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2022 RCMAR NOFOs Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs will be updated weekly until Sept 30, 2022.

Below you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions. If you do not find your answer, please contact: Dr. Melissa Gerald.

General Information

Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) Information

Eligibility

Funding & Budget


General Information

Q: What Is the Resource Center for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) Program?

A: The “RCMAR Program” refers collectively to three separate but interrelated components: 1) P30 Centers that focus on behavioral and social science research related to aging and/or to health disparities in older adults (RFA-AG-23-026), 2) P30 Centers that focus on research related to Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease related dementias (AD/ADRD) in behavioral and social science (RFA-AG-23-025), and a 3) U24 Coordinating Center to provide leadership to the program (RFA-AG-23-027).

Q: What is the main goal of the RCMAR Program?

A: The two-fold goal of the RCMAR program is: (1) to diversify the research workforce in priority areas of social, behavioral, psychological, and economic research on aging by mentoring promising scientists from diverse backgrounds; and (2) to develop a research and mentoring infrastructure to foster rigorous behavioral and social science research on aging and AD/ADRD in high-priority research areas that can advance aging-relevant scientific discoveries, lead to the elimination of health disparities and health inequities, and improve the health and well-being of older adults who are members of NIA’s Priority Populations, as specified in the NIA Health Disparities Research Framework.

Q: What is the structure of a RCMAR Center? What are the required components, and which component is the largest?

A: Centers (i.e., RCMARs and AD/ADRD RCMARs) are required to include, at a minimum, the following three Core components: (1) a Leadership and Administrative Core (LAC), (2) a Research Education Component (REC), and (3) an Analysis Core (AnC). Applicants are also encouraged, but not required, to propose a Community Liaison and Recruitment Core (CLRC). As the Research Education Component is the heart of the RCMAR program, the REC is expected to be the largest component of a Center.

Q: Can applications propose NIH resources to be used as training materials?

A: YES! We encourage to make use of any and all relevant NIH resources as training materials. In particular, BSR’s NIH Stage Model for Behavioral Intervention Development webpage now includes a brand-new video, which can serve as one of many effective training resources for (AD/ADRD) RCMAR Scientists interested in behavioral intervention development. As a reminder, the (AD/ADRD) RCMAR RFAs state the following:

“For (AD/ADRD) RCMARs focusing in research areas that involve intervention design and development, all Scientists are encouraged to create a specialized behavioral intervention development training plan and to make use of training resources provided on NIA’s NIH Stage Model for Behavioral Intervention Development homepage, which includes references to relevant scientific articles and a link to presentation and slide materials curated by NIA’s Research Centers Coordinating Network (RCCN), and on NIA’s Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) homepage.”

Q: Who should I contact if I have further questions?

A: Investigators are highly encouraged to contact Dr. Gerald during the planning stages of an application.

Melissa S. Gerald, Ph.D.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Telephone: 301-496-3136
Email: melissa.gerald@nih.gov

NOFO Information

Q: What is the difference between (a) RFA-AG-23-025, (b) RFA-AG-23-026, and (c) RFA-AG-23-027?

A (a): RFA-AG-23-025 invites P30 Center Core grant applications proposing to develop Alzheimer’s-related RCMARs (AD/ADRD RCMARs), which focus on research related to Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease related dementias (AD/ADRD) in a selected area of behavioral and social science. See: Division of Behavioral and Social Research’s (BSR) AD/ADRD webpage.

A (b): RFA-AG-23-026 invites P30 Center Core grant applications proposing to develop Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMARs), which focus on behavioral and social science research in a priority research area related to aging and/or to health disparities in older adults.

A (c): RFA-AG-23-027 invites U24 Resource-Related Research Project applications proposing to develop and maintain the RCMAR coordinating center (CC) for the RCMAR program, which provides leadership for the RCMAR program through a cooperative agreement with NIA.

Q: When are applications due?

A: There is a single receipt date: October 21, 2022. No late applications will be accepted.

Q: Are letters of intent required? When are they due?

A: Letters of intent are not required but are encouraged. They are due on September 21, 2022.

Q: Can one institution submit multiple applications?

A: Yes. An institution may submit more than one application, as long as they are scientifically distinct. We encourage applicants to focus on putting together a strong application with a coherent scientific theme that is developed in the proposed research education program, and that includes a set of initial pilot projects that exemplify a Center's core strengths.

Q: For renewal applications, does each core have one page for a progress report (in addition to the 6- or 12-page limit)?

A: As noted in “2. Content and Form of Application Submission” in “Section IV. Application and Submission Information”, under “Page Limitations”, “All page limitations described in the SF424 Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.”

Eligibility

Q: Can the PD/PI of a Center also be the Project Lead on the Research Education Component?

A: No. The RCMAR Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) can only serve as Core Lead(s) of the Leadership and Administrative Core (LAC) and cannot serve in any other position within the Center. However, the Lead(s) of the LAC may serve as mentors in Centers.

Q: Can a RCMAR Center have more than one Principal Investigator (PI)? Should there be more than one?

A: Yes; however, the applicant organization must designate one of the PD/PIs as the Contact PD/PI to serve as a primary point of contact. As stated in section 9 Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Applications and Awards of the NIH Grants Policy Statement under “9.3 Application Requirements”:

“The decision to submit a multiple PD/PI application is that of the applicant organization and the PD/PIs, and should be consistent with the scientific goals of the project. A single applicant organization may designate multiple PD/PIs from the applicant organization or may designate multiple PD/PIs from multiple institutions. Multiple organizations may not submit the same multiple PD/PI application.”

Q: Can a Contact PI participate in more than one (AD/ADRD) RCMAR Center?

A:  Yes, a Contact PI can participate in multiple (AD/ADRD) RCMARs Centers. MPIs and Core Leads can too.

Q: For MPI (AD/ADRD) RCMARs, is each PI expected to devote the suggested time commitment of 2.4 person months or can this effort be spread across the LAC Leads?

A: No, 2.4 person months is only suggested, not a requirement specified in the NOFOs. It is the expectation of NIA that the Contact PI of the grant will need to have a significant investment of effort to the proposed research project. However, as noted in Section V. Application Review Information of the NOFOs under the Investigator criterion, reviewers are instructed to evaluate the extent that investigators demonstrate “a commitment to devote adequate time to the management of the AD/ADRD RCMAR program”.

Q: While the NOFO defines RCMAR Scientists as early career behavioral and social science faculty members (i.e., assistant professors), can post-doctorate fellows also receive RCMAR pilot funding?

A: Yes. Pilot proposals from particularly promising post-doc candidates can be proposed, but only if their participation is well justified and adds value to the overall Center. In alignment with the purpose of the RCMAR program, pilot project funding is intended for behavioral and social scientists who are early career faculty members.

Q: Are RCMAR pilot study awards given to only members of underrepresented populations specifically noted in the Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity, NOT-OD-20-031?

A: No. This is not a requirement. While one of the overarching goals of these NOFOs is to create and sustain a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible aging research community in the behavioral and social sciences, the Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity, NOT-OD-20-031 lists groups of individuals that are underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences, as examples. For the purposes of these NOFOs, “diversity/diverse” is broadly defined to include individuals with a variety of experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds, including, but not limited to, those from underrepresented groups in the AD/ADRD research workforce, such as: individuals from racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research, individuals with disabilities, and women).

Q: What is the difference between a “parent institution” and an “affiliated institution” (i.e., “Pilot project funding is intended for scientists who are early career faculty members from the AD/ADRD RCMAR’s parent and affiliated institution(s).")?

A: The parent institution acts as the lead institution and accepts overall management and budgetary responsibility for the proposed Center and is responsible for oversight of subawards to affiliate institutions. Affiliated institutions partner and collaborate with the Center and invest intellectual resources. For Centers led by MPI-led teams from different institutions, the parent institution is the home institution of the Contact PI of the Center and affiliated institutions are the home institutions of the other PI(s).

Q: Can Centers recruit RCMAR scientists from institutions other than the parent and affiliated institutions and/or conduct national searches for RCMAR scientists?

A: Yes. However, as stated in Section I. Funding Opportunity Description of the NOFOs under “NIA’s Goals, Objectives, and Success Criteria for RCMAR”, “NIA is particularly interested in supporting new and established (AD/ADRD) RCMARs that aim to foster longstanding mentorship relationships with Scientists in the parent and affiliated institutions.”

Furthermore, as noted in Section IV. Application and Submission Information, under “5. Program Participants”: “Justification must be provided for pilot funding requests for investigators outside of the (AD/ADRD) RCMAR home, or affiliated institutions, or to support a former recipient of any RCMAR funding. Pilot funding may be awarded to early-career investigators at local institutions that are not affiliated with the (AD/ADRD) RCMAR sponsor, under certain circumstances, such as an opportunity to initiate collaboration with local HBCUs, TCUs, and institutions historically committed to, or that have a demonstrated track record of, training Hispanic students or other students from underrepresented minority groups.”

While Centers can conduct national searches, it is expected that the Scientist and the Scientist’s primary mentor will be at the same institution as the primary mentor is primarily responsible for overseeing a Scientist’s success and growth at their institution. The rationale is that the RCMAR program is largely a mentorship program that aims to support, develop, and retain aging (and AD/ADRD) researchers, which is hard to do if mentors lack local intel.

Q: Are RCMAR Scientists eligible for NIA Diversity Supplement grants?

A: Yes. As stated in NIA’s Diversity Supplement and Re-Entry Program Guidelines, “Starting in FY22, candidates receiving pilot support from an NIA-funded parent grant who are receiving a salary from pilot funds may be considered for a Diversity Supplement. If approved, funding will begin only when pilot funding ends. If a candidate is not receiving a salary from pilot funds, a Diversity Supplement may be submitted for non-duplicative costs. If approved, funding may be concurrent with pilot funds.”

Funding & Budget

Q: How many Centers will be funded in FY2023?

A: NIA intends to fund 7 to 9 AD/ADRD RCMARs, 5 to 8 aging RCMARs, and one RCMAR coordinating center. Awards are dependent on appropriations of the NIH Budget and an appropriate number of meritorious applications.

Q: Are there application budget limits?

A: Yes. For RFA-AG-23-025 (AD/ADRD RCMARs s) and RFA-AG-23-026 (aging RCMARs), the direct cost limit is $500,000 per year for each year of these 5-year awards. For RFA-AG-23-027 (RCMAR coordinating center), there is a total cost limit of $800,000 per year.

Q: Direct Cost limit: The RFA says, "Application budgets are limited to $500K in direct costs…." Is that $500K per year?

A: Yes. The direct cost limit is $500K per year for each year of these 5-year awards.

Q: Budget/Indirect Costs: Are there differences in indirect costs for the Research Education Component (REC) of the P30s?

A: Yes. As the REC is an RL5 (Linked Education Project) within the P30 Center grant, indirect costs (Facilities & Administrative costs) for the REC are reimbursed at 8% of modified total amount of direct costs, exclusive of tuition and fees, expenditures for equipment, and consortiums in excess of $25,000, without the need for a negotiated rate. Also, as noted in in 7.4 Reimbursement of Facilities and Administrative Costs of the NIH Grants Policy Statement (PDF, 7.9M), under “Research Training and Education Grants (e.g., R25), and K Awards”, State, local, and Indian tribes (or "federally recognized Indian tribes") may receive full F&A cost reimbursement under NIH Kirschstein-NRSA institutional research training grants and K awards. For this policy, State universities or hospitals are not considered governmental agencies.”

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