Department of Health and Human Services


Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
National Library of Medicine (NLM))
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR)
Office of Strategic Coordination (Common Fund)

Funding Opportunity Title

Courses for Skills Development in Biomedical Big Data Science (R25)

Activity Code

R25 Education Projects

Announcement Type

New

Related Notices
  • June 4, 2014 - Notice NOT-14-074 supersedes instructions in Section III.3 regarding applications that are essentially the same.
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-HG-14-008

Companion Funding Opportunity

RFA-HG-14-009

Number of Applications

See Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

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

93.989; 93.350; 93.213; 93.213; 93.394; 93.395; 93.396; 93.397; 93.398; 93.399; 93.867; 93.172; 93.233; 93.837; 93.838; 93.839; 93.866; 93.273; 93.855; 93.856; 93.846; 93.286; 93.865; 93.279; 93.173; 93.121; 93.847; 93.113; 93.859; 93.242; 93.307; 93.853; 93.361; 93.879; 93.351; 93.313; 93.310   

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research education activities in the mission areas of the NIH.  The goal of this Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Program is to support educational activities that complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs in Big Data Science.

To this end, this FOA encourages the development of creative educational activities with a primary focus on Courses for Skills Development.

Key Dates
Posted Date

January 16, 2014

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

March 1, 2014

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

30 days before the application due date

Application Due Date(s)

April 1, 2014; April 1, 2015; and April 1, 2016, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

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

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

July 2014; July 2015; July 2016

Advisory Council Review

October 2014; October 2015; October 2016

Earliest Start Date

December 2014; December 2015; December 2016

Expiration Date

April 2, 2016

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 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 will not be reviewed


A compatible version of Adobe Reader is required for download. For Assistance downloading this or any Grants.gov application package, please contact Grants.gov Customer Support at http://www07.grants.gov/contactus/contactus.jsp.
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 NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research educational activities that complement other formal training programs in the mission areas of the NIH Institutes and Centers. The over-arching goals of the NIH R25 program are to: (1) complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs; (2) enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce; (3) help recruit individuals with specific specialty or disciplinary backgrounds to research careers in biomedical, behavioral and clinical sciences; and (4) foster a better understanding of biomedical, behavioral and clinical research and its implications.

The goal of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs.  In particular, this FOA will enhance the training of biomedical researchers who want to acquire the skills necessary to utilize biomedical Big Data.

This BD2K R25 FOA will support:

Background

In response to the spectacular opportunities and immense challenges presented by the dawning era of 'Big Data' in biomedical research, the NIH has developed the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative. The mission of the BD2K initiative is to enable the biomedical research community to use the various types of Big Data for research. Biomedical research is rapidly becoming data-intensive as investigators are generating and using increasingly large, complex, multidimensional, and diverse datasets. However, the ability to release data, to locate, integrate, and analyze data generated by others, and to utilize the data is often limited by the lack of tools, accessibility, and training.

The long-term goal of the BD2K initiative is to support the advances in data science, other quantitative sciences, policy, and training that are needed for the effective use of Big Data in biomedical research. (In this document, the term 'biomedical' will be used in the broadest sense to include biological, biomedical, behavioral, social, environmental, and clinical studies that relate to understanding health and disease.) While the biomedical research enterprise is producing increasingly large amounts of digital data, it has not yet fully capitalized on the transformative opportunities that these data provide. As stated by the Data and Informatics Working Group (DIWG) of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director, "Colossal changes in biomedical research technologies and methods have shifted the bottleneck in scientific productivity from data production to data management, communication, and interpretation"  (Report).

In this context, the term 'Big Data' is meant to capture the opportunities and address the challenges facing all biomedical researchers in releasing, accessing, managing, analyzing, and integrating datasets of diverse data types. Such data types may include imaging, phenotypic, molecular (including –omics), clinical, behavioral, environmental, and many other types of biological and biomedical data. They may also include data generated for other purposes. The datasets are increasingly larger and more complex, and they increasingly exceed the abilities of currently used approaches to manage and analyze them. Biomedical Big Data primarily emanate from three sources: 1) a few groups that produce very large amounts of data, usually as part of projects specifically funded to produce important resources for the research community; 2) individual investigators who produce large datasets for their own projects, which might be broadly useful to the research community; and 3) an even greater number of investigators who each produce small datasets whose value can be amplified by aggregating or integrating them with other data.

The major challenges to using biomedical Big Data include the following:

Locating data and software tools: Investigators need straightforward means of knowing what datasets and software tools are available and where to obtain them, along with descriptions of each dataset or tool. Ideally, investigators should be able to easily locate all published and resource datasets and software tools, both basic and clinical, and, to the extent possible, unpublished or proprietary data and software.

Gaining access to data and software tools: Investigators need straightforward means of 1) releasing datasets and metadata in standard formats; 2) obtaining access to specific datasets or portions of datasets; 3) studying datasets with the appropriate software tools in suitable environments; and 4) obtaining analyzed datasets.

Standardizing data and metadata: Investigators need data to be in standard formats to facilitate interoperability, data sharing, and the use of tools to manage and analyze the data. The datasets need to be described by standard metadata to allow novel uses as well as reuse and integration.

Sharing data and software: While significant progress has been made in broad and rapid sharing of data and software,  it is not yet the norm in all areas of biomedical research. More effective data- and software-sharing would be facilitated by changes in the research culture, recognition of the contributions made by data and software generators, and technical innovations. Validation of software to ensure quality, reproducibility, provenance, and interoperability is a notable goal.

Organizing, managing, and processing biomedical Big Data: Investigators need biomedical data to be organized and managed in a robust way that allows them to be fully used; currently, most data are not sufficiently well organized. Barriers exist to releasing, transferring, storing, and retrieving large amounts of data. Research is needed to design innovative approaches and effective software tools for organizing biomedical Big Data for data integration and sharing while protecting human subject privacy.

Developing new methods for analyzing biomedical Big Data: The size, complexity, and multidimensional nature of many datasets make data analysis extremely challenging. Substantial research is needed to develop new methods and software tools for analyzing such large, complex, and multidimensional datasets. User-friendly data workflow platforms and visualization tools are also needed to facilitate the analysis of Big Data.

Training researchers for analyzing biomedical Big Data: Advances in biomedical sciences using Big Data will require more scientists with the appropriate data science expertise and skills to develop methods and design tools, including those in many quantitative science areas such as computational biology, biomedical informatics, biostatistics, and related areas. In addition, users of Big Data software tools and resources must be trained to utilize them well.

Training for the BD2K Initiative

To address the growing need and opportunities for skilled researchers to fully utilize the vast amount of heterogeneous biomedical Big Data, a series of BD2K FOAs have been designed to 1) develop a sufficient cadre of researchers skilled in the science of Big Data and 2) elevate general competencies in data usage and analysis across the biomedical research workforce. The portfolio of BD2K training and education activities will include opportunities for the full spectrum of scientists at the career stage of upper level undergraduate students to senior faculty, from developers of methods and tools to investigators who need to use Big Data tools.

The NIH issued a Request for Information (NOT-HG-13-003; Report) to solicit input from the extramural community on what types of knowledge and skills are needed by individuals to effectively manage and utilize Big Data. In addition, the NIH organized a workshop (Report) that addressed what knowledge, skills, and resources are needed to organize, process, manage, analyze, and visualize large, complex data sets.

Due to the multifaceted challenges faced in meeting the opportunities provided by Big Data, the following principles were taken into account in designing the set of BD2K training and education FOAs:

The NIH recognizes a unique and compelling need to promote diversity in the NIH-funded biomedical, workforce. The NIH expects efforts to diversify the workforce to lead to the recruitment of the most talented researchers from all groups; improve the quality of the educational and training environment; balance and broaden the perspective in setting research priorities; improve the ability to recruit subjects from diverse backgrounds into clinical research protocols; and to improve the Nations capacity to address and eliminate health disparities.  Accordingly the NIH encourages institutions to enhance the participation of individuals currently underrepresented in the biomedical 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 basis.

In order to promote a diverse workforce and successfully reach scientists at all career levels, it is essential that training resources are widely disseminated, discoverable, and repurposeable. The active exchange of information is also essential and will be facilitated by an annual BD2K consortium meeting in Bethesda, MD for PDs/PIs and trainees.

Applicants are encouraged to utilize all appropriate expertise for the purpose of training and educating Big Data scientists, whether that expertise lies within one or more institutions or within the industrial or public sectors.  Applicants are also encouraged to consider whether other BD2K training and education FOAs, including RFA-HG-009, "Open Educational Resources for Biomedical Big Data Science," are a good fit to the proposed project.  A complete list of BD2K FOAs can be found at bd2k.nih.gov.

Courses for Skills Development

The BD2K initiative includes a multi-faceted approach to training and education, consisting of long- and short-term training and the development of open educational resources. This FOA, RFA-HG-14-008, focuses on short-term research education to provide opportunities for individuals at all career levels to acquire new skills in biomedical Big Data Science. Short-term research education may serve different purposes, including the following:

Courses must be highly relevant to and use biomedical Big Data but, in general, will focus on specific areas necessary for the utilization of Big Data, including the computational and statistical sciences, in a biomedical context. Since solutions to Big Data problems are likely to involve interdisciplinary teams, courses should encourage interaction and team work among scientists with expertise in different areas. Course organizers are encouraged to partner across departments, institutions, and sectors as necessary to best achieve their objectives. 

The short-term research education can be of varying lengths: from one-day workshops, to one-week short courses, to summer boot camps, to semester-long immersive experiences. Short courses are by nature limited in time, but PDs/PIs are encouraged to create opportunities for continual learning, both for participants and for scientists who were not able to participate during the time that the course was offered.

Formats may be based on traditional in-person courses, online courses, or a hybrid of both. The development of creative formats to achieve the proposed objectives is highly encouraged. For example, a hybrid approach could be two-phased: an online component followed by an in-person component with the instructor(s). Applications that propose in-person or hybrid courses should address the necessity and benefits of travel to a central location. Applications that propose online or hybrid courses should address how interaction with and among the participants will be facilitated.

Applications must include a needs assessment, an evaluation plan, and a dissemination plan. The needs assessment should demonstrate the demand for the course and evaluate the number of learners who would benefit from the proposed education, compared to the number who can be accommodated. The evaluation plan should detail how the program will be evaluated for course content, educational effectiveness, participant recruitment, and overall effectiveness as an educational tool; where appropriate, applicants are encouraged to include plans to obtain feedback from participants and others to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for program improvements. The dissemination plan should describe how widely and freely the course materials are shared, including whether they are in a form that can be modified, updated, and tailored by others.

Examples of activities that would not be responsive to this FOA:

Research education programs may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, but the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those training and education programs currently receiving Federal support. R25 programs may augment institutional research training programs (e.g., T32, T90) but cannot be used to replace or circumvent Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) programs.

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
Resubmission

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

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NIH intends to fund an estimate of 4-5 awards, corresponding to a total of $700,000 for fiscal year 2015. Future year amounts will depend on annual appropriations.

Award Budget

Application budgets may not exceed $150,000 in direct costs annually and need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project budgets.

Award Project Period

The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period. The maximum project period is 3 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 participants are considered a regular part of an individual's academic duties, then any costs associated with the mentoring and other interactions with 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.

While generally not an allowable cost, with strong justification, participants in the research education program may receive per diem unless such costs are furnished as part of the registration fee. Participants may also receive funds to defray partial tuition and other education-related expenses.

Expenses for foreign travel must be exceptionally well justified.

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 an R25 program, as participants, but may not receive salary or stipend supplementation from a research education program.

Because the R25 program is not intended as a substitute for an NRSA institutional training program (e.g.,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, equipment, 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.  Costs for the PD/PI to attend an annual BD2K  consortium meeting in Bethesda, MD, should be included, not to exceed $1500 per trip. 

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 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:

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

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 federal 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

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

Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s))

All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account and should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate an existing account with the applicant organization’s eRA Commons account. If the PD/PI is also the organizational Signing Official, they must have two distinct eRA Commons accounts, one for each role. Obtaining an eRA Commons account can take up to 2 weeks.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research 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

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

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:

Program Faculty

Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as preceptors/mentors. Mentors should have research expertise and experience relevant to the proposed program.

Participants

Applications must describe the intended participants, and the eligibility and/or specific educational background characteristics that are essential for participation in the proposed research education program.  Participants should be upper-level undergraduate students to senior faculty.

Unless strongly justified on the basis of exceptional relevance to NIH, research education programs should be used primarily for the education of U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

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 will not be reviewed.

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

Letter of Intent

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows IC staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

By the date listed in Part 1. Overview Information, prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Michelle Dunn, Ph.D.
Telephone: 240-276-6881
Email: bd2k_training@mail.nih.gov

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.

Instructions for Application Submission

The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this FOA.

SF424(R&R) Cover

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

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

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

SF424 (R&R) Other Project Information Component

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

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

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

R&R Budget

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

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

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

PHS 398 Research Plan Component

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

Research Strategy

The Research Strategy section must be used to upload the Research Education Program Plan, which must include the following components described below:

Research Education Program Plan

Proposed Research Education Program. 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 distinguish between the activities in the proposed research education program and the research training supported by the training program. The description should include the educational and/or career level(s) of the planned participants. 

Needs Assessment. Applications must demonstrate the demand for the curriculum or project and evaluate the number of learners who would benefit from the training.

Program Director/Principal Investigator. Describe arrangements for administration of the program.  Provide evidence that the Program Director/Principal Investigator 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. For programs proposing multiple PDs/PIs, describe the complementary and integrated expertise of the PDs/PIs; their leadership approach, and governance appropriate for the planned project.           

Program Faculty. Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as program faculty. Faculty should have research expertise and experience relevant to the proposed program and demonstrate a history of, or the potential for, their intended roles.         

Program Participants. Applications must describe the intended participants, and the eligibility criteria and/or specific educational background characteristics that are essential for participation in the proposed research education program. Identify the career levels  for which the proposeded program is planned.        

Institutional Environment and Commitment. 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 (see below). Appropriate institutional commitment should include the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned research education program.       

Diversity Recruitment and Retention 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 enhance 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 enhance diversity on a national 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:

1.    Individuals who come from a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds. These thresholds are based on family size; published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census; adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index; and adjusted by the Secretary for use in all health professions programs. The Secretary periodically publishes these income levels at HHS - Poverty Guidelines, Research, and Measurement. For individuals from low income backgrounds, the institution must be able to demonstrate that such participants have (1) qualified for Federal disadvantaged assistance, (2) they have received Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL) or Loans for Disadvantaged Student Program, or (3) they have received scholarships from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Scholarship for Individuals with Exceptional Financial Need.

2.    Individuals who come from a social, cultural, or educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments that have demonstrably and recently directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career.

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.

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. The plan should be appropriate and reasonable for the nature and duration of the proposed program.

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 participated in the research education program, the report should include information about the duration of education and aggregate information on the number of 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 will not be reviewed.

Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research. All applications must include a plan to fulfill NIH requirements for instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).  The plan must address the five, required instructional components outlined in the NIH policy: 1) Format - the required format of instruction, i.e., face-to-face lectures, coursework, and/or real-time discussion groups (a plan with only on-line instruction is not acceptable); 2) Subject Matter - the breadth of subject matter, e.g., conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, research ethics; 3) Faculty Participation - the role of the program faculty in the instruction; 4) Duration of Instruction - the number of contact hours of instruction, taking into consideration the duration of the program; and 5) Frequency of Instruction – instruction must occur during each career stage and at least once every four years. See also  NOT-OD-10-019. The plan should be appropriate and reasonable for the nature and duration of the proposed program. Renewal (Type 2) applications must, in addition, describe any changes in formal instruction over the past project period and plans to 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.

Evaluation Plan. Applications must include a plan for evaluating the activities supported by the award.  The evaluation plan should detail how the program will be evaluated for course content, educational effectiveness, participant recruitment, and overall effectiveness as an educational tool; where appropriate, applicants are encouraged to include plans to obtain feedback from participants and others to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for program improvements.

Dissemination Plan. A specific plan must be provided to disseminate nationally any materials developed under the auspices of the research education program, e.g., sharing course curricula and related materials via web postings or submission to open educational resource (OER) collections such as OERCommons.org, MERLOT.org, AMSER.org, CNX.org, and FREE.ed.gov. Applications are expected to address open access for course materials and designs in the dissemination plan.  A goal for this R25 is to release educational materials into the public domain. Use of a public domain license such as Creative Commons http://creativecommons.org/ is strongly encouraged.

Letters of Support

A letter of institutional commitment must be attached as part of Letters of Support (see section above:”Institutional Environment and Commitment.”)

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:

When relevant, 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.

Planned Enrollment Report

Not Applicable

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report

Not Applicable

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.

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 and responsiveness by the BD2K Subcommittee on Training.  Applications that are incomplete and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.  

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in NOT-OD-13-030.    The page limit for post-submission materials will be the same as that which is allowed for institutional training and training-related grant applications (T32, T34, etc.), 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, behavioral, and clinical research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

For this particular announcement, note the following: The goal of this R25 program is to support educational activities that complement and/or enhance the training of biomedical researchers who want to acquire the skills necessary to utilize biomedical Big Data.

Overall Impact

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to strongly advance research education by fulfilling the goal of this R25 Education Program, 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 program address a key audience and an important aspect or important need in research education?  Is there convincing evidence in the application that the proposed program will significantly advance the stated goal of the program?

Investigator(s)

Is the PD/PI capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program?  Is there evidence that an appropriate level of effort will be devoted by the program leadership to ensure the program's intended goal is accomplished?  If applicable, is there evidence that the participating faculty have experience in mentoring students and teaching science?  If applicable, are the faculty good role models for the participants by nature of their scientific accomplishments?  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?  

Innovation

Taking into consideration the nature of the proposed research education program, does the applicant make a strong case for this program effectively reaching an audience in need of the program’s offerings? Where appropriate, is the proposed program developing or utilizing innovative approaches and latest best practices to improve the knowledge and/or skills of the intended audience?   

Approach

Does the proposed program clearly state its goals and objectives, including the educational level of the audience to be reached, the content to be conveyed, and the intended outcome?  Is there evidence that the program is based on a sound rationale, as well as sound educational concepts and principles? Is the plan for evaluation sound and likely to provide information on the effectiveness of the program?  If the proposed program will recruit participants, are the planned recruitment, retention, and follow-up (if applicable) activities adequate to ensure a highly qualified participant pool?  If the proposed program will develop new training materials or educational resources, are those resources made widely and openly available and, where applicable, in a form that can be modified, updated, and tailored by others? Does the program utilize appropriate technology to enhance, facilitate, and personalize the learning process? For proposed in-person or hybrid courses, is traveling to a central location necessary and sufficiently beneficial?

Evaluation Plan: Are the proposed plan and timeline for evaluation of the education program sound and likely to provide data on the effectiveness of the education program?  Is the program evaluation linked to an adequately developed model? 

Dissemination Plan: Is the proposed plan for dissemination of the education program strong and of high quality?  Are any developed resources openly accessible in the public domain? Does the dissemination plan address communication of the availability of the developed resources?

Environment

Will the scientific and educational environment of the proposed program contribute to its intended goals? Is there a plan to take advantage of this environment to enhance the educational value of the program?  Is there tangible evidence of institutional commitment?  Is there evidence that the faculty have sufficient institutional support to create a sound educational environment for the participants?  Where appropriate, is there evidence of collaboration and buy-in among participating programs, departments, and institutions?  

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

Not Applicable

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations

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

Recruitment & 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 the summary statement. Plans 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 proposed research education program, the level of participant experience, the reviewers will evaluate the adequacy of the proposed RCR training in relation to the following five required components: 1) Format - the required format of instruction, i.e., face-to-face lectures, coursework, and/or real-time discussion groups (a plan with only on-line instruction is not acceptable); 2) Subject Matter - the breadth of subject matter, e.g., conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, research ethics; 3) Faculty Participation - the role of the program faculty in the instruction; 4) Duration of Instruction - the number of contact hours of instruction, taking into consideration the duration of the program; and 5) Frequency of Instruction – instruction must occur during each career stage and at least once every four years.  See also: NOT-OD-10-019. The review panel’s evaluation will be included in the summary statement. Plans 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

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

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). If support for development, maintenance, or enhancement of software is requested in the application, the reviewers will comment on the proposed software dissemination plan.

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 the Center for Scientific Review , 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:

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

Applications will be assigned   to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research. 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.

A final progress reportand 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 or its Institutes and Centers will periodically evaluate their R25 research education programs, employing the measures identified below.  In assessing the effectiveness of its research education investments, NIH may request information from databases, PD/PIs, and from participants themselves.  Where necessary, PD/PIs and participants may be contacted after the completion of a research education experience for periodic updates on participants’ subsequent educational or employment history and professional activities.

Upon the completion of a program evaluation, NIH and its ICs will determine whether to (a) continue a program as currently configured, (b) continue a program with modifications, or (c) discontinue a program.

Evaluation Measures foror Courses for Skills Development:

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

eRA Commons Help Desk (Questions regarding eRA Commons registration, submitting and tracking an application, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, post submission issues)Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)

Web ticketing system: https://public.era.nih.gov/commonshelp
TTY: 301-451-5939
Email: commons@od.nih.gov

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission, downloading forms and application packages)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726

Web ticketing system: https://grants-portal.psc.gov/ContactUs.aspx
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

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Michelle Dunn, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-6881
Email: bd2k_training@mail.nih.gov

Richard Baird, Ph.D.
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Telephone: 301-496-7671
Email: bd2k_training@mail.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Raymond Jacobson, Ph.D.
Center for Scientific Review (CSR)
Telephone: 301-996-7701
Email: bd2k_training@mail.nih.gov    .

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Angela M. Eldridge
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Telephone: 301-451-4793
Email: bd2k_training@mail.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.


Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices



NIH Office of Extramural Research Logo
  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Home Page Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS)
  USA.gov - Government Made Easy
NIH... Turning Discovery Into Health®



Note: For help accessing PDF, RTF, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Audio or Video files, see Help Downloading Files.