Stimulated NIH Supplement Funding Opportunities

Update: I’m adding supplement request deadlines and links to my ARRA Resources Page for each IC as they come online.

Per the NIH Guide, ~$1 billion of ARRA funds will be obligated by September 30, 2010 to support requests submitted in response to supplement requests that, interestingly, can be applied to awards under no-cost extensions. Note the April 21st deadline for the Competitive Revision Applications (support for a significant expansion of the scope or research protocol of an existing award); receipt date is open for administrative and summer research experience supplements. For all of these, grantees must comply with all ARRA requirements, including, but not limited to, the quarterly reporting requirements. Oh joy. You submit your requests to your IC, not CSR.

Some ICs will consider administrative supplements only in target areas identified on their IC Supplement Website.

Administrative Supplements

Applicants requesting multiple year funding in FY2009 may only request funding for FY 2009 and FY 2010, and it is anticipated that supplement funding will be awarded within a short period after receipt of the supplement request. Requests selected for funding in FY2010 will be limited to one year for the budget and project period.

To be eligible, the parent grant must be active and the research/scientific activities proposed in the supplement must be accomplished within the current competitive segment. The proposed supplement MUST be within the general scope of the peer-reviewed activities and aims approved within the parent grant, including projects on a no-cost extension; while supplemental funds may be awarded to grants during a no-cost extension, the period of support cannot extend beyond the award period for the additional time that was granted. Note that while NIH recommends that a no-cost extension already be in place before an administrative supplement request is submitted, this is not a requirement for all administrative supplement requests.

For supplements to Research Grants there is no maximum dollar limit on what may be requested in the budget; however, the requested budget must be in line with the work being proposed. Please note that in general NIH expects to award supplements of not more than 50% of the amount of the parent grant.

For supplements to Research Career Development Awards, requests will generally be limited to $50,000 for Research Development Support costs (individual IC policies may vary). Requests for an additional year of support for Career Development Awards (K99 and K22) may also be submitted.

For supplements to Institutional Training awards, requests for support for additional trainees within the current Council-approved level will be considered.

NIH intends to accept applications for supplements under this notice in all scientific areas, and is particularly interested in awarding administrative supplements with Recovery Act funds in the areas listed below.

Equipment purchases (costing under $100,000)

* Enhancing the activities of clinical trials including increasing enrollment and increasing the capacity for data analysis
* Providing additional funded time under K99/R00 and other awards.
* Research employment opportunities for pre-doctoral students, including medical students in “off years” (e.g., medical, dental, veterinary, clinical psychology, nursing students) seeking extended time off for research experience) or on shorter term breaks.
* Research employment opportunities for postdoctoral students, including extending support for senior postdocs.
* Research employment opportunities for recent college and master’s degree graduates.
* Comparative effectiveness research.

In order to ensure that all expenditures in support of an administrative supplement advance the objectives of the Recovery Act, all applications must address Recovery Act justifications, including how the supplement is expected to stimulate the economy by:

1) Enabling hiring of additional staff;
2) Enabling increased hours of current part-time staff;
3) Procuring additional needed equipment (costing under $100,000); and/or
4) Recruiting for additional needed skills.

Selection factors will include the following:

* Relevance of the proposed activities to the parent grant and determination that the proposed activities are within the existing peer-reviewed and approved scope of the project.
* Adequate progress of the parent grant appropriate to the current stage of the project.
* Appropriate and well-described plan to accomplish the goals within the timeframe proposed.
* Expertise of the research/scientific team proposed to conduct and achieve the goals of the supplemental study or accelerate the tempo of scientific research.
* Appropriateness of the request to achieve Recovery Act goals in promoting job creation, economic development, and accelerating the pace and achievement of scientific research.
* Relevance to target areas/priorities by the funding IC

While geographic variation will be considered in awarding Recovery Act funding, a proposal’s scientific merit will always be the prevailing criterion.

***

Competitive Revision Applications

The deadline for receipt of these revision applications is April 21, 2009

To be eligible, the parent grant must be active at the time the revision application is submitted, and the research proposed in the revision must be accomplished within the current competitive segment. That is, the period of support requested for the revision cannot exceed the current project period end date of the parent grant, including projects on a no-cost extension. Also, a no-cost extension must be in place before the revision application is submitted.

Examples of the types of revisions that would be appropriate include, but are not limited to the following:

* Hiring students, postdocs or other personnel to accomplish new scientific objectives or to generate novel resources.
* Making investments in technology essential to expand the goals of the project or to enhance energy efficiency in the expansion of the project.
* Requesting that a single PD/PI grant be changed to a multiple PD/PI grant or otherwise modifying the multiple PD/PI team in order to add and pursue new scientific goals. (NOTE: a Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan will be required as part of the application.)
* Other types of revisions may be appropriate but must be consistent with the goals of the Recovery Act

Any cost increases need to result from making modifications to the project in order to take advantage of opportunities that would increase the value of the project goals and objectives or to accelerate the rate of discovery of scientific research. Revision applications are not appropriate when the sole purpose is to restore awards to the full Scientific Review Group-recommended level if they were administratively reduced by the funding agency.

Revision applications may only be requested for up to two years; therefore the scope and budget of the requested revision must reflect aims and goals that can be accomplished within that limited timeframe. Requests selected for funding in FY2010 will be limited to one year for the project and budget period.

There is no maximum dollar limit on the budget request for a revision application; however, the requested budget must be reasonable and appropriate for the work being proposed. (Note that equipment purchases cannot exceed $100,000).

Note: For this revision opportunity, prior approval from the IC staff is not needed to submit an application with a budget greater than $500,000 direct costs in any year. (Applicants should ignore the e-submission validation warning regarding the NIH $500,000 per year limit on direct costs.)

***

Summer Research Experiences for Students and Science Educators

These administrative supplements have the purpose of promoting job creation, economic development, and accelerating the pace and achievement of scientific research. These supplements will also encourage students to seriously pursue research careers in the health related sciences, as well as provide elementary, middle school, and high school teachers, community college faculty, and faculty from non-research intensive institutions with short term research experiences in NIH-funded laboratories.

To be eligible, the parent grant must be active and the research experience proposed in the supplement must be accomplished within the current competitive segment. The proposed supplement MUST be within the general scope of the peer-reviewed activities and aims approved within the parent grant, including projects on a no-cost extension. Note that while NIH recommends that a no-cost extension already be in place before an administrative supplement request is submitted, this is not a requirement for all administrative supplement requests.

Generally, students and science educators supported under these supplements are not required to be U.S. citizens. However, some parent grants eligible for supplementation under this notice may have unique citizenship requirements, and these citizenship requirements will apply to any supplement awarded under this notice.

The funding method being used to support this program, administrative supplements, can be used to cover cost increases that are associated with providing research experiences in the conduct of NIH supported research, as long as they are within the original scope of the parent project. Any cost increases need to result from making modifications to the parent project in order to take advantage of opportunities that would increase the value of the project consistent with its originally approved objectives and purposes or to accelerate the tempo of scientific research.

For Research Grants, supplements may request salary support for summer employment, as long as it reflects a direct contribution to accelerating the tempo of scientific research, is reasonable, consistent with institutional salary policies, and complies with the following dollar limits:

* High school students – Should comply with hourly minimum wage limitations, unless justification is provided
* Undergraduate students – No more than $10 per hour, unless justification is provided.
* Science teachers and faculty – Up to $18,000, plus fringe benefit costs of up to $2,500

Supplements for summer research experiences may request an additional $1,000 per person for the costs of laboratory supplies and other related allowable costs, such as relevant travel.

12 Comments »

  1. I had a nice chat with one of my program officers about this today. Reading between the lines, I think that you have to be fucking nuts to submit for a competitive revision rather than an administrative supplement, *unless* there is absolutely no way you can think of something to propose that is even arguably “within the general scope” of the parent grant. Reasons for thinking this:

    (1) The decision whether the science proposed in a supplement request is “within the general scope” is completely within the discretion of program staff.

    (2) Some institutes have forbidden requests for competitive revisions.

    (3) The administrative and peer review burden for competitive revisions is *vastly* greater than for administrative supplements, *both* for applicants and for NIH. This is because competitive revisions need to be submitted using Grants.gov (if the parent was electronic) and handled by CSR receipt and referral, and then reviewed by study sections, either at CSR or inside institutes, depending on where the parent application was reviewed. Administrative supplements are to be submitted by e-mail to program staff.

    (4) The administrative supplement deadline for 2009 funding is going to be substantially later than the April 21 competitive revision deadline.

    (5) Administrative supplement requests are going to be funded right the fuck away, and not much later, as will competitive revisions.

    All of these factors make it very clear that both the institutes and applicants will benefit from there being as few competitive revision applications and as many administrative supplement applications as possible.

  2. writedit said

    Thanks, as always, for sharing, Comrade PhysioProf. This is interesting because given that the NIH needs to show Congress they are funding new science versus the same old, I would have put money on the competitive revisions (yes, they are an exponentially greater hassle for everyone) being more attractive to program. You can ask for more money for competitive revision supplements, too, and you’ll know on or before Sept 30th (administrative supplements take 6-8 weeks to fund under normal circumstances … we’ll see how they do under such stimulated conditions).

    I do see NHLBI and NIAID are taking a pass on competing supplements … but NHLBI has set a deadline of April 17th for their administrative supplement requests, and NIMH says April 22nd, so don’t assume everyone will accept admin supplements at a leisurely pace (for comparison, NIDCR says June 1st, NIGMS says July 15th). I’m adding supplement request deadlines and links to my ARRA Resources Page for each IC as they come online.

  3. ama said

    I, too, would have leaned towards the revision mechanism vs. the admin supplement, both for the open budget and the ability to basically expand a grant’s specific aims on the sly. But it underscores the need, whatever one guesses from reading the ARRA tea leaves, to talk to the program officers, since these supplements, like most of the stimulus, seems to leave a LOT of discretion (dates, priorities, mechanisms, etc) in the hands of the lower levels of the decision-making pyramid.

  4. Comrade PhysioProf and I must have the same program officer. Or different program officers who share a single brain? Anyway, I can echo what he says.

    Fascinating. All this intel is great. I’m guessing there will be some pretty creative reporting going on so as to take advantage of the easier admin supplement mechanism as broadly as possible … – writedit

  5. whimple said

    This is interesting because given that the NIH needs to show Congress they are funding new science versus the same old…

    An easy way for the NIH to do this would be to simply fund ALL the R03 and R21 applications they got last year, instead of adding on to the ones they were already funding, or were close to funding anyway.

    As an interesting side-benefit, CSR could then do post-ARRA analysis on how well section scores really do predict the quality of the science the NIH is going to get (or even if the scores do in fact predict this).

    Oh, I agree completely (well, perhaps all scored R03s and R21s anyway, though most are, albeit many unfundably so, well above 200) … and your post-ARRA analysis project is a novel, innovative, and potentially very high impact proposal! – writedit

  6. writedit said

    NCI is taking a unique approach to the supplement lottery: Administrative Supplements for Activities to Promote Research Collaborations, which are due May 1st (single submission date) and, per the guidelines, quite competitive:

    The NCI-APRC program is anticipated to be highly competitive; 12-15 supplements will be funded for up to 2 years each. Before submission, all grantees must contact their designated NCI Program Director to discuss the planned collaboration and application. If applicants do not first contact their Program Director, the application will not be considered.

    The structure is well-defined as well:

    Typically, NCI-APRC consortia will be composed of two to five investigators (often from complementary fields) focused on achieving specific research objectives by pooling their respective expertise and efforts. The NCI-APRC consortium will carry out joint research that would not be possible to conduct expeditiously, if at all, in the absence of these collaborators and this additional funding support.

    The collaborative research project must be within the general scope of the PI’s active NCI-funded grant and cannot be duplicative of any active or previously funded research topic for any of the consortium members.

    Important: The collaboration within the research project proposed must be new. Collaborators with prior history of collaboration (including publications) in the past 5 years are not eligible as individual (separate) collaborating units. If collaboration has occurred within 5 years, these particular collaborators will be considered a single (combined) collaborating unit. In this instance, another collaborator or collaborating unit is required for NCI-APRC eligibility.

    * The maximum budget allowed for a collaborating unit is $100,000 direct costs per year.
    * The maximum combined consortium budget is $300,000 direct costs per year, regardless of the number of collaborators or collaborating units.

  7. BB said

    Well now I know why my PO at NCI didn’t call me back.

    I’m beginning to think PO means “parole officer.”

  8. postdoc said

    Dear WriteEdit: I’m having a crazy hard time getting in touch with my PO (a difficult task even in the best of times, and obviously right now she is swamped) so I thought of your blog and was wondering if you had any insight. I’m in the first year of a K99 award from the NIDDK, and the official NIH announcement for the for the stimulus money supplements says that K99/R00s can apply for an additional year…but…the NIDDK info (http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/Recovery/AdminSupplements.htm) lists the specific grant mechanisms that are eligible and does *not* list K99’s. Are some ICs restricting the grant mechanisms that are eligible for the supplements, even if the NIH as a whole implied that they are eligible? I’ll get ahold of my PO eventually but would really appreciate any insight. 🙂

    Yes, ICs can set their own restrictions on which mechanisms are eligible for which types of ARRA funding (or whether to participate at all – e.g., sitting out competitive revision supps). I did notice that NIDDK did not allow administrative supplements to either the K99 or the R00 mechanism, which seems incredibly misguided (since they should want to help these best & brightest young investigators). They left off other K mechanisms, so I don’t think it’s a simple oversight. With any luck, you may not be hearing back from your PO because she passed your query up the chain, in which case the possibility of adding the K99 and/or R00 mechanisms back into the admin supp mix is being reconsidered. But, I’m sure they thought about this when preparing these guidelines, so, unfortunately (and this is an unfortunate decision on NIDDK’s part), I wouldn’t be overly optimistic about getting the go-ahead to apply. – writedit

  9. bacon said

    I have a R00 through the NCRR. I was told it was not eligible for a supplement. So it seems some ICs are excluding the R00s, for whatever reason.

    Sorry to hear this, since it is so very short-sighted if the NIH truly wants to help its brightest young investigators. In a more enlightened epiphany, NIDDK did change its mind about K99 awardees, at least, so it pays for others out there to ask to be sure. – writedit

  10. D said

    I think that the main reason K99/R00s are not eligible for supplements is that the R00 part is usually only 1,2 or 3 years. To get a supplement you need at least 2 years left on the grant. Since few R00s fit Program probably decided it wasn’t worth the effort. They probably don’t want to mess with 1 year supplements at this point. They want all the money obligated this year. They don’t want to have to go through this again next year.

  11. R00: administrative supplements? said

    I have a R00 by NIAAA and wondering whether I could apply for an administrative supplement to hire someone or buy a piece of equipment. I haven’t got a response yet from my PO nor from the NIAAA contact person, they must be super-busy. I heard a lot depends on the Institute, but does ANY institute provide support to the R00 portion?
    Any clue? Thanks!

    NIAAA does not add any limitations to which awards are eligible, so I would assume an R00 PI could apply. NIDDK changed its mind (see Postdoc exchange above) and added both the K99 and the R00 awards to its eligible parent grant mechanisms for administrative supplements. I’d suggest you get something ready for the May 1 receipt date and send it along if you have not heard back by then. However, NIAAA is only allocating $8M to administrative supplements (i.e., 80 applications), so the competition will be tight. – writedit

  12. writedit said

    NICHD just bailed from the Competitive Revision supplement program.

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