This Program Announcement expires on August 12, 2002, unless reissued.


Release Date:  October 11, 2001

PA NUMBER:  PAR-02-010

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
National Cancer Institute
National Eye Institute
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
National Human Genome Research Institute
National Institute on Aging
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
National Institute of Mental Health
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institute of Nursing Research
National Library of Medicine

Notice of Intent Receipt Dates:  December 21, 2001 and July 12, 2002
Application Receipt Dates:       January 24, 2002 and August 12, 2002


Participating Institutes and Centers (ICs) of the National Institutes of Health 
(NIH) invite applications for R01 awards to support Bioengineering Research 
Partnerships (BRPs) for basic and applied multi-disciplinary research that 
addresses important biological or medical research problems.  A BRP is a multi-
disciplinary research team applying an integrative, systems approach to develop 
knowledge and/or methods to prevent, detect, diagnose, or treat disease or to 
understand health and behavior.  The partnership must include appropriate 
bioengineering or allied quantitative sciences in combination with biomedical 
and/or clinical investigators.  A BRP may propose hypothesis-driven, discovery-
driven, developmental, or design-directed research at universities, national 
laboratories, medical schools, large or small businesses, or other public and 
private entities or combinations of these entities.

On October 1, 2001, NIH issued a related program announcement (PA) PA-02-011 for 
Bioengineering Research Grants (BRGs).  The BRGs differ from the BRPs in that 
the BRG research will be performed in a single laboratory or by a small number 
of investigators.


Many of today's biomedical problems are best addressed using a multi-
disciplinary approach that extends beyond the traditional biological and 
clinical sciences.  Bioengineering integrates principles from a diversity of 
technical and biomedical fields and crosses the boundaries of many scientific 
disciplines represented throughout academia, laboratories, and industry.  The 
creativity of interdisciplinary teams is resulting in new basic understandings, 
novel products, and innovative technologies for addressing biomedical problems.  

Recognizing the importance of bioengineering in public health, the 
Bioengineering Consortium (BECON) was established in 1997 as a focus for  
bioengineering activities at the NIH.  To facilitate communication between the 
allied and biomedical disciplines and to provide input from the scientific 
community on research needs and directions, the BECON has held annual two-day 
symposia on emerging topics of interest related to bioengineering including 
bioengineering (1998), bioimaging, (1999), nanotechnology (2000), and reparative 
medicine (2001).   Summaries of the proceedings and recommendations of these 
symposia are available on the Internet at  

Discussions and recommendations of symposia participants aided the formulation 
of the BRP and BRG program announcements. Both the BRP and BRG PAs recognize 
that applications for bioengineering projects often focus on technology 
development rather than on proving or disproving scientific hypotheses.  
Therefore, the NIH review criteria for bioengineering applications submitted in 
response to these PAs have been modified to ensure that these proposals are 
evaluated appropriately and fairly.

In December 2000, the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and 
Bioengineering (NIBIB) was established at the NIH with a mission to improve 
health by promoting fundamental discoveries, design and development, and 
translation and assessment of technological capabilities.  In support of this 
mission, the NIBIB funds research aimed at developing fundamental or cross-
cutting technologies that can be translated into several biomedical 
applications.  Studies involving technological application to a specific 
disease, organ system, or social issue will be considered by the appropriate NIH 
institute or center.


One objective of this program announcement is to encourage basic and applied 
bioengineering research that could make a significant contribution to improving 
human health.   Bioengineering integrates physical, engineering, and 
computational science principles for the study of biology, medicine, behavior, 
or health.  It advances fundamental concepts, creates knowledge from the 
molecular to the organ systems level, and develops innovative biologicals, 
materials, processes, implants, devices, and informatics approaches for the 
prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, for patient rehabilitation, and 
for improving health.

A second objective is to encourage collaborations and partnerships among the 
allied quantitative and biomedical sciences.  A BRP should bring together 
necessary physical, engineering, or computational science expertise with 
biological or clinical resources to address a significant area of bioengineering 
research within the mission of the NIH. In addition to the benefits to be 
derived from the research, the collaborations and partnerships can create 
opportunities for trans-disciplinary communication and training for a new 
generation of scientists capable of interacting across traditional technical 


Applications for a BRP award should focus on an area of basic, applied, 
behavioral, or clinical research in bioengineering that supports the missions of 
the NIH institutes and centers and where progress is likely to make a 
significant contribution to improving human health.


The mechanism of support will be the NIH R01 research grant. Responsibility for 
the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed project will be solely 
that of the applicant.  The total requested project period for a competitively-
reviewed application may not exceed five years. Detailed budgets are required 
for BRP applications. 


Applications may be submitted by domestic for-profit, non-profit, public, and 
private organizations.  Examples of eligible organizations include universities, 
colleges, hospitals, national laboratories, industrial research organizations, 
large or small businesses, units of state and local governments, eligible 
agencies of the Federal government, and faith-based organizations.  Foreign 
institutions are not eligible to apply. However, BRP collaborative projects may 
include work at a foreign site when the expertise at the foreign site is not 
present in the United States.  Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and 
persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply as principal investigators.


For any grant, the maximum total (direct plus indirect) costs to be awarded in 
any year is $2 million.  The number of awards and level of support will depend 
on the number of applications of high scientific merit that are received and the 
availability of funds. Funding in subsequent years will be contingent upon 
satisfactory progress during the preceding year(s) and the availability of 
funds.  Applicants are encouraged to discuss budget requests with NIH scientific 
and financial contacts listed under INQUIRIES prior to submission.  The initial 
period of support for a BRP award may be up to five years.  The award may be 
competitively renewed for a second period up to five years.  NIH does not 
envision more than one renewal period.                                     


Prospective applicants are asked to submit a one-page notice of intent by the 
deadlines given on the first page of this announcement. The letter of intent 
should consist of the number and title of the PA; a descriptive title of the 
proposed research; the name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address of 
the Principal Investigator; and the identities of other key personnel and 
participating institutions.  The letter of intent is to be sent via email to  


An organizational structure that clearly defines the partnership and justifies 
relationships among the various components must be developed and described in 
the application.  The BRP size, structure, and mode of operation should match 
the needs and scope of the proposed research.  

The BRP Principal Investigator (PI) is responsible for management, staffing, and 
resource allocation and for administering the award in accordance with NIH 
policies.  The PI has the responsibility and authority to use BRP funds in the 
most productive way to achieve the goals defined at the time of the award.  To 
accomplish this task, the PI can adjust funding among BRP participants to 
support new partners or to reduce support to old partners as needed. 


BRP PIs will meet annually to share results, to ensure that the NIH has a 
coherent view of the advances in these fields, and to have an opportunity for 
collective problem solving among the PIs.  The cost of participating in this 
annual meeting should be included in the BRP budget.


Applicants are strongly advised to contact IC scientific program staff listed 
under INQUIRIES to discuss the relevance of their proposed work to the 
institute’s mission before preparing a detailed research application.  Detailed 
information on research missions and programs for each NIH institute and center 
is available on the individual IC’s Web sites which can be accessed through the 
NIH Homepage at  

The PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001) at are to be used in 
applying for these grants and will be accepted at the standard application 
deadlines ( as indicated in the 
application kit.  This version of the PHS 398 is available in an interactive, 
searchable PDF format. Although applicants are encouraged to begin using the 
5/2001 revision of the PHS 398 as soon as possible, the NIH will continue to 
accept applications prepared using the 4/1998 revision until January 9, 2002. 
Beginning January 10, 2002, however, the NIH will return applications that are 
not submitted on the 5/2001 version.  For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, 
Telephone 301/435-0714, Email:

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

Follow the PHS 398 instructions for "Preparing Your Application" with the 
following modifications and additions:

1.  Page limitations have been increased to a maximum of 40 pages from the usual 
25 page limit for sections A-D of the "Research Plan" of an application. This 40 
page limit is an absolute maximum.  Applicants are encouraged to be concise and 
use fewer pages.

2.  Description Page - The institution leading the BRP and any other 
participating institutions must be identified. The description should provide a 
clear indication of the area of bioengineering research that will be the focus 
of the BRP, the planned multidisciplinary approach, the specific milestones to 
be achieved, and timelines for achievement for the first year and additional 
years of the grant.

3.  An organization chart (OC) that clearly defines the partnership and 
relationships among its various components must be included with the 
application. A program plan (PP) should accompany the OC and list major tasks 
with a timeline of expected milestones for the entire project period.  The OC 
and PP must not exceed one page each.  This information should be included in 
the Research, Design, and Methods section of the application.

4.  BRP Budget Items - A separate budget for each partner at a 
subcontract/consortium institution, and when appropriate for clarity, for each 
partner within the grantee institution must be included.  Include a summary 
budget for all BRP participants with partners at non-grantee institutions shown 
as consortium arrangements.

The NIH ICs will not provide annual support in excess of $2 million total cost 
for any year.  Direct cost inflationary increases following the first year may 
be included, but the total cost maximum request level of $2,000,000 per year 
must be observed.

The PI is expected to devote a minimum of 25% effort to the BRP.  The percent 
effort requested for other personnel should be limited to time devoted 
specifically to BRP Partner activities and not to other research activities.  
Information documenting the level of effort on BRP activities should be included 
in the application.  The need for all requested personnel costs should be 
thoroughly justified.  The percent effort of the BRP PI should be justified in 
the context of the PI's other responsibilities. Administrative support (a 
secretary or an administrative assistant) may be requested for the BRP office 
only for matters directly pertaining to the BRP.

There will be an annual BRP PI meeting at a date and location to be determined 
by NIH staff.  Applicants should include travel funds specifically for these 
meetings in the BRP budget request.  

Applicants may request and justify other travel funds in addition to the funds 
required for the annual PI meeting.  Travel funds could be used to promote 
collaboration among BRP partners at different institutions or at a distant site, 
be used for travel of external advisors to the BRP site, and/or be used for BRP 
partners to attend scientific meetings essential to the progress of the BRP and 
for which other funds are not available.

Other expenses can be requested including costs necessary for the central 
administration and fiscal management of the BRP including relevant and 
reasonable costs for reprints, graphics, and publications.

With regard to projected funding by source, some BRP applicants may anticipate 
or receive commitments for significant funding from other than NIH sources; 
e.g., from a collaborating company. In this case, applications should describe 
the source, annual amount, and use of the other funding.

5.  Other Support - Provide a complete listing of current and pending support 
for the Principal Investigator, Co-Investigator(s), and other key personnel for 
grantee and partnering organizations.

6.  Resources - The application should describe the equipment and facilities 
available for the proposed BRP.

If the BRP entails an institutional commitment of resources across boundaries in 
the institution or anticipates the provision of institutional resources, include 
letters from appropriate senior-level individuals describing their agreements to 
support those commitments.

Where appropriate, describe the shared facilities to be established including 
specific major research instruments and plans for the development of 
instruments.  Describe plans for maintaining and operating the facilities 
including staffing, provisions for user fees, and plans for ensuring access to 
outside users.  Distinguish between existing facilities and those still to be 

7. Research Plan

  A. Specific Aims – Applications submitted in response to this program 
announcement may be design-, problem, need-, or hypothesis-driven.  Thus, the 
application should state the hypotheses, designs, problems, and/or needs that 
will drive the proposed research.  Describe the specific aims in the appropriate 
area of bioengineering research and the goals for the first year and for the 
long term. Describe the expected applications of the bioengineering research 
that will improve human health. One page is recommended.

  B. Background and Significance - Briefly describe the area of 
bioengineering research that is the focus of the BRP.  Critically evaluate 
existing knowledge and approaches that have been or are being applied in the 
area and specifically describe how the proposed BRP approach will advance the 
field.  State concisely the importance and health relevance of the research 
proposed to achieve the Specific Aims.

  C. Preliminary Studies and Rationale - Preliminary studies that support 
the proposed research should be described in the application.

  D.  Research Design and Methods - A BRP should focus on a systems approach 
in a significant area of bioengineering research.  Describe an overall research 
plan that is sufficiently long term (five to ten years) to justify organizing a 
BRP and adaptable enough to permit change as the research proceeds.  Clearly 
indicate current activities, why a BRP is necessary, and what unique 
opportunities will be provided by the proposed BRP.  Explain the integrative-
engineering approach and why such an approach is essential to the proposed 
research.  If the proposed BRP research is closely related to ongoing research 
or an existing center, explain how the research activities of the BRP will 
complement but not overlap existing research.  Describe the contributions of 
each partner and how these will be integrated and organized to accomplish the 
specific aims of the project.  Provide a tentative sequence or timetable for the 
project.  If appropriate to the project, state quantitative milestones 
corresponding to timetable events. Include a description of how the data will be 
collected, analyzed, and interpreted.  Discuss major technical challenges and 
possible alternative approaches to achieve the aims.  Describe plans for 
enhancing the abilities and opportunities for investigators and trainees to work 
across disciplinary boundaries.  

Applications should include a plan for making available to the research 
community any technologies developed or enhanced by work conducted as part of 
the program announcement.  This plan should be described in the Research Design 
and Methods section of the application.  Investigators using PHS funds are 
required to make unique research resources readily available for research 
purposes to qualified individuals within the scientific community when the 
results have been published.  The intent of this policy is not to discourage, 
impede, or prohibit the organization the develops the unique research resources 
or intellectual property from commercializing the products.  


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


Applicants are advised that the 40-page application should contain all relevant 
information.  Appendix materials should not be submitted with the application.  
Reviewers are not obligated to read appended materials. Applicants who wish to 
send appendices should wait until they receive notification that the application 
has been assigned to an Initial Review Group.   At that time, they should 
contact the Scientific Review Administrator of the committee to which their 
application is assigned to receive further instructions.


In accordance with NIH policy 
(, an applicant 
planning to submit a proposal that requests $500,000 or more in direct costs for 
any year must obtain approval to submit the application from scientific program 
staff at a research institute or center.  This approval must be obtained at 
least six weeks before the application deadlines (December 13, 2001, and July 1, 
2002, for this program announcement).   The applicant must identify the 
institute or center and the scientific program staff member who agreed to accept 
assignment of the application in the cover letter that transmits the proposal.  
A list of scientific program contacts for each of the NIH IC’s is available on 
the Internet at  
Applications exceeding $500,000 per year direct costs in any year that are 
submitted without this approval will be returned.


Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the 
Checklist, and five signed photocopies in one package to:

ROOM 1040 - MSC 7710
BETHESDA, MD  20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)

Applications must be received by the application deadline dates given on the 
first page of this solicitation.  If an application is received after that date, 
it will be returned to the applicant without review.    


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


Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by CSR staff.  
Applications that are complete will be evaluated for scientific and technical 
merit by Scientific Review Groups of the CSR.  As part of the initial merit 
review, all applications will receive a written critique and undergo a process 
in which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific merit 
(generally the top half of applications under review) may be discussed, assigned 
a priority score, and receive a second-level review by the appropriate national 
advisory council or board. 


The NIH review criteria have been adapted to ensure that the BRP application is 
evaluated appropriately.  The score should reflect the overall impact that the 
BRP award could have on the selected area of bioengineering research based on 
consideration of the five criteria given below.  The emphasis on each criterion 
can vary from one application to another depending on the nature of the 
application and its relative strengths.  An application need not be strong in 
all categories to be judged likely to have major technical or scientific impact 
and thus deserve a high priority score.  For example, an investigative 
partnership may propose to perform important work that by its nature is not 
innovative but is essential to advance a field. 

A BRP may propose discovery-driven, developmental, non-hypothesis-driven, 
design-directed, or hypothesis-driven research at universities, national 
laboratories, medical schools, large or small businesses, or other public and 
private entities.  The review criteria include:

1. Significance.  If the specific aims of the BRP are achieved, will they 
provide significant advances in the selected area of bioengineering research? Is 
the research likely to have a significant impact on other areas of research? 
Will the technological advances have a significant impact on human health?

2. Approach. Are the BRP engineering, scientific and clinical approaches and 
methods adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the aims of 
the project?  Does the application address potential problem areas and consider 
alternative strategies?  Is a timetable with adequate research milestones 
proposed?  Are appropriate specifications and evaluation procedures provided for 
assessing technological progress? 

Is the proposed partnership adequate for the research?  Is the partnership 
strategy well-planned and documented?  Is there evidence that the partners from 
academia or industry can work together effectively, have an impact on achieving 
the research goals, and disseminate the technology developed (including through 
commercialization)?  Is the plan for sharing or disseminating technologies 
developed or enhanced under this program announcement adequate?  Do they 
describe arrangements that facilitate the fruitful participation of a partner at 
a distant site?  If partnership with industry or small business is included, 
does this positively affect the research goals and technology dissemination?  

3. Innovation.  Does the BRP propose new approaches, explore new research 
paradigms, or represent new concepts that combine engineering, physical, and 
clinical sciences?  Will the proposed approaches or concepts solve current 
scientific or technical problems in novel ways?

4. Investigators.  Is the PI capable of coordinating and managing the proposed 
BRP? Are the investigators (partners) appropriately trained in their disciplines 
and capable of conducting the proposed interdisciplinary work? 

5. Environment.  Does the scientific and technological environment in which the 
work will be done contribute to the probability of success?  Does the proposed 
research take advantage of unique features of the scientific environment or 
employ useful collaborative arrangements within the partnership?  Is there 
evidence of institutional support?  Does the partnership create potential 
opportunities to foster transdisciplinary communication and training across 
traditional scientific and technical boundaries?


BRP applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended 
applications. Funding decisions will be based on the quality of the proposed 
research as determined by peer review, availability of funds, and the 
institute’s programmatic priority for the focus of the proposed research.


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

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
"NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical 
Research" published in the “NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts” on August 2, 
2000 ( 
Recent revisions relate to NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials and require: a) 
all applications or proposals and/or protocols to provide a description of plans 
to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by sex/gender and/or 
racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable; and b) all 
investigators to report accrual and to conduct and report analyses, as 
appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group differences. 


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

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
"NIH Policy and Guidelines on the Inclusion of Children as Participants in 
Research Involving Human Subjects" that was published in the NIH Guide for 
Grants and Contracts, March 6, 1998, and is available on the Internet at 


NIH policy requires education on the protection of human subject participants 
for all investigators submitting NIH proposals for research involving human 
subjects.  This policy announcement is available in the NIH Guide for Grants an 
Contracts, June 5, 2000 (Revised August 25, 2000), available at: 


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

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


The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health promotion 
and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2010," a PHS-led national 
activity for setting priority areas. This program announcement is related to one 
or more of the priority areas.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of 
"Healthy People 2010" on the Internet at 


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

Inquiries or contacts concerning institute-specific scientific or financial 
issues should be directed to the NIH BECON scientific or financial contacts 
listed at the following Web site:  

These scientific contacts can also be used to obtain permission to submit 
applications that request more the $500,000 of direct costs in any year.

Inquiries regarding general programmatic issues should be directed to:

Dr. Richard E. Swaja
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
31 Center Drive – Room 1B37
Bethesda, MD  20892-2077
TEL:  301-451-6771
FAX:  301-480-4515

Inquiries concerning review issues should be directed to:

Dr. Eileen Bradley
Center for Scientific Review
6701 Rockledge Drive
Bethesda, MD  20892
TEL:  301-435-1179
FAX:  301-480-2241	


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Nos. 
93.394, 93.395, 93.396, 93.306, 93.867, 93.172, 93.837, 93.838, 93.839, 93.866, 
93.273, 93.855, 93.856, 93.846, 93.864, 93.865, 93.929, 93.279, 93.173, 93.121, 
93.847, 93.848, 93.849, 93.113, 93.821, 93.859, 93.862, 93.242, 93.853, 93.361, 
and 93.879.  Awards are made under authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the 
Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and administered under 
NIH grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Part 74 and 92.  
This program is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of 
Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.

The NIH Grants Policy Statement is available at  This document includes general 
information about the grant application and review process; information on the 
terms and conditions that apply to NIH grants and cooperative agreements; and a 
listing of pertinent offices and officials at the NIH.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant 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 

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

H H S Department of Health
and Human Services

  N I H National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892