National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
Funding Opportunity Title
Obesity Policy Evaluation Research (R01)
R01 Research Project Grant
Reissue of PA-10-027
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number
Companion Funding Opportunity
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)
93.847, 93.866, 93.399, 93.865, 93.837
Funding Opportunity Purpose
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages Research Project Grant (R01) applications that propose to evaluate large scale policy or programs that are expected to influence obesity related behaviors (e.g., dietary intake, physical activity, or sedentary behavior) and/or weight outcomes in an effort to prevent or reduce obesity.
February 6, 2013
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
May 5, 2013
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)
Application Due Date(s)
Standard dates apply, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.
AIDS Application Due Date(s)
Standard AIDS dates apply by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.
Scientific Merit Review
Standard dates apply
Advisory Council Review
Standard dates apply
Earliest Start Date
Standard dates apply
May 8, 2016
Due Dates for E.O. 12372
Required Application Instructions
It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.
There are several options to submit your application to the agency through Grants.gov. You can use the ASSIST system to prepare, submit and track your application online. You can download an application package from Grants.gov, complete the forms offline, submit the completed forms to Grants.gov and track your application in eRA Commons. Or, you can use other institutional system-to-system solutions to prepare and submit your application to Grants.gov and track your application in eRA Commons. Learn more.
Part 1. Overview Information
Part 2. Full Text of the Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Section II. Award Information
Section III. Eligibility Information
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
Section V. Application Review Information
Section VI. Award Administration Information
Section VII. Agency Contacts
Section VIII. Other Information
Obesity is a major contributor to many serious health conditions that increase morbidity and mortality and reduce quality of life. The prevalence of obesity in children and adults in the United States has dramatically increased in the past four decades. Nationally there is an imperative to take action at local, state and federal levels, especially related to obesity in children. While helping people achieve and maintain a healthy weight is a critical public health goal, relatively little is known about the effectiveness of large scale policies and programs that could help achieve this goal at the population level, or any differential effects on sub-populations. As noted in the 2010 Institute Of Medicine (IOM) report, Bridging the Evidence Gap in Obesity Prevention: A Framework to Inform Decision Making (http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2010/Bridging-the-Evidence-Gap-in-Obesity-Prevention-A-Framework-to-Inform-Decision-Making.aspx), rigorous scientific evaluation of these policies and programs can help build an evidence base to better inform policy public health approaches to prevent excess weight gain and/or improve weight management .
For the purposes of this FOA:
Policy is broadly defined to include both formal public policies at local, state and federal levels of government, and organizational level policies, such as those implemented by large organizations, worksites or school districts. Examples include, but are not limited to, the development of supermarkets in underserved areas, calorie labeling requirements, taxes on foods and/or beverages, after-school and summer programs, modification of the built (or human-made) environments to encourage walking or cycling for transportation or leisure.
Program is defined as a set of activities initiated by governmental or other organizational bodies to enhance obesity prevention and control. Examples might include programs implemented worksites, healthcare organizations, after-school or summer programs, or communities that can be expected to improve obesity related behaviors such as energy intake and activity level. This FOA is not intended to support the initiation and delivery of new programs; rather, it is intended to support evaluation of the effectiveness of programs and/or policies that are being or will be implemented regardless of NIH grant funding.
The obesity program or policy to be evaluated should reasonably be expected to affect behaviors relevant to obesity such as energy intake, sedentary behavior, or physical activity in the target population. Further, research proposed in response to this FOA should demonstrate that measures collected and evaluated will allow for meaningful and scientifically valid conclusions to be made about the effects of the policy or program on the target behaviors and/or weight.
Examples of appropriate studies include, but are not limited to, the following:
Note: The focus of this FOA is on research in humans, not animals.
Primary outcomes under study should be assessed using objective measures, or in the case of dietary intake, by using standardized and comprehensive 24-hour recall methods. Examples of acceptable primary outcomes include objective measures of behavior change (purchasing behavior, use of resources intended for physical activity, energy intake with a focus on lowered calories or lower calorie substitutions, activity changes such as reduced sedentary behavior or increased physical activity) and/or weight related variables (e.g. BMI, body composition). Other self-reported measures of dietary intake and physical activity can be included but should not be the primary outcome measure/s.
Where possible and relevant, grant applications should include secondary outcomes that evaluate potential unintended consequences of a policy or program, degree of implementation, and an assessment of barriers and facilitators associated with implementation. This includes measures that will help identify why the policy or program succeeds or does not succeed.
This FOA encourages innovative scientific partnerships between researchers and public or private partners (e.g., community based organizations, local governments, school districts, employers). Where possible, applicants should provide letters of support from those who hold ownership or management of the program and/or policy that indicate their full cooperation with the research team. This should include support for access to the data required for the evaluation. Where appropriate, agreements must also be in place that allow for unrestricted publication of findings regardless of study outcomes. Research applications that include comparison group/s must include letters of support/agreement for access to the comparison group.
Institute Specific Interests:
NIDDK: The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases is particularly interested in the evaluation of large scale weight related programs or policy that are targeted to obesity and/or diabetes prevention.
NHLBI: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute is especially interested in research on programs and policies that target cardiovascular disease risk factors such as obesity, diabetes, and adverse health behaviors (physical inactivity, poor dietary behaviors, sleep disorders).
NICHD: The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development is interested in applications that propose to evaluate the impact of weight related policies or programs on children, families, pregnant women, or children with disabilities.
NCI: The National Cancer Institute is particularly interested in the evaluation of programs or policies that may affect dietary or physical activity behavior and/or weight, and studies incorporating economic research.
NIA: The National Institute on Aging is especially interested in research on programs and policies affecting sedentary behavior and physical activity among older adults, including programs and policies based on research in behavioral economics.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Scientific/Research Contact(s)listed in this FOA to discuss their planned research prior to submission to this announcement.
Given the possibility for changes in policy or program implementation that are beyond the control of the grantee, grant awards may be terminated early if these changes limit the possibility to collect meaningful outcome data.
Grant: A support mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity.
Application Types Allowed
The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.
Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards
The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.
Application budgets are not limited, but need to reflect actual needs of the proposed project.
Award Project Period
The maximum project period is five years.
NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made in response to this FOA.
Higher Education Institutions
The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:
Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are eligible to apply.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are eligible to apply.
Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are allowed.
Applicant organizations must complete the following registrations as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. Applicants must have a valid Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number in order to begin each of the following registrations.
All Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s))
must also work with their institutional officials to register with the eRA
Commons or ensure their existing eRA Commons account is affiliated with the eRA
Commons account of the applicant organization.
All registrations must be completed by the application due date. Applicant organizations are strongly encouraged to start the registration process at least 6 weeks prior to the application due date.
Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources
necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal
Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization 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 support.
For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.
NIH will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed within the past thirty-seven months (as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement), except for submission:
1. To an RFA of an application that was submitted previously as an investigator-initiated application but not paid;
2. Of an investigator-initiated application that was originally submitted to an RFA but not paid; or
3. Of an application with a changed grant activity code.
Applicants must download the SF424 (R&R) application package associated with this funding opportunity using the “Apply for Grant Electronically” button in this FOA or following the directions provided at Grants.gov.
It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.
For information on Application Submission and Receipt, visit Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.
The forms package associated with this FOA includes all applicable components, mandatory and optional. Please note that some components marked optional in the application package are required for submission of applications for this FOA. Follow all instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide to ensure you complete all appropriate “optional” components.
All page limitations described in the SF424 Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:
Letters of Support
Where possible, applicants should provide letters of support from those who hold ownership or management of the program and/or policy that indicate their full cooperation with the research team. This should include support for access to the data required for the evaluation. Where appropriate, agreements must also be in place that allow for unrestricted publication of findings regardless of study outcomes. Research applications that include comparison group/s must include letters of support/agreement for access to the comparison group.
Resource Sharing Plan
Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, and Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS)) as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
Foreign (non-U.S.) institutions must follow policies described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, and procedures for foreign institutions described throughout the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the deadline to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission.
Organizations must submit applications via Grants.gov, the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies. Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration.
Applicants are responsible for viewing their application before the deadline in the eRA Commons to ensure accurate and successful submission.
Information on the submission process and a definition of on-time submission are provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.
All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. Paper applications will not be accepted.
Applicants must complete all required registrations before the application due date. Section III. Eligibility Information contains information about registration.
For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit Applying Electronically.
All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH.
The applicant organization must ensure that the DUNS number it provides on the application is the same number used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the System for Award Management (SAM). Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
See more tips for avoiding common errors.
Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the Center for Scientific Review, NIH. Applications that are incomplete will not be reviewed.
Applicants requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs in any year (excluding consortium F&A) must contact NIH program staff at least 6 weeks before submitting the application and follow the Policy on the Acceptance for Review of Unsolicited Applications that Request $500,000 or More in Direct Costs as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in NOT-OD-10-115.
Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process. As part of the NIH mission, all applications submitted to the NIH in support of biomedical and behavioral research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.
Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).
Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.
Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?
Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? If Early Stage Investigators or New Investigators, or in the early stages of independent careers, do they have appropriate experience and training? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?
Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?
Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses
well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project?
Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success
presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the
strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed?
If the project involves clinical research, are the plans for 1) protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion of minorities and members of both sexes/genders, as well as the inclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?
Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements?
As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will evaluate the following additional items while determining scientific and technical merit, and in providing an overall impact score, but will not give separate scores for these items.
Protections for Human Subjects
For research that involves human subjects but does
not involve one of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR
Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human
subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation
according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2)
adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and
others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety
monitoring for clinical trials.
For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Human Subjects Protection and Inclusion Guidelines.
Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children
When the proposed project involves clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for inclusion of minorities and members of both genders, as well as the inclusion of children. For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Human Subjects Protection and Inclusion Guidelines.
The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following five points: 1) proposed use of the animals, and species, strains, ages, sex, and numbers to be used; 2) justifications for the use of animals and for the appropriateness of the species and numbers proposed; 3) adequacy of veterinary care; 4) procedures for limiting discomfort, distress, pain and injury to that which is unavoidable in the conduct of scientifically sound research including the use of analgesic, anesthetic, and tranquilizing drugs and/or comfortable restraining devices; and 5) methods of euthanasia and reason for selection if not consistent with the AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.
Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.
For Resubmissions, the committee will evaluate the application as now presented, taking into consideration the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group and changes made to the project.
For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the last funding period.
For Revisions, the committee will consider the appropriateness of the proposed expansion of the scope of the project. If the Revision application relates to a specific line of investigation presented in the original application that was not recommended for approval by the committee, then the committee will consider whether the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group are adequate and whether substantial changes are clearly evident.
As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items, and should not consider them in providing an overall impact score.
Applications from Foreign Organizations
Reviewers will assess whether the project presents special opportunities for furthering research programs through the use of unusual talent, resources, populations, or environmental conditions that exist in other countries and either are not readily available in the United States or augment existing U.S. resources.
Select Agent Research
Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).
Resource Sharing Plans
Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: 1) Data Sharing Plan; 2) Sharing Model Organisms; and 3) Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS).
Budget and Period of Support
Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.
Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s) convened by the Center for Scientific Review, in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.
As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:
Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the appropriate national Advisory Council or Board. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:
After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD/PI will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written critique) via the eRA Commons.
Information regarding the disposition of applications is available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH
will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant as
described in the NIH
Grants Policy Statement.
A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization for successful applications. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document and will be sent via email to the grantee’s business official.
Awardees must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions. Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.
Any application awarded in response to this FOA will be subject to the DUNS, SAM Registration, and Transparency Act requirements as noted on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.
All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities. More information is provided at Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants.
Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award
When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the annual Non-Competing Progress Report (PHS 2590 or RPPR) and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
A final progress report, invention statement, and the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout of an award, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later. All awardees of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement.
We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity
and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.
GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and
process, finding NIH grant resources)
eRA Service Desk (Questions regarding ASSIST, eRA Commons registration, tracking application status, post submission issues)
Phone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)
Christine M. Hunter, Ph.D.
Director of Behavioral Research
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Sonia Arteaga, Ph.D
Clinical Applications and Prevention Branch
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
National Institutes of Health
John G. Haaga, Ph.D.
Deputy Director, Division of Behavioral and Social Research
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Robin A. McKinnon, PhD, MPA
Health Policy Specialist
Division of Cancer Control & Population Sciences
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Layla Esposito, Ph.D.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Examine your eRA Commons account for review assignment and contact information (information appears two weeks after the submission due date).
Grants Management Specialist
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Tammi L. Simpson
Grants Management Specialist
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Grants Management Specialist
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Carol A. Perry
Office of Grants Administration
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Bryan S. Clark, MBA
Chief Grants Management Officer
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.
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