Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) Answers to Frequently Asked Questions


General Questions

What is the RISE program?

The Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) Program (R25) is a developmental program that seeks to increase the capacity of underrepresented students in the biomedical sciences to complete Ph.D. degrees in these fields. The program provides grants to institutions with a commitment and history of developing students from populations underrepresented in biomedical sciences as defined by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

I am a college student, how can I participate in the RISE program?

To be eligible for support through a RISE award, you must be majoring in the biomedical sciences—such as biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, psychology, etc.--and attend a college or university that has a RISE grant. RISE institutions are responsible for selecting the students to be supported, so students apply directly through their institution. See a list of colleges and universities that participate in the RISE program.

Is a Resource Sharing Plan required for applications seeking $500,000 or more in direct costs in any budget year?

Yes. Investigators seeking $500,000 or more in direct costs (exclusive of consortium F&A) in any budget period are expected to include a Resource Sharing Plan. Investigators are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. View a Sample Resource Sharing Plan.


Progress Reports and Noncompeting Applications

What information must be included in the annual progress report (noncompeting continuation application)? What is the page limit for the progress report?

Grantees should follow the current RPPR Instruction Guide section 7.5 Education RPPRs. In general, the progress report should summarize the progress achieved in thereporting period with respect to the RISE program goals. A three-page limit per question is standardized across federal agencies implementing the RPPR. Numerical and other data may be presented in tabular form which are not counted in the three-page limit.

The progress report must answer the questions and include the tables mentioned below:

  • B.2: Describe the accomplishments for each specific aim.
  • B.4: Describe opportunities for training and professional development provided. Include the Trainee Diversity Report [PDF, 162KB].
  • C.1: Include only publications that acknowledge RISE support in C.1. Ensure that the publications are compliant with the NIH Access Policy.
  • E.1: Describe how the project made an impact on human resource development
  • G.1: Include Table 1 (with current year and cumulative data) and Table 8A part 1 and/or 8D part 1.
  • G.2: Describe responsible conduct of research instruction. A concise description of RCR training should be done and be no longer than one page in length.
  • G.10: Verify answer to question G.10 with your Budget or Finance Office.
  • If your budgets are over $500,000 and you did not include a data sharing plan in your grant application, please include one in your progress report. See a sample data sharing plan.

Are students included in question D.1 of the RPPR?

Do not report personnel for whom a PHS 2271 Appointment Form has been submitted through xTrain for question D.1.


Program Management

Can RISE funds be used for a GRE workshop?

No. Costs of workshops or courses with the limited focus of preparing students for a specific test such as the GRE are not allowable. However, expenses for courses, supplemental instructions, or workshops that could help students build their vocabulary, writing, communication skills, verbal reasoning, analytical, and critical thinking and that might help not only to gain entry to but also completion of a Ph.D. program are allowable.

Is foreign travel (for meetings, summer research training, etc.) allowable?

No. Travel by PD(s)/PI(s), faculty, coordinators, research mentors, other personnel, or RISE participants is limited to domestic institutions (U.S. states, possessions and territories) only.

Is it allowable to compensate faculty participating in programmatic activities with honoraria, or must everyone be funded with effort?

Applicants should follow established written institutional policy to determine compensation. If mentoring interactions and other activities with participants are considered a regular part of an individual’s academic duties, then any costs associated with the mentoring interactions and other activities with participants are not allowable costs from grant funds.

What happens if there is money left over at the end of the year? Is carryover of funds allowed?

Yes. Carryover of funds is allowed.

Rebudgeting: Funds for the direct support of student participants (i.e. salaries, fringe benefits, tuition/fees, and student travel) are restricted and may not be rebudgeted without the prior written approval of NIGMS. However, any unused student participant funds carried forward into the next budget period are unrestricted and may be rebudgeted within the limitations set for in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, the Program Announcement, and the terms and conditions of the Notice of Award. Contact your Grant Management Specialist for further information.

NIGMS reserves the right to make budgetary reductions to award commitments in cases where recipients have accrued excessively large unobligated balances.

How does an institution process a no-cost extension if this is the last year of the grant?

Recipients must use the eRA Commons No-Cost Extension feature to electronically notify NIH that they are exercising their one-time authority to extend without funds the completion date of an award. This extension feature becomes available to the recipient 90 days before the project period end date. Extensions may be up to 12 months beyond the final budget period end date. In the eRA Commons, this notification can be made up to the last day of the current project end date. An e-mail notification is automatically sent to the GMO. No further action by the recipient is required.

Can the faculty on the RISE program use funds for travel to institutions to give seminars and to present information about the program?

No. RISE program funds cannot be used for the recruitment of students to an institution.

How can a new RISE program director (PD) be appointed?

It is important to note that any changes in the RISE program director (PD) require prior approval by NIH. The Institutional Signing Official must submit a request for change of PD signed by institutional leadership, current PD and the proposed new PD in advance of the expected date of change. The request must include a justification, other support information and current biographical sketch for the nominee. NIGMS will review the nominee's qualifications, re-evaluate the program considering the proposed change and provide a written decision to the grantee institution.

If the PD plans to be absent from the program for more than 3 months, what is required?

The Signing Official must submit a signed letter requesting NIH approval for acting PD to NIGMS and must include a current biographical sketch for the nominee. 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. NIGMS will review the request and provide a written decision to the grantee.


Participants

Who is eligible to participate in the RISE program?

The RISE program is an institutional program with activities open to all students at the institution. The program should not deny participation in program-supported activities to anyone based solely on his/her race, color, national origin, disability, religion, gender, and age.

To receive salary support from the RISE program, students must be U.S. citizens, non-citizen national or permanent residents and must be matriculated full-time in baccalaureate or graduate degree programs in biomedical science fields at the applicant institution. (A non-citizen national is a person who, although not a citizen of the U.S., owes permanent allegiance to the U.S. This is generally a person born in a land that is not a state, but that is under U.S. sovereignty, jurisdiction, or administration—for example, America Samoa.) An individual lawfully admitted for permanent residence must possess an alien registration receipt card (I-551) prior to appointment on the grant. Individuals on temporary visas, those seeking asylum or refugees are not eligible for support from the RISE program.

What is expected from individuals supported by the RISE program?

RISE program undergraduates at the B.S/B.A level and the graduate M.S. level are expected to complete their degrees and matriculate into Ph.D. programs within 3 years of graduation. RISE program Ph.D. students are expected to complete their terminal degrees in biomedical research fields and advance to competing postdoctoral positions.

How are program-supported students appointed to the RISE program?

Each year, program-supported students must be formally appointed to the RISE program using the Statement of Appointment (PHS Form 2271) for each participant. Grantees must submit the PHS 2271 data electronically using the xTrain system. For assistance call the eRA Service Desk at 866-504-9552.

Can students be appointed in CareerTrac?

No. RISE participants need to be appointed in xTrain.

What is the minimum and maximum length of an appointment for a RISE participant?

Generally, RISE undergraduate students are appointed for 2 (Junior and Senior year) to 4 years (Freshman to Senior year). Graduate students may be supported on RISE funding usually up to two years if preparing for a M.S. degree; and a total of five years (including any RISE funding for a M.S. degree) if preparing for a Ph.D. degree, provided their progress towards the degree is satisfactory.

Can a new student be appointed upon the departure of an existing RISE participant?

Yes; however, applicants should note that NIGMS expects at least one consecutive 12-month appointment for RISE participants.

Does the RISE program support students working on a second bachelor’s or master’s degree or enrolled as non-degree students after they have completed their bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees?

No. RISE is a Ph.D. preparatory program and not a financial assistance program for students who have already been accepted into a Ph.D. program and are just waiting for the enrollment period. The RISE program does not support students working on a second bachelor’s degree, second master’s degree or enrolled as full-time non-degree students after they have completed their bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees.

Can I appoint more students than the number allotted for the program?

No. You can only appoint the number allotted for the program. Request for additional students must be discussed with the designated Program Officer.

Can RISE-supported students receive additional support?

Program-supported students may not concurrently hold another federally sponsored stipend or fellowship, other federal award that duplicates RISE support, or supplemental salary support, e.g., from a mentor’s federal research grant. However, concurrent with RISE support, students may make use of federal educational loan funds and assistance under the Veterans Readjustment Benefits Act (G.I. Bill) or may receive funds from a Pell Grant, based on financial need. Such funds are not considered supplementation or compensation.

Can a new trainee be appointed during no-cost extension?

No. Only existing program participants can be supported while a grant is on no-cost extension.

Who should an applicant contact for additional questions regarding the RISE program institutional eligibility, policies, review process, budget, and grants issues?

For institutional eligibility and program policies regarding proposal application and submission that are not related to existing grants:

Anissa J. Brown, Ph.D.
Program Director
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
National Institutes of Health
45 Center Drive MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200

Patrick H. Brown, Ph.D.
Program Director
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
National Institutes of Health
45 Center Drive MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200

For questions on the review of applications:

Stephanie Constant, Ph.D.
Chief, Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
National Institutes of Health
45 Center Drive MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200

For questions on grants management and fiscal matters:

Grace Olascoaga
Chief, Grants Administration Branch
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
National Institutes of Health
45 Center Drive MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Fax: 301-480-2554