FAQs for the ORI grant application

Below are frequently asked questions for ORI's request for applications for the Research on the Responsible Conduct of Research announcement.

If you have further questions or need more clarification, you may post a message on this blog entry or contact Johanna Nester by phone (240-453-8435) or by email Johanna.Nestor@hhs.gov.

1.     At the end of the funding announcement, it states there will be and ORI hosted ‘webinar’ for applicants. Is the webinar still happening?

NOORI planned to have more of a turn-around time for applicants to respond to the announcement. The schedule did not allow for adequate planning/implementation of a webinar.

HOWEVER. Instead of a webinar, applicants can access direct technical assistance by contacting Johanna Nestor via phone and/or email.

Johanna Nestor
240-453-8435 (direct line); 571-356-2058 (cell)

PLEASE NOTE. Questions that are sent to the “Ask ORI” email address listed in the announcement are also being forwarded to Johanna for processing.

2.    How many pages are allowed for the narrative? 

Fifteen (15) pages double spaced.

3.    How many pages are allowed in the appendices?

Fifty (50) pages are allowed in the appendices. The appendices does not have to be double spaced.

4.    What exactly should be included in the Narrative?

The narrative section for this Request for Applications is very similar to the NIH “research strategy.”  However, the announcement is a little confusing in terms of what it should specifically contain. Here is what should be included in the Narrative (please refer to descriptions of these sections in the announcement):

  • Problem Statement
  • Specific Aims  (Brief overview, listing of Specific AIMs/Objectives of proposed project)
  • Research Strategy broken down by
    • Significance
    • Innovation
    • Approach  (This is where applicants discuss how Specific AIMS will be met.)
  • Project Management.  Please note, this section should include an overview of delineation and how the applicant proposes to manage the project. HOWEVER, applicants should refer reviewers to appendices page #’s for supporting documentation (i.e., detailed staff/responsibility chart.
  • Organizational Capability Statement. Please note, like the Project Management section above, the organizational capability statement should provide an overview of why the applicant organization is capable of implementing the proposed project. HOWEVER, details to support the organizational capability statement (i.e., organizational chart, list of previous grants, etc.) should be included in the appendices but referenced in the narrative by page number.
  • Workplan.  This can be included in the appendices. ORI suggests, however, referencing the workplan in the narrative with an appendices page #/

5.    Is the abstract/summaryand budget/budget justification part of the narrative or appendices?

NO. Although we previously stated it would be included in the 15 page narrative, the abstract/summary, budget/budget narrative will not be considered part of the application narrative or the 50 page appendices.

6.    What is included in the 50 page appendices?

In general, the appendices will contain documentation that supports your narrative section. ORI asks that in the Narrative section, when appropriate, applicants reference appendices pages associated to narrative components. Examples of what can be included in the appendices include:

  • Curricula Vitae or Biosketches. (PLEASE NOTE:  ORI does not require a specific format.)
  • Detailed workplan for proposed project budget year. If applicable, brief overview workplan of second project budget year.
  • Organizational management chart(s), examples of capacity (i.e., list of previous federal grants, other pertinent information to support why your organization can manage this project).
  • Commitment letters from participants in project (as described in announcement)

7.    What is the minimum amount I can apply for?

There is no minimum amount applicant’s can request per budget year. The $200,000 floor stated on the RFA is simply an estimate of the average low amount.

8.    What is the maximum amount I can apply for?

The applicant cannot request above $300,000 per budget/project year. However, applicant’s can request/propose a project that will span up to two budget/project years (total $600,000). This amount includes direct and indirect costs. PLEASE NOTE:  Applicants have a choice to propose a project for one budget year or two budget years.

9.    When is the award/start date?

We are estimating a September 1, 2013 funding award date. The applicant should propose timelines and project activities with this estimated start date.

10. Can a proposed project have an international focus?

Yes, it is a possible area to be researched if it fits within the sections ORI is interested in (see “Purpose” page 4).

11. Can a Non-U.S. or foreign organization apply for the grant?

Non-U.S. or Foreign Organizations may serve as applicant organization only when partnering with a U.S. eligible applicant organization. 

12. The application requests applicants to comply with “Human Subjects Protections,” and potentially other regulations. How should applicants document compliance? Where will this be counted in the page number restrictions of application?

Applicants should address whether announcement regulations are applicable and if so – (briefly)             how applicant plans to comply. This can be done by making a short statement(s) on one page      and uploaded at end of application as part of your appendices.




The Lab scenarios were very good.  I completed all four of the characters.  I thought that the information was very good and it helped to explain misconduct in a very clear and understandable way.  The scenarios were very long, and if you only had a short amount of time, don't start one.  You learn a lot but it takes a while to complete.


Years ago I had witnessed misconduct and I never knew where to go.  I felt that if I reported what I had seen to other Principal Investigators that I would be seen as a "snitch" or backstabber.  I wasn't sure that I would remain employable if I reported what I saw, so I quetly left the lab.  When I left, my PI accused me of "ruining" his research by leaving and then my PI threw a tantrum.  He had presented data from  a previous small scale purification and told investors and other PI's that this was the same purification for our bulk sample.  And our bulk sample was only 75% pure.  He had a volatile temper and when I left I knew I could never use him as a reference.  That is my story.  It's really hard to hold your boss accountable when he does wrong.

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