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SCORE SC3 MECHANISM (Research Continuance Award)

The SC3 mechanism lets investigators, normally at intermediate stages of development, to continue to engage in meritorious research projects of limited scope in a given biomedical/behavioral area clearly within the NIH mission. The SC3 mechanism is also expected to contribute to the PIs’ scholarly and professional development. Beyond this, the SCORE SC3 initiative seeks to assist in expanding the national research base, particularly at MSIs, advancing the knowledge base in biomedical and behavioral areas, and broadening the exposure of students to the excitement of science. SC3 projects are renewable but cannot be held in conjunction with any other SCORE investigator initiated mechanism. SC3 new or renewal applications may request a maximum of four years of support.

SC3 PIs whose research productivity is significantly enhanced may apply for the SC1 mechanism. PIs who have received SC3 awards may only apply for an SC2 award if: 1) they intend to change research fields and develop a different line of research from that in which they have been engaged in and published, and 2) have no other active external research support.

Potential SC3 applicants are advised to consult the instructions of PHS form 398 (4/2006 revision), which provides general guidance on how to prepare an NIH investigator initiated application.

Funds Available



  • Forty to 50 SC3 awards totaling $2.5-$3 million dollars (direct costs) per year are expected to be made each year.
  • The anticipated amount of individual SC3 awards is expected to range between $50,000 to $75,000 maximum direct costs per year. Direct costs are limited to $75,000 per year.
  • An applicant may request a maximum of four years of support for new awards or renewals.

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 an S06 subproject (under the previous S06 program project) or any other SCORE investigator initiated research grant at the time an SC3 award is made.

Cost Sharing or Matching

Not required.

SCORE SC3 awards include some restrictions as to how the funds may be used. The following account summarizes allowable and non-allowable costs under the SCORE SC3 mechanism.

Allowable Costs

  • Costs essential to the conduct of the research projects, such as technical assistance, consultants, equipment, travel, and supplies are allowed.
  • Faculty salaries, typically based on full-time, nine-month contractual appointment with the applicant organization, are 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.
  • 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 a SCORE-ineligible institution are expected to have their own research funds, i.e., SCORE grant funds may not be utilized to provide consultants/collaborators support for the conduct of research projects such as salary for technical personnel or to purchase equipment or supplies.
  • Secretarial/clerical support

Additional Instructions:

Modular Budget Format Page.  Follow instructions in PHS 398 (4/2006 revision).  Refer to section C of the research grant application at http://grants.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 $75,000 per year.

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).

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 how he/she sees his/her grantsmanship, productivity/research contributions improving as a result of SCORE support. Letters of collaboration should be placed after the Literature Cited section (refer to PHS 398 instructions).

The Research Plan (sections A-D) for a SC3 application is limited to 15 pages. In the “Background and Significance” section of the Research Plan include a subheading entitled Institutional Data. In this part, which is limited to two pages (which are part of the 15-page limit), 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.

Additional and more detail information on SC3 Mechanism can be found at this address:
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-06-493.html




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