RESEARCH SCHOLAR DEVELOPMENT AWARD

Release Date:  November 15, 2001

PA NUMBER:  PAR-02-018 (see NOT-AI-06-017 for new submission dates and 
modification of eligibility requirements)

This PAR has been reissued, see PAR-07-347.

EXPIRATION DATE for Non-AIDS Applications: October 1, 2006
EXPIRATION DATE for AIDS and AIDS-Related Applications: January 2, 2007 

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
 (http://www.niaid.nih.gov/default.htm)

PURPOSE

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) invites 
applications from outstanding NIAID-supported intramural and extramural 
postdoctoral fellows for the Research Scholar Development Award (RSDA).  The 
RSDA will provide support for postdoctoral fellows who are moving to assistant 
professor positions in an academic institution.

The purpose of the RSDA is to ease the transition to an academic position by 
enabling the recipient to focus on the establishment of his/her research 
laboratory prior to submitting applications for grant support.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010

The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health 
promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2010," a PHS-
led national activity for setting priority areas. This Program Announcement 
(PA) is related to one or more of the priority areas. Potential applicants 
may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at 
http://www.health.gov/healthypeople/.

ELIGIBILITY

The candidate must have a health professional doctoral degree or its 
equivalent, such as Ph.D, M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.V.M., O.D., D.P.M., Sc.D., 
D.N.S. and have demonstrated the capacity for highly productive, independent 
postdoctoral research in her or his chosen field prior to applying for this 
award.

Applicants must be either (a) postdoctoral fellows in an NIAID intramural 
laboratory, (b) postdoctoral trainees supported by an NIAID Institutional NRSA 
training grant (T32) or an NIAID Individual NRSA postdoctoral fellowship 
(F32), or (c) postdoctoral trainees supported by NIAID Research Supplements 
for Underrepresented Minorities (RSUMs).  Minorities, women, and individuals 
with disabilities, meeting these requirements, are encouraged to apply.  
Candidates must be U.S. citizens or noncitizen nationals or must have been 
lawfully admitted for permanent residence.  Individuals on temporary or 
student visas are not eligible.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

The NIAID RSDA program will use the NIH Career Transition (K22) award.  The 
project period for this award is two years, awards are not renewable.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES

The primary objective of this Program Announcement is to help the awardee 
develop a strong, independent research career.  This will be accomplished by 
supporting outstanding postdoctoral scientists as they move to their first 
academic position as assistant professors.  The RSDA will ease the transition 
so the recipient can concentrate on establishing a viable research laboratory 
prior to applying for research grant support.

Applications responding to this Program Announcement will be submitted in two 
phases.

PHASE I OF THE RSDA APPLICATION:

Because of the nature of this award, the applicant may not have identified a 
sponsoring institution at the time of submitting the Phase I portion of the 
RSDA application.  Thus, the front page of PHS 398 will not require a 
sponsoring institution or institutional officials and signatures.

The following items on form PHS-398 application are required for the first 
phase of an RSDA application:

1.  Biographical Sketch

a. A biographical sketch is required for the applicant, following the modified 
instructions below.  Do not exceed the two-page limit.

b. Complete the education block at the top of the form page.

c. List current position(s) and those previous positions directly relevant to 
the application.
d. List peer-reviewed publications directly relevant to the proposed project 
with full citation.

e. Provide information on research projects completed during the last five 
years that are relevant to the proposed project.

2.  Candidate

The application must address the following issues regarding the candidate:

a. Establish the candidate"s commitment and potential to develop into a 
successful independent investigator in biomedical, behavioral, or public 
health research.

b. Summarize the candidate"s immediate and long-term career objectives, 
explaining how the award will contribute to their attainment.

3.  Research Plan

The candidate must describe the research plan as outlined in form PHS 398 
including sections on the Specific Aims, Background and Significance, Progress 
Report/Preliminary Studies, Research Design, and Methods.  The candidate 
should write the Research Plan with help from the postdoctoral supervisor 
(i.e. the supervisor at the institution where the applicant is finishing 
his/her postdoctoral work).

4. Letters of Recommendation

The candidate should secure three (3) letters of recommendation from senior 
scientists. These individuals should know the candidate well and be able to 
attest to his/her qualifications as a scientist as well as the candidate"s 
potential for becoming an independent biomedical or behavioral investigator. 
It is strongly suggested that one of these references be from the applicant"s 
latest postdoctoral mentor.

PHASE II OF THE RSDA APPLICATION:

If the applicant receives a fundable score after the review of Phase I of the 
application, she or he will be notified in writing of NIAID"s commitment to 
make an award.  The candidate will then have a period of up to 12 months to 
identify a suitable position as an assistant professor at an academic 
institution and negotiate an acceptable start-up package.  As soon as 
negotiations between the applicant and the institution are complete, Phase II 
of the application should be submitted.

Phase II must include the following items:

1. An acceptable start-up package for an RSDA must consist of:

a. A position as assistant professor.
b. Significant funds and resources made available to the candidate.
c. Modest teaching load if the candidate is expected to teach.
d. No administrative responsibilities.

2. Budget- A detailed budget for Initial Budget Period should be completed 
using form page 4 of the PHS 398 (rev. 5/95).

Budget for Entire Proposed Period of Support - complete the categorical budget 
table on form page 5 in the PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) for up to two years of 
support. 

Begin the budget justification on Form Page 5 (see Item 2 below), using 
continuation pages as needed.

3. Budget Justification

a. List the name, role on project and percent effort for all project personnel 
(salaried or unsalaried) and provide a narrative justification for each 
person.

b. Identify all consultants by name and organizational affiliation and 
describe the services to be performed.

c. Provide a narrative justification for any major budget items, other than 
personnel, that are requested for the conduct of the project.  Describe 
specific resources committed by the sponsoring institution to support the 
applicant"s research.

d. Facilities and administration (F & A) costs will be calculated at the time 
of the award at an eight percent rate.

4. Career Development Plan

Describe the career development plan, incorporating consideration of the 
candidate"s goals and prior experience.  It should describe a systematic plan 
to obtain the necessary background and research experience to launch a career 
in biomedical or behavioral research.  Statements from officials at the 
institution chosen by the RSDA applicant should strongly address the research 
career and academic plan for the candidate.

5. Environment and Institutional Commitment

The sponsoring institution must document a strong, well-established research 
program in biomedical and behavioral research.  The sponsoring institution 
also must provide a detailed statement of institutional resources committed to 
foster the candidate"s development into a productive, independent 
investigator.  Prior to the award, the candidate and an appropriate official 
(Dean, departmental Chair, or equivalent) of the sponsoring institution must 
satisfactorily describe the elements of a research program that will maximize 
the candidate"s chances for a successful research career in an academic 
setting.

COMMITMENT OF RSDA INVESTIGATOR:

At least 75 percent of the recipient"s full-time professional effort must be 
devoted to the program while the remainder may be devoted to other research-
related, clinical and/or teaching pursuits consistent with the objectives of 
the award.

ALLOWABLE COSTS

This award will provide up to a total of $150,000 (direct costs) in the first 
year, and up to $100,000 (direct costs) in the second year.

a. Salary:  The amount of funding that may be used to support the awardee"s 
salary is limited to $50,000 per year (plus fringe benefits).  If the salary 
negotiated between the awardee and the sponsoring institution is higher than 
$50,000, the institution may use non-Federal funds to supplement its 
contribution up to a level that is consistent with the institution"s salary 
scale. 

Institutional supplementation of salary must not require extra duties or 
responsibilities that would interfere with the purpose of the RSDA.  The RSDA 
does not require that salary support be derived from the award, use of the 
entire direct costs for research-related expenses is allowed. If no salary 
funds are requested from the RSDA, a statement should be included indicating 
the source and amount of salary support.  If an institution commits its own 
funds to support the salary of a K22 recipient, NIAID will view that as 
further evidence of institutional commitment. 

The total salary requested must be based on a full-time, 12-month appointment. 
It must be consistent both with the established salary structure at the 
institution and with salaries actually provided by the institution to other 
staff members of equivalent qualifications, rank, and responsibilities in the 
department concerned.

b. Research-Related Expenses:  These include salaries for technical support, 
consultant costs, equipment, supplies, travel, and other research-related 
expenses.

c. Ancillary Personnel Support: Salary for secretarial or administrative 
assistance is NOT allowed.

RSDA awards will be made under Expanded and Federal Demonstration Project 
authorities to eligible institutions.

After review of the initial Phase I applications for scientific merit, funding 
of the RSDA will depend largely on the institutional commitment of funds, 
time, and other resources toward the development of the RSDA applicant shown 
in the Phase II application.

Fees resulting from clinical practice, professional consultation, or other 
comparable activities required by research and research-related activities of 
this award may not be retained by the RSDA recipient.  Such fees must be 
assigned to the grantee institution for disposition by any of the following 
methods:

a. The funds may be expended by the grantee institution in accordance with the 
HHS/NIH policy on supplementation of career award salaries and to provide 
fringe benefits in proportion to such supplementation.  Such salary 
supplementation and fringe benefit payments must be within the established 
policies of the grantee institution.

b. The funds may be used for health-related research purposes.

c. The funds may be paid to miscellaneous receipts of the U.S. Treasury.  
Checks must be made payable to the Department of Health and Human Services, 
NIH, and forwarded to the Director, Division of Financial Management, NIH, 
Bethesda, Maryland 20892.  Checks must identify the relevant award account and 
reason for the payment.

Awardees may retain royalties and fees for activities such as scholarly 
writing, service on advisory groups, or honoraria from other institutions for 
lectures or seminars, provided these activities remain incidental and provided 
that the retention of such pay is consistent with the policies and practices 
of the grantee institution.

Usually, funds budgeted in an HHS/NIH-supported research or research-training 
grant for the salaries or fringe benefits of individuals, but freed as a 
result of a career award, may not be re-budgeted.  The awarding component will 
give consideration to approval for the use of released funds only under 
unusual circumstances.  Any proposed retention of funds released as a result 
of an RSDA career award must receive prior written approval of the program 
administrator.

SPECIAL LEAVE

Short leave periods to another institution, including a foreign laboratory, 
may be permitted if directly related to the purpose of the award.  Only local 
institutional approval is required if such leave does not exceed three months. 
For longer periods, prior written approval of the awarding organization is 
required.  To obtain prior approval the award recipient must submit a letter 
countersigned by his or her department head and the appropriate local 
institutional official to NIAID describing the plan.  A copy of a letter or 
other evidence from the institution where the leave is to be taken must be 
submitted to assure that satisfactory arrangements have been made.  Support 
from the career award will continue during such leave.

Leave without award support may not exceed 12 months.  Such leave requires the 
prior written approval of the awarding institute and will be granted only in 
unusual situations. Support from other sources is permissible during the 
period of leave.  Such leave does not reduce the total number of months of 
program support for which an individual is eligible.  Parental leave will be 
granted consistent with the policies of the NIH and the grantee institution.

TERMINATION OR CHANGE OF INSTITUTION

When a grantee institution plans to terminate an award, the awarding institute 
must be notified in writing at the earliest possible time so that appropriate 
instructions can be given for termination.

The Director of the NIH may discontinue an award upon determination that the 
purpose or terms of the award are not being fulfilled.  In the event an award 
is terminated, the Director of the NIH shall notify the grantee institution 
and career award recipient in writing of this determination, the reasons 
therefore, the effective date, and the right to appeal the decision.

Changes of institution will only be considered under extremely special 
circumstances.

A final progress report, invention statement, and Financial Status Report are 
required upon either termination of an award or relinquishment of an award in 
a change of institution situation.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE AWARD

When clinical studies or trials are a component of the research proposed, 
NIAID policy requires that studies be monitored commensurate with the degree 
of potential risk to study subjects and the complexity of the study.  Terms 
and Conditions of Award will be included with awards.  NIAID policy was 
announced in the NIH Guide on February 24, 2000 and is available at: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-AI-00-003.html.  The full 
policy including terms and conditions of award is available at: 
http://www.niaid.nih.gov/ncn/pdf/clinterm.pdf

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS
  
It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and 
their sub-populations must be included in all NIH-supported clinical research 
projects unless a clear and compelling justification is provided indicating 
that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or 
the purpose of the research. This policy results from the NIH Revitalization 
Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public Law 103-43).

All investigators proposing clinical research should read the AMENDMENT "NIH 
Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical 
Research - Amended, October, 2001," published in the NIH Guide for Grants and 
Contracts on October 9, 2001 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-001.html), 
a complete copy of the updated Guidelines are available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_amended_10_2001.htm. 
The amended policy incorporates: the use of an NIH definition of 
clinical research, updated racial and ethnic categories in compliance with 
the new OMB standards, clarification of language governing NIH-defined Phase 
III clinical trials consistent with the new PHS Form 398, and updated roles 
and responsibilities of NIH staff and the extramural community.  The policy 
continues to require for all NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials that: a) 
all applications or proposals and/or protocols must provide a description of 
plans to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by 
sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable, 
and b) investigators must report annual accrual and progress in conducting 
analyses, as appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group 
differences.

Investigators may obtain copies from these sources or from the program staff 
or contact person listed under INQUIRIES.  

NIH POLICY AND GUIDELINES ON THE INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN 
RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

It is the policy of NIH that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) 
must be included in all human subjects research, conducted or supported by the 
NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them.  
This policy applies to all initial (Type 1) applications submitted for receipt 
dates after October 1, 1998.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
"NIH Policy and Guidelines on the Inclusion of Children as Participants in 
Research Involving Human Subjects" that was published in the NIH Guide for 
Grants and Contracts, March 6, 1998, and is available at the following URL 
address: 
http://www.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-024.html

URLS IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES

All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within 
specified page limitations.  Unless otherwise specified in an NIH 
solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide 
information necessary to the review because reviewers are under no obligation 
to view the Internet sites.  Reviewers are cautioned that their anonymity may 
be compromised when they directly access an Internet site.

REQUIRED EDUCATION ON THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN SUBJECT PARTICIPANTS

NIH policy requires education on the protection of human subject participants 
for all investigators submitting NIH proposals for research involving human 
subjects.  You will find this policy announcement in the NIH Guide for Grants 
and Contracts Announcement, dated June 5, 2000, at the following website: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-039.html.

PUBLIC ACCESS TO RESEARCH DATA THROUGH THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to 
provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act 
(FOIA) under some circumstances.  Data that are (1) first produced in a 
project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) 
cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action 
that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed 
through FOIA.  It is important for applicants to understand the basic scope 
of this amendment.  NIH has provided guidance at: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm.

Applicants may wish to place data collected under this PA in a public 
archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the 
distribution for an indefinite period of time.  If so, the application should 
include a description of the archiving plan in the study design and include 
information about this in the budget justification section of the 
application. In addition, applicants should think about how to structure 
informed consent statements and other human subjects procedures given the 
potential for wider use of data collected under this award.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms (rev. 5/01) at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm must be used in applying for these 
grants and will be accepted at the standard application deadlines 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/dates.htm) as indicated in the application kit. 
This version of the PHS 398 is available in an interactive, searchable format. 
For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone 301/435-0714, Email: 
GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

For purposes of identification and processing, item 2 on the face page of the 
application must be marked "YES." The PA number and the PA title must also be 
typed in section 2.

The completed, signed original and five legible, single-sided copies of the 
application and five copies of the appendices must be sent or delivered to:

CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC REVIEW
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 1040, MSC 7710
BETHESDA, MD  20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD  20817-7710 (for express/courier service)

Potential applicants are encouraged to discuss their plans and objectives of 
their proposed application with the NIH staff member listed under INQUIRIES 
before submitting an application.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Applications received in response to this program announcement will be 
reviewed in accordance with the usual NIH peer review procedures.  
Applications will be reviewed for completeness by the NIH Center for 
Scientific Review (CSR). Applications that are complete will be evaluated for 
scientific and technical merit.  Phase I of the review process will be 
undertaken by a review committee convened by the NIAID.  For this phase, the 
applicant will submit a research proposal clearly delineating the scientific 
and technical aspects of the application, without necessarily having 
identified a sponsoring academic institution.  The research proposal will be 
submitted from the institution at which the candidate is a postdoctoral 
trainee, and will be written under the guidance of the trainee"s advisor.

As part of the initial merit review, all applications will receive a written 
critique.  Only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific 
merit, generally the top half of applications under review, will be discussed 
and assigned a priority score and will receive a second level review by the 
National Allergy and Infectious Diseases Advisory Council.

The following review criteria will be applied in Phase I of the review 
process:

1.  Candidate:  Is the candidate appropriately trained and suited to the 
proposed career development activities, i.e., well trained and productive in 
his or her current field and prepared for the proposed research activities?

2. Career Development Plan: Is the career development plan proposed one that 
will give the candidate sufficient background and experience in research such 
that the candidate can establish an independent research career?

3.  Research Plan: All candidates for this award must have had previous 
research experience as postdoctoral scientists.  A strong research plan that 
is consistent with the career development plan and the candidate"s level of 
research development should be provided.

4.  Significance:  Does this project address an important problem?  How well 
does the proposed research experience complement the proposed career 
development activities?

5.  Approach:  Are the methods adequately developed, well integrated, and 
appropriate to the research plan and career development goals of the 
candidate? Does the candidate acknowledge potential problem areas and consider 
alternative tactics?

In addition, all applications will also be reviewed with respect to the 
following criteria (if applicable), in accordance with NIH policy:

a.  The adequacy of plans to include both genders, minorities, and their 
subgroups and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of any clinical 
research activities.  Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will 
also be evaluated.

b.  The adequacy of the proposed protection for humans, animals, or the 
environment to the extent they may be adversely affected by the activities 
proposed in the application.

After the Phase I applications have been reviewed and have received a priority 
score, those applicants with fundable scores will be notified in writing of a 
conditional intent of the NIAID to make an award.  This document may be used 
by the RSDA applicant to identify a suitable academic institution and enter 
into negotiations for a position as assistant professor.

The second stage of the review process (Phase II) will take place after the 
candidate and officials from the chosen academic institution have negotiated a 
suitable position.  Phase II must include the items described earlier under 
the section PHASE II OF THE RSDA APPLICATION. The appropriateness and 
soundness of the arrangement negotiated between the applicant and the new 
sponsoring institution will be carefully assessed by NIAID staff.  The 
institutional commitment of resources, time and other factors conducive to the 
research project and the career development of the RSDA applicant will be 
carefully examined.  Applications from candidates appointed to assistant 
professorships at the same institution where they held a postdoctoral position 
must provide a strong justification for applying for the RSDA at that 
institution.

AWARD CRITERIA

Funding decisions will be made based on the recommendations of the initial 
review group for Phase I, staff recommendations after Phase II review, and the 
availability of funds.

INQUIRIES

Written, telephone and e-mail inquiries concerning this PA are encouraged, 
especially during the planning phase of the application.

Inquiries regarding programmatic issues may be directed to:

Milton J. Hernandez, Ph.D.
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
6700B Rockledge Drive, Room 2133
Bethesda, MD  20892-7640
Telephone:  (301) 496-3775
FAX:  (301) 496-8729
Email:  mh35c@nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Barbara Huffman
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
6700B Rockledge Drive, Room 2132
Bethesda, MD  20892-7640
Telephone:  (301) 496-3821
FAX:  (301) 496-8729
Email:  bh23q@nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance in 
the following citations: No. 93.855, Immunology, Allergy, and Transplantation 
Research and No. 93.856, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research. 
Awards are made under authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public 
Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and administered under NIH 
grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.  
This program is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of 
Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.

The NIH Grants Policy Statement is available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm.  This document includes 
general information about the grant application and review process, 
information on the terms and conditions that apply to NIH Grants and 
cooperative agreements, and a listing of pertinent offices and officials at 
the NIH.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide a 
smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products. In 
addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking 
in certain facilities (or in some cases, and portion of a facility) in which 
regular or routine education, library, day care, health care or early 
childhood development services are provided to children. This is consistent 
with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of 
the American people.


Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices


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