NIH F31 Application Guide


Graduate Coordinators and Graduate Research Administrators,

The NIH F31 (PA-21-051 / PA-21-052) application due date is quickly approaching, Monday, August 8, 2022. Attached you will find the detailed instructions and budget guide that we encourage you to share with your graduate students who are interested in applying.

Students should work directly with their Department Research Administrator (RA) in the preparation of the proposal.  An RA may also be known as a Fund Manager (FM). If the RA or FM is not known, it is recommended the student work with their mentor’s RA or designate. The RA will need to create the Kuali Proposal Development record.

NIH F31 applications are no longer processed through the Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs (GEPA) and the previous contact, Michelle Monroy, should not be named as the contact on the applicationThe new contact is:

Lisa Jandt Auvil, Office of Contract & Grant Administration 

Email: ljandtauvil@ucsd.edu 

We are requesting that the department RA is the primary contact for the student and will assist with some of their basic questions regarding their application.

Lisa Jandt Auvil, OCGA, will need the Assist Application Number. When the application is ready to be reviewed, please contact her by email at ljandtauvil@ucsd.edu.  When the application is final and ready for submission, the RA or student will need to change the status to 'Ready to Submit'. Lisa or her designate in OCGA will submit the application.

Please plan to have your proposal in a near-complete draft five (5) days prior to the deadline date. This allows OCGA time to review, provide comments and recommendations for edits, and time for the requested edits to be made by the student or RA.

We thank you for your patience and willingness to help during this process change. We hope that the streamlining of the proposal process - Graduate Student, Department Research Administrator and OCGA - will provide efficiency and aide in the transparency process.  Additional communications and information will about the process changes will be coming within the next few weeks.

Getting Started

● Before you begin filling out the form, review NIH’s Fellowship Application Guide.

● Make sure you have the right solicitation number, PA-21-051 for Parent Fellowship and PA-21-052 for the Diversity Fellowship.

● Each section must be uploaded separately, do not try to combine the attachments.

● Formatting can disqualify your application, please look at the formatting regulations before continuing on.

● Indicates updated field

 

Format Regulations for Attachments 
Document Format
  • PDF only; do not use headers or footers

Font type/size

*Recommended

  • Arial, Helvetica, Palatino Linotype, or Georgia typeface
  • 11 or larger
  • Black

Line spacing

  • No more than 6 lines of type within a vertical space of 1 inch
  • Only single column formatting

Page size

  • 8.5 x 11
  • 0.5” margins on all sides

File Names

Please note: If you don’t follow the file name rules, your application will be flagged with errors.

  • File names cannot exceed 50 characters
  • Don’t use “&” sign
  • 1 space in between words
  • Don’t start file name with a space

Citation Format

  • All citation formats are acceptable

Images (charts, etc.)

  • Only allowed in Research Strategy section 

 

The Graduate Division cannot assume responsibility for errors in the applicant’s submission. We will do our best to review the format of your proposal; however final responsibility for format, content, and completeness rests with the applicant.

 

Before you begin your application:

  1. Connect with an appropriate business partner, usually your mentor’s fund manager, who handles contract and grant submissions.
  2. Apply through the correct central office:

● If the applicant is a single-degree seeking student enrolled in a graduate program, either OCGA or SIO-OCGA will be submitting your application. However, if the student is enrolled in a professional degree program (i.e. PharmD, PharmD/PhD, or MD/PhD program), the applicant will need to contact Health Sciences Sponsored Project Pre-Award Office (HSSPPO).

3. To apply for the NIH F31 fellowship you will use the ASSIST application portal via NIH eRA Commons.

● Your eRA Commons Login should have the role of PD/PI assigned to your username, if you do not have the role of PD/PI assigned, follow the steps below.

● Set up your eRA Commons Login.

● If you do not have an eRA Commons login please fill out this online form and request that aPD/PI role be assigned.

          4. Search for the solicitation number PA-21-051 if you are applying for a Parent Fellowship and PA-21-052 if you are applying for a Diversity Fellowship.

Reference Letters

Reference letters are a separate component of this application and will be completed through the eRA Commons. Referees must submit reference letters through the eRA Commons by the application due date.

Selecting a Referee

● Submit 3-5 reference letters

● The letters cannot be from individuals directly involved in the application (No sponsor/co-sponsors)

o Select the referee that will be able to speak best to your ability to carry out your proposal

● Include a list of referees (including name, department, and institution) in the cover letter (see #21 on the list of items below).

Instructions to Provide to Referees

Provide your referees with the appropriate instructions. Include your name (as shown in your Commons account, your eRA username, and the number of the FOA) Letters must be submitted directly to the eRA Commons. NIH provides Instructions for Fellowship Applicant Referees that you may use as a template to share with your references.

You can learn more about letters of references at NIH’s Reference Letter website.

Campus Requirements

In order to submit a NIH F31 Application you will need a Kuali Record number (created by your mentor’s fund manager).

 

SF424 Portion (Form D) or R & R Cover Page (ASSIST)

1Tye of SubmissionCheck the box labeled “Application”
2Date SubmittedEnter date of agency deadline
 Applicant IdentifierLast,First_F31_KR[recordnumber]
3Date Received by stateLeave Blank
 State application IdentifierLeave Blank
4a. Federal IdentifierOnly for resubmissions, email for details
 b. Agency Routing IdentifierLeave Blank
 c. Previous Grants.gov Tracking IDLeave Blank
5Applicant Information 
 SAM UNIQUE ENTITY ID (UEI)UYTTZT6G9DT1
 LEGAL NAMEThe Regents of the Univ. of Calif., U.C. San Diego
 DEPARTMENTLeave Blank
 DIVISIONContact your Fund Manager for correct entry
 STREET 19500 Gilman Drive
 STREET 2MC 0934
 CITYLa Jolla
 COUNTY/PARISHSan Diego
 STATECalifornia
 PROVINCELeave blank
 ZIP/POSTAL CODE92093-0934
 Person to be contacted on matters involving this application 
  FIRST NAMEMichael
  LAST NAMEKusiak
  POSITION/TITLEDirector
  STREET 19500 Gilman Drive
  STREET 2MC: 0934
  CITYLa Jolla
  COUNTY/PARISHSan Diego
  STATECalifornia
  PROVINCELeave blank
  COUNTRYUnited States
  ZIP/POSTAL CODE92093-0934
  PHONE858-534-3330
  FAX858-534-0280
  EMAILresearchadmin@ucsd.edu
6 Employer Identification (EIN) or (TIN)1956006144A1
7 Type of ApplicantH: Public/State Controlled Institution of Higher Education
8Type of ApplicationCheck “New” if this is your first time submitting to NIH or first time submitting this project to NIH
  Check “Resubmission” if you are submitting this application to NIH for the second time
 Is this application being submitted to other agencies?Answer yes or no and disclose which agency will also receive this proposal.
9Name of Federal AgencyNational Institutes of Health
10Catalog of federal domestic assistance numberLeave blank
11Descriptive Title of Applicant’s ProjectTitle of your project
12Proposed Project Start DateThese are the earliest possible standard start dates for each cycle of NIH. If you are applying for :
 Only request FULL years of support

Cycle 1 (April): September or December

Cycle 2 (August): April of next year

Cycle 3 (December): July of next year

13Congressional District of ApplicantCA-049
14Project Director/PI Contact InformationThis information is pre-populated from the Sr/Key Person tab. To change this information, change it in the Sr/Key Person tab.
15Estimated Project FundingPlease contact your Fund Manager
16Is this application subject to review by the state executive order 12372?Check “No” box: “This program is not covered by E.O. 12372”
17/18Self-explanatory 
19

Authorized Representative

For SIO, contact your Fund Manager for this information

 
 

PREFIX

Ms.
 

FIRST

Lisa
 

LAST

Jandt Auvil
 

POSITION/TITLE

Senior Contract & Grant Officer
 

NAME OF ORGANIZATION

The Regents of the Univ. of Calif., U.C. San Diego
 

DEPARTMENRT

Office of Contract and Grant Administration
 

DIVISION

Leave Blank
 

STREET 1 

9500 Gilman Drive
 

STREET 2

MC 0934
 

CITY

La Jolla
 

COUNTY/PARISH

San Diego
 

ZIP/POSTAL CODE

92093-0934
 

PHONE

(858) 534-3330
 

FAX

(858) 534-0280
 

EMAIL

ljandtauvil@ucsd.edu
20

Pre-application

Pre-application materials are not needed for this application
21

Cover letter

Attach to number 21 of SF424 R&R page
 

Your request to be assigned to a certain agency DOES NOT go in this section*

  • Address letter to the Division of Receipt and Referral
  • Include application title
  • Include solicitation number (PA-21-052 Diversity, PA-21-051 Parent)
  • Include a list of referees (including name, departmental affiliation, and institution).
  • Statement that you have attached any required documentation for the type of application submitted.
  • If the proposed studies will generate large-scale human or non-human genomic data as detailed in the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy Include a statement in the cover letter

If the proposed studies involve human fetal tissue obtained from elective abortions (HFT), regardless of whether or not Human Subjects are involved and/or there are costs associated with the HFT include a statement in the cover letter. For further information on HFT policy refer to the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 2.3.7.11 Human Fetal Tissue from Elective Abortions, Section 4.1.14 Human Fetal Tissue Research and Section 4.1.14.2 Human Fetal Tissue from Elective Abortions.

 

*Requesting an Agency Assignment

If you would like your proposal to be assigned to a certain agency

1. Go to the top left side of the screen

2. Click on the tab that says “Actions”

3. Select “add optional form”

4. Select “Assignment Request”

5. This form will be added as a tab to your ASSIST application next to the “fellowship supplement” tab.

6. Fill out the form accordingly.

 

Other Project Information

1Human SubjectsNot sure if your application requires human subjects approval? Click here for more information.
  

NIH’s 3 Exemptions Infographic '

Finding the appropriate exemption number

If you will be using human subjects in your project and need to include a PHS Enrollment Inclusion Form, follow these instructions:

  1. Go to the top left side of the screen
  2. Click on the tab that says Actions
  3. Select “add optional form”
  4. Select “PHS Enrollment Inclusion Form”
  5. This form will be added as a tab to your ASSIST application next to the “fellowship supplement” tab or “assignment request” tab
1aIRB approvalIRB approval date is NOT required at time of submission
 More information about IRB here, page F-32If IRB is pending, leave blank
2Vertebrate AnimalsIf animal involvement is anticipated within the period of award but plans are indefinite, check "Yes."
  If yes, complete the vertebrate animals attachment (for more information, refer to “Are Vertebrate Animals Used?” in the NIH Guide)
2aIACUCEnter latest IACUC approval date if available (must be within last 3 years)
  ACUC approval date is NOT required at the time of submission, goes for both Human and Animal subjects
3Is proprietary or privileged information included in the application?Check yes if your application contains: Patentable ideas/ trade secrets. Privileged, confidential commercial, or financial information should be included in applications only when the info is necessary to convey an understanding of the proposed project.
4-6Self-explanatory 
7Project Summary (abstract)Mention: key focus, long-term goals, relevance to agency’s mission, research design method
 30 lines of text max
  • Write in 3rd person
  • Don’t describe past accomplishments
8Project NarrativeRelevance to public health
 Three sentence maxWhat will your research contribute to the field?
9Bibliography and references Cited (No page limit)Required. All citation formats are acceptable.
10Facilities and Other Resources *Not required but can help establish the feasibility of the projectDescribe how the research site contributes to the probability of success, like, institutional support, physical resources, and intellectual rapport.
11EquipmentNot required but can help establish the feasibility of the project.
 Not requiredList major items of equipment already available for project and, if possible, where it is and what it can do.
12Other AttachmentsIf applicable, Foreign Justification can be attached here
 

No page limit

Do not use this section to attach other parts of the application that did not fit into the page limit, this is grounds for disqualification.

 

 

 

Sites

 Project Director/Performance Site
 
ORGANIZATION NAME:The Regents of the Univ. of Calif., U.C. San Diego
DUNS NUMBER:UYTTZT6G9DT1
STREET 1:9500 Gilman Drive
STREET 2:MC: XXXX🡨your home Dept. Mail code
CITY:La Jolla
ZIP/POSTAL CODE:92093-XXXX 🡨Your Dept. Mail Code
PROJECT/PERFORMANCE SITE CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTCA-049

 

Sr/Key Person Profile
 Project Director/Principal Investigator
 
REDENTIAL, E.G., AGENCY LOGINYour eRA Commons ID. The system will not submit the application without it!
FIRST NAMEYour first name
LAST NAMEYour last name
POSITION/TITLEGraduate Student Researcher
DEPARTMENTYour home department
DIVISIONEnter School of Medicine, SKAGGS, or General Campus
STREET 19500 Gilman Drive
STREET 2MC: XXXX🡨your home Dept. Mail code
CITYLa Jolla
COUNTY/PARISHSan Diego
STATECalifornia
PROVINCELeave blank
ZIP/POSTAL CODE92093-XXXX 🡨Your Dept. Mail Code
PHONE/FAXYour personal phone
EMAILYour email
PROJECT ROLEPD/PI
DEGREE TYPEEnter highest degree received (DO NOT enter PhD)
DEGREE YEAREnter the year that the highest degree was received
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 5 page maxTo download the format page and to view samples, click here. Do not copy and paste a biosketch. Make sure you are following NIH’s current formatting instructions. List by institution and year all undergraduate and graduate courses, with grades. Explain any grading system used if it differs from a 1-100 scale; an A, B, C, D, F system; or a 0-4.0 scale
CURRENT/PENDING SUPPORTNot required at time of application
Senior/Key Person
Follow these instructions for each mentor/co-mentor/consultant
CREDENTIAL, E.G., AGENCY LOGINYour eRA Commons ID. The system will not submit the application without it!
FIRST/LAST NAMEEnter name of mentor as it appears on BLINK
POSITION/TITLEf you are a UCSD professor, look up on BLINK and enter exact title
DEPARTMENTProfessor’s home department
ORGANIZATION NAMEThe Regents of the Univ. of Calif., U.C. San Diego
DIVISIONEnter School of Medicine, SKAGGS, General Campus, of Scripps Inst. of Oceanography
STREET 19500 Gilman Drive
STREET 2MC: XXXX🡨professor’s home Dept. Mail code
CITYLa Jolla
COUNTYSan Diego
STATECalifornia
ZIP/POSTAL CODE92093-XXXX 🡨professor’s Dept. Mail Code
PROJECT ROLEOther (specify)
OTHER PROJECT ROLESponsor (do not write mentor) or Co-sponsor
DEGREE TYPE/DEGREE YEAREnter highest degree received and when it was received
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHRefer to PD/PI section above
CURRENT/PENDING SUPPORTNot required at time of application

 

 

Fellowship Supplemental Form

1

Introduction

1 page max

Only if resubmitting
2

Applicant’s Background and Goals

6 page max

Organize the attachment in these sections with appropriate headings:
  

A. DOCTORAL DISSERTATION AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE:

● Briefly summarize your past research experience, results, and conclusions, and describe how that experience relates to the proposed fellowship. In some cases, a proposed fellowship may build directly on previous research experiences, results, and conclusions. In other situations, past research experiences may lead a candidate to apply for a fellowship in a new or different area of research. Do not list academic courses in this section.

● Applicants with no research experience: Describe any other scientific experiences.

● Advanced graduate students (i.e., those who have or will have completed their comprehensive examinations by the time of award): Include a narrative of your planned doctoral dissertation (may be preliminary).

B. TRAINING GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

● Describe your overall training goals for the duration of the fellowship and how the proposed fellowship will enable the attainment of these goals.

● Identify the skills, theories, conceptual approaches, etc., to be learned or enhanced during the award, including, as applicable, expertise in rigorous research design, experimental methods, quantitative approaches, and data analysis and interpretation, as applicable.

● Discuss how the proposed research will facilitate your transition to the next career stage

C. ACTIVITIES PLANNED UNDER THIS AWARD

● Briefly summarize your past research experience, results, and conclusions, and describe how that experience relates to the proposed fellowship. In some cases, a proposed fellowship may build directly on previous research experiences, results, and conclusions. In other situations, past research experiences may lead a candidate to apply for a fellowship in a new or different area of research. Do not list academic courses in this section.

● Applicants with no research experience: Describe any other scientific experiences.

● Advanced graduate students (i.e., those who have or will have completed their comprehensive examinations by the time of award): Include a narrative of your planned doctoral dissertation (may be preliminary).

 Research Training PlanFor the next couple of sections
  

● Relate research to your career goals

● Explain the relationship between the applicant’s research on the fellowship award and the mentor’s ongoing research program.

● Should be tailored to your experience and allows you to develop career advancing skills

3

Specific aims

1 page max

Goals and expected outcomes

Impact of results

4Research StrategyInclude the following sub-sections with appropriate headings:
 

6 page max

Tip: If possible, keep section to a max of 5.5 pages, your reviewer will appreciate it Tip 2: Try to include experts in your field of research who might review your application

SIGNIFICANCE

● Explain the importance of the problem or critical barrier to progress that the proposed project addresses.

● Describe the strengths and weaknesses in the rigor of the prior research (both published and unpublished) that serves as the key support for the proposed project

● Explain how your project will improve scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice in one/more broad fields.

● Describe how the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field will be changed if the proposed aims are achieved.

APPROACH

● Describe the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses to be used to accomplish the specific aims of the project. Describe plans to address weaknesses in the rigor of the prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project. Describe the experimental design and methods proposed and how they will achieve robust and unbiased results. Unless addressed separately in the Resource Sharing Plan attachment, include how the data will be collected, analyzed, and interpreted, as well as any resource sharing plans, as appropriate. Resources and tools for rigorous experimental design can be found at the Enhancing Reproducibility through Rigor and Transparency website.

● For trials that randomize groups or deliver interventions to groups, describe how your methods for analysis and sample size are appropriate for your plans for participant assignment and intervention delivery. These methods can include a group- or cluster-randomized trial or an individually randomized group-treatment trial. Additional information is available at the Research Methods Resources webpage.

● Discuss potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success anticipated to achieve the aims.

● If the project is in the early stages of development, describe any strategy to establish feasibility, and address the management of any high risk aspects of the proposed work.

● Explain how relevant biological variables, such as sex, are factored into research designs and analyses for studies in vertebrate animals and humans. For example, strong justification from the scientific literature, preliminary data, or other relevant considerations, must be provided for applications proposing to study only one sex. Refer to NIH Guide Notice on Sex as a Biological Variable in NIH-funded Research for additional information.

● Point out any procedures, situations, or materials that may be hazardous to personnel and the precautions to be exercised. If applicable, a full discussion on the use of select agents should appear in the Select Agent Research attachment below.

● If research on Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESCs) is proposed, but an approved cell line from the NIH hESC Registry cannot be chosen, provide a strong justification for why an appropriate cell line cannot be chosen from the registry at this time.

● If you are proposing to gain clinical trial research experience (i.e., you will not be leading an independent clinical trial), briefly describe your role on the clinical trial.

● As applicable, also include the following information as part of the Research Strategy, keeping within the two sections (Significance and Approach) listed above.

● Preliminary Studies for New Applications: For new applications, include information on preliminary studies (including data collected by others in the lab), if any. Discuss the applicant's preliminary studies, data, and/or experience pertinent to this application.

5

Respective Contributions

1 page max

Describe the collaborative process between you and your sponsor/co-sponsor(s) in the development, review, and editing of this Research Training Plan. Also discuss your respective goals in accomplishing the proposed research.
6

Selection of Sponsor and institution

1 page max

Explain why you picked your sponsor and why you are doing research on campus.

If you aren’t doing research on campus, explain here.

Foreign Institution: If you are proposing a research training experience at a foreign institution, describe how the foreign institution and sponsor offer special opportunities for training that are not currently available in the United States

7Progress Report Pub. ListLeave Blank
8

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

1 page max

Include the following subheads in your document:
  

1. FORMAT- format of instruction

2. SUBJECT MATTER- describe the breadth of subject matter (Kuali COIs, human and animal subjects, lab safety, ethics, data management, authorship

3. FACULTY PARTICIPATION- role of mentor(s) and co-mentors

4. DURATION OF INSTRUCTION- total number of contact hours of instruction

5. FREQUENCY OF INSTRUCTION- document prior instruction during current career stage, must occur once every 4 years and during each career stage

9Sponsor and Co-sponsor Statements 6 page max Include the following subheads in your document:
  

Each sponsor and co-sponsor statement must address all of the following sections (A-E).

A. RESEARCH SUPPORT AVAILABLE- use a table to list all current and pending research and research training support available to you for this project. Include funding source, identifying number, title of research/training program, name of the PD/PI, start and end dates, and the amount of the award. If one or more co-sponsors is proposed, this plan should describe the role of each sponsor and how they will communicate and coordinate their efforts to mentor the applicant effectively.

B.SPONSOR’S/CO-SPONSOR’S PREVIOUS FELLOWS/TRAINEES- state total number of pre and post-doctoral individuals that were sponsored. Select 5 that are representative and list how much time was spent in the lab and who (agency) they work for now and job title.

C.TRAINING PLAN, ENVIRONMENT, RESEARCH FACILITIES- should be tailored to you (the applicant) and to your strengths and weaknesses. Designed to enhance research and clinical training. Include items like classes, seminars, professional development opportunities, research environment and available equipment and facilities. How does this plan help you reach your career goals? What will you learn that will help you with your career goals?

 

The information contained in the “Training Plan, Environment, Research Facilities” section of the Sponsor’s and Co-sponsors’ Statements should be coordinated with information provided under the Description of Institutional Environment and Commitment to Training attachment below. F31, F32, F33 Applications: The Research Training Plan should facilitate the applicant's transition to the next stage of his/her career. Sponsors and co-sponsors should discuss this aspect of the applicant's training as well.

 

D. NUMBER OF FELLOWS/TRAINEES TO BE SUPERVISED DURING THE FELLOWSHIP- how many fellows/trainees both pre and post doc is the sponsor/co-sponsor expected to supervise during the award period.

E. APPLICANT’S QUALIFICATIONS AND POTENTIAL FOR A RESEARCH CAREER- based on your academic record and research experience explain why you are well-suited for this opportunity. How does the research training plan and sponsor expertise help you in becoming an independent researcher? (If you will gain experience in a clinical trial, see NIH guide F-68)

10

Letters of Support (Collaborators, Contributors, and Consultants)

6 page max

If any collaborators, consultants, or advisors will make contributions to your project/ research training, attach letters of support from them here, describing their role and contributions.

Different from reference letters; Letters of recommendation are sent directly to NIH via eRA Commons

11

Description of Institutional Environment and Commitment to Training

2 page max

Include grad program you are currently enrolled in, description of program and structure, required milestones and usual timing, number of courses, teaching commitments, qualifying exams, journal clubs, seminars, clinical requirements, average time to complete the degree over the last 10 years. Indicate the facilities and other resources that will be made available for both career enhancement and the research proposed in this application.

Where are you in the timeline of the program discussed above? How are you evaluated and monitored? Include the name of the person who gave you the information (usually chair or director)

12Description of Candidates Contribution to Program Goals ONLY students applying for PA-21-052 (NIH F31 Diversity)
  The sponsoring institution must provide a document on institutional letterhead that explains how the candidate’s participation will further the goals of the fellowship program to promote diversity in health-related research. For NIH’s Interest in Diversity, see the Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity. Please have the department Chair sign the letter.
 13-25 Answer accordingly More information on the NIH guide
26Budget Section

Tuition and fees

Check the box that says funds requested Use the budget guide attached to email to fill in this section NOTE: BUDGET GUIDE IS ATTACHED TO EMAIL

 27-29 Leave blank More information on the NIH guide
 Human Subjects and Clinical Trial Resources Link to NIH application guide, Form G. Begins on page F-83.

 

UCSD will not assume responsibility for errors in the applicant’s submission. We will do our best to review the format of your proposal; however final responsibility for format, content, and completeness rests with the applicant.