Department of Health and Human Services
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (http://www.nih.gov)
Components of Participating Organizations
NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research (http://neuroscienceblueprint.nih.gov)
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM/NIH), (http://www.nccam.nih.gov)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR/NIH), (http://www.ncrr.nih.gov)
National Eye Institute (NEI/NIH), (http://www.nei.nih.gov)
National Institute on Aging (NIA/NIH), (http://www.nia.nih.gov)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA/NIH), (http://www.niaaa.nih.gov)
National Institute on Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB/NIH), (http://www.nibib.nih.gov)
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD/NIH), (http://www.nichd.nih.gov)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD/NIH), (http://www.nidcd.nih.gov)
National Institute on Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR/NIH), (http://www.nidcr.nih.gov)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA/NIH), (http://www.nida.nih.gov)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS/NIH), (http://www.niehs.nih.gov)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS/NIH), (http://www.nigms.nih.gov)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH.NIH), (http://www.nimh.nih.gov)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS/NIH), (http://www.ninds.nih.gov)
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR/NIH), (http://ninr.nih.gov/ninr)
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), (http://obssr.od.nih.gov)
Title: Training in Computational Neuroscience: From Biology
to Model and Back Again (T90/R90)
This is a reissue of RFA-DA-06-010.
Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:
Request for Applications (RFA) Number: RFA-DA-11-005
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)
93.213, 93.389, 93.867, 93.866, 93.273, 93.286, 93.865, 93.173, 93.121, 93.279, 93.142, 93.859, 93.242, 93.853, 93.361
Release/Posted Date: September 28, 2010
Opening Date: December 13, 2010 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): December 13, 2010
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/Receipt Date(s): January 13, 2011
Peer Review Date(s): February/ March 2011
Council Review Date(s): May 2011
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): July 2011
Additional Information To Be Available Date (Activation Date): Not Applicable
Expiration/Closing Date: January 14, 2011
Due Dates for E.O. 12372
Additional Overview Content
1. Must include a full-time undergraduate research training component that will combine coursework and hands-on laboratory research experience (R90);
2. May include a short-term research education component that may include scientists at all stages of the career continuum as participants (R90);
3. Must include a full-time Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) institutional predoctoral training component (T90);
4. May include a full-time non-NRSA institutional predoctoral training component (R90).
Table of Contents
II. Award Information
1. Mechanism of Support
2. Funds Available
III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants
A. Eligible Institutions
B. Eligible Individuals
2. Cost Sharing or Matching
3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria
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
V. Application Review Information
2. Review and Selection Process
A. Additional Review Criteria
B. Additional Review Considerations
C. Resource Sharing Plan(s)
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates
VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices
2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
VII. Agency Contacts
1. Scientific/Research Contact(s)
2. Peer Review Contact(s)
3. Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)
1. Research Training Objectives
The Neuroscience Blueprint (http://neuroscienceblueprint.nih.gov/) is a collaboration among 16 NIH institutes and centers (http://neuroscienceblueprint.nih.gov/blueprint_basics/member_institutes.htm) that was established to create and support cooperative activities with broad impact in neuroscience. Scientific programs implemented under the Blueprint are intended to accomplish goals that strengthen the neuroscience enterprise and make it more effective, and that also benefit many or all of the individual disciplines within neuroscience. These goals include pooling of resources and expertise, establishing economies of scale, addressing large and complex challenges within neuroscience, and developing tools and infrastructure to serve the entire neuroscience community.
An exciting and difficult challenge in neuroscience is to understand how complex biological systems work, and particularly to understand the computational principles and mechanisms underlying the function of the nervous system in both normal and diseased states. Another challenge lies in interpreting the massive amount and extremely complex experimental data obtained by today’s advanced neuroscience research, which traditional analytical approaches are not sophisticated enough to handle. Computational neuroscience provides a theoretical foundation and set of technological approaches to meet these challenges and offers significant opportunities to investigate and integrate information about nervous system function across a range of scales: parts of cells, networks, whole brain function, and behavior. Two major obstacles have been identified to the training of computational neuroscientists. The first impediment is that individuals trained in the biological and behavioral sciences often do not have adequate background in the quantitative sciences. This education needs to begin as early as possible, ideally at the undergraduate level, and continue through graduate and postdoctoral levels to ensure a good foundation in quantitative science and the ability to adopt new computational theory and methodology as they emerge. Second, students with undergraduate degrees in the quantitative sciences often have little exposure to the exciting questions and experimental methods in the neurosciences to which their training would be highly relevant. A research education and research training program that begins early and exposes students to a wide range of neuroscience questions, methods, and experimental systems would help to overcome this second obstacle.
The goals of NIH supported research training and research education programs are to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in adequate numbers and in appropriate scientific areas to address the Nation’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs.
The purpose of this FOA is to establish new research education and research training programs in computational neuroscience, and to support the continuation of meritorious existing programs, for undergraduate and predoctoral level students. In addition, applicants may propose to develop a short course or summer courses that could be open to scientists at any stage of the career continuum from the grantee institution as well as other institutions. It is intended that programs will provide research education and research training in both experimental neuroscience and in the theories and principles of the physical, computer, mathematical, or engineering sciences that are necessary to develop models, test them experimentally, and use experimental data to refine the models of normal or disordered neural systems or processes. Programs are further expected to stimulate interactions among training faculty from multiple disciplines and departments and to foster development of an integrated curriculum in computational neuroscience at the applicant institution.
Applications will be accepted for programs that propose only the undergraduate and predoctoral research training components, or for programs that also include a short-term research education component. Applicants will submit a single unified grant application and if selected for funding, two separate awards will be issued. One will support the research education program (undergraduate research training, short courses, and non-NRSA eligible predoctoral students) as an R90 award, and the other will support a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award institutional predoctoral training program as a T90 award, based on distinct research and research training related funding authorities.
Research Education Program (R90)
The Research Education Program should include novel methods and approaches for providing integrated and flexible undergraduate research training and research education opportunities that are broad enough in scope to educate and train those interested in careers in computational neuroscience.
Undergraduate Research Training Component (R90)
Training in computational neuroscience at the undergraduate level is optimal for establishing a “pipeline” of computational neuroscientists by attracting students in the quantitative sciences to apply these disciplines to neuroscience research questions early in their careers, and conversely, for undergraduates in the biological or behavioral sciences to acquire sufficient education in the quantitative sciences to pursue research using computational neuroscience methods. These programs would allow institutions, including four-year colleges without graduate programs, to establish extramurally-funded research training programs in computational neuroscience. A typical program would have six upper-level undergraduates supported as full-time participants for a two-year program.
Short-term Research Education Component (R90) [optional]
A short-term research education component, if proposed, would develop and implement a summer/short course, workshop or other educational program in computational neuroscience and/or in the application of computational algorithms to experimental neuroscience. Such programs could be offered to a broad audience (undergraduate and predoctoral students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty), with enrollment not limited to the grantee institution, or they could target undergraduate students from multiple institutions, or have a regional focus by, for example, enrolling students and faculty from non-research intensive, local-area institutions. Short-term educational programs should be designed to maximize the exposure of participants with backgrounds in neuroscience to computational principles, and/or the exposure of participants with backgrounds in the physical, mathematical, computational and engineering sciences to neuroscience research questions and methodology.
Predoctoral Research Training Program (T90/R90)
The predoctoral research training component must include an institutional predoctoral program for full-time research training to support graduate students enrolled in a relevant doctoral degree program. The predoctoral research training component must include NRSA eligible trainees (in the T90 award) and may also include non-NRSA eligible predoctoral participants (students) as part of the R90 award (see Section III for eligibility). Programs are limited to a total of six predoctoral students, with a maximum of two non-NRSA eligible predoctoral participants. Trainees must have the opportunity to carry out supervised research training in computational neuroscience. The primary objective of this program must be to develop the students’ research skills and knowledge in preparation for a research career in computational neuroscience. Trainees must commit full-time effort, normally defined as 40 hours per week, or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies, to the program and its related research activities.
Special Program Objectives and Considerations: Within the framework of the NIH’s longstanding commitment to excellence and projected need for investigators in particular areas of research, attention must be given to recruiting trainees from racial or ethnic groups underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral and clinical sciences, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds (see Section IV).
Another consideration relates to the duration of training and the transition of trainees to individual support mechanisms. The Training PD/PI should limit appointments to individuals who are committed to a career in research. The PD/PI should also encourage and provide training in the skills necessary for trainees to apply for subsequent support through individual fellowships, mentored career development award (K) programs, independent research project grants, or other non-NIH support.
VIII, Other Information - Required Federal Citations, for policies related to this announcement.
Section II. Award Information
Mechanism of Support
This initiative takes advantage of two distinct grant mechanisms: research education and research training. “Research Education” refers to non-NRSA components (the required undergraduate program, the optional short-term research education opportunities, and the optional non-NRSA predoctoral training) and utilizes the R90 mechanism. “Research Training” refers to the Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA predoctoral component and utilizes the T90 mechanism. These are administrative distinctions only; they are not conceptually distinct components. All undergraduate and predoctoral participants will be referred to as “students,” or “student participants” except in sections that apply only to NRSA “trainees.” Individuals enrolled in the short-term research education component will be referred to as “participants.” For more detail on NRSA and non-NRSA eligibility, please see Section III. Eligibility Information.
Applicants will submit a single, unified T90 grant application for the Training in Computational Neuroscience program, and if selected for funding, two separate awards will be issued: a T90 (Research Training award) and an R90 (Research Education award), based on distinct research training and education, and related funding authorities. Awards may be made for periods up to 5 years and are not renewable. The NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research does not expect to reissue this FOA.
The PD/PI(s) will be solely responsible for planning, directing,
and executing the proposed research training program.
This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) uses just-in-time concepts. It also uses the non-modular budget format. A detailed categorical budget for the "Initial Budget Period" and the "Entire Proposed Period of Support" is to be submitted with the application. All applications must include the Research & Related Budget form pages for the R90 research education components (undergraduate program and optional short-term education and non-NRSA predoctoral programs), as described in Section 4.7 of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for NIH and Other PHS Agencies. For the NRSA predoctoral program component, applications must follow the budget Instructions for preparing an NRSA institutional research training application described in Section IV, including the PHS 398 Training Budget pages, the PHS 398 Subaward Budget Attachment(s) Form (when applicable) and the PHS Research Training Program Plan. Detailed instructions for completion of the application and Research Training related forms are in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for NIH and Other PHS Agencies, Section 8.
2. Funds Available
Because the nature and scope of the proposed research education and research training program will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary. Although the financial plans of the Neuroscience Blueprint provide 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 Neuroscience Blueprint does not anticipate continuation of this program beyond this second five year period.
2.A. Allowable Costs
Allowable costs must be consistent with NIH policy and be reasonable, allocable, well documented and fully justified for the program proposed in the application. Grant funds may not be used to supplant funds otherwise available at the applicant institution.
Allowable costs differ for the different components of programs submitted in response to this FOA. Therefore overall costs and budget categories will differ depending on which optional program components are requested.
RESEARCH EDUCATION PROGRAM (R90)
Allowable costs for all R90 components combined
Individuals participating in the design and implementation of the research education program may request salary and fringe benefits appropriate for the percent of effort devoted to the program. Salaries requested may not exceed the levels commensurate with the institution's policy for similar positions and may not exceed the congressionally mandated cap. (If mentoring interactions and other activities with students are considered a regular part of an individual's academic duties, then mentoring and other activities with students are non-reimbursable from grant funds). Limited administrative and clerical salary costs associated distinctly with the program that are not normally provided by the applicant organization may be direct charges to the grant only when specifically identified, reasonable and justified. All personnel costs (including the Program Director, faculty leadership team and administrative and clerical costs) associated with directing, coordinating, and administering the program should not exceed 10% of the total direct cost of the R90 budget.
2. Other Program-Related Expenses
Consultant costs, equipment, supplies, travel, and other program-related expenses must be justified as specifically required by the proposed research education program and must not duplicate items generally available at the applicant institution.
3. Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Allowance
F&A costs for the applicant organization and consortium participants will be reimbursed at 8 percent of modified total direct costs, or at the actual F&A cost rate, whichever is less.
Allowable Costs for Specific Components of the Research Education Program
A. Undergraduate Research Training Component (R90)
1. Undergraduate Student (Participant) Support Costs
Compensation to help defray expenses during the research training experience will be awarded to each full-time upper level (junior or senior) undergraduate participant. Each student may receive compensation, comparable to their experience, not exceeding $11,172 (or $931 per month). In addition, up to $1,500 per year may be requested for each undergraduate student trainee for research-related expenses, including up to $750 for travel to seminars, workshops, etc. directly related to the computational neuroscience program.
B. Short-term Research Education Component (R90)
1. Short-term or Summer Course Costs
For new programs, up to $50,000 may be requested in year 1 for development of the course(s) and up to $150,000 for implementation in each year thereafter, including funds to defray the cost of attendance and enrollment of course participants from outside the grantee institution (see next item) and for planned dissemination costs. It is expected that the grantee organization will contribute in-kind costs associated with these programs, such as classroom or laboratory space; the applicant must identify and describe planned contributions in the application; the application should include a letter from the grantee institutional official confirming availability of such resources.
2. Short-term Participant Support Costs
Because this is an educational program, non-US citizens may participate in short-term research education programs. However, unless strongly justified on the basis of exceptional relevance to the objectives of this Funding Opportunity Announcement, the research education program component should be used primarily for the education of US citizens. Participants in short-term education programs may receive a subsistence allowance, including partial costs of meals and lodging unless such costs are furnished as part of the registration fee. Participants may also receive funds to defray partial tuition, other education-related, and travel expenses. Expenses for foreign travel must be exceptionally well justified. Funds will not be provided for fringe benefits or health insurance for participants in any research education program. Individuals supported by NIH training and career development mechanisms (K, T, or F awards) may receive, and indeed are encouraged to receive, educational experiences supported by the program, as participants, but may not receive salary or stipend supplementation from this program.
Predoctoral Research Training Program (T90/R90)
The predoctoral training program is limited to a total of 6 students per year. If an application is requesting a non-NRSA predoctoral component (R90), then the ratio of NRSA to non-NRSA students should be at least 2:1 (e.g. 4 NRSA and 2 non-NRSA trainees). New programs may wish to gradually ramp up their number of students, and might propose, e.g., 2 NRSA and 1 non-NRSA student for the first and second years of the program.
A. NRSA Institutional Predoctoral Training Component (T90)
Grantees are expected to be familiar with and comply with applicable cost policies and the NRSA Guidelines (NIH Grants Policy Statement - Institutional Research Training Grants). Funds may be used only for those expenses that are directly related to and necessary for the research training not otherwise available and must be expended in conformance with OMB Cost Principles, the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) website.
2. Tuition and Fees
Applicants should request full needs for tuition and fees. The appropriate formula will be applied by offsetting the combined costs of requested tuition and fees at the rate in place at the time of the award. The rate currently provides 60% of the level requested by the applicant institution, up to $16,000 per year per predoctoral trainee. For the most recent tuition and fees levels see the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) website.
3. Trainee Travel
Trainee travel to attend scientific meetings and workshops that the institution determines to be necessary for the individual’s research training experience is an allowable trainee expense. Funds may not be expended to cover the costs of travel between the trainee’s place of residence and the training institution, except that the grantee organization may authorize a one-way travel allowance in an individual case of extreme hardship. This FOA will allow up to $750 annually for travel to meetings and workshops for each pre-doctoral trainee. Trainees must be appointed to this training program at the time of actual travel for this to be an allowable cost.
4. Training Related Expenses, including Health Insurance (TRE)
The applicant institution may request the NIH standard NRSA Training Related Expenses to help defray other research training expenses, such as health insurance (self-only or family, as applicable), staff salaries, consultant costs, equipment, research supplies, and faculty/staff travel directly related to the research training program. Health insurance is an allowable expense that may be charged to the Training Related Expenses budget category but only to the extent that the same health insurance fees are charged to non-Federally-supported students and postdoctoral individuals. Funds are provided as a lump sum on the basis of the predetermined amount per predoctoral and postdoctoral trainee approved for support. For the most recent training related expenses levels see the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) website.
Under exceptional circumstances, which can include accommodating the disabilities of a trainee, it is possible to request training related expenses above the standard level. Requests for additional costs must be explained in detail and justified in the application. Consultation with NIH program staff in advance of such requests is strongly advised (see Section VII).
5. Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Allowance
A facilities and administrative allowance (indirect cost allowance) based on a maximum of 8 percent of total modified direct costs (this excludes amounts for tuition, fees, health insurance, and equipment) may be requested. See NRSA Policy Guidelines on the NIH Web site at: http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm
6. Stipend Supplementation, Compensation, and Other Income
The grantee institution is allowed to provide funds to an individual in addition to the stipends paid by the NIH. Such additional amounts either may be in the form of augmented stipends (supplementation) or in the form of compensation, such as salary or tuition remission for services such as teaching or serving as a laboratory assistant, provided the conditions described below are met. Under no circumstances may the conditions of stipend supplementation or the services provided for compensation interfere with, detract from, or prolong the trainee's approved NRSA training program.
A full description of the NIH policy regarding NRSA supplementation and compensation can be found in the NIH Grants Policy Statement at: NIH Grants Policy Statement - Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards.
Educational Loans or G.I. Bill: An individual may make use of Federal educational loan funds and assistance under the Veterans Readjustment Benefits Act (G.I. Bill). Such funds are not considered supplementation or compensation.
B. Non-NRSA Institutional Pre-doctoral Training Component (R90)
The non-NRSA component will support research training experiences for predoctoral students (participants) who are neither U.S. citizens nor permanent U.S. residents. See Section III for eligibility. The funding authority directs that the funding be considered as part of the research education program (R90). Trainees are normally selected by a Program Director for 12-month appointment periods.
Predoctoral Participant Support Costs: Non-NRSA predoctoral students may be compensated following the NIH policy of Graduate Student Compensation. The amount provided for compensation includes salaries or wages, fringe benefits and tuition remission. See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-017.html for further guidance about compensation of graduate students on research grants. Additionally, for each student, annual amounts of up to $2,500 may be requested for other education-related expenses and up to $750 for foreign or domestic travel to seminars, workshops, research sites, etc. directly related to the program.
Under exceptional circumstances, requests for additional student support costs must be explained in detail and strongly justified in the application. Consultation with NIH program staff in advance of such requests is strongly advised.
The following organizations/institutions are eligible to apply:
Foreign institutions are not eligible to apply as the applicant organization or as a consortium organization.
A single institution may lack strengths in all areas needed to mount an integrated research training and research education program. This funding opportunity allows the participation of multiple sites. When multiple sites are involved, the applicant institution must be the primary site for the program. The need for multiple sites must be justified, and the application must include the Facilities and Other Resources information for each site.
An eligible institution (e.g. a university) may submit only a single application in response to this funding opportunity. For the purposes of this FOA, components of a large or multi-component organization that are sufficiently independent to constitute, in effect, separate organizations are considered separate institutions. For example, the multiple campuses of the University of California system are considered separate institutions. However, the medical school, engineering school, or dental school, etc., of a university, even if on different campuses, constitute a single institution. Multiple applications from different divisions, faculties, schools, centers, etc. at the same institution will not be reviewed.
The applicant institution must have strong research and graduate training programs in the neurosciences. Applicant institutions applying to establish a new program with a currently active federally funded research training grant (e.g., an NIH T32 or T90, or an NSF IGERT award) in computational neuroscience or one that includes a significant computational neuroscience component, or with an active research education grant (e.g., R25) that supports a short course or workshop in this area, are eligible to apply in response to this funding opportunity only if the new application significantly and substantively expands upon the current program(s). For example, applicant institutions with an active R25 research education grant would be eligible to apply for the undergraduate and predoctoral research training components. In the application, applicants should address any real or apparent overlap with existing sources of support for research training or research education in the area of computational neuroscience.
1.B. Eligible Individuals
Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the PD/PI is invited to work with his/her institution to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH program support.
The PD/PI will be responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed interdisciplinary research training and research education program. This individual should be an established researcher with acknowledged accomplishments in computational neuroscience research and training, and should be capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed integrated program. The PD/PI will be responsible for the selection will be responsible for the selection of trainees and participants into the research education and training program components and the submission of all required forms.
More than one PD/PI, or multiple PDs/PIs, may be designated on the application for a multi-site training program. However, only one PD/PI may be designated at each site. Additional information on the implementation plans, policies and procedures to formally allow more than one PD/PI on individual research projects is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/multi_pi. All PDs/PIs must be registered in the NIH eRA Commons prior to the submission of the application (see http://era.nih.gov/ElectronicReceipt/preparing.htm for instructions).
The decision of whether to apply for a grant with a single PD/PI or multiple PDs/PIs is the responsibility of the investigators and applicant organizations, and should be determined by the scientific goals of the project. Applications for grants with multiple PDs/PIs will require additional information, as outlined in the instructions below. When considering multiple PDs/PIs, please be aware that the structure and governance of the PD/PI leadership team as well as the knowledge, skills and experience of the individual PDs/PIs will be factored into the assessment of the overall scientific merit of the application. Multiple PDs/PIs on a project share the authority and responsibility for leading and directing the project, intellectually and logistically. Each PD/PI is responsible and accountable to the grantee organization, or, as appropriate, to a collaborating organization, for the proper conduct of the project or program, including the submission of required reports. For further information on multiple PDs/PIs, please see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/multi_pi.
A faculty leadership team may facilitate the development of the proposed program and help increase involvement of faculty with diverse expertise in this effort. The members of the faculty leadership team are together likely to provide the breadth of expertise and leadership needed to develop and implement the proposed training and education programs. For example, the leadership team might consist of a basic neuroscientist, a physical or chemical scientist, and a computer scientist who each contribute their respective expertise to the proposed interdisciplinary program. Each member of the faculty leadership team must be willing to commit a minimum of 5% of his/her full-time professional effort to the development and implementation of the program for the entire period of the award. Personnel costs for the faculty leadership team, including the Program Director, are limited to 10% of the total direct costs of the overall program budget.
2. Cost Sharing or Matching
Cost sharing is not required.
3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria
Applications must follow the supplementary instructions provided in Section IV.6.
The intent of this funding opportunity is to foster the development of creative research training programs in computational neuroscience for undergraduate and predoctoral students. In addition, through the support of short courses, this funding opportunity is intended to enhance research education in computational neuroscience across the career continuum.
To be considered responsive to this FOA, new applications from institutions with currently active training program (e.g., T32 or T90) or research education program (e.g. R25) in computational neuroscience, or with a significant computational neuroscience component, must significantly and substantially expand upon and address any real or apparent overlap with existing programs.
Because this funding opportunity only supports undergraduate and predoctoral students as trainees, applications requesting support for postdoctoral trainees in the training program component will be deemed unresponsive and will not be reviewed. Postdoctoral fellows are, however, eligible to participate in summer or short-courses as part of the R90 award, if proposed.
Applications lacking a dissemination plan, an evaluation and tracking plan, plans for an external advisory committee, or a description of institutional commitment to the program will not be reviewed.
Number of Applications: Applicants may submit only one application in response to this funding opportunity. Multiple applications from different divisions, faculties, schools, centers, etc. at the same institution will not be reviewed.
Resubmissions: Resubmission applications are not permitted in response to this FOA.
Renewals: Renewal applications from current grantees funded under RFA-DA-06-010 will be accepted.
Research Education Program (R90)
Undergraduate Research Training Component
Any full-time upper level (junior or senior) undergraduate student enrolled at the grantee institution is eligible to be appointed as a participant in this component. The objective of this component is for students to become educated in both the neurobiological/behavioral sciences, and in one or more of the quantitative sciences, to prepare them for careers in computational neuroscience research. In addition, it is essential that students appointed as participants in this component gain hands-on experience with both neuroscience and computational methodology; thus students appointed to this component must have the opportunity to carry out supervised research in computational neuroscience. Students must be able to commit 20 hours per week to the program and its related research activities, which can include coursework necessary to complete their major. Students may participate for a maximum of two years. Students may be appointed during the summer before their junior year or during the summer after their senior year.
Short-term Research Education Component
The short-term research education component may be proposed to include participants at any stage of the career continuum (undergraduate student, medical/graduate student, postdoctoral fellow, medical resident, and/or independent scientist). Because this is an educational program, non-US citizens may participate in this program. However, unless strongly justified on the basis of exceptional relevance to the objectives of the Funding Opportunity Announcement, the research education program component should be used primarily for the education of US citizens. Such justification would, for example, apply to the non-NRSA trainees appointed to the institution’s predoctoral research training program component.
Pre-doctoral Research Training Program (T90/R90)
Students appointed to the predoctoral training program must have the opportunity to carry out supervised research in computational neuroscience. The primary objective should be to develop students’ research skills and knowledge in preparation for a research career in computational neuroscience. Participants must be able to commit full-time effort to the program and its related research activities.
This funding opportunity will permit the appointment of both NRSA-eligible and non-NRSA eligible pre-doctoral students. However, due to funding authority limitations, non-NRSA eligible students are included as part of the Research Education component, not subject to the NRSA policies. No more than one Non-NSRA eligible individual may be appointed to the training program for every two NRSA trainees.
Students are appointed for full-time, 12-month continuous periods. No trainee may be appointed for less than nine months during the initial period of appointment except with prior approval of the NIH program staff. All trainees are required to pursue their research training on a full-time basis, normally defined as 40 hours per week.
NRSA Institutional Pre-doctoral Training Component (T90)
At the time of appointment to the training program, individuals selected to participate in the training program must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States, or have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence and have in their possession an Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-151 or I-551) or other legal verification of admission for permanent residence. Non-citizen nationals are persons born in lands that are not States but are under U.S. sovereignty, jurisdiction, or administration (e.g., American Samoa). Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible for NRSA support. In addition, trainees must be able to commit full-time effort in the program at the time of appointment.
Pre-doctoral trainees must have received a baccalaureate degree by the beginning date of their NRSA appointment, and must be training at a post-baccalaureate level and enrolled in a program leading to a Ph.D. in a research doctoral degree program, or a combined clinical degree and Ph.D., such as M.D./Ph.D. NRSA traineeships are not provided for study leading to a M.D., D.O., D.D.S., or other similar professional clinical degree, or master's clinical degree..
Individuals currently supported by other Federal funds are not eligible for concurrent trainee support from this program.
An individual trainee may receive no more than five years of NRSA support in the aggregate at the pre-doctoral level, including any combination of support from institutional training grants (T32s) and individual fellowship awards (Fs) . Any exception to the maximum period of support requires a waiver from the NIH awarding component based on a review of the written justification from the individual trainee, and endorsed by the PD/PI and the sponsoring grantee institution. Trainees seeking additional support are strongly advised to consult with the NIH awarding.
Additional information may be obtained in the NRSA Guidelines at: http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm#_Toc54600187.
Non-NRSA Institutional Pre-doctoral Training Component (R90)
Individuals selected as non-NRSA pre-doctoral participants in this component should satisfy all of the conditions for NRSA trainees, except for those pertaining to citizenship.
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.
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).
A one-time registration is required for institutions/organizations at both:
PDs/PIs should work with their institutions/organizations to make sure they are registered in the 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
3) Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) Registration in the NIH eRA Commons: Refer to the NIH eRA Commons System (COM) Users Guide.
Both the PD/PI(s) and AOR/SO need separate accounts in the NIH eRA Commons since both are authorized to view the application image.
Note: The registration process is not sequential. Applicants should begin the registration processes for both Grants.gov and eRA Commons as soon as their organization has obtained a DUNS number. Only one DUNS number is required and the same DUNS number must be referenced when completing Grants.gov registration, eRA Commons registration and the SF424 (R&R) forms.
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.
further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone (301) 435-0714,
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 for this FOA through Grants.gov/Apply and in accordance with the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/index.htm).
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/PI’s 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:
SF424 (R&R) (Cover component)
Research & Related Project/Performance Site Locations
Research & Related Other Project Information
Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded)
PHS 398 Training Budget Pages
PHS 398 Research Training Program Plan
PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement
SF424 (R&R) Detailed Budget (R90 Component)
PHS398 Cover Letter
Training Subaward Budget Attachment(s) Form (when applicable)
Research and Related Subaward Budget Attachment(s) Form (when applicable)
Applications with Multiple PDs/PIs
When multiple PDs/PIs are proposed, NIH requires one PD/PI to be designated as the "Contact” PI, who will be responsible for all communication between the PDs/PIs and the NIH, for assembling the application materials outlined below, and for coordinating progress reports for the project. The contact PD/PI must meet all eligibility requirements for PD/PI status in the same way as other PDs/PIs, but has no other special roles or responsibilities within the project team beyond those mentioned above.
Information for the Contact PD/PI should be entered on the SF424(R&R) Cover component. All other PDs/PIs should be listed in the Research & Related Senior/Key Person component and assigned the project role of “PD/PI.” Please remember that all PDs/PIs must be registered in the eRA Commons prior to application submission. The Commons ID of each PD/PI must be included in the “Credential” field of the Research & Related Senior/Key Person component. Failure to include this data field will cause the application to be rejected.
Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan: For applications designating multiple PDs/PIs, the section of the Research Training Program Plan entitled, “Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan,” must be included. A rationale for choosing a multiple PD/PI approach should be described. The governance and organizational structure of the leadership team and the research training program should be described, and should include communication plans, process for making decisions on scientific direction, and procedures for resolving conflicts. The roles and administrative, technical, and scientific responsibilities for the project or program should be delineated for the PDs/PIs and other collaborators. A single Contact PD/PI must be designated for the purpose of communicating with the NIH, although other individuals may contact the NIH on behalf of the Contact PD/PI when necessary.
If budget allocation is planned, the distribution of resources to specific components of the program or the individual PDs/PIs should be delineated in the Leadership Plan. In the event of an award, the requested allocations may be reflected in a footnote on the Notice of Award (NoA).
Application Involving Multiple Institutions
When multiple institutions are involved, one institution must be designated as the prime institution, and funding for the other institutions(s) must be requested via a subcontract to be administered by the prime institution. When submitting a detailed budget, the prime institution should submit its budget using the Research & Related Budget component. All other institutions should have their individual budgets attached separately to the Research & Related Budget Sub-award Budget Attachments(s) Form. See Section 4.8 of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for further instruction regarding the use of the sub-award budget form.
Submission Dates and Times
See Section IV.3A for details.
Application Due, Review and Anticipated Start Dates
Opening Date: December 13, 2010 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date(s): December 13, 2010
Application Due Date(s): January 13, 2011
Peer Review Date(s): February/March 2011
Council Review Date(s): May 2011
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): July 2011
3.A.1. Letter of Intent
Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:
Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows IC staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.
The letter of intent is to be sent by the date listed in Section IV.3.A.
The letter of intent should be sent to: NIDALetterofIntent@mail.nih.gov.
Applicants are encouraged to send the letter of intent by email to the
email address above but as an alternative the letter may also be sent to:
Director - DA-11-005
Office of Extramural Affairs
National Institute on Drug Abuse/NIH/DHHS
6001 Executive Boulevard, Suite 4243
Bethesda, MD 20892-8401
Rockville, MD 20852 (for express/courier service)
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/Apply and follow steps 1-4. Note: Applications must only be submitted electronically. PAPER APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. All attachments must be provided to NIH in PDF format, filenames must be included with no spaces or special characters, and a .pdf extension must be used.
3.C.1 Submitting On-Time
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. (See Section IV.3.A. for all dates.) If an application is not submitted by the due date and time, the application may be delayed in the review process or not reviewed.
All applications must meet the following criteria to be considered “on-time”:
Please visit http://era.nih.gov/electronicReceipt/app_help.htm for detailed information on what to do if Grants.gov or eRA system issues threaten your ability to submit on time.
Submission to Grants.gov is not the last step -- applicants must follow their application through to the eRA Commons to check for errors and warnings and view their assembled application!
3.C.2 Two Day Window to Correct eRA Identified Errors/Warnings
IMPORTANT NOTE! NIH has eliminated the error correction window for due dates of January 25, 2011 and beyond. As of January 25, all corrections must be complete by the due date for an application to be considered on-time. See NOT-OD-10-123.
Once an application package has been successfully submitted through Grants.gov, NIH provides applicants a two day error correction window to correct any eRA identified errors or warnings before a final assembled application is created in the eRA Commons. The standard error correction window is two (2) business days, beginning the day after the submission deadline and excluding weekends and standard federal holidays. All errors must be corrected to successfully complete the submission process. Warnings will not prevent the application from completing the submission process.
Please note that the following caveats apply:
3.C.3 Viewing an Application in the eRA Commons
Once any eRA identified 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 assembled application before it automatically moves forward to NIH for further processing.
Upon receipt, application will be evaluated for completeness by the CSR and responsiveness by the IC. Incomplete and/or non-responsive 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 periodically check application status in the Commons.
The NIH will not accept any application in response to this funding opportunity that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. However, when a previously unfunded application, originally submitted as an investigator-initiated application, is to be submitted in response to a funding opportunity, it is to be prepared as a NEW application. That is, the application for the funding opportunity must not include an “Introduction” describing the changes and improvements made, and the text must not be marked to indicate the changes from the previous unfunded version of the application.
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. The Grants Policy Statement can be found at Grants Policy and Guidance.
The National Research Service Award (NRSA) policies apply to this program, except for the R90 components. Awards are contingent upon availability of funds. Furthermore, the duration of the award and the number of funded training positions may be less than the levels recommended by the peer review group, based on programmatic and budgetary considerations.
Funds for continuation support beyond the initial year are determined by the success as described in the annual progress report, the timely submission of required forms, and the availability of funds for continuation programs.
Pre-Award Costs: Pre-Award Costs are allowable only for the R90 program components. Pre-award costs are not allowable charges for stipends or tuition/fees on the T90 components of institutional training grants since these costs may not be charged to the grant until a trainee has actually been appointed and the appropriate paperwork submitted to the NIH awarding component. However, the policies governing the pre-award cost authority for the expenditure of the other funds provided as training-related expense in a training grant are those permitted as follows:
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 of a new or renewal award 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 of a new or renewal award.
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.
T90/R90 Rebudgeting: Funds awarded for the T90 and R90 award must be kept separate; therefore, rebudgeting between the T90 and R90 award is not allowable during a single award year. Future year funding for both the T90 and R90 award may be adjusted, up or down, based upon the submitted Grant Progress Report budget pages. Future year funding adjustments will only be made within the approved total cost commitments for each year of the T90 and R90 awards and will not exceed the combined total costs for these awards.
Concurrent Awards: An NRSA or R90 appointment may not be held concurrently with another federally sponsored fellowship, traineeship, or similar Federal award that provides a stipend or otherwise duplicates provisions of the NRSA.
Taxability of Stipends: Section 117 of the Internal Revenue Code applies to the tax treatment of scholarships and fellowships. Degree candidates may exclude from gross income (for tax purposes) any amount used for course tuition and related expenses, such as fees, books, supplies, and equipment, required for courses of instruction at a qualified educational organization. Nondegree candidates are required to report as gross income any monies paid on their behalf for stipends or any course tuition and fees required for attendance.
The taxability of stipends in no way alters the relationship between Kirschstein-NRSA trainees and grantee organizations. Kirschstein-NRSA stipends are not considered salaries. In addition, trainees supported under Kirschstein-NRSA institutional research training grants are not considered to be in an employee-employer relationship with NIH or the grantee organization solely as a result of the Kirschstein-NRSA support. Interpretation and implementation of the tax laws are the domain of the IRS and the courts. NIH takes no position on what the status may be for a particular taxpayer, and it does not have the authority to dispense tax advice. Individuals should consult their local IRS office about the applicability of the law to their situation and for information on their tax obligations.
Service Payback: As specified in the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, Kirschstein-NRSA recipients incur a service payback obligation for the first 12 months of postdoctoral support. Additionally, the Act specifies that the second year of postdoctoral Kirschstein-NRSA training support will serve to pay back a postdoctoral service payback obligation (see Section VI.2, Administrative and National Policy Requirements, for further details).
Non-NRSA (R90) trainees do not incur a service payback obligation.
PD/PI Credential (e.g., Agency Login)
The NIH requires the PD/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.
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.”
6.A. Special Program Requirements
Applicants to this FOA must follow the PHS398 Research Training Program Plan component instructions as outlined in the SF424 Application Guide, Section 8, “Supplemental Instructions for the Institutional NRSA Application instructions.” All applications must include an undergraduate research training component and an NRSA predoctoral component. Applications must describe how these components, and any optional components, will complement one another.
The SF424 components of the applications should follow the SF424 instructions Sections 8.1-8.6.
IN ADDITION to the general SF424 instructions, following information should be provided:
Research and Related (R&R) Other Project Information Component
Item 7. Project Summary/Abstract: (Do not exceed 1 page): The first sentence should state which R90 and T90 components are being requested. Provide an abstract of the entire application, including the long-term goals and objectives of the program, key elements of the program plan. Include the rationale and design of the program, the planned duration and projected number of trainees and participants in the components being requested.
Item 12. Other Attachments: Advisory Committee: An external advisory committee is required. It will be useful as the research education and research training program is developed, implemented, and refined during the project period and will have a reporting function. Applicants should describe the expertise of persons who will be recruited for the External Advisory Committee and give details about when it will meet and the content of meetings, but should not name its anticipated members.
Resource Sharing Plan(s): Not Applicable.
Include separate T90 and R90 budget sections as described above in the Section II.1.
PHS 398 Research Training Program Plan Component Sections
Page limitations of the Research Training Program Plan component must be followed as outlined in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, Section 8.7, incorporating “Just in Time” information concepts.
The following information should be provided IN ADDITION to that specified in the PHS398 instructions.
Submission Requirements Applicable to All Components Proposed in the Application
Item 2. Background : The first paragraph should describe which R90 and T90 components of this FOA are included in the application. Provide the rationale for the proposed program, relevant background history, and the need for the program proposed. Indicate how the proposed program will foster the research careers of selected individuals. Summarize the activities of the major participating unit(s) and department(s) represented in the proposed program. Include the names and roles of participating faculty members planned to contribute to the program.
Item 3. Program Plan : Include the following sections: Program Administration, Program Faculty, Proposed Training Program, Program Evaluation, Candidates, and Institutional Environment and Commitment to the Program.
Program Administration (Component of Item 3): Describe the acknowledged strengths, leadership and administrative skills, and scientific expertise of the PD/PI. Include active research and the planned strategy to be used to oversee and monitor the program. For applications with multiple PDs/PI(s), address the Leadership Plan and how the combined knowledge, skills and experience of the individual PDs/PIs will enhance the likelihood of success of the program. When a Program Administrator position is planned, a description of the scientific expertise, leadership, and administrative capabilities essential to coordinate a program for developing investigators must be included in the application.
Program Faculty (Component of Item 3): The Program Director and proposed preceptors, as a training faculty, should be able to demonstrate success in research training as determined by the success of former trainees in seeking further career development and in establishing productive scientific careers. Because this funding opportunity requires an undergraduate research training component, success in the research training of undergraduate students should be emphasized. Past training success may be documented by providing evidence of further career advancement of former trainees such as receipt of fellowships, career awards, further training appointments, and similar accomplishments, and/or evidence of a productive scientific career such as success in competing for research grants, receipt of special honors or awards, a record of publications and presentations, receipt of patents, promotion to scientific positions, or other accepted measures of advancement in a scientific career.
Proposed Training (Component of Item 3): The program should provide didactic training as well as laboratory experience, including plans for determining the educational experience and needs of trainees and for monitoring their progress to accomplish the desired goals. The program should develop the students’ skills in understanding research, applying their critical abilities to conduct research, identifying problems in the process of conducting research, raising questions and proposing solutions to resolving problems. Students should be prepared to take to use their research findings as they pursue future research or research education. For undergraduate students, the program should provide instruction and guidance in pursuing research careers in computational neuroscience. For predoctoral students, the program should provide professional development skills and career guidance including instruction and training in grant writing in order to apply successfully for future career development and independent research support. The program should encourage and provide time and guidance for predoctoral trainees to compete for appropriate individual fellowships or other independent predoctoral and/or postdoctoral research training support.
Training Program Evaluation (Component of Item 3): Describe plans to review and determine the effectiveness of each program component for which funding is being requested. These should include plans to obtain feedback from current and former trainees to help identify weaknesses and to provide suggestions for program improvements. Research education programs involve experiments in education that require an evaluation plan in order to determine the degree of success or failure. Benchmarks should be specified and specific plans and procedures must be described to capture, analyze and report outcome measures that would determine the success of the research education program in achieving its objectives and those of the program. The application should provide a prospective evaluation plan for process and outcome measures.
Student Participant and Trainee Candidates (Component of Item 3): Information about trainees (T90) and participants (R90) will vary depending on the program components being requested. Specific instructions are in Submission Requirements for Specific Components of the Application sections below.
Institutional Environment, Commitment, and Resources (Component of Item 3): The sponsoring institution(s) must have strong, high-quality educational and research programs in neuroscience and the quantitative sciences, commensurate with the level of training to be undertaken (i.e. undergraduate only or undergraduate and predoctoral) and must have the requisite staff and facilities to carry out the proposed program. Describe the research infrastructure, facilities, etc., that are available and accessible to this program. This includes the existence of funded laboratories and research space and activities that will meet and sustain the needs of the Program and may include support (financial or otherwise) for curriculum development, support for additional trainees in the program, or any other creative ways to improve and enhance the growth of the integrated program. Provide information establishing the commitment of the applicant institution, the Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI), the Research Administrator, if any, and the faculty mentors to providing developmental experiences that are appropriate for the level of trainees in the program. The application must include a statement from the applicant institution describing the commitment to the planned program..
4. Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity:
NOTE: This description applies to both the NRSA Predoctoral Training Component (T90) AND the Non-NRSA Education Component (R90).
The NIH recognizes a unique and compelling need to
promote diversity in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences
workforce. The NIH expects efforts to diversify the workforce to lead to the
recruitment of the most talented researchers from all groups; to improve the
quality of the educational and training environment; to balance and broaden the
perspective in setting research priorities; to improve the ability to recruit
subjects from diverse backgrounds into clinical research protocols; and to improve
the Nation’s capacity to address and eliminate health disparities.
Accordingly, the NIH continues to encourage institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations and thus to increase the participation of individuals currently underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences such as: individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds that have inhibited their ability to pursue a career in health-related research. Institutions are encouraged to identify candidates who will increase diversity on a national or institutional basis. The NIH is particularly interested in encouraging the recruitment and retention of the following classes of candidates:
A. Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see data at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/showpub.cfm?TopID=2&SubID=27). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: African Americans, Hispanic Americas, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Hawaiian Natives, and natives of the US Pacific Islands. In addition, it is recognized that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting; individuals from racial or ethnic groups that can be convincingly demonstrated to be underrepresented by the grantee institution should be encouraged to participate in this program.
B. Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
C. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who are defined as:
1. Individuals who come from a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds. These thresholds are based on family size; published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census; adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index; and adjusted by the Secretary for use in all health professions programs. The Secretary periodically publishes these income levels at HHS - Poverty Guidelines, Research, and Measurement. For individuals from low income backgrounds, the institution must be able to demonstrate that such participants have qualified for Federal disadvantaged assistance or they have received any of the following student loans: Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL), Loans for Disadvantaged Student Program, or they have received scholarships from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Scholarship for Individuals with Exceptional Financial Need.
2. Individuals who come from a social, cultural, or educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments that have demonstrably and recently directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career.
Recruitment and retention plans related to a disadvantaged background (C1 and C2) are most applicable to high school and perhaps to undergraduate candidates, but would be more difficult to justify for individuals beyond that level of academic achievement. Under extraordinary circumstances the PHS may, at its discretion, consider an individual beyond the undergraduate level to be from a disadvantaged background. Such decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, based on appropriate documentation.
New applications must include a description of plans to enhance recruitment of a diverse trainee pool and may wish to include data in support of past accomplishments. Renewal applications and non-competing applications must include a detailed account of experiences in recruiting individuals from underrepresented groups during the previous funding period. Information must be included on successful and unsuccessful recruitment strategies including aggregate information on the distribution of:
For those trainees who were enrolled in the training program, the report should include information about the duration of research training and whether those trainees finished their training in good standing. Additional information is available at the Frequently Asked Questions on the Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity (Diversity FAQs).
Applications lacking a Diversity Recruitment and Retention Plan will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.
Item 5. Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research: Every trainee supported by this training grant must receive instruction in the responsible conduct of research consistent with their educational level (i.e. undergraduate or predoctoral). All applications must include a plan to provide such instruction. The plan must address five components: format; subject matter; faculty participation; duration of instruction; and frequency of instruction as detailed in NOT-OD-10-019. Renewal (Type 2) applications must, in addition, describe changes in formal instruction over the past project period and plans for the future that address any weaknesses in the current instruction plan. All training faculty who served as course directors, speakers, lecturers, and/or discussion leaders during the past project period must be named in the application. Applications lacking a plan for 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.
Applications lacking a plan for instruction in the responsible conduct of research will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.
Item 6. Progress Report: For renewal applications only, provide brief summaries of the overall program that has been successful in preparing trainees for careers in research in computational neuroscience, commensurate with their level of involvement in the program. Include information on the career outcomes of all trainees who have entered your program over the course of the award. Include measures of success consistent with the nature and duration of the training period, and additional information helpful in evaluating the impact of your program.
Item 10. Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan : More than one PD/PI (i.e., multiple PDs/PIs), may be designated on the application only if the application is from a consortium of more than one grantee institution. Only one PD/PI from each institution will be allowed. If multiple PD/PIs are proposed, explain in the Program Plan your rationale for how this will facilitate program administration.
Item 13. Data Tables : In this single attachment, applications should include the data requested in the Data Table Instructions (SF424 using the instructions for submission of Data Tables 1-12). The information in the data tables will be used by reviewers during peer review and NIH staff in reaching funding decisions. Applicants should bookmark the first page of each table by its table number (Table1, Table 2, etc.). These applicant-defined bookmarks will be added to the system-generated bookmarks contained in the application image in eRA Commons to assist in navigating through the different tables.
NOTE: It is no longer required for applicants to provide pre-enrollment data for individuals with disabilities or individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds on Data Tables 7A and 7B (see: NOT-OD-09-135).
NOTE: Renewal applications: Reporting of information on completion rate and time to degree for graduate students in doctoral degree programs that have been supported by NIH training awards must be documented in the Program Statistics section of Table 12A (see NOT-OD-09-141). Information must include:
Item 14. Letters of Support: Provide the sponsoring institution’s letter of commitment and support.
Submission Requirements for Specific Components of the Application for PHS398 Items 2-5
Undergraduate Research Training Component (R90)
The major goal of this funding opportunity is to foster the development and implementation of an interdisciplinary undergraduate training program in computational neuroscience that trains students from multiple disciplines (e.g. physical, chemical, and computer sciences, engineering, neuroscience, psychology) together in an integrated program. Students are expected to participate in a formal, integrated, multi-year curriculum that combines basic neurobiology with the principles, theories, and applications of the relevant physical, quantitative and/or computational sciences.
The program should provide didactic training, research experience and innovative programmatic activities. The program should describe a plan for determining the experience and needs of each student and how progress will be monitored to accomplish the stated training goals. The program should develop skills in understanding research, applying critical abilities to the conduct of research, identifying and proposing solutions for resolving problems in the process of conducting research, and identifying new research questions. By the end of the undergraduate program, students should be prepared to pursue a graduate degree in computational neuroscience or a related area.
Undergraduate Student Participants: Undergraduate students are expected to be drawn from multiple traditional majors, such as biology, psychology, physics, chemistry, engineering, and computer science and provided with cross-disciplinary training outside their major. The application should include an estimate of the number and qualifications of undergraduate students from each possible major who might participate in the training program. These students must be in their junior and senior years of undergraduate study.
All student participants are required to pursue their research training full time, normally defined as 40 hours per week, or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies. Appointments are normally made in 12-month increments, and no student may be appointed for less than 9 months during the initial period of appointment, except with prior approval of NIDA. A maximum of two-year appointments for undergraduate students in their junior and senior years will be allowed. - All students may be compensated, comparable to their experience, not exceeding the NRSA undergraduate stipend level ($11,172, or $931 per month), in accordance with institutional policies.
Curriculum: The program could, but would not be required to, create a new, interdisciplinary major; however, the program should provide mechanisms, such as integrative courses in computational neuroscience, capstone courses, and senior research projects specifically designed to apply the principles of computational neuroscience to experimental questions in neuroscience.
In addition to didactics, the undergraduate training program is expected to include:
Preceptors: Student participants conducting research projects must be supervised by appropriate faculty mentors. Formal co-mentoring by individuals with complementary expertise may be appropriate. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of computational neuroscience, preceptors in the training program are likely to span the breadth of departments and disciplines that contribute to computational neuroscience. Preceptors should be active investigators in an appropriate research area.
Recruitment plan: Applicants must describe how they will recruit students from across the institution to the program. The application should describe any recruitment and outreach plan to increase the depth and diversity of the applicant pool, including those underrepresented in the current scientific research workforce in computational neuroscience.
Short-term Research Education Component (R90)
The short-term research education program should be designed to take advantage of the strengths in computational neuroscience at the applicant institution and may include faculty from other institutions. However, this program should be designed so that it is also available to persons not enrolled in or employed by the applicant institution. While the proposed research education program may complement other, ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those research training and research education programs currently receiving federal support.
Short programs may be designed to draw participants from across the career continuum, but they could be more narrowly focused, for example for undergraduate students and faculty from non-research intensive institutions. Programs should be designed to maximize the exposure of participants with backgrounds in neuroscience to computational principles, and/or the exposure of participants with backgrounds in the physical, mathematical, computational or engineering sciences to neuroscience research questions and methodology.
The duration of short-term research education programs may range from two weeks to a full summer and must be appropriately justified.
Recruitment Plan: Applicants must describe a recruitment plan that includes a scheme for recruiting participants for the short courses from both outside and inside their sponsoring institutions, as appropriate for the focus of the course proposed. The application should describe any recruitment and outreach plan to increase the depth and diversity of the applicant pool, including those underrepresented in the current scientific research workforce in computational neuroscience.
Dissemination Plan: A specific plan must be provided to disseminate nationally any materials developed under the auspices of the research education program, e.g., Web postings, presentations at scientific meetings, workshops, etc.
Evaluation Plan: If a short-term research education component is being proposed, then the program evaluation and tracking plan should include measures to evaluate the effectiveness of the course.
Research Training Programs
NRSA Institutional Predoctoral Training Component (T90)
Non-NRSA Institutional Predoctoral Training Component (R90)
A major goal of this funding opportunity is to foster the development and implementation of an interdisciplinary research training program in computational neuroscience that trains students from multiple disciplines (e.g. physical, chemical, and computer sciences, engineering, neuroscience, psychology) in an integrated program. Students are expected to participate in a formal, integrated, multi-year curriculum that combines basic neurobiology with the principles, theories, and applications of the physical, quantitative and/or computational sciences. The first two years of the training program may provide broad training that integrates education and research experiences in techniques and applications of different computational approaches and in neurobiology from the cellular to cognitive/behavioral levels. The next two years of the program could focus on a more specific area that is a self-identified strength of the applicant institution, e.g. theoretical approaches to nervous system function, modeling of physical processes in the nervous system at the cellular level, computational approaches to understanding neural development, or computational approaches to cognition. The product of the predoctoral research training program would be computational neuroscientists who are adept at modeling with various approaches, who are competent in one or more experimental approaches to studying the nervous system, and who understand how to develop computational approaches that can be experimentally tested.
The program should provide didactic training as well as laboratory experience. The program should describe a plan for determining the experience and needs of each student and how progress will be monitored to accomplish the stated training goals. The program should develop skills in understanding research, designing research projects, applying critical abilities to the conduct of research, and identifying problems in the process of conducting research and proposing solutions for resolving them. Students should be prepared to pursue future research in computational neuroscience and should be provided instruction and guidance in the process of pursuing research careers and applying for future research support.
In addition to didactics, the institutional research training program is expected to include:
Preceptors: Students must be supervised by mentors with successful track records as mentors and researchers. Formal co-mentoring by individuals with complementary expertise may be appropriate. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of computational neuroscience, preceptors in the training program are likely to span the breadth of departments and disciplines that are involved in this area. Preceptors should be active, funded investigators in an appropriate research area.
Trainees: Students from the quantitative, engineering, and physical/chemical sciences will interact with trainees from biological/behavioral disciplines in these research training programs. It is expected that the applicant pool will include predoctoral students from multiple disciplines, including but not restricted to physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, statistics, biology, psychology, and neuroscience. Institutions should address how the applicant pool for the proposed research training program is distinct from, or relates to, that for existing federal and non-federal training grants.
The number of positions requested must be justified in terms of the available pool of NRSA-eligible and non-NRSA-eligible participants, the preceptors, the training track record of the preceptors, and the design of the training program. The number of students recommended by the study section is considered the ceiling and may be decreased by NIH program staff based on availability of funds and the track record for filling positions as assessed by annual progress reports and statements of appointment.
Trainee Appointments: All students are required to pursue their research training full time, normally defined as 40 hours per week, or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies. Appointments are normally made in 12-month increments, and no student may be appointed for less than 9 months during the initial period of appointment, except with prior approval of NIDA.
No individual trainee may receive more than five years of aggregate NRSA support at the predoctoral level, including any combination of support from institutional training and individual fellowship awards. A five-year restriction also applies to funding via the R90 mechanism for non-NRSA eligible predoctoral students. Any exception to the maximum period of support requires a waiver from NIDA based on a review of the written justification from the individual trainee, and endorsed by the Program Director, and the sponsoring grantee institution. Students seeking additional support are strongly advised to consult with the NIH.
Recruitment and Retention Plan: Applicants must submit a recruitment plan that includes a scheme for recruiting students from both outside and inside their sponsoring institutions. The application should describe any recruitment and outreach plan to increase the depth and diversity of the applicant pool, including those underrepresented in the current scientific research workforce in computational neuroscience. The application should also describe mechanisms to retain students in the program.
6.D. 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). A summary listing all of the items included in the appendix is required, and should be the first PDF file. Applications that do not follow the appendix requirements may be delayed in the review process. All appendix material must be submitted as PDF attachments.
Research publications of trainees and mentors are not normally included as part of the Training Grant applications, but are allowed. Other types of publications reflecting on the activities of the program as a whole may also be included. When publications are allowed, appendix materials should be limited to those which are not publicly available, such as:
Do not include unpublished theses or abstracts/manuscripts submitted, but not yet accepted, for publication.
Publications that are publicly accessible must not be included in the appendix. For such publications, the URL or PMC submission identification numbers along with the full reference should be included as appropriate in the Bibliography and References Cited/Progress Report Publication List section of the Research Plan, and/or in the Biographical Sketch.
Some materials other than publications that are unique to training grant applications (but not typically included in research grant applications) may be included as appendices. The appendix may be used to provide samples of materials that are referred to in the body of the application, but are too cumbersome to include in the Training Program Plan without disrupting the narrative flow. Examples include:
i. Additional tables not requested in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide instructions – designate these by letter, rather than number, to avoid confusion with the numbered required tables;
ii. Syllabi for key courses, core courses and electives, including courses in Responsible Conduct of Research, Survival Skills for Research, etc.;
iii. Retreat, seminar series, and other program activity agendas, rosters, and schedules;
iv. Examples of forms used to document trainee progress and monitoring by the program;
v. Examples of materials used in recruitment and particularly recruitment and retention to enhance diversity of the student pool.;
vi. Lists of meetings attended by students and their presentations;
vii. Student biosketches; and
viii. Letters of support, collaboration, and commitment of institutional resources.
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.
Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process.
2. Review and Selection Process
The mission of the NIH is to support science in pursuit of knowledge about the biology and behavior of living systems and to apply that knowledge to extend healthy life and reduce the burdens of illness and disability. As part of this mission, applications submitted to the NIH for grants or cooperative agreements to support biomedical and behavioral research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.
Applications that are complete and responsive to the FOA will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by the National Institute on Drug Abuse 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:
The goals of NIH-supported research training and research education programs are to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in adequate numbers and in appropriate scientific areas to address the Nation’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs.
Reviewers will provide an overall impact/priority score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the integrated research training and research education program to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the activities involved, in consideration of the following five scored review criteria, and additional review criteria as applicable for the proposed program and with respect to the priorities of the Neuroscience Blueprint in meeting the goal of increasing the number of interdisciplinary scientists in computational neuroscience.
Scored Review Criteria
Reviewers will consider each of the five review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact.
Training Program and Environment:
Training Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD/PIs):
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.
Evaluation Plan: Is the evaluation plan adequate to determine the effectiveness of the integrated program in achieving its objectives?
External Advisory Committee: Are plans for the proposed advisory committee adequate and appropriate to ensure proper monitoring of the research education and research training program components? Are there means in place to modify the research education or research training components based on recommendations from the advisory committee?
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. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Human Subjects Protection and Inclusion Guidelines.
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. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Human Subjects Protection and Inclusion Guidelines.
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. For additional information to assist you in determining if the Vertebrate Animals section is “Acceptable” or “Unacceptable”, please refer to Vertebrate Animals checklist.
Biohazards. Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.
Resubmission Applications. Resubmissions are not allowed for this FOA.
Renewal Applications. When reviewing a Renewal application , the committee will consider the progress made in the last funding period.
Revision Applications. Revisions are not allowed for this FOA.
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.
Diversity Recruitment and Retention Plan (applicable only to the NRSA research training component): Peer reviewers will separately evaluate the diversity recruitment and retention plan after the overall score has been determined. Reviewers will examine the strategies to be used in the recruitment and retention of individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds.
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 five Instructional Components, Format, Subject Matter, Faculty Participation, Duration and Frequency, taking into account the characteristics of institutional programs, detailed in NOT-OD-10-019. Plans and past record will be rated as ACCEPTABLE or UNACCEPTABLE. Applications with unacceptable plans will not be funded until the applicant provides an acceptable, revised plan.
Select Agents Research. Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).
Budget and Period Support. Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed institutional
The following will be considered in making funding decisions:
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates
Anticipated award date: August, 2011
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 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 Also Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions.
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 NRSA Predoctoral Training Component (T90) must be administered in accordance with the current NRSA section of the NIH Grants Policy Statement at NIH Grants Policy Statement - Institutional Research Training Grants. Other components of the integrated Training in Computational Neuroscience are expected to adhere to these policies to the extent they are applicable.
Leave Policies: In general, trainees may receive stipends during the normal periods of vacation and holidays observed by individuals in comparable training positions at the sponsoring institution. For the purpose of these awards, however, the period between the spring and fall semesters is considered to be an active time of research and research training and is not considered to be a vacation or holiday. Trainees may receive stipends for up to 15 calendar days of sick leave per year. Sick leave may be used for the medical conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth. Trainees may also receive stipends for up to 60 calendar days of parental leave per year for the adoption or the birth of a child when those in comparable training positions at the grantee institution have access to this level of paid leave for this purpose and the use of parental leave is approved by the Training PD/PI (see NOT-OD-08-064). A period of terminal leave is not permitted, and payment may not be made from traineeship funds for leave not taken. Trainees requiring periods of time away from their research training experience longer than specified here must seek approval from the NIH awarding component for an unpaid leave of absence. Trainees supported by academic institutions should refer to the NIH Institutional NRSA training grant guidelines at: NIH Grants Policy Statement for further guidance regarding vacations and requested leave.
Carryover of unobligated balances: The carryover of funds from one budget period to the next requires prior written approval of NIDA (on behalf of the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research). When required, such requests must include compelling justification including the status of trainee appointments to the program.
Termination of award: NIH may terminate a T90/R90 grant before its normal expiration date if it determines that the grantee has materially failed to comply with the terms and conditions of the award or to carry out the purpose for which the award was made. If an award is terminated for cause, NIH will notify the grantee organization in writing of this determination, the reasons for the determination, the effective date, and the right to appeal the decision. NIH also may terminate an award at the request of the grantee.
An organization that wants to terminate a T90/R90 grant before the scheduled termination date must notify the NIH awarding office immediately. In such cases, NIH will issue a revised NGA to specify the changed period of support and to show prorated trainee stipends, depending on the amount of time spent in training.
Change of Institution: Neither the integrated training program nor any component of the program may be transferred from one institution to another.
Change of Program Director: If change of the Program Director is necessary, support of the award is not automatic but may be continued with prior written approval by NIDA, on behalf of the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, provided:
The current program director or the grantee institution has submitted a written request for the change, countersigned by the appropriate institutional business official, to the program contact listed on the NoA describing the reasons for the change. The Biographical Sketch of the proposed Program Director, including a complete listing of active research grant support, must be provided. The information in the request must establish that the specific aims of the original peer-reviewed program will remain unchanged under the direction of the new Program Director and that the new Program Director has the appropriate research and administrative expertise to lead the training program.
This request must be submitted sufficiently in advance of the requested effective date to allow the necessary time for review.
Change of Program: Awards are made to a specific institution for specific program objectives under the guidance and leadership of a particular Program Director. A change in any of these parameters requires prior approval by the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research Training Project Team. A rationale must be provided for any proposed changes in the aims of the original, peer-reviewed program. Programmatic changes will be evaluated to ensure that the program remains within the scope of the original, peer-reviewed application. If the new program does not satisfy this requirement, the award will be terminated.
Part-time Training: A Program Director may submit a written request to the awarding component to change a trainee appointment to less than full-time. Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by the awarding Institute in advance for each budget period. The nature of the circumstances requiring part-time training might include medical conditions, disability, or pressing personal or family situations such as child or elder care. Permission for part-time training will not be approved to accommodate other sources of funding, job opportunities, clinical practice, clinical training, or for other responsibilities associated with the trainee’s position at the institution. In each case, the Program Director must submit a written request countersigned by the trainee and an appropriate institutional business official that includes documentation supporting the need for part-time training The written request also must include an estimate of the expected duration of the period of part-time training, an assurance that the trainee intends to return to full-time training when that becomes possible, and an assurance that the trainee intends to complete the research training program. In no case will it be permissible for the trainee to be engaged in research training under this award for less than 50% effort. Individuals who must reduce their commitment to less than 50% effort must take a leave-of-absence from their support by the research training program awarded under this RFA. The stipend will be pro-rated in the grant award during the period of any approved part-time training.
Service Payback Provisions (applicable only to the NRSA research training component): As specified in the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, Kirschstein-NRSA recipients incur a service payback obligation for the first 12 months of postdoctoral support. Additionally, the Act specifies that the second year of postdoctoral Kirschstein-NRSA training will serve to pay back a postdoctoral service payback obligation. Accordingly, the following guidelines apply:
Postdoctoral trainees in the first 12 months of postdoctoral Kirschstein-NRSA support must sign the Payback Agreement Form (PHS 6031) before initiating an appointment. Postdoctoral trainees in their first 12 months of support will incur a period of service payback obligation equal to the period of support.
Postdoctoral trainees in the 13th and subsequent months of NRSA postdoctoral support are not required to sign the payment agreement form and will not incur a service payback obligation for this period of support. In addition, the 13th and subsequent months of postdoctoral Kirschstein-NRSA support are considered acceptable payback service for prior postdoctoral support. For example, postdoctoral trainees who continue under that award for two years have fulfilled the obligation incurred during the first 12 months of support by the end of the second year.
Service payback obligations can also be paid back after termination of Kirschstein-NRSA support by conducting health-related research or teaching averaging at least 20 hours per week of a full work year. Payback service may be conducted in an academic, governmental, commercial, or nonacademic environment in the United States or in a foreign country. Examples of acceptable payback service include research associateships/assistantships, postdoctoral research fellowships, and college or high school science teaching positions. Examples of unacceptable payback service include clinical practice and administrative responsibilities not directly related to scientific research. Recipients with service obligations must begin to provide acceptable payback service on a continuous basis within two years of termination of Kirschstein-NRSA support. The period for undertaking payback service may be delayed for such reasons as temporary disability, completion of residency requirements, or completion of the requirements for a graduate degree. Requests for an extension must be made in writing to the NIH specifying the need for additional time and the length of the required extension.
Recipients of Kirschstein-NRSA support are responsible for informing the NIH of changes in status or address.
For individuals who fail to fulfill their obligation through service, the United States is entitled to recover the total amount of Kirschstein-NRSA funds paid to the individual for the obligated period plus interest at a rate determined by the Secretary of the Treasury. Financial payback must be completed within three years beginning on the date the United States becomes entitled to recover such amount. Under certain conditions, the Secretary, DHHS (or those delegated this authority), may extend the period for starting service or repayment, permit breaks in service, or in rare cases in which service or financial repayment would constitute an extreme hardship, may waive or suspend the payback obligation of an individual. Detailed information on the accrual and repayment of the Kirschstein-NRSA service payback obligation and waivers is available at: NIH Grants Policy Statement - Payback Reporting Requirements.
Officials at the grantee institution have the responsibility of explaining the terms of the payback requirements to all prospective trainees before appointment to the training grant. Additionally, all trainees recruited into the training program must be provided with information related to the career options that might be available when they complete the program. The suitability of such career options as methods to satisfy the NRSA service payback obligation must be discussed.
Complete non-competing continuation applications with detailed budgets and progress reports are required annually.
Awardees will be required to submit the PHS Non-Competing Grant Progress Report, Form 2590, annually (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/2590/2590.htm) and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
This program is not subject to the Streamlined Non-competing Application Process (SNAP).
Separate progress reports (Form 2590) will need to be submitted for the R90 and T90 awards. However, some of the information will be common to both reports.
The annual progress report should provide information about changes in the integrated program, a summary report by the Advisory Committee, and a description of the training, research and career progress of each participant on the appropriate R90 or T90 reports, and a description of the short-term research education component including information on the participants (if this component is included in the award). These annual progress reports will be closely monitored by the Blueprint Training Project Team to ensure that the grant is achieving the goals of the overall Program. The NRSA instructions for the non-competing grant progress report should be followed, with any necessary modifications for other program components.
For programs that include an NRSA predoctoral research training program (T90), a substitute budget page and a summary of trainee page are to be included in the request for continuation support. The non-competing budget page should list the names of those trainees who are continuing in the research training program. Information on each trainee should also be included in the narrative portion of the progress report as described in the PHS Form 2590 instructions.
Progress Report Format
any changes in the program, personnel and faculty commitments.
Objectives of the Training Program: Provide a brief description of the funded program.
Report on Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research: Report the type of instruction provided, topics covered, and other relevant information, such as attendance by trainees and faculty participation. The NIH encourages institutions to provide instruction in the responsible conduct of research to all undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctorates and research staff regardless of their source of support.
Diversity reporting (Required for an NRSA T90 report, and recommended for R90 reports): Provide a detailed account of experiences in recruiting women (who are underrepresented in computational neuroscience) individuals from racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds, during the previous funding period. Information must be included on successful and unsuccessful recruitment strategies. The report should provide aggregated information on the racial/ethnic distribution of all applicants and those accepted and appointed. For those who were enrolled in the program, the report should include aggregated information about the duration of research training and whether those trainees completed their training in good standing. Use the new Diversity Training report in the new 2590 form http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/2590/2590.htm
Program Accomplishments: Provide information on program accomplishments such as course development; any recommended changes to improve the program such as new faculty or mentors, changes in didactic components or programmatic activities, changes in core requirements, recruitment strategies, etc.
Evaluation Reports: Provide information collected under the evaluation plan proposed in the initial application. Information to be provided includes the number of participants in each component, information for students who have completed the program, and evaluation information for the short-term research education component, if applicable.
R90 reporting: CURRENT STUDENTS - UNDERGRADUATE: Provide a brief
paragraph for each trainee describing the research and didactic training
experiences completed and ongoing, and specific future plans for satisfying the
requirements of the program.
T90 and possible R90 reporting: CURRENT STUDENTS - PREDOCTORAL: Provide the name, date of start of training slot, mentors, a brief paragraph for each trainee describing the research and didactic training experiences completed and ongoing, and career progress.
R90 reporting: Short-term Research Education Component: Briefly describe any courses or workshops that were developed and offered. In addition, list the faculty involved in the course and the course participants. Provide information about how course participants were selected and whether they received support from the program to attend the course. Provide information about the number of applicants, the number offered admission, the number attending, and their career level. The report should also provide aggregated information regarding the diversity of participants, relative to the recruitment plan of the program. If any evaluations of courses or workshops were conducted, provide information about the outcomes. Describe any dissemination to the wider scientific community of any materials developed for this component.
Past Participants: Provide information on the current activities of students who were supported with the T90/R90 funds in the undergraduate and pre-doctoral training programs.
Presentations/Abstracts/Publications: List publications of students that resulted from their involvement in the training program only. For peer reviewed publications, provide the required NIH public access information (see below).
Advisory Committee Report: A report from the Advisory Committee should be separately attached summarizing its actions during the last year, evaluating the performance of the program in meeting its objectives and intent, evaluating the effectiveness of recruitment strategies, and providing recommendations for improving the program (e.g. new mentors, changes in core requirements, changes in recruitment strategies, etc.)
3.A. Additional Reporting Requirements
Trainee Reporting Requirements (NRSA):
Trainee Reporting Requirements (non-NRSA): The institution must submit a completed Statement of Appointment (PHS Form 2271) for each participant appointed for eight weeks or more. Grantees must submit the PHS 2271 data electronically using the xTrain system. More information on xTrain is available at xTrain (eRA Commons). An appointment or reappointment may begin any time during the budget period, but not before the budget period start date of the grant year.
Financial Status Report (FSR): An annual FSR is required and must be submitted within 90 days of the end of each budget period. Continuation support will not be provided until the required form is submitted and reviewed.
Final Reports: A final Progress Report and Financial Status Report are required at the end of the grant project period or upon relinquishment of an award. Note that an evaluation report is required as part of the Final Progress Report.
Evaluation: In carrying out its stewardship of human resource-related programs, the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research Training Project Team may request information essential to an assessment of the effectiveness of this Program. Accordingly, participants are hereby notified that they may be contacted during and after the completion of this award for periodic updates on various aspects of their employment history, publications, support from research grants or contacts, honors and awards, professional activities, and other information helpful in evaluating the impact of the Program.
Publication and Sharing of Research Results: Trainees are encouraged to submit reports of their findings for publication to the journals of their choice. For each publication that results from a trainee’s research, NIH support should be acknowledged by a footnote in language similar to the following: “This project was supported by NIH grant number ______ which is part of the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research.” Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.”
Inventions: Traineeships made primarily for educational purposes are exempted from the PHS invention requirements and thus invention reporting is not required for institutional training grants.
Copyrights: Except as otherwise provided in the terms and conditions of the award, the recipient is free to arrange for copyright without approval when publications, data, or other copyrightable works are developed in the course of work under a PHS grant-supported project or activity. Any such copyrighted or copyrightable works shall be subject to a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable license to the Government to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use them, and to authorize others to do so for Federal Government purposes.
Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESC): Only approved hESC lines listed on the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry http://stemcells.nih.gov/registry/ may be used for research training activities. The abstract of the application must provide the registry identifying numbers of the HESC lines to be used.
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, peer review, and financial or grants management issues:
1. Scientific/Research Contacts:
Division of Basic Neurosciences and Behavioral Research
National Institute on Drug Abuse
6001 Executive Boulevard, Suite 4282, MSC 9555
Bethesda, MD 20892-9555
Telephone: (301) 435-1315
FAX: (301) 594-6043
Office of Science Policy and Communications
National Institute on Drug Abuse/NIH/DHHS
6001 Executive Boulevard
Suite 5230, MSC 9591
Bethesda, MD 20892-9591
Telephone: (301) 402-1918
FAX: (301) 443-6277
2. Peer Review Contacts:
Extramural Affairs Branch
Office of Extramural Affairs
National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, DHHS
6101 Executive Boulevard, Suite 220, MSC 8401
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-8401
Telephone: (301) 435-1389
FAX: (301) 443-0538
3. Financial or Grants Management Contacts:
Senior Grants Management Specialist
Grants Management Branch/OPRM
National Institute on Drug Abuse/NIH/DHHS
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 4218, MSC 9560
Bethesda, MD 20892-9560
Telephone: 301) 649-1715
FAX: (301) 594-6849
Required Federal Citations
Use of Animals in Research:
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 (45CFR46) 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 IRB rules, as well as local, State and Federal laws and regulations, including the Privacy Rule.
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/
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 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.
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 http://grants.nih.gov/archive/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm). All investigators submitting an NIH application or contract proposal, beginning with the October 1, 2004 receipt date, 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.
Inclusion of Women And Minorities in Clinical Research:
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 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.
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.
NIH Public Access Policy Requirement:
In accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-08-033.html) investigators must submit or have submitted for them their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts that arise from NIH funds and are accepted for publication as of April 7, 2008 to PubMed Central (http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/), to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after publication. As of May 27, 2008, investigators must include the PubMed Central reference number when citing an article in NIH applications, proposals, and progress reports that fall under the policy, and was authored or co-authored by the investigator or arose from the investigator’s NIH award. 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 (DHHS) 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 DHHS 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) must be used for publicly accessible on-line journal articles. Unless otherwise specified in this solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide any other information necessary for 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 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 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 NIH Grants Policy Statement can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm.
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.
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