NIH Blueprint Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience (D-SPAN) Award (F99/K00 Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health

The purpose of the NIH Blueprint Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience (D-SPAN) Award is to support a defined pathway across career stages for outstanding graduate students from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral sciences. This two-phase award will facilitate completion of the doctoral dissertation and transition of talented graduate students to strong neuroscience research postdoctoral positions, and will provide career development opportunities relevant to their long-term career goal of becoming independent neuroscience researchers.

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) does not allow applicants to propose to lead an independent clinical trial, but does allow applicants to propose research experience in a clinical trial led by a sponsor or co-sponsor.

Deadlines:

  • Letter of Intent Due Date(s): 30 days prior to the application due date
  • Application Due Date(s): December 13, 2018; April 15, 2019; December 13, 2019; April 15, 2020; December 15, 2020; April 15, 2021

RFA-NS-19-011 Expiration Date April 16, 2021

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Before submitting a fellowship application, the applicant must identify a sponsoring institution. The sponsoring institution must have staff and facilities available on site to provide a suitable environment for performing high-quality research training. The training should occur in an environment that has appropriate human and technical resources and is demonstrably committed to training in the field(s) proposed by the applicant. All institutions with the appropriate resources and commitment are encouraged to apply.

Fostering diversity in the scientific research workforce is a key component of the NIH strategy to identify, develop, support and maintain the quality of our scientific human capital (NOT-OD-18-210).

Every facet of the United States scientific research enterprise—from basic laboratory research to clinical and translational research to policy formation—requires superior intellect, creativity, and a wide range of skill sets and viewpoints. NIH's ability to help ensure that the nation remains a global leader in scientific discovery and innovation is dependent upon a pool of highly talented scientists from diverse backgrounds, including those from underrepresented groups, who will help to further NIH's mission.

Research shows that diverse teams working together and capitalizing on innovative ideas and distinct perspectives outperform homogenous teams. Scientists and trainees from diverse backgrounds and life experiences bring different perspectives, creativity, and individual enterprise to address complex scientific problems. There are many benefits that flow from a diverse NIH-supported scientific workforce, including fostering scientific innovation, enhancing global competitiveness, contributing to robust learning environments, improving the quality of the researchers, advancing the likelihood that underserved or health disparity populations participate in—and benefit from—health research, and enhancing public trust.  In spite of tremendous advancements in scientific research, information, educational and research opportunities are not equally available to all. NIH encourages institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations to enhance the participation of individuals from groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences, such as:

A. Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see data at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/showpub.cfm?TopID=2&SubID=27) and the report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.  In addition, it is recognized that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting; individuals from racial or ethnic groups that can be demonstrated convincingly to be underrepresented by the grantee institution should be encouraged to participate in this program.  For more information on racial and ethnic categories and definitions, see NOT-OD-15-089.

B. Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended.  See NSF data at https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2017/nsf17310/static/data/ tab7-5.pdf.

The applicant must have a baccalaureate degree and be currently enrolled as a graduate student in a PhD or equivalent research doctoral degree program (e.g., EngD, DNSc, DrPH, DSW, PharmD, ScD) in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences at a domestic institution. The applicant must be conducting neuroscience research in a topic area relevant to participating NIH Blueprint Institutes or the BRAIN Initiative.

At the time of award, the applicant must be at the dissertation research stage of training and are expected to require 1-2 years to complete their PhD dissertation research training (F99 phase) before transitioning to mentored postdoctoral research training (K00 phase). At the time of application, the applicant will typically be in the third or fourth year of their graduate program. The applicant must show evidence of high academic performance in the sciences and commitment to a career as an independent neuroscience research scientist.

The D-SPAN F99/K00 award may not be used to support studies leading to the MD, DDS, or other clinical, health-professional degree (e.g., DC, DMD, DNP, DO, DPM, DVM, ND, OD, AuD). Students matriculated in a dual-degree program (e.g. MD/PhD, DO/PhD, DDS/PhD, or DVM/PhD) are not eligible for the F99/K00 program.

If an applicant begins a postdoctoral position or completes all PhD dissertation requirements before an F99 award is made, neither the F99 award nor the K00 award will be issued.

      Funding Type

      Fellowship
      Grant

      Eligibility

      African American
      Grad/Prof Students
      Hispanic
      Minorities encouraged
      Native American
      Women of Color

      Category

      Engineering and Physical Sciences
      Environmental & Life Sciences
      Medical
      Medical - Basic Science
      Medical - Clinical Science
      Medical - Translational

      External Deadline

      December 15, 2020