DPC Sponsored Programs Administration Development (SPAD) Program Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to Questions Cover the Following Topics:

  • Eligibility
  • Program/Application-related Topics
  • PD/PI and Key Personnel
  • Mentorship Component
  • Application Due Dates and Submission
  • Eligibility

    What types of institutions can apply to the SPAD Program?

    Applicant institutions are limited to associate degree-granting and baccalaureate degree-granting colleges/ universities that meet the following two requirements: Received less than $7.5 million total cost/year from NIH over the past 3 fiscal years and have at least 25 percent undergraduate students supported by Pell grants.

    Are Health Professional Schools eligible to apply to the SPAD Program?

    No, Health Professional Schools cannot apply to the SPAD program. Health Professional Schools and Colleges may include schools of medicine, dentistry, osteopathy, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, public health, optometry, allied health, chiropractic, naturopathy and podiatry.

    Why are Health Professional Schools not eligible for this program?

    As part of the Diversity Program Consortium (DPC), the SPAD program contributes to the consortium’s mission of making a significant impact on the participation and persistence of individuals from diverse backgrounds in biomedical research, as well as on transforming the culture and efficacy of biomedical research training and mentoring nationwide. Research-capacity building and developing excellence in research training at primarily undergraduate institutions are integral parts of the DPC mission.

    If an institution offers a Doctor of Health Sciences, a Doctor of Nursing Practice, a Post-MSN Nurse Practitioner degree and a Physician Assistant program, is the institution eligible to apply?

    For this FOA: An academic component of an institution (any school, college, center, or institute) that is not a Health Professional School or College is eligible to apply. Health Professional Schools and Colleges may include schools of medicine, dentistry, osteopathy, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, public health, optometry, allied health, chiropractic, naturopathy and podiatry.

    If an institution fits other requirements for eligibility, but has a nursing program within a College (e.g., within the College of Science) and awards Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degrees but does not have a Health Professional School, is the institution eligible?

    Institutions that offer nursing degrees are eligible to apply.

    Are minority-serving institutions that offer a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree eligible to apply to this program?

    Yes.

    Would an R1 institution be eligible to apply?

    An R1 institution may be eligible to apply if they are an associate degree-granting and baccalaureate degree-granting college/university that meets the following two requirements: Received less than $7.5 million total costs/year from NIH over the past 3 fiscal years and has at least 25 percent undergraduate students supported by Pell grants.

    How can an institution determine if they meet the requirement that at least 25 percent of their undergraduate students are supported by Pell grants?

    The applicant should use the most recent data available in IPEDS and check this website: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/​ Link to external web site​.

    If a university has a college of nursing that awards BSN and DNP degrees, is the university eligible to apply?

    The university is eligible to apply but the application cannot be submitted by the college of nursing.

    Can institution that is a current INBRE or COBRE awardee apply?

    No, previous and current awardees of NIH infrastructure development and/or research capacity programs (e.g., EARDA, BRAD, BUILD, RCMI, SNRP, MBRS (S06), RIMI, COBRE, INBRE, BRIC) are ineligible.

    Can the SPAD program be used to provide seed funding for faculty at the applicant institution?

    No, SPAD funds cannot be used for seed funding. SPAD funds must be used by the applicant institution to develop an Office of Sponsored Programs (OSPs), or to enhance the services of existing OSPs or similar entities.

    Is innovation required in this application?

    Yes. For this program, innovation is considered using existing products or processes in different and more effective ways, or in creating more effective processes or products. Review will look at whether novel concepts or approaches to build sponsored projects capacities, to increase faculty competitiveness in obtaining external research support, and/or to enhance biomedical research training are described.

    What letters are required in this application?

    An Institutional Eligibility Letter (1-page maximum and it must certify institutional eligibility at the time of the application), and Institutional Commitment Letter, and the Mentors’ Letters of Support are required. All letters should be combined into a single PDF file. Additional letters of support are allowed, but not required.

    Is an Appendix allowed?

    No, an Appendix is not allowed.

    What is the budget for the application?

    The application budgets are limited to $200,000 direct costs per year. Indirect costs are allowed at the negotiated rate.

    How long is the project period?

    The maximum project period is three years.

    PD/PI and Key Personnel

    Can an application include a single PD/PI?

    No, the program requires a multi-PD/PI submission. One PD/PI must be the current or future Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs (DOSP) and the other PD/PI must be a senior institutional official (SIO). The application must include a multi-PD/PI plan.

    Can the PI also be the signing official on the application?

    No, the signing official cannot also be the PI on the application.

    ​Are there limits on the percent effort for individuals listed as key personnel in the application?

    No, there are not limits on percent efforts for these individuals.

    Is it required that the PD/PI has a Ph.D.?

    No, a Ph.D. is not required. However, the PD/PI must have a regular, full-time appointment at the applicant institution.

    Is it required that the PD/PI’s mentor has a Ph.D.?

    No, the mentor is not required to have a Ph.D.

    What if the PD/PI leaves the project after the application is funded and cannot serve as the director of the Office of Sponsored Programs?

    The application must include a Leadership Succession Plan for the Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs (DOSP) and the Senior Institutional official (SIO) in the event one of the PDs/PIs leaves the project.​

    ​Mentorship Component

    What is the role of mentorship in the SPAD program?

    The PD/PI must include a plan for a mentoring relationship with an individual from an institution that already has a well-developed Office of Sponsored Programs. The mentoring plan should include information about the frequency and mode of meetings, and the training topics. Both mentors can be from the same institution, however, they cannot be based at the applicant’s institution.

    Is the PD/PI’s mentor required to be familiar with the NIH and/or other federal research training grant mechanisms?

    Yes, it is required that the mentor has experience with NIH and/or other federal research and research training grant mechanisms. The mentor should be from an institution that has a grant portfolio greater than or equal to $40,000,000. These requirements help ensure that the mentor can provide guidance to the PD/PI as they develop or improve the Office of Sponsored Programs at the applicant institution.

    Should the PD/PI select the mentor before submitting the application?

    Yes, the mentor should be listed as a member of the Senior/Key Personnel in the application, and the mentoring relationship should be described in the application, including the meeting frequency, mode of the meetings and the training topics.

    Can salary and/or fringe benefits for the mentor be included in the application budget?

    No, no salary or fringe benefits may be requested for the mentors.

    Application Due Dates and Submission

    What is the receipt date for this program?

    There are two receipt dates for the SPAD program: July 25, 2019 and June 26, 2020 by 5:00 PM local time of the applicant organization.

    Can an institution submit more than one application?

    No, only one application per institution is allowed.

    Can an application be submitted early?

    Yes, applicants are encouraged to apply early. This will allow adequate time before the due date to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process.

    If an application is not funded in the first round, can the applicant resubmit?​​

    Yes, the applicant can revise and resubmit the application for the second receipt date, June 26, 2020.