Part I Overview Information


Department of Health and Human Services

Participating Organizations
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (http://www.nih.gov/)

Components of Participating Organizations
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/)

Title: Short Term Career Development Award in the Environmental Health Sciences for Established Investigators (K18)

Type
This is a reissue of PAR-07-402

Update: The following updates relating to this announcement have been issued:

Program Announcement (PA) Number: PAR-09-090

NOTICE: Applications submitted in response to this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for Federal assistance must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov) using the SF424 Research and Related (R&R) forms and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

APPLICATIONS MAY NOT BE SUBMITTED IN PAPER FORMAT.

This FOA must be read in conjunction with the application guidelines included with this announcement in Grants.gov/Apply for Grants (hereafter called Grants.gov/Apply).

A registration process is necessary before submission and applicants are highly encouraged to start the process at least four (4) weeks prior to the grant submission date. See Section IV.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number(s)
93.113

Key Dates
Release/Posted Date: January 23, 2009
Opening Date:January 23, 2009 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)
NOTE: On-time submission requires that applications be successfully submitted to Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. local time (of the applicant institution/organization).
Application Submission Date(s): Standard dates apply; please see http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm for details
AIDS Application Receipt Date(s): Not Applicable.
Peer Review Date(s): Standard dates apply; please see http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm#reviewandaward for guidance on dates.
Council Review Date(s): Standard dates apply; please see http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm#reviewandaward for guidance on dates.
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): Standard dates apply; please see http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm#reviewandaward for guidance on dates.
Additional Information To Be Available Date (Url Activation Date): Not Applicable
Expiration Date: September 8, 2012.

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Additional Overview Content

Executive Summary

Table of Contents


Part I Overview Information

Part II Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
1. Research Objectives


Section II. Award Information
1. Mechanism of Support
2. Funds Available

Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants

A. Eligible Institutions
B. Eligible Individuals
2. Cost Sharing or Matching
3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria

Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Request Application Information
2. Content and Form of Application Submission
3. Submission Dates and Times
A. Submission, Review, and Anticipated Start Dates
1. Letter of Intent
B. Submitting an Application Electronically to the NIH
C. Application Processing
4. Intergovernmental Review
5. Funding Restrictions
6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria
2. Review and Selection Process
A. Additional Review Criteria
B. Additional Review Considerations
C. Resource Sharing Plan(s)
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
3. Reporting

Section VII. Agency Contacts
1. Scientific/Research Contact(s)

2. Peer Review Contact(s)
3. Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Section VIII. Other Information - Required Federal Citations

Part II - Full Text of Announcement


Section I. Funding Opportunity Description


1. Research Objectives

Background:

A perceived gap in the career development opportunities funded by the NIEHS is a program which would provide the flexibility to allow established, well-funded mid-career level investigators the support and protected time to get the necessary training and research experience to expand their already productive research programs to address the goals of the Strategic Plan and to take advantage of the anticipated new research opportunities being developed to move the Strategic Plan forward.

A primary goal of the NIEHS, elaborated in the Strategic Plan announced in 2006, is to expand the role of clinical and translational research in the environmental health sciences in the programs supported by the Institute and to enhance the role of clinical investigators in environmental health sciences research. The Strategic Plan also addresses the need for increased training and career development opportunities in clinical and translational research and recognizes the advantages of the increased integration of environmental health sciences research with the overall NIH research enterprise.

Within the past year the NIEHS has announced a number of new and restructured programs to address these goals, including the DISCOVER program and the K12 Institutional Patient Oriented Career Development Program in the Environmental Health Sciences. Other programs, including the program of Institutional T32 Training Grants and the P30 Core Centers, have been restructured to increase the participation of translational scientists and the representation of disease-oriented research.

The NIEHS also intends to continue and further emphasize its traditional support mechanisms for training and career development of junior scientists with clinical backgrounds through the funding of F30 Individual Fellowships for Dual Degree MD/PhD students, K08 and K23 Career Development Awards for Clinical Investigators, and further encouragement of the support of physician scientist in the training programs. Mid-career patient oriented researchers who have active, well-supported research in the environmental health sciences may apply for K24 Career Development Awards which provide up to five years of salary support release time to further their research goals and mentor new clinician scientists.

Purpose and Objectives:

This funding opportunity announcement establishes a program of short-term mentored career development awards, using the K18 mechanism, with a range of 3 months to 1 year duration, aimed at established, well-funded mid-career level investigators, to support their development of research capability in the environmental health sciences or in translational research. The program would be directed to two groups of Investigator(s):

a. Physician Scientists and others with clinical training who have research funding from other Institutes and essentially no experience in research applicable to the environmental health sciences, who wish to spend time in the laboratory or research program of a well funded and NIEHS supported investigator in order to explore the introduction of research involving environmental stressors of importance to the mission of the NIEHS into their experimental systems and disease oriented research programs; and

b. Investigators in the basic sciences with active research funding from NIEHS who wish to gain experience in a relevant, disease oriented translational program in order to extend their basic knowledge to a more translational problem.

The intent of this FOA is to provide candidates with protected time to achieve a shift in the focus of their research direction, or to learn exposure biology relevant to their ongoing research projects; it is not intended as a substitute for research project support.

Applicants will be expected to hold the rank of Associate Professor or Professor, or their equivalent in non-academic settings, and propose a mentored career development and career enhancement program, along with a research project, to be conducted in a different institutional setting from the location where they hold the primary appointment. These career development awards will typically coincide with academic sabbatical years.

The host mentoring laboratory is expected to demonstrate appropriate research and resources to provide a new research direction. In most cases, the applicant and the proposed host laboratory will not have any previous research collaborations.

In most cases, the host mentoring laboratory may not be within the School or academic institutional setting where the applicant has a primary appointment, and applications which propose an experience at a location which is geographically and physically separate from the applicant organization are encouraged. With strong justification, under unusual circumstances, and with strong evidence of institutional support and release time (to be assessed by the peer review), an applicant who is a member of a medical school faculty may propose a research and career development experience in a physically distinct and different department of the Medical School from that in which he/she has an appointment. Departmental and School administrators for the Departments and Schools of the applicants should describe any institutional commitments the applicant will maintain during the period of the research career enhancement and any special provisions which will be made to provide appropriate release time. In particular, the administration should demonstrate their commitment to the candidates separation from current responsibilities during the sabbatical period.

Applicants should also describe any clinical, administrative, research, or grant related commitments they intend to maintain during the period of the award, and arrangements which will be made to provide protected release time.

Candidates may propose a career development program of three month, six months, nine months or one year duration.

Research projects proposed in response to this FOA will be expected to have a defined impact on the environmental health sciences and address the mission interests of the NIEHS, which is distinguished from that of other Institutes by its focus on research programs seeking to link the effects of environmental exposures to the cause, mechanisms, moderation, or prevention of a human disease or disorder or relevant pathophysiologic process. For purposes of this announcement, all applications must focus on a specific human disease, dysfunction, pathophysiologic condition, or relevant human biologic process and propose to study a specific environmentally relevant toxicant. Examples of environmentally relevant toxicants include industrial chemicals or manufacturing byproducts, metals, pesticides, herbicides, air pollutants and other inhaled toxicants, particulates or fibers, fungal, and bacterial or biologically derived toxins. Agents not considered appropriate for this announcement include, alcohol, chemotherapeutic agents, radiation which is not a result of an ambient environmental exposure, smoking, except when considered as a secondary smoke exposure as a component in the indoor environment (particularly in children), drugs of abuse, pharmaceuticals, and infectious or parasitic agents, except when these are disease co-factors to an environmental toxicant exposure to produce the biological effect. Research on model compounds is not considered responsive. Ecologic, biomonitoring, biotransformation or biodegradation studies are also not considered part of the mission of NIEHS, except when these elements are incidental to the study of the disease endpoint.

Application proposing research projects which fit the NIH definition of patient oriented or clinical research are encouraged. Applications involving animal or in vitro exposures must include a justification of how the exposure paradigm is relevant to human exposure and clearly discuss the link between the exposure and the relevant human disease in the Significance section of the application. In addition, the applicant should discuss the potential for translation of the research, which is defined as applying the ideas, insights, and discoveries generated through the basic inquiry to the treatment or prevention of human disease.

It is hoped that a benefit of this award to the goals of the NIEHS will be the stimulation of innovative, new projects in clinical and translational research in the environmental health sciences. Therefore, investigators who receive support through this FOA will be invited to the NIEHS campus in Research Triangle Park, NC, to present an open seminar on their research results.

See Section VIII, Other Information - Required Federal Citations, for policies related to this announcement.

Section II. Award Information


1. Mechanism of Support

This FOA will use the K18 award mechanism.

The applicant and his/her mentor are jointly responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project and career enhancement activities.

This funding opportunity uses the just-in-time budget concepts. It also uses the non-modular budget format.

The candidate should follow the instructions for budget information described in Section IV (6.F) as well as in PHS 398 Career Development Award Supplemental form Section 7.4.6 of the R&R 424 instructions, and budget justification information.

2. Funds Available

Because the nature and scope of the proposed research will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary.

2.A. Allowable Costs

Salary: Although the NIEHS plans to provide up to $500,000 per year in support for this program, awards pursuant to this funding opportunity are contingent upon the availability of funds and the receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

The total project period for an application submitted in response to this funding opportunity shall be between three and twelve months. All applicants must devote a minimum of 50 percent effort to the environmental health sciences career development and research activities, although a full-time commitment for the three to twelve-month period of time is encouraged. For information regarding NIH policy in determining full-time professional effort for career awards, see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-04-056.html.

The actual salary provided by the award will be prorated based on the applicants full-time, 12-month salary and the support period requested, up to the maximum legislated salary level. This program will provide up to $40,000 in direct costs per year for research development support to cover career enhancement training experiences, such as tuition and fees for short-term courses, consultant fees, travel to scientific meetings, and research related costs, primarily supplies and technical services. The award will also provide fringe benefits on the calculated base salary at the established institutional rate.

The candidates institution may supplement the salary received from the K18 award to a level consistent with the institutions salary scale. Institutional supplementation of salary must not require extra duties or responsibilities that would interfere with the conduct of the K18 program. No PHS funds may be used for supplementation.

Ancillary Personnel Support: Salary for mentors, secretarial and administrative assistance, etc., is not allowed.

Indirect Costs: These costs also known as Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs, will be reimbursed at eight percent (8%) of modified total direct costs.

NIH Grants Policy: NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria

Number of Applications: Applicants may submit only one application per receipt date in response to this FOA, and may accept only one award resulting from applications to this FOA. In addition, the NIH will not accept similar grant applications with essentially the same research focus from the same applicant organization.

Resubmission(s): See new NIH policy on resubmission (amended) applications (NOT-OD-09-003, NOT-OD-09-016).

Renewals: The K18 is not renewable and may not be transferred to another individual. Due to the short-term nature of the award, it may not be transferred to another institution.

Applicants to this program may not concurrently apply for any other PHS award that duplicates the provisions of the award Applicants may not currently be Principal Investigators on any other K series grant award.

Each short term career enhancement program in the environmental health sciences must be tailored to meet the individual needs of the candidate. The candidate and mentor are jointly responsible for the preparation of the career development plan. The sponsoring institution must demonstrate a commitment to provide the environment and resources needed for the candidate to perform the activities included in the career enhancement program that maximize the use of relevant research and educational resources and propose qualified investigators as mentors.

A Resources Format page (PHS 398) for the host laboratory must be included in the application.

Candidates for the K18 award are likely to have been principal investigators on NIH research or career development awards. The research and career development experience proposed in the K18 must be in a fundamentally new field of study or research.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information


Registration:
Appropriate registrations with Grants.gov and eRA Commons must be completed on or before the due date in order to successfully submit an application. Several of the steps of the registration process could take four weeks or more. Therefore, applicants should immediately check with their business official to determine whether their organization/institution is already registered with both Grants.gov and the Commons. All registrations must be complete by the submission deadline for the application to be considered ?on-time? (see 3.C.1 for more information about on-time submission).

To download a SF424 (R&R) Application Package and SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for completing the SF424 (R&R) forms for this FOA, use the Apply for Grant Electronically button in this FOA or link to http://www.grants.gov/Apply/ and follow the directions provided on that Web site.

A one-time registration is required for institutions/organizations at both:

PIs should work with their institutions/organizations to make sure they are registered in the NIH eRA Commons.

Several additional separate actions are required before an applicant can submit an electronic application, as follows:

1) Organizational/Institutional Registration in Grants.gov/Get Registered

2) Organizational/Institutional Registration in the eRA Commons

3) Principal Investigator (PI) Registration in the NIH eRA Commons: Refer to the NIH eRA Commons System (COM) Users Guide.

Both the PI and AOR/SO need separate accounts in the NIH eRA Commons since both are authorized to view the application image.

Several of the steps of the registration process could take four weeks or more. Therefore, applicants should immediately check with their business official to determine whether their organization/institution is already registered in both Grants.gov and the Commons. The NIH will accept electronic applications only from organizations that have completed all necessary registrations.

1. Request Application Information

Applicants must download the SF424 (R&R) application forms and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for this FOA through Grants.gov/Apply.

Note: Only the forms package directly attached to a specific FOA can be used. You will not be able to use any other SF424 (R&R) forms (e.g., sample forms, forms from another FOA), although some of the "Attachment" files may be useable for more than one FOA.

For further assistance, contact GrantsInfo -- Telephone 301-435-0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

Telecommunications for the hearing impaired: TTY: (301) 451-5936

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Prepare all applications using the SF424 (R&R) application forms and in accordance with the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for this FOA through Grants.gov/Apply.

The SF424 (R&R) Application Guide is critical to submitting a complete and accurate application to NIH. Some fields within the SF424 (R&R) application components, although not marked as mandatory, are required by NIH (e.g., the Credential log-in field of the Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile component must contain the PD/PIs assigned eRA Commons User ID). Agency-specific instructions for such fields are clearly identified in the Application Guide. For additional information, see Frequently Asked Questions Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.

The SF424 (R&R) application has several components. Some components are required, others are optional. The forms package associated with this FOA in Grants.gov/APPLY includes all applicable components, required and optional. A completed application in response to this FOA includes the data in the following components:

Required Components:
SF424 (R&R) (Cover component)
Research & Related Project/Performance Site Locations
Research & Related Other Project Information
Research & Related Senior/Key Person
SF424 (R&R) Detailed Budget
PHS398 Cover Letter
PHS398 Cover Page Supplement
PHS398 Career Development Award Supplemental Form
PHS398 Checklist

3. Submission Dates and Times

See Section IV.3.A. for details.

3.A. Submission, Review, and Anticipated Start Dates
Opening Date:January 22, 2009 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)
Application Due Date(s): Standard dates apply, please see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm
AIDS Application Due Date(s): Standard dates apply, please see http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm#AIDS
Peer Review Date(s): Standard dates apply, please see http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm#reviewandaward
Council Review Date(s): Standard dates apply, please see http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm#reviewandaward
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): Standard dates apply, please see http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm#reviewandaward

3.A.1. Letter of Intent

A letter of intent is not required for the funding opportunity.

3.B. Submitting an Application Electronically to the NIH

To submit an application in response to this FOA, applicants should access this FOA via http://www.grants.gov/applicants/apply_for_grants.jsp and follow Steps 1-4. Note: Applications must only be submitted electronically. PAPER APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

3.C. Application Processing

Applications may be submitted on or after the opening date and must be successfully received by Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. local time(of the applicant institution/organization) on the application due date(s). (See Section IV.3.A. for all dates.) If an application is not submitted by the due date(s) and time, the application may be delayed in the review process or not reviewed.

Once an application package has been successfully submitted through Grants.gov, any errors have been addressed, and the assembled application has been created in the eRA Commons, the PD/PI and the Authorized Organization Representative/Signing Official (AOR/SO) have two weekdays (Monday Friday, excluding Federal holidays) to view the application image to determine if any further action is necessary.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the Center for Scientific Review, NIH. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

There will be an acknowledgement of receipt of applications from Grants.gov and the Commons. The submitting AOR/SO receives the Grants.gov acknowledgments. The AOR/SO and the PI receive Commons acknowledgments. Information related to the assignment of an application to a Scientific Review Group is also in the Commons.

Note: Since email can be unreliable, it is the responsibility of the applicant to check periodically on their application status in the Commons.

The NIH will not accept any application in response to this FOA that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial merit review unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. The NIH will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed. However, the NIH will accept a resubmission application, but such application must include an Introduction addressing the critique from the previous review.

4. Intergovernmental Review

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.

Salary support: The salary requested for the candidate must be consistent with both the established salary structure for full-time staff appointments and with salaries actually provided by the sponsoring institution from its own funds to other staff members of equivalent qualifications, rank and responsibilities in the applicant department. The candidate is required to devote between 50% and 100% effort to this career enhancement program for a period of three to twelve months.

Research Development Support: The research development support costs must be justified and be consistent with the project proposed and the proportion of time spent in research and career enhancement activities. Salary for ancillary personnel support, such as mentors, secretarial, and administrative assistants is not allowed.

Pre-Award Costs: Pre-award costs are allowable. A grantee may, at its own risk and without NIH prior approval, incur obligations and expenditures to cover costs up to 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period if such costs: 1) are necessary to conduct the project, and 2) would be allowable under the grant, if awarded, without NIH prior approval. If specific expenditures would otherwise require prior approval, the grantee must obtain NIH approval before incurring the cost. NIH prior approval is required for any costs to be incurred more than 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period.

The incurrence of pre-award costs in anticipation of a competing or non-competing award imposes no obligation on NIH either to make the award or to increase the amount of the approved budget if an award is made for less than the amount anticipated and is inadequate to cover the pre-award costs incurred. NIH expects the grantee to be fully aware that pre-award costs result in borrowing against future support and that such borrowing must not impair the grantee's ability to accomplish the project objectives in the approved time frame or in any way adversely affect the conduct of the project. See NIH Grants Policy Statement http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm.

6. Other Submission Requirements and Information.

All application instructions outlined in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide are to be followed, incorporating "Just-in-Time" information concepts, and with the following additional requirements (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/index.htm):

PI Credential (e.g., Agency Login)

The NIH requires the PI to fill in his/her Commons User ID in the PROFILE Project Director/Principal Investigator section, Credential log-in field of the Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile component.

Organizational DUNS

The applicant organization must include its DUNS number in its Organization Profile in the eRA Commons. This DUNS number must match the DUNS number provided at CCR registration with Grants.gov. For additional information, see Frequently Asked Questions Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.

The following information must be included in the application in accordance with the Supplementary Instructions in the R&R 424 for Research Career Awards (Instructions, Part 7, Section 5).

PHS 398 Career Development Award Supplemental Form Component Sections: The PHS398 Research Plan component must be followed as outlined in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. Items 2-5 (Candidate's Background, Career Goals and Objectives, Career Development/Training Activities During Award Period, and Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research) and Item 11 (Research Strategy) are limited to a combined total of 12 pages.

Appendix Materials

Applicants must follow the specific instructions on Appendix materials as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/index.htm). Do not use the Appendix to circumvent the page limitations. An application that does not comply with the required page limitations may be delayed in the review process.

6.A. Supplementary instructions for K applications are located in the PHS 398 Career Development Award Supplemental form:

PHS 398 Career Development Award Supplemental Form Component Sections: Items 2-5 (Candidate's Background, Career Goals and Objectives, Career Development/Training Activities During Award Period, and Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research) and Item 11 (Research Strategy) are limited to a combined total of 12 pages.

The following information must be included in the application:

Candidate:

Career Enhancement Plan

Research Plan

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

  • Applications must include a plan to obtain instruction in the responsible conduct of research.  
  • This section should document prior instruction in responsible conduct of research during the applicant?s current career stage (including the date of last occurrence) and propose plans to receive instruction in responsible conduct of research
  • Such plans must address five instructional components (format, subject matter, faculty participation, duration of instruction, and frequency of instruction), as outlined and explained in NOT-OD-10-019.
  • The plan may include career stage-appropriate, individualized instruction or independent scholarly activities that will enhance the applicant?s understanding of ethical issues related to their specific research activities and the societal impact of that research.
  • The role of the sponsor/mentor in responsible conduct of research instruction must be described. 
  • Applications lacking a plan for participation or instruction in responsible conduct of research will be considered incomplete and may be delayed in the review process.
  • The background, rationale and more detail about instruction in the responsible conduct of research can be found in NOT-OD-10-019.

Statement(s) by Mentor(s)/Consultant(s)/Collaborator(s)

Environment and Institutional Commitment to the Candidate

Letters of Reference

Letters of reference are not required. However, the mentor should submit a letter outlining his/her support of the application.

Budget for the Entire Proposed Period of Support

6.B. Resource Sharing Plan(s)

NIH considers the sharing of unique research resources developed through NIH-sponsored research an important means to enhance the value and further the advancement of the research. When resources have been developed with NIH funds and the associated research findings published or provided to NIH, it is important that they be made readily available for research purposes to qualified individuals within the scientific community. If the final data/resources are not amenable to sharing, this must be explained in the Resource Sharing section of the application (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing/data_sharing_faqs.htm.)

(a) Data Sharing Plan: Not Applicable.

(b) Sharing Model Organisms: Regardless of the amount requested, all applications in which the development of model organisms is anticipated are expected to include a description of a specific plan for sharing and distributing unique model organisms and related resources, or state appropriate reasons why such sharing is restricted or not possible (see Sharing Model Organisms Policy, and NIH Guide NOT-OD-04-042.)

(c) Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS): Regardless of the amount requested, applicants seeking funding for a genome-wide association study are expected to provide a plan for submission of GWAS data to the NIH-designated GWAS data repository, or provide an appropriate explanation why submission to the repository is not possible. A genome-wide association study is defined as any study of genetic variation across the entire genome that is designed to identify genetic associations with observable traits (e.g., blood pressure or weight) or the presence or absence of a disease or condition. For further information see Policy for Sharing of Data Obtained in NIH Supported or Conducted Genome-Wide Association Studies (NOT-OD-07-088) and http://grants.nih.gov/grants/gwas/.

Section V. Application Review Information


1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process.

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications that are complete will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by NIEHS and in accordance with NIH peer review procedures (http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/peer/), using the review criteria stated below.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications will:

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

Review Criteria

The goals of NIH-supported career development programs are to help insure that diverse pools of highly trained scientists are available in adequate numbers and in appropriate research areas to address the Nations biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs. In the written comments, reviewers will be asked to discuss the following aspects of applications in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed training will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals. Each of these criteria will be addressed and considered in assigning the overall score, weighting them as appropriate for each application:

Overall Impact. Reviewers will provide an overall impact/priority score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the candidate to maintain a strong research program, in consideration of the following five core review criteria, and additional review criteria.  An application does not need to be strong in all categories to have a major impact.

Core Review Criteria. Reviewers will consider each of the five review criteria below in the determination of scientific and technical merit, and give a separate score for each.

Candidate:

Career Enhancement/Development Plan

Research Plan

Mentor/Co-Mentor(s), Consultant(s), and Collaborator(s)

Environment and Institutional Commitment

2.A. Additional Review Criteria

Additional Review Criteria. As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider the following additional items in the determination of scientific and technical merit, but will not give separate scores for these items.

Resubmission Applications: When reviewing a Resubmission application (formerly called an amended application), 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.

Protections for Human Subjects: For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.
For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children: When the proposed project involves clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for inclusion of minorities and members of both genders, as well as the inclusion of children.

Vertebrate Animals: The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following five points: 1) proposed use of the animals, and species, strains, ages, sex, and numbers to be used; 2) justifications for the use of animals and for the appropriateness of the species and numbers proposed; 3) adequacy of veterinary care; 4) procedures for limiting discomfort, distress, pain and injury to that which is unavoidable in the conduct of scientifically sound research including the use of analgesic, anesthetic, and tranquilizing drugs and/or comfortable restraining devices; and 5) methods of euthanasia and reason for selection if not consistent with the AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia.

Biohazards: If materials or procedures are proposed that are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, determine if the proposed protection is adequate.

2.B. Additional Review Considerations

Additional Review Considerations. As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will address 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.

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research: Reviewers will evaluate plans for instruction in responsible conduct of research as well as the past record of instruction in responsible conduct of research, where applicable.  Reviewers will specifically address the five Instructional Components (Format, Subject Matter, and Frequency of instruction as detailed in NOT-OD-10-019.  The review of this consideration will be guided by the principles set forth in NOT-OD-10-019.  Plans and past record will be rated as ACCEPTABLE or UNACCEPTABLE.

Budget and Period of Support: The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the appropriateness of the requested period of support in relation to the proposed research may be assessed by the reviewers. The impact/priority score should not be affected by the evaluation of the budget.

2.C. Resource Sharing Plan(s)

When relevant, reviewers will be instructed to comment on the reasonableness of the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources. However, reviewers will not factor the proposed resource sharing plan(s) into the determination of scientific merit or impact/priority score, unless noted otherwise in the FOA. Program staff within the IC will be responsible for monitoring the resource sharing.

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Not Applicable.

Section VI. Award Administration Information


1. Award Notices

After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD/PI will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written critique) via the NIH eRA Commons.

If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant. For details, applicants may refer to the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General.

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document. Once all administrative and programmatic issues have been resolved, the NoA will be generated via email notification from the awarding component to the grantee business official.

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. See Section IV.5., Funding Restrictions.

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.

The following related administrative policies apply to NIH Research Career Award (K) programs:

A. 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, recipients 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.

B. Other Income: Awardees may retain royalties and fees for activities such as scholarly writing, service on advisory groups, honoraria from other institutions for lectures or seminars, fees resulting from clinical practice, professional consultation or other comparable activities, provided these activities remain incidental, are not required by the research and research-related activities of this award, and provided that the retention of such pay is consistent with the policies and practices of the grantee institution.

All other income and fees, not included in the preceding paragraph as retainable, may not be retained by the career award recipient. Such fees must be assigned to the grantee institution for disposition by any of the following methods:

Usually, funds budgeted in an NIH supported research grant for the salaries or fringe benefits of individuals, but freed as a result of a career award, may not be rebudgeted. 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 a career award must receive prior written approval of the NIH awarding component.

C. Leave Policies: Leave to another institution, including a foreign laboratory, may be permitted if the proposed experience is directly related to the purpose of the award. Only local institutional approval is required if such leave does not exceed 3 months. For longer periods, prior written approval of the NIH funding component is required. Details on the process for submission of prior approval requests can be founds in the NIHGPS (rev. 12/03), Requests for Prior Approval, at http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm#_Toc54600130.

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 NIH component Institute or Center and will be granted only in unusual situations.

Support from other sources is permissible during the period of leave without award support. Such leave does not reduce the total number of months of program support for which an individual is eligible.

D. Percent Effort Policies: Under certain circumstances, an awardee may submit a written request to the awarding component requesting a reduction in professional effort below 75 percent (equivalent to 9 person months). Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis during the award period. In no case will it be permissible to work at less than 50 percent effort (equivalent to 6 person months). The nature of the circumstances requiring a change in the appointment status or percent effort might include personal or family situations such as parental leave, child care, elder care, medical conditions, or a disability. Permission to reduce the level of effort will not be approved to accommodate job opportunities, clinical practice, or clinical training. In each situation, the grantee institution must submit documentation supporting the need for reduced effort along with assurance of a continuing commitment to the scientific development of the awardee. In addition, the awardee must submit assurance of his/her intention to return to at least 75 percent effort as soon as possible. During the period of reduced effort, the salary and other costs supported by the award will be reduced accordingly.

E. Changes in Research or Career Development Program: Consultation with the applicable NIH funding Institute or Center Program staff is strongly encouraged when a change in the approved career development program and/or research plan is being considered.

Individual awards are made for career development in a specific research program. A change in the specified scientific area of the research component of the career development program requires prior approval of the awarding NIH Institute or Center. A scientific rationale must be provided for any proposed changes in the aims of the original peer-reviewed research plan. The new research plan will be evaluated by staff of the awarding IC to ensure that the plan remains within the scope of the original peer-reviewed research program. If the new plan does not satisfy this requirement, staff could recommend that the award be terminated.

In rare cases where a mentor must be replaced, the institution must submit a letter from the proposed mentor and awardee documenting the need for substitution, the new mentor's qualifications for supervising the program, and the level of support for the PD/PIs continued career development. The letter must also document that the specific aims of the research program will remain within the scope of the original peer reviewed research program. Staff within the NIH funding component will review the request and will notify the institution of the results of the evaluation.

F. Change of Institution or Termination: Consultation with the applicable NIH funding Institute or Center program and/or grants management staff is strongly encouraged when either termination or a change of institution is being considered.

A change of grantee institution normally will be permitted only when all of the benefits attributable to the original grant can be transferred, including equipment purchased in whole or in part with grant funds. In reviewing a request to transfer a grant, NIH will consider whether there is a continued need for the grant-supported project or activity and the impact of any proposed changes in the scope of the project. A change may be made without peer review, provided the PD/PI plans no significant change in research and career development objectives and the facilities and resources at the new organization will allow for successful performance of the project. If these conditions or other programmatic or administrative requirements are not met, the NIH awarding office may require peer review or may disapprove the request and, if appropriate, terminate the award.

If the K awardee is moving to another eligible institution, career award support may be continued provided:

When a grantee institution plans to terminate an award, the Grants Management Specialist listed on the Notice of Award (NoA) must be notified in writing at the earliest possible time so that appropriate instructions can be given for termination. The Director of the NIH awarding component may terminate an award upon determination that the purpose or terms of the award are not being fulfilled. In the event an award is terminated, NIH shall notify the grantee institution in writing of this determination, the reasons, the effective date, and the right to appeal the decision.

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Non-Competing Continuation Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

The final progress report for this short-term career development award in the Environmental Health Sciences for Established Investigators should include the following information:

A final progress report, invention statement, and Financial Status Report are required when an award is relinquished when a recipient changes institutions or when an award is terminated.

Section VII. Agency Contacts


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

1. Scientific/Research Contact(s):

Carol Shreffler, Ph.D.
Division of Extramural Research
National Institute of Environmental health Sciences
3rd Floor, Room 3018
530 Davis Drive
Durham, NC 27713
Telephone: (919) 541-1445
Fax: 919-541-5064
Email: shreffl1@niehs.nih.gov

2. Peer Review Contact(s):

Linda K. Bass, Ph.D.
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
3rd Floor, Room 3074
530 Davis Drive
Durham, NC 27713
Telephone: (919) 541-1307
Fax: (919) 541-2503
Email: bass@niehs.nih.gov

3. Financial/Grants Management Contact:

Lisa Edwards
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
3rd Floor, Room 3056
530 Davis Drive
Durham, NC 27713
Telephone: (919) 541-0751
Fax: (301) 451-5334
Email: archer@niehs.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information


Required Federal Citations

Vertebrate Animals:
Recipients of PHS support for activities involving live, vertebrate animals must comply with PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/PHSPolicyLabAnimals.pdf) as mandated by the Health Research Extension Act of 1985 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/hrea1985.htm), and the USDA Animal Welfare Regulations (http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/legislat/usdaleg1.htm) as applicable.

Human Subjects Protection:
Federal regulations (45 CFR 46) require that applications and proposals involving human subjects must be evaluated with reference to the risks to the subjects, the adequacy of protection against these risks, the potential benefits of the research to the subjects and others, and the importance of the knowledge gained or to be gained (http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.htm).

Data and Safety Monitoring Plan:
Data and safety monitoring is required for all types of clinical trials, including physiologic toxicity and dose-finding studies (Phase I); efficacy studies (Phase II); efficacy, effectiveness and comparative trials (Phase III). Monitoring should be commensurate with risk. The establishment of data and safety monitoring boards (DSMBs) is required for multi-site clinical trials involving interventions that entail potential risks to the participants (NIH Policy for Data and Safety Monitoring, NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-084.html).

Sharing Research Data:
Investigators submitting an NIH application seeking $500,000 or more in direct costs in any single year are expected to include a plan for data sharing or state why this is not possible (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing). Investigators should seek guidance from their institutions, on issues related to institutional policies and local institutional review board (IRB) rules, as well as local, State and Federal laws and regulations, including the Privacy Rule. Reviewers will consider the data sharing plan but will not factor the plan into the determination of the scientific merit or the impact/priority score.

Policy for Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS):
NIH is interested in advancing genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to identify common genetic factors that influence health and disease through a centralized GWAS data repository. For the purposes of this policy, a genome-wide association study is defined as any study of genetic variation across the entire human genome that is designed to identify genetic associations with observable traits (such as blood pressure or weight), or the presence or absence of a disease or condition. All applications, regardless of the amount requested, proposing a genome-wide association study are expected to provide a plan for submission of GWAS data to the NIH-designated GWAS data repository, or provide an appropriate explanation why submission to the repository is not possible. Data repository management (submission and access) is governed by the Policy for Sharing of Data Obtained in NIH Supported or Conducted Genome-Wide Association Studies, NIH Guide NOT-OD-07-088. For additional information, see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/gwas/

Sharing of Model Organisms:
NIH is committed to support efforts that encourage sharing of important research resources including the sharing of model organisms for biomedical research (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/model_organism/index.htm). At the same time the NIH recognizes the rights of grantees and contractors to elect and retain title to subject inventions developed with Federal funding pursuant to the Bayh-Dole Act (see the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Beginning October 1, 2004, all investigators submitting an NIH application or contract proposal are expected to include in the application/proposal a description of a specific plan for sharing and distributing unique model organism research resources generated using NIH funding or state why such sharing is restricted or not possible. This will permit other researchers to benefit from the resources developed with public funding. The inclusion of a model organism sharing plan is not subject to a cost threshold in any year and is expected to be included in all applications where the development of model organisms is anticipated.

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 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 funding opportunity 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.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children:
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 "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-001.html); a complete copy of the updated Guidelines is 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 SF424 (R&R) application; 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.

Inclusion of Children as Participants in Clinical Research:
The NIH maintains a policy that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) must be included in all clinical research, conducted or supported by the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them.

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 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/children/children.htm).

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 applications for research involving human subjects and individuals designated as key personnel. The policy is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-039.html.

Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESC):
Criteria for Federal funding of research on hESCs can be found at http://stemcells.nih.gov/index.asp and at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-116.html. Only research using hESC lines that are registered in the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry will be eligible for Federal funding (http://escr.nih.gov/). It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide in the project description and elsewhere in the application as appropriate, 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.

NIH Public Access Policy Requirement:
In accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy, investigators funded by the NIH must submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicines PubMed Central (see http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/), an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication. The NIH Public Access Policy is available at (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-08-033.html). For more information, see the Public Access webpage at http://publicaccess.nih.gov/.

Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information:
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued final modification to the "Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information", the "Privacy Rule", on August 14, 2002. The Privacy Rule is a federal regulation under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 that governs the protection of individually identifiable health information, and is administered and enforced by the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

Decisions about applicability and implementation of the Privacy Rule reside with the researcher and his/her institution. The OCR website (http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/) provides information on the Privacy Rule, including a complete Regulation Text and a set of decision tools on "Am I a covered entity?" Information on the impact of the HIPAA Privacy Rule on NIH processes involving the review, funding, and progress monitoring of grants, cooperative agreements, and research contracts can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-025.html.

URLs in NIH Grant Applications or Appendices:
All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page limitations. For publications listed in the appendix and/or Progress report, Internet addresses (URLs) or PubMed Central (PMC) submission identification numbers must be used for publicly accessible on-line journal articles.Publicly accessible on-line journal articles or PMC articles/manuscripts accepted for publication that are directly relevant to the project may be included only as URLs or PMC submission identification numbers accompanying the full reference in either the Bibliography & References Cited section, the Progress Report Publication List section, or the Biographical Sketch section of the NIH grant application. A URL or PMC submission identification number citation may be repeated in each of these sections as appropriate. There is no limit to the number of URLs or PMC submission identification numbers that can be cited.

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 FOA 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 at http://www.cfda.gov/ and is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372. Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

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.

Loan Repayment Programs:
NIH encourages applications for educational loan repayment from qualified health professionals who have made a commitment to pursue a research career involving clinical, pediatric, contraception, infertility, and health disparities related areas. The LRP is an important component of NIH's efforts to recruit and retain the next generation of researchers by providing the means for developing a research career unfettered by the burden of student loan debt. Note that an NIH grant is not required for eligibility and concurrent career award and LRP applications are encouraged. The periods of career award and LRP award may overlap providing the LRP recipient with the required commitment of time and effort, as LRP awardees must commit at least 50% of their time (at least 20 hours per week based on a 40 hour week) for two years to the research. For further information, please see: http://www.lrp.nih.gov/.


Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices


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