NIMH Administrative Supplements to Extend Neurobiological and Behavioral Methods, Approaches and Findings to Studies in Late Postnatal Development

Notice Number: NOT-MH-08-009

Key Dates
Release Date: April 11, 2008
Receipt Date: May 23, 2008
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: September 30, 2008

Issued by
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/)

Purpose

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) announces the availability of one-year administrative supplements for NIMH-funded grantees to extend currently supported basic neuroscience research from adult mammalian model systems into late postnatal developmental periods.  The proposed studies must be within the scope of the peer-reviewed activities specified within the NIMH parent award, and the grant must not have an existing developmental component.  This is a one-time announcement.

Background

The NIMH supports a strong portfolio of molecular, cellular and systems neurobiological and behavioral research across a wide breadth of areas that include, for example, gene regulation, synaptic plasticity, systems level analyses of complex behaviors relevant to mental health, model system development and implementation for therapeutic discovery and mechanism of action studies. Currently, nearly all of this research is conducted in adult systems. The NIMH also supports a wealth of studies aimed at determining the mechanisms guiding cell proliferation, migration and differentiation during prenatal brain development. In contrast, few investigators are engaged in studies aimed at understanding how the brain systems responsible for cognition and mood change across late postnatal development with a focus on the window spanning through adolescence.  Recent and ongoing workgroups of the NIMH National Advisory Mental Health Council (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/advisory-boards-and-groups/namhc/reports/bbbs-research.pdf, http://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/advisory-boards-and-groups/namhc/namhc-workgroups/namhc-neurodevelopment-workgroup-charge.shtml) have identified a pressing need to clarify postnatal developmental events, particularly those that lead to mental disorders.  The purpose of this administrative supplement initiative is to encourage productive and innovative NIMH supported neuroscientists who are not currently engaged in work with developing systems to explore whether their experimental findings using adult models are similar or different in pre-adult mammalian systems. Supplements will support the inclusion of a component of funded studies to explore effects within a time period corresponding to juvenile through adolescent ages. Examples of relevant areas of study include, but are not limited to: synaptic plasticity, learning and memory, sleep, fear and anxiety, affect regulation, receptor signaling mechanisms, protein and lipid expression, and gene expression, including epigenetic mechanisms. Overall, the aim of this supplement program is to bring the depth of studies of adult brain mechanisms to bear on postnatal developmental changes in brain systems responsible for cognitive and emotional function.  The long-term goal of this supplement program is to stimulate basic neuroscience research aimed at identifying neurobiological processes that may be disrupted during later stages of postnatal brain development, potentially contributing to the emergence of serious mental illnesses in or around later childhood to early adulthood.

Eligibility

Before submitting an application for an administrative supplement, grantees are strongly encouraged to communicate with the Program Officer(s) of their funded NIMH grant to discuss the planned application.

The proposed studies involving developing systems must not already be a formal component of the funded NIMH grant.  The proposed studies must extend the original aims of the parent grant to include examination of postnatal periods corresponding to one or more time points within the range from juvenile into adolescence (i.e., “pre-adult”).  All proposed work must be within the scope of the peer-reviewed activities specified on the parent award.  Questions about scope of award should be discussed with the Program Officer of the parent grant.  Supplements may be requested for basic neuroscience research in normal humans, however, this program is not intended to support clinical studies.

This program will support administrative supplements to R01, R37, P20, and P50 awards to NIMH grantees.  Parent awards must have at least one year of active funding remaining at the time of award in order to be eligible.  Grants that are in a no-cost extension period (beginning on or before August 31, 2009) will not be considered for support under this supplement program.  Only one supplement request may be submitted per grant.

Post-Award Requirements

A one page progress report addressing the results of the supplement-funded research will be required.  It should be included as an addition to the next progress report of the parent grant, submitted after completion of the one year supplement period or included in the final progress report as a part of the grant close-out process if there is no non-competing application.  Supplement awardees may be asked to participate in a follow-up workshop to address opportunities and barriers to conducting basic neuroscience research relevant to postnatal brain development.

Submitting an Application

Applications must be received on or before May 23, 2008.  Do not send applications to the Center for Scientific Review.  Applicants are encouraged to submit one electronic copy as an e-mail attachment in PDF format and one hard copy (with original signatures of the PI and institutional official) of the application to:

Jamie Driscoll, B.A.
Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7194, MSC 9641
Bethesda, MD 20892-9641
Rockville, MD 20852 (express/courier service)
Email: jdrisco1@mail.nih.gov

Requests for an administrative supplement under this program must be submitted on the PHS 398, available at:  http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html) and must include the following:

1.  Cover letter requesting the supplement, identifying this notice, the number and title of the parent grant, and providing full contact information for the PI.  A separate title for the supplement activity should also be provided in this letter.

2.  Face page.

The title of the project (Box 1) should be the title of the parent award.

This Notice (number and title) should be cited in Box 2, and the “yes” box should be checked.

The Principal Investigator (PI) must be the same as the PI on the parent award.  Subproject PIs on P20 or P50 awards are not eligible to apply for these supplements.

The remaining items on the face page should be filled out according to the PHS 398 application instructions.

3.  Form page 2 (Description, Performance Sites, Key Personnel, Other Significant Contributors, and Human Embryonic Stem Cells) from PHS 398. The project description is that of the administrative supplement, not the parent grant.  Any new co-investigator(s) or collaborator(s) should be noted under performance sites, along with their institution(s).

4.  Biosketch(es) for any new key co-investigator(s) or collaborator(s) should be provided which are not listed within the parent grant(s).  Letters of commitment from these new participants should be included in section 16 (Consultants) of the Research Plan.

5.  Resources page(s) for new key personnel not named in the parent grant(s).

6.  Proposed budget for the supplement with a budget justification that details the items requested.  See “Budget Information” section below.

7.  Research Plan for the supplement, items 2-5 not to exceed five pages.  Font size restrictions apply as designated within the PHS398 instructions.

This section should include a description of the aims of the parent grant and the supplement's specific aims (2), background and significance (3), preliminary studies (4), and research design and methods (5).  The relationship of the proposed studies to the parent grant should be included under background and significance in section 3.

Human subjects research (Section 8) should be included and involvement of human subjects or specimens should be specified here if appropriate.  When appropriate, details should be provided on the protection of human subjects and inclusion of women, children, and minorities.  Additional guidance on Human Subjects Research is provided under Part II of the PHS 398 instructions (http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html ).

Item 12 (Vertebrate animals): follow PHS 398 instructions

Items 13 (Select Agent Research), 7 (Bibliography and References Cited), 15 (Consortium/Contractual Arrangements), 17 (Resource Sharing) and 16 (Consultants) should be completed as described in the PHS 398 Instructions.

Item 14 Multiple PDs/PI Leadership Plan is not required.

Appendices and supplemental material will not be accepted.

Review and Award Criteria

Applications that are complete and responsive to the goals of the supplement announcement will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by a committee of NIMH staff.  Incomplete applications will be returned without review.  Awards will be determined on the basis of scientific merit, significance, feasibility of the proposed work, rationale for the selection of developmental time points and measures, potential to extend knowledge of functional regulation of brain and behavior in postnatal systems, innovation, programmatic relevance, and availability of funds.  Preference will be given to supplement requests where the scientific impact and likelihood for success are highest.  The added value of the underlying activity to the parent grant(s) and its realistic scope given the one year commitment will also be taken into consideration.  All funding decisions are final and not subject to appeal.  Resubmission applications will not be considered.  The anticipated awards will be made no later than September 30, 2008.

Budget Information

Applicants may request up to $75,000 in direct costs for the one-year duration of an administrative supplement under this program.  The Principal Investigator on the parent NIMH grant must use the supplemental funds to support work within the scope of the parent grant but extending into pre-adult time periods.  Although the supplement may be used in part to support a new collaboration with an investigator having appropriate expertise, the supplement cannot be used solely for the purpose of supporting a subcontract for developmental work to be conducted outside of the home institution.  The maximum direct cost request for an individual NIMH grantee is $75,000.  The duration of each award is limited to one year.  Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs will be paid at the full, negotiated rate.  Applicants should provide a detailed budget justification for personnel costs, supplies, and other expenses. The purchase of equipment is not allowed.  In fiscal year 2008, the NIMH plans to commit approximately $1,200,000 total costs towards this administrative supplement program, with up to 10 awards anticipated.

Inquiries

Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their plans for responding to this Notice by phone or e-mail.  Scientific inquiries should be directed to the NIMH Program Officer who oversees the parent grant associated with the administrative supplement request.  General inquiries about the supplement program can be directed to:

Dr. Lois Winsky
Molecular, Cellular and Genomic Neuroscience Research Branch
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7185, MSC 9641
Bethesda, MD 20892-9641
Telephone:  (301) 443-5288
Email: lwinsky@mail.nih.gov


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