Research Projects (R25 and R38)

Table of Contents

NIAID Research Education Program (R25)

Stimulating Access to Research in Residency (StARR) (R38) Program

NIAID Research Education Program (R25)

Overview

The R25 Program supports educational activities at grantee institutions with a primary focus on Courses for Skills Development, Research Experiences, and Mentoring Activities related to NIAID's mission areas.

Senior investigators who head research or training programs at an institution generally apply for these institutional grants. Participant-level investigators should contact their institution about training opportunities.

Eligible participants are:

  • Graduate (Ph.D. level only)/health professional (e.g., medical) students, medical residents, postdoctoral fellows, and/or early-career faculty. For this Program "early-career faculty" must be within the first eight years of their first faculty appointment.
  • Unless strongly justified on the basis of exceptional relevance to NIAID, research education programs should be used primarily for the education of U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

How Long Does Support Last?

NIAID R25 awards are for five years, with the chance to renew. We make awards annually with further support contingent on performance and funding availability.

Because the R25 Program is not intended as a substitute for a National Research Service Award (NRSA) institutional training program (e.g., T32), costs to support full-time participants (supported for 40 hours a week for a continuous, 12-month period) are not allowed.

R25 grantees use xTrain to create and submit R25 participant appointments/re-appointments (using Statement of Appointment Form PHS 2271), amendments, and terminations. To do so, you must have an eRA Commons account. For information on how to get one, see eRA’s Create and Edit an Account.

Also review instructions and training resources on the xTrain and eRA Training - xTrain websites.

What Do Funds Pay For?

R25 grants provide funds for

  • Facilities and administrative costs based on eight percent of modified total direct costs. State and local government agencies may request full reimbursement.
  • Participants
    • Salary—See the Salary Cap section on our Salary Cap & Stipends page.
    • Funds to defray partial tuition and other education-related expenses.
    • Travel, including attendance at scientific meetings. We do not set a limit on how much applicants may request, though the norm is $1,000 for each participant.
  • Other Costs
    • The proposed budget may include costs for workshops for participant academic skills development (e.g., problem-solving, communication, time management, and grant-writing), consultant costs, equipment, supplies, travel for key persons, program evaluation (maximum of $3,000 for five-year project period), and other program-related expenses. Expenses must be well justified and cannot duplicate items generally available at the applicant institution.

Writing an NIAID R25 Grant Application

Before you begin writing your application, carefully read the latest NIAID R25 funding opportunity announcement (FOA) and follow the supplemental instructions for R applications in the SF 424 Application Guide, including guidelines for page limits and items allowed for the Appendix.

Successful R25 applications require different elements than do R01s. You must convince peer reviewers of your program's value by showing evidence of exceptional faculty commitment, resources, program design, training environment, and ability to recruit quality participants. You should err on the side of self-promotion rather than leaving out information that could help your case.

The program permits any creative educational activities, but requires Courses for Skills Development, Research Experiences, and Mentoring Activities related to NIAID's mission areas.

In assigning an application's overall impact score, reviewers will address and consider the following five criteria:

  1. Significance
  2. Investigator(s)
  3. Innovation
  4. Approach
  5. Environment

For more detail on these criteria, see the NIAID Research Education Program (R25) FOA.

To see the guidelines reviewers use, see the R25 Guide for Reviewers on NIH’s Guidelines, Critique Templates, and Review Criteria page.

Plan for Recruiting Trainees From Underrepresented Groups

R25 applications require a Diversity Recruitment Plan. Therefore, your application must include program-specific plans for recruiting trainees from underrepresented groups; general institution plans aren't sufficient.

Document your program's previous recruitment efforts among underrepresented groups, including successful and unsuccessful strategies. The best plans include personal recruitment efforts by the program director or faculty.

Include statistics on your program's current distribution of students from underrepresented groups who applied for admission or a position in the department relevant to the research education grant, were offered admission or a position, enrolled in an academic program, or were appointed to the research education grant.

For more information about recruitment plans, go to NIH’s Research Training and Career Development Frequently Asked Questions, and select the Diversity category. Also see Section 11.3.3.4 Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research

Your application must include a plan to offer participants Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research. If you fail to include one, your application will be considered incomplete and won't be reviewed until you provide an acceptable plan of instruction. Read the Responsible Conduct of Research: Training SOP for more information.

Applying for an NIAID R25 Grant

Submit your application electronically, either using the NIH Application Submission System and Interface for Submission Tracking (ASSIST) or another of the NIH Submission Options. Check with your business office to see what approach it uses. Follow the instructions in your FOA and the supplemental instructions for R25 applications in the SF 424 Application Guide.

NIAID accepts R25 applications once a year as indicated in the FOA. NIAID requests that applicants send a letter of intent, which is typically due a month before the application deadline. Although the letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows NIAID staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • Name(s), address(es), and telephone number(s) of the PD(s)/PI(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

After initial peer review of R25 applications, NIAID’s Advisory Council will review applications. NIAID will offer awards to successful applications in July or later.

For an overview of the peer review process, and to learn about review criteria so you can create a strong application, read Understand the Review Process on the NIAID website.

Sending Materials Post-Submission

You may send certain materials after you have submitted your application and before initial peer review. Follow the instructions in the policy on Post-Submission Application Materials. For additional information, go to NIH’s Frequently Asked Questions - Post-Submission Material Policy and NIAID’s Late Applications & Post-Submission Materials.

Post-Award Actions

Appointment Participants

R25 grantees use the xTrain system to create and submit R25 participant appointments/re-appointments, amendments, and terminations. To do so, you must have an eRA Commons account. For information on how to get one, see eRA’s Create and Edit an Account. You should also review instructions and training resources on the xTrain and eRA Training - xTrain websites.

  • Use one Statement of Appointment (Form PHS 2271) to appoint each participant. Also use the form to make reappointments.
    • Participants may be appointed to the program on any day during the budget period including the last day.
    • Send NIAID R25 participant appointment forms using xTrain no later than three months before the start of the next budget period, regardless of a participant’s appointment date. For example, all PHS 2271s are due April 1 for an R25 with an anniversary start date of July 1.
    • You can appoint participants up to the last day of the budget period, but we need the PHS 2271 by the due date. Call the grants management specialist listed in the eRA Commons if there are extenuating circumstances for not meeting the due date.
    • If your PHS 2271s are not received by the due date, NIAID will not be able to issue the Notice of Award for the upcoming year and may delete unfilled slots from all future years.
    • If you're having difficulty filling slots, contact your grants management specialist before this deadline.
    • Submit a Termination Notice (PHS-416-7) through xTrain for each participant immediately when he or she terminates from your R25 program.
      • We must have the terminating participant’s home address and phone number for tracking purposes.

Annual Progress Reports

Grantees are required to submit a Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually. NIAID will not provide continuation support until we receive the required forms. Programs that involve participants should report on education in the Responsible Conduct of Research and complete a Trainee Diversity Report, in accordance with the RPPR Instruction Guide.

Additionally, participants must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy if any publication resulted from work conducted while they were supported by the award.

Carryover Authority

  • You do not need NIAID approval to rebudget funds, i.e., move funds from one budget category to another, except to extend the last budget period of the project period up to 12 months.
  • You must have prior approval to carry over unobligated balances.
    • Submit a written request signed by your business official.
    • Include a detailed budget and a strong justification for why the carryover funds are needed.
      • Program and grants management staff will review requests.
      • If they approve, the grants management specialist will issue a revised award authorizing the carryover.

Report Finances and Expenditures

Send a Federal Financial Report (FFR) annually, no later than 90 days after the end of the calendar quarter in which the budget period ends. The final report is due no later than 120 days after the award ends.

Reports of expenditures are required as documentation of the financial status of grants according to the official accounting records of the grantee organization.

You must submit financial reports electronically through the eRA Commons.

Failure to submit an FFR on time will delay NIAID’s issuing renewal and noncompeting awards. Not submitting complete, accurate, and timely reports may indicate the need for closer monitoring and possible enforcement actions by NIH.

Read more information regarding FFR filing in Section 8.4.1. Reporting in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Stimulating Access to Research in Residency (StARR) (R38) Program

Overview

The R38 StARR program is meant to encourage postdoctoral-level health professionals to pursue careers as physician-scientists and clinician-investigators, fulfilling a critical workforce need. It supports institutional programs to provide mentored research opportunities for resident-investigators.

During the initial pilot phase of this program, NIAID plans to support up to three new R38 awards in fiscal year (FY) 2018 only and is not currently accepting applications. After the pilot period, NIAID will determine if the R38 program will be re-announced for application submission.

R38 awardee institutions should use StARR funds to provide structured programs with defined program milestones as well as up to two years of research support for resident-investigators. Read the following to learn more:

Note for R38 awardees: In FY 2020, look for the companion funding opportunity: Stimulating Access to Research in Residency Transition Scholar (StARRTS) K38. This limited competition K38 individual award is meant to continue supporting residents who complete the R38 StARR program. Read more about the K38 in the August 23, 2017 Guide announcement.

How Long Does Support Last?

R38 awards are four years. Resident-investigators, two for each NIAID-supported grantee institution, should be appointed to the StARR program for two years based on a full-time appointment.

Grantees must submit a completed Statement of Appointment (Form PHS 2271) for each participant appointed full time for eight weeks or more or the equivalent. Grantees must submit Form PHS 2271 data electronically using xTrain. Find more information at xTrain (eRA Commons). An appointment or reappointment may begin any time during the budget period but not before the budget period start date of the grant year.

What Do Funds Pay For?

R38 grants provide funds, which may not exceed an annual direct cost of $221,000, for:

  • Resident-Investigators
    • Salary—Total salary is composed of salary and fringe benefits. The total salary requested must be based on a full-time appointment and be consistent with the postgraduate year (PGY) salary structure at the grantee institution. During the research period, resident-investigators will be required to commit 80 percent effort.
      • Example of resident-investigator’s Salary Calculation: A participant engages in research for a year at a salary of $60,000 plus 20 percent or $12,000 fringe; the participant’s total salary is reflected as $72,000. This amount should match the institution’s PGY level associated with this participant. The R38 award will support 80 percent effort over 12 months, which equates to 9.6 person-months; the resident-investigator would be able to request a salary of $48,000 ($60,000 x 80 percent) plus 20 percent fringe ($48,000 X 20 percent = $9,600) which brings the total salary to $57,600.
    • Supplementary Research Funds—Up to $20,000 a year, per resident-investigator may be requested and used to defray costs for registering for short-term courses or workshops to obtain research skills, and other uses. See the Stimulating Access to Research in Residency (StARR) FOA for details.
    • Travel—Up to $3,000 each year may be requested for each resident-investigator to attend or present research findings at scientific meetings.
  • Administrative Costs
    • Up to $20,000 a year, which includes salary for the institutional program director/principal investigator (PD/PI) or support personnel, travel of the institutional PD/PI to the NIH-sponsored workshop, or to defray costs for external advisory committee travel and time (if requested).

Facilities and administrative/indirect costs will be reimbursed based on a negotiated rate agreement.

Post-Award Actions

Appointment Participants

R38 grantees use xTrain to create and submit R38 participant appointments/re-appointments, amendments, and terminations. To do so, you must have an eRA Commons account. For information on how to get one, see eRA’s Create and Edit an Account. Also review instructions and training resources on the xTrain and eRA Training - xTrain websites.

  • Use one Statement of Appointment (Form PHS 2271) to appoint each participant. Also use the Form to make reappointments.
  • Participants may be appointed on any day during the budget period including the last day.
  • Send StARR R38 participant appointment forms using xTrain no later than three months before the start of the next budget period, regardless of a resident-investigator’s appointment date. For example, all PHS 2271s are due April 1 for an R38 with an anniversary start date of July 1.
  • You can appoint participants up to the last day of the budget period, but we need the PHS 2271 by the due date. Call the grants management specialist listed in the eRA Commons if there are extenuating circumstances for not meeting the due date.
  • If your PHS 2271s are not received by the due date, NIAID will not be able to issue the Notice of Award for the upcoming year and may delete unfilled slots from all future years.
  • If you're having difficulty filling slots, contact your grants management specialist before this deadline.
  • Participant Termination Notice: Within 30 days of the end of the total support period for each participant, the institution must submit a Termination Notice (PHS Form 416-7) via xTrain for each participant appointed full time for eight weeks or more, or the equivalent.

Annual Progress Reports

R38 grants are subject to Streamlined Noncompeting Award Procedures (SNAP).

Grantees are required to submit a Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually. Continuation support will not be provided until the required forms are submitted and accepted. Programs that involve participants should report on education in the Responsible Conduct of Research and complete a Training Diversity Report, in accordance with the RPPR Instruction Guide.

Additionally, participants must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy if any publication resulted from work conducted while they were supported by the award.

Carryover Authority

  • Prior approval is not required to rebudget funds within and between budget categories.
  • Grantees may carry over an unobligated balance into the next budget period without prior approval from NIAID’s Grants Management Program.

Report Finances and Expenditures

Recipients must submit a Final Federal Financial Report (FFR), Final RPPR, and Final Invention Statement and Certification within 120 calendar days of the end of the period of performance (project period) as described in Section 8.4.1 Reporting of the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

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