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Retooling of Mid-career Investigators (RETOOL)

Title: Retooling of Mid-Career Investigators
Title Code: RETOOL

Purpose: The purpose of this supplement initiative is to provide established investigators short term, intensive periods of mentored research to acquire new research capabilities in the study of deafness and other communication disorders. Such experiences, often undertaken during an academic sabbatical year, will enable candidate investigators to: 1) expand their research programs through retooling in new techniques, technologies or scientific areas, or 2) redirect their research programs in new trajectories within the NIDCD scientific mission.

Supplement-Specific Information: This award is intended for mid-career doctoral-level scientists holding the academic rank of Associate Professor or Professor, or the equivalent in nonacademic research settings, who have established records of scientific accomplishment and independent research funding.

Administrative research supplements may be requested on behalf of the candidate investigator by Principal Investigators (PIs) and Program Directors (PDs) holding active NIDCD R01 grants and clinical research center (P50) grants, respectively. The research enhancement experience shall take place in a host laboratory (whether in the candidate’s institution or in another institution) under the tutelage of a well-qualified NIDCD-funded sponsor (or team of sponsors), the applicant PI/PD.

The research experience proposed must be within the research scope of the parent grant, and it must have the potential to substantially augment the independent research capabilities of the candidate. It should be tailored to the individual needs and experience of the candidate, and generally incorporate two components: 1) didactic (e.g., directed study/tutorials, short courses, seminar series, journal clubs) and/or laboratory-based training in the new discipline, techniques, or technologies; and 2) a small-scale research project in the host laboratory.

The candidate is required to devote between half-time (50%) and full-time (100%) effort to the program, allowing for a meaningful research career development experience. The allowance for a part-time commitment of professional effort will allow candidates to hold their ongoing research grants (if applicable) and meet their academic responsibilities in a limited capacity, and in accordance with NIH policy, as they pursue the career enhancement program.

The actual salary provided by NIDCD for the award will be prorated for the devoted percent effort (50-100%) based on the candidate’s full-time, twelve-month salary and the support period requested, up to the maximum legislated salary level, plus fringe benefits, in direct costs per year. In addition, up to $40,000 may be requested per year for research costs (primarily for supplies and technical services), travel, tuition, and fees related to the proposed research experience. If less than a twelve-month period of support is requested, this amount shall be prorated. No funds may be requested to supplement the salaries of the PI/PD or a co-investigator, or to purchase major equipment. The budgetary request may exceed the general guidelines of 50% of the direct costs of the parent award, with compelling justification.

The request for the supplemental award must include:

  1. A brief summary of the overall objectives and specific research aims of the parent grant;
  2. The plan and timeline for the research and career development experiences proposed for the candidate;
  3. How the proposed research plan directly relates to the overall and specific research aims of the parent grant; and
  4. How this research and career development plan will foster the advanced career development of the candidate.

In addition, and beyond the five page limit, the following information must be provided: 1) biographical sketches for the candidate and for the sponsor(s); 2) a letter of support from the department chair of the sponsoring PI/PD, outlining the commitment of the department to the research career development of the candidate, and affirming that the requested resources of the parent grant will be protected for the proposed research experience; and 3) a letter of support from the candidate’s home department chair confirming a commitment to protect the requested professional effort of the former for the mentored research experience. Applicants for this administrative supplement initiative may not submit appendix materials.

Supplement contact and email:
Janet L. Cyr, Ph.D.
Email: cyrj@nidcd.nih.gov