Diversity Program Consortium Sponsored Programs Administration Development (SPAD) Program (UC2)

One of the lessons learned from Phase I of the DPC was the importance of a robust, efficient, consistent, and responsive Office of Sponsored Programs (OSPs). Accordingly, for the second phase of the DPC, this new initiative will focus on establishing Offices of Sponsored Programs (OSPs) or enhancing the services of existing OSPs or similar entities at domestic institutions of higher learning.

The objective of the SPAD program is to increase the productivity of sponsored programs activities to enhance biomedical research and/or research training. The objective may be determined by short-term metrics such as an increase in the number of grant application submissions, awards, and subcontracts, and longer-term metrics such as enhanced research activity (e.g., publications, presentations, awards), and/or an increase in the number of students who pursue biomedical research careers.

NIH intends that institutions not currently part of the DPC will be able to to apply to this funding opportunity announcement. The SPAD program is designed to fund institutions:

  • Without an OSP or those with a limited capacity for sponsored programs administration;
  • With subawards and/or research training programs,
  • With limited NIH research project grant awards

Funded institutions are expected to develop offices that facilitate the development of a culture of biomedical research or research training by providing services such as professional development in targeted areas, pre- and post-award services, and certification-guided training of sponsored program staff and leadership. A major goal of the program is to enhance the faculty and student participation in biomedical research and research training programs including but not limited to a range of undergraduate research programs, Academic Research Enhancement Awards (R15), and Support of Competitive Research (SCORE) (SC1, SC2, SC3), among others.

These awards will be cooperative agreements, meaning that there will be substantial federal scientific or programmatic involvement. NIH scientific and/or program staff will assist, guide, coordinate, or participate in the project activities.

Applicant institutions are limited to domestic associate’s degree-granting and baccalaureate degree-granting colleges/universities that received an average of NIH research project grant (RPG) funding of less than $7.5 million total costs per year over the past 3 fiscal years and have at least 25 percent of undergraduate students supported by Pell grants. Health Professional Schools are not eligible to apply to this FOA.

NIH intends to fund up to 10 awards per year ($2.5 million in total costs per year). Application budgets are limited to $200,000 direct costs per year and the total project period may not exceed three years. There were two receipt dates for the SPAD Program. The first round of applications were submitted in July 2019 and the second, and final, receipt date will be June 26, 2020.

During the first round, four applications were funded:

  • Research Administration Modernization Program at University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG)
  • SPAD at Midwestern State University
  • SPAD at California State University, Dominguez Hills
  • SPAD at California State University, San Bernardino

For more information about the DPC SPAD Program, see the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, RFA-RM-19-004, or contact Dr. Sydella Blatch at sydella.blatch@nih.gov or Dr. Alison Gammie at alison.gammie@nih.gov.

Webinar Slides for SPAD
[PDF, 4.32MB]

SPAD Program Answers to Frequently Asked Questions