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Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP)

NIH T32 Training Grants (NRSA)

Introduction

National Institutes of Health (NIH) T32 institutional training grants support predoctoral, postdoctoral and short-term research training experiences in specified areas of biomedical, behavioral and clinical research. This funding is also referred to as National Research Service Awards (NSRA). This program by NIH is to help ensure that a diverse and highly trained workforce is available to assume leadership roles to advance the nation's biomedical and clinical research agenda.

NIH T32 institutional training grants are awarded to an eligible institution, such as the University of Washington, to develop or enhance research training opportunities for individuals selected by the institution. The individual training programs are headed by a leader in the area of focus and this individual is the named Principal Investigator on the grant. Within the program, faculty members serve as mentors (also referred to as preceptors) and lend their expertise and research opportunities to the trainees as part of the training plan.

NIH T32 grants have specific guidelines and requirements that are adhered to by the University. This page serves as a resource for Principal Investigators and research administration staff to prepare, manage and closeout an NIH T32 institutional training grant.

The School of Medicine maintains a comprehensive list of federal training grant programs at the University of Washington, including those funded through the T32 mechanism.

General Information

  • The NIH Grants Policy Statement contains terms and conditions that are binding on the University and are incorporated by reference into each grant and cooperative agreement. It is the best starting point when there are questions on roles and responsibilities, application information, and post-award management.
  • NIH maintains a schedule of standard due dates for its funding mechanisms, including the T-series. Use this schedule as a guide to plan ahead - check the next submission cycle for the T32 then build in time of at least three to four months ahead for proposal preparation.
  • NIH consolidates published information on its training grants into one location, called the T Kiosk. This site includes all individual institute program announcements as well as general policy announcements that affect training grants.
  • After reviewing general policies and the program announcement itself, you may have questions about your T32 proposal or T32 funding you have already received. NIH has a list of Frequently Asked Questions - NSRA Research Training Grants that includes valuable information.
  • The NIDA T32 Training VideoCast provides a good overview of NIH training grant appointments, costs, unobligated vs unliquidated funds, and progress reports.
  • The T32 requires an institution, research administration staff, the PI, mentors and trainees to have access to a variety of systems located within eRA Commons, NIH's portal to electronic grants management. All participants must have an eRA Commons account and assigned Roles to properly manage a T32. The relevant Roles are as follows:
    • Principal Investigator (PI):
      • PIs must have a Commons account with the Role of PI
      • A PI may obtain an account from their Department Administrator with the AO Role or the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) (SO Role).
    • Assistant to a PI (ASST):
      • Receives delegated authority from the PI
      • Prepares training grant forms
      • Views grant status
      • Receives this Role from the AO who initially created the account or contact the Office of Sponsored Programs (SO) to get the required Role.
    • Administrative Official (AO):
      • Creates accounts for others or remove accounts (except SOs)
      • Can edit accounts which the AO created
      • Reviews documents
      • Cannot receive delegated authority from a PI
    • Business Officer (BO):
      • For office with signature authority for trainee terminations on training grants (GCA)
    • Signing Authority (SO):
      • May create, modify or remove PI, AO, ASST, SO accounts
      • Updates institutional information
      • Review documents
      • Submits eSNAP, extensions, and JIT
      • Role is with OSP
    • Trainee:
      • Role is required for all trainees, whether the trainee on the T32 is a pre- or postdoctoral trainee.
      • The trainee responds to an auto-generated e-mail from eRA commons to create this Role once a PI begins the appointment process for the trainee.

Proposal Development

Compliance

  • Human Subject Involvement
    • Protocol Approval

      All research involving human subjects requires review by the Human Subjects Division (HSD). If T32 funding will support trainees who will do work involving human subjects, the T32 funding itself receives its own Institutional Review Board (IRB) protocol number. The PI for the T32 fills out an application for review at the time he/she receives indication of a fundable score and/or Just-In-Time request.

      Center Program Training Grant Application

      Center Program Training Grant Instructions for Application

      At time of IRB protocol renewal, a status report is due to HSD. The status report will be a summary of human subject activity that has occurred during the most recent approval period. In addition, each status report for a T32 lists those research projects for each faculty mentor under the T32, and any deletions and additions that occurred over the course of the year. Changes in faculty mentors do not need to be reported to HSD as each change of mentor occurs.

      After undergoing review by HSD, the protocol number for the T32 is renewed based on the updated information.

    • Progress Reports and Continuation Funding

      The progress report includes all protocol numbers for a faculty mentor's research under which a trainee participates. This information is required per NIH therefore early collection and updating of all relevant IRB protocol numbers is recommended.

      When the continuation funding is received by the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), a compliance check is done to ensure that approvals are in place before releasing funding. In all cases, it is the PI's responsibility to assure that each of the trainees' activities involving human subjects is under an IRB approval and that this is tracked and kept up to date for purposes of reporting to NIH at time of progress report submission.

    • Human Subjects Training

      Individuals who are engaged in research that involves human subjects must complete training on the Protection of Human Research Subjects (PHRS). Please contact HSD to determine the human subjects training required for trainees.

  • Animal Use
    • Protocol Approval

      If, at the proposal stage, animal involvement is anticipated within the period of award but plans are indefinite and it is not possible to describe the use of animals, the PI checks "Yes" to animal use and in the Research Plan, item 12, provides an explanation and when it is anticipated that animals will be used.

      Before activities with animals begin, the applicant must provide all of the information required by 5.5, Research Plan, item 12, Vertebrate Animals, with verification of current IACUC approval, to the awarding component for prior approval. IACUC approval must have occurred within the past three years to be considered current.

      If a PI does want to include in the grant proposal a list of the faculty mentors who might take trainees and the associated protocol numbers and approval dates, the PI ensures that the Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) is able to review the T32 proposal alongside the listed protocols before the proposal is finalized and submitted.

      Once the PI has a potentially fundable score, the PI needs to bring OAW a copy of the proposal, a copy of the eGC1, a list of the pertinent IACUC protocols, and any new IACUC protocol requests if needed, or changes to approved protocols that are necessary for covering the work described in the proposal. If OAW reviewed the proposal at submission time per a PI request, then at the time of fundable score, OAW will update the approval dates or list and provide a letter.

    • Progress Reports and Continuation Funding

      The progress report includes all protocol numbers for a faculty mentor's research under which a trainee participates. This information is required per NIH therefore early collection and updating of all relevant IACUC protocol numbers is recommended. Remember to route a paper copy of the progress report, along with the relevant IACUC protocol information for each trainee working with animals, to OAW for review well ahead of the submission deadline for the progress report to NIH. OAW can view the eGC1 for an NIH T32 progress report that indicates "yes" to animal use.

    • Animal Use Training Program

      Individuals who are engaged in research that involves animals must complete training. When the mentor submits a request to the IACUC to add the trainee to their protocol, OAW staff will advise them if there is additional animal use training they need that they have not yet completed.

  • Significant Financial Interest

    See here

  • Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

    NIH requires all pre- and post-doctoral researchers supported by training grants to receive training in the responsible conduct of research, per NOT-OD-10-019. The School of Medicine has developed the Biomedical Research Integrity Program consisting of lectures and discussion groups that meets the NIH educational requirement for trainees.

Just-In-Time (JIT) and Pre-Award Activity:

  • JIT materials: JIT materials typically include current protocol numbers and key personnel other support. NIH will communicate either directly with the PI or with OSP to request this information. The PI must prepare and then submit the JIT materials to OSP for review, concurrence and submission to NIH.
  • Requested Additional information: A summary statement or letter from the Scientific Review Officer may include a detailed response requesting supplemental information to address concerns or issues or it may simply be a request for updated materials. At the direction of the request and consistent with NIH's policy on Post-submission of application materials, an applicant may submit:
    • Profiles of students who have been or will be supported by the training grant
    • Applicant pool, admissions, enrollment past trainee achievements (if renewal).

    All responses to NIH for additional information must route through OSP for review, concurrence and submission to NIH.

  • Advance Budget Numbers (ABRs): Advanced budgets are often used on training grants and must follow the same requirements as all ABRs. Note that according to NIH policy, pre-award costs are not allowable charges for stipends or tuition/fees on institutional training grants since these costs may not be charged to the grant until a trainee has actually been appointed and the appropriate paperwork submitted to the NIH awarding component.
  • Trainee recruitment and selection
    • Recruitment: Each PI and managing department will handle this unique to the training program. However, generally the source of candidate recruitment is a selection process by respective departments or programs using criteria such as GRE scores, grade transcripts, letters of recommendation, publications and personal interviews. In some cases, post-doctoral trainees are selected from applications submitted by the mentor laboratories. Notification of the opportunity can be done through web-based announcements and/or personal recommendations.
    • Selection: Because the trainee positions are competitive, an appointed committee is a common way to review applications. This committee can be comprised of mentors not involved with the trainee or the potential mentor.

Managing Appointments and Terminations

  • Appointment Process: In order to make an appointment, a PI initiates the appointment within eRA Commons using xTrain and electronically filing what is referred to as Form PHS 2271. This function can be delegated to the Role of Administrative Assistant (ASST). A detailed step by step guide for the XTrain post-award appointment and termination process is provided by the University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB). Other resources include the NIH XTrain User Guide and XTrain Presentation by NIH.
  • Terminations: A PI initiates the termination within eRA Commons using XTrain and electronically filing what is referred to as Form PHS 416-7. Once the trainee and the PI have electronically signed the termination, eRA Commons sends an auto-generated e-mail to Grant and Contract Accounting (GCA), as the Business Official (BO), which will review, approve, or may reject the termination notice. If the PI, staff, or trainees have questions, please contact gcahelp@uw.edu.

Manage Award

  • Rebudgeting:
    • Trainee-related expenses awarded in a lump sum may be rebudgeted without prior approval from NIH per the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
    • Stipend and Tuition funds may be shifted between the categories of "stipend" and "tuition/fees" and, unless otherwise restricted, funds from other cost categories may be rebudgeted into these categories. However, stipend and tuition/fee costs cannot be rebudgeted to other categories except under unusual circumstances and only with NIH prior approval.
    • Travel funds may be rebudgeted into a different budget category without prior NIH approval.
    • For more information, please see the GCA Training grant workshop presentation.
  • Deficits and unobligated balances within a competing segment:
    • GCA automatically transfers deficits to the continuation budget number in expenditure code 05-99-00.
    • GCA automatically transfers unobligated balances to the continuation as restricted funding (budget code 37-99-00) that requires sponsor approval to access.
    • Deficits need to be cleared to a non-sponsored funding source at the end of a competing segment. Deficits will not be carried forward to a competing renewal year.
    • If there are questions on a particular T32 budget number, please email gcahelp@uw.edu or send a question using GrantTracker.
  • Stipend supplementation and compensation: For the current NIH policy on supplementation or compensation, please visit the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
  • Progress Reports:
    • Preparation: It is advised that a PI and managing department begin preparation of progress report materials at least three months in advance of the sponsor due date. Please refer to the UW T32 Progress Report Checklist.
    • Form: All T32 Progress Reports are currently prepared on PHS2590 Forms. These forms are often revised by NIH so do check the NIH Forms and Applications site often to ensure the most recent version is used.
    • Instructions: There are additional progress report instructions for training grants when preparing PHS2590 Forms. Note that this includes a Training Diversity Report section, and additional Tables to be completed.
    • Compliance: Progress Reports must contain up to date information on all relevant protocol numbers. Please see the Compliance section for more information.

Close Out

The closeout process is unique for T32 grants. For the duration of the T32 funding, trainees are added and removed through the appointment and termination process. Once the T32 funding ends, a final report on the training program, and a final fiscal report (FSR) are required. For T32 grants, the Final Invention Statement and Certification is not currently required. For questions, please contact the awarding institute as listed in your T32 award.