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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 (a) have qualified for Federal disadvantaged assistance; or (b) have received any of the following student loans: Health Professional Student Loans (HPSL), Loans for Disadvantaged Student Program; or (c) have received scholarships from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Scholarship for Individuals with Exceptional Financial Need.
2. Individuals who come from a social, cultural, or educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments that have demonstrably and recently directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career.
Recruitment and retention plans related to a disadvantaged background (C1 and C2) are most applicable to high school and perhaps undergraduate candidates, but would be more difficult to justify for individuals beyond that level of achievement. Under extraordinary circumstances the PHS may, at its discretion, consider an individual beyond the undergraduate level to be from a disadvantaged background. Such decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, based on appropriate documentation.
As stated earlier, applicants may have limited experience in recruiting students with disabilities and from disadvantaged backgrounds, and there may be limited resources available. However, the following are several sources that may be useful to applicants:
With respect to Training-Related Expenses, the NIH Grants Policy Statement provides as follows: “Funds are provided to defray costs such as staff salaries, consultant costs, equipment, research supplies, staff travel, and other expenses directly related to the training program. Funds are requested and awarded as a lump sum on the basis of the predetermined amount per predoctoral and postdoctoral trainee approved for support. Levels are published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. Interested applicants should consult the program announcement regarding the specific level for programs such as the short-term training program, the MARC U*STAR program, or the COR program.
Under exceptional circumstances, which can include accommodating the disabilities of a trainee, it is possible to request organizational costs above the standard level. Requests for additional costs must be explained in detail and justified in the application. Consultation with NIH program staff in advance of such requests is strongly advised.”
The above language regarding Training-Related Expenses applies only to awards under the Kirschstein-NRSA program. For allowable expenses under other training, career development, and education grant programs, see the relevant Funding Opportunity Announcement.
For comments or questions concerning this document, please contact the NIH Research Training Office at 301-435-4225 or by email at NIHTrain@mail.nih.gov.