NIDCR Guidance on Applications in Response to Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research, PA-21-071

This document applies to applications for research supplement funding to active National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) grants in response to PA-21-071.The purpose is to clarify the application process and highlight NIDCR-specific requirements. This document is not intended to replace the full and detailed application information in the Program Announcement: PA-21-071.

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Eligibility

Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) requesting research supplement funding must hold an active NIDCR grant. For supplements to multiple PD/PI grants, the supplement should be requested by the contact PD/PI and submitted by the awardee institution of the parent grant. Mentor(s) of the diversity supplement candidate may be any or all of the PD(s)/PI(s) on the award.

Supplemental awards under this announcement are limited to citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States or to individuals who have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States (i.e., in possession of a Permanent Resident Card, Form I-551). The candidate may be affiliated with either the applicant institution or another academic institution. Only one candidate may be identified in an administrative supplement application, although more than one application per NIDCR grant may be submitted for different candidates.

Candidates may be supported by a supplement at more than one career stage, for example, at predoctoral and postdoctoral levels.

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Application Information

Statement of Candidate’s 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: information on the nature of the candidate’s eligibility, circumstances, background or characteristics that enhance research workforce diversity as described in the NIH Interest in Diversity NOT-OD-20-031, and a description of the candidate’s current or previous NIH/PHS research grant support, or a statement that the candidate is not currently receiving NIH/PHS support, as applicable.

Biographical Sketch: As per the instructions, include a biosketch for the candidate, any mentors, and any senior or key persons directly involved in activities related to the supplement. For mentors/senior or key persons, personal statements should be specific regarding expertise related to the role in the project and to the interaction with and commitment to the diversity supplement candidate.

Mentors: If more than one mentor is proposed, the role of each mentor and the relationship to the candidate in the proposed Research Experience Plan must be clearly defined. Each mentor’s mentoring track record, including individuals previously mentored (preferably at the candidate’s career level) and their current positions if applicable, especially the current status of any previous diversity supplement candidates, should be described. If the primary mentor is relatively junior, including an experienced co-mentor may be helpful. The primary mentor does not have to be the PI of the parent grant, but the PI of the parent grant must concur with the supplement application.

Candidate’s Personal Statement: The application must include a personal statement describing the candidate’s short-term and long-term career goals. The candidate’s experience and commitment to the diversity goals of the program should be included. 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. The Personal Statement can be included as part A of an NIH Biosketch or as a separate document. Scholastic Performance for candidates from the undergraduate through postdoctoral levels is required and provided in part D of the NIH Biosketch “Additional Information: Research Support and/or Scholastic Performance”.

Please ensure the proposed candidate for diversity supplement support has an eRA Commons profile.

Research Project: The proposed supplement project must be within scope of the parent grant. It must be relevant to the parent grant by contributing to, expanding or extending one or more aims of the parent grant. The relevance needs to be explicitly explained in the application.

  • Research Experience Plan: Include a summary or abstract and specific aims of the parent grant. Describe the specific research project proposed for the candidate, including how the research extends one or more aims of the parent grant, if applicable. The application must describe the candidate’s research aims and design, methods and techniques, and how the proposed experience will enhance the candidate’s research potential. This program may not be used to provide technical support to NIH-supported investigators. The research experience should be appropriate to the candidate’s academic level:
  • High School and Undergraduate Students are not expected to conduct independent research; however, students who indicate readiness for some degree of independence should be encouraged to do so. All students should be encouraged to participate in ongoing team discussions of research updates and findings, next steps, and future directions.
  • Post-baccalaureate and Post-master’s Degree Students are encouraged to engage in research while applying for admission to graduate (PhD programs) or dental/medical school. These candidates are expected to conduct a defined research project that is within scope of the parent grant to gain research experience and develop a research and technical skill set.
  • Health Professional Students: Dental and medical students may assume partial or complete responsibility for some aspects of the parent grant’s original research plan or goals.
  • Graduate Students are expected to conduct a defined research project that is a logical extension of the goals and objectives of the parent grant and will lead toward a new or more advanced research skill set and a graduate degree. The research experience plan is expected to include a grant writing experience and the submission of an application for individual support, for example:
    • PA-20-251 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Parent F31-Diversity)
    • PAR-20-069 NIDCR Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Transition Award for a Diverse Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Research Workforce (F99/K00 Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • Individuals in Postdoctoral Training and Investigators Developing Independent Research Careers: This program is intended for early career postdoctoral candidates, those with 6 or fewer years of experience, and junior faculty at the instructor and assistant professor levels who have least one year of research experience beyond a qualifying doctoral degree. These candidates are expected to conduct defined research projects that are a logical extension of the goals and objectives of the parent grant and support the candidate’s independent research trajectory. How the research experience will enhance the candidate’s research potential and support a research program independent of the PD/PI and parent grant must be described. The proposed research is expected to lead to publishable data and significantly enhance the candidate's ability to compete for independent grant support from NIH, such as a career development award or research project grant, or support from other sources. Applications must include a grant writing experience and plans for submission of a grant application prior to, or subsequent to, supplement support, such as:
    • PAR-19-160 NIDCR Mentored Career Development Award to Promote Diversity in the Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Workforce (K01 Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

    And see NIDCR funding opportunities for early career scientists:

Career Development Plan: Include a candidate-specific career development plan that is consistent with the goals described in candidate’s personal statement and the proposed mentored research experiences.

All supplement applications must include a plan for the candidate to interact with other individuals on the parent grant, to contribute intellectually to the research, to enhance her/his research skills and knowledge regarding the selected research area, and to contribute significantly to the research career development of the candidate. The focus must be on the enhancement of the research capability of the candidate, and that the research experience is intended to provide opportunities for development as a productive researcher.

Describe the career skills to be gained during the supplement experience and career-stage appropriate activities such as academic coursework, technical and grant writing workshops, and benchmarks to be reached, including, but not limited to, abstract and publication submissions, oral presentations (local, regional, or national meetings), and grant submissions. Provide a detailed plan that will help the candidate transition to the next level of education or career stage. A timeline is strongly encouraged.

All applications must demonstrate that the PD(s)/PI(s) is/are committed to the candidate’s research progress and willing to provide appropriate mentorship. This may be provided in the Biosketch personal statement or in a letter of support.

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Application Submission

NIDCR accepts applications on a continuous basis. Administrative review may take up to 8 weeks. For PD(s)/PI(s) seeking diversity supplement awards before the end of the fiscal year (September 30), applications must be submitted by 5pm local time on July 16, 2021. Applications received after this date will be considered for funding in the next fiscal year, which begins October 1. Note: because of the budgetary cycle, no awards are made in October and November.

Investigators are encouraged to contact the NIDCR Program Contact for the diversity supplement program, Dr. Lynn King at lynn.king@nih.gov and the Program Officer of the parent grant prior to submission. Budget related questions should be directed to the NIDCR Grants Management Specialist of the parent grant.

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