HIV THERAPEUTICS:  TARGETING RESEARCH GAPS

RELEASE DATE:  August 9, 2002

PA NUMBER:  PA-02-146 (see Notice of Inactivation NOT-AI-04-008)

RECEIPT DATE: Standard Receipt Dates – See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/dates.htm

EXPIRATION DATE:  August 1, 2005

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)  
 (http://www.niaid.nih.gov) 
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)  
 (http://www.nibib.nih.gov)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
 (http://www.nimh.nih.gov)

THIS PA CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION

o Purpose of the PA
o Research Objectives
o Mechanism(s) of Support 
o Eligible Institutions
o Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators
o Special Requirements 
o Where to Send Inquiries
o Submitting an Application
o Peer Review Process
o Review Criteria
o Award Criteria
o Required Federal Citations

PURPOSE OF THIS PA  

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the 
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), and the 
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) invite applications proposing 
studies in specific areas identified as underexplored in current HIV 
therapeutics research.  For this PA, the gap areas include: 1) discovery and 
validation of viral and cellular targets for which no FDA-approved 
therapeutic agents exist; 2) innate immunity as it relates to susceptibility 
to HIV infection, to disease progression, and to new therapeutic strategies, 
3) identification of agents/strategies for targeting and eliminating HIV 
reservoirs, and 4) design and development of therapeutic concepts to address 
immune deficits of HIV-infected individuals.  This PA represents an entry 
point for investigators into the NIAID research and development program for 
HIV therapeutics.  Support for more applied therapeutics research is 
available though other NIAID programs.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Research advances in recent years have yielded a wealth of information on HIV 
molecular biology, the pathogenesis of HIV disease, and the impact of disease 
progression on immune function.  However, these basic research findings have 
been successfully translated into antiviral strategies and drugs for only a 
limited number of viral targets, i.e. reverse transcriptase and protease.  
The long term clinical management of HIV infection with combinations of drugs 
active against these two targets is problematic due to the development of 
resistance, metabolic disturbances, and toxicities.  Therapeutics discovery 
and development for HIV infection is at a juncture where additional 
therapeutic targets/strategies need to be identified and aggressively 
studied.  Examples of research that would be responsive to the PA are as 
follows:

o  Discovery/validation of new therapeutic targets; development of assays to 
identify inhibitors of underexplored targets, e.g., regulatory HIV proteins, 
HIV enzymes other than reverse transcriptase or protease, viral processes 
(transcription, nuclear import/export, macromolecular interactions), and host 
molecules or pathways involved directly or indirectly in HIV replication; 
development of new tools, including SHIV strains, to facilitate the assay of 
inhibitors of underexplored targets.

o  Research on polymorphisms in key host regulatory molecules that affect 
susceptibility to HIV; characterization of the role of innate immunity in HIV 
infection and/or in disease progression; manipulation of the innate immune 
system as a therapeutic adjunct.

o  Identification of agents/strategies to target and eliminate HIV 
reservoirs.

o  Design and/or development of vaccines and therapeutic approaches to 
restore defects of the immune system characteristic of HIV infection; 
research to enhance survival and expansion of gene modified T lymphocytes or 
hematopoietic stem cells.

MECHANISM(S) OF SUPPORT 

This PA will use the NIH individual research project grant (R01) award. The 
total requested project period for an application submitted in response to 
this PA may not exceed four years for an R01.  As an applicant you will be 
solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed 
project.  

This PA uses just-in-time concepts.  It also uses the modular as well as the 
non-modular budgeting formats (see 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm).  Specifically, if 
you are submitting an application with direct costs in each year of $250,000 
or less, use the modular format.  Otherwise follow the instructions for non-
modular research grant applications.

ELIGIBLE INSTITUTIONS 

You may submit (an) application(s) if your institution has any of the 
following characteristics:	
o For-profit or non-profit organizations 
o Public or private institutions, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, 
and laboratories 
o Units of State and local governments
o Eligible agencies of the Federal government  
o Domestic or foreign

INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS

Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry 
out the proposed research is invited to work with their institution to 
develop an application for support.  Individuals from underrepresented racial 
and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always 
encouraged to apply for NIH programs.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

When clinical studies or trials are a component of the research proposed, 
NIAID policy requires that studies be monitored commensurate with the degree 
of potential risk to study subjects and the complexity of the study. AN 
UPDATED NIAID policy was published in the NIH Guide on July 8, 2002 and is 
available at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-AI-02-032.html.   
The full policy, including terms and conditions of award, is 
available at: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/ncn/pdf/clinterm.pdf.

WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES

We encourage your inquiries concerning this PA and welcome the opportunity 
answer questions from potential applicants.  Inquiries may fall into two 
areas:  scientific/research and financial/grants management issues:

o Direct your questions about scientific/research issues to:

Sandra Bridges, Ph.D. 
Division of AIDS/Basic Sciences Program/Targeted Interventions Branch 
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases 
Room Number 4128, MSC-7626
6700-B Rockledge Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-7626 
Telephone:  (301) 496-8198 
FAX:  (301) 402-3211 
Email:  sbridges@niaid.nih.gov

Christine A. Kelley, Ph.D.
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
6707 Democracy Blvd., Room 957, MSC 5469
Bethesda, MD 20892-5469
Telephone:  (301) 451-4778
FAX:  (301) 480-4973
Email:  kelleyc@mail.nih.gov

Jeymohan Joseph, Ph.D.
Center for Mental Health Research on AIDS
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Blvd., Room 6202, MSC 9619
Bethesda, MD 20892-9619
Telephone:  (301) 443-3012 
FAX :  (301) 443-9719  
Email:  jjeymoha@mail.nih.gov

o Direct your questions about financial/grants management matters to:

Jeannette Gordon 
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases 
6700-B Rockledge Drive,  Room 3222, MSC 7614
Bethesda, MD 20892-7614 
Telephone:  (301) 402-5065 
FAX:  (301) 480-3780 
Email: jg82s@nih.gov

Annette Hanopole
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
6707 Democracy Blvd., Room 976, MSC 5469
Bethesda, MD 20892-5469
Telephone:  (301) 451-4789
FAX:  (301) 480-4974
Email: hanopola@mail.nih.gov

Brian Albertini
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6115, MSC 9605
Bethesda, MD 20892-9605
Telephone:  (301) 443-0004
FAX:  (301) 443-0219
Email: albertinib2@mail.nih.gov

SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION

Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application 
instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001).  The PHS 398 is available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in an interactive 
format.  For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone (301) 435-0714, 
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

APPLICATION RECEIPT DATES: Applications submitted in response to this program 
announcement will be accepted at the standard application deadlines, which 
are available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/dates.htm.  Application 
deadlines are also indicated in the PHS 398 application kit.

SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR MODULAR GRANT APPLICATIONS:  Applications 
requesting up to $250,000 per year in direct costs must be submitted in a 
modular grant format.  The modular grant format simplifies the preparation of 
the budget in these applications by limiting the level of budgetary detail.  
Applicants request direct costs in $25,000 modules.  Section C of the 
research grant application instructions for the PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html includes step-by-step 
guidance for preparing modular grants.  Additional information on modular 
grants is available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm.

SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLICATIONS REQUESTING $500,000 OR MORE PER YEAR:  
Applications requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs for any year must 
include a cover letter identifying the NIH staff member within one of NIH 
institutes or centers who has agreed to accept assignment of the application.   

Applicants requesting more than $500,000 must carry out the following steps:
	
1) Contact the IC program staff at least 6 weeks before submitting the 
application, i.e., as you are developing plans for the study; 

2) Obtain agreement from the IC staff that the IC will accept your 
application for consideration for award; and,
  
3) Identify, in a cover letter sent with the application, the staff member 
and IC who agreed to accept assignment of the application.  

This policy applies to all investigator-initiated new (type 1), competing 
continuation (type 2), competing supplement, or any amended or revised 
version of these grant application types. Additional information on this 
policy is available in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, October 19, 
2001 at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-004.html. 

SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH: Submit a signed, typewritten original of 
the application, including the checklist, and five signed 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)

APPLICATION PROCESSING: Applications must be received by or mailed on or 
before the receipt dates described at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm.  The 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 a substantial revision of an application already reviewed, but 
such application must include an Introduction addressing the previous 
critique.

PEER REVIEW PROCESS

Applications submitted for this PA will be assigned on the basis of 
established PHS referral guidelines.  An appropriate scientific review group 
convened in accordance with the standard NIH peer review procedures 
(http://www.csr.nih.gov/refrev.htm) will evaluate applications for scientific 
and technical merit.  

As part of the initial merit review, all applications will:

o Receive a written critique
o Undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to have 
the highest scientific merit, generally the top half of applications under 
review, will be discussed and assigned a priority score
o Receive a second level review by the National Institute of Allergy and 
Infectious Diseases Council
	
REVIEW CRITERIA

The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of 
biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health.  In 
the written comments, reviewers will be asked to discuss the following 
aspects of your application in order to judge the likelihood that the 
proposed research will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these 
goals: 

o Significance 
o Approach 
o Innovation
o Investigator
o Environment
  
The scientific review group will address and consider each of these criteria 
in assigning your application's overall score, weighting them as appropriate 
for each application.  Your application does not need to be strong in all 
categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact and thus 
deserve a high priority score.  For example, you 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 your study address an important problem? If the aims 
of your application are achieved, how do they advance scientific knowledge?  
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?  Do you acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative 
tactics?

(3) INNOVATION:  Does your project employ novel concepts, approaches or 
methods? Are the aims original and innovative?  Does your project challenge 
existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?

(4) INVESTIGATOR: Are you appropriately trained and well suited to carry out 
this work?  Is the work proposed appropriate to your experience level as the 
principal investigator and to that of other researchers (if any)?

(5) ENVIRONMENT:  Does the scientific environment in which your 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?

ADDITIONAL REVIEW CRITERIA: In addition to the above criteria, your 
application will also be reviewed with respect to the following:

PROTECTIONS:  The adequacy of the proposed protection for humans, animals, or 
the environment, to the extent they may be adversely affected by the project 
proposed in the application.

INCLUSION:  The adequacy of plans to include subjects from both genders, all 
racial and ethnic groups (and subgroups), and children as appropriate for the 
scientific goals of the research.  Plans for the recruitment and retention of 
subjects will also be evaluated. (See Inclusion Criteria included in the 
section on Federal Citations, below)

BUDGET:  The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period 
of support in relation to the proposed research.

AWARD CRITERIA

Applications submitted in response to a PA will compete for available funds 
with all other recommended applications.  The following will be considered in 
making funding decisions:  

o Scientific merit of the proposed project as determined by peer review
o Availability of funds 
o Relevance to program priorities

REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS 

MONITORING PLAN AND DATA SAFETY AND MONITORING BOARD:  Research components 
involving Phase I and II clinical trials must include provisions for 
assessment of patient eligibility and status, rigorous data management, 
quality assurance, and auditing procedures.  In addition, it is NIH policy 
that all clinical trials require data and safety monitoring, with the method 
and degree of monitoring being commensurate with the risks (NIH Policy for 
Data Safety and Monitoring, NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, June 12, 
1998: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-084.html).  

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN CLINICAL RESEARCH:  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 clinical research projects unless a 
clear and compelling justification is 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 clinical research should read the AMENDMENT "NIH 
Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical 
Research - Amended, October, 2001," published in the NIH Guide for Grants and 
Contracts on October 9, 2001 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-001.html); a complete 
copy of the updated Guidelines are available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_amended_10_2001.htm
The amended policy incorporates: the use of an NIH definition of clinical 
research; updated racial and ethnic categories in compliance with the new OMB 
standards; clarification of language governing NIH-defined Phase III clinical 
trials consistent with the new PHS Form 398; and updated roles and 
responsibilities of NIH staff and the extramural community.  The policy 
continues to require for all NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials that: a) 
all applications or proposals and/or protocols must 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) investigators must report annual accrual and progress in conducting 
analyses, as appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group 
differences.

INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS:  
The NIH maintains a policy 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 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 is available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/children/children.htm

REQUIRED EDUCATION ON THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN SUBJECT PARTICIPANTS: 
NIH policy requires education on the protection of human subject participants 
for all investigators submitting NIH proposals for research involving human 
subjects.  You will find this policy announcement in the NIH Guide for Grants 
and Contracts Announcement, dated June 5, 2000, at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-039.html.

HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS (hESC):  Criteria for federal funding of research 
on hESCs can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/stem_cells.htm and at  
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-005.html.  Only 
research using hESC lines that are registered in the NIH Human Embryonic Stem 
Cell Registry will be eligible for Federal funding (see http://escr.nih.gov).  
It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide the official NIH 
identifier(s)for the hESC line(s)to be used in the proposed research.  
Applications that do not provide this information will be returned without 
review. 

PUBLIC ACCESS TO RESEARCH DATA THROUGH THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT: The 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to 
provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act 
(FOIA) under some circumstances.  Data that are (1) first produced in a 
project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) 
cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action 
that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed 
through FOIA.  It is important for applicants to understand the basic scope 
of this amendment.  NIH has provided guidance at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm.

Applicants may wish to place data collected under this PA in a public 
archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the 
distribution for an indefinite period of time.  If so, the application should 
include a description of the archiving plan in the study design and include 
information about this in the budget justification section of the 
application. In addition, applicants should think about how to structure 
informed consent statements and other human subjects procedures given the 
potential for wider use of data collected under this award.

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.   Furthermore, 
we caution reviewers 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 
is related to one or more of the priority areas. 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 Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance in 
the following citations: No. 93.855, Immunology, Allergy, and Transplantation 
Research and No. 93.856, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research. 
Awards are made under authorization of 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 NIH Grants Policy Statement is available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm.  This document includes 
general information about the grant application and review process; 
information on the terms and conditions that apply to NIH Grants and 
cooperative agreements; and a listing of pertinent offices and officials at 
the NIH.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free 
workplace and discourage the 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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