Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

Trans-NIH Jointly Sponsored T32 Steering Committee, (http://grants.nih.gov/training/joint_predoc/jointpredoc.htm)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Funding Opportunity Title

Jointly Sponsored Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Institutional Predoctoral Training Program in the Neurosciences (T32)

Activity Code

T32 Institutional National Research Service Award (NRSA)

Announcement Type

Reissue of PAR-10-116

Related Notices

  • March 14, 2014 - See Notice NOT-OD-14-070. Adjustments to May 25-28, 2014 Grant Application Due Dates.
  • February 21, 2014 - See Notice NOT-GM-14-104. Notice of Changes in NIGMS Support and Management of T32 Predoctoral Training Grants in the Neurosciences.
  • November 27, 2013 (NOT-OD-14-027) - NIH to Require Use of Updated Electronic Application Forms for Due Dates on or after January 25, 2014. Forms-C applications are required for due dates on or after January 25, 2014.

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

PAR-12-084

Companion FOA

None

Number of Applications

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

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

93.853, 93.866, 93.273, 93.865, 93.279, 93.859, 93.242   

FOA Purpose

The Jointly Sponsored NIH Predoctoral Training Program in the Neurosciences supports broad and fundamental research training in the neurosciences via institutional NRSA research training grants (T32) at domestic institutions of higher education. Trainees appointed to this training grant are financially supported for either one or two years, during the first 2 years of their graduate research training. The primary objective is to prepare individuals for careers in neuroscience that have a significant impact on the health-related research needs of the Nation.

Key Dates
Posted Date

January 24, 2012

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

April 25, 2012

Letter of Intent Due Date

April 25, 2012, April 25, 2013, April 25, 2014

Application Due Date(s)

May 25, 2012, May 25, 2013, and (Extended to May 29, 2014 per NOT-OD-14-070) , Originally May 25, 2014, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable.

Scientific Merit Review

Standard dates apply

Advisory Council Review

Standard dates apply

Earliest Start Date(s)

Standard dates apply

Expiration Date

(Extended to May 30, 2014 per NOT-OD-14-070) , Originally May 26, 2014

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 especially the Supplemental Instructions to the SF424 (R&R) for Preparing Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Application, except where 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

The overall goal of the NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) program is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in appropriate scientific disciplines to address the Nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs.  More information about NRSA programs may be found at the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) website.

This funding opportunity is designed to support outstanding neuroscience programs that will provide predoctoral students with the skills and knowledge necessary for successful pursuit of careers as independent neuroscientists.

Broad-based research training. In keeping with the goals of the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research (http://neuroscienceblueprint.nih.gov/), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) are continuing this Jointly Sponsored Predoctoral Training Program in the Neurosciences (JSPTPN). The aim of this program is to encourage and support broad training in the neurosciences that will prepare students for research in the mission of all of the participating institutes.

The JSPTPN financially supports students only during the first two years of their graduate training. Graduate training programs supported by this grant must have a two year, broadly-based training plan, but may choose to use funds from this award to support students for either two years or just a single year (the year(s) of support should be clearly specified in the application). Trainees are expected to participate in a predoctoral curriculum that provides broad and fundamental training in the neurosciences. This curriculum should include education at multiple levels of analysis (which may include, for example, genetic, molecular, cellular, systems, behavioral and/or computational; note that not all programs will necessarily cover all levels of analysis, but there must be enough coverage to be considered "broad"). In addition, programs are encouraged to expose students to basic, clinical and translational research approaches. Programs should provide significant exposure to the neuroscience of disease and disorders, and are strongly encouraged to incorporate formal education in experimental design and statistics. Programs should also provide students with broad exposure to experimental methodologies, because success in future neuroscience research is likely to depend upon a working knowledge of multiple methodological approaches to answering scientific questions.

There are many ways to achieve breadth of expertise, and the format of the training program is up to the PD(s)/PI(s). For example, breadth may be achieved through any combination of formal courses, significant laboratory rotations, workshops and other programmatic activities. Programs may provide specially tailored curricula based on individual trainee background and needs, but in these cases, the breadth of knowledge, minimum expertise and research experience expected of all trainees should be carefully described. Programs should also provide students with outstanding mentoring, as well as training in scientific skills such as written and oral presentation. Programs should provide an environment that encourages students to apply for individual support, such as fellowships and other individual awards from federal and non-federal sources. Further, programs should provide training in the skills necessary to prepare successful applications, such as grant writing, understanding the grant submission and review process, and understanding and responding to critiques. It is expected that the graduate program in general, and the JSPTPN-supported program in particular, will undergo regular evaluation, in order to promote innovation and evolution, as well as to bring attention to any deficiencies that arise.

The Training PD(s)/PI(s) should limit appointments to individuals who are committed to a career in research and who are committed to obtaining a PhD degree. The proposed institutional research training program may complement other ongoing research training and career development programs at the applicant institution, but the proposed research training experiences must be distinct from those research training programs currently receiving federal support. For those institutions that also have MSTP programs, and who intend to support MD/PhD students with funds from the JSPTPN funding opportunity, the PD(s)/PI(s) should explain the plan by which MD/PhD students will be selected for support and how he/she will ensure that the program supports primarily PhD students. The PD(s)/PI(s) should also explain whether and how this program influences the training of students not financially supported by this grant.

Oversight of trainee mentoring and progression. In addition to outstanding scientific training, formal mentoring and regular career guidance are critical for advancement and success in science. Students who successfully obtain a PhD degree should do so in a timely manner, and with 1) a publication record that will allow them to progress to outstanding postdoctoral opportunities, 2) oral and written skills that will facilitate their ability to publish their results as first author, submit competitive grant applications and successfully interview for future positions, and 3) an understanding of the many career opportunities available to them as PhD scientists and what is required to successfully compete for these different opportunities. These goals cannot be obtained by students merely from their training during the first two years of graduate school, but are met by a continuous exposure to relevant issues throughout their training. Consequently, the application should describe the oversight process by which the institutional graduate program monitors and ensures appropriate student progress, mentoring and career guidance throughout the student's graduate career. This process should be designed to promote the highest possible level of trainee success. Although it is not required that this oversight process be directly administered by this JSPTPN, the oversight process used to ensure appropriate student training and progress throughout their graduate school careers will be considered as part of the review of the environment of the proposed JSPTPN.  Proposed JSPTPN are encouraged to include programmatic activities to help accomplish this goal. Such activities might include, but are not limited to, 1) providing guidance regarding what is necessary to succeed as independent scientists, 2) discussing milestones, achievements and activities that promote success as independent scientists, and 3) providing programs to improve and/or complement the mentorship provided by the preceptors/mentors.

Enhancing workforce diversity. Within the framework of the NRSA program’s longstanding commitment to excellence and projected need for investigators in particular areas of research, attention must be given to recruiting and retaining trainees from racial or ethnic groups underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral and clinical sciences and individuals with disabilities. Faculty associated with the training program supported by this FOA should be actively involved in the recruitment and retention of diverse students into this institutional program, and in facilitating their success towards finishing the program with the credentials to transition to an outstanding future position.

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

Grant

Application Types Allowed

New
Renewal
Resubmission

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

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

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

Award Budget

Application budgets are not limited, but need to reflect actual needs of the proposed project.

Grantees are expected to be familiar with and comply with applicable cost policies and the NRSA Guidelines (NIH Grants Policy Statement - Institutional Research Training Grants). Funds may be used only for those expenses that are directly related to and necessary for the research training not otherwise available and must be expended in conformance with OMB Cost Principles, the NIH Grants Policy Statement, and the NRSA regulations, policies, guidelines, and conditions set forth in this document.

Award Project Period

Up to 5 years.

Other Award Budget Information
Stipends, Tuition, and Fees

Kirschstein-NRSA awards provide stipends as a subsistence allowance to help defray living expenses during the research and clinical training experiences.

NIH will contribute to the combined cost of tuition and fees at the rate in place at the time of award.

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

Trainee Travel

Trainee travel to attend scientific meetings and workshops that the institution determines to be necessary for the individual’s research training experience is an allowable trainee expense. Up to $750 travel allowance per year per trainee will be awarded, to be used exclusively for trainee travel.

Training Related Expenses

NIH will provide funds to help defray other research training expenses, such as health insurance, consultant costs, equipment, research supplies, activities directly related to this training program and faculty travel directly related to this research training program. Staff salary, and expenses of individuals not currently supported by the program, are not allowable expenses for this FOA. The most recent levels of training related expenses are described on the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) site.  Visit NIH Grants Policy Statement: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for more information.

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

Governments

Other

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

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.

The applicant institution must have a strong and high quality research program(s) in the area(s) proposed under this FOA and must have the requisite faculty and facilities on site to conduct the proposed institutional program. In many cases, it is anticipated that the proposed program will complement other ongoing research training programs that exist at the applicant institution. It is expected that most, or all, of the program faculty will have active research projects in which participating trainees may gain relevant experiences consistent with their research interests and goals.

For institutions with similar programs, the PD(s)/PI(s) must explain what distinguishes this program from the others, how their programs will synergize with one another, if applicable, and make it clear that the pools of faculty and potential trainees, and existing resources, are robust enough to support additional programs.

Foreign Institutions

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are not eligible to apply.

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

Required Registrations

Applicant organizations must complete the following registrations as described in the 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 Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/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(s)/Principal Investigator(s))

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

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

The PD(s)/PI(s) 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(s)/PI(s) 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 only one application in response to this FOA.

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. Resubmission applications may be submitted, according to the NIH Policy on Resubmission Applications from the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide.  

Mentors

Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as mentors. Mentors should have research expertise and experience relevant to the proposed program. Mentors must be committed to continue their involvement throughout the total period of the trainee’s participation in this award. It is anticipated that most mentors will have a track record of successfully mentoring students. However, inclusion of junior faculty, who may not have a substantial mentoring record, is encouraged. When faculty with little mentoring experience are included, the PD(s)/PI(s) should describe the process by which appropriate mentoring will be ensured.

Trainees

Details on citizenship, training period, and aggregate duration of support are available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Predoctoral trainees must have received a baccalaureate degree by the beginning date of their NRSA appointment, and be enrolled in a program leading to a PhD in science or in an equivalent research doctoral degree program.

Training Program

This Kirschstein-NRSA institutional research training grant must be used to support a program of full-time research training.  Within the full-time training period, research trainees who are also training as clinicians must devote their time to the proposed research training and must confine clinical duties to those that are a required, integral part of the research training experience. The program may not be used to support studies leading to the MD, DDS, or other clinical, health-professional degrees. It may be used to support MD/PhD students who are engaged in full-time activities associated with the PhD training. However, awards made under this FOA are predominantly intended to support research training of PhD students, and support for MD/PHD students should be limited at institutions with NIH-supported MSTP programs. Trainees may not accept NRSA support from this funding mechanism for clinical training of any kind.

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.

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:

Stephen J. Korn, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Training, Career Development and Workforce Diversity
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH
Neuroscience Center, Rm 2186
6001 Executive Blvd.
Bethesda, MD 20892-9531
(Courier: Rockville, MD 20852)
Phone: (301) 496-4188
Fax:    (301) 480-1080 
Email: korns@ninds.nih.gov

Required and Optional Components

The forms package associated with this FOA includes all applicable components, mandatory and optional.  Please note that some components marked optional in the application package are required for submission of applications for this FOA. Follow the instructions in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to ensure you complete all appropriate “optional” components.

Page Limitations

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

SF424 (R&R) Other Project Information Component

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

Project Summary /Abstract

Provide an abstract of the entire application, including the long-term goals and objectives of the program, key elements of the research training plan, and brief descriptions of the planned research training program. Include the rationale and design of the program, the planned duration and projected number of trainees, including their level (i.e., predoctoral) and the graduate school years during which support from this award will be provided (i.e. year 1, year 2 or years 1-2).

Training Budget Component

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

PHS 398 Research Training Program Plan

All Supplemental Instructions to the SF424 (R&R) for Preparing Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Application must be followed, with the additional instructions described below:

Program Administration (Component of Program Plan)

Describe the acknowledged strengths, leadership and administrative skills, and scientific expertise of the Training PD(s)/PI(s). Include active research and the planned strategy and administrative structure to be used to oversee and monitor the program. For applications with multiple PD(s)/PI(s), address the Leadership Plan and how the combined knowledge, skills and experience of the individual PD(s)/PI(s) will enhance the likelihood of success of the program.

Program Faculty (Component of Program Plan)

Describe the complementary expertise and experiences of the proposed mentors for the scholars. Include active research and other scholarly activities in which the mentors are engaged, as well as track records of mentoring and training.

Proposed Training (Component of Program Plan)

Provide an overview of the proposed program: Describe the immediate and long-term objectives of the program, including training or career development activities that will be used to ensure that the objectives of the program are met. Include information about planned courses, curricula, seminars, workshops, or tutorials that will be incorporated into the training program and mentored research experiences and activities. Institutions with existing training or career development programs must explain what distinguishes this proposal from the others, how the programs will synergize, if applicable, and make it clear that the number of faculty, number of potential trainees, and the available resources are robust enough to support additional programs. The description should include planned strategies to be used to ensure that the objectives are met. The PD(s)/PI(s) should also describe his/her past training record, as well as that of all mentors. Documentation of the success of former trainees in transitioning to postdoctorate or independent scientific research careers should be included. Programs should provide all NRSA trainees with additional professional development skills and career guidance including instruction and training in grant writing in order to apply successfully for future career development and independent research support.

Program Evaluation (Component of Program Plan)

Describe an evaluation plan to review and determine the effectiveness of the program. This should include plans to obtain feedback from current and former trainees to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for program improvements, as well as plans for assessing   trainees’ career development and progression, including metrics such as degree completion (if applicable), publications, and subsequent positions. Specified evaluation metrics should be tied to the goals of the program. Evaluation results should be included in future competing continuation (renewal) applications and as part of the Final Progress Report.

Trainee Candidates (Component of Program Plan)

Describe in general terms the pool of potential candidates. For programs that draw students from a larger umbrella program, describe the anticipated number and qualifications of students relevant to the JSPTPN and how these metrics are determined.  . Do not name prospective Trainees. Describe plans to recruit candidates and explain how these plans will be implemented (see also section on Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity). Describe the criteria to be used for candidate evaluation in the selection of Trainees. Provide brief summaries of training plans that the program will employ. The application should contain a description of how training plans will be tailored to the needs of the prospective candidates, taking into account their past experiences.

Institutional Environment and Commitment to the Program (Component of Program Plan)

The application must include a statement from the applicant institution describing the commitment to the planned program. The institution must assure that essential time will be allowed for the PD(s)/PI(s), other faculty and mentors .

Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity

Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity as provided in Chapter 8 of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. 

Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research

Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research as provided in Chapter 8 of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. 

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. The National Research Service Award (NRSA) policies apply to this program. An NRSA appointment may not be held concurrently with another Federally sponsored fellowship, traineeship, or similar Federal award that provides a stipend or otherwise duplicates provisions of the NRSA.

Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Note, however, that pre-award costs are not allowable charges for stipends or tuition/fees on institutional training grants since these costs may not be charged to the grant until a trainee has actually been appointed and the appropriate paperwork submitted to the NIH awarding component.

6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the 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(s)/PI(s) 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(s)/PI(s) 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, NIH. Applications that are incomplete will not be reviewed.

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

Applicants requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs in any year (excluding consortium F&A) must contact NIH program staff at least 6 weeks before submitting the application and follow the Policy on the Acceptance for Review of Unsolicited Applications that Request $500,000 or More in Direct Costs as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. Applicants are advised to refer to Agency Contacts for exceptions.

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 program 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.

Training Program and Environment

Are the research facilities and research environment conducive to preparing trainees for successful careers as biomedical scientists? Is the proposed program of training likely to ensure that trainees will be prepared for successful and productive scientific careers? Do the courses and research training experiences promote participation by all students in highly significant, high quality science relevant to the aims of the program? Do the objectives, design and direction of the proposed research training program ensure outstanding, broad-based neuroscience training? Does the program provide 1) broad training in state-of-the-art methodologies and techniques, 2) adequate training at multiple levels of analysis (e.g. genetic, molecular, systems, etc.) and 3) adequate training in the neurobiology of disease, experimental design and statistics? Does the environment include a formal mechanism to provide oversight of mentoring, trainee progress and career guidance for the duration of the trainees' graduate career, and is this mechanism designed to promote the highest possible level of trainee success? Does the program provide appropriate training in career skills such as oral and written presentation, and grant writing? Does the graduate program supported by this award encourage trainees to submit individual fellowship applications, when feasible and appropriate? Is a significant level of institutional commitment to the program evident? Does the program have a rigorous evaluation plan to assess the quality and effectiveness of the training? Are effective mechanisms in place for obtaining feedback from current and former trainees and monitoring trainees’ subsequent career development?

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

Does the Training PD(s)/PI(s) have the scientific background, expertise, and experience to provide strong leadership, direction, management, and administration to the proposed research training program? Does the Training PD(s)/PI(s) plan to commit sufficient time to the program to ensure its success? Does the Training PD(s)/PI(s) have a strong track record in successfully training and mentoring students? Is sufficient administrative and research training support provided for the program?

For applications designating multiple PD(s)/PI(s): Is a strong justification provided that the multiple PD(s)/PI(s) leadership approach will benefit the training program and the trainees? Is a strong and compelling leadership approach evident, including the designated roles and responsibilities, governance, and organizational structure consistent with and justified by the aims of the training program and with the complementary expertise of each of the PD(s)/PI(s)?

Preceptors/Mentors

Are sufficient numbers of experienced preceptors/mentors, with appropriate expertise and funding, available to support the number and level of trainees proposed in the application? Do the preceptors/mentors have strong records as researchers, including successful competition for research support in areas directly related to the proposed research training program? Do the preceptors/mentors have strong records of training pre- and/or postdoctorates? Do the preceptor/mentors have a successful record of training students who go on to outstanding postdoctoral positions? Is there evidence of dedication of all preceptors/mentors to outstanding mentoring of trainees? Is there evidence that preceptors/mentors will contribute to the programmatic oversight of student progress and career development? Is there an appropriate mixture of junior and established preceptors/mentors, and is there a mechanism by which junior preceptors/mentors will obtain guidance from the program to ensure their successful training and mentoring of trainees?

Trainees

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

Do trainees have an adequate opportunity to choose a mentor consistent with the trainee's interests and long term goals? Is there a sufficient strategy to monitor the progress of every trainee to ensure the highest possible level of success for each trainee? Does the graduate program supported by this award have an adequate oversight mechanism to ensure appropriate student progress, mentoring and career guidance, throughout the student's graduate career?

Training Record

How successful are the trainees (or for new applications, other past students in similar training) in completing the program? How productive are trainees (or for new applications, other past students/fellows) in terms of research accomplishments and publications? How successful are trainees (or other past students/fellows) in obtaining further training appointments, fellowships, and career development awards? How successful are the trainees in achieving productive scientific careers, as evidenced by successful competition for research grants, receipt of honors or awards, high-impact publications, receipt of patents, promotion to scientific leadership positions, and/or other such measures of success? Does the program have a rigorous evaluation plan to assess the quality and effectiveness of the training? Are effective mechanisms in place for obtaining feedback from current and former trainees and monitoring trainees’ subsequent career development?

Do trainees who obtain PhD degrees have publication records, with respect to number, journal quality and authorship placement, that would 1) be expected of outstanding neuroscience programs and 2) promote continuation towards successful independent scientific careers? Do appropriate numbers of trainees (or other past students/fellows) obtain outstanding subsequent training appointments or excellent opportunities to use their training skills in post-graduate positions? How successful are trainees in obtaining fellowships and career development awards? How successful are the trainees in achieving productive scientific careers, as evidenced by successful competition for research grants, receipt of honors or awards, high-impact publications, receipt of patents, promotion to scientific leadership positions, and/or other such measures of success? Do students obtain degrees within an appropriate timeframe? Does the program have an appropriate training record with regard to gender and diversity?

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

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

Renewals

For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the last funding period and the success of the program in attracting and retaining individuals from diverse populations, including populations underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral science.  Does the application describe the program’s accomplishments over the past funding period(s)?  Are changes proposed that would improve or strengthen the training experience?

Did the program achieve appropriate outcomes for the successful training of graduate students, including publications, first author publications and future positions that have the potential to lead to successful scientific careers? Is there evidence of a successful past training record of the PD(s)/PI(s) and mentors, including the success of former trainees in transitioning to outstanding post-graduate positions?

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 strategies to be used in the recruitment and retention of individuals from underrepresented groups. The review panel’s evaluation will be included in an administrative note in the summary statement. Plans to enhance diversity 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 training program, level of trainee experience, and the particular circumstances of the trainees, the reviewers will address the following questions.  Does the plan satisfactorily address the format of instruction, e.g. lectures, coursework and/or real-time discussion groups?  Do plans include a sufficiently broad selection of subject matter, such as conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety?  Do the plans adequately describe how faculty will participate in the instruction?  Does the plan meet the minimum requirements for RCR, i.e., eight contact hours of instruction every four years?    RCR plans will be rated as acceptable or unacceptable, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee.

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).

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) , 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 on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications . Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the appropriate national Advisory Council or Board. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD(s)/PI(s) 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, 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.

Institutional NRSA training grants must be administered in accordance with the current NRSA section of the  NIH Grants Policy Statement at NIH Grants Policy Statement - Institutional Research Training Grants.

The taxability of stipends is described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Policies regarding the Ruth L. Kirschstein-NRSA payback obligation are explained in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Leave Policies

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

Inventions and Copyrights

Awards made primarily for educational purposes are exempted from the PHS invention requirements and thus invention reporting is not required, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

Not Applicable.

3. Reporting

The Non-Competing Continuation Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590) and financial statements as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement are required annually. Continuation support will not be provided until the required forms are submitted and accepted. Chapter 8 of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, Additional Instructions for Preparing a Progress Report for an Institutional Research Training Grant, Including Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards, must be followed.

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

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

Other Reporting Requirements

A final Progress Report and the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout of an award as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Evaluation results should be included as part of the final Progress Report.

4. Evaluation

In carrying out its stewardship of human resource-related programs, the NIH may request information essential to an assessment of the effectiveness of this program. Accordingly, trainees 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.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Special Note: Consultation with the Chair of the program's steering committee prior to application preparation (see JSPTPN website) is encouraged.   

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)

Applicants should refer to the (JSPTPN website) for the NIH program contact for this NRSA T32.

Peer Review Contact(s)

Applicants should refer to the (JSPTPN website) for the current peer review contact for this NRSA T32.

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Applicants should refer to the (JSPTPN website) for the list of NIH grants management contacts for this NRSA T32.

Section VIII. Other Information

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

Authority and Regulations

Awards are made under the authorization of Section 487 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 288) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 66.


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