Part I Overview Information


Department of Health and Human Services

Issuing Organization
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), (http://www.nimh.nih.gov)
 
Participating Organizations
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (http://www.nih.gov

Components of Participating Organizations
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), (http://www.nimh.nih.gov)
National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), (http://www.nida.nih.gov)
National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke (NINDS), (http://www.ninds.nih.gov)

Title: Institutional Research Training Programs:  Increasing Diversity (T32)

Announcement Type

RFA of Limited Competition for the competing renewal applications for  grants funded in FY 2002 out of the Request for Applications, Institutional Research Training Programs: Increasing Div released on April 19, 2001 (RFA-MH-01-009).

Request For Applications (RFA) Number: RFA-MH-07-030

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number(s) 
93.279, 93.282, 93.853

Key Dates
Release Date: March 3, 2006
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): April 14, 2006
Application Receipt Dates(s): May 12, 2006
Peer Review Date(s): October/November 2006
Council Review Date(s): January 2007  
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: July 1, 2007
Additional Information To Be Available Date (Url Activation Date): Not Applicable
Expiration Date: May 13, 2006

Due Dates for E.O. 12372
Not Applicable

Additional Overview Content

Executive Summary

Table of Contents


Part I Overview Information

Part II Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
  1. Research Objectives

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

Section III. Eligibility Information
  1. Eligible Applicants
    A. Eligible Institutions
    B. Eligible Individuals
  2.Cost Sharing or Matching
  3. Other - Special Eligibility Criteria

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

Section V. Application Review Information
  1. Criteria
  2. Review and Selection Process
    A. Additional Review Criteria
    B. Additional Review Considerations
    C. Sharing Research Data
    D. Sharing Research Resources
  3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Section VI. Award Administration Information
  1. Award Notices
  2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
  3. Reporting

Section VII. Agency Contact(s)
  1. Scientific/Research Contact(s)
  2. Peer Review Contact(s)
  3. Financial/ Grants Management Contact(s)

Section VIII. Other Information - Required Federal Citations

Part II - Full Text of Announcement


Section I. Funding Opportunity Description


1. Research Training Objectives

The NIMH, NIDA and NINDS are issuing this limited competition RFA to request competing renewal applications from the NIMH, NIDA, and NINDS Diversity T32 Programs. These specific programs were previously awarded in FY 2002  as a result of RFA-MH-01-009, Institutional Research Training Programs: Increasing Diversity (T32). The objective of both the earlier RFA and this current one is to ensure that a diverse and highly trained workforce is available to assume leadership responsibility related to the Nation’s biomedical and behavioral research agenda in the scientific domains of the NIMH, and/or NIDA, and/or NINDS.  More specifically, the objective is to support national or regional research training programs that will recruit, train, and retain pre- and/or postdoctoral trainees from underrepresented groups. 

For determination of those research training programs eligible to apply to this RFA, and pre- and/or postdoctoral candidates eligible to participate in this initiative, please see Sections III.1.A and III.1.B, respectively 

Special Program Objectives and Considerations

Within the framework of this RFA consideration related to the duration of training and the transition of trainees to individual support mechanism should be taken. Studies have shown that the length of the appointment to a training grant for postdoctoral trainees with health-professional degrees strongly correlates with subsequent application for and receipt of independent NIH research support.  Training grant Program Directors, therefore, should limit appointments to individuals who are committed to a career in research and plan to remain on the training grant or in a non-NRSA research experience for a cumulative minimum of 2 years.  Program Directors should also encourage trainees to apply for subsequent support through the individual fellowship or mentored career development award (“K” award) programs.

Program Directors must develop methods for ongoing evaluation of the quality of the training program and develop plans to obtain feedback from former trainees to help identify weaknesses in the program and provide suggestions for program improvements.  All applications must include information describing the proposed evaluation plans and how the results will be used to improve and/or redirect the identified weaknesses in the research training program.

Program Directors are strongly encouraged to include an external advisory committee as part of the administrative structure of the research training program. 

Past studies have shown that health professional trainees, who train in combined programs with postdoctoral researchers with an intensive research background, are more likely to apply for and receive research grant support.  Programs located in clinical departments that focus on research training for individuals with the M.D. or other health-professional degrees should consider developing ties to basic science departments or modifying their program to include individuals with research doctorates when this approach is consistent with the goals of the program.  Applications should describe the basic science department’s contribution to the research training experience and also indicate whether both health professional trainees and trainees with research doctorates will be included in the program.

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

Section II. Award Information


1. Mechanism(s) of Support

This RFA of Limited Competition will use the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) T32 mechanism.

This funding opportunity uses the non-modular budget format described in the PHS 398 application instructions (see http://grants.nih.gov/funding/phs398/phs398.html).  A detailed categorical budget for the “Initial Budget Period” and the “Entire Proposed Period of Support” is to be submitted with the application, following the instructions for preparing an NRSA application found in the PHS 398 application instructions.

2. Funds Available

Because the nature and scope of the proposed research training program will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size each award will also vary. Although the financial plans of the three sponsoring NIH Institutes  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 National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) administers this program on behalf of the sponsoring ICs.

Grantees are expected to be familiar with and comply with applicable costs policies and the NRSA Guidelines (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_Part10.htm#_Toc54600187). Funds may be used only for those expenses that are directly related and necessary to the research training not otherwise available and must be expended in conformance with DHHS Cost Principles, the NIH Grants Policy Statement (rev.12/01/03), the NRSA regulations, policies, guidelines, and conditions set for in this document.

Allowable Costs

A. Stipends:

Stipends are provided as a subsistence allowance for trainees to help defray living expenses during the research training experience and are based on a 12-month appointment period. The stipend is not provided as a condition of employment with either the Federal Government or the grantee Institution nor is it to be considered a payment for services performed. The FY ‘06 annual stipend level for a predoctoral trainee is $20,772. For postdoctoral trainees, the annual stipend is determined based on the number of full years of prior relevant postdoctoral experience at the time of the trainee’s appointment. The FY’06 range of annual postdoctoral stipend levels is $36,996 to $51,036.  Stipends may be adjusted only at the time of appointment or reappointment and may not be changed in the middle of an appointment period.  For appointments of less than a full year, the stipend will be based on a monthly or daily pro-ration of the annually amount.  No departure from the established stipend schedule may be negotiated by the institution with the trainee.  (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-06-026.html for specific information).

B.  Tuition, Fees, and Health Insurance

For the purposes of the NRSA programs, tuition is defined as the combined costs of tuition, fees and applicable health insurance. The NIH will offset the combined costs of tuition, fees and health insurance (either self-only or family as appropriate) at the rate in place at the time of the award. The rate currently provides 100% of all costs up to $3,000 and 60% of costs in excess of $3,000 per trainee. Costs associated with this category are allowable only if they are required for specific courses as part of the approved research training program and are applied consistently to all persons in a similar research training status at the institution regardless of the source of support.  Tuition at the postdoctoral level is limited to that required for specific courses that should be identified in the application.  A full description of the NIH tuition policy is in the NIH Grants Policy Statement and on the NIH website at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2001/part_iib_3.htm.

C. 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.

D. Trainee Related Expenses (TRE)

The applicant institution may request the NIH standard NRSA Training Related Expenses (FY ’06, $2,200 annually for each predoctoral trainee and $3,850 annually for each Postdoctoral trainee) to help defray other research training expenses, such as staff salaries, consultant costs, research supplies, and faculty/staff  travel directly related to the research training program (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-06-026.html for additional information). Funds are provided as a lump sum on the basis of the predetermined amount for predoctoral or postdoctoral trainee approved for support.  However, for this specific research training program, the applicant may request funds exceeding above-mentioned amount if they are essential for fulfilling the purposes of the grant and the need for additional funds is clearly documented and justified by the applicant. Such requests must provide compelling justification for the additional funds and will be considered by the peer review committee and the National Advisory Mental Health Council, the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse, or the National Advisory neurological Disorders and Stroke Council. While the applicant may not request funds for any faculty for faculty mentoring services, funds may be requested in the TRE category for partial administrative assistance (one position, 30-40 percent effort) essential for the administrative management of the training program. In any case, the total TRE may not exceed 30 percent of the total direct costs in any year.

When short-term training is included in the research training program, the applicant institution may request the proportion of the NIH standard annual NRSA Training Related Expenses to help defray  costs of the short-term training experience.

Funds for continuation beyond the initial year are determined by the success as described in the annual progress report in the continuation application, the timely submission of all required forms, and the availability of funds.

E. Facilities and Administrative Allowance

Facilities and administrative allowance based on 8% of modified total direct costs (exclusive of tuition and fees, health insurance, and expenditures for equipment)  may be requested.

F. Stipend Supplementation, Compensation, and Other Income

Grantees may supplement stipends from non-Federal funds provided the supplementation is without obligation to the trainee. An organization can determine what amount of stipend supplementation, if any, will be provided according to its own formally established policies governing stipend support. These policies must be consistently applied to all individuals in similar training status regardless of the source of funds. Federal funds may not be used for stipend supplementation unless specifically authorized under the terms of the program from which funds are derived. An individual may use Federal educational loan funds or VA benefits when permitted by those programs.  Under no circumstances may PHS funds be used for supplementation.

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. 

Compensation: Funds characterized as compensation may be paid to trainees only when there is an employer-employee relationship, the payments are for services rendered, and the situation otherwise meets all of the conditions and Policies in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Additionally, compensation must be in accordance with the organizational policies consistently applied to both federally and non-federally supported activities, and must be supported by acceptable accounting records that reflect the employer-employee relationship. An institution may provide additional funds to a trainee in the form of compensation (as salary and/or tuition remission) for services performed outside of the responsibilities of the full-time NRSA-supported training such as teaching or serving as a research assistant.  A trainee may receive compensation for services as a research assistant or in some other position on a Federal research grant, including a DHHS research grant.  However, compensated services should occur on a limited, part-time basis apart from the normal full-time research training activities. In addition, compensation may not be paid from a research grant that supports the same research that is part of the trainee’s planned experience as approved in the institutional training grant application. Training program Directors must approve all instances of employment on research grants to verify that the circumstances will not detract from or prolong the approved training program.

A full description of the NIH policy regarding NRSA supplementation and compensation can be found in the NIH  Grants Policy Statement at : http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_Part11.htm.  

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.  Postdoctoral trainees in their first and third years of training may also be eligible to participate in the NIH Extramural Loan Repayment Program. Information about this program is available at: http://www.lrp.nih.gov/.

Section III. Eligibility Information


1. Eligible Applicants

1.A. Eligible Institutions

Only those ongoing T32 programs previously awarded as a result of RFA-MH-01-009 in FY 2002 are eligible to respond to this RFA, submitting competing continuation (renewal) applications

1.B. Eligible Individuals

Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research training program is invited to work with their institution to develop an application for support.  Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds are always encouraged to apply for NIH programs. 

The Program Director should be an established basic, behavioral, and/or clinical researcher with a successful past training record and available resources to conduct the proposed research training program.  The Program Director will be responsible for the selection and appointment of eligible trainees to the NRSA training program, for the overall direction, management, and administration of the research training program, and for the submission of all required forms in timely manner.  

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

This program does not require cost sharing as defined in the current NIH Grants Policy Statement at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/nihgps_Part2.htm#matching_or_cost_sharing.

3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria

For this RFA, all potential pre- and/or postdoctoral trainees must meet one of the following criteria in order to be eligible for an appointment on a Diversity T32 training program. 

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 http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs/women/start.htm).  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 are also eligible for support under this program.

B. Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as individuals 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 http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/index.shtml. For individuals from low income backgrounds, the institution must be able to demonstrate that such candidates have qualified for Federal disadvantaged assistance, have received any of the following student loans, Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL) or Loans for Disadvantaged Student Program, or 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 has demonstrably and recently directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career.

Eligibility related to a disadvantaged background is most applicable to high school and perhaps undergraduate candidates, but would be more difficult to justify for individuals beyond that level of academic achievement.

Citizenship

At the time of appointment to the Diversity T32 training program, individuals must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States, or must have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States (i.e., in possession of a currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card I-551or some other legal verification of legal admission as a permanent resident).  Non-citizen nationals are generally persons born in outlying possessions of the United States (e.g., American Samoa and Swains Island).  Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible for Kirschstein-NRSA support.  In addition, trainees must be able to commit to full-time effort in the program at the time of appointment. 

Training Program

Trainees appointed to the research training program must have the opportunity to carry out supervised biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research with the primary objective of developing or enhancing their research skills and knowledge in preparation for a research career related to the missions of the NIMH, NIDA, and/or NINDS.  Trainees must be able to 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 activities, consonant with NRSA guidelines. Within the full-time training period, research trainees who are also training as clinicians must devote their time to the proposed research training and must confine clinical duties to those that are an integral part of their research training experience.

A Kirschstein-NRSA institutional research training grant must be used to support a program of full-time research training. It may not be used to support studies leading to the M.D., D.D.S., or other clinical, or health-professional training except when those studies are part of a formal combined research degree program, such as the M.D./Ph.D.  Similarly, trainees may not accept NRSA support for clinical training that is part of residency training leading to clinical certification in a medical or dental specialty or subspecialty. It is permissible and encouraged, however, for clinicians to engage in NRSA supported full-time postdoctoral research training even when that experience is creditable toward certification by a clinical specialty of subspecialty board. 

Predoctoral Trainees

Predoctoral trainees must have received a baccalaureate degree by the beginning date of their NRSA appointment, and must be training at the post-baccalaureate level and enrolled in a program leading to a Ph.D. in science or equivalent doctoral degree program. Health-professional students or individuals in postgraduate clinical training who wish to interrupt their studies for a year or more to engage in full-time research training before completing their formal training programs are also eligible.

Postdoctoral Trainees

Postdoctoral trainees must have received, as of the beginning date of their NRSA appointment, a Ph.D., M.D., D.D.S., or comparable doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution. Eligible doctoral degrees include, but are not limited to, the following: D.M.D., D.C., D.V.M., O.D., D.P.M., Sc.D., Dr. PH., D.N.Sc., Pharm.D., D.S.W., Psy.D, as well as a doctoral degree in nursing research or practice. Documentation by an authorized official of the degree granting institution certifying that all degree requirements have been met prior to the beginning date of the training program is acceptable.  Research training at the postdoctoral level must emphasize specialized training to meet national research priorities in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences that are within the scientific purview of the NIMH, NIDA, and/or NINDS. 

Short-Term Health-Professional Trainees

A Kirschstein NRSA-institutional research training application may include a request for short-term positions reserved specifically to provide full-time health-related research training experiences during the summer or other “off-quarter” periods.  Such positions are limited to medical students, dental students, students in other health-professional programs, or graduate students in the physical or quantitative sciences.  Short-term appointment under T32 research training programs are intended to provide health-professional students with opportunities to participate in biomedical or behavioral research in an effort to attract these individuals into research careers. To be eligible for short-term predoctoral research training positions, students must be enrolled and in good standing and must have completed at least one quarter in a program leading to a clinical doctorate. Individuals already matriculated in a formal research degree program in the health sciences, or those holding a research doctorate or master’s degree or a combined health-professional/research doctorate normally are not eligible for short-term training positions.  Within schools of pharmacy, only individuals who are candidates for the Pharm.D. degree are eligible for short-term research training positions.

Short-term positions can support individuals for a period of at least 8, but no more than 12, weeks in a grant year, and must involve full-time research training, normally defined as 40 hours per week, or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies. Funding for short-term training is prorated, based on the allowed annual amounts for stipends and training related expenses. Individuals currently supported by other Federal funds are not eligible for duplicative training support from this program at the same time. 

Section IV. Application and Submission Information


1. Address to Request Application Information

The PHS 398 application instructions are available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in an interactive format. Applicants must use the currently approved version of the PHS 398. For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone (301) 435-0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

Telecommunications for the hearing impaired: TTY 301-451-5936.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Applications must be prepared using the most current PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.pdf.)  Applicants must use the T32 guidelines and the specific instructions for Institutional NRSA Applications, PHS 398, Section IV, which begins on page 54. Applications must have a D&B Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as the universal identifier when applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements. The D&B number can be obtained by calling (866) 705-5711 or through the web site at http://www.dnb.com/us/. The D&B number should be entered on line 11 of the face page of the PHS 398 form.

See Section VI.2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements for additional information.

The title and number of this funding opportunity must be typed on line 2 of the face page of the application.

3. Submission Dates and Times

Applications must be received on or before the receipt date described below (Section IV.3.A). Submission times N/A.

3.A. Receipt, Review and Anticipated Start Dates

Letter of Intent Receipt Date: April 14, 2006
Application Receipt Date(s): May 12, 2006
Peer Review Date: October/November, 2006
Council Review Date: January, 2007
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: July 1, 2007

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 at the beginning of this document.

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Mark Chavez, Ph.D.
Division of Adult Translational Research & Treatment Development 
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Blvd., Room 7107, MSC 9632 
Bethesda, MD 20892
Telephone: (301) 443-8942 
Email: mchavez1@mail.nih.gov

3.B. Sending an Application to the NIH

Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application forms as described above. Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the checklist, and three signed photocopies in one package to:

Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD 20892-7710 (U.S. Postal Service Express or regular mail)
Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service; non-USPS service)

Personal deliveries of applications are no longer permitted (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-040.html).

At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application and all copies of the appendix material must be sent to:

Jean Noronha, Ph.D.
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6154, MSC 9609
Bethesda, MD 20892
Telephone: (301) 443-3367
Email: jnoronha@mail.nih.gov

Using the RFA Label: The RFA label available in the PHS 398 application instructions must be affixed to the bottom of the face page of the application. Type the RFA number on the label. Failure to use this label could result in delayed processing of the application such that it may not reach the review committee in time for review. In addition, the RFA title and number must be typed on line 2 of the face page of the application form and the YES box must be marked. The RFA label is also available at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/labels.pdf.

3.C. Application Processing

Applications must be received on or before the application receipt date(s) described above (Section IV.3.A.). If an application is received after that date, it will be returned to the applicant without review. Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the CSR and responsiveness by the National Institute of Mental Health. Incomplete and non-responsive applications will not be reviewed. If the application is not responsive to the RFA, NIH staff may contact the applicant to determine whether to return the application to the applicant.

The NIH will not accept any application in response to this funding opportunity that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial merit review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending application.

Although there is no immediate acknowledgement of the receipt of an application, applicants are generally notified of the review and funding assignment within eight (8) weeks.

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 http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm.

Pre award Costs are not allowable.

The National Research Service Award (NRSA) policies apply to this program.  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.

Trainee Appointment and Termination Requirements

The applicant organization must submit to the NIMH  a Statement of Appointment form (PHS 2271) along with the signed Payback Agreement (postdoctoral level only), at the time a trainee is appointed.  No funds may be provided until such documents are submitted and accepted by the NIMH.  At the end of the total support period for each individual trainee, the applicant must submit a Termination Notice (PHS 416-7) to NIH.  Failure to submit the required forms in a timely manner may result in an expenditure disallowance or a delay in any future funding of the grant.

Awardees may use some of their time in course studies and clinical duties if such work is closely related to and necessary for the research training experience.  No appointment for less than 12 months may be made without prior approval of the institute.

Trainee Appointments:   All trainees 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 trainee may be appointed for less than 9 months during the initial period of appointment, except with prior approval of the NIMH, or when trainees are appointed to approved, short-term training positions.

No individual trainee may receive more than 5 years of aggregate NRSA support at the predoctoral level or 3 years of support at the postdoctoral level, including any combination of support from institutional training and individual fellowship awards.  Any exception to the maximum period of support requires a waiver form the NIH awarding office based on a review of the written justification from the individual trainee, and endorsed by the Program Director, and the sponsoring grantee institution. 

Trainees seeking additional support are strongly advised to consult with the NIH awarding office.

Trainees supported by NRSA funds are not considered to be in an employer-employee relationship with NIH or the institution at which they are pursuing research training.  Because Kirschstein-NRSA awards are not provided as a condition of employment with either the Federal government or the grantee, it is inappropriate and unallowable for applicant organizations to seek funds, or to charge institutional training grants, for costs that normally would be associated with employee benefits (for example, FICA, workers compensation, and unemployment insurance).

An NRSA traineeship may not be held concurrently with another federally sponsored fellowship or similar Federal award that provides a stipend or otherwise duplicates provisions of the training program award.  An awardee may, however, accept concurrent educational remuneration from the Veterans Administration and loans from Federal funds.

Trainees supported by academic institutions should refer to the NIH NRSA guidelines at:  http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-00-103.html for guidance regarding vacations and requested leave.

Funds may be used only for those expenses that are directly related and necessary to the research training not otherwise available and must be expended in conformance with DHHS Cost Principles, the NIH Grants Policy Statement (rev. 12/03 ), the NRSA regulations and guidelines, and  conditions set forth in this document.

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.

Concurrent awards:  An NRSA 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: Internal Revenue Code Section 117 applies to the tax treatment of all scholarships and fellowships. The Tax Reform Act of 1986, Public Law 99-154, impacts on the tax liability of all individuals supported under the NRSA program.  Under that section, non-degree candidates are now required to report as gross income all stipends and any monies paid on their behalf for course tuition and fees required for attendance.  Degree candidates may exclude from gross income (for tax purposes) any amount used for tuition and related expenses such as fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses of instruction at a qualified educational organization.

The IRS and Treasury Department released regulations in January 2005 (Revenue Procedure 2005-11) clarifying the student exception to the FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes for students employed by a school, college, or university where the student is pursuing a course of study.  Our understanding is that these final regulations do not apply to or impact Kirschstein-NRSA programs or awards. An NRSA stipend is provided by the NIH as a subsistence allowance for Kirschstein-NRSA fellows and trainees to help defray living expenses during the research training experience.  NRSA recipients are not considered employees of the Federal government or the grantee institution for purposes of the award. We must note that NIH takes no position on the status of a particular taxpayer, nor does it have the authority to dispense tax advice.  The interpretation and implementation of the tax laws are the domain of the IRS.

Individuals should consult their local IRS office about the applicability of the tax laws on 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 only during the first 12 months of postdoctoral support. Additionally, the Act specifies that the second and subsequent years of postdoctoral Kirschstein-NRSA training support will serve to pay back a postdoctoral service payback obligation. (See SectionVI.2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements for further details).

6. Other Submission Requirements

Special Program Information Required

Research Training Program: The program should provide didactic training, laboratory experience, and programmatic activities.  The program should include a plan for determining trainee experience and needs and monitoring progress to accomplish desired training goals.  The program should develop trainee 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.  Didactic training should include appropriate coursework in experimental design and statistics.  At a minimum, trainees should be prepared to take the information gleaned from the project to pursue future research.  Trainees should be exposed to the concepts of translational research, i.e. from bench to bedside and/or from bedside to practice as well as the reverse.  The program should provide instruction and/or experiences that will enable the trainees to work effectively as members of a multidisciplinary research team.  The program should provide instruction, guidance, and experience in the process of applying for future research support.

The application should describe innovative goals and objectives for the training program. The plan should clearly indicate how the research training program will recruit, select, and place eligible trainees in appropriate departments or programs with strong research programs relevant to the missions of one or more of the participating Institutes. The application should describe how the program will anticipate and deal with potential concerns that may be encountered in program implementation.

The program plan should also demonstrate how the training program director will provide ongoing monitoring, career counseling, and other support to help ensure that the trainees complete their predoctoral and/or postdoctoral training and enter productive research careers in areas relevant to the missions of one or more of the participating Institutes.  The plan should identify those institutions with a track record in training mental health, and/or drug abuse, and/or neurological sciences researchers where the trainees will be placed, and must include a sample agreement between the grantee institution and the participating training sites.  The plan should also indicate how the programs will establish networks and linkages with other mental health, and/or drug abuse, and/or neurological sciences researchers to benefit the trainees.  Special emphasis should be given to how the training program will prepare predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees for careers in the research mission areas of one of more of the participating Institutes.

The application should also describe how the proposed program will lead to the overall goal of providing an increased number of individuals from underrepresented groups who are actively engaged in careers in mental health, and/or drug abuse, and/or neurological sciences research. Innovative approaches and strategies designed to meet these objectives are encouraged and may include research workshops to meet special needs of the trainees in mental health, and/or drug abuse, and/or neurological sciences research (e.g., course work in research methods/statistical analysis, workshops on current research in mental health, and/or drug abuse, and/or neurological disorders among racial and ethnic groups, seminar or lecture series, etc.).  In addition, there should be Discussions of methods to be used to facilitate the retention, graduation,  and transition to research careers, once training is completed, especially at the postdoctoral level -- this should include a description of program activities that will be used to help trainees complete their doctoral training (F31, R36, and other T32 opportunities), make use of postdoctoral research training opportunities (F32 and other T32 opportunities), and subsequently, the Mentored Research Career Development awards (K01, K08,  K23, K99/R00).  There should also be detailed plans for evaluating the trainees’ progress while in the  training program; follow-up of trainees supported upon completion of the program; assurance that both qualitative and quantitative approaches will be used in the evaluation; and annual assessment of the  training program. Finally, there should be a description of the plans for the protection of human subjects, animals, or the environment, to the extent that they may be adversely affected by the research proposed.

Program Leadership:  The Program Director must possess the scientific background and leadership and administrative capabilities required to coordinate, supervise, and direct the proposed research training program.  The Program Director, with the assistance of the external training advisory committee (see below), will be responsible for the selection, appointment, and retention of trainees to the approved research training program, for their placement in appropriate doctoral or postdoctoral training programs, and for the overall direction, management, and administration of the program including maintenance of trainee records for future evaluation of the success of the program.  It is important that the criteria by which trainee selection and appointment are made be clearly described in the application.  It is expected that trainees will be placed in programs with strong track records of research and research training in the mental health, and/or drug abuse and/or neurological sciences, the necessary resources, as well as the fiscal and other support necessary for predoctoral or postdoctoral training.  The Program Director and training advisory committee will assist the prospective trainees in selecting training institutions with a strong record of mental health, and/or drug abuse and/or neurological sciences relevant research, and provide counseling to ensure that trainees move forward in these research areas.  The Program Director must provide potential trainees information associated with NRSA programs and submit all required trainee forms in a timely manner

The Program Director's qualifications, research experience, knowledge of current research in the field, and track record in predoctoral and postdoctoral research training must be described.  The application should detail the specific duties of the Program Director, including the time to be devoted by the Program Director to various tasks, as well as the total amount of time committed solely to carrying out the training program.  A range of 15-25% of the Program Director's time must be committed to the program.

Training Advisory Committee:  The application must present a plan for establishing a training advisory committee, composed of outstanding and diverse mental health, and/or drug abuse and/or neurological sciences researchers, to assist the Program Director in the recruitment, selection and retention of predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees and to advise each trainee concerning appropriate doctoral or postdoctoral programs with strong NIMH, and/or NIDA, and/or NINDS relevant research.  The functions, size, and composition of the advisory committee should be clearly stated as well as plans for the natural turnover of the committee membership.  The application should describe the range and types of research to be represented, the qualifications and selection criteria for members of the proposed Training Advisory Committee, and the duties and responsibilities of this committee.  The application should also contain a list of individuals who have agreed to serve as committee members, and provide the rationale for their selection, including a description of their current research and its source and amount of funding.  A Biographical Sketch and Other Support form (see form PHS 398) and letter of support must be included for each committee member.

Knowledge of Doctoral and Postdoctoral Programs Relevant to the Missions of the NIMH, NIDA, and NINDS: The application should provide detailed information about appropriate university programs (including within the applicant institution, if applicable) for predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees supported by the proposed training program.  Such information must include details about current and relevant faculty research, research-related curricula, and other elements of the training programs and resources available to current predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees at these universities.  A copy of the planned recruitment documents should be included, as well as plans to disseminate the recruitment information.  Further, the application must indicate how the proposed training program will obtain information about changes in these programs.

A list of potential training institutions with current information on their NIMH, and/or NIDA, and/or NINDS funded research projects is required.  The application must also describe resources and processes available for obtaining up-to-date information and for sharing this information with potential trainees, including full descriptions of the plans that have been or will be established to work with prospective trainees to help them select research-intensive graduate or postdoctoral programs with strong mental health, and/or drug abuse and/or neurological sciences research.  For each site, a plan detailing the training (including level of training and anticipated number of trainees) should be provided.

Past Training Record:  The Program Director and proposed preceptors/mentors should be able to demonstrate significant past success in research training.  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, receipt of patents, promotion to scientific positions, or other accepted measures of advancement in a scientific career.

Research Environment/Resources:  The consortium must have a strong and high-quality research program in the area(s) proposed for research training and must have the requisite staff and facilities to carry out the proposed program.  The application should include a description of the preceptors/mentors as researchers, including active research support directly related to the proposed research training program, and as mentors.  Identify mentors with appropriate expertise and experiences planned to support the number of trainees for whom support is being requested. For those research training programs sponsored by a national organization, the application should clearly articulate the plan for ensuring that pre- and/or postdoctoral trainees will be appointed to work with mentors who have the expertise and experiences planned to support the number of trainees for which support is being requested.  Such training programs should describe the criteria that will be used to assess the qualifications of potential mentors as researchers and as mentors. 

Institutional Commitment:  The applicant organization should include information that documents a commitment to the proposed research training program’s goals, and provide assurance that the organization intends the program to be an integral part of its research and research training endeavor.  The application should describe the support (financial or otherwise) to be provided to the program.  For regional training programs, this may include, for example, space, shared laboratory facilities and equipment, funds for curriculum development, release time for the Program Director and participating faculty, support for additional trainees in the program, or any other creative ways to improve and enhance the growth of the research training program.  For national training programs, this may include, for example, support for additional trainees in the program or any other creative ways to strengthen the training program.  While standard NRSA research training programs require that the applicant organization be the primary training site, an exception is made for this specific program due to the nature and history of the program.  However, a Resource format page for each site of the proposed research training must be submitted with the application, and a complete description of the connectional structure and linkages involved must be included in the application.

Evaluation and Tracking Plan:  The application must describe a strong evaluation and tracking plan that will review and determine the effectiveness of all aspects of the program.  This should include a system for tracking trainees for a minimum of 10 years following program completion to determine the outcome of the training program. The follow up tracking would include information on program publications, grant proposals, and awards, and the career trajectory of trainees.  The application should provide a prospective evaluation plan for process and outcome measures.  Outcome measures may include positions obtained, current activities related to research, publication record, and the success rate of applying for and obtaining Federal and non-Federal research grant support. The evaluation and tracking report should be included annually as part of the Progress Report, in future competing continuation applications, and as part of the Final Progress Report.  As part of the evaluation plan, grantees must maintain, for former trainees, “seed data,” e.g. new name, contact information, place of employment, and type of career pursued for the 10-year period following their termination from the training program. 

The scientific review group will assess the applicant’s evaluation and tracking plan based on the adequacy of plans for monitoring trainee progress, process and outcome measures, and overall program evaluation.  The plan will be discussed after the overall determination of merit, so that the review panel’s evaluation will not be a factor in the determination of the priority score.  The plan will be judged as acceptable or unacceptable.  The acceptability of the plan will be described in an administrative note in the summary statement.  Regardless of the priority score, an application with unacceptable evaluation and tracking plans will not be funded until the applicant provides a revised plan that is judged acceptable by staff in the NIH awarding component. 

Trainee Recruitment Plan:  Applicants must describe their trainee recruitment plan.  The application should describe any recruitment and outreach plan, locally and nationally, to increase the depth and diversity of the applicant pool including those underrepresented in the current scientific research workforce in the area of the proposed research training.

Progress Report: All of the competing continuation (renewal) applications submitted in response to this RFA must  include  a very thorough progress report covering the development of the program to date and must submit complete information on the placement and career development performance of all trainees who were supported during the previous competing award project period.  A table should be provided listing each trainee, the time supported, the trainee's underrepresented status, the department and university attended, the trainee's current educational status, the date the doctoral degree was awarded, dissertation title (predoctoral), area of mental health, and/or drug abuse and/or neurological sciences research, current employment, postdoctoral training, applications for K01, K08 or K23 (mentored career development awards), research applications and funded research (title, source and amount of funding), and publications.  The name, department, and funded NIH research (title, source, and amount of funding) of each trainee's major advisor should also be provided.

A brief description of the substantive research contributions of the trainees who have completed their doctorates over the past 10 years should be provided.  Complete citations of their recent publications (past 3 years) should be included.

For the training program as a whole, an overall summary should be provided of:  (a) underrepresented trainees recruited; (b) placement in departments with strong mental health, and/or drug abuse and/or neurological sciences research programs; (c) rates of retention and attrition; (d) rates of completion of the doctorate/research training; (e) publications; and (f) the total number of trainees engaged in mental health, and/or drug abuse and/or neurological sciences teaching and research, including the number who applied for and/or received a mentored career development award (e.g., K01,K08, K23), or a mental health, drug abuse or neurological sciences research grant.  A "success rate" should be calculated by dividing the total number of trainees appointed (minus those still in training) into the total number actively engaged in mental health, and/or drug abuse and/or neurological sciences teaching and research.  The progress report should also detail the actual expenditures of the most recent complete grant year for the Program Director, other essential personnel, travel, advisory committee, stipends, tuition, trainee travel, etc.  In addition, advisory committee report concerning the activities and recommendations made over the past funding period as well as an overall progress report endorsed by the full committee must be included.

There must also be an explanation of any unfilled trainee slots, slots prematurely terminated, as well as the reason for any trainees not completing the program as designed.  Competing continuation applications submitted without this information will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research: Every NRSA trainee supported by an institutional research training grant must receive instruction in the responsible conduct of research.  (For more information on this provision, see the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Volume 21, Number 43, November 27, 1992, see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not92-236.html.)  Applications must include a description of a program to provide formal or informal instruction in scientific integrity and ethical principles in research.

Applications without plans for instruction in the responsible conduct of research will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.

Plan for Sharing Research Data
Not applicable

Sharing Research Resources
Not applicable

Section V. Application Review Information


1. Criteria

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

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications that are complete and responsive to the RFA will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by the National Institute of Mental health in accordance with the review criteria stated below.

As part of the initial merit review, all applications:

The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

The goals of NIH-supported research training are to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in adequate numbers and in appropriate research areas to address the Nation’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. The scientific review group will address and consider each of these criteria in assigning the application’s overall score, weighting them as appropriate for each application.  Reviewers will first determine the quality of the proposed research training program and then consider whether the requested number of trainee positions is appropriate for the proposed program.

The following criteria will be used to evaluate the diversity research training applications:

Review Criteria

Major considerations in the review are the breadth, depth, and quality of the plan for implementing the training program; qualifications, capability, and experience of the program director and the organization to implement the plan; qualifications of the Training Advisory Committee; plans for recruiting, selecting, and placing trainees in appropriate graduate departments and programs; and adequacy of the facilities and resources. 

Detailed review criteria are listed below:

Program Plan

Program Leadership and Personnel

Qualifications and experience of the Program Director in mental health, and/or drug abuse and/or neurological science research, mentoring and administration

Program Faculty

Facilities and Resources

Short-Term Research Training Positions: In addition to the above criteria, applications that request short-term research training positions will also be assessed using the following criteria:

2.A. Additional Review Criteria:

Specific Criteria for Applications Submitted in Response to this RFA

Effectiveness of the existing program as indicated by the progress report on the development of the program and the past record of:

(a) recruitment of underrepresented groups;
(b) placement in departments with strong mental health, and/or drug abuse and/or neurological sciences research;
(c) rates of retention in graduate work;
(d) rates of completion of doctorates;
(e) rates of success in pursuing postdoctoral training;
(f) subsequent careers in mental health, and/or drug abuse and/or neurological sciences teaching and research of the trainees; and
(g) research and mentored research career development awards (K01, K08, and K23) applied for or received by trainees. 

2.B. Additional Review Considerations

Budget: The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period of support in relation to the proposed research training program and the number of proposed trainees at various levels. The priority score should not be affected by the evaluation of the budget.

Appropriateness and justification for all items in the proposed budget; compelling justification for training related expenses in excess of $2,200 per predoctoral trainee and $3,850 per postdoctoral trainee, per year, being mindful that the maximum amount of Training Related Expenses may not exceed 30 percent of the total direct costs requested in any year of the requested project period

Contributions of the applicant institution or other institutions and organizations to the program in kind or in funds

Period of Support: The appropriateness of the requested period of support in relation to the proposed research training program.

Diversity Recruitment and Retention Plan: 

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. 

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 groups.  The review panel’s evaluation will be included in an administrative note in the summary statement.  If the diversity recruitment and retention plan is judged to be unacceptable, funding will be withheld until a revised plan (and report) that addresses the deficiencies is received.  Staff within the NIH awarding component, with guidance from the appropriate national advisory committee or council, will determine whether amended plans and reports submitted after the initial review are acceptable.

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research:  Peer reviewers will assess the applicant’s plan for training in the responsible conduct of research on the basis of the appropriateness of topics, format, amount and nature of faculty participation, and the frequency and duration of instruction.

The plan will be discussed after the overall determination of merit, and the review panel’s evaluation of the plan will not be a factor in the determination of the priority score.  Plans will be judged as acceptable or unacceptable, and the result will be described in an administrative note on the summary statement.  Regardless of the priority score, applications with unacceptable plans will not be funded until the applicant provides a revised, acceptable plan.  The relevant NIH staff will judge the acceptability of the revised plan.

Following initial review, the appropriate NIH institute or center council, board, or other advisory group also reviews applications.  These advisory groups will consider the assessment of the scientific and educational merit of the research training grant application as well as the initial review group’s comments on the recruitment of individuals from underrepresented groups and the plan for instruction in the responsible conduct of research.

Tracking and Evaluation of Trainee Progress After Leaving the Program:

Plan for tracking and evaluating trainee progress after they leave the training program. The plan should be designed to track and evaluate the progress of trainees for five-ten years after the termination of their training appointment.

2.C. Sharing Research Data
Not applicable

2.D. Sharing Research Resources
Not applicable

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates
Not applicable

Section VI. Award Administration Information


1. Award Notices

After the peer review of the application is completed, the Program Director will be able to access his or her Review Results and 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 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_part4.htm).

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 (designated in item 12 on the Application Face Page). If a grantee is not email enabled, a hard copy of the NoA will be mailed to the 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.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_Part4.htm) and Part II Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_part9.htm).

Special Administrative Requirements Associated with NRSA Programs:

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 30 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 paid leave for this purpose and the use of parental leave is approved by the program director.  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 NIMH for an unpaid leave of absence.  Trainees supported by

Part-Time Training:  While Kirschstein-NRSA trainees are required to pursue research training full time, normally defined as 40 hours per week, or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies, under unusual and pressing personal circumstances, a Program Director may submit a written request to the NIMH  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 NRSA supported research training for less than 50% effort.  Individuals who must reduce their commitment to less than 50% effort must take a leave-of-absence from NRSA training grant support.  The stipend will be pro-rated in the grant award during the period of any approved part-time training.  Part-time training may affect the rate of accrual or repayment of the service obligation for postdoctoral trainees. 

Carryover of Unobligated Balances: The carryover of funds from one budget period to the next requires prior written approval by the NIMH. Such requests must include compelling justification including the status of trainee appointments to the program.  

Termination of Award:  When a grantee institution plans to terminate an award, the NIMH program and Grants Management staff  must be notified in writing as soon as possible.  

Change of Institution: The training program may not be transferred from one institution to another.  Trainees seeking to change institutions must terminate their current appointment using the Termination Notice (form PHS 416-7, Rev. 10/05), located at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm#training.

Change of Training Program Director: If change of a Training Program Director (TPD) is necessary, support of the award is not automatic but may be continued with prior written approval by the NIMH , provided that the following conditions are met.  The current TPD or the grantee institution has submitted a written request for the change, countersigned by the appropriate institutional business official, to NIMH program staff describing the reasons for the change.  The Biographical Sketch of the proposed TPD, 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 TPD and that the new TPD 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 a specific program under the guidance and leadership of a particular TPD.  A change in any of these parameters requires prior approval by NIMH program staff.  A rationale must be provided for any proposed changes in the aims of the original, peer-reviewed program.  If the new program does not satisfy this requirement, the award will be terminated.  

Service Payback Provisions:  As specified in the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, Kirschstein-NRSA recipients incur a service payback obligation only during the first 12 months of postdoctoral support.  Additionally, the Act specifies that the second and subsequent years 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 more than 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: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_Part11.htm

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.

3. Reporting

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.  The NRSA programs are not subject to SNAP.

The NRSA instructions for the non-competing grant progress report (starting on page 19, Form 2590) should be followed. Note that 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 and levels 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.

An evaluation and tracking report as described in Section IV.6. of this announcement should be included annually as part of the Progress Report. 

Additional information that should be included in the annual progress report in concert with the PHS 2590 instructions:

Additional Reporting Requirements: 

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.

Trainee Reporting Requirements:  The institution must submit a completed Statement of Appointment (PHS Form 2271) for each trainee appointed or reappointed to the training grant.  This Form must be completed at the beginning of the initial appointment and annually thereafter.  Additionally, a completed Payback Agreement Form (PHS 6031, Rev. 10/05) must be submitted for each postdoctoral trainee in his or her first 12 months of support.  No funds may be provided until such documents are submitted and accepted by the funding Institute.

Within 30 days of the end of the total support period for each trainee, the institution must submit a Termination Notice (PHS 416-7, Rev. 10/05) to the NIH.  If the trainee has a payback obligation, he or she must notify the NIH of any change in address and submit Annual Payback Activities Certification Forms (PHS 6031-1, Rev. 10/05) until the payback service obligation is satisfied.  Failure to submit the required forms in a timely, complete, and accurate manner may result in an expenditure disallowance or a delay in any continuation funding for the award.  Forms may be found on the NIH Website at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm.

Evaluation:  In carrying out its stewardship of human resource-related programs, the NIH may request information essential to an assessment of the effectiveness of this Program.  Accordingly, recipients are hereby notified that they may be contacted during and after the completion of this award for periodic updates on various aspects of their employment history, publications, support from research grants or contracts, honors and awards, professional activities, and other information helpful in evaluating the impact of the research training 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 was funded by a Kirschstein-NRSA program”.  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.

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 and tracking report is required as part of the Final Progress Report.

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.

Section VII. Agency Contacts


We encourage your inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants. Written and telephone inquiries concerning this limited competition may be directed to:

1. Scientific/Research Contacts:

Mark Chavez, Ph.D.
Division of Adult Translational Research & Treatment Development
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7101, MSC 9621
Bethesda, MD 20892-9621
Telephone: (301) 443-8942
FAX: (301) 443-6000
Email: mchavez1@mail.nih.gov

Nancy L. Desmond, Ph.D.
Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7197, MSC 9645
Bethesda, MD 20892-9645
Telephone: (301) 443-3563
FAX: (301) 443-1731
Email: ndesmond@mail.nih.gov

Enid Light, Ph.D.
Division of Services and Intervention Research
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7160 MSC, 9635
Bethesda, MD 20892-9635
Telephone: (301) 443-1185
FAX: (301) 594-6784
Email: elight@mail.nih.gov

Suman Rao-King, Ph.D.
Office of Science Policy and Communications
National Institute on Drug Abuse
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 5230, MSC 9591
Bethesda, MD 20892
Telephone: (301) 443-6071
FAX: (301) 443-6277
Email: SRao@mail.nih.gov

Stephen Korn. Ph.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2186, MSC 9523
Bethesda, MD 20892-9523
Telephone: (301) 496-4188
FAX: (301) 594-4370
Email: NINDSTrainingOffice@ninds.nih.gov

2. Peer Review Contacts:

David Armstrong, Ph.D.
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Blvd, Room 6138  MSC 9606
Bethesda , MD 20892-9606
Telephone: (301) 443-3534 
Email: armstrda@mail.nih.gov

3. Financial or Grants Management Contacts:

Rebecca Claycamp
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Blvd., Room 6122
Bethesda, MD 20892
Telephone: (301) 443-2811
Email: rclaycam@mail.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information


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. Reviewers will consider the data sharing plan but will not factor the plan into the determination of the scientific merit or the priority score.

Access to Research Data through the Freedom of Information Act:
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to provide access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) under some circumstances. Data that are (1) first produced in a project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed through FOIA. It is important for applicants to understand the basic scope of this amendment. NIH has provided guidance at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm. Applicants may wish to place data collected under this funding opportunity in a public archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the distribution for an indefinite period of time. If so, the application should include a description of the archiving plan in the study design and include information about this in the budget justification section of the application. In addition, applicants should think about how to structure informed consent statements and other human subjects procedures given the potential for wider use of data collected under this award.

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/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-02-005.html. Only research using hESC lines that are registered in the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry will be eligible for Federal funding (http://escr.nih.gov). It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide in the project description and elsewhere in the application as appropriate, the official NIH identifier(s) for the hESC line(s)to be used in the proposed research. Applications that do not provide this information will be returned without review.

NIH Public Access Policy:
NIH-funded investigators are requested to submit to the NIH manuscript submission (NIHMS) system (http://www.nihms.nih.gov) at PubMed Central (PMC) an electronic version of the author's final manuscript upon acceptance for publication, resulting from research supported in whole or in part with direct costs from NIH. The author's final manuscript is defined as the final version accepted for journal publication, and includes all modifications from the publishing peer review process.

NIH is requesting that authors submit manuscripts resulting from 1) currently funded NIH research projects or 2) previously supported NIH research projects if they are accepted for publication on or after May 2, 2005. The NIH Public Access Policy applies to all research grant and career development award mechanisms, cooperative agreements, contracts, Institutional and Individual Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards, as well as NIH intramural research studies. The Policy applies to peer-reviewed, original research publications that have been supported in whole or in part with direct costs from NIH, but it does not apply to book chapters, editorials, reviews, or conference proceedings. Publications resulting from non-NIH-supported research projects should not be submitted.

For more information about the Policy or the submission process please visit the NIH Public Access Policy Web site at http://publicaccess.nih.gov/ and view the Policy or other Resources and Tools including the Authors' Manual (http://publicaccess.nih.gov/publicaccess_Manual.htm).

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. Unless otherwise specified in an NIH solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide information necessary to the review because reviewers are under no obligation to view the Internet sites. Furthermore, we caution reviewers that their anonymity may be compromised when they directly access an Internet site.

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

Authority and Regulations:
This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance at http://www.cfda.gov/ and is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review. Awards are made under the authorization of Section 487 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 288) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 66.  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.


Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices


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