Research and Funding

Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology

Claude D. Pepper Older American Independence Centers (OAICS)

The Claude D. Pepper Older American Independence Centers (OAIC) program was established in honor of the late Representative to establish centers of excellence in geriatrics research and research career development to 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-16-011: Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Centers (P30) (Receipt Date: October 21, 2015)

Recommended Format Pages for OAIC RFA

Research Core Distribution to Research Projects

Frequently Asked Questions about the OAIC RFA

New FAQ’s may be added to this site periodically.

The tabs for Planned Enrollment Report and Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report do not appear for the component I am working on. How do I add these sections? (New)

ASSIST may not display these tabs automatically, but you can add them as optional forms. Go to the Application Information page and expand the appropriate component from the Component Type section. Then click on Add Optional Form and choose the desired form from the drop-down list.

Should biosketches be included for Program Faculty in the Research Education Component (REC)? (New)

The RFA indicates that biosketches should be included for each senior/key person of a Core or component including the co-Leader(s) and other Core staff. REC program faculty are not considered senior/key persons, so their biosketches should not be included. Instead, their qualifications should be described in the Program Faculty part of the Research Strategy section.

How does RFA-AG-16-011 differ from previous Pepper Center competitions?

The main difference is that the Research Career Development Component (RCDC) is now the Research Education Component (REC), which uses a linked R25 Institutional Research Education Program mechanism, or RL5. This change was made to increase flexibility in the level of participants’ professional effort; however, the overarching purpose and scope remain the same.

What are the salary and professional effort guidelines for REC participants?

There is no minimum salary or professional effort requirement for REC participants. In addition, REC participants may receive salary support from other federal sources consistent with the institution's salary scale as long as those sources do not specifically prohibit such salary supplementation. Individuals supported by NIH training and career development mechanisms (K, T, or F awards) may receive, and indeed are encouraged to receive, educational experiences supported by the REC as participants, but may not receive salary or stipend supplementation from the REC.

What are the page limits for the REC Research Strategy?

The REC Research Strategy includes a Program Plan that is limited to 12 pages. Subsections within the Program Plan are

  • Proposed Research Education Program
  • Core Leader(s)
  • Program Faculty
  • Program Participants
  • Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity
  • Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Evaluation Plan

Other sections outside the Program Plan include Other Attachments (described below), Protection of Human Subjects, Letters of Support, Resource Sharing Plans, and Appendix (if necessary). These sections may not contain information that should be included in the Program Plan.

Are REC participants considered senior/key personnel? How should specific REC participants be described in the application?

Participants in a Research Education Program such as the RL5 are not considered senior/key personnel. Up to five REC participants proposed for support during the first year of the award may be described as indicated in the RFA. Biosketches for REC participants should not be included; rather, all information pertaining to REC participants should be contained within the Program Plan of the REC section.

How should the composition and functioning of the REC advisory committee be described?

As noted in the RFA, this should be provided as an Other Attachment to this component. This attachment should be no longer than one page.

If I am submitting a competing renewal application, how should I handle the progress report for the REC component in ASSIST?

As noted in the RFA, progress report information should be included in the “Proposed Research Education Program” subsection. New applicants may use this section to describe current research education opportunities or other preparatory activities for an REC. Do not upload a separate progress report.

How should the different components be ordered in ASSIST?

Allow ASSIST to order the application components itself.

I do not see a specific section for Targeted/Planned Enrollment Tables. Where should those be included?

Targeted/Planned Enrollment Tables can be included in the Protection of Human Subjects section.

Should biographical sketches be provided for pilot/exploratory study awardees?

Yes, biographical sketches may be provided for pilot/exploratory study awardees identified in the application. These individuals should be considered as senior/key personnel.

There are some sections of the application that do not have page limits. Can I include information that does not fit elsewhere in these sections?

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.

Can I include internet addresses in my application?

As indicated in NOT-OD-00-004, internet addresses or URLs should not be included in the application to convey information necessary for review.

How should Pilot/Exploratory Studies (PESs) be presented within the page limits of the PESC section?

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.

What is the budget limit for Resource Cores?

There is no budget limit for Resource Cores themselves. Applicants may request as much as is available for Resource Cores after budgeting for all other OAIC components. However, there are budget limits on Developmental Projects, which must range between $35,000 and $70,000 in first-year direct costs.

For renewing applications, if an awardee of a Pilot/Exploratory Study or career development project performed a secondary analysis using human subjects data, should the subjects be reported in the Inclusion Enrollment Report?

No. Subjects should be reported in the Inclusion Enrollment Report only if there is new contact with the subjects.

Should Inclusion Enrollment Reports be provided for RC-associated External Projects?

No. Only human subjects enrolled as part of an OAIC-supported project should be reported.

Can renewing OAICs use extra pages for their progress reports?

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.

Can an institution submit more than one OAIC application?

No. An applicant institution may submit only one OAIC application.

Can a Coordinating Center support travel expenses for OAIC trainees attending the annual OAIC investigators meeting?

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).