Notice of Availability of Administrative Supplements to Enable Continuity of Research Experiences of M.D./Ph.D.s During Clinical Training

Notice Number: NOT-MH-11-014

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

  • July 3, 2014 - Notice of Expiration of NOT-MH-11-014. See replacement Notice NOT-MH-14-017.
  • February 7, 2012 - See Notice NOT-MH-12-018. Notice of a Change in Eligibility Criteria for Candidates.

Key Dates
Release Date: July 20, 2011

Issued by
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Purpose

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) announces an administrative supplement program to provide funds to research projects to support advanced research experiences of exceptional individuals holding the M.D./Ph.D. degree early in their research careers.  The goal of this program is to provide opportunities for M.D./Ph.D.-trained individuals to continue to conduct research and to enhance their research skill set while completing clinical training, i.e., during the years of residency and clinical fellowship, and to contribute to the progress of the research grant.  Support through this administrative supplement program is expected to enhance the scientific and professional development of the participating individuals, speed their transition to research independence as physician-scientists, and contribute to scientific knowledge that advances the mission of the NIMH.

Background

Physician-scientists are believed to bring a unique perspective to research through the blend of clinical and research experiences they acquire during graduate and medical education, residency, and fellowship.  Over the past three decades, there has been a steady decline in the number of physician-scientists actively pursuing research careers (e.g., Abrams, Patchan & Boat, 2003). In psychiatry, the decline has been more striking than in other clinical specialties (Fenton, James, & Insel, 2004). 

At the time they enter residency training, M.D./Ph.D.s have already received substantial research training while conducting dissertation research and have demonstrated a strong interest in and commitment to research. During clinical training, limited opportunities exist for these individuals to continue to develop research expertise, document their research productivity, and maintain currency with the rapidly evolving scientific landscape. The limited availability of options to support research effort during clinical training is a significant barrier to increasing the pipeline of outstanding M.D./Ph.D.s prepared to conduct innovative, NIMH-funded research. The 2008 National Advisory Mental Health Council Workgroup on Research Training recommended that the NIMH expand efforts to support research opportunities for M.D./Ph.D.s during residency and ensure flexibility of these opportunities so that M.D./Ph.D.s who are committed to a research career as physician-scientists may continue research during residency and transition efficiently and effectively to research independence. 

Abrams MT, Patchan KM, Boat TF (Eds). Research Training in Psychiatry Residency: Strategies for Reform. Washington, DC. The National Academies Press, 2003. (http://www.nap.edu/catalog/10823.htm)

Fenton W, James R, Insel T. Psychiatry residency training, the physician-scientist, and the future of psychiatry. Acad Psychiatry 2004; 28:263-266.

Research Opportunity

The goal of this program is to help M.D./Ph.D.s move more efficiently and effectively from the period of clinical training to the next stage of their research careers by supporting focused, protected research time during residency or clinical fellowship.  The proposed research experience must be an integral part of the approved, ongoing research of the parent grant and must have the potential to contribute significantly to the candidate’s research career.  Applications are expected to summarize: a) the candidate’s supplemental research project, and b) a plan that is designed to enhance his/her research skills, scientific knowledge, and related professional skills including plans for subsequent funding applications that would help maintain the candidate’s research momentum.  To ensure flexibility of research opportunities, the specific plan and scope of the research experience may vary depending on such factors as the year in residency, the nature of the parent grant, the candidate’s technical skill set and goals, and the candidate’s available effort.  Applications are strongly encouraged to document the Principal Investigator’s commitment to provide appropriate guidance and supervision of the candidate. Plans that primarily involve clinical interviewing and/or conducting laboratory sessions with research participants would be considered a low priority for this supplement program.

Eligibility

NIMH-supported R01, R34, R37, P01, P20, P30, P50, U01, UM1, and U19 research projects are eligible for this supplement program. NIH DP1 and DP2 awards may be eligible for this program if the funded research is aligned with the mission and strategic priorities of the NIMH. To be eligible, the parent grant must be active and have sufficient time remaining to provide a productive supplement period, generally at least two years.  The research proposed in the supplement must be within the general scope of the peer-reviewed activities and aims of the parent grant.

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

Only one supplement for advanced research experience for an M.D./Ph.D. candidate will be supported on a parent grant at any time.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact one of the Program Contacts listed at the end of this Notice to discuss a potential application.

Eligible Candidates

Candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria at the time of application: 1) must be a citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence; 2) must have graduated from a combined M.D./Ph.D. program; 3) must currently be in good standing in an ACGME-accredited residency program or clinical fellowship program; and 4) must be able to commit appropriate effort to the proposed research experience in any year.  Candidates during residency must commit no less than 1.8 person-months (15% of full-time professional effort) to the proposed research experience; at the time of award, such candidates must be in PGY2 of residency or beyond.  Candidates during fellowship must commit no less than 6 person-months (50% of full-time professional effort) to the proposed research experience.

The Department Chair and Residency Director must document that the research activities and associated time commitment proposed in the supplemental application will be supported by the institution and will not adversely affect the candidate’s board eligibility or prolong the period of residency or clinical fellowship, as appropriate. 

Supplement recipients who change institutions during the period of residency or clinical fellowship are eligible candidates for a supplement award with a different PD/PI at the new institution. 

M.D./Ph.D. candidates from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as those with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

Selection Factors

Administrative supplement requests will be reviewed administratively by NIMH Program and Grants Management Staff.  Selection factors will include the following:

  • Scientific merit of the proposed research plan;
  • Candidate’s potential for an independent research career conducting NIMH-relevant research;
  • Relevance of the proposed activities to the funded (parent) grant and the mission and research priorities of the NIMH as exemplified in the NIMH Strategic Plan or, for AIDS-related applications, as exemplified in the research priorities of the most recent, annual Trans-NIH Plan for HIV-Related Research and the priorities of the NIMH Division of AIDS Research; and
  • Merit and appropriateness of the proposed research experience plan including evidence that the proposed activities are feasible within the context of residency and/or clinical fellowship and that sufficient institutional commitment exists for the proposed research experience.

Budget and Funding Information

Applications will be accepted until April 1st of each year for consideration for funding during that fiscal year, although earlier submission is strongly encouraged.  All applications should be preceded by consultation with NIMH Program staff (see Inquiries section below) to discuss the application process and determine availability of funds. 
All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

The NIMH will provide salary support for the candidate in addition to other justified expenses, such as travel and supplies, to enable the candidate to participate fully in the proposed research experience.  The requested salary and fringe benefits must be in accordance with the salary structure of the grantee institution for individuals in comparable positions, consistent with the level of effort, and may generally not exceed $75,000 per year.  Funds up to $10,000 may be requested for supplies and travel for the candidate.  No supplement funds may be used to purchase equipment. Total direct costs may not exceed $85,000 annually.

An award issued under this Notice is contingent upon adequate progress on the parent grant during the current project period, the availability of funds, and the receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Reporting

In non-competing continuation applications (using PHS Form 2590), the Progress Report and budget for the supplement must be clearly delineated from the Progress Report and budget for the parent grant.  The Progress Report should describe the research activities of the MD/PhD resident or fellow during the prior budget period even if support for future years is not requested.  If future support is requested, plans for the resident or fellow’s research activities during the next budget period should be described. Continuation of supplemental support in the remaining years of the grant’s competitive segment will depend on satisfactory review by the NIMH of progress for the parent grant and the supplement project, the proposed research and other activities for the next budget period, and the appropriateness of the proposed budget for the proposed effort.  A final supplement report is due no later than 90 days after the end of the supplemental award.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted until April 1st of each year for consideration for funding during that fiscal year, although earlier submission is strongly encouraged.   

Requests under this Notice should be prepared using PHS 398 forms (available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html), with further guidance provided at http://www.nimh.nih.gov/research-funding/grants/supplement-program-continuity-clinical-training.shtml under the section entitled Submission Instructions.  The request must be signed by the authorized Business Official. 

Inquiries

Before submitting an administrative supplement request for this program, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the appropriate Program Contact listed below to discuss their plans.

Scientific/Research Contact:
Nancy L Desmond, Ph.D.
Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7197, MSC 9645
Bethesda, MD 20892-9645
Telephone: (301) 443-3107
Email: ndesmond@nih.gov

Mark Chavez, Ph.D.
Division of Adult Translational Research and Treatment Development
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7101, MSC 9632
Bethesda, MD 20892-9632
Telephone: (301) 443-8942
Email: mchavez1@mail.nih.gov

James D. Churchill, Ph.D.
Division of Developmental Translational Research
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6178, MSC 9617
Bethesda, MD 20892-9645
Telephone: (301) 443-3621
Email: churchillj@mail.nih.gov
Lauren Hill, Ph.D.
Division of Services and Interventions Research
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7148, MSC 9635
Bethesda, MD 20892-9635
Telephone: (301) 443-2638
Email: hillla@mail.nih.gov
David Stoff, Ph.D.
Division of AIDS Research
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6210, MSC 9619
Bethesda, MD 20892-9619
Telephone: (301) 443-4625
Email: dstoff@nih.gov

Grants Management Contact:
Rita Sisco
Grants Management Branch,
NIMH 6001 Executive Blvd., Room 6120, MSC 9605
Bethesda, MD 20892-9605
Telephone: (301) 443-2805 
E-mail: siscor@mail.nih.gov

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