Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)

Funding Opportunity Title

NIBIB Quantum Program: Technological Innovation to Solve a Major Medical or Public Health Challenge (U01)

Activity Code

U01 Research Project – Cooperative Agreements

Announcement Type

Reissue of RFA-EB-09-003

Related Notices

  • 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

PAR-15-031

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

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

93.286

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The goal of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) Quantum Program is to achieve a profound (quantum) advance over present-day approaches to the prevention, detection, diagnosis, and/or treatment of a major disease or national public health problem primarily through the development of biomedical engineering/biomedical imaging technologies. In order to realize a profound advance against a major disease or national public health problem, this announcement supports research to develop and prepare a target technology for clinical efficacy at the completion of Quantum funding (which may include up to two competitive renewals).

The NIBIB mission is to improve human health by leading the development and acceleration of the application of biomedical technologies. Major biomedical technologies, emerging from the interface of the engineering, physical, and life sciences such as MR imaging, endoscopic devices for minimally invasive surgery, the cochlear implant, and the pacemaker have had a profound impact on human health and quality of life. In many cases, realization of a quantum impact from a new biomedical technology can only be achieved if the needed intellectual and financial resources are focused on a specific targeted project in a concerted fashion. The NIBIB Quantum Program is intended to support development of biomedical technologies that will result in a profound paradigm shift in prevention, detection, diagnosis, and/ or treatment of a major disease or national public health problem.

Key Dates

Posted Date

November 6, 2014

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

December 26, 2014

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

December 12, 2014; December 11, 2015; December 12, 2016

Application Due Date(s)

January 26, 2015; January 26, 2016; January 26, 2017, 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)

May 7, 2015; May 7, 2016; May 7, 2017, 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

June - July, 2015; June - July, 2016; June - July, 2017

Advisory Council Review

October, 2015; October, 2016; October, 2017

Earliest Start Date

December, 2015; December 2016; December 2017

Expiration Date

May 8, 2017

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

The goal of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) Quantum Program is to achieve a profound (quantum) advance over present-day approaches to the prevention, detection, diagnosis, and/ or treatment of a major disease or national public health problem primarily through the development of biomedical engineering/ biomedical imaging technologies. In order to realize a profound advance against a major disease or national public health problem, this announcement supports research to develop and prepare a target technology for clinical efficacy at the completion of Quantum funding (which may include up to two competitive renewals).

The NIBIB mission is to improve human health by leading the development and acceleration of the application of biomedical technologies. Major biomedical technologies, emerging from the interface of the engineering, physical, and life sciences such as MR imaging, endoscopic devices for minimally invasive surgery, the cochlear implant, and the pacemaker have had a profound impact on human health and quality of life. In many cases, realization of a quantum impact from a new biomedical technology can only be achieved if the needed intellectual and financial resources are focused on a specific targeted project in a concerted fashion. The NIBIB Quantum Program is intended to support development of biomedical technologies that will result in a profound paradigm shift in prevention, detection, diagnosis, and/ or treatment of a major disease or national public health problem.

Scope

Quantum projects represent a significant investment by NIBIB to support research at the interface of the engineering, physical, and life sciences in order to advance the development and application of a biomedical technology to profoundly address a substantial health issue. Since NIBIB's mission is not limited to a single disease, group of illnesses, or population, the choice of which substantial health issue to address in an application is left to each applicant. However, it is expected that the proposed research will make substantial use of engineering or physical science approaches. Quantum projects need not be discovery or hypothesis-driven research. In selecting research projects for funding, NIBIB is focusing on research efforts that have the following characteristics:

  • The technology being developed would address a major disease or national public health problem [i.e., diseases or conditions affecting more than 100,000 individuals annually, or diseases that are nearly uniformly fatal (very high case mortality rate) and result in more than 5,000 deaths annually, or technologies that revolutionize over 200,000 procedures annually in the US] by changing the paradigm of prevention, detection, diagnosis, and/ or treatment in the practice of medicine.
  • Many of the difficulties to be overcome are technological in nature. Developing a technology with a quantum impact is expected to require innovation, but innovation, in and of itself, is not a primary concern of this initiative.
  • Projects may require a significant research and development effort, yet they should be deliverable-focused and milestone driven, and adhere to a clear schedule and timeline.
  • By the conclusion of three competitive Quantum Program funding cycles or sooner, produce demonstrable evidence of clinical human investigation that may include but is not limited to clinical feasibility and safety testing.

The following lists provide some illustrative examples of what is envisioned as potential quantum grant topics with significant advances in health care - activities that would overcome a major disease or national public health problem [i.e., diseases or conditions affecting more than 100,000 individuals annually, or diseases that are nearly uniformly fatal (very high case mortality rate) and result in more than 5,000 deaths annually, or technologies that revolutionize over 200,000 procedures annually in the US]. Note that these lists are only examples. Investigators with ongoing research activities in other areas with a potential for quantum impact are also encouraged to apply.

For example, a significant advance in health care would occur when:

  • A major disease or national public health problem can now be prevented
  • A major condition can now be predicted that previously could not
  • A major disease or national public health problem that previously could not be treated can now be treated
  • A major disease or national public health problem that already can be treated can now be treated with significantly fewer side-effects (e.g., non-invasively)
  • A drastic reduction in the burden of a major disease has occurred
  • A diagnosis of a major disease is made significantly more specific or sensitive leading to improved health outcomes
  • A diagnosis and/or treatment of a major disease is improved and/or substantially reduced in cost

Quantum projects already funded are described at http://www.nibib.nih.gov/Research/QuantumGrants . Illustrative examples of other potential Quantum Projects include:

  • A robust, early diagnostic and treatment for Alzheimer’s disease
  • Non-invasive technologies that provide blood chemistry without a needle stick
  • A system for imaging, identifying and stabilizing pre-clinical vulnerable plaque in coronary arteries
  • Regenerative or biomimetic-based cartilage repair for degenerative joint disease

New Quantum awards are limited to three successful competitive funding cycles. Within the timeframe of three competitive grant cycles or sooner, a Quantum Award must reach clinical testing which may consist of clinical feasibility and safety assessment. By the conclusion of three competitive grant cycles or sooner, it is expected that the target technology will be at an appropriate stage for subsequent clinical efficacy testing through other funding mechanisms.

Current Quantum awardees under the previous announcement, RFA-EB-09-003 , are limited to a total of twelve years of funding. Within the timeframe of twelve years of Quantum funding, current Quantum grantees under, RFA-EB-09-003 should reach or continue clinical testing which may consist of feasibility and safety assessment. By conclusion of Quantum funding, it is expected that the target technology will be at an appropriate stage for subsequent clinical efficacy testing through other funding mechanisms.

Investigators whose research is not within the scope of the Quantum Program may wish to consider alternative funding opportunity announcements such as Bioengineering Research Grants (R01) http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-13-137.html and Bioengineering Research Partnerships (R01) http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-14-092.html

Section II. Award Information

Funding Instrument

Cooperative Agreement: A support mechanism used when there will be substantial Federal scientific or programmatic involvement. Substantial involvement means that, after award, NIH scientific or program staff will assist, guide, coordinate, or participate in project activities.

Application Types Allowed

New

Renewal: Applications funded from RFA-EB-09-003 should apply as Renewals to this FOA.

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.

NIBIB intends to fund one to two applications per year.

Award Budget

Application budgets are not limited but it is strongly recommended that applicants not request a budget of more than $1,000,000 in direct costs per year.

Award Project Period

The maximum period is four 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

Foreign Institutions

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are not eligible to apply.

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not 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).

In addition, the NIH will not accept a resubmission (A1) application that is submitted later than 37 months after submission of the new (A0) application that it follows. The NIH will accept submission:

  • To an RFA of an application that was submitted previously as an investigator-initiated application but not paid;
  • Of an investigator-initiated application that was originally submitted to an RFA but not paid; or
  • Of an application with a changed grant activity code.

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.

Letter of Intent

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows IC staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

By the date listed in Part 1. Overview Information, prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • Name(s), address(es), and telephone number(s) of the PD(s)/PI(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Steven H. Krosnick, M.D.
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Telephone: 301-594-3009
Email: krosnics@mail.nih.gov

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.

Biographical Sketch. Include a clear description of evidence that the PDs/PIs have a proven track record of successful leadership of complex, multi-investigator, milestone-driven projects involving a large research team and achieving a focused deliverable within a timely schedule. Include a clear description of evidence that the PD/PI has a demonstrated ability to recruit and coordinate co-investigators in areas outside the PD's/PI's area of expertise. Include a clear description of evidence that there is experience on the team bringing a new product, process, or intervention to clinical practice.

R&R or Modular Budget

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

External Advisory Committee and Quantum Annual Meetings: Funds should be requested as consultant costs to support the travel expenses of External Advisory Committee (EAC) members to attend an annual advisory board meeting. The funds for the EAC meeting will be restricted for this purpose and may not be re-budgeted without prior approval by Program Staff. Additionally, there is an annual meeting of Quantum PDs/PIs in the Washington, DC area. It is expected that the PDs/PIs and one other senior member of the Quantum award will attend this meeting. Funds to support travel to this meeting should be requested in the budget.

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:

Research Strategy: The research strategy should include a clear description of:

The major disease or national public health problem being addressed [i.e., diseases or conditions affecting more than 100,000 individuals annually, or diseases that are nearly uniformly fatal (very high case mortality rate) and result in more than 5,000 deaths annually, or technologies that revolutionize over 200,000 procedures annually in the US] and how the proposed research utilizing bioengineering and physical science principles will have significant impact on its prevention, detection, diagnosis, or treatment. Include a description of how many individuals and/or procedures the paradigm-shifting target technology would impact annually in the US.

Specific scientific, technological, experimental and/or other milestones and timelines should be proposed for the award period. Specific milestones should include go/no-go decision points for components of the research. In addition, applicants should provide future general milestones demonstrating that, at the conclusion of up to twelve years of Quantum-type funding, the target technology would be an appropriate stage for clinical efficacy testing.

Preliminary data that establish the viability of the proposed approach.

Evidence that all important barriers, both technical and non-technical, have been identified and convincing strategies (such as preliminary data or progress for a renewal application) to overcome or address them have been devised.

Evidence that all the appropriate partnerships, collaborations and/ or communications with the requisite institutions, clinicians, regulatory bodies, etc. are in place.

Evidence that the team has a track record of working together and/or plans for how it will successfully work together.

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, with the following modification:

  • All applications submitted for the January 25, 2015, due date or after are expected to comply with the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy as detailed in NOT-OD-14-111, as applicable.

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.

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 NIH program staff at least 6 weeks before submitting the application and follow the Policy on the Acceptance for Review of Unsolicited Applications that Request $500,000 or More in Direct Costs as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

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.

For the Quantum Program, the Significance criterion is of paramount importance.

Note that an application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have quantum impact and thus deserve a meritorious impact score. For example, an investigator(s) may propose to carry out important work that by its nature is not innovative but is essential for the development of the new technology with the potential for a quantum impact. While it is envisioned that developing a technology with a quantum impact would require innovation, innovation in and of itself is not a primary goal of this initiative. Innovation would be considered within the context of the innovation required to achieve the quantum impact in the proposed work.

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?

Will the project develop a technology that could substantially change the approach to prevention, detection, diagnosis, or treatment of a major disease or national public health problem [i.e., diseases or conditions affecting more than 100,000 individuals annually, or diseases that are nearly uniformly fatal (very high case mortality rate) and result in more than 5,000 deaths annually, or technologies that revolutionize over 200,000 procedures annually in the US]?

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?

Do the PDs/PIs have a proven track record of successful leadership of complex, multi-investigator, milestone-driven projects involving a large research team and achieving a focused deliverable within a timely schedule?

Is there a demonstrated ability to recruit and coordinate co-investigators in areas outside the PDs/PIs area of expertise?

Does the team have a track record of working together and/or plans for how it will successfully work together?

Is there experience on the team with bringing a new product, process, or intervention to clinical practice?

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?

Have the investigators identified all the critical steps that must be taken to achieve a quantum improvement for major disease or public health problem?

Are project milestones, go/no-go decision points, and a timeline clearly articulated and appropriate?

Are all the important technical and non-technical barriers identified, and are the proposed strategies suitable for overcoming them?

Does the approach largely entail a combination of the engineering, physical sciences and life sciences?

Is the proposed approach an appropriate fit to the clinical or healthcare problem to be solved?

If the application proposes one or more clinical studies, are they appropriate and meaningful to addressing the major disease or public health problem 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

Not Applicable

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 NIBIB, 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 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 for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. 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

The following special terms of award are in addition to, and not in lieu of, otherwise applicable OMB administrative guidelines, HHS grant administration regulations at 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92 (Part 92 is applicable when State and local Governments are eligible to apply), and other HHS, PHS, and NIH grant administration policies.

The administrative and funding instrument used for this program will be the cooperative agreement an "assistance" mechanism (rather than an "acquisition" mechanism), in which substantial NIH programmatic involvement with the awardees is anticipated during the performance of the activities. Under the cooperative agreement, the NIH purpose is to support and stimulate the recipients' activities by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the award recipients in a partnership role; it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activities. Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility resides with the awardees for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities may be shared among the awardees and the NIH as defined below.

The PD(s)/PI(s) will have the primary responsibility for:

The Program Director/Principal Investigator will have the primary responsibility for: defining objectives and approaches, and to plan, conduct, analyze, and publish results, interpretations, and conclusions of their studies. Awardees are responsible for identifying specific milestones and quantitative success criteria.

Awardees will retain custody of and have primary rights to the data and software developed under these awards, subject to Government rights of access consistent with current HHS, PHS, and NIH policies.

NIH staff will have substantial programmatic involvement that is above and beyond the normal stewardship role in awards, as described below:

An NIBIB program officer will have substantial scientific-programmatic involvement during conduct of this activity, through technical assistance, advice and coordination above and beyond the normal program stewardship role in awards, as described below. The NIBIB program officer will be responsible for technical monitoring of the project, which includes approval of changes in experimental approaches, objectives, milestones and timelines; assessing the progress against specified milestones and stated project timelines, as well as for recommending if further funds should be released to the project. However, the role of the NIBIB program officer will be to facilitate and not to direct the activities. It is anticipated that decisions in all activities will be reached by consensus between the PD(s)/PI(s) and the NIBIB program officer, and that NIBIB staff will be given the opportunity to offer input into this process. The NIBIB program officer may provide assistance by accessing NIBIB-supported resources and services. Additionally, an NIBIB program director will be responsible for the normal scientific and programmatic stewardship of the award and will be named in the award notice.

Areas of Joint Responsibility include:

Not Applicable.

Dispute Resolution:

Any disagreements that may arise in scientific or programmatic matters (within the scope of the award) between award recipients and the NIH may be brought to arbitration. An Arbitration Panel composed of three members will be convened. It will have three members: a designee of the award recipient(s) chosen without NIH staff voting, one NIH designee, and a third designee with expertise in the relevant area who is chosen by the other two; in the case of individual disagreement, the first member may be chosen by the individual awardee. This special arbitration procedure in no way affects the awardee's right to appeal an adverse action that is otherwise appealable in accordance with PHS regulations 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D and HHS regulations 45 CFR Part 16.

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: http://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
Web ticketing system: https://grants-portal.psc.gov/ContactUs.aspx
Email: support@grants.gov

GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and process, finding NIH grant resources)
Telephone: 301-435-0714
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Steven H. Krosnick, M.D.
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Telephone: 301-594-3009
Email: krosnics@mail.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

David T. George, Ph.D.
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Telephone: 301-496-8633
Email: david.george@nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Holly Atherton
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Telephone: 301-451-4782
Email: athertoh@mail.nih.gov

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 Parts 74 and 92.

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