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, in the second phase of the DPC, this new initiative focuses 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.

The SPAD funding opportunity announcement was open to institutions that were not already part of the DPC. The SPAD program was 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), an​d Support for Research Excellence (SuRE) Program (R16)​, among others.

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

Applicant institutions were 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.

Ten institutions have been funded through the SPAD Program. Four applications were funded through the first round of applications in July 2019, and six applications were funded through the second, and final, receipt date in June 2020. Application budgets were limited to $200,000 direct costs per year and the total project period may not exceed three years. There will not be another receipt date for the SPAD Program.

The SPAD Program awardees are:

  • Alaska Pacific University; Contact PI: Hilton Hallock, Ph.D.
  • Auburn University at Montgomery; Contact PI: Mrinal Varma, Ph.D.
  • Bowie State University; Contact PI: Anika Bissahoyo, Ph.D.
  • California State University, Dominguez Hills; Contact PI: Gillian Fischer
  • California State University, San Bernardino; Contact PI: Dorota Huizinga, Ph.D.
  • Kennesaw State University; Contact PI: Phaedra Corso, Ph.D.
  • Midwestern State University; Contact PI: Brittany Norman
  • Stillman College; Contact PI: Cynthia Warrick, Ph.D.
  • University of North Carolina Greensboro; Contact PI: Terri Shelton, Ph.D.
  • University of the Virgin Islands; Contact PI: Mindy Solivan, Ph.D.
​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. Kadir Aslan at kadir.aslan@nih.gov​​.

SPAD Program Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Related Federal Funding Opportunities