NCRR SHARED INSTRUMENTATION GRANT

Release Date:  December 15, 2000

PA NUMBER:  PAR-01-034

National Center for Research Resources

Application Receipt Date:  March 23, 2001

PURPOSE

The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) is continuing its 
competitive Shared Instrumentation Grant (SIG) Program initiated in Fiscal 
Year 1982.  Results of the most recent study, "The National Survey of 
Academic Research Instruments and Instrumentation," published in 1997 
identified bioanalytical equipment of the type provided through this Program 
as the top most priority. The objective of the program is to make available 
to institutions expensive research instruments that can only be justified on 
a shared-use basis and for which meritorious research projects are described. 
The SIG Program provides a cost-effective mechanism for groups of NIH-
supported investigators to obtain commercially-available, technologically 
sophisticated equipment costing at least $100,000.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Under the general research support authority of Section 301(a)(3) of the 
Public Health Service Act, Shared Instrumentation Grant awards are made to 
public and non-profit institutions only.  For purposes of these guidelines, 
an "institution" is defined as the organizational component identified on 
page 1, item 11 of the PHS 398 (rev. 4/98), for which descriptive information 
is provided on pages 9-10 in the PHS 398 kit.  These institutions include 
health professional schools, other academic institutions, hospitals, health 
departments, and research organizations.  Federal institutions, foreign 
institutions, and for-profit institutions are  not eligible to apply. 
Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons with disabilities are 
encouraged to apply as Principal Investigators.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Awards under this Program Announcement (PA) will use the SIG mechanism (S10). 
SIG provides support for expensive state-of-the-art instrumentation utilized 
in both basic and clinical research. Applications are limited to instruments 
that cost at least $100,000 per instrument or integrated instrument system. 
The maximum award is $500,000. Since the nature and scope of the instruments 
that may be requested will vary, it is anticipated that the size of an award 
will vary also. Awards will be made for the direct costs only. The 
institution must meet those costs (not covered in the normal purchase price) 
required to place the instrumentation in operational order as well as the 
maintenance, support personnel, and service costs associated with maximum 
utilization of the instrument. There is no upper limit on the cost of the 
instrument, but the maximum award is $500,000. Grants will be awarded for a 
period of one year and are not renewable. Supplemental applications will not 
be accepted. The program does not provide facilities and administrative (F&A) 
costs or support for construction or alterations and renovations. Cost 
sharing is not required. If the amount of funds requested does not cover the 
total cost of the instrument, the application should describe the proposed 
sources(s) of funding for the balance of the cost of the instrument. 
Documentation of the availability of the remainder of the funding, signed by 
an appropriate institutional official, must be presented to NCRR prior to the 
issuance of an award.

Applications proposing the direct purchase of an instrument that the 
institution has secured or is planning to secure via a leasing agreement are 
urged to consult with their institutional sponsored projects office regarding 
applicable PHS policy prior to executing the leasing agreement.  If the 
leasing agreement was executed more than one year prior to submission of the 
SIG application, the applicant must provide strong justification for the 
requested Federal funds. Further, the instrument must be considered state-of-
the-art at the time of submission of the SIG application.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

This program is designed to provide for the acquisition or updating of 
expensive shared-use instrumentation not generally available through other 
NIH mechanisms, such as the regular research project, program project, or 
center grant programs. Proposals for research on advancing the design or for 
the development of new instrumentation will not be considered. Applications 
will be accepted for a single, commercially-available instrument or an 
integrated instrument system. An application for more than one type of 
instrumentation will not be considered responsive to this program 
announcement and will be returned.

Types of instrumentation supported include, but are not limited to, nuclear 
magnetic resonance systems, electron and confocal microscopes, mass 
spectrometers, protein and DNA sequencers, biosensors, x-ray diffractometers 
and cell sorters. Support will not be provided for general purpose equipment 
or purely instructional equipment, personal computers, personal work 
stations, printers, and Ethernet interfaces. Proposals for "stand alone" 
computer systems will only be considered if the instrument is solely 
dedicated to the research needs of a broad community of NIH-supported 
investigators. 

An institution may submit more than one application for different 
instrumentation for the March 23, 2001 deadline. However, if applications are 
submitted for similar instrumentation from two or more eligible institutions 
on the same campus of a university, documentation from a high level official 
must be provided stating that this is not an unintended duplication, but part 
of a campus-wide institutional plan. 

Since the intent of the program is to promote sharing, a major user group of 
three or more investigators must be identified.  A minimum of three major 
users must be Principal Investigators on NIH peer reviewed research grants at 
the time of the application and award. For purposes of this program, research 
grants are defined as those grants awarded with the following activity codes: 
P01, R01, U01, R29, R35 and R37. The application must show a clear need for 
the instrumentation by projects supported by multiple NIH research awards and 
demonstrate that these projects will require at least 75 percent of the total 
usage of the instrument. Major users can be individual researchers, or a 
group of investigators within the same department or from several departments 
at the applicant institution. NIH extramural awardees from other nearby 
institutions may also be included.

If the major user group does not require total usage of the instrument, 
access to the instrument should be made available to other users upon the 
advice of the internal advisory committee (see below). These users need not 
be NIH awardees, but priority should be given to NIH-supported scientists 
engaged in biomedical/behavioral research. To promote cost effectiveness, to 
encourage optimal sharing among individual investigators, research groups and 
departments, and to foster a collaborative multidisciplinary environment, the 
instrument should be integrated into a central core facility, whenever 
possible.

Each applicant institution must propose a Principal Investigator who can 
assume administrative/scientific oversight responsibility for the 
instrumentation requested. An internal advisory committee to assist in this 
responsibility should also be utilized. The Principal Investigator and the 
advisory group are responsible for the development of guidelines for shared 
use of the instrument, for preparation of all reports required by the NIH, 
for relocation of the instrument within the grantee institution if the major 
user group is significantly altered, and for continued financial support for 
the maximum utilization and maintenance of the instrument in the post-award 
period.

The application must include a plan for the day-to-day management of the 
instrument including designation of a qualified individual to supervise the 
operation of the instrument and to provide technical expertise to the users. 
Specific plans for sharing arrangements and for monitoring the use of the 
instrument should be described. If a grant award is made, a final progress 
report is required that describes the use of the instrument, listing all 
users and indicating the value of the instrumentation to the research of the 
major users and to the institution as a whole. This report must be submitted 
to NCRR 90 days following the end of the project period.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS 398 
(rev.4/98). Application kits are available at most institutional offices of 
sponsored research and may be obtained from the Division of Extramural 
Outreach and Information Resources, Center for Scientific Review, 6701 
Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone (301) 435-0714, 
email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.  Application kits are also available online at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html.

Complete the PHS 398 application, following the special instructions below.

1.  Form page 1 (Face page of the application) 

Item 1. Name the type of instrument requested.
 
Item 2. Check the box marked "YES" and enter the number and title of this 
program announcement.

Item 4. Not applicable

Item 5. Not applicable

Item 6. The dates should be 04/01/02 through 03/31/03.

Items 7A and 7B, 8A and 8B. Use these blocks to give the total amount 
requested from NCRR for this instrument or system. The direct costs and total 
costs for the budget period and project period must be the same.

Item 11. Insert the appropriate code identification.

2.  Form page 2. Complete the abstract as directed.  Under "Key Personnel," 
give data on the Principal Investigator and the major user group as required.

3.  Form page 4. Describe the instrument requested including manufacturer and 
model number. The model chosen should be justified by comparing its 
performance with other available instruments where appropriate. Specific 
features and any accessories should be justified, both in this section and in 
the description of research projects. Provide a detailed budget breakdown of 
the main equipment and accessories requested including tax and import duties, 
if applicable. An itemized quote from a vendor should be included. If a 
project involves a potential biohazard, funds for accessory containment 
equipment for the instrument or instrument system may be included in the 
requested budget.

4. Form page 5. Budget Estimates for All Years.  Not applicable; do not 
complete.

5.  Form page 6 - Biographical Sketch.  In addition to the personnel listed 
on page 2, include a biographical sketch of the person(s) who will be in 
charge of maintenance and operation of the instrument and a brief statement 
of the qualifications of the individual(s). Biographical sketches should not 
exceed 2 pages for each individual.

6.  Form page 7 - Other Support.  Provide the requested information for each 
major user and for each application for the same instrumentation sent to NSF 
or another organization or agency.

7.  Form page 8 - Resources.  Not applicable; do not complete.

8.  Research Plan section of the application. (If this is a revised 
application, note the special instructions on page 14 in the PHS 398 kit 
regarding completion of this section of the application.)

Provide information relative to the points identified under criteria for 
review including:

a.  Inventory similar instruments existing at the applicant institution, 
neighboring research institutions, or otherwise accessible; describe why they 
are unavailable or inappropriate for the proposed research. Provide a 
clear justification why new or updated equipment is needed, including 
accessories. Include specific documentation on the current usage and downtime 
of existing instruments and a realistic estimate of the projected usage for the 
requested instrument.

b. Use a table to list the names of the users, brief titles of the projects, 
the NIH grant numbers and the estimated percentage of use.  List the page 
number of this table under "Table of Contents" (Form page 3) after 
"Resources".  Make a separate table to indicate the major users' needs for 
requested accessories. Since the projects of the major users have been 
previously peer reviewed, the project descriptions should be brief and 
focused on a clear explanation of how the requested instrument would be 
utilized to enhance the progress of the ongoing funded research. Sufficient 
technical detail (preliminary data and/or supplemental information) should be 
included to evaluate whether the instrument is appropriate, would be 
effectively employed, and would provide advantages over other methods. The 
needs of the research projects should be clearly tied to the requested 
instrument and should indicate the benefit of the instrument to the research 
objectives of each major user. If possible, each user should highlight those 
publications that demonstrate the user's expertise in using the requested 
instrumentation. For minor users, only include a very brief (one-paragraph) 
summary of the research related to the need for the instruments.  The 
combined project descriptions of the user groups should not exceed 30 pages.

c.  Describe the organizational plan to administer the grant. Include 
membership of the advisory committee, policies and procedures for assuring 
use and equitable sharing of the instrument and plans for including minor or 
outside users.

d.  Submit a specific financial plan for long-term operation and maintenance 
of the instrument. Provide documentation (e.g., separate letters signed by 
appropriate institutional officials) describing the required institutional 
commitment in support of the proposed plan.

Applications must be received by March 23, 2001. Applications received after 
this date will not be accepted for review in this competition and will be 
returned to the applicant. The completed, signed original and four exact 
photocopies of the signed application and any appendix material must be sent 
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)

Do not send applications for different instruments in the same package.
One copy of the application must be sent to:

SHARED INSTRUMENTATION GRANT PROGRAM
BIOMEDICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA
NATIONAL CENTER FOR RESEARCH RESOURCES
6705 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 6148 - MSC 7965
BETHESDA, MD 20892-7965
BETHESDA, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Applications will be reviewed for completeness by CSR and responsiveness by 
NCRR.  Applications that are complete and responsive to the program 
announcement will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by 
specially convened instrument-specific initial review groups of the Center 
for Scientific Review (CSR).  As part of the initial merit review, all 
applications will receive a written critique and may undergo a process in 
which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific merit, 
generally the top half of applications under review, will be discussed, 
assigned a priority score, and receive a second level review by the National 
Advisory Research Resources Council (NARRC).

Approximately half of the applications will be reviewed at the September 2001 
NARRC meeting and the remainder at the NARRC meeting in January 2002. Funding 
decisions on all applications received for the March 23, 2001, deadline will 
not be made until the program receives an appropriation for FY 2002. The 
Council date will not affect the likelihood of funding.

JOINT NIH/NSF SUBMISSION

A recent NIH/NSF Memorandum of Understanding permits the joint agency review 
and funding of requests for a single instrument costing more than $500,000 
which would normally be eligible for submission to both NIH and NSF.  Such a 
request may be submitted to NIH  for the March 23 deadline for review by NIH 
with NSF participation, thus avoiding separate agency peer review.  Under 
this arrangement, the agencies may offer joint funding in excess of their 
current award limits.  Applicants contemplating joint NIH-NSF submission are 
strongly urged to contact both the NSF Division of Biological Infrastructure 
(NSF contact:  Multi-User Biological Instrumentation Program Officer:  
dbiiid@nsf.gov; (703-292-8470) and the NCRR SIG Program (Dr. Marjorie A. 
Tingle 301-435-0772; SIG@ncrr.nih.gov) for information concerning 
eligibility and required documentation.

REVIEW CRITERIA

o  The Scientific Need
The extent to which an award for the specific instrument would  meet the 
scientific needs and enhance the planned research endeavors of the major 
users by providing an instrument that is unavailable or to which availability 
is highly limited.

o  Technical Expertise
The availability and commitment of the appropriate technical expertise within 
the major user group or the institution for use of the instrumentation.

o  Management Plan
The adequacy of the organizational plan for use of the instrument and the 
internal advisory committee for oversight of the instrument including sharing 
arrangements.

o  Institutional Commitment
The institution's commitment for continued support of the utilization and 
maintenance of the instrument.

o  Overall Benefit
The benefit of the proposed instrument to the overall research community it 
will serve.

AWARD CRITERIA

In making funding decisions, the NCRR will give consideration to ensure 
program balance among various types of instruments supported and geographic 
distribution of awards.

INQUIRIES

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

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic or scientific issues to:

Marjorie A. Tingle, Ph.D.
Shared Instrumentation Grant Program
National Center for Research Resources
6705 Rockledge Drive, Room 6148, MSC 7965
Bethesda, MD  20892-7965
Telephone:  (301) 435-0772
FAX:  (301) 480-3659
Email:  SIG@ncrr.nih.gov 

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Ms. Mary Niemiec
Office of Grants Management
National Center for Research Resources
6705 Rockledge Drive, Room 6205, MSC 7965
Bethesda, MD  20892-7965
Telephone:  (301) 435-0844
Email:  MaryN@ncrr.nih.gov 

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 
93.371, Biomedical Technology. Awards will be made under authorization of the 
Public Health Service Act, Title IV, Part A (Public Law 78-410, as amended by 
Public Law 99-158, 42 USC 241 and 285) and administered under NIH grants 
policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Part 74. This 
program is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of 
Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.

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


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