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Frequently Asked Questions

Who evaluates applications for institutional training grants?
Applications are reviewed by scientific review committees organized by the NHGRI Scientific Review Branch.

How many training slots can I request on a new training grant?
New Genome Sciences and Genomic Medicine programs are limited to 10 trainees. ELSI programs can request up to five trainees.

Your training slots request 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., 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). One-year programs are not recommended, so that trainees will have a meaningful and extensive training experience.

The requested number of slots must be justified in the application.

What must be addressed in the recruitment plan to enhance diversity?
The recruitment plan to enhance diversity must specifically address efforts to recruit trainees from underrepresented groups (see NOT-OD-20-031), specifically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. 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, but the number of women to a training program are expected to be on par with the national average of women at the biomedical research predoc and postdoc stage. There is an expectation for good gender diversity in the trainee pool. If there is not, that issue should be addressed.

What are the key differences between instruction in "Responsible Conduct of Research" and "Methods for Enhancing Reproducibility"?
The Plan for Instruction in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) focuses on training in the ethics involved in research with additional guidance provided in NOT-OD-10-019. The Plan for Instruction in 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. Both areas of instruction should be infused throughout your training program.  The Program Plan section of the application will be expected to include a description of how the program and faculty will provide training in rigorous research design and relevant data science and quantitative approaches (NOT-OD-20-090).

If Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) is incorporated throughout the overall curriculum, at multiple stages, and in a variety of formats, what should be included in the mandatory plan for the appendix?
The appendix should include the detailed plan for RCR instruction. The plan is required as per funding announcement PA-20-142. This plan is expected to cover all the NIH required components:

  1. Format
  2. Subject Matter
  3. Faculty Participation
  4. Duration of Instruction
  5. Frequency of Instruction.

Do foreign students "count" toward diversity enhancement?
No. While NHGRI 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 NHGRI grant funding for the faculty considered during the review process?
The level of grant funding for faculty is an important consideration for review as it is an indication of the depth and breadth of relevant genomics expertise and available resources; but it does not matter if it is NHGRI, other NIH, other federal, or private support.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Who evaluates applications for institutional training grants?
    Applications are reviewed by scientific review committees organized by the NHGRI Scientific Review Branch.

    How many training slots can I request on a new training grant?
    New Genome Sciences and Genomic Medicine programs are limited to 10 trainees. ELSI programs can request up to five trainees.

    Your training slots request 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., 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). One-year programs are not recommended, so that trainees will have a meaningful and extensive training experience.

    The requested number of slots must be justified in the application.

    What must be addressed in the recruitment plan to enhance diversity?
    The recruitment plan to enhance diversity must specifically address efforts to recruit trainees from underrepresented groups (see NOT-OD-20-031), specifically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. 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, but the number of women to a training program are expected to be on par with the national average of women at the biomedical research predoc and postdoc stage. There is an expectation for good gender diversity in the trainee pool. If there is not, that issue should be addressed.

    What are the key differences between instruction in "Responsible Conduct of Research" and "Methods for Enhancing Reproducibility"?
    The Plan for Instruction in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) focuses on training in the ethics involved in research with additional guidance provided in NOT-OD-10-019. The Plan for Instruction in 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. Both areas of instruction should be infused throughout your training program.  The Program Plan section of the application will be expected to include a description of how the program and faculty will provide training in rigorous research design and relevant data science and quantitative approaches (NOT-OD-20-090).

    If Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) is incorporated throughout the overall curriculum, at multiple stages, and in a variety of formats, what should be included in the mandatory plan for the appendix?
    The appendix should include the detailed plan for RCR instruction. The plan is required as per funding announcement PA-20-142. This plan is expected to cover all the NIH required components:

    1. Format
    2. Subject Matter
    3. Faculty Participation
    4. Duration of Instruction
    5. Frequency of Instruction.

    Do foreign students "count" toward diversity enhancement?
    No. While NHGRI 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 NHGRI grant funding for the faculty considered during the review process?
    The level of grant funding for faculty is an important consideration for review as it is an indication of the depth and breadth of relevant genomics expertise and available resources; but it does not matter if it is NHGRI, other NIH, other federal, or private support.

Last updated: May 14, 2020