These guidelines apply to applications requesting research supplement funding to active National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) grants in response to PA-20-222. 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:
Investigators are encouraged to contact the NIAMS Diversity Supplement Program Coordinator prior to submission: NIAMSDiversityProgram@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.
NIAMS Diversity Supplements support the research training of High School Students, 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 two years 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 P30, SC1, SC2 or SC3 as parent grants for Diversity Supplements.
In addition, the following limitations apply:
- A NIAMS grant may only support a maximum of one Diversity Supplement candidate at any given time.
- A R21 or R21-equivalent grant is allowed to support a maximum of one Diversity Supplement candidate whose career level is graduate student or more junior.
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 Diversity Supplement Coordinator to verify eligibility, NIAMSDiversityProgram@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.
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.
The following are budget guidelines for each candidate level, taken from the Funding Opportunity Announcement.
High School Students: The salary for a high school student, whether full- or part-time, should be consistent with institutional salary policies. Institutional salary rates for high school students which exceed the hourly minimum wage must be justified. Students are expected to devote sufficient effort to the research project and related activities during the period of support to gain insight into the process of scientific discovery. Support for at least three months is encouraged during any one year. This may include a combination of full-time summer experience and part-time experience during the school year. PD(s)/PI(s) are encouraged to seek high school students who will devote at least two years to this program (i.e., equivalent to two three-month, full-time periods). Exceptions to the latter will be considered, depending on the circumstances of the applicant, the parent grant, and the specific request.
Undergraduate Students: The salary for an undergraduate student should be consistent with institutional salary policies. Institutional rates for undergraduate salary that exceed $12 per hour must be justified. An additional amount of $200 per month for supplies and travel may also be requested. Students are expected to devote the equivalent of at least three months of full-time effort to the research project and related activities in any one year; in most cases, the period of support for any individual should last at least two years. Exceptions to these requirements will be considered, depending on the circumstances of the applicant, the parent grant, and the specific request.
Baccalaureate and Master's Degree Holders: The salary for baccalaureate and master's degree holders should be reasonable and consistent with the institutional salary policies and cannot exceed the compensation allowed for graduate students. Additional funds up to $3,000 per year may be requested to support supplies and travel for the candidate.
Graduate (Predoctoral) and Health Professional Students: The NIH will provide salary support in addition to other necessary expenses, such as supplies and travel, to enable the individual to participate as a graduate research assistant in a funded research project. The NIH will provide compensation that (1) conforms to the established, consistently applied salary and wage policies of the institution and (2) reflects the percentage of time devoted to the PHS-funded project. For graduate students this compensation may include tuition remission paid as, or in lieu of, wages provided that the student is in a bona fide employer-employee relationship with the institution for the work performed, and payment is made explicitly for performance of necessary work. The total amount requested for salary, tuition and fringe benefits cannot exceed the amount allowable for a first year postdoctoral fellow (i.e., level zero) at the same institution performing comparable work (see current NRSA stipend amounts). Additional funds up to $4,000 per year may be requested to support supplies and travel for the candidate.
Individuals in Postdoctoral Training: The NIH will provide support for salary and fringe benefits in addition to other necessary expenses, such as travel and supplies, to enable the candidate to participate as a postdoctoral research associate on the funded research project. The requested annual salary must be in accordance with the salary structure of the grantee institution, consistent with the level of effort. Requested salary may not exceed the maximum allowable NRSA stipend level for postdoctoral fellows in effect at the time of appointment (see current NRSA stipend amounts). Fringe benefits are provided in addition to salary, and should be in accordance with the fringe benefits provided to other postdoctorates at the awardee institution. The supplement budget may include up to $6,000 per year to support supplies and travel for the candidate.
Investigators Developing Independent Research Careers: The requested salary for an investigator should be consistent with the level of support provided by NIH Career Development Awards, for which NIAMS currently provides up to $100,000. Salary and fringe benefits must be in accordance with the salary structure of the grantee institution, and must be consistent with the level of effort. Additional funds of up to $10,000 per year may be requested for supplies and travel for the candidate. Equipment may be purchased but requires prior approval of the NIH awarding component. The maximum period of support for any investigator is usually two years.
Individuals with Disability
- Salary, supplies and travel: consistent with career level as detailed above.
- 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.
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.
Application must include NIH biosketch of all involved personnel, including the PI.
3.2. Statement of eligibility
This document must be signed by the PI and an institutional official, establishing the candidate’s eligibility for support under this program. The statement must include:
- Clearly presented information on U.S. citizenship or permanent residency;
- Explicit information on the nature of the candidate’s disability, circumstances, background or characteristics that confer eligibility under this program;
- A description of any current or previous PHS research grant support the candidate has received, including start and end dates. If applicable, include a statement indicating that the candidate has not received any current or previous PHS support.
3.3. Personal statement of the candidate
Application must include a personal statement of up to one page, describing the diversity candidate’s career goals, both immediate and long term. Candidates are strongly encouraged to submit career stage-appropriate grant applications during or at the end of period of supplement support. Statements should include plans to develop such applications, if applicable.
For high school, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, post-masters and graduate students, transcripts of the most recent education stage are required.
3.5. Qualification of mentor(s)
If there is more than one mentor, clearly define each mentor’s role and relationship to the candidate;
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.
3.6. Research, mentoring and career development plan
A brief description of up to six pages that includes the following items is required:
3.6.1. Research plan:
- A summary or abstract and specific aims of the funded parent grant or project;
- 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.
3.6.2. Mentoring and career development plan:
- A candidate-specific career development plan that is consistent with the goals laid out in the candidate’s personal statement;
- 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.
- Outline of a detailed plan that will help the candidate to transition to the next education or career stage.
3.6.3. Timeline with appropriate benchmarks for both research progress and career development of candidate.
3.7. In case of multiple institutions
A letter of support signed by a designated institution official from each institution is required. The mentoring and career development plan must clearly indicate the logistics of communications and the impact of multiple locations on the candidate’s research and career progress. If awarded, the supplement award is provided to the institute where the parent grant resides. The PI of the parent grant is ultimately responsible for the supplement.
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.
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.
7.1. No-cost extensions
No-cost extensions are allowed on NIAMS diversity supplements provided there is adequate time remaining on the parent grant.