EXPLORATORY/DEVELOPMENTAL GRANTS FOR DIAGNOSTIC CANCER IMAGING

Release Date:  December 8, 2000

PA NUMBER:  PA-01-030 (see replacement PA-04-045)
                      (see also NOT-CA-03-034 and NOT-CA-02-023)

National Cancer Institute

THIS PA USES THE "MODULAR GRANT" AND "JUST-IN-TIME" CONCEPTS. IT INCLUDES 
DETAILED MODIFICATIONS TO STANDARD APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS THAT MUST BE USED 
WHEN PREPARING APPLICATIONS IN RESPONSE TO THIS PA.

This Program Announcement (PA) replaces PA-98-008, which was published in NIH 
Guide Volume 26, Number 37, November 7, 1997

PURPOSE

The Biomedical Imaging Program (BIP), of the Division of Cancer Treatment and 
Diagnosis (DCTD) solicits exploratory/developmental (R21) grants that 
articulate highly innovative research concepts in diagnostic cancer imaging.  
Within each area of importance in imaging, there exists a need for innovative 
and creative approaches leading to new avenues of research.  One way to 
encourage research into high risk/high impact areas is to provide 
investigators with the initial resources required to accomplish feasibility 
and pilot testing of innovative ideas.  The R21 mechanism will provide 
investigators at all career levels with a defined level of funding adequate 
for the initial feasibility testing of high risk/high impact concepts and, if 
the concepts are viable, for the generation of experimental preliminary data.  
This would render the investigators competitive for continued funding through 
other NIH research award mechanisms, thus potentially leading to the 
establishment of new research programs in areas that might have previously 
remained unexplored.

This PA will expire on October 2, 2002, unless reissued.  NIH Grants policies 
apply to these awards.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Research topics to be supported by the R21 mechanism will be those falling 
within broad areas of clear importance to the future of in vivo biomedical 
cancer imaging.

1.  Development of new and innovative imaging modalities and their 
optimization, characterization, preclinical and clinical evaluation, with 
emphasis on their potential for cancer screening, diagnosis or treatment.

2.  Development of new and innovative contrast or molecular/radiotracer 
agents for tumor visualization and interpretation for cancer diagnosis, 
staging or treatment or understanding the physiological states of organ 
systems and tumor systems.

3.  Development of new and innovative methods for image acquisition, display, 
transmission, computer assisted analysis, teleradiology and telemedicine 
applications that impact cancer screening, diagnosis or treatment or improve 
cost effectiveness in the oncology setting.

4.  Development of innovative methods for interventional radiology and 
techniques for improved image guided diagnosis or treatment.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This PA will use the National Institutes of Health (NIH) 
exploratory/developmental (R21) grant mechanism.  Responsibility for the 
planning, direction, and execution of the proposed project will be solely 
that of the applicant. Applicants may request up to two years of support and 
up to $125,00 per annum in direct costs.  These grants are non-renewable and 
continuation of projects developed under this PA will be through the 
traditional unsolicited investigator initiated grant program.

Specific application instructions have been modified to reflect "MODULAR 
GRANT" and "JUST-IN-TIME" streamlining efforts being examined by the NIH. 
Complete and detailed instructions and information on Modular Grant 
applications can be found at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Applications may be submitted by foreign and domestic, for-profit and 
non-profit organizations, public and private, such as universities, colleges, 
hospitals, laboratories, units of State and local governments, and eligible 
agencies of the Federal government.  Racial/ethnic minority individuals, 
women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply as principal 
investigators.

INQUIRIES

Inquiries are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any issues or questions 
from potential applicants is welcome.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Anne E. Menkens, Ph.D.
Biomedical Imaging Program
National Cancer Institute
National Institutes of Health
EPN 6068
6130 Executive Boulevard
Bethesda, MD  20892
Rockville, MD  20852 (express mail)
Telephone:  301-496-9531
FAX:  301-480-5785
Email:  am187k@nih.gov
BIP website:  www.nci.nih.gov/bip

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Ms. Jill Rogers
Grants Administration Branch
National Cancer Institute
Executive Plaza South, Room 243
Bethesda, MD  20892
Rockville, MD  20852 (express mail)
Telephone:  (301) 496-8699
FAX:  (301) 496-8601
Email:  jr261m@nih.gov

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The modular grant concept establishes specific modules in which direct costs 
may be requested as well as a maximum level for requested budgets. Only 
limited budgetary information is required under this approach. The just-in-
time concept allows applicants to submit certain information only when there 
is a possibility for an award. It is anticipated that these changes will 
reduce the administrative burden for the applicants, reviewers and Institute 
staff. The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) is to be used 
in applying for these grants, with the modifications noted below.  
Applications kits are available at most institutional offices of sponsored 
research and may be obtained from the Division of Extramural Outreach and 
Information Resources, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, 
MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone 301/435-0714, email: 
grantsinfo@nih.gov.  For those applicants with internet access, the 398 kit 
may be found at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to call the program contacts listed in 
INQUIRIES below with any questions regarding the adherence to the guidelines 
of their proposed project to the goals of this PA.

Special Instructions

It is strongly suggested that items a-d of the Research Plan not exceed a total 
of ten pages. Tables and figures are included in the ten page limitation.  
Applications that exceed the page limitationor NIH requirements for type size 
and margins (refer to PHS 398 application for details) will be returned to the 
applicant without further consideration.

The suggested ten page limitation does not include items (e)-(i) (Human 
Subjects, Vertebrate Animals, Literature Cited, Consortia, 
Consultants/Collaborators).

SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR MODULAR GRANT APPLICATIONS

BUDGET INSTRUCTIONS

Modular Grant applications will request direct costs in $25,000 modules, up 
to a total direct cost request of $125,00  per year. The total direct costs 
must be requested in accordance with the program guidelines and the 
modifications made to the standard PHS 398 application instructions described 
below:

o  FACE PAGE:  Items 7a and 7b should be completed, indicating Direct Costs 
(in $25,000 increments) and Total Costs [Modular Total Direct plus Facilities 
and Administrative (F&A) costs] for the initial budget period.  Items 8a and 
8b should be completed indicating the Direct and Total Costs for the entire 
proposed period of support.

o  DETAILED BUDGET FOR THE INITIAL BUDGET PERIOD - Do not complete Form Page 
4 of the PHS 398.  It is not required and will not be accepted with the 
application.

o  BUDGET FOR THE ENTIRE PROPOSED PERIOD OF SUPPORT - Do not complete the
categorical budget table on Form Page 5 of the PHS 398.  It is not required 
and will not be accepted with the application.

o  NARRATIVE BUDGET JUSTIFICATION -  Prepare a Modular Grant Budget Narrative 
page (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm for sample 
pages). At the top of the page, enter the total direct costs requested for 
each year.  This is not a form page.

o  Under Personnel, list all project personnel, including their names, 
percent of effort, and roles on the project. No individual salary information 
should be provided. However, the applicant should use the NIH appropriation 
language salary cap and the NIH policy for graduate student compensation in 
developing the budget request.

For Consortium/Contractual costs, provide an estimate of total costs (direct 
plus facilities and administrative) for each year, each rounded to the 
nearest $1,000. List the individuals/organizations with whom consortium or 
contractual arrangements have been made, the percent effort of all personnel, 
and the role on the project. Indicate whether the collaborating institution 
is domestic or foreign.  The total cost for a consortium/contractual 
arrangement is included in the overall requested modular direct cost amount. 
Include the Letter of Intent to establish a consortium.

Provide an additional narrative budget justification for any variation in the 
number of modules requested.

o  BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH - The Biographical Sketch provides information used by 
reviewers in the assessment of each individual's qualifications for a 
specific role in the proposed project, as well as to evaluate the overall 
qualifications of the research team.  A biographical sketch is required for 
all key personnel, following the instructions below.  No more than three 
pages may be used for each person.  A sample biographical sketch may be 
viewed at:
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm.

- Complete the educational block at the top of the form page;
- List position(s) and any honors;
- Provide information, including overall goals and responsibilities, on 
research
projects ongoing or completed during the last three years;
- List selected peer-reviewed publications, with full citations.

o  CHECKLIST -  This page should be completed and submitted with the 
application. If the F&A rate agreement has been established, indicate the 
type of agreement and the date. All appropriate exclusions must be applied in 
the calculation of the F&A costs for the initial budget period and all future 
budget years.

The applicant should provide the name and phone number of the individual to 
contact concerning fiscal and administrative issues if additional information 
is necessary following the initial review.

Applications not conforming to these guidelines will be considered 
unresponsive to this PA and will be returned without further review.

The title and number of the PA must be typed on line 2 of the face page of 
the application form and the YES box must be marked.

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the 
checklist, and five signed, exact, single-sided photocopies, in one package 
to:

Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040 - MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD  20892-7710
Bethesda, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)

The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept any application in 
response to this PA that is essentially the same as one currently pending 
initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending application.  The 
CSR will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one 
already reviewed.  This does not preclude the submission of substantial 
revisions of applications already reviewed, but such applications must 
include an introduction addressing the previous critique.
 
REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral 
guidelines. Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit 
by an appropriate scientific review group convened in accordance with the 
standard NIH peer review procedures. As part of the initial merit review, all 
applications will receive a written critique and undergo a process in which 
only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific merit, 
generally the top half of applications under review, will be discussed, 
assigned a priority score, and receive a second level review by the 
appropriate national advisory council or board. 

Review Criteria

The five criteria to be used in the evaluation of grant applications are 
listed below.

The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of 
biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health.  The 
reviewers will comment on the following aspects of the application in their 
written critiques in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed research 
will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals.  Each of these 
criteria will be addressed and considered by the reviewers in assigning the 
overall score weighting them as appropriate for each application.  Note that 
the application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged 
likely to have a major scientific impact and thus deserve a high priority 
score.  For example, an investigator may propose to carry out important work 
that by its nature is not innovative but is essential to move a field 
forward.

1.  Significance.  Does this study address an important problem? If the aims 
of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge be advanced?  
What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or methods that 
drive this field?

2.  Approach.  Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses 
adequately developed, well-integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the 
project?  Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider 
alternative tactics?

3.  Innovation.  Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches or 
method?  Are the aims original and innovative? Does the project challenge 
existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?

4.  Investigator.  Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited 
to carry out this work?  Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience 
level of the principal investigator and other researchers (if any)?

5.  Environment.  Does the scientific environment in which the work will be 
done contribute to the probability of success?  Do the proposed experiments 
take advantage of unique features of the scientific environment or employ 
useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional 
support?

The initial review group will also examine: the appropriateness of proposed 
project budget and duration; the adequacy of plans to include both genders 
and minorities and their subgroups, and children as appropriate for the 
scientific goals of the research and plans for the recruitment and retention 
of subjects;  the provisions for the protection of human and animal subjects; 
and the safety of the research environment.

AWARD CRITERIA

Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended 
applications assigned to that IC.  The following will be considered in making 
funding decisions:  Quality of the proposed project as determined by peer 
review, availability of funds, and program priority.

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and 
their sub- populations must be included in all NIH-supported biomedical and 
behavioral research projects involving human subjects, unless a clear and 
compelling rationale and justification are provided indicating that inclusion 
is inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of 
the research. This policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 
(Section 492B of Public Law 103-43). 

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
UPDATED "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in 
Clinical Research," published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts on 
August 2, 2000  
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-048.html); 
a complete copy of the updated Guidelines are available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_update.htm.  The 
revisions relate to NIH defined Phase III clinical trials and require: a) all 
applications or proposals and/or protocols to provide a description of plans 
to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by sex/gender 
and/or racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable; and b) all 
investigators to report accrual, and to conduct and report analyses, as 
appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group differences.

INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS.

It is the policy of NIH that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) 
must be included in all human subjects research, conducted or supported by 
the NIH, unless there are clear and compelling scientific and ethical reasons 
not to include them. This policy applies to all initial (Type 1) applications 
submitted for receipt dates after October 1, 1998.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
“NIH Policy and Guidelines on the Inclusion of Children as Participants in 
Research Involving Human Subjects” that was published in the NIH Guide for 
Grants and Contracts, March 6, 1998, and is available at the following URL 
address: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-024.html.

Investigators also may obtain copies of  the policy from the program staff 
listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide additional relevant 
information concerning the policy.

URLS IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES

All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within 
specified page limitations.  Unless otherwise specified in an NIH 
solicitation, internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide 
information necessary to the review because reviewers are under no obligation 
to view the Internet sites.  Reviewers are cautioned that their anonymity may 
be compromised when they directly access an Internet site.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010

The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health 
promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2010," a 
PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas. This PA, 
EXPLORATORY/DEVELOPMENTAL GRANTS FOR DIAGNOSTIC CANCER IMAGING, is related to 
priority area of cancer.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy 
People 2010" at http://www.health.gov/healthypeople/.  

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 
93.394.  Awards are made under authorization of the Sections 301 and 405 of 
the Public Health Service Act as amended ( 42 USC 241 and 284) and 
administered under NIH grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 
45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.  This program is not subject to the intergovernmental 
review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide a 
smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products.  In 
addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro- Children Act of 1994, prohibits 
smoking in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) 
in which regular or routine education, library, day care, health care or 
early childhood development services are provided to children.  This is 
consistent with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and 
mental health of the American people.


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