Research and Funding

Division of Extramural Activities

NIH Programs to Diversify the Research Workforce

F31 Predoctoral Individual Fellowship

The program includes opportunities for students with disabilities (a separate announcement had previously offered this opportunity) and replaces the prior NIH Predoctoral Individual Fellowship Award for students who would increase diversity in the research workforce.

For more information, see:

Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA for Individual Predoctoral Fellowships (F31) to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research:

  • Expires: January 8, 2017
  • PA Number: PA-14-148

Supplement Programs to enhance Diversity and Re-entry into the research workforce.

NIA participates in NIH-wide supplement programs to enhance diversity and re-entry into the research workforce.

  • NIA Supplements to Promote Diversity PA Number: PA-12-149 Expires: September 30, 2015

Provides research supplements for under-represented Minorities and for inidividuals with Disabilites.

  • NIA Supplements to Promote Re-entry PA Number: PA-12-150 Expires: September 30, 2015

Permits PIs on many different types of research grants an administrative supplement to support an individual returning to the research workforce after a forced interruption (e.g., raising children or caring for a disabled parent).

Introduction

NIA’s Diversity / Disability / Re-entry Supplement programs support the development of eligible trainee-candidates who seek independent careers in aging and geriatrics research and meet NIA’s goal to enhance the diversity of the biomedical workforce. The supplement provides funds to support a mentor- directed opportunity for a trainee-candidate to develop the critical thinking skills, scientific technical expertise and professional acumen essential for career advancement. NIA pays particular attention to the fit between the goals of the NIA supplement, the stage of professional achievement of the trainee-candidate, and the specific training experiences that would help the trainee to ascend to the next step in research independence.

Eligible candidates, working with the PI of an NIA-funded grant should articulate how the supplement would facilitate their immediate, near term and long range career goals. The training plan should be specific and tailored to the needs of the candidate. Appropriate milestoneds should be in place for the duration of the supplement award period. Plans for direct communication with all mentors and peers as well as learning opportunities conducted in other settings should also be described. The potential trainee-candidate might consider funding through the Diversity/Disability/Re-entry Supplement Program as one of a spectrum of funding sources, including predoctoral and postdoctoral awards, career-development and small grants that may enhance research independence and career advancement. Postdoctoral and junior faculty applicants should clearly articulate why the supplement is a particularly appropriate mechanism compared to the available alternatives and what their plans will be beyond the supplement funding.

Submitting an Application

NIA follows NIH policy providing for electronic submission of Diversity /Disability/Re-entry Supplement applications. NIA will rarely support more than one trainee-candidate on a parent grant concurrently. A separate application must be submitted for each candidate.

Please follow the guidelines in Section IV of "Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research" (Admin Supp) (PA-12-149) or "Research Supplements to Promote Re-entry into Biomedical and Behavioral Research Careers" (Admin Supp) ( PA12-150) to insure that all appropriate required and optional components are submitted to Grants.gov. NOT-OD-14-118 provides additional information on updated forms and application instructions for the submission of administrative supplements.

Alternatively, the streamlined electronic submission system offered through the eRA Commons may be used to submit the supplement application. Please see the relevant FOAs and the eRA Commons User Guide (PDF, 16.7M) for additional information. The electronic copy must be submitted via Grants.gov before it can be awarded.

For parent awards originally submitted in paper format:

Convert the required documents into a single PDF with transcripts, letters of recommendation, and other items that cannot be downloaded from the PHS 398 application package.

In all cases, applicants should provide a copy of the supplement documents as a single PDF attachment in an email to Hunterc@mail.nih.gov. Use the subject line: “NIA Diversity Supplement Application PDF”. Make sure your contact information is in the body of the email. Insure that all files and signatures are legible.

Guidelines for Submission

NIA emphasizes the following details in its administration of the Diversity / Disability / Re-entry Supplement Programs:

Candidate Eligibility NIA follows NIH guidelines on the NIH’s interest in diversity and underrepresentation. These guidelines are in part articulated by the National Science Foundation’s most recent report on Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering). (see associated data and statistics at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/showpub.cfm?TopID=2&SubID=27%20).

Racial and Ethnic Minorities

The candidate must voluntarily self-identify as a member of a racial or ethnic group underrepresented in health-related sciences. In accordance with standards described in Office of Management and Budget Directive 15, 1997; American Indians or Alaska Natives are persons who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment. For the purposes of this application procedure, the affiliation, or attachment must be substantiated by official documentation.

Individuals with Disabilities

The individual must self-identify as an individual with a disability, defined as a person with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds

The individual must self-identify as an individual from a disadvantaged background defined as individuals who come from a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds. These thresholds are based on family size; published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census; adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index and adjusted by The Secretary for use in all health professions programs. The Secretary periodically publishes these income levels at HHS - Poverty Guidelines, Research, and Measurement. For individuals from low income backgrounds, the institution must be able to demonstrate that such participants have qualified for Federal disadvantaged assistance or they have received any of the following student loans: Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL), Loans for Disadvantaged Student Program, or they have received scholarships from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Scholarship for Individuals with Exceptional Financial Need.

Eligible Mechanisms. Principal investigators (PIs) of R03, R21, R15, R42, and R44 awards may submit supplement requests for support of high-school students, undergraduates or post-baccalaureate candidates only. NIA does not accept supplement applications for R41 or R43 (SBIR-STTR) awards. For all other award mechanisms NIA accepts applications to support high-school students, undergraduates, post-baccalaureate, Masters, PhD, postdoctoral and new investigator candidates.

Period of Support. Generally a minimum of two years should remain on the project period of the grant to be eligible. Supplement requests may be submitted to span the life of the funded grant period. Typical supplement awards are for 2 years or less with longer awards provided for predoctoral study. In all cases, the research /training proposed should be appropriate for the time requested, with stated milestones and a mentoring and career development plan. For grants with performance periods of less than two years, the proposed supplement should justify the need for a strategic training activity appropriate for the shortened performance period. Supplement awards are not provided to grants in a no-cost extension.

A candidate who has received or is currently receiving support from another funding source (including the parent grant) is not eligible to receive a supplement. Investigators seeking supplement support should inquire about eligibility based on their funding status.

Candidates that have had support on a National Research Service Award (NRSA) training grant or a previous diversity or disability supplement are eligible for support.

Allowable Costs. The supplement can pay for stipend or salary support (consistent with position and institutional salary scale) and tuition costs. NIA limits funds requested for travel to $2000 per year of the award. Funds for research supplies must be clearly justified and will only be considered if outside the budget of the parent grant.

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Dr. Chyren Hunter, at Hunterc@mail.nih.gov before beginning work on and submitting a Diversity / Disability/ Re-entry Supplement application.

Application Content

Please follow the guidelines for preparation of the application described in the F0A. PIs should read the program announcement (under Application and Submission Information) to identify what to include in a supplement request; work with your business office to make sure you use the correct forms. NIA pays particular attention to the section addressing research training and career development. This section should emphasize not only the goals and tasks of the research and research-training plan but also the methods or means by which the goals / tasks are to be achieved, namely, course work, seminars, workshops, one-on-one training. This section of the application should in addition detail the particular benchmarks of training success that would be used to assess the progress of the trainee.

The 5-page Supplement application should include:

  • Candidate's Statement. Include a brief but insightful personal statement signed by the trainee-candidate regarding her / his research and career-development interests, career goals and commitments and how the supplement would facilitate the realization of the trainee-candidate's immediate, near term and long-term research and career goals and objectives. May be included as part of the candidate's biosketch.
  • A one-page (or less) summary or abstract of the funded grant or project.
  • Research Training Activities / Career Development Plan. Describe how the research and career development activities will enhance the candidate's research potential and foster the aging-related research capabilities of the trainee-candidate, advancing his or her ability to pursue an independent research career. The research plan should be specific and appropriate for the stage of the individual’s professional development, enhancing the individual's research potential, while furthering the individual's ability to pursue a research career. Include in this description:
    • How the proposed research and research-training activities relate to the research goals and objectives of the parent grant. The research activities proposed must be within the scope of the parent grant.
    • An integrated time line detailing the course of research and career development activities, delineating specific research milestones consistent with the award period.
    • Details of the interactions between the trainee-candidate and mentor(s), research team and professional colleagues relevant to the overall research experience.

Not included in the 5-page limit:

  • Candidate biosketch
  • Five- page biosketch (as in an R01) that includes a description of the mentor’s track record including mentoring goals specific to the trainee-candidate.
    • If you are a junior faculty member, it may be helpful to include an experienced co-mentor in the career development plan.
    • If you are a PI that has received research supplements, describe the outcome or progress of the supplements, including the diversity candidate's current status (provide full names, title, and institution).
    • If other investigators contribute to the research mentoring, describe their role and include a bio sketch.
  • A signed statement from the PI and an institutional official establishing the eligibility of the trainee candidate for support under the Diversity / Disability or Re-entry Supplement Program including:
    • Clearly presented information on citizenship.
    • Information on the nature of the candidate's disability, circumstances, background, or characteristics that confer eligibility under this program.
    • A description of any current or previous PHS research grant support the candidate has received, including start and end dates. Include a statement indicating that the candidate has not received any current or previous PHS support, if applicable. Candidates receiving PHS support at the time of submission are not eligible.
    • Transcript Requirements/References/Letters of Support. A copy of the most recent official transcript should be provided if the trainee-candidate is a high school, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, post-master's degree or graduate student. Please block out all digits of any social security number. References /Letters of Support are optional but may be included in the supplement application.

Additional Information (provide as needed):

  • For research conducted at a site other than the grantee institution: an appropriately signed letter from the other institution where the research would be conducted should be provided. The request must be signed by the trainee candidate, PI, and the appropriate institutional business official.
  • For a supplement based on disability: the institution should indicate what, if any, reasonable accommodations the institution has supported or plans to provide along with a full description of how any additional support for accommodation would be used. The relation of the proposed accommodation (to the proposed Diversity Supplement) must be described.

Application Review and Award

The submitted application package is reviewed within the NIA Division of Extramural Activities (DEA). First, applications accepted into Grants.gov are reviewed by NIA program staff for completeness; incomplete applications may be returned without review. Review is then conducted by the NIA Supplements Committee, with representatives from the Division of Extramural Activities, NIA Office of Special Populations and each scientific program division.

The chart below details the submission, review, and funding schedule for submitted applications. To be considered for funding during the quarter, applications should be submitted electronically by the last Tuesday of the month. Awards are made quarterly. Supplement applications submitted within three months of the non-competing segment of the parent award may be awarded with the next performance period.

Submission Deadline* Review Date** Earliest Possible Start Date
September - November December December 30th
December - February March March 30th
March - May June June 30th
June - August September September 30th

*Applications should be submitted no later than the last Tuesday of each month. Unsuccessful applicants may be invited to re-submit during the next submission cycle.

**Applications are reviewed for funding within each quarter. Funding decisions for applications submitted within the cycle may be influenced or delayed by the availability of funds.

A summary of the review of the supplement application and final recommendations are provided to the PI. Unsuccessful applications may revise and resubmit during one other submission cycle.

Funding decisions are dependent on: (1) the merit of the application and the proposed project activities (i.e., the career development/mentorship plan) and relevance to NIA research training priorities, mission, and strategic objectives); (2) the potential for continued research progress of the candidate to the next stage in securing a research career in aging and geriatrics; and (3) the availability of funds.