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NIH Training Grants: A Walking Tour Map. Presenters. Panelists: Dr. Paula Flicker , Program Director, Biophysics Branch, NIGMS, National Institutes of Health Lisa Moeller , Team Leader, NIGMS, National Institutes of Health

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Dr. Paula Flicker, Program Director, Biophysics Branch, NIGMS, National Institutes of Health

Lisa Moeller, Team Leader, NIGMS, National Institutes of Health

Chad Henry, Director, Research Administration, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis

Mary Palmer, Trainer/Research Process Manager, Research Management Group, Stanford University


Samantha Westcott, Grant Manager, Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology

lisa moeller

Lisa Moeller

National Institutes of Health

overview of the nih
Overview of the NIH
  • Comprised of 27 Institutes and Centers
  • All of them have some things in common
  • Each of them is unique in some ways
  • Extramural Research support teams:
    • Review
    • Grants Management
    • Program
the nih extramural team
The NIH Extramural Team





grants management officer
Grants Management Officer

Monitors administrative and fiscal aspects of the grant

  • Assures compliance with Federal laws and NIH administrative policies and procedures
  • Responsible for maintaining the official grant files for grant awards
  • Is the only NIH official authorized to obligate the NIH to funds or other terms and conditions of award
grants management specialist
Grants Management Specialist

Acts as an agent of the GMO

  • Assures compliance with Federal laws and NIH policies and procedures
  • Analyzes grant applications prior to award
  • Prepares award for GMO release
  • Reviews and responds to grantee prior approval requests
  • Assures documentation of official grant files
  • Purpose of Kirschstein-NRSA: To help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists are available in adequate numbers in the appropriate research areas to assume leadership roles related to the Nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research agenda.
fy 2007 president s budget request total nih budget authority 28 6 billion
FY 2007 President’s BudgetRequestTotal NIH Budget Authority$28.6 Billion

Training 3% $764


Research Project Grants 52%

$15,166 Billion

$764M Training

$683M Ks

$1,447 Billion

two support mechanisms
Two Support Mechanisms
  • Individual Fellowships (Fs): Award to support a specific individual (F30, F31, F32, F33)
  • Institutional Training Grants (Ts): Award to an institution to support a training program (T32, T34, T35)
fy2007 estimates
FY2007 Estimates

Individual Fellowships (Fs)

  • 2007 (est) $126,000,000 3,030 FTTPs

Institutional Training Grants (Ts)

  • 2007 (est) $638,000,000 14,546 FTTPs
Total Number of NIH Pre- and Post-Doctoral Training Positions on T’s and F’s Supported by Institute or Center, FY 2005 (NRSA)
mary palmer

Mary Palmer

Stanford University

nih funding mechanisms
NIH Funding Mechanisms
  • Grant
    • Financial Assistance to perform approved activities:
      • Research
      • Training
  • Contract
    • Acquisition of Goods or Services
  • Cooperative Agreement
    • Grant support with substantial federal involvement
institutional kirschstein nrsas a k a training grants
Institutional Kirschstein-NRSAs(a.k.a.) Training Grants


To develop or enhance research training opportunities for individuals, selected by the institution who are training for careers in specified areas

purpose of training
Purpose of Training

Trainees must have opportunity to carry out supervised biomedical or behavioral research with the goal of developing or extending their research skills and knowledge

receipt dates
Receipt Dates
  • January 25, May 25, Sept. 25
  • Varies among ICs: Many use only 1 or 2 dates
  • Progress Report Receipt Dates Vary
application requirements
Application Requirements
  • Application submitted by Institution (not individual).
  • Domestic, non-profit public or private institutions
  • Research training must fall within the mission of the NIH awarding components

Application Requirements

  • Programs can consist of Predoc, Postdoc, or combination
  • Short-term Appts.: solely (T35) or in combination with pre & post T32
  • Prebaccalaureate (T34)
    • COR--NIMH
trainee citizenship requirements
Trainee Citizenship Requirements
  • Must be Citizen, non-citizen national, or lawfully admitted for permanent residence.
  • Permanent residency
  • Fellowships: Must have been admitted for permanent residency at the time of award
  • Training Grants: Must have been admitted for permanent residency at time of appointment
degree requirements
Degree Requirements
  • Predoc: Baccalaureate degree & be enrolled in doctoral program leading to Ph.D., comparable research doctoral degree or dual research/clinical doctorate like the MD/Ph.D.
  • Postdoc: Ph.D. or M.D. or comparable doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution
definition of postdoctoral scholar
Definition of postdoctoral scholar
  • An individual who has received a doctoral degree (or equivalent) and is engaged in a temporary and defined period of mentored advanced training to enhance the professional skills and research independence needed to pursue his/her chosen career path.
nrsa limitations
NRSA Limitations

Duration of Support

  • Predoc: 5 years
  • Postdoc: 3 Years
  • Aggregate limits, including any combination from individual and/or institutional awards


  • Physicians/Clinicians
  • Interruptions (break in service)
  • Other
  • Waiver requests require IC prior approval.
t32 training grant
T32 Training Grant
  • The primary means of supporting graduate and postdoctoral research training to help ensure that a diverse and highly trained workforce is available to assume leadership roles related to the Nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research agenda.
  • The primary objective is to prepare qualified individuals for careers that have a significant impact on the health-related research needs of the Nation.
t32 training grant1
T32 Training Grant
  • Institutional Awards not individual fellowships
  • Investigator-led and requires faculty trainers
  • Supports pre-doctoral and post-doctoral trainees
  • Training positions awarded at the institutional-level
t32 application preparation
T32: Application Preparation
  • Read Program Announcement:PA-06-468
  • Determine Faculty PI
  • Contact the relevant NIH Center or Institute
  • Confirm participating departments, programs, and faculty members
  • Allow as much time as possible (months!)
urls for t32 preparation
URLs for T32 Preparation

t32 budget development components
T32 Budget Development Components
  • Stipends
  • Tuition and Fees
  • Trainee Travel
  • Trainee Related Expenses (including Health Insurance)
  • Facilities and Administrative Costs - 8% MDTC
  • Prior approval for direct costs exceeding $500k/year
  • Subsistence Allowance to help defray living expenses
  • Not a salary, not considered employees of either Government or Institution
  • NIH publishes levels in NIH Guide when increases are approved
  • Grantees may supplement
stipends cont
Stipends (cont.)
  • Predoctoral: One level for all individuals, regardless of years of experience
  • Postdoctoral: Stipend level determined by number of years of relevant postdoctoral experience at time of award.
  • Subsequent year based on initial level + 1 year
budgeting tuition fees
Budgeting: Tuition & Fees
  • Postdocs: Tuition is limited for specific courses required by the training program.
  • NIH will award an amount per postdoc equal to 60% of the level requested with a maximum award of $4,500 per year.
  • If postdoc is in a formal degree granting program, then the amount awarded per trainee will be up to $16,000 per year.
budgeting tuition fees cont
Budgeting: Tuition & Fees (cont.)
  • Predoc: Tuition is requested for the degree program the trainee is enrolled in.
  • NIH will award an amount per trainee equal to 60% of the level requested, with a maximum of $16,000 per year.
  • Be sure to request your full needs and NIH will apply the appropriate formula.
budgeting travel
Budgeting: Travel
  • Usually per/trainee formula bases, varies among institutes
  • Scientific meetings are ok
  • Training experience away from insitution OK but requires IC approval.
  • Not travel from residence to institution
budgeting training related expenses health insurance
Budgeting: Training Related Expenses & Health Insurance
  • Health Insurance is now included in the established amount for Training Related Expenses. This is a change from previous applications. Amounts are established by NIH.
  • Predoctoral trainees: $4,200
  • Postdoctoral trainees: $7,850
t32 budgeting entire period budget justification
T32 Budgeting: Entire Period & Budget Justification
  • For each year you will have to show the amount you are requesting in each budget category.
  • Budget Justification should include an explanation describing the basis for the budget categories requested. Include the aniticipated postdoctoral levels.
t32 application
T32 Application
  • Face Page
  • Form Page 2:
    • Description/Abstract
    • Performance Site(s)
    • Key Personnel
    • Significant Contributors
    • Human Embryonic Stem Cell Disclosure
  • Table of Contents
more on the t32 application
More on the T32 Application
  • Detailed Budget
  • Entire Budget
  • Biosketches:
    • Program Director/Principal Investigator
    • Other Biosketches
  • Resources
  • Checklist
t32 research training plan

Program Plan




Program Evaluation

Trainee Candidates

Minority Recruitment

Responsible Conduct of Research Plan

Human Subjects

Animal Subjects

Select Agents

T32 Research Training Plan
t32 mentorship plan
T32 Mentorship Plan
  • Craft a well-described mentorship plan:
    • Time commitments
    • Defined goals and needs
    • Expertise and expectations of mentors
    • Consider secondary mentors or advisory groups
    • Include descriptions of previous trainees and their accomplishments

chad henry

Chad Henry

Washington University in St. Louis

t32 award management
T32 Award Management
  • Statement of Appointment
  • Institutional Allowance
  • Training Related Expenses
  • Tuition and Fees
t32 regulatory compliance
Financial Conflict of Interest

Biological Safety

Human Subjects

Training in Responsible Conduct of Research

Minority Recruitment

Animal Subjects

T32: Regulatory Compliance
award management help
Award Management Help
  • Consider roll up accounts to segregate costs by trainee and trainee-related expenses
  • Centralized organization for trainees to know who to go to for appointment forms, questions, reimbursement, questions, etc.
diversity recruitment
Diversity Recruitment
  • Who
    • Under-represented Minorities
    • Individuals with disabilities
    • Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds
  • How
    • A single Diversity Recruitment Plan
    • A single Diversity Recruitment Review Criterion
    • Report on ALL dimensions of Diversity
    • Data tables, Appointment Forms, Trainee Reports
  • Where
    • ALL Institutional T, K, and R25 mechanisms
responsible conduct of research
Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Although the NIH does not establish specific curricula or formal requirements, all programs are encouraged to consider instruction in the following areas: conflict of interest, responsible authorship, policies for handling misconduct, data management, data sharing, and policies regarding the use of human and animal subjects.
  • Plans must address the subject matter of the instruction, the format of the instruction, the degree of faculty participation, trainee attendance, and the frequency of instruction.
  • The rationale for the proposed plan of instruction must be provided.
  • Program reports on the type of instruction provided, topics covered, and other relevant information, such as attendance by trainees and faculty participation, must be included in future competing continuation and non-competing applications.
t table nrsa training grant funding opportunities
T Table – NRSA Training Grant Funding Opportunities
  • Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grants (T32)This is the NIH omnibus Kirschstein-NRSA research training funding opportunity announcement.
  • Dental School Joint DDS or DMD/Masters Degree NRSA Research Training Program (T32)
  • Human Genes and the Environment Research Training Program (T32)
  • Predoctoral Training at the Interface of the Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences (T32)
  • NICHD Institutional Predoctoral Training Program in Reproductive, Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiology (T32)
overlapping appointment
“Overlapping” Appointment
  • An appointment period may overlap budget periods. For example:

Year 9 Year 10

7/1/2005 – 6/30/2006 7/1/2006 – 6/30/2007

Appointment Period

1/1/2006 – 12/31/2006

Stipend & Tuition $$ (6-months reported as unliquidated obligation)

  • Actual employment for services rendered
  • Examples: teaching assistant, lab assistant
  • In these cases, individual receives a salary and it is not considered stipend supplementation
can compensation be provided from an nih grant
Can compensation be provided from an NIH grant?
  • Yes, limited part-time basis
  • May not be same research that is part of planned experience
  • Fellowship sponsor or Training Grant Program Director must approve
  • May not interfere with, detract from, nor prolong the approved NRSA training
stipend taxability
Stipend Taxability
  • IRS (not NIH) has domain over interpretation & implementation
  • Rules changed January 1, 1987; however interpretations seem to vary even among IRS offices
  • NIH Grants Policy Statement provide minimal guidance but individuals should really consult local IRS offices
reporting and closeout
Annual progress reports

Unobligated balance



Termination Notices

Renewal/Competing Continuation Application

Reporting and Closeout
lisa moeller1

Lisa Moeller

National Institutes of Health

fy2008 what s new
FY2008 – What’s new?
  • Electronic Submission – transition to

SF 424 possible

  • Revision of forms
  • X-Train
stipend supplementation
  • Grantee determines amount according to formally established policies applied to all in similar training status
  • Non-Federal funds
  • Without additional effort or obligation to trainee/fellow
employee benefits
Employee Benefits
  • Since stipends are not provided as a condition of employment,
  • At this time, it is inappropriate and unallowable to charge NRSA grants for employee benefits—FICA, workman’s comp, unemployment insurance etc.
  • Note, new IRS ruling re: student exception to FICA taxes for student employees does not effect NRSA. (NRSA recipients are not considered employees) See Q&A:
  • VACATIONS & HOLIDAYS: Both Pre- and Postdoctoral Fellows & Trainees may receive same vacations and holidays available to individuals in comparable training positions at the grantee or sponsoring institution. Will continue to receive stipends.
leave cont
Leave (cont.)
  • SICK LEAVE : May continue to receive stipends for up to 15 calendar days of sick leave per year.
  • PARENTAL LEAVE: May receive stipends for up to 30 calendar days of parental leave per year for the adoption or birth of a child. In case of individual fellowships, use of parental leave requires approval of sponsor.
  • See GUIDE notice NOT-OD-07-087
leave cont1
Leave (cont.)
  • Unpaid Leave: Approval for leave of absence must be requested in advance from awarding component.
  • Fellowship: award will be revised extending term date by number of months of leave.
  • Trainee (T32): terminate & reappoint
  • Stipends may not be reimbursed during leave of absence.
part time training
Part-time Training
  • Allowed in unusual and pressing personal circumstances (e.g., medical conditions, disability, child or elder care)
  • NIH prior approval required
  • Program Director/Sponsor must submit written request, countersigned by trainee/fellow & authorized institutional official
  • Must continue to be at least 50%. Less than 50% would require leave-of-absence from NRSA support
forms payback agreement phs 6031
Forms: Payback Agreement (PHS 6031)
  • Required only for postdocs, entering their first 12-months of postdoctoral NRSA support
financial status report sf 269
Financial Status Report (SF 269)
  • Required annually within 90 days of budget end date
  • Unliquidated obligations can be used to report any stipends and tuition charges for “overlapping” appointments
  • Automatic Carryover of an unobligated balance is not generally allowed but awards are footnoted either way
payback requirements
Payback Requirements

Predoctoral Trainees and Fellows:

  • Eliminated payback for any Predoc appointed on or after June 10, 1993
  • Any Predoc with an obligation prior to June 10, 1993 retains that obligation

Postdoctoral Trainees and Fellows:

  • Incur obligation in first 12 months of Postdoc NRSA support
  • The 13th and subsequent months of Postdoc NRSA support can satisfy the Postdoc obligation
    • Normally, individuals with two years of NRSA postdoctoral support have no further obligation
  • Postdoc NRSA cannot be used to repay a Predoc obligation
acceptable payback service
Acceptable Payback Service
  • Health-related biomedical or behavioral research
  • Health-related teaching
  • Direct administration or review of health-related research
  • Any combination of these activities
payback reporting requirements
Payback Reporting Requirements
  • Annual Payback Activities Certification (APAC) (PHS Form 6031-1)
  • Mailed annually on the anniversary of termination of support
  • Report reflects activities performed during last 12 months
  • Service must begin within 2 years of termination
financial payback
Financial Payback
  • Can be voluntary or involuntary
  • Amount owed is total stipend received (plus interest when applicable)
  • Most people pay back with service
    • Less that 2 percent of all NRSA recipients with obligations (more than 110,000 individuals) have had waivers or have engaged in financial payback
  • Rare & requires NIH Director approval
  • Permanent or Total Disability
  • Substantial hardship & against equity
  • Any remaining obligation is cancelled upon death
dr paula flicker

Dr. Paula Flicker

National Institutes of Health

nih program official







Identify Opportunities


Program Announcements (PA)

Requests for Applications (RFA)

NIH Program Official
more about the program official
Liaison between the PI and the NIH

Most important contact for the PI

Respond to PI questions/concerns

Help applicants

Oversee review

Evaluate applications

Make Funding recommendations

Report on program accomplishments

Review annual progress reports

More about the Program Official
training grant news
Training Grant News
  • Kirschstein-NRSA Institutional Training Grants
  • PA-06-468 June 12, 2006

  • Pre/Post/Short Term
  • Web Table of IC Contacts and Interests
  • What’s New
    • Diversity Recruitment Plans
    • Responsible Conduct of Research
    • Professional Skills & Career Guidance
    • Evaluation and Tracking
    • Multiple PIs on Training Grants
  • New Receipt Dates – Jan, May, Sept 25
  • PHS 398 Revision expected in September, 2007
  • Electronic Receipt delayed to at least January, 2008.
responsible conduct of research1
Responsible Conduct of Research

All T32 grants must have a responsible conduct of research component that is assessed by the Review Committee for adequacy. It is mandatory that every trainee complete this assignment. An award will not be made until an adequate plan for training in responsible conduct of research has been submitted.

responsible conduct of research2
Responsible Conduct of Research

Peer reviewers will assess the applicant’s plan for training in the responsible conduct of research on the basis of the appropriateness of topics, format, amount and nature of faculty participation, and the frequency and duration of instruction.

ORI supports several programs designed to promote education and training in the responsible conduct of research (RCR) that covers the following nine instructional areas:

  • Data Acquisition, Management, Sharing and Ownership
  • Conflict of Interest and Commitment
  • Human Subjects
  • Animal Welfare
  • Research Misconduct
  • Publication Practices and Responsible Authorship
  • Mentor / Trainee Responsibilities
  • Peer Review
  • Collaborative Science

minority recruitment plan
Minority Recruitment Plan

The focus of the requirement is on the plans and successes of training grants in the recruitment and graduation of trainees from underrepresented minority groups.

  • Underrepresented racial & ethnic groups
  • Individuals with disabilities
  • Individuals from socially, culturally or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds

All applicants are expected to demonstrate commitment and proactive recruitment efforts.

minority recruitment plan1
Minority Recruitment Plan

Who has been underrepresented in health-related science on a national basis?

  • National Science Foundation data:
  • Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, 2007:
nrsa data tables
NRSA Data Tables
  • Depends on the type of application
  • Membership of Participating Depts/Programs
  • Participating Faculty Members
  • Grant Support Available
  • Pre- and Postdoctoral Trainees
  • Publications
  • Admissions
  • Qualifications of Applicants and Trainees

nrsa data tables1
NRSA Data Tables

Sample table formats available:

  • NHLBI:
  • NIGMS:
  • NINDS:
useful information
Offer trainees opportunities for:


Outside internships

Organize seminars

Interact with trainees from a variety of different science backgrounds

Include a cover letter requesting specific institute

Check institute-specific guidelines for help with tables

Useful Information
peer review evaluation areas
Program Direction/ Administrative Structure

Training Faculty

Training Program

Applicant Pool

Trainees and Candidates



Peer Review: Evaluation Areas

frequent reviewer comments
Frequent Reviewer Comments
  • Insufficient time commitment of Program Director
  • Large number of faculty may preclude unity and collaboration
  • Pre-doctoral and post-doctoral programs not given equal attention in preparation
  • Weak integration among faculty, tracks, and departments
more reviewer comments
More Reviewer Comments
  • Majority of trainees with one or two faculty
  • Proposed faculty must have successful research support
  • Overlap with other training grants at the same institution