CAREER ENHANCEMENT AWARD FOR STEM CELL RESEARCH 

RELEASE DATE:  March 1, 2002

PA NUMBER:  PAR-02-069 (Reissued as PA-07-359)

(This PAR has been reissued, see PAR-06-115)               
(Expiration Date extended, see NOT-HL-05-121)

EXPIRATION DATE:  December 30, 2005 

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
 (http://www.niddk.nih.gov/)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
 (http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
 (http://www.niaid.nih.gov/)  
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
 (http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/)
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
 (http://www.ninr.nih.gov/) 

THIS PA CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION

o Purpose of the PA
o Research Objectives
o Mechanism(s) of Support 
o Eligible Institutions
o Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators
o Special Requirements 
o Where to send Inquiries
o Submitting an Application
o Peer Review Process
o Review Criteria
o Award Criteria
o Required Federal Citations

PURPOSE OF THIS PA  

The purpose of this program announcement is to encourage investigators to 
obtain the training they need to appropriately use stem cells in their 
research.  The Career Enhancement Award for Stem Cell Research will enable 
investigators to change the direction of their research careers or to take 
time from their regular professional responsibilities to broaden their 
scientific background by acquiring new research capabilities, specifically in 
the use of human or animal embryonic, adult, or cord blood stem cells. Two 
types of applicants should consider applying for support: (1) independent 
junior faculty who wish to expand their research by the use of stem cells, 
and (2) more senior, established investigators who wish to re-direct their 
research, in whole or in part, to include the use of stem cells.  All 
applicants need to enlist a well-qualified stem cell expert, either within 
their own institution or elsewhere, to serve as a sponsor. The usual length 
of support will be from six months to one year and part-time training can be 
accommodated. Both didactic and laboratory training are appropriate means to 
acquire experience with the use, maintenance, and application of stem cells. 
Before submitting an application, investigators should verify that they will 
be able to pursue stem cell research after their training by familiarizing 
themselves with the policies governing the use of stem cells at  
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-014.html    

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

The use of stem cells in biomedical research offers the potential for 
significant advances in the next decades, provided investigators not only 
understand this potential, but are equipped to take advantage of it.  Human 
embryonic stem cells (hESC) have only recently become available and most 
investigators are not prepared to handle, maintain, or properly study hESCs. 
Likewise, the potential of human adult or cord blood, and even animal, stem 
cells for understanding, treating, and curing human disease is great. This 
Career Enhancement Award is meant to provide the opportunity and necessary 
protected time for investigators to gain experiences that will enable them to 
take full advantage of stem cells in their research. Applicants must propose 
a training program suitable for their level of experience and scientific 
interests, and seek an environment where the training can occur. All training 
should be carefully tailored to meet the individual needs of the applicant 
and should, usually, include a description of a research project involving 
stem cells. The proposed training may include both didactic as well as 
laboratory-based instruction in the growth, management, and application of 
human, or animal, embryonic stem cells or adult stem cells for the broad 
areas of interest supported by the NIH. These areas, for each participating 
IC, are listed under INQUIRIES.
 
MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This PA will use the NIH K18 award mechanism.  As an applicant, you will be 
solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed 
project. The project period will typically be six months to one year, 
although up to two years may be appropriate in some situations. Prospective 
applicants are advised to discuss the length of the training period they are 
proposing with the appropriate contact listed under "INQUIRIES". Awards are 
not renewable.

All applicants must devote a minimum of 50 percent effort to the stem cell 
training and research activities, although a full time commitment for the six 
to 12 month period of time is encouraged and up to 24 months is allowable. 

The actual salary provided by the award will be based on your full-time, 12-
month institutional salary and the level of effort requested, up to the 
maximum legislated salary rate in effect at the time of award.  For example, 
in fiscal year 2002, the maximum allowable annual salary is $166,700 for a 
full-time position.  In all cases, the salary requested must be consistent 
the level of effort and with the established salary structure at your 
institution as well as with salaries actually provided by the institution 
from its own funds to other staff members of equivalent qualifications, rank, 
and responsibilities in the department concerned.  If full-time, 12-month 
salaries are not currently paid to comparable staff members, the salary 
proposed must be appropriately related to the existing salary structure.  The 
award will also provide fringe benefits on the calculated base salary at the 
established institutional rate.

For K18 awards used to support a sabbatical period, the NIH award will take 
into account concurrent sabbatical salary support provide by the home 
institution and any other supplemental support. 

K18 award applicants may not concurrently apply for any other PHS award that 
duplicates the provisions of this award. 

K18 award recipients may hold independent research support, either Federal or 
private, concurrently with this award and may derive additional compensation 
for effort from other Federal sources or awards.  However, the total salary 
derived from all Federal sources may not exceed the maximum legislated salary 
rate and the total percent effort cannot exceed 100 percent.  

Research Development support of up to $50,000 may be requested to pay for the 
cost of tuition and fees for courses, allowable research expenses, consultant 
fees for the sponsor, and travel to scientific meetings or to training 
courses. Facilities and Administration costs will be reimbursed at 8% to the 
applicant institution. 

Leave to another institution, including a foreign laboratory, is permitted if 
the leave is directly related to the purpose of the award (e.g. the proposed 
stem cell research training is to occur at another institution).  You must 
obtain a letter, countersigned by your department head and the appropriate 
institutional official, indicating that your institution approves the leave.  
A letter from the sponsor and the host institution, where the training is to 
take place, must be submitted with the application to document that 
satisfactory arrangements have been made. Your own institution will pay your 
salary from the K18 award, while you are training at the host institution.  

ELIGIBLE INSTITUTIONS 

You may submit an application if your institution has any of the following 
characteristics: 

o Domestic	
o For-profit or non-profit organization
o Public or private institution, such as a university, college, hospital, and 
laboratory 
o Unit of State or local government
o Eligible agency of the Federal government  

INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS

Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry 
out the proposed research and research training is invited to work with their 
institution to develop an application for support.  All applicants for this 
award must have a clinical or research doctoral degree and be actively 
engaged in research of interest to the NIH.  Applicants should have completed 
at least three years of post-doctoral work prior to applying for this K18.  
Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as 
individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH 
programs.   

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

At the time of award, applicants must be citizens or noncitizen nationals of 
the United States, or must have been lawfully admitted to the United States 
for permanent residence (i.e., in possession of a currently valid Alien 
Registration Receipt Card I-551, or other legal verification of such status).  
Noncitizen nationals are generally persons born in outlying possessions of 
the United States (e.g., American Samoa and Swain"s Island).  Individuals on 
temporary or student visas are not eligible.

As a K18 award applicant, you must be able to devote at least 50 percent 
effort to your proposed program of didactic and/or research training in stem 
cell research. You may devote your full time effort to the award, however.

All applicants must identify a stem cell expert with a record of providing 
the type of supervision required by this award who is willing to sponsor the 
training experience. 

The K18 application must include the following information: 

Candidate"s Background: Describe your commitment to a biomedical research 
career in an area of interest to the NIH, your immediate and long-term career 
objectives, and how training in the use of stem cells will further those 
objectives. Provide evidence that you have the capabilities and support to 
continue your research career and/or provide leadership as a stem cell 
researcher. You must include three letters of reference with your application 
from individuals familiar with your research.

Career Development Activities: You must provide details of your overall plan 
for developing expertise with stem cell research techniques, tailoring the 
plan to your own goals, prior experience, and career level as well as to the 
intent of the K18 award.  Provide details of any coursework to be taken, 
including any laboratory courses. 

Research Plan: As part of your research training experience, you are 
encouraged to pursue a research project that will make use of stem cells and 
thus provide practical experience in the required techniques. The research 
plan must be described as outlined in form PHS 398 including sections on 
Specific Aims, Background and Significance, Preliminary Studies, Research 
Design and Methods.  You should consult with your sponsor to develop this 
section because the proposed project should reflect the expertise of the stem 
cell expert as well as your own interests and research needs. 

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research: Describe your plans for 
training in the Responsible Conduct or Research or describe training that has 
already been completed. You must have already completed training in the 
Responsible Conduct of Research by the time the award begins.  No award will 
be issued without confirmation of the completion of this requirement, or of 
confirmation that the intent of the requirement has been met (e.g. you are 
the person who teaches the Responsible Conduct course at your institution). 
  
Sponsor"s Statement: Your application must include a statement from the stem 
cell expert describing his/her research qualifications as well as previous 
experience as a research mentor.  The sponsor must provide a description of 
the nature and extent of supervision that will occur during the proposed 
award period. You should also describe any plans for future, ongoing 
collaborations with the stem cell expert once the K18 award is completed.

Environment and Institutional Commitment:  Your own institution must agree to 
your plan to obtain additional research training in the techniques necessary 
for stem cell research either at another institution or your current 
location.  Release time from administrative, clinical, teaching, and research 
duties is critical and must be documented.  In addition, your institution 
must demonstrate a commitment to the development of a research program 
related to stem cell research.

The institution "hosting" your stem cell research training must provide 
assurance that their facilities and the time of the stem cell expert are 
available to you.

Biographical Sketches: You must submit Biographical Sketches for yourself, 
your sponsor, and any other key personnel, following the Biographical Sketch 
Format page in the PHS 398.

WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES

We encourage your inquiries concerning this PA and welcome the opportunity to 
answer questions from potential applicants.  Inquiries may fall into three 
areas:  scientific/research, peer review, and financial or grants management 
issues:

o Direct your questions about all issues to the appropriate Institute staff, 
based on your areas of research interest, as listed below:

NIDDK supports research in the areas of diabetes, metabolic diseases, 
endocrinology, gastrointestinal disorders, liver diseases, obesity, 
nutrition, urologic disorders, kidney diseases, and hematological disorders.

Judith Podskalny, Ph.D.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
6707 Democracy Blvd., Room 667, MSC 5450
Bethesda, MD  20892-5450
Telephone:  (301) 594-8876
Email: jp53s@nih.gov

NIAAA supports research in the areas of the mechanisms of alcohol addiction, 
alcohol-induced organ and system injury, and fetal alcohol syndrome.

Laurie Foudin, Ph.D.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
6000 Executive Blvd., Room 402, MSC 7003
Bethesda, MD  20892-7003
Telephone:  (301) 443-0912
Email: lf29z@nih.gov 

NIAID supports research in the areas of immune cell/system development, 
strategies to alleviate graft vs. host disease and chronic graft rejection, 
cell and organ transplantation, including beta islet cells for the treatment 
of type 1 diabetes, immune cell/system reconstitution, including gene therapy 
approaches, for treatment of HIV-infection and amelioration of drug side 
effects, and for the treatment or cure of primary immunodeficiencies and 
autoimmune diseases.
               
Milton Hernandez, Ph.D.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
6700 B Rockledge Drive, Room 2133 MSC 7610
Bethesda, MD 20892-7610
Telephone: (301) 496-3775
Email: mh35c@nih.gov

NHLBI supports research in the areas of heart, vascular, and lung diseases, 
hematological disorders such as bone marrow suppression syndromes, anemias 
and sickle cell disease, thrombosis and homeostasis, blood resources and 
transfusion medicine , sleep disorders, organ transplantation, and stem cell 
research including blood, marrow, and cord blood stem cell transplantation, 
immune reconstitution, graft vs. host disease, gene therapy, stem cell 
plasticity, and embryonic stem cell developmental biology.  

Ellen M. Werner, Ph.D.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute 
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7950
Bethesda, MD 20892-7950
Telephone: (301) 435-0077
Email: wernere@nhlbi.nih.gov 

NINR supports doctorally prepared nurses in the areas of diabetes, AIDS, 
organ transplantation, cystic fibrosis, cancer, osteoporosis, heart failure, 
cachexia, immune dysfunction, and Alzheimer"s disease.

Hilary D. Sigmon PhD, RN
National Institute of Nursing Research
45 Center Drive, Room 3AN-18 MSC 6300
Bethesda, MD 20892-6300
Telephone: (301)594-5970
Email: hilary_sigmon@nih.gov

SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION

Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application 
instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001).  The PHS 398 is available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in an interactive 
format.  The special instructions for Research Career Awards in Section IV 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/instructions2/p1_preparing
_individual_CDA_app.htm) should be 
followed. For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone (301) 435-
0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

Be sure to enter PAR-02-069, "Career Enhancement Award for Stem Cell 
Research" on line 2 of the face page of your application.

APPLICATION RECEIPT DATES: Applications submitted in response to this program 
announcement will be accepted at the standard application deadlines for 
Research Career Awards, which are available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/dates.htm.  Application deadlines are also 
indicated in the PHS 398 application kit.

SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH: Submit a signed, typewritten original of 
the application, including the checklist, and five signed photocopies in one 
package to:

Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD  20892-7710
Bethesda, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)

APPLICATION PROCESSING: Applications must be received by or mailed on or 
before the receipt dates described at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm for Research 
Career Awards.  The CSR will not accept any application in response to this 
PA that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial review 
unless the applicant withdraws the pending application.  The CSR will not 
accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed.  
This does not preclude the submission of a substantial revision of an 
application already reviewed, but such an application must include an 
Introduction addressing the previous critique.

PEER REVIEW PROCESS

Applications submitted for this PA will be assigned on the basis of 
established PHS referral guidelines.  An appropriate scientific review group 
convened in accordance with the standard NIH peer review procedures 
(http://www.csr.nih.gov/refrev.htm) will evaluate applications for scientific 
and technical merit.  

As part of the initial merit review, all applications:

o Will receive a written critique

o May Undergo a selection process in which 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

o Will receive a second level review by the appropriate national advisory 
council or board.

REVIEW CRITERIA

The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of 
biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health.  In 
the written comments, reviewers will be asked to discuss the following 
aspects of your application in order to judge the likelihood that the 
proposed training will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these 
goals: 

Applicant

o Evidence of excellence in academic, research, and, if appropriate, 
clinical activities

o Potential to become, or continue as, an outstanding investigator, teacher, 
resource person, and leader in research programs related to the mission of 
the appropriate IC

o Quality and breadth of prior scientific training and experience

o Degree and extent of previous research support and publications, 
considering your academic level.

Stem Cell Expert (Sponsor)

o The stem cell expert"s qualifications as well as prior experience and 
record of fostering academic growth and productivity

o The expert"s history of research productivity and peer-reviewed research 
support

o Adequacy of active support for the proposed research project, if 
applicable.

Research Training Plan

o Quality and feasibility of your training plan, including plans after 
completion of the award

o Relationship of the research training plan to your previous research focus 
as well as your future research plans

O An assessment of the value of the proposed training experience as it 
relates to enhancing your capabilities as an independent investigator.

Research Plan

o Scientific and technical merit of the research question, design, and 
methodology 

o Relevance of the proposed research project to your own research interests

o Appropriateness of the research plan to your career level and as a vehicle 
for developing the research skills described in the career development plan.

Environment and Institutional Commitment

o Adequacy of the research facilities and training opportunities for support 
of this award at the host institution, which may be the applicant 
institution, or at another institution

o Clear evidence from your own institution that you will be given sufficient 
release time to complete the proposed training and research project 

o Level of commitment from your institution in supporting your future plans 
to use stem cells in your research.

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

o Quality of the proposed training in the responsible conduct of research 
that has been, or will be, completed.

Budget

o Justification of the requested budget in both time and amount, relevant to 
your research career goals and interests.

AWARD CRITERIA

Applications submitted in response to this PA will compete for available 
funds with all other recommended applications.  The following will be 
considered in making funding decisions:  

o Scientific merit of the proposed project as determined by peer review
o Availability of funds 
o Relevance to program priorities

REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS 

HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS (hESC): Criteria for federal funding of research 
on hESCs can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/stem_cells.htm and at  
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-005.html.  Only 
research using hESC lines that are registered in the NIH Human Embryonic Stem 
Cell Registry will be eligible for Federal funding (see http://escr.nih.gov).   
It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide the official NIH 
identifier(s)for the hESC line(s)to be used in the proposed research.  
Applications that do not provide this information will be returned without 
review. 

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.   Furthermore, 
we caution reviewers that their anonymity may be compromised when they 
directly access an Internet site.

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 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/.

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS: This program is described in the Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance No. 93.121 and is not subject to the 
intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health 
Systems Agency review.  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 described at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm and  
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/stem_cells.htm and under Federal Regulations 42 
CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92. 

The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free 
workplace and discourage the 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, any 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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