Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

Funding Opportunity Title

Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) (R25)

Activity Code

R25 Education Projects

Announcement Type

 Reissue of PAR-09-104

Related Notices

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

PAR-13-082

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

Number of Applications

Only one application per institution is allowed,as defined in Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

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

93.859

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) Program is to develop the pool of a diverse group of highly trained undergraduate and graduate students who go on to research careers and will be available to participate in NIH-funded research. The program provides institutional grants to research-intensive institutions that propose well-integrated developmental activities designed to increase students' academic preparation and skills that are critical to the completion of the Ph.D. degree in biomedical and behavioral sciences.

Key Dates
Posted Date

January 10, 2013

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

February 14, 2012

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Application Due Date(s)

March 14, 2013, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

June/July, 2013

Advisory Council Review

October, 2013

Earliest Start Date

December, 2013

Expiration Date

March 15, 2013

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the 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.

Table of Contents

Part 1. Overview Information
Part 2. Full Text of the Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Section II. Award Information
Section III. Eligibility Information
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
Section V. Application Review Information
Section VI. Award Administration Information
Section VII. Agency Contacts
Section VIII. Other Information

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

Several reports from the National Science Foundation (NSF) as well as from the National Academies reveal the national need for a well-trained workforce in biomedical and behavioral sciences and the continuing importance of developing and maintaining a strong, vital scientific workforce whose diversity reflects that of our nation. Studies also show that African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians and Natives of US Pacific Islands continue to be underrepresented  in the biomedical and behavioral sciences (National Academy of Sciences. 2011. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. Washington, D.C. The National Academies Press; and National Research Council. 2011. Research Training in the Biomedical, Behavioral and Clinical Research Sciences. Washington, D.C. The National Academies Press).

The Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) program provides opportunites to develop new or expand existing effective institutional developmental programs designed to prepare a diverse group of students in the biomedical or behavioral sciences for competitive research careers and leadership positions in these fields. These grants are awards to institutions that confer the baccalaureate and/or doctoral degree in biomedical and/or behavioral science fields, have a demonstrated commitment to encourage and assist students and investigators from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral sciences, and have a research-intensive environment. The IMSD Program is sponsored by the Undergraduate and Predoctoral Training Branch of the Division of Training, Workforce Development and Diversity (TWD) of the National Institute of General Medicial Sciences.

At the institutional level, the IMSD program should: (a) increase the pool of students from underrepresented backgrounds that complete a Ph.D. and continue biomedical research careers; (b) send a majority of the undergraduate IMSD participants directly to Ph.D. programs; (c) enable most if not all Ph.D. students participating in the IMSD program to complete the degree; (d) contribute to ongoing student and faculty efforts to reduce the gap in the completion of Ph.D. degrees between underrepresented students and those from other backgrounds in participating departments; and (e) increase institutional involvement in outreach efforts toward underrepresented. To accomplish these objectives, the design of the proposed institutional programs should be derived from an institutional self assessment of the (a) research environment; (b) student and faculty demographics; (c) number of students that complete the Ph.D. degree; and (d) challenges/impediments that the students encounter in completing the Ph.D. degree. As a result of the self-assessment, each applicant must establish the program's goals and specific measurable objectives.

Various strategies may be utilized to attain the objective of increasing the pool of underrepresented researchers via the IMSD program. These may include but are not limited to the initiation of new academic developmental activities as well as the expansion, enhancement and/or improvement of existing activities. Some institutions may opt to offer programs to improve preparation of undergraduate students for admission to research doctoral degree programs. Others may concentrate on training graduate students to obtain their doctoral degrees and prepare for successful research careers and still others may concentrate on both. Each IMSD program is strongly encouraged to develop a partnership with NIH-funded T32 training program(s) (http://projectreporter.nih.gov/reporter.cfm) at the applicant institution or another institution in order to facilitate the networking and transition of IMSD students to T32 training programs as well as to identify the institutional impact of the program. Program directors are expected to characterize intended and actualized improvements to training experiences for the general student population that originate in or are inspired by the implementation of the IMSD Program.

The IMSD program can provide support for student academic development activities that are designed to improve scientific critical thinking and quantitative skills, communication skills, time-management, group learning opportunities, independent library or bench research skills, interdisciplinary or advanced research-based courses and opportunities to meet and discuss career choices with appropriate role models. The proposed research education program may complement other ongoing training programs enacted at the applicant institution but the proposed educational program must be distinct from those training and education programs currently receiving federal support. The R25 is not a substitute for an institutional research training program (T32) and may not be used to circumvent or supplement Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) mechanisms.

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
Renewal
Resubmission
Revision

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

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

The total amount to be awarded is approximately $5 million (total costs) per year. Awards issued under this FOA are contingent upon the availability of funds and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications. Because the nature and scope of the proposed research education program will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary. The total amount awarded and the number of awards will depend upon the quality, duration and costs of the applications received.

Award Budget

Although the size of award may vary with the scope of the research education program proposed and there are no specific budget limitations, the requested direct costs must be reasonable, well documented, fully justified and commensurate with the scope of the proposed program. All awards are subject to the availability of funds.

Award Project Period

The total project period for an application submitted in response to this funding opportunity may not exceed 5 years.

Other Award Budget Information
Personnel Costs

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

Participant Costs

Participants may be paid if specifically required for the proposed research education program and sufficiently justified. Participant costs must be itemized in the proposed budget.
Allowable participant costs depend on the educational level/career status of the individuals to be selected to participate in the program.

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

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

Other Program-Related Expenses

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

Indirect Costs

Indirect Costs (also known as Facilities & Administrative [F&A] Costs) are reimbursed at 8% of modified total direct costs (exclusive of tuition and fees, 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 in response to this FOA.

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

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

The applicant institution must award the baccalaureate and/or doctoral degree in biomedical and/or behavioral science fields. The institution must describe ongoing inclusiveness efforts to encourage and assist students and investigators from underrepresented backgrounds in biomedical and/or behavioral sciences. In addition, applicant institutions must have significant numbers of potential mentors with NIH R01 or equivalent extramural research support. Institutions supported by the TWD Support of Competitive Research (SCORE) or Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) programs are not eligible to apply for or receive IMSD grants.

All Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s)) must also work with their institutional officials to register with the eRA Commons or ensure their existing eRA Commons account is affiliated with the eRA Commons account of the applicant organization.

All registrations must be completed by the application due date.

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

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

Foreign Institutions

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

Required Registrations

Applicant organizations must complete the following registrations as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. Applicants must have a valid Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number in order to begin each of the following registrations.

All Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s)) must also work with their institutional officials to register with the eRA Commons or ensure their existing eRA Commons account is affiliated with the eRA Commons account of the applicant organization.

All registrations must be completed by the application due date. Applicant organizations are strongly encouraged to start the registration process at least 6 weeks prior to the application due date.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

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

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

The 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 expected to monitor and assess the program and submit all documents and reports as required.

2. Cost Sharing

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

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

Number of Applications

NIH will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed within the past thirty-seven months (as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement), except for submission:

Preceptors/Mentors

Mentors should have research expertise and experience relevant to the proposed program. Mentors should be committed to continue their involvement throughout the total period of the mentee’s participation in this award.

Participants

The IMSD program is an institutional program and it is expected that program-supported activities will be open to all students at the institution. There is no specific eligibility requirement for participation in IMSD-supported activities. The program should not deny participation in program-supported activities to anyone based solely on his/her race, religion, gender or ethnicity. The program-supported participants are selected by the applicant institution. To receive salary support from the IMSD program, students must be U.S. citizens or non-citizen nationals or permanent residents and must be matriculated full-time in baccalaureate or doctoral degree programs in biomedical or behavioral science fields at the applicant institution. A non-citizen national is a person who, although not a citizen of the United States, owes permanent allegiance to the U.S. This is generally a person born in a land that is not a state, but that is under U.S. sovereignty, jurisdiction or administration (e.g., American Samoa). An individual lawfully admitted for permanent residence must possess an alien registration receipt card (I-551) prior to appointment on the grant. Individuals on temporary visas, those seeking asylum or refugees are not eligible for support from the IMSD Program.

The purpose of the IMSD program is to achieve greater participation in the biomedical and behavioral research enterprise of this country of students from underrepresented groups. underrepresented groups include those reported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as well as the National Academies to be underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral sciences (i.e., African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Natives of US Pacific Islands and people with disabilities). Applicants may include and identify any other categories that institutional policies have determined to be underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research fields with a strong rationale, appropriate references and official validated documentation. Selection of program-supported participants should take into consideration whether the students' participation would help achieve the overall goals/objectives of the proposed institutional program and the IMSD goals. It is the responsibility of the applicant institution to establish the qualifications of students prior to their selection for the IMSD program.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

Applicants must download the SF424 (R&R) application package associated with this funding opportunity using the “Apply for Grant Electronically” button in this FOA or following the directions provided at Grants.gov.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the 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.

For information on Application Submission and Receipt, visit Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.

Required and Optional Components

The forms package associated with this FOA includes all applicable components, mandatory and optional.  Please note that some components marked optional in the application package are required for submission of applications for this FOA. Follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide to ensure you complete all appropriate “optional” components.

Page Limitations

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

SF424 (R&R) Other Project Information Component

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

Facilities & Other Resources

Describe the educational environment, including the facilities, laboratories, participating departments, computer services, and any other resources to be used in the development and implementation of the proposed program. List all thematically related sources of support for research training and education following the format for Current and Pending Support.   

Advisory Committee (Uploaded via the Other Attachments section)

An institutional IMSD Advisory Committee may be included as a component of the program. Describe its role and how it will provide counsel to the PD/PI and to the chief executive of the institution in meeting the goals of the IMSD program and the institution. The composition of the committee must reflect the institutional approach and support for the proposed program and may include representatives of the administration, faculty, investigators, mentors, collaborators, PD/PIs of other T32 training and student development programs at the institution and current and former student participants. Describe the composition and functions of the advisory committee and list the names and titles of the members including their institutional affiliations.

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

R&R Budget Component

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

IMSD applications must present an integrated set of student development activities and therefore a single consolidated budget is required. Each item in the budget must be clearly justified. IMSD grant awards include some restrictions as to how the funds may be used. The following account summarizes the non-allowable costs under the IMSD Program.

Non-allowable Costs include:

PHS 398 Research Plan Component

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

Specific Aims

The application should address (a) the overall goals and specific measurable objectives (including anticipated milestones defined as anticipated intermediate steps toward the objectives) that the institution expects to accomplish in preparing a diverse group of students to pursue/complete Ph.D. degrees in biomedical and/or behavioral science research and in striving to achieve the IMSD goals and expectations; (b) the anticipated impact of the proposed IMSD program on the institutional demographics of the overall student pool; and (c) how the proposed IMSD program will contribute to the NIH-TWD goals as described in the research education objectives (see below).

Research Education Program Plan

The Research Strategy section must be used to upload the Research Education Program Plan, which must include the following components described below: Background and Significance, Proposed Research Education Program, Institutional Environment and Commitment, Program Director/Principal Investigator, Program Faculty/Staff, Program Participants, Diversity Recruitment and Retention Plan, Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research, Evaluation Plan, Dissemination Plan. The Research Education Program Plan component of the IMSD application should be organized to reflect the institutional scope of the proposed program, and it should be presented as an integrated set of student developmental activities that enhance academic excellence and promote timely progression of students to the next academic/career step. Use the appendix to include tables, figures, diagrams, charts and evaluation instruments. Make clear and precise statements to refer to their location in the body of the Research Education Program Plan. Details are presented below for the information required to be included in an IMSD grant application in each of these sections in the Research Education Program Plan.

Background and Significance (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

The Background and Significance section shouldinclude the following specific items:

1) Institutional Setting and Current Status of the Undergraduate and/or Graduate Biomedical Science-Related Academic Programs: Provide evidence of the institution's commitment to diversify the student and faculty demographics in the biomedical and/or behavioral sciences. Briefly describe the current diversity programs and counseling/mentoring services (funded by the institution and by sponsoring entities) and their success in preparing and graduating underrepresented students as well as all other students in the sciences.

2) Institutional Student and Faculty Profile: For the last ten years, provide the numbers and trends of (a) the total number and ratio of underrepresented/non-underrepresented students that completed B.S./B.A. degrees in biomedical/behavioral-related disciplines at the institution and completed Ph.D. degrees in biomedical and/or behavioral sciences at institutions with research-intensive environments; and (b) the total number and percent of students that have completed Ph.D. degrees in biomedical and/or behavioral sciences at the institution. Applications must include data for underrepresented groups as well as data for non-underrepresented groups. Applicants are encouraged to provide data using the suggested table format (Table 1), below.

Table 1. Cumulative Summary of Institutional Baseline Data

Reporting Period: __________________

INSTITUTIONAL BASELINE DATA

underrepresented

Number (%)

Non-underrepresented

Number (%)

 

Total number and percent of student enrollment at the institution

     

Total number and percent of undergraduate students enrolled in biomedical/behavioral-related departments

     

Total number and percent of graduate students enrolled in biomedical/behavioral-related departments

     

Total number of students who completed B.S./B.A. degrees in biomedical/behavioral-related departments

     

Total number of students who completed M.S. degrees in biomedical/behavioral-related departments

     

Total number of students who completed Ph.D. degrees in biomedical/behavioral-related departments

     

Number of alumni from biomedical/behavioral-related departments who went on to obtain Ph.D. degrees in sciences in the past 10 years. (This information can be obtained from WebCaspar, an NSF database.)

     

List of departments included in this table:


3) Vision and Anticipated Value of the Proposed IMSD Program to the Institution: Describe the institution's vision of the IMSD program and how it will be integrated into any of the existing academic programs and how it will partner with or complement other externally funded and institutionally funded educational research training programs, including NIH T32 training programs and other undergraduate/graduate student training programs. Describe options available to the institution for embracing and incorporating, beyond the scope of the grant, any particularly effective curricular, training, programmatic elements, etc., that may be developed within the institution's IMSD program.

Proposed Research Education Program (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

While the proposed research education program may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those research training and research education programs currently receiving federal support. When research training programs are on-going in the same department, the applicant organization should clearly describe the distinction between the intended participants in the proposed research education program and the research training supported by the training program. The information should include a description of the education and/or career levels of the planned participants.   

Provide programmatic detail on the special activities proposed (e.g., courses, curricula, seminars, workshops). Describe what makes the IMSD experience unique to participants. Include description of activities (if any) that will be available only to IMSD participants. Provide detailed information on plans to improve the academic and research competitiveness of underrepresented students at the undergraduate and/or graduate levels and to increase their graduation from Ph.D. programs. Provide a coordinated development plan that describes overall goals and specific measurable objectives of the proposed program. Provide information on the selection process for the participants in the IMSD program. Explain the plan for monitoring student progress and roles of the faculty/personnel involved. Describe how each proposed specific academic development activity will contribute toward realization of the measurable objectives. Describe the milestones (i.e., anticipated intermediate steps toward the objectives). Give a brief account of the proposed schedule of the activities and whether these activities will be available to all students. Discuss any perceived impediments to implementing the proposed activities and alternative strategies to achieve the measurable objectives.

Proposed student development activities may include but are not limited to the following: activities to improve scientific critical thinking, written/oral communication, and problem-solving skills; time-management and group learning opportunities; supplemental instruction [see for example, Byars-Winston, A. et al. (2011), CBE-Life Sciences Education (10), 357-567]; independent library and/or bench research; interdisciplinary or advanced courses with focus on critical thinking and use of quantitative skills to address biomedical/behavioral problems; opportunities to meet and discuss career choices with appropriate role models; research-oriented technical training courses or workshops for graduate students; research proposal development and grant-writing workshops for graduate students; research and other training experiences; and any other training that could facilitate entry into careers in biomedical or behavioral research for persons trained in mathematics, computer sciences, and other quantitative sciences. These activities may be offered to full-time matriculated students during the academic year and/or in special summer sessions. Activities may also expand the scope of ongoing institutional efforts to diversify the pool of students and faculty members, i.e., offer training for faculty and administration officials that will support achieving the IMSD goals of increasing the numbers of underrepresented faculty, investigators and students engaged in biomedical and behavioral research, and broadening the opportunities for their participation in biomedical and behavioral research.   

Institutional Environment and Commitment (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

Describe the institutional environment, reiterating the availability of facilities and educational resources (described separately under “Facilities & Other Resources”), that can contribute to the planned Research Education Program. Evidence of institutional commitment to the research educational program is required. A letter of institutional commitment must be attached as part of Letters of Support. Appropriate institutional commitment should include the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned research education program. The letter must also include a plan for institutionalizing selected elements/activities within a reasonable time period.

The applicant institution must assure support for the proposed research education project. Appropriate institutional commitment to the project includes the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned research education project. The application must include a letter explaining the institutional commitment to the proposed research education program. This letter must also include a plan for institutionalizing selected elements/activities within a reasonable time period. The letter should be attached as a Letter of Support

Program Director/Principal Investigator (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

Describe arrangements for administration of the program, provide evidence that the Program Director is actively engaged in research and/or teaching in an area related to the mission of NIH, and can organize, administer, monitor, and evaluate the research education program, as well as evidence of institutional and community commitment and support for the proposed program. The Program Director/Principal Investigator is expected to be the principal contact with TWD/NIGMS at the institution and prepares and submits in a timely manner the required reports, e.g., annual progress reports, changes in program activities if any, etc. The PD/PI works with the program evaluator to monitor and evaluate the progress of individual program elements and the overall functioning of the program.

Program Faculty/Staff (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

Describe the characteristics and responsibilities of the participating faculty; provide evidence that the participating faculty and preceptors are actively engaged in research or other scholarly activities related to the mission of NIH. IMSD mentors are expected to have NIH R01 or equivalent extramural research support as well as high-impact publications in their fields. Provide the biographical sketches of the faculty members with past records in training and mentoring underrepresented students, include their teaching and/or research achievements, and extramural research support in the Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile Section (see Section IV.6, SF424, above). Additional biographical sketches of faculty members that can serve as mentors can be included as a document in the appendix.

Program Participants (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

Where the proposed program involves participants, provide details about the pool of expected participants, their qualifications, recruitment strategies and sources of applicant pool, etc. Describe the retention strategies and follow-up activities that would ensure a highly qualified participant pool.

Diversity Recruitment and Retention Plan (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

The NIH recognizes a unique and compelling need to promote diversity in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences research workforce. The NIH expects efforts to diversify the workforce to lead to the recruitment of the most talented researchers from all groups; to improve the quality of the educational and training environment; to balance and broaden the perspective in setting research priorities; to improve the ability to recruit subjects from diverse backgrounds into clinical research protocols; and to improve the Nation's capacity to address and eliminate health disparities.

Accordingly, the NIH continues to encourage institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations and thus to increase the participation of individuals currently underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences such as: individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups; individuals with disabilities; and individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds that have inhibited their ability to pursue a career in health-related research. Institutions are encouraged to identify candidates who will increase diversity on a national or institutional basis.

The NIH is particularly interested in encouraging the recruitment and retention of the following classes of participants:

A. Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see data at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/showpub.cfm?TopID=2&SubID=27 and the most recent report on Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Hawaiian Natives, and natives of the U.S. Pacific Islands. In addition, it is recognized that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting; individuals from racial or ethnic groups that can be convincingly demonstrated to be underrepresented by the grantee institution should be encouraged to participate in this program.

B. Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

C. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who are defined as:

Recruitment and retention plans related to a disadvantaged background (C1 and C2) are most applicable to high school and perhaps to undergraduate candidates, but would be more difficult to justify for individuals beyond that level of academic achievement. Under extraordinary circumstances the PHS may, at its discretion, consider an individual beyond the undergraduate level to be from a disadvantaged background. Such decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, based on appropriate documentation.

New applications must include a description of plans to enhance recruitment of a diverse participant pool and may wish to include data in support of past accomplishments.

Renewal applications must include a detailed account of experiences in recruiting individuals from underrepresented groups during the previous funding period. Information must be included on successful and unsuccessful recruitment strategies including aggregate information on the distribution of:

For those individuals who were enrolled in the program, the report should include information about the duration of education and whether those individuals finished the program in good standing. Additional information on the required Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity is available at Frequently Asked Questions: Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity (Diversity FAQs).

Applications lacking a diversity recruitment and retention plan may be delayed or not accepted for review. An award cannot be made if an application lacks this component.

Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

Every participant supported by this Research Education grant must receive instruction in the responsible conduct of research. All applications must include a plan to provide such instruction. The plan must address five components (format; subject matter; faculty participation; duration of instruction; and frequency of instruction) as detailed in NOT-OD-10-019. Renewal (Type 2) applications must, in addition, describe changes in formal instruction over the past project period and plans for the future that address any weaknesses in the current instruction plan. All participating faculty who served as course directors, speakers, lecturers, and/or discussion leaders during the past project period must be named in the application.

Applications lacking a plan for instruction in responsible conduct of research will not be reviewed. The background, rationale and more detail about instruction in the responsible conduct of research can be found in NOT-OD-10-019. If such instruction is not appropriate for the proposed research education program, then the PD/PI must provide a strong justification for its exclusion.

Evaluation Plan (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

Applications must include a plan for evaluating the activities supported by the award.  The application must specify baseline metrics (e.g., numbers, educational levels, and demographic characteristics of participants), as well as measures to gauge the short or long-term success of the research education award in achieving its objectives. Wherever appropriate, applicants are encouraged to obtain feedback from participants to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for improvements.

Dissemination Plan (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

A specific plan must be provided to disseminate nationally any findings resulting from or materials developed under the auspices of the research education program, e.g., sample curricula, web postings, presentations at scientific meetings, workshops, etc.

Resource Sharing Plans

Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, and Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS)) as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modifications:

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

Appendix

Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.  

3. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the deadline to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission.

Organizations must submit applications via 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.

Applicants are responsible for viewing their application before the deadline 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.

4. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

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

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

6. 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 Applying Electronically.

Important reminders:
All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH.

The applicant organization must ensure that the DUNS number it provides on the application is the same number used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the System for Award Management (SAM). 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 by the Center for Scientific Review, NIH. Applications that are incomplete will not be reviewed.

Renewal Applications

For renewal applications, a detailed progress report must be included. Applications with only one previous funding cycle must provide information on the past funding cycle. Applications with more than one previous funding cycle must provide information on the past two consecutive funding cycles. In the report, state the original and specific measurable objectives, anticipated milestones and outcomes, as well as a summary of the accomplishments of the IMSD program.

NIGMS encourages the use of selected "Training Tables" associated with SF424 (such as 6A, 11 and 12A). Programs with an undergraduate component must report (a) the number of IMSD-supported undergraduate students; (b) the number who graduated with B.S./B.A. degrees in biomedical/behavioral-related disciplines; (c) the number who matriculated into Ph.D. programs in biomedical and/or behavioral sciences at institutions with research intensive environments (including the applicant institution if applicable); and (d) the status of those who entered Ph.D. programs (number who remain in training, completed Ph.D. training, or withdrew from Ph.D. training). Programs with a graduate component must report (a) the number of the IMSD-supported graduate students; (b) the number who remain in training or other support; (c) the number who graduated; and (d) the number who pursue(d) postdoctoral positions and the number who pursue(d) academic, research-related or non-research-related career paths.

The IMSD Program seeks to improve participation of underrepresented students while sponsoring enhancements to the training experience for all, thereby promoting long-lasting and positive institutional change. Describe the impact and/or value of IMSD program activities on the enrollment numbers, profile, academic environment and graduation rates of underrepresented students and other related aspects of the institution. Report activities and impact that directly result from the IMSD program that would not occur in the absence of IMSD support. Explain the value added to the institutional setting. Program directors are expected to identify successful curricular innovations and promote the adoption of these innovations by the undergraduate and graduate programs at large within the environment harboring the IMSD Program. Also, explain how IMSD efforts address any gap at the institution in retention, graduation and degree completion between underrepresented and non-underrepresented students. Describe what has been learned through the program evaluation and any changes made in the program as a result of the evaluation.

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in NOT-OD-10-115.

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process. As part of the NIH mission, all applications submitted to the NIH in support of biomedical and behavioral research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

Overall Impact

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful 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 scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact.

Significance

Does the proposed research education program address an important problem or critical question in research education or other critical issues?  How will implementation of the proposed program advance the objectives of the proposed program?     

Investigator(s)

Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers appropriately trained and well suited to the proposed research education program? Is the PD/PI 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 research education program?  If Early Stage Investigator or New Investigator, or in the early stages of an independent career, does the PD/PI have appropriate experience to lead the program?  If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?  Is there evidence that an appropriate level of effort will be devoted by the program leadership to ensure the program's objectives?    

Innovation

Is the proposed research education program characterized by innovation and scholarship?  Does the proposed program challenge and seek to shift current research education paradigms or clinical practice, or address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in the field?  Are the proposed concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools, or technologies novel for this area?  Does this proposed program duplicate, or overlap with, existing research education, training and/or career development activities currently supported at the applicant institution or available elsewhere?  Adaptations of existing research education programs may be considered innovative under special circumstances, e.g., the addition of unique components and/or a proposal to determine portability of an existing program.     

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the proposed research education program?  Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented?  If the program is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed?  If called for, is the proposed plan for evaluation and/or dissemination of the education program sound and likely to provide data on the effectiveness of the education program?  Is there evidence that the program is based on sound research concepts and educational principles?  Is the approach feasible and appropriate to achieve the stated research education goals?  If the proposed program will recruit participants, are the recruitment, retention, and follow-up activities adequate to ensure a highly qualified and diverse participant pool? 

If the program involves clinical research, are the plans for 1) protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion of minorities and members of both sexes/genders, as well as the inclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?  

Environment

Will the scientific/educational environment in which the proposed research education program will be conducted contribute to the probability of success?  Are the institutional commitment and support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the program proposed?  Will the program benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements?  Is there evidence of appropriate collaboration among participating programs, departments, and institutions?  If multiple sites are participating, is this adequately justified in terms of the research education experiences provided? Are adequate plans provided for coordination and communication between multiple sites (if appropriate)?

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 Children 

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.  

Resubmissions

For Resubmissions, the committee will evaluate the application as now presented, taking into consideration the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group and changes made to the project.

Renewals

For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the last funding period, and the success of the program in attracting and retaining individuals from diverse populations, including populations underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research. Additionally, the committee will determine whether the institution has changed its recruiting practices or training regimens in a positive way that will persist beyond the duration of IMSD support and if there has been added value of IMSD support to the culture and practices of the larger community.

Revisions

For Revisions, the committee will consider the appropriateness of the proposed expansion of the scope of the project. If the Revision application relates to a specific line of investigation presented in the original application that was not recommended for approval by the committee, then the committee will consider whether the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group are adequate and whether substantial changes are clearly evident. A minimum of two years should remain in the parent grant when a Revision is submitted.

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 & Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity

Peer reviewers will separately evaluate the recruitment and retention plan to enhance diversity after the overall score has been determined. Reviewers will examine the strategies to be used in the recruitment and retention of individuals from underrepresented groups. The review panel’s evaluation will be included in an administrative note in the summary statement. Plans and past record will be rated as acceptable or unacceptable, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

Taking into account the specific characteristics of the research education program, level of participant experience, and the particular circumstances of the participants, the reviewers will address the following questions.  Does the plan satisfactorily address the format of instruction, e.g., lectures and/or real-time discussion groups?  Do plans include a sufficiently broad selection of subject matter, such as conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety?  Do the plans adequately describe how faculty will participate in the instruction?  Do the plans ensure participants will receive instruction (or in the case of more senior level participants, provide instruction) for an appropriate amount of time given the length of the research education experience?  Plans and past record will be rated as acceptable or unacceptable, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable

Select Agent Research

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).

Resource Sharing Plans

Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: 1) Data Sharing Plan; 2) Sharing Model Organisms; and 3) Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS).

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 NIGMS , in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

Applications will be assigned to NIGMS. 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 appropriate national Advisory Council or Board. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

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

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

Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

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

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

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

Any application awarded in response to this FOA will be subject to the DUNS, SAM Registration, and Transparency Act requirements as noted on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

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

3. Reporting

The Non-Competing Continuation Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590 or RPPR) and financial statements as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement are required annually. Continuation support will not be provided until the required forms are submitted and accepted.Programs that involve participants should report on education in the responsible conduct of research and complete a Training Diversity Report, in accordance with the PHS 2590 Additional Instructions for Preparing a Progress Report for an Institutional Research Training Grant, Including Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards.

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. 

Failure by the grantee 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.

Other Reporting Requirements

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

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 five 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 undergraduate students:

For programs involving graduate students:

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission, downloading or navigating forms)
Contact Center Phone: 800-518-4726
Email: support@grants.gov

GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and process, finding NIH grant resources)
Telephone 301-435-0714
TTY 301-451-5936
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov

eRA Commons Help Desk (Questions regarding eRA Commons registration, tracking application status, post submission issues)
Phone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)
TTY: 301-451-5939
Email: commons@od.nih.gov

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Daniel E. Janes, Ph.D.
Program Director, TWD Division
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH
45 Center Drive, Room 2As.25p, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone: (301) 594-0943
Fax: (301) 480-2228
Email: Daniel.Janes@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Helen R. Sunshine, Ph.D.
Chief, Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH
45 Center Drive, Room 3An.12, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone: (301) 594-2881
Fax: (301) 480-8506
Email: sunshinh@nigms.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Ms. Lori Burge
Grants Management Specialist
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH
45 Center Drive, Room 2An.50A, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone: (301) 451-3781
Fax: (301) 480-2554
Email: burgel@nigms.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

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

Authority and Regulations

Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.


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