Diversity Program Consortium Phase II Answers to Frequently Asked Question: National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) and Consortium-Wide Topics

FAQs for NRMN-related topics

What is the suggested budget for a U01 application?

The type of experiment that applicants set up should determine the budget. The intent of the U01s is to encourage the best science possible by developing experiments that will contribute to the understanding of “why” a mentoring or networking intervention works.

Can stipends and travel be included in the budget for the U01 awards?

The U01 awards are intended to be funding for experiments. Unlike program participants, study participants in experiments generally do not receive stipends, protected time/ course release, research training expenses or travel reimbursement related to training programs or workshop attendance. Applicants should carefully consider what budget is needed and reflect on what constitutes appropriate incentives for study participants.

Is a theoretical and/or conceptual model required for the U01 applications?

Yes. Because the U01 awards are intended to fund experiments, the projects should be based on a theoretical and/or conceptual model. This will help applicants explain the mechanism of the action targeted by the experiment, and the impact on the measurable outcomes.

Would an application to design or implement a mentoring program be responsive to the U01 FOA?

No. Funding programs, retrospective studies and/or evaluation of existing programs is not the purpose of the U01 awards. If an applicant is planning to implement a program (such as mentoring, training, coaching, grant-writing, etc.) it is recommended that they consider other funding mechanisms because these U01 awards are intended to fund research experiments.

Applications for the U01 awards should be hypothesis-based, propose a robust experimental design and use a theory or guiding paradigm. In addition, applicants should think about how their research questions and experiments can help the field understand why their mentoring or networking intervention works. Additionally, applicants should ensure they are working with an adequate sample size so that generalizations can be drawn from their results. An experiment that focuses on just a couple of sites may not yield an adequate sample size from which generalizations can be drawn to understand why the training or networking intervention works.

Is measuring participant satisfaction an acceptable aim for the U01 awards?

Research questions should move beyond self-reporting of perceived skills gained and participation satisfaction. The intent of the U01 awards is to fund experiments that have robust experimental designs and are outcomes based. For example, an awardee may gather data to inform the biomedical community on what factors influence and foster a sustained career in the biomedical research workforce, and why those factors have an influence.

What data will the U01s be expected to share with the NRMN Coordinating Center and the CEC, since according to the RFA, there is an agreed upon Data Sharing Agreement?

Applicants are encouraged to review the consortium-wide Hallmarks of Success and the Data Sharing Agreement for information on common data elements that are to be collected and shared during Phase II. The NRMN awardees will be required to work with the NRMN Coordinating Center and the Coordination and Evaluation Center. Being able to work with others to ensure the success of the overall DPC goals is vital.

Because the U01s will use human subjects and measure the outcomes of an intervention, are they considered “clinical trials”?

The NRMN U01 awards fall under “educational interventions,” and these are not included in the NIH definition of a clinical trial. Investigators are encouraged to be familiar with the institutional review board (IRB) approval process at their institution, and to follow the guidelines for local IRB approval.

Are there plans to offer these FOAs annually?

No. This FOA will be offered one time.

Is there something that applicants for these awards should budget for that is unique to being part of this Consortium?

Yes. Applicants should budget for attendance at two annual meetings. The DPC holds an annual meeting that all Principal Investigators for the grant are required to attend. In addition, the NRMN awardees will make up an NRMN consortium, so applicants should budget for an annual meeting related to NRMN-specific efforts.

FAQs for Consortium-wide topics

Will Phase II be the final funding stage?

Yes, Phase II is the final funding stage.

Is a paper submission required for these FOAs?

No, a paper submission will not be accepted for these FOAs. The applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide [4.31MB PDF].

What is the award project period for these FOAs?

The maximum project period for these awards is 5 years.

What is a Cooperative Agreement?

The awards included in the Diversity Program Consortium are part of a Cooperative Agreement, which means that there is substantial NIH programmatic involvement with the awardees during the performance of the project. The NIH purpose remains to support and stimulate the recipients’ activities by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the award recipients in a partnership role. The prime responsibility remains with the awardees, although specific tasks and activities may be shared among the awardees and the NIH.

What is the Consortium-Wide Evaluation Plan (CWEP)?

During Phase I of the Diversity Program Consortium, the CEC facilitated the development of the Consortium-Wide Evaluation Plan (CWEP). This plan reflects the goals listed in the cooperative agreement FOAs for BUILD, NRMN, and the CEC, and is intended to ensure comparable sampling of data across the consortium. The CWEP includes logic models for each of the programs, the Hallmarks of Success and the Data Sharing Agreement.

What is the Data Sharing Agreement?

The Data Sharing Agreement is intended to establish data collection, tracking, and storage coordination requirements for Consortium members. It also outlines data security and confidentiality, ownership of data, and rights and responsibilities. In addition, it describes the process for access to data by different parties and a provides a framework for use of DPC data.

What data elements are included in the Consortium-Wide Evaluation Plan?

Consortium-wide data elements include BUILD student and faculty follow-up surveys, Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) surveys, and NRMN student and faculty follow-up surveys. Visit Data Elements for a complete list of Consortium-wide evaluation survey instruments.

What are the Hallmarks of Success?

The DPC developed the Hallmarks of Success for use as a framework in measuring progress toward specific goals that are believed to positively influence an individual’s persistence in the biomedical research workforce. It is hypothesized that achieving more of the Hallmarks will coincide with a higher likelihood of success in the biomedical research workforce.

What kinds of outcomes were examined during Phase I of the DPC?

The outcomes are being measured through a longitudinal evaluation across the three levels of interventions: student/mentee, faculty/mentor, and institutional/site.