The Claude D. Pepper Older American Independence Centers (OAIC) program was established in honor of the late Representative to establish centers of excellence in research and research career development that will increase scientific knowledge leading to better ways to maintain or restore independence in older persons. A listing of the currently active OAICs, their achievements, and other pertinent information can be found on the National Pepper Center Website .
RFA-AG-15-003: Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Centers and Coordinating Center (P30)  (Receipt Date: June 24, 2014)
New FAQ’s may be added to this site periodically.
Apparently ASSIST does not permit user-defined ordering of components for this RFA. Allow ASSIST to order the application components itself.
Targeted/Planned Enrollment Tables can be included in the Protection of Human Subjects section.
As described in the FAQ dated 4/25/2014, it is possible to propose an optional RC that provides salary support to a junior investigator working on a research project and accessing career development activities from the RCDC or other institutional sources. In this case, the junior investigator’s research project would be considered a developmental or external project.
Yes, it is expected that biographical sketches will be provided for RCDC scholars, other career development candidates, and pilot/exploratory study awardees identified in the application. These individuals should be considered as senior/key personnel within their respective core.
The minimum effort for RCDC (KL2) activities may be reduced to 50% for surgeons or other specialists who must devote substantial time to operating or other patient care responsibilities in order to maintain their clinical certification. Adequate justification must be provided in the application. At this time, other exceptions are not recognized.
No. According to NOT-OD-11-080  and its related Notices, information should not be included in appendices or sections lacking page limits as a way of circumventing page limits of other sections of the application. NIH may withdraw applications in egregious cases.
As indicated in NOT-OD-00-004 , internet addresses or URLs should not be included in the application to convey information necessary for review.
The supplemental instructions for preparing an institutional Kirchstein NRSA application in the SF424 Application Guide  direct applicants to complete a variety of data tables. Many of these tables are relevant to stand-alone institutional training awards, but are less relevant to the Pepper Center RCDC. As such, applicants should complete only the following four data tables:
*For Tables 5B and 6B, renewing OAICs should indicate which trainees are RCDC scholars.
Applicants may want to provide support to junior investigators for time, effort, and/or career development activities that differ from those expected of KL2 scholars. One way in which an OAIC may offer such varying levels of support, though not necessarily the only way, is by proposing an optional Resource Core for this purpose. For example, the Resource Core may provide salary support to a junior investigator for work on a research project related to the OAIC’s mission while the investigator accesses mentoring and other career development activities provided by the OAIC and/or other institutional sources. For purposes of F&A rate, the junior investigator in this case would be considered a research awardee, rather than an official trainee, so the institution’s research F&A rate would apply to this optional core rather than the training F&A rate.
Most likely yes. Per standard NIH policy , non-Federal funds can be used to supplement a KL2 scholar’s salary consistent with the institution’s salary scale. These funds may count towards the minimum professional effort requirement for KL2 candidacy.
As noted in the RFA, progress report information should be included in the Program Plan, specifically in the “A. Program Administration” section. New applicants may use this section to describe current career development opportunities or other preparatory activities for an RCDC. Although ASSIST provides a space to upload a separate progress report for renewal applications (attachment 6 in the Research Training Program Plan), this space should be left blank. RFA instructions generally supersede standard NIH instructions where differences exist.
KL2 scholars are eligible to apply for individual mentored career development awards (e.g., K01, K08, K23, K25). Total mentored career development time, which is time spent on both institutional (e.g., KL2, K12) and individual mentored K awards, can last up to 5 years without justification. Mentored career development support beyond 5 years is permissible provided there is an acceptable justification in the peer-reviewed mentored K application.
Please order the components as follows: Overall, LAC, RCDC (KL2), RCs, PESC, and IDC. ***See updated response to this FAQ on 6/17/2014***
Base salary need not be limited to $75,000/year but must be justified. Generally, candidates must devote at least 75% of their full-time professional effort to research and career development activities under the RCDC, with the balance of effort devoted to other research, clinical, or teaching activities consistent with the proposed goals of the RCDC program. For surgeons who must devote a minimum amount of time to maintain their surgical credentials, the minimum effort for research and career development activities through the RCDC may decrease to no less than 50% of full-time professional effort. Adequate justification for reduced effort and a description of non-KL2 activities should be provided in the application.
As corrected in NOT-AG-12-006 , an applicant institution may submit only one OAIC application.
Yes. One of the expected functions of a Coordinating Center is to organize and conduct an OAIC trainee conference in conjunction with the annual investigators meeting. Travel support for OAIC trainees to attend this conference is an acceptable Coordinating Center expense; however, travel support for OAIC Directors and other members of their leadership team to attend the annual OAIC investigators meeting is the responsibility of each OAIC Leadership and Administrative Core (LAC).
While the scope of the OAIC program remains unchanged, there are several differences in RFA-AG-15-003:
a. The OAIC RFA now uses an electronic submission format known as ASSIST. Many of the specifically formatted pages, such as title pages, budget tables, and personnel summaries, are now generated automatically. In addition, the order of sections is compiled automatically.
b. The RCDC component is now awarded as a linked KL2 award. As a result, the standard NIH policies for K awards now apply to the RCDC, including eligibility criteria of RCDC candidates, training requirements, and F&A costs (8% of eligible direct costs). In addition, RCDC funds can be used to support research projects conducted by RCDC scholars. It is expected, however, that RCDC scholars who receive RCDC funding for their research projects will not receive funds from other OAIC Cores (e.g., PESC, RC Developmental Projects) to conduct research.
c. A cap has been placed on the number of Resource Cores (RCs) an OAIC may support. Applicants may propose up to 4 RCs.
Applicants are encouraged to keep descriptions of first-year proposed PESs brief and limited to only the most consequential information. Applicants are encouraged to make maximum use of space within the PESC section, as well as other areas of the application, to convey relevant information about proposed PESs, provided that the information is appropriate for inclusion in such areas. Applications that do not adhere to the page and content limits of individual sections may be returned.
There is no budget limit for Resource Cores themselves. Resource Cores can request as much as is available after budgeting for all other OAIC components. There are budget limits on Developmental Projects, however; they must range between $35,000 and $70,000 in first-year direct costs.
No. Subjects should be reported in the Inclusion Enrollment Report only if there is new contact with the subjects.
No. Only human subjects enrolled as part of an OAIC-supported project should be reported.
No. Competitive renewal applications must fit their progress reports within the Research Strategy page limits for each component. Applications that include progress report information in other sections may be sent back.
No. An applicant institution may submit only one OAIC application.