Diversity & Re-Entry Supplements

Introduction

NINDS offers two kinds of training-related supplements:

  1. Diversity supplements are funds added to an existing grant to increase the participation of scientists from underrepresented groups in biomedical research.
  2. Re-entry supplements support scientists who have taken time off to care for children or parents, or attend to other family responsibilities. 

The supplementary information on this page applies to applications requesting selected research supplements to active National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) grants. Its purpose is to clarify the application process for NINDS grantees and is not intended to replace the detailed information in the program announcement:

  1. Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research, PA-16-288
  2. Research Supplements to Promote Re-Entry into Biomedical and Behavioral Research Careers, PA-16-289

FORMS-D are now required for diversity and re-entry supplement applications. Please see NOT-OD-16-068 for information regarding the updated forms, as well as instruction clarification for supplement applications.

Prior to submission of an application, the Principal Investigator (Applicant) should contact Michelle D. Jones-London, Ph.D., Chief, Office of Programs to Enhance Neuroscience Workforce Diversity (jonesmiche@ninds.nih.gov), to discuss the proposed supplement. Critical issues to be discussed with the PD may include, but are not limited to, the research development and mentoring plan activities.

On this page, find information on:

Diversity Supplements

Diversity supplements are funds added to an existing grant to increase the participation of scientists from underrepresented groups in biomedical research.

At the time of a supplement application the parent grant must have a reasonable period of time remaining at the time of possible award to support an optimal career development experience for the candidate. We do not award diversity supplements to grants in a no-cost extension. 

NINDS will support more than one supplement per parent grant. Detailed information regarding this policy can be found here: NINDS Will Consider the Support of More Than One Mentee per Parent Grant

Eligibility for the PA

PD(s)/PI(s) are encouraged to consider administrative supplements under this program at the following career levels: high school students, undergraduate students, baccalaureate and master’s degree holders, graduate (predoctoral) and health professional students, individuals in postdoctoral training, and investigators developing independent research careers. All categories for diversity supplement should define their eligibility for the PA in the form of a letter signed by the PI and countersigned by an Institution official.

For the diversity supplement program, NINDS accepts any applicant that is determined to be underrepresented by the Grantee institution. The determination is usually supported by statistical or quantitative evidence of the underrepresentation of that particular group in biomedical or behavioral research at that institute or in the scientific research community (many use NSF statistical data).

For supplements to support individuals with disabilities, the application should include a statement providing information on the disability signed by the PI and countersigned by an Institution official.

Specifically for the Investigator level, appropriate use and eligibility for the program are described below:

  • Short-term Investigator Research Supplement: Examples of this may include diverse researchers at teaching-intensive schools who wish to pursue summer or another portion of the academic year research experiences in ongoing projects while further developing their own research potential, to enhance their research skills and establish an independent research career. Candidates with a history of previously funded R awards are not eligible for this supplement.
  • Long-term Investigator Research Supplement: The expectation is that at the junior faculty level for a supplement request, candidates will be recently appointed (within 24 months) and the project will enhance his or her ability to compete for independent grant support. The applicant should provide clear justification for the need of the supplement and the barriers or feasibility issues that make submission of individual awards such as a K or R not a competitive strategy at the current time. Candidates with a history of previously funded R awards are not eligible for this supplement.

Application Content, Submission, Review, and Award of Applications

PIs should read the program announcement (under Application and Submission Information) for what to include in a supplement request. See below for further details and additional information that NINDS requires.

The Research and Career Plan (limit 8 pages) includes:

  • Summary of the Funded Grant or Project
    • A brief description of the Parent Grant specific aims must be provided. 
  • Description of the Research Project for the Supplementee
    • The PA requires that the PI describe how the mentored research experiences will expand and foster the research capabilities of the candidate and how they relate to the research goals and objectives of the parent grant. Diversity Supplement awards must be within the scope of the parent grant. The research plan should present evidence that the proposed experience is appropriate for the stage of the individual's research development, and that it will significantly enhance the individual's research potential, while furthering the individual's ability to pursue a research career.
  • Career Development Plan
    • An appropriate career development/mentorship plan for the candidate must be included in the application. The expectation is that the PI will prepare a detailed career development/mentorship plan that will include objectives and associated timelines for helping the candidate make the transition to the next stage of his/her research career. Required components of the career development plan include:
      • Details of mentor-candidate interactions should be included. The plan should go well beyond simple laboratory assignments and supervision plans or stating that the candidate will attend seminars or lab meetings. The career development plan should be structured, specific and stage-appropriate for the candidate and include parameters such as the frequency of meetings, topics to be discussed, and how progress will be monitored.
      • A projected time line delineating specific research milestones and other activities that will be made in an attempt to secure independent research funding (i.e., anticipated publications, grantsmanship workshops, timeframe for grant submissions and type of independent research support the candidate seeks).
      • The PI must describe how he/she will assist the candidate in achieving the objectives and goals they have described in their candidate statement (see below).
      • The plan should take into account the typical barriers and impediments encountered by all trainees, as well as the unique challenges that individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, or individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds may encounter in gaining entry and progressing in the biomedical workforce.
      • A time line for the research and career development activities is required for investigators, postdoctoral researchers, graduate students, post baccalaureate students and undergraduates.

The PI mentoring experience, candidate statement, eligibility letter, biosketches and recommendations are not counted against the 8 page limit.

Mentoring Experience of the PI 

  • All applicants should describe their experience and track record as a mentor.
  • The PI should provide evidence of mentoring experience and success, e.g. a list of past trainees and their current positions. If the PI is a junior faculty member, it may be appropriate to include an experienced co-mentor in the development plan.
  • In addition, if the PI has previously been awarded a research supplement(s), he/she must describe: a) the outcome of the previous supplement(s) including the current status of the candidate(s) (i.e., title of current position and name of institution); b) the outcomes of the prior development/mentorship plan; c) any unexpected positive or negative occurrences that affected specific aspects of the development/mentorship plan or success of the candidate(s); and d) how these prior experiences influenced the development/mentorship plan proposed for the current candidate(s).
  • The role of other investigators who will contribute to the research mentoring should be described in the application and their biosketches must be included with the application.

Candidate Statement 

  • As required by the PA, the personal statement in the candidate's biosketch must outline short- and long-term research objectives and career goals. The candidate must describe how the planned activities are related to or will facilitate achievement of their career goals. Candidates are expected to submit career stage-appropriate grant applications during or at the end of the period of support.
  • For example, if awarded a total of two years, one of the NINDS Special Terms and Conditions included on the Notice of Grant Award will state that the next budget period support for the supplementee is contingent upon the submission of a competitive National Research Service Award (NRSA) or an equivalent form of fellowship support before the next year funds will be released. Thus a candidate's statement should include plans for the development and submission of such applications.

Transcript Requirements/References/Letters of Support

  • References/letters of support are optional but may be included in the supplement application
  • A strong emphasis is placed on the GPA as it is a reflection of academic performance. For high school, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, post-master's, medical students or graduate students only:
    • Provide scanned copy of most recent transcript along with application
    • If the student's full SSN appears on the transcript, block out all but the last 4 digits.

Allowable Costs and Other Provisions

 

High School Students

Undergraduate Students

Baccalaureate/ Master's

Degree Holders

Graduate (Predoctoral) And Health Professional Students

Individuals in Postdoctoral Training

Investigators Developing Independent Research Careers 

Salary & Fringe Benefits

Consistent with applicant Institutional salary policies, rates that exceed minimum wage must be justified

Consistent with applicant Institutional salary policies, rates that exceed $12.00/hour must be justified

Consistent with applicant Institutional salary policies, cannot exceed $35,000 of salary plus fringe benefits

Consistent with applicant Institutional salary policies, cannot exceed zero level NSRA postdoc stipend

Must be in accordance with the salary structure of the grantee institution, consistent with the level of effort, and may not exceed the maximum allowable NRSA stipend level for postdoctoral fellows in effect at the time of appointment.

Up to $75,000 salary plus fringe benefits per year up to $85,000 total direct costs

Supplies & Travel

N/A

$200 per month

$3,000 per year

$4,000 per year

$6,000 per year

$10,000 per year

Tuition

N/A

N/A

N/A

allowable
(see PA-16-288)

N/A

N/A

Equipment

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Period of Support

Equivalent of at least 3 months effort

Equivalent of at least 3 months of full time effort

Normally one year but can be extended to two years if candidate is actively pursuing entry into graduate health professional school

Coincident with research doctoral and health professional degree program, typically up to three years

Typically two years

Typically two years

 

Re-Entry Supplements

Re-entry supplements support scientists who have taken time off to care for children or parents, or attend to other family responsibilities. 

The program is designed to bring the scientist’s existing research skills and knowledge up-to-date, so that, during or at the completion of the supplement, the scientist will be in a position to apply for a career development or research award. The supplement must be applied to an existing NIH research grant with a minimum of 2 years of funding remaining.

Eligibility for the PA

Competitive applications will have the following:

  • Defined research objectives that serve as a basis for the supplementee’s autonomy as a research investigator and transition from the supplementee phase to independence. The application should include plans for a project that both fits the scope of the parent grant and ultimately evolves into a future project clear of competition and demonstrates ownership/ non-dependence on mentor. A brief description of the Parent Grant specific aims must be provided.
  • A carefully planned mentoring program developed by the mentor and the supplementee. The research and training timeline should include both scientific and administrative milestones that will be needed to secure independence.
  • As required by the PA, the candidate must submit a biographical sketch. The personal statement of the candidate's biosketch should address: research objectives and career goals, research experience prior to onset of hiatus, length of and reason for career hiatus, a description of how the candidate has kept current or attempted to keep current their field, and identification of any steps already taken toward re-entry (if any, such as attending scientific meetings).
  • Reference letter(s) from either past mentors or advisors that address the trajectory of the candidate prior to the hiatus. The supporting letters should provide positive evidence of the productivity level and likelihood of the candidate transitioning to independence prior to the hiatus.
    Evidence of a publication record in respected peer-review journals within the field.
  • Candidates must have a doctoral degree, such as M.D., Ph.D., or equivalent, and must have been in a postdoctoral or faculty position at the time they left active research.
  • The scientist should not be engaged in full-time paid research activities at the time of re-entry (temporary part-time is acceptable).
  • A maximum of 3 years of support can be awarded. During the first budget period, funds will be provided as an administrative supplement to the parent grant. In subsequent years, continued funding for the supplement is contingent on funding of the parent grant and the re-entry candidate's progress, and cannot extend beyond the current competitive segment of the parent grant.

In general, the duration of the career interruption should be for at least one year and no more than five years. Examples of qualifying interruptions would include child-rearing; an incapacitating illness or injury of the candidate, spouse, partner, or a member of the immediate family; and military service. The program is not intended to support additional graduate training and is not intended to support career changes from non-research to research careers for individuals without prior postdoctoral research training. It is anticipated that at the completion of the supplement, the re-entry scientist will be in a position to apply for a career development (K) award, a research award, or some other form of independent research support.

Candidates who have begun the re-entry process through a fellowship, traineeship, or similar mechanism are not eligible for this program. Awards will be limited to citizens or noncitizen nationals of the United States or to individuals who have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., who possess an Alien Registration Receipt Card) at the time of application.

Submission and Receipt of Applications

Prior to submission of an application, the Principal Investigator (Applicant) should contact the Program Director responsible for the supplements, Michelle D. Jones-London, Ph.D., Chief, Office of Programs to Enhance Neuroscience Workforce Diversity (jonesmiche@ninds.nih.gov).

Funding decisions for supplement applications will only be made three times a year, namely by the end of March, June, and December.

Change in Procedure for Requests to NINDS for Administrative Research Supplements to Promote Diversity and Re-entry in Health-Related Research (PA-08-190 and PA-08-191)
(NOT-NS-11-010)

Application Receipt Date

Final Funding Decision

November 16th to February 15th

March

February 16th to May 15th

June

August 1st to November 15th

December

Applications received after the cycle cut-off date will be processed and considered for funding in the next funding cycle, i.e., receipt after February 15th, would mean review in June.

In making requests, the grantee institution, on behalf of the PI of the parent grant and in cooperation with the applicant individual, must submit the request for supplemental funds. It is recommended that the request be sent by either 1) electronic submission via eRA Commons or 2) by emailing a PDF file.

1. Electronic Submissions 

NIH now offers a streamlined system through the eRA Commons for submitting administrative supplements. Login to the eRA Commons, identify the parent award, and prepare an administrative supplement request. All candidates for supplemental diversity award support must also have a profile in the eRA Commons.

Include the candidate’s eRA Commons Username and attach the Research Experience Plan (described below in the PHS 398 Research Plan Form), Candidate Biosketch (described in the Senior/Key Personnel Form, also called the Applicant Biosketch), and the Candidate Eligibility Statement (described in Other Project Information/Appendix, also called the Applicant Eligibility Statement) in the fields provided. Although only one candidate may be supported under each request submitted using this system, grantees may submit multiple requests on the same parent award.

Budget information should be entered for the grantee institution in the fields provided. There is no template or form available for subaward information; instead, all subaward information should be included as a separate attachment showing the funds requested (by budget period) using the same categories provided for the grantee institution. Also include a budget justification for the subawardee institution in the same file.

For more guidance on option 1, please see the FOA: PA-16-288 or PA-16-289 and eRA Commons user guide: http://era.nih.gov/commons/user_guide.cfm

2. Email submissions 

The NINDS accepts the submission of Re-entry Supplement applications and Diversity Supplement applications as a single PDF electronic file.

Electronic files of the application elements from the PHS 398 application package are available from the NIH website at: http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm. The application must be a scanned PDF document so that the appropriate signature of the authorized institutional representative is clearly legible. All elements of the application, including elements not available for download from the PHS 398 application package, namely, transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc. should be scanned as PDF files and included in the application as a single PDF file.

The subject line of the email must contain only the phrase, "NINDS DIVERSITY SUPPLEMENT APPLICATION PDF" or “NINDS RE-ENTRY SUPPLEMENT APPLICATION PDF” - all in caps.

Complete applications using option 2 (email submission) should be sent to: NINDSDiversityTraining@ninds.nih.gov

Review and Award of Applications

Funding decisions are generally dependent on:

  1. The merit of the application and the proposed project activities (i.e., the career development/mentorship plan)
  2. The potential for continued research progress of the candidate
  3. The availability of funds.