Department of Health and Human Services
Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Funding Opportunity Title

Health Services and Economic Research on the Prevention and Treatment of Drug, Alcohol, and Tobacco Abuse (R01)

Activity Code

R01 Research Project Grant

Announcement Type

Reissue of PA-12-127

Related Notices
  • March 22, 2016 - Notice of Change to the Specific Areas of Research Interest for PA-15-251. See Notice NOT-DA-16-014.
  • NOT-OD-16-004 - NIH & AHRQ Announce Upcoming Changes to Policies, Instructions and Forms for 2016 Grant Applications (November 18, 2015)
  • NOT-OD-16-006 - Simplification of the Vertebrate Animals Section of NIH Grant Applications and Contract Proposals (November 18, 2015)
  • NOT-OD-16-011 - Implementing Rigor and Transparency in NIH & AHRQ Research Grant Applications (November 18, 2015)
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

PA-15-251   

Companion Funding Opportunity

PA-15-253, R21 Exploratory/Developmental Grant
PA-15-252, R03 Small Grant Program
PA-15-250, R34 Planning Grant 

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)

93.279, 93.273 

Funding Opportunity Purpose

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages R01 grant applications to conduct rigorous health services and economic research to maximize the delivery of efficient, high-quality drug, tobacco, and alcohol prevention, treatment, and recovery support services. Examples of such research include: (1) clinical quality improvement; (2) quality improvement in services organization and management; (3) implementation research; (4) economic and cost studies; and (5) development or improvement of research methodology, analytic approaches, and measurement instrumentation used in the study of drug, alcohol, and tobacco prevention, treatment, and recovery services.

Key Dates
Posted Date

May 8, 2015

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

May 8, 2015

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

Not Applicable  

Application Due Date(s)

Standard dates apply, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on these dates.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Standard AIDS dates apply by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of AIDS and AIDS-related applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on these dates.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.

Scientific Merit Review
Advisory Council Review
Earliest Start Date
Expiration Date

May 8, 2018

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

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.

Problems accessing or using ASSIST should be directed to the eRA Service Desk.
Problems downloading forms should be directed to Grants.gov Customer Support.
Table of Contents

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

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Purpose

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages R01 grant applications to conduct rigorous health services and economic research to maximize the delivery of efficient, high-quality drug, tobacco, and alcohol prevention, treatment, and recovery support services. Health services research forms the link between research to develop behavioral and pharmacological interventions and the adoption and optimal utilization of these as evidence-based practice. Health services research may focus on underlying processes and mechanisms that contribute to the efficacy, effectiveness, and sustainability of interventions, and in domains such as accessibility, utilization, effectiveness, appropriateness, and costs of services. The type and quality of those services and the outcomes they produce are affected by the way health services are organized, managed, delivered, and financed.

Research is sought to learn how health services stakeholders (providers, public and private payers, school administrators, community agencies, child welfare systems, criminal and juvenile justice systems, workplace settings, governmental regulators, etc.) can improve standards of care for individuals with problematic drug, tobacco, and/or alcohol use, integrate interventions for them within health care settings, improve services to prevent initiation and progression from use to abuse and addiction, and improve the adoption, dissemination, implementation and use of evidence-based prevention, treatment, and business practices.  Research may focus on individual-level (patient/client and/or provider) behaviors as they affect access, engagement, adherence, and retention in health services, and/or program (e.g., content, dosage, training, format), organizational- and/or systems-level issues (e.g., financing, organizational structures and processes, management practices, health technologies) that affect the availability, accessibility, utilization, effectiveness, fidelity, cost, efficiency and quality of drug, tobacco, and alcohol health services.

This FOA encourages the development of rigorous hypothesis-driven and theory-based study designs and data analytic methods that will support a new generation of health services research. Research is sought that is generalizable to diverse settings, provider characteristics, and client and/or community problems, attributes, and behaviors.  Client-level factors include developmental appropriateness; gender sensitivity; cultural competency; equity in systemic process and outcomes; co-occurring mental, social, and medical conditions; and risk for infectious diseases. This FOA also encourages research on systems-level factors, including, but not limited to, organizational, environmental, community, and provider attributes, processes, and practices that influence quality and outcomes.. 

In developing project aims, investigators are strongly encouraged to integrate factors related to addressing the spread and prevention or treatment of infectious disease among substance users, including the development of a continuum of services encompassing HIV and/or HCV screening, counseling, and risk-prevention or reduction interventions, and ensuring those with HIV or HCV receive appropriate health care and other needed services.

NIDA and NIAAA are interested in health services research that builds on the investments of other entities that address drug use and abuse, including but not limited to NIDA's Clinical Trials Network (CTN), NIDA's Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (CJ-DATS), NIDA’s Seek, Test, Treat and Retain (STTR) initiative, NIDA’s Juvenile Justice Translational Research on Interventions for Adolescents in the Legal System (JJ-TRIALS), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Federally Qualified Health Centers, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Department of Education, state agencies, and private foundations. In addition, NIDA and NIAAA are interested in health services research building on other NIH supported clinical research platforms, e.g. the NIH Clinical and Translation Science Awards Consortium (CTSAs) and the NIH Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS). A description of alcohol services research within the context of NIAAAs overall research program is provided at http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/StrategicPlan/NIAAASTRATEGICPLAN.htm.

NIDA and NIAAA encourage timely reporting of findings, facilitation of practitioner access to and use of findings, and interweaving research questions with the information needs of service providers through collaborative partnerships.

Significance

In this time of broad change in the U.S. healthcare delivery system, there is an urgent need for high quality health services research on drug, tobacco, and alcohol prevention, treatment, and recovery support services.  With the expansion of health insurance coverage to millions of Americans – including a disproportionate percentage of persons at high risk for drug, tobacco, and use disorders– research is needed to understand variation in realized access, utilization, quality, cost, and outcomes. Related topics include comparative effectiveness research on evidence-based prevention and therapeutic interventions and business practices; models for integrating screening and treatment for drug, alcohol, and/or tobacco use into general medical settings; processes or mechanisms through which capacity to implement quality improvements in health services is increased; chronic care and recovery support systems for addiction; workforce issues associated with increased demand for services; and economic studies to identify efficient and economic models for organizing and financing services.

In addition, despite strong research evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of a variety of psychosocial, behavioral, and pharmacological interventions for health services, many have not been widely adopted or effectively implemented. Although there is a growing implementation sciences literature, much remains unknown about  the process by which science-based interventions enter practice, including the decision-making processes that prevention and treatment providers, agencies, or communities use to select interventions for adoption; on the organizational characteristics, leadership and management, and business practices that impact the effectiveness of interventions; on the need for fidelity versus adaptation; on the performance of interventions, services, or programs in usual, routine settings; or on how to improve service quality overall. Research is needed in three  related areas of implementation science; namely, 1) conceptual and/or theory-driven models of organizational- and systems-level change as they pertain to the implementation, sustainability, and scale-up of science-based programs and practices; 2) the development and testing (including head-to-head comparisons) of systematic, measurable and replicable implementation strategies for optimizing the adoption, uptake, and sustainability of evidence-based interventions and practices with fidelity across multiple real-world settings and contexts; and 3) descriptive and conceptual models and research addressing the de-adoption of organizational policies, practices, and programs that are not aligned with science-based practice. Further, it is critical that effectiveness studies be designed with implementation, sustainability, and scale-up issues in mind.

Research is also needed to help health service providers understand how to incorporate evidence based interventions, recovery support, and business practices into substance abuse prevention and treatment systems, general health care settings, and related community and social service programs addressing the needs of drug, tobacco, and alcohol using populations.  This may include re-engineering existing systems of care; adapting new services and business practices to fit with existing clinical and organizational structures; developing infrastructure capacity (including workforce capacity) to implement and sustain improved delivery of health and/or recovery support service; testing different approaches (for example, in-person versus web-based) and venues (e.g., child welfare, school, veterans court) for service delivery; and re-evaluating practices and services over time to ensure their continued availability, fidelity, and value. At the same time, there are widely disseminated practices, programs, and treatments, with insufficient scientific evidence to guide the delivery of the best possible services. For example, the value and optimal use of laboratory data, including biomarkers, in monitoring those in treatment is unclear. Likewise, the optimal timing and dosage of many evidence-based medications, and how those vary by patient characteristics, is similarly unclear. The role of medication side effects and how those might be mitigated to improve adherence is understudied in the substance use disorder field. These, and other questions of practical importance to front line clinicians, might be addressed through pragmatic clinical trials or other novel research designs. 

Specific Areas of Research Interest

NIDA and NIAAA’s health services research programs are comprehensive in nature. The following section addresses drug (marijuana, opioids, prescription drugs), alcohol, comorbidity, and tobacco prevention and treatment health services research topics of specific interest to NIDA and NIAAA. Research on other related topics is also encouraged for this funding announcement.  Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Scientific/Research staff prior to submitting an application.

Clinical Quality Improvement – studies that may improve the appropriateness, effectiveness, safety, and efficiency of prevention, treatment, and recovery interventions, and services delivered to individuals in a variety of settings including substance abuse and mental health treatment programs; schools; general health care settings; criminal and juvenile justice systems; child welfare systems, and social service agencies. Such research could include services for special populations (e.g., children, adolescents, women, veterans, racial and sexual minorities, geriatric populations, justice-involved populations, those with or at risk of contracting HIV/HCV); adaptive service delivery strategies to adjust the level, dosage, and type of interventions and services over time in response to changing needs; continuity of care; development of performance measures and standards of care to improve assessment of patient needs, treatment progress, and outcomes; use of information technology to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and potency of prevention intervention and health service delivery; training and supervision of behavioral healthcare professionals; integration of prevention interventions into primary care; juvenile justice and child welfare; integration of alcohol, tobacco, or drug treatment in primary care and in treatment for co-morbid mental disorders; the efficacy of widely used but untested prevention and treatment approaches; revising payment mechanisms to incentivize high quality care, reimbursing for care coordinated across social services and medical systems, or paying for management of addiction as a chronic condition; and strategies to enhance the availability of prevention and treatment services in criminal justice settings.

Quality Improvement in Services Organization and Management – studies that address organizational contexts and service delivery models; the interaction of providers and programs within and across systems, and at multiple levels (e.g., program, practice network, state); and their collective impact on quality of service delivery.  Research topics may include testing models for collaboration, co-location, or integration of drug, alcohol, and tobacco prevention, treatment, and recovery support services with medical settings; management and human resources issues including workforce recruitment, training and retention; the use of best practices, performance measures, and standards of care to improve assessment of client needs, treatment progress, and outcomes; effects of state, payer, and institutional policies on treatment accessibility, cost, duration, and quality; and use of health information technology to facilitate cross-systems collaboration and improve service quality.

Implementation Research – studies that seek to explain and ultimately improve the uptake of evidence-based prevention and treatment practices, including HIV prevention and treatment in real-world service delivery settings. Such studies might include the measurement or enhancement of organizational capacity for innovation and adoption; tests of organizational change strategies to implement evidence-based practices; comparative tests of alternative approaches to dissemination and implementation; development of measures and methods for assessing adoption, implementation, fit, fidelity, and sustainability of evidence-based practices; and identification of systems-level factors that facilitate or impede the diffusion and adoption of evidence-based practices. Other areas that implementation research can offer insight include the processes through which science-based interventions enter broad practice, such as the decision-making processes that clinicians, service providers, agencies or communities use to select interventions for adoption; the processes through which interventions may be adapted to meet the unique needs of specific settings, and populations receiving interventions; utilizing technology to facilitate uptake and sustainability, and using technology to improve the operational practice and characteristics that impact the effectiveness and reach of interventions. Research on the de-adoption of programs, policies, and practices that have been shown to be ineffective is also of interest.  Proposed studies in this area should test or apply conceptual models that allow results to contribute to the broader field of implementation science.

Economics Research – Rigorous studies that rely on the theories and methods of economics ultimately directed at providing findings to inform practice or policy. For example, studies of the causal effects of health care benefit design, and payment mechanism and regulations on access, utilization, quality, and outcomes of services, are needed to inform future advances in those areas. Behavioral economic research investigating individuals’ decisions to enter and remain in treatment are needed to inform the design of services and the development of optimal coverage policies. Cost and production function studies across settings that can determine how to provide high-quality services most efficiently, what such services cost, and how costs vary by various patient, provider, and environmental characteristics, are needed to inform the establishment of appropriate reimbursement rates. Economic evaluations, including cost-effectiveness, cost-benefit, cost-utility, and budget impact analyses, are needed to inform the adoption of evidence-based interventions. Research on these and other topics relevant to the optimization of service delivery, is sought and may employ a broad array of applied, theoretical, and econometric methods including, but not limited to, experimental and quasi-experimental designs, analyses of natural experiments, secondary analyses of existing data sources, dynamic simulation models, or descriptive studies that facilitate the development of economic theory, empirically-testable hypotheses, or future experimental research. Multidisciplinary economics research integrating concepts, tools, and methods from multiple relevant disciplines, is also encouraged.

Implications of Policy Change for Service Quality – research examining the impact (including unintended consequences) of local, state, and/or national policies that affect the organization or management of prevention and treatment services on quality of care and patient access, utilization, retention, and outcomes.  Alcohol and drug prevention and treatment services are often directly or indirectly impacted by laws, regulations and policies introduced with the intent of improving access, enhancing quality, and/or reducing costs   Examples include legislative mandates for the use of evidence-based practices; patient prescribing limits for buprenorphine, and scope of practice policies  Investigators are encouraged to leverage significant, naturally-occurring opportunities by developing timely, hypothesis-driven study designs that will measure the downstream effect of such policy changes on the quality, cost, availability, and utilization of alcohol and drug abuse prevention and treatment services.

Methods, Technology, and Other Tools – Several areas of methodological work are of high interest, including but not limited to (1) leveraging technology to transform substance abuse prevention and treatment services delivery by increasing the effectiveness, efficiency, availability, and potency of existing prevention intervention and health services delivery; and (2) developing, refining, and validating new methods and approaches to advance existing technologies and to acquire and analyze complex data, including statistical methods, data visualization, technology platforms for collecting data, methods for rapid analysis and feedback, predictive analytics; innovative study designs and other emergent methods and technologies.  Research studies may also include the development of study designs that strengthen causal inference and external validity; individual-, program-, and systems-level measurement tools and analytic approaches; simulation modeling of prevention and treatment service delivery alternatives, such as dynamic simulation models and agent-based models or other models based in complexity theory; quality-of-care indicators and performance measures; and new measurement instruments and statistical approaches appropriate for use in complex multisite systems trials (e.g., multilayer hierarchical linear modeling and methods to transform data and measures from diverse sources to enable group comparisons). 

Special Considerations

HIV/AIDS Counseling and Testing Policy for the National Institute on Drug Abuse:  In light of recent significant advances in rapid testing for HIV and in effective treatments for HIV, NIDA has revised its 2001 policy on HIV counseling and testing.  NIDA-funded researchers are strongly encouraged to provide and/or refer research subjects to HIV risk reduction education and education about the benefits of HIV treatment, counseling and testing, referral to treatment, and other appropriate interventions to prevent acquisition and transmission of HIV.  This policy applies to all NIDA funded research conducted domestically or internationally.  For more information see http://www.nida.nih.gov/about/organization/nacda/CouncilStatement.html.

National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse Recommended Guidelines for the Administration of Drugs to Human Subjects:  The National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse (NACDA) recognizes the importance of research involving the administration of drugs with abuse potential, and dependence or addiction liability, to human subjects.   Potential applicants are encouraged to obtain and review these recommendations of Council before submitting an application that will administer compounds to human subjects.  The guidelines are available on NIDA's Web site at http://www.nida.nih.gov/about/organization/nacda/CouncilStatement.html.

Points to Consider Regarding Tobacco Industry Funding of NIDA Applicants: The National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse (NACDA) encourages NIDA and its grantees to consider the points it has set forth with regard to existing or prospective sponsored research agreements with tobacco companies or their related entities and the impact of acceptance of tobacco industry funding on NIDA's credibility and reputation within the scientific community.  Please see (http://ww2.drugabuse.gov/about/organization/nacda/points-to-consider.html) for details.

Data Harmonization for Substance Abuse and Addiction via the PhenX Toolkit:  NIDA strongly encourages investigators involved in human subjects studies to employ a common set of tools and resources that will promote the collection of comparable data across studies and to do so by incorporating the measures from the Core and Specialty collections, which are available in the Substance Abuse and Addiction Collection of the PhenX Toolkit (www.phenxtoolkit.org.)  Please see NOT-DA-12-008 for further details.

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

Grant: A support mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity.

Application Types Allowed

New
Renewal
Resubmission
Revision

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.

Award Budget

Application budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

Award Project Period

The maximum period is 5 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.

Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants
Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

  • Public/State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education
  • Private Institutions of Higher Education

The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:

    • Hispanic-serving Institutions
    • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
    • Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)
    • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions
    • Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

  • Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)
  • Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)

For-Profit Organizations

  • Small Businesses
  • For-Profit Organizations (Other than Small Businesses)

Governments

  • State Governments
  • County Governments
  • City or Township Governments
  • Special District Governments
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized)
  • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
  • U.S. Territory or Possession

Other

  • Independent School Districts
  • Public Housing Authorities/Indian Housing Authorities
  • Native American Tribal Organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Faith-based or Community-based Organizations
  • Regional Organizations

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions)

Foreign Institutions

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.

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.

  • Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) - All registrations require that applicants be issued a DUNS number. After obtaining a DUNS number, applicants can begin both SAM and eRA Commons registrations. The same DUNS number must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly CCR) – Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
  • eRA Commons - Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the eRA Commons registration. Organizations can register with the eRA Commons as they are working through their SAM or Grants.gov registration. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • Grants.gov – Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s))

All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account.  PD(s)/PI(s) should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate their existing account with the applicant organization in eRA Commons. If the PD/PI is also the organizational Signing Official, they must have two distinct eRA Commons accounts, one for each role. Obtaining an eRA Commons account can take up to 2 weeks.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

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.

2. Cost Sharing

This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

3. Additional Information on Eligibility
Number of Applications

Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time.  This means that the NIH will not accept:

  • A new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping new (A0) or resubmission (A1) application.
  • A resubmission (A1) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of the previous new (A0) application.
  • An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see NOT-OD-11-101).
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Requesting an Application Package

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.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Grant Application Instructions 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.

Page Limitations

All page limitations described in the SF424 Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed

Instructions for Application Submission

The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this FOA.

SF424(R&R) Cover

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.  

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.  

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.  

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed. 

R&R or Modular Budget

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

R&R Subaward Budget

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.  

PHS 398 Research Plan

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions: 

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Appendix:  Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Planned Enrollment Report

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Planned Enrollment Reports as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. 

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Foreign Institutions

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.

3. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission.

Organizations must submit applications to 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. NIH and Grants.gov systems check the application against many of the application instructions upon submission. Errors must be corrected and a changed/corrected application must be submitted to Grants.gov on or before the application due date.  If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late.

Applicants are responsible for viewing their application before the due date 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.

4. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

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.

6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

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. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Guidelines for Applicants Experiencing System Issues.

Important reminders:

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. See Section III of this FOA for information on registration requirements.

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. 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 and compliance with application instructions by the Center for Scientific Review, NIH. Applications that are incomplete or non-compliant will not be reviewed.

Requests of $500,000 or more for direct costs in any year

Applicants requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs in any year (excluding consortium F&A) must contact a Scientific/ Research Contact 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.

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in NOT-OD-13-030.

Section V. Application Review Information

Important Update: See NOT-OD-16-006 and NOT-OD-16-011 for updated review language for applications for due dates on or after January 25, 2016.

1. Criteria

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.

Overall Impact

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).

Scored Review Criteria

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.

Significance

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?  

Investigator(s)

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?   

Innovation

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?   

Approach

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 human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?  

Environment

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?   

Additional Review Criteria

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 Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

When the proposed project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of children to determine if it is justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed. For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.

Vertebrate Animals

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.

Biohazards

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.

Resubmissions

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.

Renewals

For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the last funding period.

Revisions

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.

Additional Review Considerations

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) Genomic Wide Association Studies (GWAS) /Genomic Data Sharing Plan.

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.

2. Review and Selection Process

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:

  • May undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific and technical merit (generally the top half of applications under review) will be discussed and assigned an overall impact/priority score.
  • Will receive a written critique.

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 National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

  • Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by scientific peer review.
  • Availability of funds.
  • Relevance of the proposed project to program priorities.
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

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.

Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices

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 terms and conditions found on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.  This includes any recent legislation and policy applicable to awards that is highlighted on this website.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

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

Not Applicable

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually 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.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.

Application Submission Contacts

eRA Service Desk (Questions regarding ASSIST, eRA Commons registration, submitting and tracking an application, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, post submission issues)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)
Finding Help Online: https://grants.nih.gov/support/index.html
Email: commons@od.nih.gov

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission, downloading forms and application packages)
Contact CenterTelephone: 800-518-4726
Email: support@grants.gov

GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and process, finding NIH grant resources)
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-710-0267

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Dionne J. Jones, Ph.D.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Telephone: 301-443-6504
Email: djones1@nida.nih.gov

Lori Ducharme, Ph.D.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Telephone: 301-443-4715
Email: Lori.Ducharme@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Examine your eRA Commons account for review assignment and contact information (information appears two weeks after the submission due date).

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Cheryl Nathaniel
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Telephone: 202-526-0108
Email: nathanic@nida.nih.gov

Judy Fox
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Telephone: 301-443-4704
Email: jfox@mail.nih.govp>

Section VIII. Other Information

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.

Authority and Regulations

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 Part 75.

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