NINDS INSTITUTIONAL CENTER CORE GRANTS TO SUPPORT NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH

RELEASE DATE:  February 11, 2002

PA NUMBER:  PAR-02-059 (This PA has been reissued, see PAR-05-070)

EXPIRATION DATE:  February 28, 2005, unless reissued.

PARTICIPATING INSTITUTES AND CENTERS (ICs):

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
 (http://www.ninds.nih.gov)

THIS PA CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION

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

PURPOSE OF THIS PA

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) invites 
applications for Center Core Grants to support neuroscience research.  The 
purpose of this program is to advance the NINDS mission to promote 
understanding and treatment of neurological disorders by providing core 
research facilities that are not otherwise available.  Each Center Core Grant 
will support shared resources and facilities used by investigators with 
research projects funded by NINDS.  This support, by providing more 
accessible resources, is expected to assure a greater productivity than would 
be possible from the separate projects.  An institution is eligible for a 
maximum of one NINDS Center Core Grant.  These awards will support basic, 
translational, and clinical research, but will not be used to support 
clinical trials or to provide patient services.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

NINDS Center Core Grants will support centralized resources and facilities 
shared by investigators with existing NINDS-funded research projects.  Each 
Center will be composed of one or more research cores, each of which will 
enrich the effectiveness of ongoing research, and promote new research 
directions.  A Center Core Grant will support individual neuroscience 
research projects by providing necessary resources and performing required 
services that would be difficult or impractical to provide in individual 
labs.  Center Core Grants will foster a cooperative and interactive research 
environment through which multidisciplinary approaches to neuroscience 
problems and joint research efforts will be stimulated.  The applicant 
institution is encouraged to consider a plan to co-fund the Center, in order 
to maximize its utility and effectiveness.

The NINDS Center Core Grants program is intended to support research 
infrastructure cores.  The program will not provide support for cores that 
support clinical trials, provide patients services, or conduct pilot projects.

To receive a Center Core Grant award, an institution must have at least five 
qualifying NINDS-funded research projects at the time of application 
submission (see ELIGIBLE INSTITUTIONS).  All of the qualifying projects must 
be significant users of the Center, and no more than 50% of total Center 
usage should be proposed for any single qualifying project.  The qualifying 
projects are necessary, but must not be the only users of the Center.  Any 
NINDS-funded research project at the institution, or at other institutions 
associated with the Center through consortium agreements, will be eligible to 
use the Center.  The applicant institution should propose a plan that 
explains how Center capacity will be allocated to PIs of qualifying grants 
and to PIs with other NINDS funding.  The plan should permit some level of 
access to NINDS PIs who do not hold qualifying grants, even during busy 
periods of usage, so that the Center will serve as an institutional resource 
to further neuroscience research. 

Examples of Research Cores

The following areas may be appropriate for individual cores within a NINDS 
Center.  This list is not all-inclusive; applicants may propose other types 
of research cores.

Animal models (general, phenotyping, transgenic)
Animal surgery
Assay development
Cell culture
Cell repository
Computer/IT
DNA sequencing
Drug screening
Electrophysiology
Flow cytommetry
Gene vector development and production
Histochemistry (immunocytochemistry, autoradiography, in situ hybridization)
Imaging (MRI, PET, MEG, NIRS)
Informatics
Machine shop
Mass spectrometry
Microarrays
Microscopy (light, electron, confocal, laser capture)
Molecular biology
Monoclonal antibody production
Neuropathology (animal and human)
Neurotoxicology
NMR
Protein analysis (proteomics)
Protein crystallography/X-ray structure determination
Radiochemistry (PET, tracers)
Statistics/data analysis
Tissue resource

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT 

This PA will use the NIH Center Core Grants (P30) award mechanism.  As an 
applicant, you will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and 
executing the proposed project.  Applicants may request up to $500,000 per 
year in direct costs.  The total project period for an application submitted 
in response to this PA may not exceed 5 years.

This PA uses just-in-time concepts.

ELIGIBLE INSTITUTIONS 

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

Institutions eligible for NINDS Center Core Grants will have, on the date of 
application submission, at least five qualifying research projects all of 
which will use the Center, and the usage level proposed for the qualifying 
projects must be sufficient to justify the size and scope of the Center 
requested.  Qualifying research projects include only NINDS-funded Research 
Project (R01), Program Project (P01), and Specialized Center (P50) grants 
provided that there is no overlap between the requested Center and existing 
cores associated with the P01 or P50 grants.  Each P01 or P50 grant will 
count as one qualifying research project.  Up to two of the qualifying NINDS-
funded projects can be held by institutions other than the applicant 
institution, provided that the PIs on those projects will have access to the 
core facilities through consortium agreements established with the applicant 
institution and included in the application budget.  There should be no 
overlap between the requested Center core facilities and other pre-existing 
core facilities at the institutions holding the qualifying projects, and 
existing facilities should be described in the "Resources" and "Other 
Support" sections of the application.  An institution is eligible for a 
maximum of one NINDS Center Core Grant.

INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS

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

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS
 
A Steering Committee composed of the PI of the Center Core Grant and the PIs 
of the qualifying projects will establish guidelines to determine the most 
appropriate methods for providing access to the core facilities and services, 
and for prioritizing work within the cores.

A sharing plan for the distribution of unique research resources developed 
through Center activities should be included in the application, and will be 
implemented by the Steering Committee.  The sharing plan should preserve 
research freedom and publication rights, while ensuring appropriate 
implementation of the Bayh-Dole Act (35 U.S.C. 200 et seq.) and dissemination 
of research resources.  A Federal Register Notice published on December 23, 
1999, titled "Principles and Guidelines for Recipients of NIH Research Grants 
and Contracts on Obtaining and Disseminating Biomedical Research Resources: 
Final Notice," provides further information, and is available at 
http://www.ott.nih.gov/policy/rt_guide_final.html.  The application should 
include a request for the funds necessary to implement the sharing plan.

To assist NINDS in determining the success of this program, grantees will be 
required to include in the annual progress report information on Center usage 
by core and PI, publications to which Center activities made a contribution, 
and overall impact on neuroscience research progress.

WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES

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

o Direct your questions about scientific/research issues to:

Thomas Miller, Ph.D.
Technology Development
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2139
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  301-496-1779
FAX:  301-402-1501
Email:  tm208y@nih.gov

o Direct your questions about peer review issues to:

Chief, Scientific Review Branch
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 3208
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  301-496-9223
FAX:  301-402-0182

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

Rebecca Claycamp
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 3290
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  301-496-9231
Fax:  301-402-0219
Email:  rc253d@nih.gov

SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION

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

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

OTHER INSTRUCTIONS: The title and number of the PA must be typed on line 2 of 
the face page of the application form and the YES box must be marked.

The Specific Aims and a description for each qualifying project, not 
exceeding 2 pages per project, should be included in the application.

The budget section of the application must include an overall summary budget 
for the Center that includes the cost of the individual cores, and a separate 
detailed budget for each proposed core.

ALLOWABLE COSTS: Allowable costs are governed by the NIH Grants Policy 
Statement and applicable cost principles.  Specific limits appear below as 
well as certain items that may be requested.

Salary support for the PI may not exceed 5% effort.  Support for secretarial 
and administrative staff may be requested to the extent that it relates 
directly to the management of the Center.  Costs for PI salary and support 
for secretarial and administrative staff may not exceed 15% of the total 
direct costs for a Center in any year.

Salary may not be requested for PIs of qualifying projects or directors of 
individual cores within the Center.

Salary may be requested for technical support personnel and consultants.

Requests for shared equipment are allowed.

Consumable supplies may be requested to the extent they are directly related 
to the operation of the cores.  These supplies should be generic in nature 
and used for purposes that are not project specific.  Unique research 
reagents and supplies that are specific to the support of individual 
projects, including experimental animals, may not be requested.

Costs for animal purchase and care are not allowed, except in animal 
models cores.

Travel costs are not allowed.

Patient care and recruitment costs are not allowed.

Costs for seminars and workshops are not allowed.

Alteration and renovation costs are not allowed.

SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH: Submit a signed, typewritten original of 
the application, including the checklist, and four signed photocopies in one 
package to:

Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD  20892-7710
Bethesda, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)

In order to facilitate the review of applications, the applicant should, at 
the same time, mail or deliver one copy of the application to:

Chief, Scientific Review Branch
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 3208
Bethesda, MD  20892
Rockville, MD  20852 (for express/courier service)

APPLICATION PROCESSING: Applications must be received by or mailed before the 
receipt dates described at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm.  The CSR will 
not accept any application in response to this PA that is essentially the 
same as one currently pending initial review unless the applicant withdraws 
the pending application.  The CSR will not accept any application that is 
essentially the same as one already reviewed.  This does not preclude the 
submission of a substantial revision of an application already reviewed, but 
such application must include an Introduction addressing the previous critique.

PEER REVIEW PROCESS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR and 
for responsiveness by NINDS.  Incomplete and/or non-responsive applications 
will be returned to the applicant without further consideration.  
Applications that are complete and responsive will be evaluated for 
scientific and technical merit by an appropriate scientific review group 
convened by NINDS in accordance with the review criteria stated below.

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

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

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

o Significance 
o Approach 
o Innovation
o Investigator
o Environment
  
The scientific review group will address and consider each of these criteria 
in assigning your application's overall score, weighting them as appropriate 
for each application.  Your application does not need to be strong in all 
categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact and thus 
deserve a high priority score.  For example, you may propose to carry out 
important work that by its nature is not innovative but is essential to move 
a field forward.

(1) SIGNIFICANCE:  Does your study address an important problem?  If the aims 
of your application are achieved, how do they advance scientific knowledge?  
What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or methods that 
drive this field?

(2) APPROACH:  Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses 
adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the 
project?  Do you acknowledge potential problem areas and consider 
alternative tactics?

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

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

(5) ENVIRONMENT:  Does the scientific environment in which your work will be 
done contribute to the probability of success?  Do the proposed experiments 
take advantage of unique features of the scientific environment or employ 
useful collaborative arrangements?  Is there evidence of institutional support?

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

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

DATA SHARING:  The adequacy of the proposed plan to share data.

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

OTHER REVIEW CRITERIA:

The scored applications will receive an overall priority score, based on the 
standard NIH review criteria listed above and the following 
P30-specific criteria.

(1) Individual Cores

The individual cores will be evaluated on the quality and usefulness of the 
facilities and services to be provided, and on the contribution to the 
overall effectiveness of the Center.  Important factors for this evaluation 
will include:

o The significance of the core support to increased research productivity.

o The ability of the core to promote collaborative research.

o The ability of the core to provide the latest and most advanced techniques 
and services to a community of investigators.

o The training and suitability of the core director and personnel, and their 
ability to devote adequate time and effort to the core.

(2) Leadership and Administration

Important factors for the evaluation of the leadership and administration of 
the Center will include:

o	The qualifications of the PI, and the PI's ability to effectively 
administer the Center Core Grant.

o The extent of the commitment and support by the institution to the goal of 
supporting research on the nervous system and its disorders.  This commitment 
and support may be demonstrated by provision of significant space 
commitments, faculty position commitments, payment or partial payment of 
salaries for support staff, purchases of equipment, and financial support for 
any necessary new construction or renovation.

o The plans for coordination of ongoing research among the NINDS-funded 
qualifying projects, and for access of other NINDS-funded projects to 
the Center.

o The ability of the Center to significantly enhance the established research 
base of the host institution.

o The proposed financial administration, procurement, property and personnel 
management, planning, and budget functions of the core facilities.

o The implementation plan for the Steering Committee to determine access to 
Center facilities and services and to prioritize research projects so that 
the Center will serve as an institutional resource.

o The sharing plan for dissemination of unique research resources developed 
through Center activities.

o The overall environment for the Center, including space, equipment, 
facilities, and the potential for interaction with scientists from other 
departments and institutions.

(3) Research Base

Important factors for the evaluation of the research base include:

o The aggregate quality of the Center's research base, and the relevance of 
the qualifying research projects to the overall goals of the Center.

o The interrelatedness of the qualifying research projects, and the 
possibility of synergies leading to the development of collaborations and new 
research directions for the local neuroscience research community.

AWARD CRITERIA

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

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

REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS 

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

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

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

Applicants may wish to place data collected under this PA in a public 
archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the 
distribution for an indefinite period of time.  If so, the application should 
include a description of the archiving plan in the study design and include 
information about this in the budget justification section of the application.

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

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010: The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to 
achieving the health promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy 
People 2010," a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas.  This 
PA is related to one or more of the priority areas.  Potential applicants may 
obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at http://www.health.gov/healthypeople.

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS: This program is described in the Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance No. 93.853, and is not subject to the 
intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health 
Systems Agency review.  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 described at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm and under Federal Regulations 
42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.

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


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