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 Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Funding Opportunity Title

NINDS Research Education Programs for Residents and Fellows in Neurology, Neurosurgery, Neuropathology and Neuroradiology (R25)

Activity Code

R25 Education Projects

Announcement Type

Reissue of RFA-NS-10-002

Related Notices

  • November 5, 2013 - This RFA has been reissued as PAR-13-384.
  • February 13, 2013 - See Notice NOT-NS-13-012. Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for the NINDS Research Education Program for Residents and Fellows in Neurology, Neurosurgery, Neuropathology and Neuroradiology (R25).
  • September 20, 2012 - Change in Instructions for Administrative Supplement Requests for the NINDS Research Education Programs for Residents and Fellows in Neurology, Neurosurgery, Neuropathology and Neuroradiology (R25). See Notice NOT-NS-12-022.
  • August 25, 2011 - See Notice NOT-NS-11-026. Correction to Instructions.

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-NS-12-003

Companion FOA

None

Number of Applications

See Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

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

93.853 

FOA Purpose

This FOA solicits Research Education Grant (R25) applications from institutions/organizations that propose to support the development and/or implementation of programs that relate to research education and training of clinical residents and fellows to foster careers as physician-scientists. The PD/PI (see below) must have a staff appointment in a Department of Neurology, Neurosurgery or Pathology and participants in the research education program must be residents or fellows in neurology, neurosurgery, neuropathology or neuroradiology (see Eligible Individuals). The NIH recognizes a unique and compelling need to promote diversity in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences research workforce.
Accordingly, the NIH continues to encourage institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations and thus to increase the participation of individuals currently underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences such as: individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, and individuals with disabilities. PD/PIs are encouraged to consider participants from diverse backgrounds for this funding opportunity.  (see Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity).

Key Dates
Posted Date

June 28, 2011

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

August 9, 2011

Letter of Intent Due Date

Not Applicable

Application Due Date(s)

September 9, 2011, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

November-December 2011

Advisory Council Review

January 2012

Earliest Start Date(s)

April 1, 2012

Expiration Date

September 10, 2011

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

Table of Contents

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

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

Definitions

Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI). The Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) is the person who writes this application and oversees the entire program. This person must hold a health professional degree (e.g., M.D., or equivalent), have an appointment in a Neurology, Neurosurgery or Pathology Department, have clearly demonstrated training/education/mentoring credentials in research and have a strong recent history of NIH funding.  If the sponsoring institution is a hospital affiliated with a medical school, the PD/PI must have an appointment in both the medical school and at the sponsoring institution. If multiple PD/PIs are designated, the role of each should be clearly described.

Mentors. The mentors will directly train and mentor the participants (residents and fellows) in this research education program. Mentors must have active, well-funded research programs, and conduct studies in either basic or clinical research related to neurology or neuroscience. Mentors should have a strong track record in the successful training of researchers (as evidenced by continuing success of the trainee in research) and dedication to the training of physician-scientists. Mentors can belong to any department or unit, but must conduct research that is directly relevant to the mission of NINDS.

Participants. The participants in the research education program are residents and fellows in neurology, neurosurgery, neuropathology or neuroradiology. Participants must begin this research education program during residency. These participants then have the opportunity to continue in this program during their first fellowship year. Participants must be dedicated to a career as physician-scientists and conduct research in an area that fits within the mission of NINDS. Participants are expected to apply for independent funding by the end of their involvement in this research education program. Because this is an educational and not a training mechanism, non-U.S. citizens may participate in this program. However, requests for participation of non-U.S. citizens under the auspices of this FOA should be made with the understanding that this mechanism is not to be used to circumvent or supplement NRSA training mechanisms. Unless strongly justified on the basis of exceptional relevance to the NIH/IC mission, research education programs should be used primarily for the education of U.S. citizens. 

RFA-NS-12-003 Grant. This grant is awarded as a result of the application submitted by the PD/PI.  The budget for the primary grant award will contain funds for the support of at least one resident in the first year. Funding for subsequent years will be in the form of Administrative Supplements.

Administrative Supplements. Support for residents and fellows in years 2 – 5 may be requested by submission of supplement applications. These brief applications, which are described in detail below (in Section II, Funds Available), should be prepared by the prospective participant, not by the PD/PI of the primary grant. There is one submission deadline (receipt date) per year for administrative supplements, September 10, in each of years 2 - 5 during which the primary grant is active. Supplement applications will be reviewed administratively and will undergo a selection process.  Awards will be made based on evaluation criteria and are subject to available funds (details for supplement preparation, submission, review and evaluation criteria are provided below).  It is anticipated that there will be more supplement applications than awards.

Overview of the research education program

The overall goal of NINDS's research training and research education programs is to ensure that highly trained scientists will be available to make future advances that will lead to a reduction in the burden of neurological disease.  There is critical need for additional physician-scientists with the medical training and research experience to conduct basic, clinical and translational research on the mechanisms, cure and treatment of neurological disorders. NINDS provides mentored career development awards (K08 and K23 mechanisms) to highly qualified physician-scientists who have early training and experience in research, and who generally have one or more significant, original research publications.  However, there is need for a mechanism to support the early training of clinicians during the residency/fellowship period in research and related skills, which would enable them to compete successfully for the mentored career development awards. This Research Education Program is designed to foster the development of neuroscience researchers through research training and educational experiences that will prepare clinicians to successfully compete for individual fellowships or mentored career development awards.

Recognizing that medical school curricula do not traditionally provide skills critical to the pursuit of an independent research career, this dedicated opportunity will provide experience in the design and conduct of research, as well as skills required for competitive application for independent funds.  It is expected that participants will conduct basic or clinical research in a well-funded (NIH or comparable) research laboratory and have one or more mentors with a superb track record in the training of physician-scientists. In addition, it is expected that participants will receive education in the non-research tools and skills necessary for a successful research career. Hallmarks of these programs will be the immersion of participants in a significant research problem and an environment that provides high quality mentoring in all aspects of research and career management required for success as a physician-scientist. The immediate goal of this program is to prepare clinicians to successfully compete for individual fellowships or mentored career development awards. Such success will facilitate their transition from resident/fellow to physician-scientist, and will thus foster retention of a cadre of physician-scientists who will conduct research into the mechanisms of, etiology, and treatment of neurological diseases. 

Research Education Program structure. Applications will be accepted in response to this funding opportunity from accredited Medical Schools that propose outstanding opportunities for Neurology, Neurosurgery, Neuropathology and/or Neuroradiology residents and fellows (“participants”) to participate in an intensive, mentored research education experience during residency and fellowship training. The research education opportunity provided for each individual participant must occur for a minimum 9 month period; participants may be supported by this research education program for a maximum of 24 months. Initial research education/training must take place during a period of 6 - 24 months during residency. However, once a participant obtains at least 6 months of support from this program during residency, he/she may receive up to 12 months of continued support during fellowship. During any supported period, participants must devote a minimum of 80% of his/her professional time to this research education program. This 80% commitment by the participant should occupy 4 full days during the Monday through Friday workweek.  In general, supported time during residency should include at least one block of time with a minimum continuous duration of 6 months; support during residency may occur during a single PGY year or split between two PGY years. The time committed to this program during fellowship should be continuous.

This effort requirement also applies to neurosurgery residents. However, neurosurgeons who participate in the program in a post-residency year may commit a minimum of 50% effort to the program after having had a total of 12 months of support. This is consistent with the Career Development (K) award accommodation that allows neurosurgeons to devote a minimum of 50% of full time professional effort to research while supported by a K award.

Applications should describe in detail the participant activities and commitments not associated with this research experience (e.g. clinical duties, etc.), the time committed to these other activities, and when these activities will occur.

The structure of research experiences will be unique and should maximize resources and faculty at the applicant institution. All programs should include extensive laboratory and/or clinical research experience, including the collection of data that can be used by the participant in an application for independent funding. Education in experimental design and analysis and grant writing and presentation skills are encouraged, and training in responsible conduct of research is expected. Otherwise, it is expected that participants will engage in little or no coursework while participating in this research education program.

Participation in an NINDS sponsored workshop for R25 residents and fellows. As part of this research education experience, all participants are expected to attend an NINDS-sponsored workshop for R25 residents and fellows. Funds will be provided outside of this FOA for attendance at this workshop (additional details about this workshop will be provided by the NINDS Director of Training and Career Development).

Participants must begin this program during residency. This research education grant is intended to provide a means for participants to begin research education during residency and, if appropriate, continue this education during their fellowship period. Consequently, support for any individual participant must begin during residency. Participants must commit 80% effort (4 full days during the Monday through Friday workweek) for a minimum period of 6 months during residency to be eligible for continued support during a fellowship period.

Evaluation of program success. The primary indicator of success of these programs will be the ability of participants to successfully compete for individual fellowships or career development awards, and ultimately, the continuation of the participant’s research career. It is expected that applicants will publish original research papers that result from work done during this research education period, but the most important outcome of this research education program will be the successful competition for individual funding for continued career development by the participants. Programs will be evaluated primarily on this outcome measure.

Transfer of support to other institutions with similar R25 programs. In some cases, participants who begin a research education program during residency may wish to change institutions for fellowship training. If the proposed fellowship training institution has an R25 program supported by this FOA, it may request supplemental support to continue the participant’s research education.

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the NINDS Director of Training and Career Development early in the application preparation phase to discuss award provisions.  Such contact will help ensure that applications are responsive to the aims expressed in this announcement.  

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

Grant

Application Types Allowed

New

The OER Glossary and the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

Because the nature and scope of the proposed research education program will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award may vary. Although the financial plans of the NINDS provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this funding opportunity are contingent upon the availability of funds and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Base (year 1) support for research education programs. The total project period for an application submitted in response to this funding opportunity may not exceed 5 years. Although the size of the award may vary among research education programs, applications must stay within the following budgetary guideline: direct costs requested in the initial application may be up to $70,000 per participant, annually. The grant submitted in response to this FOA will support salary plus fringe for 80% participant effort (4 full days during the Monday through Friday workweek), for a period of 6 to 12 months per participant. Salary support will be calculated as the duration of 80% research effort multiplied by the base salary level of the participant. It is anticipated that most programs will initially receive support for one new participant during the first year. However, applicants may request support for more than one participant in the first year if multiple outstanding potential participants are identified. Once a grant has been awarded, supplemental requests for support of additional participants may be submitted (see below). Support (up to $2000) for participant travel to one scientific or educational meeting may also be requested.  

Supplemental requests for support in years 2 - 5. Support for participants in years 2 – 5 will be administered via administrative supplements. Requests for supplemental funding may be made for two purposes. 1) In years 2 – 5, supplemental funds may be requested to support new participants, who will begin during residency. These participants must be identified and a brief description of the research education program tailored for each participant must be described. These supplements will be awarded on a competitive basis, based on suitability of the proposed participants, projects and research education plans, and available funds. Some programs may be poised to provide research education, training and mentoring to multiple outstanding residents. Although we anticipate that each program will support only 1 or 2 new participants each year, there is no limit to the number of participants a program may request support for. However, requests on behalf of outstanding candidates from institutions with fewer participants may be given preference. In all cases, supplements may be requested to support participant salary and fringe, plus travel to one scientific meeting, and may not exceed $70,000 direct cost per participant. When requesting support for more than one participant, the PD/PI should submit a separate and independent supplement application for each participant (see below for required materials).  Supplement requests will be reviewed administratively at NINDS. Awards will be competitive in the sense that it is anticipated that there will be more requests than awards made. 2) Supplements may be requested to continue the education/training during fellowship years (or a second residency year) of a participant who has completed at least 6 months of support under this FOA during residency. Each participant may receive up to 24 months of support via this funding mechanism over the course of their residency and fellowship years (a maximum of 12 months of support post-residency). Whereas these supplement requests will be examined to ensure the continuation of meritorious participants, these requests will not compete with supplement requests for new participants. All participants who begin this program during residency will receive additional support during a research fellowship year, subject to satisfactory progress and an appropriate training/education plan.

Submission and evaluation of supplemental requests. Applications will be evaluated administratively, and funds will be allocated, depending on availability of funds, based on evidence of the participant’s potential in research, the quality and appropriateness of the research plan, and the mentoring/training plan. Supplement applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 forms. Applications should consist of a 3 page (maximum) description of the research education and research plan. The research education and research plan should be written by the prospective participant. Mentors must be chosen from those listed in the primary application. In addition to the 3 page description, supplement applications should include a curriculum vitae from the participant, and a letter of support from the proposed mentor that describes the mentoring, education and research plan for this participant. Applications for supplemental support to continue in the program in the fellowship year should include, in addition to the 3 page description of future research education and research plan, a brief (2 - 3 pages) description of progress made during the residency year, if possible. This description of future plans should also be written by the prospective participant.  Whereas the components of the supplement application (except for the letter of support from the proposed mentor) are to be written by the prospective participant, the administrative supplement must be submitted by the PD/PI of the primary grant and sent directly to the Chief, NINDS Scientific Review Branch, on paper forms. This application must be signed by the PD/PI of the primary R25 award and the signing institutional official responsible for administration of the award.

Applications for supplemental awards must also include the PHS398 cover page, budget page and budget justification page.

Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs requested by consortium participants will not be not included in the direct cost limitation. See NOT-OD-05-004.

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

NINDS intends to fund no more than 5 R25 awards via this FOA, with a combined cost of up to $500,000, for fiscal year 2012. Future year amounts will depend on annual appropriations.

Award Budget

Application budgets are not limited, but must conform to the allowable cost structure described above.

Award Project Period

The maximum period is 5 years.

Other Award Budget Information
Personnel Costs

Funds may NOT be used to support PD/PI salary, faculty mentor salary or support staff salary.

Participant Costs

Participants may be paid salary plus fringe for up to 80% effort (4 days per week during the Monday through Friday workweek) for up to 12 months per year. Funds can only be used for participants while they are participating in the research education program. Up to $2,000 per year may be requested for each participant to travel to a conference or educational opportunity that will directly enhance the experience provided by this program and which will lead towards the stated goal of this award.

Expenses for foreign travel must be exceptionally well justified.

Other Program-Related Expenses

Funds may NOT be used for experimental research costs, tuition of any kind, equipment or 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 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

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Organizations) are not eligible to apply.  Foreign (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not allowed.

It is anticipated that applications will generally come from an accredited medical school. However, it is recognized that many accredited medical schools are affiliated with one or more hospitals, and that funding for residents may be managed by an affiliated hospital. If necessary, the hospital that manages the funding of residents may be the applicant institution. However, the PD/PI of the R25 application must have an appointment in the appropriate academic department in the medical school and an appointment at the applicant institution. Moreover, regardless of how many affiliated entities are involved, only one R25 application per residency program will be accepted for review.  

Departments that have T32 training grants for the training of clinician-scientists should briefly describe the purpose of those training programs, and provide a detailed explanation of the distinction between intended participants of this research education program and the intended population that would constitute trainees in the T32 program(s).

If multiple sites are involved in the research education program, the applicant institution must be the primary site for the program.  The need for and use of multiple sites must be justified. 

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

All registrations must be completed by the application due date.

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

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

Required Registrations

Applicant organizations must complete the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (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/PIs) 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 four (4) weeks prior to the application due date.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

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

For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide.

The PD/PI should be an established investigator in the scientific area in which the application is targeted and capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program. The PD/PI will be expected to monitor and assess the program and submit all documents and reports as required.

The proposed PD/PI must hold a health professional degree (e.g., M.D., or equivalent), have an appointment in a Neurology, Neurosurgery or Pathology Department, have clearly demonstrated, outstanding training/education/mentoring credentials in research, and have a strong, recent history of NIH funding.  Exceptions to these requirements are not anticipated but may be possible, and must be approved in writing, in advance, by the NINDS Director of Training and Career Development.  

Although not required, potential applicants from Pathology Departments are encouraged to combine applications with a neurology or neurosurgery department. For Pathology Department applicants, this award may only be used to support residents in neuropathology. Multiple residency programs (e.g., neurology and neurosurgery or neurology and neuropathology) at a single institution may submit independent applications or a single application from both programs. Potential applicants are welcome to contact the NINDS Director of Training and Career Development to discuss advantages and disadvantages of each approach.

More than one PD/PI (i.e., multiple PDs/PIs), may be designated on the application.
 
When considering the multiple PD/PI option, please be aware that the structure and governance of the PD/PI leadership team as well as the knowledge, skills and experience of the individual PDs/PIs will be factored into the assessment of the overall scientific merit of the application.  In particular, applicants must be aware that all designated PDs/PIs should meet the eligibility criteria described above.  
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 in response to this FOA that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial peer review unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. NIH will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed.

The sponsoring institution must assure support for the proposed research education project. Appropriate institutional commitment to the project includes the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned research education project. The application should include a letter explaining the institutional commitment to the proposed research education program. This NINDS research education program will only be supported at an accredited Medical School (or an institution that is affiliated with an accredited Medical School).   

Preceptors/Mentors

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 and the NINDS mission. Mentors must be committed to continue their involvement throughout the total period of the mentee’s participation in this award.

Participants

Applicants are required to describe who the intended participants are, and what eligibility and/or specific educational background characteristics are essential for participation in the proposed program. It is expected that participants will be trained in and conduct research in areas that are relevant to the NINDS mission. Support will not be provided for training in areas outside of the NINDS mission. 

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.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

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

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

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

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

Required and Optional Components

The forms package associated with this FOA includes all applicable components, mandatory and optional.  Please note that some components marked optional in the application package are required for application submission. Follow the instructions in the SF 424 (R&R) to determine which components are required.

Page Limitations

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

SF424 (R&R) Other Project Information Component

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

Facilities & Other Resources

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

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

R&R Budget Component

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

PHS 398 Research Plan Component

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

The Research Strategy section must be used to upload the Research Education Program Plan, which must include the following components described below: Proposed Research Education Program, Institutional Environment and Commitment, Program Director/Principal Investigator, Program Faculty/Staff, Program Participants, Diversity Recruitment and Retention Plan, Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research, Evaluation Plan.

The Research Education Program Plan should be no more than 12 pages. Within that twelve page limit, the following must be included: a narrative description of the PD/PI record in research and training, and why the PD/PI is the appropriate person to coordinate this program, a list of all mentors/trainers participating in this research education program, a summary description of the participating faculty records in research and training, the track record of the department in training (how many participants, their names, the level of training [resident, fellow, mentored K, other], how many trainees received individual awards, how many remain in research, and other details that will help the review committee determine the merit of the research training environment). In addition, a detailed outline of the program must be included.  The outline should include the timeline of participant training, including information on clinical and research education activities to be performed in all residency years (and fellowship years, if applicable). This outline should include topics such as the plans for oversight by the PD/PI, specific mentoring plans regarding choice of project, guidance for project completion, plans for skills training (grant writing, etc.), goals for participant submission of an individual mentored award, and other strategies designed to foster participant success. In addition, the name, qualifications, mentor and very brief statement of project of the first participant in this program should be included, if known.

The application must also include (outside of the 12 page program description) a biosketch for each participating mentor. The biosketch should include recent (within last 10 years) funding history, recent publication record, and a summary of the mentor’s record in the training of clinician-scientists, as well as non-clinician scientists. Normal biosketch page limits apply. The application should include a list of all trainees sponsored by the listed mentors over the last 5-10 years, and the outcome (subsequent position, independent funding), to the extent known, of this training. This list should name only the primary trainees of the mentor, not trainees who have done rotations or brief training sessions with the mentor. For each trainee, outcomes should be clearly listed (K award, other independent funding, non-research academic faculty, non-independent research faculty, private practice, etc.). Applicants can provide their own formatting, or may use the template table found at http://www.ninds.nih.gov/funding/areas/training_and_career_development/r-25-template-instructions.htm for this listing. The list (or table) should be uploaded as a PDF attachment to Item 12 “Other Attachment” of Section 2. Research Plan Attachments of the PHS 398 Research Plan Component..

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

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

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

Describe the institutional environment, reiterating the availability of facilities and educational resources (described separately under “Facilities & Other Resources”), that can contribute to the planned Research Education Program. Evidence of institutional commitment to the research educational program is required. A letter of institutional commitment must be attached as part of Letters of Support. Appropriate institutional commitment should include the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned research education program.      

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

Describe arrangements for administration of the program, provide evidence that the Program Director is actively engaged in research and/or teaching in an area related to the mission of NIH, and can organize, administer, monitor, and evaluate the research education program, as well as evidence of institutional and community commitment and support for the proposed program.      

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

Describe the characteristics and responsibilities of the participating faculty; provide evidence that the participating faculty and preceptors are actively engaged in research or other scholarly activities related to the mission of NIH.      

Program Participants (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

Where the proposed program involves participants, provide details about the pool of expected participants, their qualifications, recruitment strategies and sources of applicant pool, etc.      

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

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

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

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

A. Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see data at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/showpub.cfm?TopID=2&SubID=27 and the most recent report on Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: African Americans, Hispanic Americas, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Hawaiian Natives, and natives of the US 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 qualified for Federal disadvantaged assistance or they have received any of the following student loans: Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL), Loans for Disadvantaged Student Program, or 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. Under extraordinary circumstances the PHS may, at its discretion, consider an individual beyond the undergraduate level to be from a disadvantaged background. Such decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, based on appropriate documentation.

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

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

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

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

Applications lacking a plan for instruction in responsible conduct of research may be delayed or not accepted for review. An award cannot be made if an application lacks this component. The background, rationale and more detail about instruction in the responsible conduct of research can be found in NOT-OD-10-019. An award cannot be made if an application lacks this component. If such instruction is not appropriate for the proposed research education program, then the PD/PI must provide a strong justification for its exclusion.

Evaluation Plan (Component of Research Education Program Plan)

A plan must be provided for program evaluation. Benchmarks should be specified, and specific plans and procedures must be described to capture, analyze and report short or long-term outcome measures that would determine the success of the research education program in achieving its objectives. Where appropriate, applicants are encouraged to include plans to obtain feedback from participants to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for program improvements.

Resource Sharing Plans

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

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

Appendix

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

3. Submission Dates and Times

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

Organizations must submit applications via Grants.gov, the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies. Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration.

Applicants are responsible for viewing their application 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.

Allowable costs for this FOA include only the following: salary and fringe benefits for participants and travel to one scientific meeting per participant. Funds may NOT be used to support any of the following: salary for the PD/PI or faculty mentors participating in this research education program, experimental research costs, tuition of any kind, or administration of the program. Support provided for participant travel to a conference or educational opportunity must directly enhance the experience provided by this program and which will lead towards the stated goal of this award. Such requests must be justified.  All participants are expected to attend one NINDS workshop for either career development awardees or residents. Funds for attendance at this workshop will be provided outside of this FOA (additional details about this workshop will be provided by the NINDS Director of Training and Career Development. 

6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF 424 (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/PIs must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF 424(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 Central Contractor Registration (CCR). 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 NINDS.  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-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/priority score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).

Scored Review Criteria

Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact.

Significance

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

Investigator(s)

Are the PD/PIs, collaborators, and other researchers appropriately trained and well suited to the proposed research education program? Is the PD/PI an established investigator in the scientific area in which the application is targeted and capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed research education program?  Does the PD/PI have appropriate experience to lead the program?  If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?  Is there evidence that an appropriate level of effort will be devoted by the program leadership to ensure the program's objectives?  Is there evidence that the PD/PI is actively engaged in research, can organize and administer the program based on his/her qualifications, capabilities and experiences?  Does the PD/PI have a strong, recent history of NIH funding? If there are multiple departments and multiple PD/PIs involved, do the PD/PIs from each department have strong, recent histories of NIH funding? Do the mentors in the program have strong, recent histories of NIH or equivalent funding? Do the mentors have a track record in the successful training of clinician-scientists?  Have trainees from this department and from this group of mentors been successful in competing for independent fellowship, career development and/or research funding? Do the department and mentors have a record of mentoring career development (K) awardees, and have those with K awards in this department obtained academic research appointments and/or had successful research careers?  

Innovation

Is the proposed research education program characterized by innovation and scholarship? Does this proposed program duplicate, or overlap with, existing research education, training and/or career development activities currently supported at the applicant institution or available elsewhere?  Adaptations of existing research education programs may be considered innovative under special circumstances, e.g., the addition of unique components and/or a proposal to determine portability of an existing program?  If the applicant department has T32 training programs, did the applicant clearly describe 1) the distinction between this research education program and the T32 training programs and 2) the distinction between intended participants of this research program and the intended population that would constitute trainees in T32 training programs?  

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the proposed research education program?  Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented?  If the program is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed?  If called for, is the proposed plan for evaluation of the education program sound and likely to provide data on the effectiveness of the education program?  Is there evidence that the program is based on sound research concepts and educational principles?  Is the approach feasible and appropriate to achieve the stated research education goals?  If the proposed program will recruit participants, are the recruitment, retention, and follow-up activities adequate to ensure a highly qualified and diverse participant pool? Does the program foster development of a combined clinical and research career for the participants? Are there appropriate opportunities for participants to interact with each other and multiple mentors? Is there a plan for appropriate oversight of the individual mentors, and the education of each participant, in basic and clinical research areas, to maximize the potential of participants to obtain individual funding and continue in a research career?   

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

Environment

Will the scientific/educational environment in which the proposed research education program will be conducted contribute to the probability of success?  Are the institutional commitment and support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the program proposed?  Will the program benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements?  Is there evidence of appropriate collaboration among participating programs, departments, and institutions?  If multiple sites are participating, is this adequately justified in terms of the research education experiences provided? Are adequate plans provided for coordination and communication between multiple sites (if appropriate)? Does the Department or institutional unit where the proposed program will take place have a record of successfully training physician-scientists and/or transitioning physicians to successful competition for NIH career awards or other individual research awards?

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/priority 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

Not applicable.

Renewals

       Not applicable.

Revisions

Not applicable.

Additional Review Considerations

As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items, and should not consider them in providing an overall impact/priority 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 applicant’s plan to include participants from underrepresented groups as well as strategies to retain these individuals, if selected. The review panel’s evaluation will be included in an administrative note in the summary statement.  

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

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

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not applicable.

Select Agent Research

Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).

Resource Sharing Plans

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

Budget and Period of Support

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

2. Review and Selection Process

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

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

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 Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NANDS) 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 General.

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 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, CCR 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.

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. Accordingly, participants are hereby notified that they 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.

3. Reporting

The Non-Competing Continuation Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590) 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 acceptedPrograms that involve participants should report on education in the responsible conduct of research and complete a Training Diversity Report, in accordance with the PHS 2590 Additional Instructions for Preparing a Progress Report for an Institutional Research Training Grant, Including Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards.

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later.  All awardees of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000.  See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement. 

Failure by the grantee institution to submit required forms in a timely, complete, and accurate manner may result in an expenditure disallowance or a delay in any continuation funding for the award.

Other Reporting Requirements

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

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)

Stephen Korn, Ph.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Telephone:  (301) 496-4188
E-mail:  korns@ninds.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Chief, Scientific Review Branch
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Telephone:  (301) 496-9223
E-mail:  nindsreview.nih.gov@mail.nih.gov.

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Tijuanna DeCoster, MPA
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Telephone: (301) 496-9231
Email:  decostert@ninds.nih.gov   

Section VIII. Other Information

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

Authority and Regulations

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


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