant must be assigned the "PI Role" in the eRA Commons. Only the PI Role will provide the fellowship applicant with the appropriate access in the eRA Commons to the application and review information. When a prospective fellowship applicant is submitting an application through a sponsoring institution that is different than their current institution, that individual must be affiliated with the sponsoring institution.
The requirement for ORCID identifiers will be enforced at the time of application for individual fellowship including the following: F05, F30, F31, F32, F33, F37, F38, F99/K00 and FI2.
eRA system validations will check whether applicants have ORCID iDs and applications will not be accepted unless an ORCID iD is linked to the PD/PI's eRA Commons Personal Profile.
To either link their eRA profiles to existing ORCID accounts or create ORCID profiles and link them back to the eRA Commons, prospective applicants for individual fellowship awards may follow the ORCID link from their Personal Profiles in the eRA Commons.
As part of an application submission, at least three (but no more than five) letters of reference on behalf the fellowship applicant also must be submitted. Electronic submission of the fellowship application incorporates a separate, yet simultaneous electronic submission process for reference letters through the eRA Commons. Reference letters are submitted directly by the referee through the eRA Commons and not as part of the electronic application submitted through Grant.gov. Reference letters will be joined with the electronic application within the eRA system once an application completes the submission process. Applications that are missing the required letters may be delayed in the review process or not accepted. Applicants must carefully follow the instructions provided in the Individual Fellowship Application Guide. The Application Guide includes specific instructions to be sent to prospective referees.
All fellowship applicants must include a plan to obtain instruction in the responsible conduct of research. This plan should document prior instruction in responsible conduct of research during the applicant's current career stage (including the dates of last occurrence) and propose a plan to receive instruction in responsible conduct of research. The plan must address the five instructional components, format, subject matter, faculty participation, duration of instruction, and frequency of instruction, as outlined and explained below. The plan may include career stage-appropriate, individualized instruction or independent scholarly activities that will enhance the applicant's understanding of ethical issues related to their specific research activities and the societal impact of that research. The role of the sponsor/mentor in responsible conduct of research instruction must be described. Applications lacking a plan for instruction in responsible conduct of research will be considered incomplete and may be delayed in the review process. Further, applications with unacceptable plans will not be funded until the applicant provides an acceptable, revised plan. For additional instructions, see the specific FOA.
- Format. Discussion-based instruction in the responsible conduct of research is expected to remain a key feature of RCR training and to include substantive face-to-face interaction among participants and faculty. However, recognizing that advances in video conferencing now allow for effective "face-to-face" discussions to occur electronically, institutions may wish to consider incorporating video conferencing options into their RCR instruction, provided that those options are utilized in a way that fosters discussion, active learning, engagement, and interaction among the participants. At the same time, video conferencing should not be the sole means for meeting the requirement for RCR instruction, and a plan that employs only video conferencing will not be considered acceptable, except in special instances of short-term training programs or unusual and well-justified circumstances.
- Subject Matter. Developments in the conduct of research and a growing understanding of the impact of the broader research environment have led to a recognition that additional topics merit inclusion in discussions of the responsible conduct of research, including below:
- conflict of interest - personal, professional, and financial - and conflict of commitment, in allocating time, effort, or other research resources
- policies regarding human subjects, live vertebrate animal subjects in research, and safe laboratory practices
- mentor / mentee - responsibilities and relationships
- safe research environments (e.g., those that promote inclusion and are free of sexual, racial, ethnic, disability and other forms of discriminatory harassment)
- collaborative research including collaborations with industry and investigators and institutions in other countries
- peer review, including the responsibility for maintaining confidentiality and security in peer review
- data acquisition and analysis; and laboratory tools (e.g., tools for analyzing data and creating or working with digital images); recordkeeping practices, including methods such as electronic laboratory notebooksh.
- secure and ethical data use; data confidentiality, management, sharing, and ownership
- research misconduct Fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them. Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that research is not accurately represented in the research record. Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit. Research misconduct does not include honest error or honest differences of opinion. and policies for handling misconduct
- responsible authorship and publication
- the scientist as a responsible member of society, contemporary ethical issues in biomedical research, and the environmental and societal impacts of scientific research
- Faculty Participation. Sponsors and other appropriate faculty are highly encouraged to contribute both to formal and informal instruction in responsible conduct of research. Informal instruction occurs in the course of laboratory interactions and in other informal situations throughout the year. Sponsors may contribute to formal instruction in responsible conduct of research as discussion leaders, speakers, lecturers, and/or course directors.
- Duration of Instruction. Instruction should involve substantive contact hours between the fellow, sponsor and other appropriate faculty. Acceptable programs generally involve at least eight contact hours. A semester-long series of seminars/programs may be more effective than a single seminar or one-day workshop because it is expected that topics will then be considered in sufficient depth, learning will be better consolidated, and the subject matter will be synthesized within a broader conceptual framework.
- Frequency of Instruction. Existing policy and guidance call for RCR instruction to be undertaken at least once during each career stage, and at a frequency of no less than once every four years. As institutions consider how to optimize the timing and delivery of instruction in the responsible conduct of research, they are encouraged to bear in mind the value of ongoing and discipline-specific training as individuals progress in their research careers. For example, while broad-based instruction in the responsible conduct of research is often appropriate early in graduate school; a more tailored, discipline-specific approach may better fit the needs of advanced graduate students and those who have transitioned to postdoctoral status. If advanced students and postdoctorates have been exposed to the full range of topics traditionally included in RCR instruction early in their scientific training, it may make sense for their ongoing and/or subsequent RCR training to focus on subjects most relevant to their fields, and institutions may wish to consider this approach, where applicable.
Information on the nature of the instruction in the responsible conduct of research and the extent of fellow and faculty participation also must be provided in the annual progress report submitted as a prerequisite to receiving non-competing continuation support.
An individual may not have two or more competing Kirschstein-NRSA individual fellowship applications pending review concurrently. In addition, CSR will not accept for review any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed.
Kirschstein-NRSA individual fellowship applications undergo a review process that takes 5 to 8 months. The annual schedule for application receipt, review, and award can be found in a specific Funding Opportunity Announcement A publicly available document by which a Federal Agency makes known its intentions to award discretionary grants or cooperative agreements, usually as a result of competition for funds. Funding opportunity announcements may be known as program announcements, requests for applications, notices of funding availability, solicitations, or other names depending on the Agency and type of program. Funding opportunity announcements can be found at Grants.gov/FIND and in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. and on NIH's web site.