Diversity in SBIR/STTR

These guidelines apply to applications requesting research supplement funding to active National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) SBIR/STTR phase II grants in response to PA-18-837. The purpose is to clarify the application process and highlight NIAMS-specific requirements. This document is not intended to replace the full and detailed application information in the Program Announcement:

Administrative Supplements to Promote Diversity in Research and Development Small Businesses-SBIR/STTR (Admin Supp Clinical Trial Not Allowed) PA-18-837

Investigators are encouraged to contact the NIAMS SBIR/STTR Program Coordinator prior to submission: wangx1@mail.nih.gov. 

NIAMS accepts and reviews applications on a continuous basis between October 1st and May 31st. Applications received outside of these dates will be returned, but could be resubmitted during the next receipt period if appropriate. Please see NOT-AR-19-011.

1. ELIGIBILITY

NIAMS SBIR/STTR Diversity Supplements support the research training of Undergraduate Students, Post-Baccalaureate and Master’s Degree Holders, Graduate (Predoctoral) and Health Professional Students, Individuals in Postdoctoral Training, and Investigators Developing Independent Research Careers who are members of an underrepresented group. Detailed eligibility criteria may be found in the Program Announcement.

At the time of the supplement application, the parent grant must have at least one year of NIAMS support remaining. Diversity Supplements may not be awarded on a grant that is in a No Cost Extension (NCE).  

  • The eligible grant types are listed in the Program Announcement, with the following exceptions: NIAMS does not accept R41 and R43 as parent grants for SBIR/STTR Diversity Supplements. The Fast-Track awards must be in their phase II award period.
  • A NIAMS grant may only support a maximum of one Diversity Supplement candidate at any given time.

Graduate student and postdoctoral fellow candidates who are receiving support from an agency of the Public Health Service (PHS) at the time of submission are not eligible.

Investigators should contact the NIAMS SBIR/STTR Coordinator to verify eligibility, wangx1@mail.nih.gov. 

2. SALARY AND BUDGET

Application budgets are limited to no more than the amount of the current parent award, and must reflect the actual needs of the proposed project. 

If awarded, the budget period for the supplement will be lined up with the budget period of the parent grant during the first 12 months. For example, if the parent grant budget period ends on June 30 of each year, and the supplement is awarded starting March 1, then the first budget period of the supplement will be only 4 months, March 1 – June 30 of the same year, and the second budget period will be a full 12 months, July 1 – June 30 (of the next year). In addition, please note that any one budget period must be 12 months or less. 

Budget guidelines for each candidate level may be found in the Program Announcement PA-18-837. NIAMS follows the NRSA salary guidance (see NOT-OD-18-175). PD(s)/PI(s) are strongly encouraged to contact the NIAMS Financial or Grants Management Contact for the Institute-specific funding salary/stipend allowances for postdoctoral and Investigators Developing Independent Research Careers. NIAMS currently provides up to $100,000 for the salary of an investigator developing independent research careers.

Individuals with Disability

  • Equipment: reasonable accommodations necessary for the individual to complete the proposed research training, consistent with the type of disability and the nature of the research, with justification.
  • Salary, supplies and travel: consistent with career level as detailed in the Program Announcement PA-18-837.

3. APPLICATION CONTENT 

Applicants must refer to the Program Announcement for what to include in a diversity supplement request. Work with your business office to ensure the correct Funding Opportunity Announcement is used. See below for further details and clarification on the information that is required.

3.1. Biosketch

Application must include NIH biosketch of all involved personnel, including the PI of the parent grant. 

3.2. Statement of eligibility

For the purpose of PA-18-837, SBCs are encouraged to identify individuals from nationally underrepresented groups, as defined in the NIH Notice of Interest in Diversity (NOT-OD-18-210), women and/or socially and economically disadvantaged candidates. For the purpose of PA-18-837, the NIH is utilizing the SBA definition of socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. (https://www.sba.gov/contracting/government-contracting-programs/8a-business-development-program/eligibility-requirements/social-disadvantage-eligibility). The strength of an institution's description and justification for the appointment of an identified candidate will be judged along with all other aspects of the proposed experience

The statement of eligibility must be signed by the PD(s)/PI(s) and a business official, establishing the eligibility of the candidate for support under this program. The statement must include clearly presented information on citizenship or permanent residency, and other eligibility criteria.

3.3. Qualification of mentor(s)

If there is more than one mentor, clearly define each mentor’s role and relationship to the candidate, provide evidence that the candidate will receive research and entrepreneurial career mentoring. Clearly describe each mentor’s mentoring track record, including individuals previously mentored and their current positions if applicable, especially the current status of any previous diversity supplement candidates. If primary mentor is relatively junior, it may be helpful to include an experienced co-mentor.

3.4. Research, mentoring and career development plan

A brief description of up to six pages that includes the following items is required:

3.4.1. Research plan:

 

  • Assurance that the PD(s)/PI(s) is willing to provide appropriate mentorship.
  • A description providing evidence of a focus on the enhancement of the research and entrepreneurial capability of the candidate, and that the experience is intended to provide opportunities for development as a productive researcher and leader at a small business.
  • A plan for the candidate to interact with the mentor(s) and other individuals on the parent grant, to contribute intellectually to the research, and to enhance her/his research skills and knowledge regarding the selected area of biomedical, behavioral, or clinical, social sciences as well as business and entrepreneurship.
  • A description of the specific research project proposed for the supplement candidate, including relevancy to the parent grant or project; research design and aims; methods and techniques; and how the proposed experience will enhance the candidate’s research potential.
  • A summary or abstract and specific aims of the funded parent grant or project;

3.6.2. Mentoring and career development plan:

  • In addition, each of the following criteria will be evaluated as applicable for the proposed supplement.
  • Evidence that the candidate will receive research and entrepreneurial career mentoring
  • Evidence of adequate mentoring experience and success.
  • Evidence that the activities of the candidate will be an integral part of the project.
  • Evidence that the proposed experience will expand and foster the research and entrepreneurial capabilities, knowledge, and/or skills of the candidate.
  • The plan and timeline for the proposed research and career development experiences in the supplemental request and their relationship to the parent grant.
  • The strength of the description of how this particular appointment will promote diversity in small business, particularly with regards to entrepreneurship.
  • Evidence of interest in business and entrepreneurship.
  • Evidence of educational achievement and interest in science (if the candidate is a student).
  • The qualifications of the candidate including career goals, prior research training, research potential, and any relevant experience.
  • A plan that includes evidence of research and entrepreneurial career mentoring.
  • Outline of a detailed plan that will help the candidate to transition to the next education or career stage
  • A description of career skills to be gained during the supplement experience and career-stage appropriate benchmarks to be reached, including but not limited to abstract and publication submissions, oral presentations and grants submissions.
  • A candidate-specific career development plan that is consistent with the goals laid out in the candidate’s personal statement;

3.4.2. Timeline with appropriate benchmarks for both research progress and career development of candidate.

3.8. Extras

Letters of recommendation and/or support for the candidate are not required but may be included.

4. APPLICATION SUBMISSION

Please follow the instructions in the Program Announcement. All supplement applications must be submitted electronically. It is suggested that the NIAMS Diversity Supplement Coordinator be notified once the application is submitted.

5. REVIEW AND AWARD

Supplement applications are reviewed internally based on scientific merit and training potential. The administrative review criteria described below will be considered in the review process:

    • Evidence that the candidate will receive research and entrepreneurial career mentoring
    • Evidence of adequate mentoring experience and success.
    • Evidence that the activities of the candidate will be an integral part of the project.
    • Evidence that the proposed experience will expand and foster the research and entrepreneurial capabilities, knowledge, and/or skills of the candidate.
    • The plan and timeline for the proposed research and career development experiences in the supplemental request and their relationship to the parent grant.
    • The strength of the description of how this particular appointment will promote diversity in small business, particularly with regards to entrepreneurship.
    • Evidence of interest in business and entrepreneurship.
    • Evidence of educational achievement and interest in science (if the candidate is a student).
    • The qualifications of the candidate including career goals, prior research training, research potential, and any relevant experience.

6. POST AWARD PROCEDURES

6.1. Supplement progress reports

6.1.1. Annual supplement progress reports.

Annual supplement progress reports are due at least once per 12 months. Once awarded, supplements will align with the parent grant’s budget periods. Annual supplement progress reports must be submitted each year at the time of submission of the parent grant progress report through the RPPR. Please provide a brief progress report on the science, and, more importantly, a progress report detailing the trainee’s progress and how they are benefiting from the diversity supplement.

6.1.2. Final supplement progress reports

Final supplement progress reports are due within 120 days of the completion of the supplement.

6.1.3. Additional progress reports

In addition to annual supplement progress reports, NIAMS may request interim progress reports during a budget period in order to help ensure candidates’ progress along their chosen trajectory.

6.2. Early Termination of Supplement Awards

The PI is strongly encouraged to notify NIAMS within 30 days of a supplement award termination. The termination must be reported in the next RPPR of the parent grant, and a final supplement progress report as described in 6.1.2 must be submitted at that time. 

Contact Us

Xibin Wang, Ph.D.

Program Director
6701 Democracy Boulevard
Building: Democracy I, Suite 800
Bethesda MD 20892-4872

Contact Us

Leslie Littlejohn

Grants Management Analyst
6701 Democracy Blvd
Building: Democracy I, Suite 800
Bethesda MD 20892-4872
Last Updated: August 2019