Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Progress Reports and Noncompeting Applications

What information must be included in the annual progress report (noncompeting continuation application)? What is the page limit for the progress report?

Grantees should follow the current RPPR Instruction Guide section 7.5 Education RPPRs. In general, the progress report should summarize the progress achieved in thereporting period with respect to the RISE program goals. A three-page limit per question is standardized across federal agencies implementing the RPPR. Numerical and other data may be presented in tabular form which are not counted in the three-page limit.

The progress report must answer the questions and include the tables mentioned below:

  • B.2: Describe the accomplishments for each specific aim.
  • B.4: Describe opportunities for training and professional development provided. Include the Trainee Diversity Report [PDF, 162KB].
  • C.1: Include only publications that acknowledge RISE support in C.1. Ensure that the publications are compliant with the NIH Public Access Policy.
  • E.1: Describe how the project made an impact on human resource development
  • G.2: Describe responsible conduct of research instruction. A concise description of RCR training should be done and be no longer than one page in length.
  • G.10: Verify answer to question G.10 with your Budget or Finance Office.

Are students included in question D.1 of the RPPR?

Do not report personnel for whom a PHS 2271 Appointment Form has been submitted through xTrain for question D.1.

Program Management

Can RISE funds be used for a GRE workshop?

No. Costs of workshops or courses with the limited focus of preparing students for a specific test such as the GRE are not allowable. However, expenses for courses, supplemental instructions, or workshops that could help students build their vocabulary, writing, communication skills, verbal reasoning, analytical, and critical thinking and that might help not only to gain entry to but also completion of a Ph.D. program are allowable.

Is foreign travel (for meetings, summer research training, etc.) allowable?

No. Travel by PD(s)/PI(s), faculty, coordinators, research mentors, other personnel, or RISE participants is limited to domestic institutions (U.S. states, possessions and territories) only.

Is it allowable to compensate faculty participating in programmatic activities with honoraria, or must everyone be funded with effort?

Applicants should follow established written institutional policy to determine compensation. If mentoring interactions and other activities with participants are considered a regular part of an individual’s academic duties, then any costs associated with the mentoring interactions and other activities with participants are not allowable costs from grant funds.

What happens if there is money left over at the end of the year? Is carryover of funds allowed?

Yes. Carryover of funds is allowed. NIGMS reserves the right to make budgetary reductions to award commitments in cases where recipients have accrued excessively large unobligated balances.

Rebudgeting: Funds for the direct support of student participants (i.e., salaries, fringe benefits, tuition/fees, and student travel) are restricted and may not be rebudgeted without the prior written approval of NIGMS. However, any unused student participant funds carried forward into the next budget period are unrestricted and may be rebudgeted within the limitations set for in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, the Program Announcement, and the terms and conditions of the Notice of Award. Contact your Grant Management Specialist for further information.

How does an institution process a no-cost extension if this is the last year of the grant?

Recipients must use the eRA Commons No-Cost Extension feature to electronically notify NIH that they are exercising their one-time authority to extend without funds the completion date of an award. This extension feature becomes available to the recipient 90 days before the project period end date. Extensions may be up to 12 months beyond the final budget period end date. In the eRA Commons, this notification can be made up to the last day of the current project end date. An e-mail notification is automatically sent to the GMO. No further action by the recipient is required.

Can the faculty on the RISE program use funds for travel to institutions to give seminars and to present information about the program?

No. RISE program funds cannot be used for the recruitment of students to an institution.

How can a new RISE program director (PD) be appointed?

Change of PI requires prior approval. Please send the request through the eRA Commons via the Prior Approval - Change of PD/PI | eRA link. Be sure to include the NIH format biosketch, other support documentation, and an updated MPI Leadership plan (as applicable). NIGMS will review the request.

If the PD plans to be absent from the program for more than 3 months, what is required?

The Signing Official must submit a signed letter requesting NIH approval for acting PD to NIGMS and must include a current biographical sketch for the nominee. The letter should describe plans for the conduct of the program during the original PD's absence and indicate that the acting PD will have signature authority on trainee forms. NIGMS will review the request and provide a written decision to the grantee.


Who is eligible to participate in the RISE program?

The RISE program is an institutional program with activities open to all students at the institution. 

To receive salary support from the RISE program, students must be U.S. citizens, non-citizen national or permanent residents and must be matriculated full-time in baccalaureate or graduate degree programs in biomedical science fields at the applicant institution. (A non-citizen national is a person who, although not a citizen of the U.S., owes permanent allegiance to the U.S. This is generally a person born in a land that is not a state, but that is under U.S. sovereignty, jurisdiction, or administration—for example, America Samoa.) An individual lawfully admitted for permanent residence must possess an alien registration receipt card (I-551) prior to appointment on the grant. Individuals on temporary visas, those seeking asylum or refugees are not eligible for support from the RISE program.

What is expected from individuals supported by the RISE program?

RISE program undergraduates at the B.S/B.A level and the graduate M.S. level are expected to complete their degrees and matriculate into Ph.D. programs within 3 years of graduation. RISE program Ph.D. students are expected to complete their terminal degrees in biomedical research fields and advance to careers in the biomedical research workforce.

How are program-supported students appointed to the RISE program?

Each year, program-supported students must be formally appointed to the RISE program using the Statement of Appointment (PHS Form 2271) for each participant. Grantees must submit the PHS 2271 data electronically using the xTrain system. For assistance call the eRA Service Desk at 866-504-9552.

Can students be appointed in CareerTrac?

No. RISE participants need to be appointed in xTrain.

What is the minimum and maximum length of an appointment for a RISE participant?

Generally, RISE undergraduate students are appointed for 2 (Junior and Senior year) to 4 years (Freshman to Senior year). Graduate students may be supported on RISE funding usually up to two years if preparing for a M.S. degree; and a total of five years (including any RISE funding for a M.S. degree) if preparing for a Ph.D. degree, provided their progress towards the degree is satisfactory.

Can a new student be appointed upon the departure of an existing RISE participant?

Yes; however, applicants should note that NIGMS expects at least one consecutive 12-month appointment for RISE participants.

Does the RISE program support students working on a second bachelor’s or master’s degree or enrolled as non-degree students after they have completed their bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees?

No. RISE is a Ph.D. preparatory program and not a financial assistance program for students who have already been accepted into a Ph.D. program and are just waiting for the enrollment period. The RISE program does not support students working on a second bachelor’s degree, second master’s degree or enrolled as full-time non-degree students after they have completed their bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees.

Can I appoint more students than the number allotted for the program?

No. You can only appoint the number allotted for the program. Request for additional students must be discussed with the designated Program Officer.

Can RISE-supported students receive additional support?

Program-supported students may not concurrently hold another federally sponsored stipend or fellowship, other federal award that duplicates RISE support, or supplemental salary support, e.g., from a mentor’s federal research grant. However, concurrent with RISE support, students may make use of federal educational loan funds and assistance under the Veterans Readjustment Benefits Act (G.I. Bill) or may receive funds from a Pell Grant, based on financial need. Such funds are not considered supplementation or compensation.

Can a new program participant be appointed during no-cost extension?

Generally, only existing program participants can be supported while a grant is on a no-cost extension. ​Consideration may be given (1) if the program has existing funds to support the new students for a minimum of 12 months, (2) there is a plan to submit a renewal or new application to continue the program, and (3) there is evidence of appropriate program management and successful outcomes. The PI should contact the Program Officer and Grants Management Specialist for prior approval.

Who should awardee contact for additional questions regarding the RISE program?

For institutional eligibility and program policies regarding proposal application and submission that are not related to existing grants:

Contact Kenneth Gibbs, Ph.D.​ and the assigned grants management specialist listed on the Notice of Award or any questions.