Bioscience

NIH wants teachers to apply for short-term research opps

March 18, 2009

By Flinn Foundation

NIH Announces the Availability of Recovery Act Funds for Administrative Supplements Providing Summer Research Experiences for Students and Science Educators

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announces the opportunity for investigators and United States institutions/organizations with active NIH Research Grants to request administrative supplements for the purpose of promoting job creation, economic development, and accelerating the pace and achievement of scientific research. These supplements will also encourage students to seriously pursue research careers in the health related sciences, as well as provide elementary, middle school, and high school teachers, community college faculty, and faculty from non-research intensive institutions with short term research experiences in NIH-funded laboratories.

Support for these supplements will come from funds provided to NIH through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“Recovery Act” or “ARRA”), Public Law 111-5. In addition, Recovery Act funds allocated to NIH specifically for comparative effectiveness research (CER) may be available to support supplements. Projects receiving these funds will need to meet this definition of CER: “a rigorous evaluation of the impact of different options that are available for treating a given medical condition for a particular set of patients. Such a study may compare similar treatments, such as competing drugs, or it may analyze very different approaches, such as surgery and drug therapy.” Such research may include the development and use of clinical registries, clinical data networks, and other forms of electronic health data that can be used to generate or obtain outcomes data as they apply to CER.

This announcement is one of three ARRA administrative supplement/competitive revision notices issued by NIH. Approximately $1 billion of ARRA funds will be obligated by September 30, 2010 to support requests submitted in response to these three notices or any reissuance of these notices.

This administrative supplement solicitation encourages submissions in all scientific and programmatic areas funded by NIH. Support may be requested for up to 2 years for qualified grants (see eligibility section below).

Background

The Recovery Act was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009 with the purpose of stimulating the American economy through job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, and other means. The Recovery Act provides NIH with $10.4 billion to be obligated over two years for a variety of biomedical research and research support activities. This administrative supplement opportunity is one part of the overall NIH Recovery Act investment strategy, as described at www.hhs.gov/recovery.

Eligibility

This announcement is for administrative supplements to active NIH Research Grants, Research Program and Center Grants (Ps), and Cooperative Agreements (Us). Individual NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) have more detailed eligibility information on their own Web sites. See http://grants.nih.gov/recovery/ic_supp.html.

Potential applicants should review the instructions for Revision Applications issued by their funding IC (See NIH Institute & Center (IC) Web Sites) before responding to this Notice. Some ICs will consider administrative supplements only in target areas identified on their Web sites.

To be eligible, the parent grant must be active and the research experience proposed in the supplement must be accomplished within the current competitive segment. The proposed supplement MUST be within the general scope of the peer-reviewed activities and aims approved within the parent grant, including projects on a no-cost extension. Note that while NIH recommends that a no-cost extension already be in place before an administrative supplement request is submitted, this is not a requirement for all administrative supplement requests.

Generally, students and science educators supported under these supplements are not required to be U.S. citizens. However, some parent grants eligible for supplementation under this notice may have unique citizenship requirements, and these citizenship requirements will apply to any supplement awarded under this notice. Applicant organizations are responsible for determining that individuals’ visas will allow them to remain in the country long enough for them to be productive on the supplement award, but NIH does not provide guidance on or assess the different types of visas. NIH expects grantee organizations to have policies, consistently applied regardless of the source of funds, to address this area. If a grant is awarded and an individuals’ visa will not allow a long enough stay to be productive on the project, NIH may terminate the supplement award.

There are no limits to the number of administrative supplement requests that may be submitted by an institution or Project Director/Principal Investigator although individual ICs may limit eligibility in accordance with the policies listed on their Web page.

Applications from foreign institutions are not permitted. Consistent with the goals of the Recovery Act to preserve and create jobs and promote economic recovery in the United States, applicants must be domestic (United States) institutions/organizations (i.e., located in the 50 states, territories and possessions of the United States, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, or District of Columbia). In addition, domestic U.S. institutions planning to submit supplement requests that include foreign components should be aware that requested funding for any foreign components should not exceed 10% of the total requested direct costs or $25,000 (per subcontract/subaward or in aggregate for multiple subcontracts/subawards), whichever is less.

IMPORTANT: The funds requested by the NIH grantee in the supplement application must be within the general scope of the peer-reviewed activities and aims approved within the parent grant. The funding method being used to support this program, administrative supplements, can be used to cover cost increases that are associated with providing research experiences in the conduct of NIH supported research, as long as they are within the original scope of the parent project. Any cost increases need to result from making modifications to the parent project in order to take advantage of opportunities that would increase the value of the project consistent with its originally approved objectives and purposes or to accelerate the tempo of scientific research. NIH will not consider requests which are solely to restore previously applied budget adjustments to a project nor to supplant previous institutional commitments to supporting individuals and other project costs.

Areas of NIH Interest

This administrative supplement solicitation encourages submissions in all scientific and programmatic areas funded by NIH. In particular, NIH is interested in the funding priorities listed below:

  • Summer Research Opportunities for High School and Undergraduate Students
  • Summer Research Opportunities for Science Educators (e.g., Elementary, Middle School and High School Teachers, Community College Faculty, and Faculty from Non-research Intensive Institutions)

NIH encourages the participation of individuals from racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research, individuals with disabilities and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Additionally, NIH is prepared to make awards with Recovery Act funding under other existing programs that provide administrative supplements (such as PA-08-190 Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research and PA-08-091 Research Supplements to Promote Re-Entry into Biomedical and Behavioral Research Careers). See those specific notices for more information.

Preparing an Administrative Supplement Request

Requests under this notice should use the PHS 398 forms (rev. 11/2007; available at: http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html) and include the elements listed below in the request packet. Font size restrictions apply as designated within the PHS398 instructions.

1) Cover Letter – Citing this Notice (NOT-OD-09-060), specify a request for a Recovery Act Administrative Supplement, including the following information:

  • Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) name
  • Parent grant number and title
  • Amount of the requested supplement
  • Name and title of the authorized institutional official, and
  • Phone, email, and address information for both the PD/PI and the institutional official.

The cover letter must be signed by the authorized organizational representative.

2) PHS 398 Form Page 1 (Face page) MS Word PDF

  • The title of the project (Box 1) should be the title of the parent award.
  • This Notice (NOT-OD-09-060), “Administrative Supplement Notice for Students and Science Educators under the Recovery Act”) should be cited in Box 2, and the “yes” box should be checked.
  • The Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) must be the same as the PD/PI on the parent award. For Multiple PD/PI parent awards, the Contact PD/PI must be the PD/PI listed on the supplement request. Administrative supplements cannot change the Multiple PD/PI team or convert a grant from a single PD/PI to a multiple PD/PI grant.
  • The remaining items on the face page should be filled out in accordance with the PHS 398 application instructions.

3) PHS 398 Form page 2 MS Word PDF

Note: The project “summary” is that of the administrative supplement, not the parent grant. All other information requested on Form Page 2 should be provided.

4) A brief proposal describing the project, including:

a) Scope of the overall project and the anticipated contribution of the requested supplement (not to exceed three pages). Summarize the activities that were included in the parent grant that encompass those proposed in the supplemental request. This section should include a description of the supplement’s purpose, including research design and methods and data analysis. Describe the relationship of the supplement request to the parent grant; describe the level (i.e., high school, undergraduate, etc.) of individual(s) to be recruited for research experience(s); and discuss how the supplement will contribute to expediting the accomplishment of the goals of the research project. Describe how the individual(s) were identified or plans to identify such individuals. Describe how the supplement will encourage students to pursue research careers in health-related sciences, and how the short-term research experience will benefit science educators. It is not necessary to provide the identity(ies) of the participating student(s)/educator(s) or other information about them in the supplement request.

b) Budget for the supplement with a justification that details the items requested, including Facilities and Administrative costs and a justification for all personnel and their role in this project. Note the budget and the number of positions being created should be appropriate for the work proposed in the supplement request. Applicants are encouraged to discuss budgets with their NIH Program Officer. To meet the various transparency, accountability, and reporting requirements of the Recovery Act, all applications under this notice must include detailed budgets on the PHS 398 Form Pages 4 (MS Word PDF) and 5 (MS Word PDF). Modular budget pages will not be accepted even when the parent grant was funded as a modular grant. See Budget and Funding Information below for additional information.

c) Biographical Sketch for all new Senior/Key Personnel There is no need to repeat information previously provided for other Senior/Key Personnel on the Biographical Sketch Format Page. MS Word PDF

d) Human Subjects/Vertebrate Animal documentation (if applicable). Include a current Human Subjects/IRB or Vertebrate Animals/IACUC approval letter, if applicable. Otherwise, this letter will be required at time of funding. All appropriate IRB and IACUC approvals must be in place prior to a supplement award being made.

No significant changes in the approved use of human subjects or vertebrate animals will be considered for administrative supplements. Instead, applicants proposing significant changes to the approved use of human subjects or vertebrate animals should consider applying for a competitive revision as described in NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-09-058.

e) PHS 398 Checklist Form MS Word PDF

Selection Factors

Administrative supplement requests will be reviewed administratively by NIH Program and Grants Management Staff with expertise relevant to the project. Awards will be determined on the basis of the merit of the project, its applicability to the goals of the Recovery Act, and the availability of funds. Applicants will be notified regarding the review outcome.

Selection factors will include the following:

  • Relevance of the proposed activities to the parent grant and determination that the proposed activities are within the existing peer-reviewed and approved scope of the project.
  • Adequate progress of the parent grant appropriate to the current stage of the project.
  • Appropriate and well-described plan to accomplish the goals within the timeframe proposed.
  • How the experience would foster the goals of students and/or educators in health-related science.
  • Appropriateness of the request to achieve Recovery Act goals in promoting job creation, economic development, and accelerating the pace and achievement of scientific research.

Budget and Funding Information

Funding for administrative supplements to existing grants will be available from Recovery Act funds in FY 2009 and FY 2010. Due to the limited nature of Recovery Act funds, applicants requesting multiple year funding in FY 2009 may only request funding for FY 2009 and FY 2010, and it is anticipated that supplement funding will be awarded within a short period after receipt of the supplement request. Requests selected for funding in FY2010 will be limited to a one year project period.

For Research Grants, supplements may request salary support for summer employment, as long as it reflects a direct contribution to accelerating the tempo of scientific research, is reasonable, consistent with institutional salary policies, and complies with the following dollar limits:

  • High school students – Should comply with hourly minimum wage limitations, unless justification is provided
  • Undergraduate students – No more than $10 per hour, unless justification is provided.
  • Science teachers and faculty – Up to $18,000, plus fringe benefit costs of up to $2,500

Supplements for summer research experiences may request an additional $1,000 per person for the costs of laboratory supplies and other related allowable costs, such as relevant travel.

In addition, domestic U.S. institutions planning to submit supplement requests that include foreign components should be aware that requested funding for any foreign components should not exceed 10% of the total requested direct costs or $25,000 per year (per subcontract/subaward or in aggregate for multiple subcontracts/subawards), whichever is less.

How to Apply

To be considered for an administrative supplement, submit a request in writing to the Institute/Center, not to the Division of Receipt and Referral, NIH Center for Scientific Review. Applications must be signed by the authorized institutional official and submitted to the appropriate IC Grants Management Specialist (listed below under “Inquiries”). Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications electronically as an e-mail attachment in PDF format; however the signature of the institutional official must be clearly visible. Applicants may also submit applications in paper format to the appropriate IC Grants Management contact.

Submit one original, hard copy of the request packet (with original signatures of the authorized business official) to the addresses listed on the Web site of the funding IC: http://grants.nih.gov/recovery/ic_supp.html.

Applications may be submitted throughout FY2009 and FY2010. However, note that some NIH ICs may have specific deadlines for submission of administrative supplements as listed on their own Web sites: http://grants.nih.gov/recovery/ic_supp.html.

To read the full application notice, click here: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-060.html