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SCORE SC1 MECHANISM (Research Advancement Award)

The SC1 mechanism is for faculty at the most advanced stages of development, i.e., who are engaged in the state-of-the-art biomedical/behavioral research and productive as evidenced by a steady track record of peer-reviewed publications and are planning to transition to non-SCORE sources of support.  An SC1 proposal should identify a specific unsolved problem and means to obtain data pertinent to the problem to advance the knowledge in a biomedical or behavioral area limited to the NIH mission. In addition, SC1 applicants are expected to develop their research competitiveness by enhancing their research productivity. SC1 PIs are encouraged to establish meaningful collaborations that will increase the progress and productivity of the project. Additionally, SC1 investigators must participate in other MORE activities that foster their development and accelerate their transition to non-SCORE support. These activities include participation in a MORE-sponsored grant-writing workshop and a biennial meeting of SCORE SC1 PIs. SC1 awards may be renewed once.

PIs who have had SC1 support may only apply for an SC2 award if they intend to develop a new line of research. Although the expectation of the SC1 mechanism is that grantees who receive two cycles of support will succeed in securing non-SCORE support, PIs may apply at this stage for SC3 support provided convincing evidence of having sought non-SCORE support is supplied.
This funding opportunity uses just-in-time concepts. It also uses the modular budget format described in the PHS 398 application instructions (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm).

 Funds Available

  • Thirty to 35 SC1 awards totaling $6.5-7.0 million dollars (direct costs) are expected to be made each year.
  • The anticipated amount of individual SC1 awards is expected to range between $125,000 to $250,000 maximum direct costs per year.
  • New applicants who have never received SCORE S06 subproject or individual awards may apply for a maximum of five years of support.
  • Applicants who have received previous SCORE S06 subproject or individual awards of any type for any length of time may apply for renewals for a maximum of four years of support.

Because the nature and scope of the proposed research will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary. Although the financial plans of the IC(s) provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this funding opportunity are contingent upon the availability of funds and the receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Eligible Individuals

Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research is invited to work with his/her institution to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support. Typically the PI of a SCORE application possesses a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. degree. He/she must also have a full-time faculty appointment at the applicant institution and be eligible to apply for a NIH R01 research grant. Postdoctoral fellows, research fellows, and part-time or adjunct faculty are not eligible to apply for SCORE individual awards. An applicant may not be the Principal Investigator of any other NIH investigator-initiated research grant such as an R01, R21, etc., or a PI of an S06 subproject at the time an SC1 award is made.
SC1 awards may not be transferred form one PI to another.

Cost Sharing or Matching

Not required.

Other-Special Eligibility Criteria

The maximum number of individual SCORE applications/awards (SC1, SC2 or SC3) that a combination of individual investigators from a single MSI may hold is 25.  Research at foreign sites and/or foreign collaborations/components are not allowed.
A PI may only apply for/receive one individual SCORE award at a time. Additionally, a PI may receive a maximum of two cycles of support through the SC1 mechanism. Emeritus/retired professors or investigators who have or have had a significant track record of non-MBRS external research funding are considered fully developed and may not apply for any of the SCORE investigator-initiated research awards. Because of the developmental nature of the SC1 award mechanism, no Co-PIs are allowed. Similar SC1 and R01 or other NIH applications may not be submitted concurrently.

New PIs, who have never received SCORE support (including S06 subprojects), may apply for a maximum of five years of support. PIs who have received previous SCORE support for any length of time may apply for a maximum of four years. SC1 renewals are for a maximum of four years.

Institutions receiving a new or renewal S06 award during January-September, 2006 may submit individual SC1, SC2 or SC3 (not S06) applications to a combined maximum of 25 total S06 subprojects and SCORE SC1, SC2 or SC3 individual investigator awards.
However, in this case, individual investigator-initiated SC1, SC2 or SC3 applications may only be submitted by PIs who are not already receiving S06 support (see I.B. Eligible Individuals).

Institutions that have an S06 grant in place prior to January, 2006 are not eligible to apply for any of the new SCORE individual or institutional awards until the submission of a renewal application. 
SCORE SC1 awards include some restrictions as to how the funds may be used. The following account summarizes allowable and non-allowable costs under the SCORE SC1 mechanism.

Allowable Costs

  • Costs essential to the conduct of the research projects, such as technical assistance, equipment, travel, and supplies are allowed.
  • Faculty salaries, typically based on full-time, nine-month contractual appointment with the applicant organization, and reimbursed according to person months dedicated to the proposed research. However, SCORE academic year or summer support for faculty can not be used to increase one’s actual institutional salary, supplement it, or establish the institutional base salary.
  • Summer salary support based on person months spent on the SCORE research project is allowable if permitted by institutional policy. The maximum summer-salary support provided by the program may not exceed the equivalent of two months or another length of time specified by the institution as its policy or whichever is shorter.
  • Travel costs for external consultants/collaborators or PI’s travel to collaborator’s institution are allowed.
  • Consortium arrangements are only allowed with SCORE-eligible institutions.

Unallowable Costs

  • Costs for student development (e.g. student stipend, salary or tuition), textbooks, journals, memberships, and Internet or cell phone subscription costs are not allowed.
  • Employees of the applicant institution may not serve as paid consultants.
  • Support for foreign institutions or foreign components/consortia/collaborators/consultants in research projects are not allowed.
  • Travel for technical personnel is not allowed.
  • Funds for faculty salaries cannot be used to supplement the PI’s or collaborators’ actual academic year salary or to increase the base by which academic year PI or collaborators’ salaries are calculated.
  • Collaborators/consultants at SCORE-ineligible institutions are expected to have their own research funds, i.e., SCORE grant funds may not be utilized to provide collaborators/consultants support for the conduct of research projects such as salary for technical personnel, or to purchase equipment or supplies.
  • Secretarial or clerical costs

Additional Instructions:

Modular Budget Format Page. Follow instructions in PHS 398 (4/2006 revision). Refer to the Budget Instructions of the research grant application at http://grants2.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html for step-by step-instructions for preparing modular budgets. Note that applicants request direct costs in $25,000 modules and that the total direct costs each year must not exceed $250,000.
In the “Biographical Sketch” of the PI list the education and training, selected publications with full citations, position(s); any honors, and any grant support, with information, including overall goals and responsibilities, on research projects ongoing or completed during the last three years. Also provide for the PI only information on his (her) previous or current experience supervising students from underrepresented groups in research, and/or other relationships within the institutional framework (e.g., cross-departmental research collaborations).

The Research Plan of an SC1 Application should be prepared following PHS 398 instructions (4/2006 revision). Under the Research Plan’s “Specific Aims” section, include not only the project’s research objectives but the PI’s developmental objectives as related to when the transition to non-SCORE support will occur.

Include in the “Background and Significance” section of the Research Plan a subheading entitled Institutional Data. In this part, which is limited to two pages (counted as part of the 25-page limit for items A-D of the Research Plan), include the following:

  • The total student enrollment at the institution and the number and percent of underrepresented minorities (e.g., Native American, African American, Hispanic American, natives of the U.S. Pacific Islands) in the total student population;
  • Number and percent of underrepresented minority students (undergraduate and graduate) enrolled in the sciences relevant to biomedical and behavioral research;
  • Number and percent of total and underrepresented minority faculty in the sciences relevant to biomedical and behavioral research and the total number of faculty and of underrepresented minority faculty from these departments participating in funded research.

Letters of collaboration should be placed after the Literature Cited section (refer to PHS 398 instructions).
Appendix. Follow instructions in PHS 398. Limit appendix to papers published or in press
In the preparation of SC1 research projects, follow the PHS 398 instructions. The 25-page limit set for a research project plan in PHS 398 also applies to the SC1.

Additional and more detail information on SC1 Mechanism can be found at this address:

Phone: (787) 834 3165
Fax: (787) 834-3165
e-mail: mbrs[AT]uprm[dot]edu
University of Puerto Rico at MayagŁez
Research and Development Center
Main Building, Office 210
Mayaguez, PR