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NIH Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA)(R25) 2020

Solicitation of UM Pre-Proposals for Limited Submission Opportunity
NIH Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA)(R25)
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number: PAR-20-153

Institutional Limitations: Only one application per institution is allowed per due date. An institution with an active SEPA award not eligible to submit another SEPA application. UM does not currently have an SEPA award. Organizations with a contractual fee for service or consortium partnership with an active SEPA award may submit a SEPA application if the proposed new project is independent of the existing SEPA contractual, fee for service or consortium partnership.

Purpose: The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research education activities in the mission areas of the NIH. The over-arching goal of this program is to support educational activities that complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation's biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs.

To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on: Courses for Skills Development, Research Experiences, Mentoring Activities, Curriculum or Methods Development and Outreach

Information on current SEPA projects can be found at:

and  Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with the SEPA Scientific/Research Contact to be advised on the appropriateness of the intended P-12 STEM or ISE project for SEPA program objectives and the priorities of the NIGMS.

PI Limitations: Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. The PD/PI should be an established investigator in the scientific area in which the application is targeted and capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program.

Budget: Direct costs are limited to $250,000 annually for a five-year project. Direct costs may include personnel costs (salary and fringes for person months devoted to program); consultant costs; equipment; supplies; travel for key persons; and other justifiable program-related expenses. A minimum of 10% of the direct costs must be devoted to project evaluation. Indirect Costs are reimbursed at 8% of modified total direct costs (exclusive of tuition and fees and equipment expenditures).

Cost Sharing: Not required.

UM Limited Submission Selection Process: To be considered as UM’s one proposal per competition year, prospective applicants should submit an internal Pre-Proposals to ORSP. ORSP will coordinate the selection of the winning pre-proposal, whose PD/PI will then be invited to develop a full proposal to NIH. Pre-proposals should be submitted via the Ole Miss InfoReady Review portal at, by the date given below.

ORSP Research Development will coordinate the selection of the winning pre-proposal via a process that may include soliciting reviewers, potentially including internal faculty, researchers, and/or administrators, and/or non-conflicted external consultants, to score and provide comments on the internal pre-preproposals received. The PI/PD of the winning pre-proposal will be expected to complete and submit an on-time, fully compliant, full proposal to NIH, in accordance with all internal deadlines.

Internal Pre-Proposal Review Criteria. To the best of our ability, we will evaluate internal pre-proposals based on the scored review criteria listed in the PAR: Significance, Investigators, Innovation, Approach, Environment, and select for further development and submission the proposed project we judge will have the best chance for funding by NIH. The past performance record of the PI in delivering compliant, competitive proposals to limited submission opportunities will also be considered in the selection process.

Key Dates 2020

05/20/2020      This announcement w/competition Instructions issued via UM Today
05/27/2020      Internal Pre-Proposals due to ORSP via InfoReady Review Portal.[1]
06/01/2020      ORSP announces which UM Pre-Proposal to move forward
06/12/2020      Optional, non-binding Letter of Intent due to NIH 30 days prior to app due date
06/15/2020      First draft of narrative due to ORSP if requesting enhanced review
06/30/2020      Transmittal due to ORSP for review & routing
07/14/2020      Full proposal due to NIH

Key Dates 2021

02/01/2021      Internal Pre-Proposals due to ORSP via InfoReady Review Portal.[2]
02/12/2021      ORSP announces which UM Pre-Proposal to move forward
06/01/2021      First draft of narrative due to ORSP if requesting enhanced review
06/14/2021      Optional, non-binding Letter of Intent due to NIH 30 days prior to app due date
06/29/2021      Transmittal due to ORSP for review & routing
07/13/2021      Full proposal due to NIH

Key Dates 2022

01/31/2022      Internal Pre-Proposals due to ORSP via InfoReady Review Portal.[3]
02/14/2022      ORSP announces which UM Pre-Proposal to move forward
06/01/2022      First draft of narrative due to ORSP if requesting enhanced review
06/14/2022      Optional, non-binding Letter of Intent due to NIH 30 days prior to app due date
06/29/2022      Transmittal due to ORSP for review & routing
07/13/2022      Full proposal due to NIH

Instructions for UM Internal Pre-Proposal

Pre-Proposals must include the following components, combined into one PDF for upload to the InfoReady Review Portal.

(1)    Project Narrative: Three sentences on the relevance of the project to public health, in plain, easy-to-understand language.

(2)    Specific Aims: One page.

(3)    Abbreviated Research Education Program Plan: up to 5 pages briefly addressing each of the following: Proposed Research Education Program, Program Director, Program Faculty, Program Participants, Institutional Environment and Commitment, Diversity Recruitment Plan, Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research, Evaluation Plan, and Dissemination Plan. Given the limited space provided in the pre-proposal, you are not expected to have each of these sections and plans fully fleshed out, but you should provide enough information to convince institutional reviewers that, if selected, you understand the requirements for, and will be able to produce a compelling Research Education Program Plan that fully and adequately addresses, each of these components.

(4)    Preliminary Letter(s) of Support from Chair and Dean of PI/PD.  This does not have to be the final, complete letter that would be submitted with the proposal to NIH, but should make it clear to UM internal reviewers that the PD has the full support of their supervisors to lead this proposed project, if selected.

(5)    NIH-Style Biographical Sketch of PI/PD Should be compliant and largely complete.

(6)    Collaborators Confirmations Signatures or e-mails of any named co-investigators or named faculty at UM or any collaborating institutions mentioned in the proposal. These can be on separate pages or all one the same page or some combination. The signed page(s) or e-mails should affirm that the collaborators are aware of this pre-proposal, and intend to collaborate on the full proposal if this ideas/pre-proposal is selected to move forward as UM’s sole proposal. NOTE: You can always add additional faculty/personnel later if internally selected.

(7)    Results of Past SEPA R25 Submissions (if applicable, up to 3 pages) For internal pre-proposals submitted by PIs who have previously submitted SEPA R25 proposals to NIH in the role of PI, or for pre-proposals that are substantially based on previously submitted proposals to NIH, the preparer should include a summary of the scores and reviews of the previous submission, and a summary of how the new or revised proposal will address identified shortcomings in the prior proposal.

When submitting your pre-proposal in the InfoReady Review portal, PIs will be required to acknowledge their Responsibility to Inform Supervisors, their Understanding of Reviewer Expectations, and their Responsibilities in Limited Submissions.

Key Links:

SF424 (R&R) Application Guide:

NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts: