Important information about NIH institutional training grants can be obtained from the
Answers to many questions can be found on the
NIGMS training Website and in the NIGMS-specific T32 Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs):
New applicants are strongly encouraged to contact
NIGMS predoctoral training grant staff to discuss their plans to submit a new application as early as possible.
I have a NIGMS-supported predoctoral training grant in basic biomedical sciences area that's due for renewal. Do I submit a new or renewal application, and which FOA should I use?
A. All predoctoral T32 training grant applications in
basic biomedical sciences disciplines from institutions that were previously or are currently supported with NIGMS-funded predoctoral T32 training grants must be submitted under the new NIGMS-specific T32 FOA (PAR-17-341). Further, all applications (new as well as those from established programs) in response to the new NIGMS T32 FOA (PAR-17-341) must be submitted as new (-01) applications. See the Guide notice
NOT-GM-18-005 for additional information.
Q2. We plan to propose a new T32 program within an institution that already has many T32 programs. The new program will have a distinct training focus from the existing programs. Are new T32s permissible under the new FOA?
A. Yes, as long as the proposed training program is broadly-based, within the NIGMS mission, and fits one of the
Predoctoral Training Grant Program Areas.
Q3. What is the relative importance of the "training" portion in the new skills/areas of focus, and how much is for the science itself in a training grant?
A. The science is important and so are the skills and career development. The relative focus, to be determined by the training program, may depend on any number of factors, including the institutional environment, training program objectives, the characteristics of trainees, etc. Overall, each program should provide high-quality research training, and additional opportunities that equip trainees with the technical, operational, and professional skills required for careers in the biomedical research workforce.
Q4. If our only NIGMS training grant is MSTP, can we still apply to the Transdisciplinary Basic Biomedical Sciences program?
A. No. Institutions that only have an MSTP can apply for a training grant in any of the other basic biomedical sciences areas, but not Transdisciplinary Basic Biomedical Sciences.
Q5. If we have an MSTP, can we apply for a training program with focus on cellular, biochemical, and molecular sciences using the new FOA?
A. Yes. Keep in mind, though, that NIGMS will support only one training program in each training area per institution (normally identified by having a unique DUNS number or NIH IPF number).
Q6. Our program is adding computational training for life scientists, and computational biology fits within the NIGMS domain. Would NIGMS support this, regardless of whether the research projects of the faculty are in the NIGMS mission?
A. Bioinformatics and computational biology predoctoral training programs are among the areas of basic biomedical science disciplines supported by NIGMS. Faculty mentors' research support is important, not the source of support (NIGMS, NIH, other federal or private foundation, etc.)
Does NIGMS support training grants with combined predoctoral and postdoctoral training?
A. No, the predoctoral training programs are predoctoral ONLY; the
postdoctoral training programs support ONLY postdoctoral trainees.
I plan to submit a new T32 predoctoral application. How many trainees can I request? Is there a limit?
A. There is no limit. NIGMS predoctoral T32 programs are intended to enhance early-phase (that is, usually year 1 and 2), interdisciplinary training for future biomedical scientists. When requesting trainees, consider how your T32 would nominate students from among the accepted biomedical graduate students derived from a common, "umbrella" program, and/or direct admission to various Ph.D. programs or cluster areas. Consider how many training grant eligible students work with program PIs or complete relevant coursework activities to be appropriate for your training program. Also consider whether other NIGMS training programs at your institution tap into the same pool of students. You must have a sufficient number of faculty research mentors, resources, and outstanding candidates to justify your request. It's also important to note that the T32 training grants do not support all of the potential candidates that are associated with the overall training program.
In summary, the request for the number of slots must reflect the program's pool of qualified applicants, the proven ability of the program to effectively mentor that number of trainees, and the number of years (i.e., one or two years) students will be funded.
Is there a standard timetable for student participation in training grant programs?
A. Students on NIGMS-funded training grants are typically supported for 1-2 years of graduate studies in Ph.D. programs or for 2-4 years in M.D.-Ph.D. programs. Use of training grant support during the first two years of graduate research training, is strongly encouraged to provide maximum flexibility in the selection of courses, rotations, research fields, and mentors. Use of training grant support in year 3, if proposed, should be strongly justified.
Q10. Can you define training grant eligible student? If we want to change the demographic of students recruited to our program, then we might not have those types of students in our current program.
A. Predoctoral research training is for individuals who have a baccalaureate degree and are enrolled in a doctoral program leading to either a Ph.D., or a combined clinical degree and Ph.D., such as M.D./Ph.D.
Q11. Does the support period for students have to be continuous? I would like our students to participate in internships over the summer, but many companies require that the students be supported by them rather than from the training grant. E.g. Would it be possible to have two semesters on, summer off, two semesters on, summer off, one semester on to make up the full 2 years?
A. It is possible, but there are a few things to consider. Applicants are strongly encouraged to describe any proposed internships, including research training experiences away from the parent organization, that are part of the training program with sufficient detail in the grant application. If this is not included in the grant application, NIH prior written approval is required prior to the internship. To complete a break in training grant support (in this case for a paid internship), submit a Termination Notice via X-Train. Upon resumption of Kirschstein-NRSA support, document the reappointment on another Statement of Appointment form submitted via X-Train.
Q12. Do T32s require personal statements in biosketches?
A. Personal statements are required for the program director(s), all key personnel, and participating faculty. For other biosketch related questions, refer to
Are there specific forms for the tables that are requested in a T32 grant application?
A. Yes, NIH has required table formats for T32 applications; these can be found on the NIH SF424 Application and Submission Website,
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/index.htm#data. There are different tables required for new versus renewals, and for predoctoral versus postdoctoral applications. Be sure to read the "Introduction to Data Tables" and the instructions and rationale for each table. These tables are extremely important to the review of your application:
make sure they are filled out correctly and all requested tables are included in the application.
NIH currently requires tables in a predoctoral training grant application. See the section on
Training Tables in this document for FAQs on these tables. We also encourage you to view our 2019 Predoctoral T32
webinar video as well as the
webinar slides [PDF, 384KB] for more information.
When is my predoctoral training grant renewal application due?
A. NIGMS standard receipt dates for predoctoral T32s are January 25, May 25, and September 25. Since NIGMS funds predoctoral T32s once a year on July 1 and makes funding decisions in March-April of each year, applicants are strongly advised not to wait until the September receipt date for funding the following July. To read more, see
Can I request more slots on my competitive renewal?
A. Yes, but they must be well justified and, again, reflect the program's pool of qualified applicants, the proven ability of the program to effectively mentor that number of trainees, and the number of years (i.e. one or two years) students will be funded. Do not expect expansion of the trainee slots unless there has been significant change in these aspects, and understand that slots can be reduced in future years as well.
How do I fill out the IACUC and IRB dates on the face page? Does human subjects education apply?
A. For competing awards using the SF424 application:Note that IACUC and IRB approvals for the full training grant application are not required. In many instances, trainees supported by institutional training grants will be participating in research supported by research project grants for which the IACUC and/or IRB or a determination of exemption exists. Existing IACUC/IRB approval is sufficient for trainees, provided that the IACUC/IRB determines the research would not be substantially modified by the participation of a trainee. Although IRB or IACUC approval dates will not be required in the application, the human subjects or vertebrate animal research projects that involve trainees must have IRB or IACUC approval. Ensuring compliance with this requirement is the responsibility of the awardee institutions. ICs may request that awardees provide the IRB or IACUC approval documentation for specific projects with trainees/ See application instructions for complete details.
The recipient institution must ensure that trainees have received the proper training/education in human subjects and vertebrate animals and to ensure they are properly supervised when working with human subjects or live vertebrate animals.
For non-competing continuation (RPPR) applications: As with the competing application, it is not necessary to provide the IRB or IACUC approval dates in the application. It is the awardee institution's responsibility to ensure human subjects or vertebrate animal research projects that involve trainees have the IRB or IACUC approval prior to the trainees involvement.
Complete section F.3 (Significant changes to Human Subjects, Vertebrate Animals, Biohazards, and/or Select Agents) only if the use or care of human subjects, vertebrate animals, biohazards and/or select agents is not reported under another NIH award.
Are there other resources available that would be helpful in preparing an application for NIGMS support of a new predoctoral training program?
A. Yes. There is information on predoctoral training areas that NIGMS supports at
http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Training/InstPredoc/Pages/default.aspx. This website contains the 2019 predoctoral T32 webinar
slides [PDF, 384KB]. At this site, there are also listings of currently supported training grant institutions, and many of those programs have active Web sites.
Are T32 applications subject to NIH policies requiring prior approval before submitting applications with direct costs exceeding $500,000 in any one year; i.e. including a cover letter identifying IC staff who have agreed to accept assignment of the application?
A. No. NIGMS does not require that applicants for T32 training grants with direct costs over $500,000 obtain prior approval from NIGMS staff before submitting their T32 application or include a cover letter with their application indicating prior staff approval.
In calculating the requested budget on a competing training grant budget, may increases for inflation be included in the future years?
A. The costs per trainee are not escalated for inflation in the future years.
Does NIGMS provide travel funds for T32 predoctoral trainees?
A. Yes, NIGMS pays a flat rate of $300 per trainee per year for travel.
Can we request costs for family health insurance for trainees?
A. Tuition, fees and health insurance (self-only or family) are allowable trainee costs only if such charges are applied consistently to all people in a similar training status at the organization, without regard to their source of support. Health insurance can include coverage for costs such as vision and/or dental care if consistent with organizational policy. Health insurance is awarded as part of the Training Related Expenses category.
Can I expect to be fully funded at the Council recommended slot levels listed on my summary statement?
A. While NIGMS tries to support all programs at or near the Council recommended slot level, this will depend on the availability of slots and the NIGMS training budget at the time of award. Never assume your program will receive an increase in slots, either in the competing or noncompeting years, until told by the NIGMS program director or stated on the Notice of Grant Award. In noncompeting years, a slot increase will also depend on how successful the training program has been in filling their current slots with well-qualified trainees.
Who evaluates applications for institutional training grants?
A. Applications are usually reviewed by one of two standing scientific review committees organized by the NIGMS Office of Scientific Review. Infrequently a special emphasis panel may be convened instead. All the reviewers are heavily involved in different aspects of graduate education, and many are themselves directors of training grant programs. View more information on the
training grant review process, including current review committee rosters at
Will our application receive a site visit?
A. Site visits are at the discretion of the NIGMS Office of Scientific Review. Generally, new applications are not site visited. If there is a possibility of a site visit, you will be notified. In all cases, it is critical that applications be thorough, accurate, and up to date to allow a complete evaluation without a site visit.
If we have 20 training-grant eligible students, what is the reasonable number of training slots to request on a new training grant?
A. The request for the number of slots must reflect the program's pool of qualified applicants, the proven ability of the program to effectively mentor that number of trainees, and the number of years (i.e., one or two years) students will be funded.
Programs that fund students for two years will typically start with half the number of slots for the first year, and then the full number for subsequent years (for example 3 slots in year 1, and 6 slots in years 2-5), while programs that only fund one year will have the same number for all 5 years.
All requests for slots must be justified in the application.
Will gender be considered in diversity?
A. There is an expectation for good gender diversity in the mentor pool. If there is not, that issue should be addressed. The recruitment plan to enhance diversity must specifically address efforts to recruit trainees from underrepresented groups (see
NOT-OD-18-210), specifically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, and individuals with disabilities. Given that many biomedical fields have gender parity at the Ph.D. training stage, gender is not typically included when describing a program's goals to enhance diversity.
What are the key differences between instruction in "Methods for Enhancing Reproducibility" and "Responsible Conduct of Research"?
A. Responsible conduct of research focuses on training in the ethics involved in research, and there is guidance listed in
NOT-OD-10-019. Methods for enhancing reproducibility focuses more on ensuring that students receive training in the methods of doing
rigorous science such as solid experimental design, minimizing bias, consideration of relevant biological variables, etc. We expect that instructions in both areas be infused throughout your training program.
If RCR is incorporated throughout into the overall curriculum, at multiple stages, and in a variety of formats, what should be included in the mandatory syllabus for the appendix?
A. The syllabus for the initial RCR course is required in the appendix, as per funding announcement
PAR-17-341. This syllabus is expected to cover all the
NIH required components.
Each year we recruit students from Kenya to our Ph.D. program. Would these individuals "count" toward diversity enhancement? They are not US citizens.
A. No. While NIGMS encourages diversity in the broadest sense, only students who are training grant eligible (i.e. US citizens and permanent residents) should be included when describing students from
groups underrepresented in the biomedical sciences. Non-training grant eligible students should not be included when describing students from underrepresented groups.
Is the level of NIGMS support for the faculty considered during the review process?
A. The level of support for faculty is an important consideration for review but it does not matter if it is NIGMS, other NIH, other federal, or private support.
Is there a preference for when students are supported on the training grant?
A. NIGMS strongly encourages the use of training grant support for during the first two years of graduate research training to provide maximum flexibility in the delection of courses, rotations, research fields, and mentors. Use of training grant support in year 3, if proposed, should be strongly justified.
If our students join research labs at the end of year 1, what guidance can you give regarding your suggestion that students join the T32 in year 1? The trainee may wish to join the research group of a faculty member who is not affiliated with the T32. Should we allow that, and then add the mentor to the program?
A. See the answer to the question above. Some programs recruit their own students and have them rotate with approved faculty (who are current or potential program mentors). There is an expectation that training programs mentor their trainees on rotation choices. There is also an expectation for a mechanism to admit appropriate faculty to your program.
How are Statements of Appointment and Termination Notices submitted and when are they due? Are they due every year, even if trainees remain on the grant?
A. The Statement of Appointment (Form PHS 2271) should be submitted at the time of the trainee's appointment and is required for new appointments and re-appointments. Grantees must submit the PHS 2271 data electronically using the
xTrain system. The Termination Notice (Form PHS 416-7) (also submitted via
xTrain), is due within 30 days of the end of training grant support and is required for all students terminating from a training grant. The necessary forms can be found at
http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm#training. More information is available at
xTrain (eRA Commons).
What is the minimum length of an appointment for a trainee?
A. Generally, trainees under Kirschstein-NRSA institutional research training grants are appointed for fulltime 12-month continuous periods. No trainee may be appointed under a regular Kirschstein-NRSA institutional research training grant for less than 9 months except with prior written approval of the NIH awarding IC, and then usually only to complete an ongoing program of training. An initial appointment of less than 9 months may be allowed provided an assurance is included that the individual will be immediately reappointed in the subsequent year so that the cumulative continuous training period is at least 9 months.
If an appointment crosses over to the next budget year, will the awarded number of slots in that next year be decreased?
A. No. Since trainees may be appointed at any time during the 12-month budget period, appointments will often cross over into the next budget period. Since a trainee's full 12-months of stipend and tuition is charged to the budget year in which the appointment was made, this does not impact awarded slots in the following budget year.
How many years of support can be received at the predoctoral level?
A. No individual trainee may receive more than 5 years of aggregate NRSA support at the predoctoral level, including any combination of support from NRSA institutional research training grants and individual fellowships. However, NIGMS training grants are intended to enhance early-phase training, and our expectation is that trainees will be on NIGMS T32 for only about 2 years, for example, years 1 or year, or years 1 and 2.
Is undergraduate NRSA support factored in when considering an NRSA predoctoral appointment on a T32?
A. No, only prior NRSA predoctoral support would be counted toward the limit.
Can someone with an M.D. be appointed on a predoctoral training grant to earn a Ph.D.?
A. This is somewhat unusual, but the individual could be trained on the predoctoral grant and compensated only at the predoctoral level. The grantee institution, however, could supplement the trainee at the postdoctoral level but cannot use training grant or other federal funds for this supplementation.
One of our students is an asylee (refuge/person seeking asylum) who has applied for but has not yet received a currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-551A). Can we submit an approval letter from the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service while awaiting the I-551A along with the Statement of Appointment form?
A. No. Policy requires that NRSA trainees must have a currently valid Alien Registration Card (I-551A) and provide a notarized statement verifying the possession of permanent residency documentation with the Statement of Appointment Form (2271) at the time of award. There is a distinction between an asylee and a permanent resident. An asylee is not considered a permanent resident.
May a new trainee be appointed during a no-cost extension?
A. No. No-cost extensions are granted to allow continuation of trainees currently appointed.
If the training grant award was issued in July and a stipend increase subsequently made effective the next Federal fiscal year, i.e., after October, will the training grant receive an increase?
A. No. Any stipend increases are effective only for T32 program awards made with funds from the fiscal year in which the stipend increase was effective. No retroactive adjustments or supplementation of stipends or other budgetary categories with Kirschstein-NRSA funds for an award made prior to October are permitted. However, an institution may use other non-Federal funds to supplement stipends for existing trainees as long as there is no additional obligation for the trainee and the institution has policies in place consistently applied to all individuals in similar training status regardless of the source of funds.
Can funds be re-budgeted between categories on a training grant?
A.Funds may be re-budgeted only as follows (see table for quick summary):
Trainee Costs: For rebudgeting purposes, trainee costs include funds awarded in the stipends and tuition/fees budget categories. These costs may not be used for other purposes except under unusual circumstances and then only with the prior approval of the NIH awarding IC. Unless otherwise restricted by the terms and conditions of the grant award, rebudgeting into or within the stipends and tuition/fees is allowable without prior approval.
Trainee-Related Expenses: Rebudgeting of funds awarded in a lump sum for trainee-related expenses does not require NIH awarding IC prior approval.
Trainee Travel: Rebudgeting of funds awarded in a lump sum for trainee travel does not require NIH awarding IC prior approval.
The table below summarizes what cost categories require NIH awarding IC prior approval to rebudget:
Can we use funds from training-related expenses to partially fund the salary of an individual involved in managing our program?
A. Yes, training-related funds may be used to defray such costs as staff salaries when they are directly related to the training program.
Are program directors authorized to use some of the travel funds on the training grant to support student travel to meetings outside the U.S.?
A. Trainee travel, including attendance at scientific meetings (both in the U.S. and abroad) that the institution determines to be necessary to the individual's research training, is an allowable trainee expense. Justification for the travel is key. In addition, U.S. flag air carriers must be used to the maximum extent possible when commercial air transportation is the means of travel between the United States and a foreign country or between foreign countries.
Can the faculty on a training grant use NIH funds for travel to institutions to give seminars and to present information about the training program to undergraduates?
A. Yes. Under the Training Related Expenses category of a training grant, funds are provided to defray such training costs as staff travel and other expenses directly related to the training program. If a program director is representing more than one program, the grantee institution should allocate the costs among all the programs.
Is automatic carry-over of unexpended balances permitted on NIGMS training grants?
A. No. NIGMS does not permit automatic carryover from one budget period to the next. These funds are used by the Institute to offset future year commitments. This helps us to utilize the training budget available in the most judicious manner possible.
Is it possible for the awarding IC to change the start date of the award to coincide with the start of the school year?
A. No. However, since trainees may be appointed at any time during the 12-month budget period, you could appoint all of your trainees to start in September, or whatever date coincides with your training schedule for a full twelve-month appointment.
How do we change the program director (PD) on the training grant?
A. A request for change of PD must be countersigned by the grantee organization, the current PD and the proposed new PD, and must include a current biographical sketch or CV for the nominee. NIGMS will review the nominee's qualifications, re-evaluate the program in light of the proposed change, and provide a written decision to the grantee.
If the PD plans to be absent from the program for more than 3 months, what is required?
A. A countersigned letter requesting approval of an acting PD should be submitted to NIGMS. The letter should describe plans for the conduct of the program during the original PD's absence and indicate that the acting PD will have signature authority on trainee forms. A copy of the acting PD's biosketch should be included. NIGMS will review the request and provide a written decision to the grantee.
Can we transfer our training grant to another institution?
A. Generally, no. Ruth Kirschstein-NRSA institutional research training grants may not be transferred except under the most unusual circumstances.
Where do I submit the Federal Financial Report (FFR)?
A. Electronic submission of the FFR through the eRA Commons is required from the grantee for each budget period no later than 90 days after the end of the calendar quarter in which the budget period ended. The NIH Commons is available at
https://public.era.nih.gov/commons. Additional information on electronic submission of FFRs is available at the Commons Web page, or by contacting the eRA Service Desk
Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET (closed on federal holidays). If you need immediate help (i.e. you are within 2 days of a deadline or in the event of a security emergency), call the Service Desk rather than submitting a web ticket. Note that the Service Desk's busiest hours are 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. ET.
On an FFR, how do we reflect the dollars associated with stipends and tuition for appointments that cross over into the next budget period (overlapping appointments)? Should they be shown as an unobligated balance, or an unliquidated obligation?
A. These monies should be reflected as an unliquidated obligation since these are bona fide expenses charged/incurred to the Stipend and Tuition categories but have not yet been paid. As a reminder, if the FFR report covers the final budget period of the project period, it must have no unliquidated obligations and must indicate the exact balance of unobligated funds.
What is the importance of submitting Appointment Forms, Termination Notices, and Federal Financial Reports in a timely manner?
A. The forms are critical to establishing the payment of stipends and other costs and determining possible payback service. Failure to submit the required forms in a timely manner will result in an expenditure disallowance or a delay in any continuation funding.
Are predoctoral trainees subject to the NRSA payback requirements?
A. No, only postdoctoral trainees are subject to the payback obligation and then only for the first 12 months of postdoctoral NRSA support. The 13th and subsequent months of NRSA postdoctoral support can fulfill the obligation but if the support ends prior to the second full year of support, some form of payback will be required. For predoctoral trainees appointed on or after June 10, 1993 (in accordance with legislation passed in 1993), there is no payback requirement.
A. See the
video for xTRACT and the
video for xTRACT for RPPR.
A. For institutions that have internal databases, xTRACT has now introduced an upload option for faculty research support.
A. The xTRACT table cannot be converted to Excel.
A. Yes, through the xTRACT module in eRA Commons.
A.See the xTRACT for RPPR video. Currently, xTRACT creates a final .pdf document once all the information is complete. Attach that to the RPPR.
A. Yes, all data entered in xTRACT will be stored for future use.
A. Yes, stored data will pre-populate the tables.
A. Not yet. Trainee data stored in xTRACT will eventually be able to be copied into the research training dataset for another training grant within a given institution.
A. Because xTRACT is currently in a pilot phase, NIH has not yet made a final decision about how long data will be stored, but the current expectation is that data will be stored long term.
A. Inaccuracies in appointment data should be corrected within xTRAIN. For other inaccuracies, contact the eRA Service Desk.
A. Contact the eRA Service Desk:
Toll-free: 1-866-504-9552Tel: 301-402-7469Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time (closed on Federal holidays) If you need immediate help (i.e. you are within 2 days of a deadline or in the event of a security emergency), call the Service Desk rather than submitting a web ticket. Note that the Service Desk's busiest hours are between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. ET.https://era.nih.gov
When is the RPPR due?
A. Annual RPPRs are due on November 15. This differs from other NIH ICs, therefore we include a reminder in the Terms and Conditions section of the training grant Notice of Award. If a competitive renewal (Type 2) application has been submitted, the recipient must submit an Interim-RPPR 120 days from the project period end date. In the event the Type 2 is funded, NIH will treat the Interim-RPPR as the annual performance report for the final year of the previous competitive segment. If the Type 2 is not funded, the Interim-RPPR will be treated as the Final RPPR.
Final RPPR is required for any grant that is terminated and is due within 120 calendar days of the end of the project period.
What period is covered in the progress report?
A. The progress report should cover the period from the last Notice of Grant Award to the time of writing/submitting the report. Technically, since NIGMS requests the progress reports for T32s on November 15, this will cover the period from July 1 of that year to November 15. However, you should include information from the date of the previous progress report.
The SF424 instructions say to list all publications (full citation) for each trainee that resulted from work done during their training. How should this information be provided?
A. NIH provides a sample table format for trainee publications (see
Data Table 5). Note that for competing renewal applications, this should include publications for ALL trainees who were supported by the T32 at any time during the past grant period, or up to 10 years if beyond the first competing renewal. Include all trainees, even those with no publications (designate "no publications"). Summarize these data in the body of the application, including, for example, the average number of publications, how many students published as first author and how many students completed doctoral training without any first-author publication resulting from their graduate research. Applicants should note that
Public Access Policy requires that any publications of individuals supported by a T32 be linked to the grant, and have a PMCID. More information can be found at
Note that if your application is selected for funding, NIH will request a Just-in-Time My Bibliography PDF compliance report for the most recent year of trainee publications.
My institution currently does not have a NIGMS-supported M.D.-Ph.D. training program but would like to apply for one. What FOA should we use to prepare our new application?
A. All MSTP T32 training grant applications from institutions that were previously or are currently supported with a MSTP T32 training grant must be submitted under the new MSTP T32 FOA (PAR-19-036). Further, all applications (new as well as those from established programs) in response to the new MSTP T32 FOA (PAR-19-036) must be submitted as new (-01) applications.
I already have a NIGMS-supported MSTP grant. What FOA should I use to prepare my renewal application?
A. All MSTP T32 training grant applications from institutions that were previously or are currently supported with a MSTP T32 training grant must be submitted as new (-01) applications under the new MSTP T32 FOA (PAR-19-036).
I am thinking about pursuing a M.D.-Ph.D. degree. Are there resources to help me plan my M.D.-Ph.D. or other dual degree integrated training program?
A. There is an association of M.D.-Ph.D. programs that is also part of the GREAT Group of the AAMC and includes both federally funded and unfunded programs. The directors and their staffs are very willing to provide advice and are an invaluable source of ideas. There is a recent report on the History and Outcomes of 50 Years of Physician-Scientist Training in Medical Scientist Training Programs (Harding, et al. Acad. Med. 92 (10):1390-1398, 2017) that may also be of interest to those who plan to pursue a career as physician-scientists.
Once you join a M.D.-Ph.D. or other dual-degree training program, planning your training is a team effort, with the important players in medical and graduate education at your institution participating. All MSTP-funded programs have several committees to help steer and operate the program and to recruit, select, and advise students.
What areas are acceptable for the Ph.D. part of the dual degree?
A. It is the program's responsibility to have a combined, integrated curriculum that provides an efficient and feasible course of study in a range of scholarly areas while preserving the quality of the graduate and medical education. Programs may elect a very broad range of graduate options, including social and behavioral sciences, health care delivery and economics, ethics, and engineering. Program directors may wish to consider how the MSTP will complement any CTSA TL1 programs on their campuses.
The MSTP training grant provides only part of the support of the combined degree education. What are the NIH expectations about the support of the remainder of the training?
A. Many dual-degree training programs guarantee enrolled students full support throughout the training period (through combinations of MSTP support, institutional funds, other fellowships, and grants). Training programs may implement institutional policies regarding the payback of non-NRSA institutional sources of funds by students who start training but do not complete one or both degrees. NIGMS does not require (nor permit institutions to receive) payback of NRSA funds from students who are appointed to NIH training grants, but do not complete training.
It may be difficult for students to finish their graduate training in time for the start of the clinical clerkships at the start of the M3 year in May. Should the student finish his/her thesis after beginning the clerkship?
A. Experience has shown that it is highly desirable to have all students finish their doctoral work prior to entry into the clerkships.
We have concerns about the number of students who leave the MSTP program to pursue medical degrees. What are the expectations of NIH in this regard?
A. It is important to select students who are firmly committed to research careers and to provide a strong program identity to all trainees, accompanied by career counseling throughout the entire training period. Training programs may implement institutional policies regarding the payback of non-NRSA institutional sources of funds by students who start training but do not complete one of both degrees. NIGMS does not require (nor permit institutions to receive) a payback of NRSA funds from students who are appointed to NIH training grants, but do not complete training.
My program is relatively new, or recently reorganized. Considering that it takes about 8 years for a student to obtain both degrees, and several years more to complete a residency and further training, how long should I wait to apply for MSTP support?
A. There is no hard and fast rule. The reviewers and program staff expect to see students pursuing graduate programs of very high quality, publishing their research and to match into competitive residencies. The program needs to be operating at the time of application and have sufficient data available for reviewers to evaluate the training program, applicant pool, training faculty, institutional support, outcomes, and all the other elements that are listed in the MSTP T32 FOA (PAR-19-036).
Is it possible to change the program director for an MSTP?
A. Yes, a change of program director (PD) is allowable; however, prior approval from NIGMS is required and because this program involves synchronization between the medical and graduate schools, the new PD should be someone who is nominated by a high ranking official at the institution (i.e. a dean).
To change the PD, a letter, countersigned by the nominating official, the outgoing PD, the incoming PD, and an authorized business official must be submitted to NIGMS. Furthermore, the letter should include a copy of the new PD's CV as well as information regarding his/her past training record. If approved, a revised Notice of Grant Award will be issued reflecting the change.
NRSA predoctoral support is limited to 5 years (60 months). I understand that MSTP trainees may request a waiver of this limit up to an additional 12 months (for a total of 6 years or 72 months). What is the process for requesting this?
A. If at any time during a trainee's upcoming appointment, the period of aggregate NRSA predoctoral support will exceed 60 months (5 years), a
Statement of Appointment [PDF, 23KB] form along with a waiver request must be submitted.
Our MSTP program has a combination of in-state, out-of-state, medical school, and graduate school tuition levels. Should these be broken down in our competing application? Are they factored in when calculating a per trainee figure?
A. Yes. Breakdowns must be provided so that we may apply the tuition formula and arrive at an appropriate per trainee figure.
NOTE: View additional
FAQs for NIH training grants.
A. For most competing renewal applications, your grant was renewed during its -05, -10, -15, -20, -25, -30, etc. The PI should be going back 10 or 15 years, depending on the table, from the year that the PI is submitting their renewal application.
A. "Trainee" may refer to both predoctoral and postdoctoral individuals,
regardless of their source of support. For example, Table 2 should include information about ALL previous trainees of the participating faculty members over the previous 10 years. Trainee also refers more specifically to individuals appointed to a particular training program. It is important to distinguish trainees currently or previously appointed to the grant (i.e., as used in Part I of Tables 8A, 8B, 8C) from those
"trainees clearly associated with the training program" (i.e., as used in Part II of Tables 8A, 8B, 8C). "Clearly associated" students and postdocs are those with a training experience identical to those appointed to this grant, but who are supported by other NIH or HHS awards (e.g., fellowships or research grants).
Training grant eligible (TGE) trainees refers only to U.S citizens, non-citizen nationals, and permanent residents eligible for Kirschstein-NRSA support. More restrictive eligibility requirements may be applied by the described training program (e.g., based on GPA); however, the data must be reported using the NRSA definition.
A. They would be listed in Table 8A with the degree that has been completed, if applicable, and with the notation they are still in training.
A. "Clearly associated" students can be either TGE or Non-TGE. They must be current students who have the same training experience
and they must have been or currently are funded by another HHS or NIH mechanism (fellowship, R01, etc.—even for a short time). Note: postdoctoral fellows are not to be listed in NIGMS predoctoral grant applications (except for Table 1).
A. No, these are not NIH or HHS awards.
A. Research-related activities are defined as any activity which involves the design of experiments, development of protocols, collection and interpretation of data, review or administration of original research, providing scientific direction, guidance to research, and analytic or other technical activities conducted in direct support of research. They may also qualify if a doctorate degree or relevant research experience is a prerequisite for the activity. Such activity may take place in agencies such as NIH, the Food and Drug Administration, or the National Science Foundation, or in a commercial setting including biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies.
Get more details.
A. NIGMS does not support combined predoctoral and postdoctoral training programs.
Table 8A Parts I, II, and IV are now required for RPPRs.
Table 1: Census of Participating Departments and Interdepartmental Programs
A. List each department participating in the T32 program. If the graduate program is comprised of six departments but only four participate in the T32, then just list those four. If all the departments in the graduate program participate in the T32 program, then all of them need to be listed.
A. An individual postdoctoral fellow can only be claimed by one department on the tables. The departments would have to agree on who is the attributer.
A. Yes, list the number of postdoctoral fellows that are in these departments, interdisciplinary units, or programs. Even if the answer is sero postdocs, Part II should be filled out (and vice versa for a postdoc T32-Part I should be filled out).
A. No, all federal training grants should be included (not just NIH).
A. If an award is in a no cost extension, you may list the amount of direct cost funds that are remaining in the grant award.
A. No, it is not a weighted average. The average reported here should be the sum of the current year direct costs divided by the total number of participating faculty.
A. If a faculty member is one of the PIs of a multi-PI award, he or she can be listed but otherwise the answer is no.
A. All funds available to the faculty member should be listed on the table, including university funds (like start-up funds), and foundation, and other discretionary funds. Do not include grant applications pending award or review.
A. Table 5A can only list Training Grant Eligible (TGE) students.
A. No, PMCIDs do not have to be included in Table 5 for competing renewal applications. If an award is to be made, the PI will submit their My NCBI report for their student publications. See
NIH NOT OD-16-004—requirement to report PMC information on publications that arose from work conducted by the trainee while supported by the training grant will be moved to the Just-in-Time process.
A. List the publication. Indicate former faculty after the faculty member's name in the first column.
A. Publications by a trainee are now associated with their specific faculty mentor. For new applications, for each participating faculty—publications for TGE students eligible for the new T32 past 10 years and all current trainees. For renewals—for each participating faculty—all current trainees and those appointed to the grant over the last 10 years (only those IN the program).
A. For each participating faculty member in a renewal/revision application, list the publications of T32 trainees appointed to this training grant, including all current trainees and those appointed to this grant for up to the past 10 years.
A. Yes, these may be cited in the application. Please see the guidance on definitions, citations, and selection of interim research product repositories (NOT-OD-17-050).
A. For their first 2 years, trainees could be considered a "new entrant."
A. For new applications: Include all participating faculty and their current predoctoral trainees who would have been eligible for appointment to this training grant as well as all of their eligible predoctoral trainees for the last 10 years.
For renewal applications: Include all current trainees and all those who were ever appointed to the grant over the last 10 years. This should include those in their "publishing years."
A. NIGMS is aware of the difficulties in collecting this self-reported data, and that not all students are comfortable disclosing their disabilities. However, NIGMS training grants require a recruitment plan to enhance diversity which must specifically address outreach activities to students with disabilities (beyond a statement on the program website). For more information, please see suggested strategies for enhancing diversity in training programs.
A. Many programs have not traditionally collected this data, but you should have all your participating programs start collecting this data going forward. Explain in the text that you had not previously collected this data but that you are now and provide any partial data that you can (and explain its limitations).
A. The first two columns are the mean GPA (and range) for all the department/programs listed in Part I. The last three columns are just for the entrants in the program defined by the information in Part I (columns 4, 5, and 6).
A. See example in Table instructions for Part II - Mean Months of Prior, Full-Time Research Experience (range). For each category of entrants, as defined in Part I, items 4-6, enter the mean number of months of prior, fulltime research experience and range. For many individuals, this value will reflect months of summer research experience or fulltime research experience following college. For those with part-time, academic-year research experience for academic credit, convert the part-time experience to fulltime for reporting here (e.g., 15 hours/week for 8 months = 3 months). Do not include labs associated with a course (e.g. organic chemistry course with lab).
A. If the trainee completed a master's prior to acceptance into the current graduate program, that research experience would be counted.
A. Report the data as best you can. Explain in the text how you determine the current data as well as how you will collect the data in the future.
A. Only programs and/or departments participating in the T32 program should be listed in Table 6A.
A. If the only eligible participating program is your M.D.-Ph.D. program, then just list that information. If you sometimes select MSTP candidates from the general medical school program (who then switch to the M.D.-Ph.D. program), then also list that information.
A. The applicant pool is the number who applied for those jobs. Summarize these data in the Program Plan (Trainee Candidate Section) of the Research Training Program Plan. Analyze the data in terms of the overall numbers of potential trainees, their credentials, characteristics, and eligibility for support, and enrollment trends.
A. If none of your students do not self-report their disabilities, then put 0 percent for the number.
A. Yes. The information on clearly associated students that you include for your May 25 grant application is also required for your RPPR that is due on November 15.
A. Table 8 Part III should include the students graduating from your institution over the last 5 years that could have been part of the proposed program had it been in place. Include only TGE students and students in participating mentors' laboratories in the proposed training program.
A. A new T32 application is only reporting information for Table 8A Part III, not Parts I and II.
In Part III (only for new applications and predoctoral renewal/revision applications requesting an expansion to predoctoral support), list sequentially all students graduating from the proposed program in the last 5 years who would have been eligible for appointment, if an NIH or other HHS training or related award were available (in most cases, these will be U.S. citizens or permanent residents). For each student, provide the information described in Part I, items 1-3 and 5-8, above. Summarize the data from Parts I-III (as applicable) in the Research Training Program Plan, either in the Program Plan Section or the Progress Report Section, as appropriate.
A. A training grant's completion rate should be calculated based on students entering the institution's graduate programs ten years prior to the reporting year. For example, when reporting for 2014-2015, programs should report on the percentage of students that began graduate studies at their institution ten years earlier (i.e., academic year 2005-2006) and that were supported by the training grant at any point within that 10-year timeframe. If all of those students have completed a Ph.D. by the ten-year mark, the completion rate will be 100%. If some students have left the program without a Ph.D., transferred to medical school or another doctoral-level professional program, or are still in training, the completion rate should be reduced accordingly. Individuals transferring to or from Ph.D. programs in similar fields at other institutions should be excluded from both the entering and graduating cohorts in calculating the completion rate.
A. New applicants do not fill in Table 8A Part I. New applicants could fill in Table 8A, Part II. These are students who are currently taking the proposed training program but currently have other NIH or HHS funding (even for a small portion of their training time). This can even include non-TGE students (but please identify them). If the proposed program is so new that it does not exist yet, then there would be no one in Part II.
New applicants must fill in Table 8A, Part III. Here, list students who graduated in the last 5 years but who would have been eligible (so only TGE students) for this T32, if it existed.
A. Time to degree should be calculated as the period from enrollment in a doctoral degree program at the reporting institution to the conferral of a Ph.D. or, in case of dual degree program, both degrees.
For predoctoral training, the entering year is the first year that the trainee began graduate studies at the applicant institution, even if they did not become associated with the training program until later. Special notes may be needed to explain exceptions, such as trainees who move to an institution after several years of training at another institution.
For postdoctoral training, the entering year is the first year of postdoctoral research experience, excluding non-research clinical training.
A. Yes, these fellowship awards should be included for grant support. Predoctoral fellowships should be included in the "Summary of Support During Training" column. Postdoctoral fellowships should appear in the "Subsequent Grants" column. You should follow your students and those that you list as "clearly associated" during the time they are in grad school and afterward for a total of 15 years. The PI should be reporting research or fellowships awards they obtain as postdocs and as independent researchers.
A. No, the "clearly associated" students can be either TGE or non TGE.
See the related question under the General Questions section.
A. For the first NIGMS RPPR using the new Table 8A due November 15, 2016, PIs should list the names of "clearly associated" students that have identical experiences as your T32 supported students. You should be adding students to this list in each subsequent RPPR submitted until you have completed 15 years. At that time, you would remove the initial year (e.g. 2016) information and replace it with students who fit this category in 2031.
See FAQs Question E.3.
A. Because Part II of Table 8 is a completely new reporting requirement as of 2016, users should report "clearly associated" students starting with 2016. Then in each subsequent year, they should continue to add new entrants and provide updated information about current and past clearly associated students until 15 years of data have been completed.
A. Students should have been, or be currently, supported by other HHS (e.g., AHRQ) or NIH awards. The awards can be other training awards, research (e.g., R01) or fellowship (e.g., F30 or F31) awards.
A. As indicated in the RPPR Instruction Guide, Table 8 is uploaded as part of a PDF. For further information about how xTRACT information is developed into a RPPR, please
view the XTRACT video.
A. Table 8A, Part I, is for only students who were appointed to the T32 so this table should only be TGE students who were supported by this T32 award. Table 8A, Part II, may include non-TGE students if they were supported by NIH or other HHS grant awards.
This page last reviewed on
6/17/2019 11:13 AM
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