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

MARC Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (U-STAR) National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grant (T34)

Activity Code

T34 MARC Undergraduate NRSA Institutional Grants

Announcement Type

Reissue of PAR-10-119

Related Notices

  • June 4, 2014 - Notice NOT-14-074 supersedes instructions in Section III.3 regarding applications that are essentially the same.
  • May 6, 2014 - See Notice NOT-GM-14-116. Notice Regarding Updates to the MARC Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (U-STAR) Institutional Research Training (T34) Program.
  • March 14, 2014 - See Notice NOT-OD-14-070. Adjustments to May 25-28, 2014 Grant Application Due Dates.
  • March 7, 2014 - See Notice NOT-GM-14-107. Notice of Technical Assistance Webinar.
  • November 27, 2013 (NOT-OD-14-027) - NIH to Require Use of Updated Electronic Application Forms for Due Dates on or after January 25, 2014. Forms-C applications are required for due dates on or after January 25, 2014.
  • August 21, 2013: Removed reference to ASSIST in section IV.3, since ASSIST is currently only available for multi-project applications.
  • May 8,2013 - See Notice NOT-GM-13-114. Notice of Change in Application Due Dates.
  • May 3, 2013 - See Notice NOT-GM-13-112. Notice of Technical Assistance Workshop.

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

PAR-13-205

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 Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (U-STAR) Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Training program is to assist undergraduate institutions to increase the number of well-prepared underrepresented (UR) students who, within three years of graduation, matriculate into competitive/research active Ph.D. or combined M.D.-Ph.D. programs in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, go on to research careers and will be available to participate in NIH-funded research.  The program provides grants to institutions with significant enrollment of students from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences that propose well-integrated developmental activities designed to strengthen students’ academic preparation, research training and professional skills that are critical to the completion of the Ph.D. degree in the biomedical and behavioral sciences.  

Key Dates
Posted Date

April 22, 2013

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

May 24, 2013

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Application Due Date(s)

(New Dates June 24, 2013, (Extended to May 29, 2014 per NOT-OD-14-070), Originally May 25, 2014, and May 25, 2015 per NOT-GM-13-114), Originally June 24, 2013, 2014, 2015, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

October - November, 2013, 2014, 2015

Advisory Council Review

January, 2014, 2015, 2016

Earliest Start Date

June 1, 2014

Expiration Date

(New Date May 26, 2015 per NOT-GM-13-114), Originally June 25, 2015

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide including the Supplemental Instructions to the SF424 (R&R) for Preparing Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Application, 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.


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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

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.  More information about NRSA programs may be found at the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) website.

To compete successfully the United States needs a diverse STEM workforce that is well educated and trained. Diversity in science matters: social scientists have long observed the ability of heterogeneous groups to derive a greater number of alternatives and perspectives that led to more complete and inventive solutions, which are critical for scientific innovation and problem solving (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/ 15534225).  A diverse workforce will be better equipped to address scientific challenges that are increasingly interdisciplinary in nature.  However, today’s scientific workforce lacks the diversity it needs for the U.S. to remain optimally productive in the 21st century. A recent report from an Advisory Committee to the NIH Director on Diversity of the Biomedical Research Workforce also indicates that achieving diversity in the biomedical research workforce remains an important problem that must be actively addressed (http://acd.od.nih.gov/dbr.htm). 

National trends indicate that 25-30% of entering college students express an interest in pursuing their education in a STEM field, representing a diverse talent pool of over 800,000 students annually.  However, less than half (only forty percent) of majority students remain in STEM, most switching to other non-STEM fields in their first two years of undergraduate study (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/pcast-engage-to-excel-final_feb.pdf).  For individuals from groups underrepresented (UR) in biomedical and behavioral sciences [which include African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives and U.S. Pacific Islanders (National Academy of Sciences, Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads, 2011)] the outcomes are even lower.    Only 20% of UR students who enter college intending to major in a STEM field complete a STEM degree.  Even controlling for variables such as socio-economic status, URs do not persist as well as their non-UR peers.  This is a substantial loss of talent during the undergraduate training years.  Greater efforts are needed to improve undergraduate STEM education for UR groups to alleviate existing disparities in the scientific workforce.  Achieving parity in representation of the STEM workforce will require at least a 2-fold increase in the rate of production of UR doctorates in the next decade.  Retaining more students in STEM majors who go on to graduate training is the lowest-cost, fastest policy option to providing the STEM professionals the nation needs (Engage to Excel: Producing One Million Additional College Graduates with Degrees in STEM: PCAST Report, February, 2012).

Efforts to diversify the scientific enterprise over the last four decades have led to better understandings of what factors confer UR student persistence in STEM.  Exemplar programs offer students the following: (a) academic and social integration, (b) knowledge and skill development, (c) support and motivation, and (d) monitoring and advising (see Summers, M. and Hrabowski , F.; SCIENCE Vol. 311, March 2006; Matsui, J., Liu, R. and Kane, C.; Cell Biology Education Vol. 2, Summer 2003 and Jolly, E., Campbell, P., and Perlman, L.; GE Foundation, September 2004 for details).  These factors are interdependent and each is necessary to ensure student persistence.  Proposed  Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (U-STAR) Programs must employ well-integrated strategies, rooted in education research, that provide students with what they need to progress to the next stage of the science education continuum.

The goal of the NRSA MARC U-STAR honors program, supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), is to assist undergraduate institutions to increase the number of well-prepared UR students for highly selective Ph.D. or combined M.D.-Ph.D.-level training in the biomedical and behavioral sciences who go on to impact the health-related research needs of the Nation.  Applications must reflect the mission, plans and priorities of the applicant institution.  Thus, each applicant must conduct an institutional self-assessment that includes information pertaining to:

As a result of the self-assessment, each MARC U-STAR applicant must establish its proposed program’s measurable (quantifiable) objectives, which should be consonant with the MARC U-STAR Program purpose.  The measurable objectives should inform the design of an institutional pre-baccalaureate research training program with potential for significant impact  on the institution's ability to increase the number of well-prepared UR students for highly selective Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D.-level training in the biomedical and behavioral sciences.

Two core elements characterize MARC U-STAR student development training programs: research training and academic enhancement.  Because of the heterogeneity in institutional settings and institutional missions, various strategies for research training and academic enhancement may be utilized to reach the MARC U-STAR Program's purpose.  Specifically for research training activities, NIGMS expects research-intensive institutions (those specifically considered to be RU/VH or RU/H in the Carnegie Basic Classification system) to offer hands-on "traditional" research training experiences to MARC U-STAR scholars with research active (e.g., R01 or equivalent) intramural faculty mentors during the academic year.  Non research-intensive institutions (including the DRU category in the  Carnegie Basic Classification system that educate undergraduates) with primarily teaching missions and limited intramural research active faculty may offer hands-on "traditional" research training for MARC U-STAR scholars on the campus during the academic year with research active faculty (e.g., SCORE, IDEA, or equivalent)If the research environment is of limited capacity with few research active faculty to sufficiently offer all MARC U-STAR scholars hands-on "traditional" research training, then expectations are to provide other means of intramural research training during each academic term, such as: i) research classroom training (research-based curricula developed to engage college students in true scientific discovery) or ii) hands-on "traditional" research training at a nearby research-intensive host institution(s).  Both research-intensive and non research-intensive MARC U-STAR institutions are expected to provide at least one extramural summer research training experience at a research-intensive host site for each MARC U-STAR trainee; preferable sites are graduate institutions that offer NIH T32 predoctoral training programs (see also http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/contacts/parent_T32.html).  An anticipated outcome of trainee participation in research training efforts is presenting research findings at local, student and/or domestic scientific meetings in the trainee’s field of study. 

The other core element of the MARC U-STAR Program is providing academic enhancement, such as:

The list is not meant to be descriptive or exhaustive.  Any activity(s) that leads to enhanced academic development may be proposed.

Students are expected to participate in the MARC U-STAR honors program during their final two years of the undergraduate tenure, typically referred to as the junior and senior years and for a consecutive 24 month period for each participant.  Program activities should engage and develop MARC U-STAR students to prepare them for high caliber STEM Ph.D. or combined M.D.-Ph.D. programs.  To enhance the pool, program activities to interest and motivate pre-college, freshman and sophomore students are strongly encouraged to improve their skills and preparedness for the MARC U-STAR Program.  MARC U-STAR is an honors program; as such NIGMS has high expectations.  At the institutional level, it is expected that the following objectives will be achieved:

1.    All MARC U-STAR trainees will graduate with a bachelor's degree in a STEM field; and

2.    The majority of MARC U-STAR trainees, within three years of graduation, will matriculate in a Ph.D. or combined M.D.-Ph.D. program at a research-intensive institution, go on to obtain a research doctorate and ultimately enter a biomedical or behavioral research career.

Several key features are required of MARC U-STAR Programs.  Therefore MARC U-STAR applicants must:

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 number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Award Budget

Application budgets are not limited, but need to reflect actual needs of the proposed academic and research training program. Because the nature and scope of the proposed research training will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary.

Grantees 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 for Kirschstein NRSA T34 Institutional training grants 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 academic and research training experience. Each MARC U-STAR scholar is expected to be appointed to two consecutive 12-month appointments during the final two years of undergraduate training, typically called the junior and senior years. The stipend is not provided as a condition of employment with either the Federal government or the grantee institution, nor is it to be considered as a payment for services rendered. No departure from the established stipend schedule may be negotiated by the institution with the trainee.
 
Applicants should request full tuition and fees. NIGMS will contribute to the combined cost of tuition and fees at the rate in place at the time of award

The most recent stipend, tuition, and fee levels are described on the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) site. Visit NIH Grants Policy Statement: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for more information.

Trainee Travel
Participant Costs
 

Trainee travel to attend domestic scientific meetings and workshops that the institution determines to be necessary for the MARC U-STAR trainee's development and training experience is an allowable and expected expense.  Additionally, MARC U-STAR trainees are required to spend at least one summer at an extramural site for a research training experience. Preferred sites are research intensive graduate institutions such as those with NIH T32 training programs.  Foreign sites are not allowed. Funds for the summer research experience will be provided as follows: $3,000 per MARC U-STAR trainee, to be used in accordance with institutional policies as a per diem for a period of ten weeks; an additional $500 for travel to and from the host research training site (for MARC U-STAR -supported institutions in Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands $750 for travel per trainee will be provided). NIGMS provides funds for the extramural summer research training experience for up to 50% of the appointed number of MARC U-STAR trainees at the time a competing award is made.  For additional guidance on MARC U-STAR extramural summer research requirement, see MARC USTAR Summer Research Experience Policy. .

Training Related Expenses and
Other Program Related Expenses  

Training-Related Expenses:

NIGMS will provide funds to help defray research training expenses.  The total amount of Training Related Expenses (TRE) that may be requested is limited by 1) whether a new application (T1) submission or a competing renewal application (T2) submission and by 2) type of Carnegie classified institution.  New (T1) MARC U-STAR applicants may request up to $16,800/trainee/year for research-intensive institutions (as considered to be RU/VH or RU/H in the Carnegie Basic Classification system) and up to $25,200/trainee/year for non research-intensive institutions (including the DRU category in the Carnegie Classification).  Competing renewal applicants (T2) may request up to a maximum of $8,400/trainee/year for TRE if the institution is research-intensive and request up to $12,600/trainee/year if the institution is non research-intensive.  After the initial project period (typically 5 years), NIGMS expects MARC U-STAR Program activities to be established and maintained, in part, by institutional efforts, hence the lower TRE values.  Regardless of the type of applicant (new or returning) or type of institution (research-intensive or non research-intensive) there is a maximum cap of $350,000/year for the TRE portion of a proposed MARC U-STAR budget. 

TRE funds may be used for:

Personnel costs/staff salaries (see details in next section); consultant costs; program evaluation costs; equipment and research supplies for a research classroom course(s), if proposed; program website design and maintenance; faculty/staff travel that is directly related to the program; faculty training in pedagogical skills development; student academic skills development workshops (e.g., problem-solving, critical thinking, effective communication and time management).  Note: funds for students to take workshops or courses designed to improve performance on specific tests, such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or MCAT are not an allowable expense; however, funds for courses to improve student’s critical thinking/problem-solving skills are allowed; health insurance for MARC U-STAR trainees (self-only or family, as appropriate) to the extent that the same health insurance fees are charged to non-Federally-supported students at the applicant institution; costs for reasonable accommodations for disabled trainees may be requested under exceptional circumstances (advance consultation with NIGMS program staff is strongly advised); and other program-related expenses may be included in the proposed budget. 

TRE expenses must be justified as specifically required by the proposed program and must not duplicate items generally available at the applicant institution.

Other Program Related Expenses:

Individual(s) designing, directing, and implementing the MARC U-STAR 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 applicant institution's policy for similar positions and may not exceed the congressionally mandated cap. If mentoring interactions and other activities with scholars are considered a regular part of an individual's academic duties, then mentoring and other interactions with scholars are non-reimbursable from grant funds.

Limited program-related administrative and clerical salary costs associated distinctly with the program that are not normally provided by the applicant organization may be direct charges to the MARC U-STAR grant only when they are in accordance with applicable cost principles. For institutions covered by OMB Circular A-21, this type of student development training program may qualify as a “major project” where administrative salaries are allowable as a direct cost. When specifically identified and justified, these expenses must be itemized in Sections A and B, as appropriate, of the R&R Budget.

Salary support for the PD/PI/co-Investigators (or in combination of multiple PDs/PIs/co-Investigators) is limited to up to 3.0 person months (i.e., 25% on a 12-month basis) in total, depending on person months devoted to the program.

The total salary support for other administrative personnel (e.g., program administrator/program coordinator and/or program assistant) is limited to up to 6.0 person months (i.e., 50% on a 12-month basis), per person depending on person months devoted to the administration of the program.

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 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:

Only domestic, non-profit, private or public institutions that confer the baccalaureate degree in subjects related to biomedical or behavioral science and that have a substantial undergraduate enrollment of students drawn from groups that are underrepresented in the Nation’s biomedical and behavioral science research fields are eligible to apply.

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. See section IV under Institutional Environment and Commitment to the Program for more details.

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  training program 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 underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PD(s)/PI(s), 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 a full-time faculty member with strong records in research, teaching, and training 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

Only one application per institution (normally identified by having a unique DUNS number or NIH IPF number) is allowed for the MARC U-STAR Program.

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:

Mentors

Mentors should have research expertise and experience relevant to the proposed program. Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as mentors. Mentors must be committed to continue their involvement throughout the total period of the award.

Trainees

It is the responsibility of the applicant institution to establish the qualifications of students prior to their selection for the MARC U-STAR Program.

Students appointed to the MARC U-STAR training program must be U.S. citizens, noncitizen nationals of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of appointment (details on citizenship requirements are available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement).

Students must matriculate full-time at the applicant institution in sciences relevant to biomedicine.  Full-time effort is normally defined as 40 hours per week or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies.  

MARC U-STAR trainees are expected to be appointed to two consecutive 12-month appointments during the final two years of undergraduate training, typically called the junior and senior years. On an annual basis, trainee appointments for less than 12 months require prior written approval by NIGMS.

Training Program

A Kirschstein-NRSA MARC U-STAR institutional research training grant must be used to support a program of full-time academic and research training for honors undergraduate students.

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.

Page Limitations

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

Required and Optional Components

The forms package associated with this FOA includes all applicable components, required 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.

SF424(R&R) Cover

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for Preparing Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA)

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for Preparing Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA)

SF424 (R&R) Other Project Information Component

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for Preparing Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA), with the following additional modifications: MARC U-STAR applicants do NOT use Training Data Tables (Tables 1 – 12).  Instead, applicants may use suggested data Tables A-E which are downloadable from the TWD/MARC website.

Other Attachments

Project Summary /Abstract. Provide an abstract of the entire application, including the long-term goals and objectives of the program. Include the rationale and design of the program, the planned duration of the program and the projected number of trainees.

Advisory Committee. A plan must be provided for the appointment of an Advisory Committee to monitor program and trainee progress. Composition, responsibilities, frequency of meetings, and other relevant information should be included. Describe the composition of the Advisory Committee, identifying the role and the desired expertise of members. For instance, a MARC U-STAR Advisory Committee might include a dean, chairpersons of participating MARC U-STAR departments, the MARC U-STAR PD(s)/PI(s), intramural research faculty mentors, extramural research faculty mentors from host institutions, NIH predoctoral T32 program director(s) within the local region, etc.  Describe how the Advisory Committee will function in providing oversight of the development, implementation, and evaluation of recruitment strategies, the recruitment and retention of participants, and the evaluation of the overall effectiveness of the program.  A plan for Advisory Committee selection and approval of MARC U-STAR participants should be included.  Note that proposed Advisory Committee members should not be named in the application, particularly if they include individuals from outside the institution. However, renewal applications with Advisory Committees should include names of existing external advisors. Please name your file “Advisory_Committee.pdf”.

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

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

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for Preparing Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA).

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for Preparing Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA).

PHS 398 Checklist

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for Preparing Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA).

PHS 398 Training Subaward Budget Attachment(s) Form

Follow all instructions provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for Preparing Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA).

Training Budget

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

PHS 398 Research Training Program Plan

In the Background section of the application, provide the rationale for the proposed research training program, relevant background history, and the need for the MARC U-STAR academic and research training proposed.  The Background section should also include information on the institutional environment.  Applicants must describe their institutional setting and state their institution type according to the Carnegie Basic Classification system. 

All Supplemental Instructions to the SF424 (R&R) for Preparing Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Application must be followed, with the following additional instructions.  Applications for the MARC U-STAR T34 training program do NOT use Training Data Tables (Tables 1 – 12) as shown on the SF424 Research and Related (R&R) Application Guide.  Instead, MARC U-STAR applicants may use suggested data Tables A-E shown below and downloadable from the TWD/MARC website.  The information contained on Tables A - E must be presented in the application in some format. 

Program Plan

Program Administration. Describe the strengths, leadership and administrative skills, and scientific expertise of the Training PD/PI. Include the planned strategy and administrative structure to be used to oversee and monitor the program. For applications with multiple PDs/PIs, address the Leadership Plan and how the combined knowledge, skills and experience of the individual PDs/PIs will enhance the likelihood of success of the program.  If a program coordinator position is planned, a description of the person's administrative capabilities essential to coordinate the program must be included in the application.  In addition, a plan must be provided for the appointment of an Advisory Committee to monitor program and trainee progress (see "Advisory Committee" under Other Attachments). 

Program Faculty. Describe in general terms the complementary expertise and experiences of the proposed mentors. Provide an overview of their active research and other scholarly activities, as well as track records of mentoring and training.  The application must include information about the program faculty who will be available to serve as research mentors (either during the academic year or during the summer term) to provide guidance and expertise to MARC U-STAR students.  The mentors should have strong records as researchers and experience mentoring undergraduates, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds.  For the required extramural summer research training component, or for academic term research training at a nearby host institution (where proposed), several letters from the research-intensive host institution(s) that agree to mentor MARC U-STAR trainees along with the biographical sketches of potential faculty mentors should be included in the application.  MARC U-STAR applicant institutions that propose academic year "traditional" research training with intramural research active faculty must provide list of potential faculty mentors, along with their biographical sketches in the application.  MARC U-STAR applicants that propose research classroom training as the means of intramural research training must provide a full description of such training; e.g., learning objective(s), participating faculty and their biographical sketches, training frequency and other relevant information.

Proposed Training. Provide an overview of the proposed program: Describe the immediate and long-term objectives of the program, including activities that will be used to ensure that the objectives of the program are met. Include information about planned courses, curricula, seminars, workshops, or tutorials that will be incorporated into the training program and mentored research experiences and activities. Institutions with existing training programs must explain what distinguishes this program from the others, how the programs will synergize, if applicable, and justify that the faculty, pool of potential trainees, and resources are robust enough to support additional programs. The description should include planned strategies to be used to ensure that the objectives are met. The PD/PI should also describe past research development activities/experiences including those of mentors, documenting the success of former trainees in entering and completing a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. degrees in a STEM-related field and establishing independent productive scientific careers. Programs should provide all trainees with additional professional development skills and career guidance including instruction and training in grant writing in order to successfully apply for future predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships, career development and independent research support.

Activities to increase the depth, quality and science  training of the applicant MARC U-STAR trainee pool are encouraged and must be described.  Such efforts should interest and motivate pre-freshmen, freshmen, and sophomores at the institution. 

The application must describe the academic training that students will receive to enable them to be competitive for entrance into science Ph.D. programs at highly selective graduate institutions. This should include a contemporary science curriculum rich in quantitative and cross-disciplinary skills.  Further, faculty training in pedagogical skills and modern teaching modalities that confer improved learning outcomes is encouraged to enhance the academic learning environment at the institution.  The grant enables faculty to attend workshops, seminars, etc., to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for improved pedagogy as well-justified in the budget.

To meet the objective of increasing the number of UR students who achieve science Ph.D. degrees, the MARC U-STAR Program must also facilitate the development of a trainee’s research skills, such as the ability to apply critical thinking to conduct research, identify problems in the process of conducting research, raise questions and propose solutions to resolve research problems, and communicate research findings orally and in writing.  All MARC U-STAR Programs, regardless of the research capacity/external grant support of the applicant institution, must provide at least one external summer research training experience for MARC U-STAR students.  The external research institutions are preferably those with NIH T32 grants, to expose MARC U-STAR students to the research culture on a highly selective graduate campus.  The application should describe how the MARC U-STAR PD(s)/PI(s) will interact with NIGMS T32 PDs/PIs to encourage MARC U-STAR students to attend such institutions for the required summer extramural research training experience and apply for Ph.D. programs there.  To assist with this interaction, NIGMS maintains a list of NIGMS-funded T32 programs at the TWD/NIGMS T32 predoctoral program website.  Other NIH Institutes and Centers also support the T32 predoctoral training program in various research areas.  For a query search to identify such programs, visit the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT) website.

Program Evaluation. Describe an evaluation plan to review and determine the effectiveness of the training program and its component parts. This should include plans to obtain feedback from current and former trainees to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for program improvements, as well as plans for assessing trainees’ career development and progression, including the following metrics for MARC U-STAR students: bachelor's degree completion rates, rate of sending students on to biomedical/behavioral science Ph.D. programs, and student publication records and subsequent positions. Specified evaluation metrics should be tied to the goals of the program. Evaluation results should be included in future renewal applications and in the Final Progress Report.

Trainee Candidates. Describe in general terms the pool of potential candidates . Do not name prospective trainees. Describe plans to recruit candidates and explain how these plans will be implemented.  (Describe the evaluation criteria to be used in the selection of trainees. Provide brief summaries of training plans that the program will employ. The application should contain a description of how training plans will be tailored to the needs of the prospective candidates.

Institutional Environment and Commitment to the Program. The application must include a statement from the applicant institution describing the commitment to the planned program. The institution must assure that essential time will be allowed for the PD(s)/PI(s), other faculty and mentors. Appropriate institutional commitment should include the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the proposed research training program. The letter must also include a plan for the use of institutional resources to further enhance the training program, which may include support for additional student positions, and/or to enhance the institution’s ability to attract, retain, and develop underrepresented students engaged in biomedical and behavioral research. 

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 Chapter 8 of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. Further, NIGMS provides guidance on training in the responsible conduct of research, visit: http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Training/responsibleconduct.htm.

Data Tables

MARC U-STAR is an institutional program and as such applicants must provide details about the institution and its setting.  Such details may readily be described using suggested data Tables A - E, which are downloadable from the TWD/MARC website (note: MARC U-STAR applicants are not to use Tables 1-12 as shown on the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide).  MARC U-STAR applicants are not required to use data Tables A-E; however, the information contained in them must be presented in the application in some format.  U-STAR

Applicants must show institutional data to include: 1) the total number of students from underrepresented groups majoring in or intending to major in the participating science/math departments for the MARC U-STAR Program, and 2) the number of honors UR students in the participating departments.  MARC U-STAR applicants are anticipated to draw from a broad array of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines for proposed participating departments. These data may be shown using Table A. "Institutional Setting." 

Table B. “Institutional UR Ph.D. Baseline” is suggested to show the total number of underrepresented baccalaureate alumni who, in the last five years, have either entered and/ or completed biomedically relevant science Ph.D. programs from any graduate institution.  MARC U-STAR applications must state their total ‘UR Ph.D.’ baseline number.  This number, the sum of row 1 and row 2 in Table B, is the baseline value which the applicant institution wants to improve.  Applicants can determine their ‘UR Ph.D.’ baseline number using, in part, the National Science Foundation’s public database WebCASPAR under the NSF Survey of Earned Doctorates/Doctorate Records File and the National Student Clearinghouse organization’s public database.  Additional information may be obtained from records kept at the applicant institution through resources like the Office of the Registrar, Office of Institutional Planning and/or Research, Alumni Office, Office of Institutional Development, Office of Sponsored Programs, etc.  The application must also indicate the number of students from underrepresented groups graduating per year and the number of students from underrepresented groups who completed a professional degree (i.e., M.D. degree) in the last five years.  For M.D. data, visit the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) website.  The number of MARC U-STAR trainee positions requested by an institution should reflect a goal MAR U-STAR C trainee number above the institutional baseline and proposed MARC U-STAR Program plans for improvement.  UR students from the applicant institution may have received their BS/BA degree at any time.  Of the alumni, state the number who entered (first row in Table B) and completed (second row in Table B) biomedically relevant science Ph.D. (including those with combined Ph.D. degrees) and then the numbers for M.D. programs and degrees for the last five year period.  The Ph.D. and M.D. degrees can be from any academic institution.  Applicants may footnote using an asterisk any details that require further explanation.

Table C. "Current Science UR Student Programs" is meant to define what, if any, externally-supported science student development programs aimed at increasing representation that is similar to MARC U-STAR an applicant institution may have.  The applicant institution, as a means to further describe its institutional setting, must state the complementarity with and uniqueness from all other such programs on the campus.  Applicants should provide a list of such programs and then in narrative form state how the proposed MARC U-STAR Program will interact with the other programs to prevent duplication, but leverage efforts for a synergistic effect.  Also, the application must discuss the differences the proposed MARC U-STAR Program will achieve from the other related programs to show the value-added benefit of the MARC U-STAR Program at the institution.

Table D. "Past MARC U-STAR Trainee Record" is intended to show the outcomes of applicant institutions that had a previous MARC U-STAR training program in the immediate past.  Such renewal MARC U-STAR applications (Type 2) are to describe the past MARC U-STAR yrainee record and their outcomes.  Applications with only one previous funding cycle (typically 5 years) must provide information on that past funding cycle (and only use Table D.1). Applications with more than one previous funding cycle must provide information on the past two consecutive funding cycles, (typically 10 years).  Such applicants should provide information from both Table D.1 and D.2.  The total number of appointed MARC U-STAR trainees in a given year must add up with the other categories for that cohort. Include the total number of MARC U-STAR alumni who earned biomedically relevant science Ph.D. degrees in the past 10 years.  

The final table, Table E. "Institutional UR Ph.D. Numbers Above MARC U-STAR," is only to be used by competing renewal (T2) MARC U-STAR applicants, those who have had a MARC U-STAR Program in the last 5 years or more.  This table is designed to determine the number of UR non-MARC U-STAR alumni from the applicant institution who matriculated and completed biomedically-relevant Ph.D. program from any graduate program in the last 5 years as compared to the institution’s MARC U-STAR alumni number.  To complete the table, add the subtotals from Table B row 1 with Table B row 2 together to get the total institutional UR Ph.D. entrance and completion number in the last 5 years (row 3 in Table E).  Next, either using Table D.1 (for applicants with only an immediate 5 year MARC U-STAR history) or Table D.2 (for applicant institutions with an immediate 10 year or more MARC U-STAR history), add the MARC U-STAR alumni Ph.D. subtotals from row 7 with row 8 and place them on Table E row 6.  Finally, subtract this number from the total institutional UR Ph.D. number (row 3) to get the Institutional UR Ph.D. number above MARC U-STAR totals (row 7 of Table E).

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 due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission.

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.

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.

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. 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.

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.

Requests of $500,000 or more for direct costs in any year

Applicants requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs in any year (excluding consortium F&A) must contact NIGMS program staff as listed in the Scientific/Research Contact(s) section below at least 6 weeks before submitting the application and follow the Policy on the Acceptance for Review of Unsolicited Applications that Request $500,000 or More in Direct Costs as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

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 program to exert a sustained, powerful influence on sending UR students on to high quality science Ph.D. programs, 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.

Training Program and Environment

How will the academic and research training program lead to an increase (over the current UR baseline) in the number of UR alumni of the applicant institution completing science Ph.D. degrees?  What is the quality of the academic and research training environment in preparing students for successful careers in biomedical sciences?  What is the evidence that MARC U-STAR trainees and other students will take an effective curriculum with skill-building activities that prepare them for graduate training?  What will be the purpose and added-value in having the proposed MARC U-STAR Program at the institution, especially if other student development programs with similar objectives exist?  Is the quality of advising and proposed skills-development activities sufficient to enable MARC U-STAR trainees and other students to thrive in graduate (Ph.D.-level) school?  How does the institution show institutional commitment to meet the program’s goal(s)?

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

Do the Training PD(s)/PI(s) have the scientific background, expertise, and experience to provide strong leadership, direction, management, and administration of the proposed academic and research training program?  Does the Training PD(s)/PI(s) plan to commit sufficient time to the program to ensure its success? What is the evidence that the MARC U-STAR PD(s)/PI(s) is likely to provide a high-quality training program?  What is the evidence that the PD(s)/PI(s) will be able to promote institutional change for improved student outcomes?  How does the PD(s)/PI(s) demonstrate the ability to work effectively with staff, administrators and faculty both at the proposed MARC U-STAR institution and with individuals at host institutions for summer research and graduate (Ph.D. level) training?

For applications designating multiple PD/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 with the complementary expertise of each of the PDs/PIs?

Preceptors/Mentors

If "traditional" research training is proposed on the campus, are sufficient numbers of experienced preceptors/mentors with appropriate expertise and active research funding available to support the number of trainees proposed in the application? Are trainees broadly distributed among research faculty?  Do the preceptors/mentors have strong records of training undergraduates from UR groups?  What is the evidence that MARC U-STAR preceptors/mentors will be informed of program expectations and their role? What is the evidence that effective research training will be provided by the faculty?

Applicant institutions with primarily teaching missions that are classified as non-research intensive by the Carnegie system are not required to propose "traditional" research training for MARC U-STAR participants on the campus, but they must provide intramural research training by other means, such as the research classroom course.  For such institutions, what type of intramural research training is proposed?  What is the evidence that effective training will be provided by the faculty and staff? What is the experience of faculty and/or staff in providing academic and career advice?  If academic year extramural research training is proposed at a near-by host institution, what is the evidence that the preceptors/mentors of the host site have strong records of training undergraduates from UR groups?  What is the evidence that effective research training will be provided by host research faculty?

For the required summer (at least one for each MARC U-STAR participant) of extramural "traditional" research training all MARC U-STAR institutions must adhere to, what is the evidence that the preceptors/mentors of the host extramural institution have strong records of training undergraduates from UR groups?  What is the evidence that effective research training will be provided by host research faculty?

Trainees

Is a recruitment plan proposed with strategies to attract high quality trainees for the honors program? Are there well-defined and justified selection criteria and retention strategies? Is a competitive applicant pool in sufficient numbers to warrant the proposed size of the training program in evidence? 

Training Record

What is the historical record of the applicant institution in training UR students?  How successful are the trainees (or for new applications, other past students in similar training) in completing the program? How successful is the past five-year record of the applicant institution in sending UR alumni on to biomedically related Ph.D. degrees?  For applicant institutions with former MARC U-STAR support, how successful are MARC U-STAR alumni in entering and completing biomedically related Ph.D. degrees?  What is the evidence that the proposed plan will be an improvement over this past training record? Does the program have 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 and monitoring trainees’ subsequent career development? How will the evaluation plan be used to determine if the program is effective in meeting its objectives?

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 review committee will evaluate the application as it is 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 review committee will consider the progress made in the last funding period(s).  For applications with one previous funding cycle reviewers will consider the progress made during that period.  For applications with longer funding cycles, reviewers will consider the past two consecutive funding cycles.  The committee will consider how much improvement has there been in the institution’s ability to send UR students to science Ph.D. programs since the last competing application and if changes are proposed that would improve or strengthen the training experience.

Revisions

For Revisions, the review committee will consider the appropriateness of the proposed expansion of the scope of the project. If the revision application relates to a specific aspect of the program 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.

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.

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

Taking into account the specific characteristics of the training program, level of trainee experience, and the particular circumstances of the trainees, the reviewers will address the following questions.  Does the plan satisfactorily address the format of instruction, e.g., lectures, coursework 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, and laboratory safety?  Do the plans adequately describe how faculty will participate in the instruction?  Does the plan meet the minimum requirements for RCR? If this is a renewal, is there a report describing past instruction in the five components described above?  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

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

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 training program.

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 on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines to NIGMS. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications . Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council. 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.

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.

Leave Policies

In general, trainees may receive stipends during the normal periods of vacation and holidays observed by individuals in comparable training positions at the sponsoring institution. For the purpose of these awards, however, the period between the spring and fall semesters is considered to be an active time of research and research training and is not considered to be a vacation or holiday. Trainees may receive stipends for up to 15 calendar days of sick leave per year. Sick leave may be used for the medical conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth. Trainees may also receive stipends for parental leave as described in NOT-OD-08-064. A period of terminal leave is not permitted, and payment may not be made from traineeship funds for leave not taken. Trainees requiring periods of time away from their research training experience longer than specified here must seek approval from the NIH awarding component for an unpaid leave of absence. Trainees supported by academic institutions should refer to the NIH Institutional NRSA training grant guidelines in the NIH Grants Policy Statement for further guidance regarding vacations and requested leave. 

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

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. Chapter 8 of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, Additional Instructions for Preparing a Progress Report for an Institutional Research Training Grant, Including Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards, must be followed.

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.

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

A final Progress Report 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. Evaluation results should be included as part of the final Progress Report.

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, NIGMS 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, NIGMS will determine whether to (a) continue the program as currently configured, (b) continue the program with modifications, or (c) discontinue the program. 

NIGMS' evaluation may consider:

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)

Shawn R. Gaillard, Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Telephone: 301-594-3900
Email: Shawn.Gaillard@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Examine your eRA Commons account for review assignment and contact information (information appears two weeks after the submission due date).

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Ms. Lori Burge
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Telephone: 301- 451-3781
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 Section 487 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 288) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 66.


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