Part I Overview Information

Department of Health and Human Services

Participating Organizations
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (http://www.nih.gov/)

Components of Participating Organizations
National Institute on Aging (NIA), (http://www.nia.nih.gov)

Title: Inflammation, Inflammatory Mediators and Aging

Announcement Type
New

Request For Applications (RFA) Number: RFA-AG-05-011

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number(s)
93.866

Key Dates
Release Date: June 8, 2005
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): August 15, 2005
Application Receipt Dates(s): September 14, 2005
Peer Review Date(s): February-March 2006
Council Review Date(s): May 2006
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: July 1, 2006 http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm#reviewandaward
Expiration Date: September 15, 2005

Due Dates for E.O. 12372
Not Applicable

Additional Overview Content

Executive Summary

Inflammatory processes, particularly those mediating chronic inflammation, have been implicated as predictors or initiators of, or contributors to, chronic diseases and conditions of aging including cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's Disease, insulin resistance and diabetes, muscle wasting, and frailty. Altered cytokine profiles due to aging of the innate immune system and/or of non-immune cell types, and/or to age-related in body composition and other factors, have been proposed to contribute to age-related changes in the structure and function of tissues, pathophysiologic changes, and the development of chronic diseases of aging. Inflammatory cytokines and other mediators of inflammation can also be strong near-term predictors of mortality associated with age-related chronic diseases.

However, there is insufficient knowledge about the effects of age-related alterations in the levels or activity of inflammatory mediators. More information is needed on the extent to which age-related changes in inflammatory mediators:

This RFA seeks studies to determine relationships of age-related changes in inflammation and inflammatory mediators to physiologic and pathophysiologic aging changes, risks and progression of age-related morbidity and disability, and changes in tissue and organ function.

Table of Contents

Part I Overview Information

Part II Full Text of Announcement

 Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
   1. Research Objectives

 Section II. Award Information
   1. Mechanisms of Support
   2. Funds Available

 Section III. Eligibility Information
   1. Eligible Applicants
     A. Eligible Institutions
     B. Eligible Individuals
   2.Cost Sharing or Matching
   3. Other - Special Eligibility Criteria

 Section IV. Application and Submission Information
   1. Address to Request Application Information
   2. Content and Form of Application Submission
   3. Submission Dates and Times
     A. Receipt and Review and Anticipated Start Dates
       1. Letter of Intent
     B. Sending an Application to the NIH
     C. Application Processing
   4. Intergovernmental Review
   5. Funding Restrictions
   6. Other Submission Requirements

 Section V. Application Review Information
   1. Criteria
   2. Review and Selection Process
     A. Additional Review Criteria
     B. Additional Review Considerations
     C. Sharing Research Data
     D. Sharing Research Resources
   3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

 Section VI. Award Administration Information
   1. Award Notices
   2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
   3. Reporting

 Section VII. Agency Contacts
   1. Scientific/Research Contacts
   2. Peer Review Contact
   3. Financial/ Grants Management Contact

 Section VIII. Other Information - Required Federal Citations

Part II - Full Text of Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

1. Research Objectives

The overall objective of this RFA is to expand research on the effects of age-related changes in inflammatory processes and mediators of inflammation on physiologic and pathophysiologic aging changes. Although changes in the immune system are thought to contribute to altered responses to immune challenges and increased inflammation with age, the relationships between aging changes and inflammation processes are not well understood.

This RFA solicits applications that will provide more information both about age-related changes on inflammatory processes and about the effects of such changes in inflammatory processes on the progression of physiologic and pathologic aging changes. There is a need to elucidate: 1) age-related changes in effector cells and other components of the innate and adaptive immune systems, and their effects on production of cytokines and other effector molecules, 2)  the relationship of age-related changes in inflammatory processes to aging changes and/or pathological states in various tissues, and 3) the effects of modulating age-related changes in inflammatory mediators on risk and progression of specific types of morbidity, disability, and mortality.

Background: The National Institute on Aging (NIA) held a multidisciplinary Workshop on Inflammation, Inflammatory Mediators, and Aging on September 1-2, 2004 to explore 1) the current state of knowledge on the role of inflammation on aging and in the development of many chronic diseases of aging, 2) identify gaps in understanding, and 3) pinpoint opportunities for future research. The workshop participants included basic research scientists, clinical researchers, epidemiologists, and investigators in geriatrics, immunology, coagulation, cardiovascular and periodontal diseases, adiposity, musculoskeletal (osteoporosis, osteoarthritis) disorders, Alzheimer's disease, and stress responses. State-of-the-art presentations focused on the basic biology of inflammatory mechanisms, integrative physiology, mediators of inflammation as risk factors in morbidity and mortality, and implications of interventions that modulate cytokine action. Topics included a review of age-related changes in innate and adaptive immunity, the relationships between mediators of inflammation and various age-related chronic diseases, and functional overlaps between inflammation and metabolic regulation. Other presentations highlighted inflammatory processes relating to periodontal disease, stress and depression, the protective effect of exercise and/or caloric restriction, and latent infections. A meeting report from the NIA Workshop on Inflammation, Inflammatory Mediators, and Aging will soon be available on the NIA home page at: http://www.nia.nih.gov/ResearchInformation/ConferencesAndMeetings/.

Issues identified at this workshop that are relevant to this RFA include the following:

In regard to causes of age-related changes in inflammatory mediators, it is unclear to what extent age-related changes in inflammatory responses reflect a “natural” senescence of cells of the innate immune system, other cells of the immune system, and/or non-immune cells in various tissues, versus a manifestation of underlying disease processes. Age-related changes in circulating levels of many pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines have been documented, but the source of this altered cytokine production is uncertain. In addition to the contributions from the immune system, recent studies in obesity have identified adipose tissue as a dynamic endocrine tissue that secretes a number of factors that contribute to systemic and vascular inflammation. Studies on the role of adiposity in insulin resistance and type II diabetes have revealed abnormal inflammatory cytokine production in adipocytes, supporting the hypothesis of an inflammatory basis for these metabolic diseases. Other factors that change with age, such as physical activity, have been associated with differing levels of inflammatory mediators. Moreover, the effects of changes in circulating vs. local cytokine levels are unclear.

In regard to effects of inflammatory factors, and of age-related changes in these factors, on age-related changes, there is insufficient knowledge concerning the extent to which age-related alterations in the levels or activity of specific inflammatory mediators:

Crucial issues in this regard include the degree to which primary age-related changes in inflammatory mediators are an idiopathic pathway contributing to age-related pathologies, disabilities, and outcomes, and the degree to which changes in inflammatory mediators secondary to age-related conditions contribute to, or protect against, these conditions or outcomes. One possibility is that acute inflammation, which involves a multitude of feedback mechanisms regulating homeostasis, confers necessary short-term benefits at the expense of accumulating long-term damage. Another key issue is the degree to which modest elevations in inflammatory mediators (less than in acute inflammation) are triggered by a variety of aging changes, and the degree to which such changes affect risk or progression of age-related conditions.

Specific topics of interest include but are not limited to:

These topics are neither prioritized nor meant to be restrictive. Principal Investigators are encouraged to submit applications in any area of research responsive to the research objectives of this RFA. To be responsive to this RFA, proposed studies must be designed to address hypotheses related to causes and/or consequences of age-related changes in inflammation or inflammatory mediators, rather than relying solely on documenting associations. Applications whose focus is confined to the role of inflammatory factors (independent of age-related changes or differences in these factors) in a specific disease will not be considered responsive to this RFA. Nonresponsive applications will be returned to the applicant.

Projects may include epidemiologic studies, human physiologic and clinical studies (including intervention studies), and studies in animal models and tissue culture. Longitudinal studies that may be useful in clarifying causal relationships among age-related changes in inflammation and progression of other aging changes are of interest. Proposed studies may include plans for development and/or refinement of biometric and biologic analyses and other methodological strategies, including development of better non-invasive measures to assess systemic or tissue-specific levels of inflammatory mediators and inflammatory responses. An interdisciplinary approach to studies through collaborations between basic and clinical scientists working in different physiological systems is also desirable.

See Section VIII. Other Information - Required Federal Citations, for policies related to this announcement.

Section II. Award Information

1. Mechanisms of Support

This funding opportunity will use the R01 and R21 award mechanisms. As an applicant, you will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project.

This funding opportunity uses just-in-time concepts. It also uses the modular as well as the non-modular budget formats (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm). Specifically, if you are submitting an application with direct costs in each year of $250,000 or less, use the modular budget format described in the PHS 398 application instructions. Otherwise follow the instructions for non-modular research grant applications.

2. Funds Available

Because the nature and scope of the proposed research will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary. Although the financial plans of the NIA provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this funding opportunity are contingent upon the availability of funds and the receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Facilities and administrative costs requested by consortium participants are not included in the direct cost limitation, see NOT-OD-05-004.

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

1.A. Eligible Institutions

You may submit (an) application(s) if your organization has any of the following characteristics:

1.B. Eligible Individuals

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.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

This RFA does not require cost sharing as defined in the current NIH Grants Policy Statement which can be found at : http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm#matching_or_cost_sharing.

3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria
An eligible institution may submit more than one scientifically distinct application in response to this announcement.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Information

The PHS 398 application instructions are available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in an interactive format. Applicants must use the currently approved version of the PHS 398. For further assistance contact Grants Info, Telephone (301) 435-0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

Telecommunications for the hearing impaired: TTY 301-451-5936.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Applications must be prepared using the most current PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms. Applications must have a D&B Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as the universal identifier when applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements. The D&B number can be obtained by calling (866) 705-5711 or through the web site at http://www.dnb.com/us/. The D&B number should be entered on line 11 of the face page of the PHS 398 form.

The title and number of this funding opportunity must be typed on line 2 of the face page of the application form and the YES box must be checked.

Foreign Organizations

Several special provisions apply to applications submitted by foreign organizations:

Proposed research should provide a unique research opportunity not available in the U.S.

3. Submission Dates and Times
Applications must be received on or before the receipt date described below (Section IV.3.A). Submission times N/A.

3.A. Receipt, Review and Anticipated Start Dates

Letter of Intent Receipt Date: August 15, 2005
Application Receipt Date(s): September 14, 2005
Peer Review Date: February-March 2006
Council Review Date: May 2006
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: July 1, 2006

3.A.1. Letter of Intent

Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

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.

The letter of intent is to be sent by the date listed at the beginning of this document.

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Sherry Sherman, Ph.D.
Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology Program
National Institute on Aging, NIH
7201 Wisconsin Ave.
Gateway Building, Suite 3C-307
Bethesda, MD 20892-9205
Telephone: (301) 496-6942
FAX: 301-402-1784
Email: shermans@nia.nih.gov

3.B. Sending an Application to the NIH

Applications must be prepared using the research grant applications found in the PHS 398 instructions for preparing a research grant application. Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the checklist, and three 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 (U.S. Postal Service Express or regular mail)
Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service; non-USPS service)

Personal deliveries of applications are no longer permitted (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-040.html).

At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application and all copies of the appendix materialsmust be sent to:

Dr. Mary Nekola, Chief
Scientific Review Office
National Institute on Aging
7201 Wisconsin Ave., #2C212
Bethesda, MD 20892-9205
Telephone: (301) 402-7702
FAX: (301) 402-0066
Email: NekolaM@nia.nih.gov

Appendix material may be sent on a CD if possible. Applicants are responsible for ensuring the information is accurate.

Using the RFA Label: The RFA label available in the PHS 398 application instructions must be affixed to the bottom of the face page of the application. Type the RFA number on the label. Failure to use this label could result in delayed processing of the application such that it may not reach the review committee in time for review. In addition, the RFA title and number must be typed on line 2 of the face page of the application form and the YES box must be marked. The RFA label is also available at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/labels.pdf.

3.C. Application Processing

Applications must be received on or before the application receipt date(s) described above (Section IV.3.A). If an application is received after that date, it will be returned to the applicant without review. Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the CSR and responsiveness by the NIA. Incomplete and non-responsive applications will not be reviewed.

The NIH will not accept any application in response to this funding opportunity that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. However, when a previously unfunded application, originally submitted as an investigator-initiated application, is to be submitted in response to a funding opportunity, it is to be prepared as a NEW application. That is, the application for the funding opportunity must not include an Introduction describing the changes and improvements made, and the text must not be marked to indicate the changes from the previous unfunded version of the application.

Although there is no immediate acknowledgement of the receipt of an application, applicants are generally notified of the review and funding assignment within eight (8) weeks.

4. Intergovernmental Review
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. The Grants Policy Statement can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm.

Pre-Award Costs are allowable. A grantee may, at its own risk and without NIH prior approval, incur obligations and expenditures to cover costs up to 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new or competing continuation award if such costs: are necessary to conduct the project, and would be allowable under the grant, if awarded, without NIH prior approval. If specific expenditures would otherwise require prior approval, the grantee must obtain NIH approval before incurring the cost. NIH prior approval is required for any costs to be incurred more than 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new or competing continuation award.

The incurrence of pre-award costs in anticipation of a competing or non-competing award imposes no obligation on NIH either to make the award or to increase the amount of the approved budget if an award is made for less than the amount anticipated and is inadequate to cover the pre-award costs incurred. NIH expects the grantee to be fully aware that pre-award costs result in borrowing against future support and that such borrowing must not impair the grantee's ability to accomplish the project objectives in the approved time frame or in any way adversely affect the conduct of the project. See NIH Grants Policy Statement http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm.

6. Other Submission Requirements

Specific Instructions for Modular Grant applications. Applications requesting up to $250,000 per year in direct costs must be submitted in a modular budget format. The modular budget format simplifies the preparation of the budget in these applications by limiting the level of budgetary detail. Applicants request direct costs in $25,000 modules. Section C of the research grant application instructions for the PHS 398 at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html includes step-by-step guidance for preparing modular budgets. Applicants must use the currently approved version of the PHS 398. Additional information on modular budgets is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm.

Plan for Sharing Research Data
Not applicable

Sharing Research Resources

NIH policy requires that grant awardee recipients make unique research resources readily available for research purposes to qualified individuals within the scientific community after publication (NIH Grants Policy Statement http://grants.nih.gov/archive/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm and http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm#_Toc54600131). Investigators responding to this funding opportunity should include a plan for sharing research resources addressing how unique research resources will be shared or explain why sharing is not possible.

The adequacy of the resources sharing plan and any related data sharing plans will be considered by Program staff of the funding organization when making recommendations about funding applications. The effectiveness of the resource sharing will be evaluated as part of the administrative review of each non-competing Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590, http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/2590/2590.htm). See Section VI.3. Reporting.

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process.

The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications that are complete and responsive to the RFA will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by the National Institute on Aging in accordance with the review criteria stated below.

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

The goals of NIH supported research are to advance our understanding of biological systems, to improve the control of disease, and to enhance health. In their written critiques, reviewers will be asked to comment on each of the following criteria in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed research will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals. Each of these criteria will be addressed and considered in assigning the overall score, weighting them as appropriate for each application. Note that an 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, an investigator may propose to carry out important work that by its nature is not innovative but is essential to move a field forward.

Significance. Does this study address an important problem? If the aims of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge or clinical practice be advanced? What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?

Approach. Are the conceptual or clinical framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well reasoned, and appropriate to the aims of the project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?

Innovation. Is the project original and innovative? For example: Does the project challenge existing paradigms or clinical practice; address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in the field? Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools, or technologies for this area?

Investigators. Are the investigators appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work? Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level of the principal investigator and other researchers? Does the investigative team bring complementary and integrated expertise to the project (if applicable)?

Environment. Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed studies benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, or subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional support?

2.A. Additional Review Criteria:

In addition to the above criteria, the following items will continue to be considered in the determination of scientific merit and the priority score:

Protection of Human Subjects from Research Risk: The involvement of human subjects and protections from research risk relating to their participation in the proposed research will be assessed (see the Research Plan, Section E on Human Subjects in the PHS Form 398).

Inclusion of Women and Minorities in Research: The adequacy of plans to include subjects from both genders, and all racial and ethnic groups (and subgroups) as appropriate for the scientific goals of the research will be assessed. Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be evaluated (see the Research Plan, Section E on Human Subjects in the PHS Form 398).

Care and Use of Vertebrate Animals in Research: If vertebrate animals are to be used in the project, the five items described under Section F of the PHS Form 398 research grant application instructions will be assessed.

Biohazards: If materials or procedures are proposed that are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, determine if the proposed protection is adequate.

2.B. Additional Review Considerations

Budget: The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period of support in relation to the proposed research. The priority score should not be affected by the evaluation of the budget.

2.C. Sharing Research Data
Not applicable

2.D. Sharing Research Resources

NIH policy requires that grant awardee recipients make unique research resources readily available for research purposes to qualified individuals within the scientific community after publication (See the NIH Grants Policy Statement http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps/part_ii_5.htm#availofrr and http://www.ott.nih.gov/policy/rt_guide_final.html). Investigators responding to this funding opportunity should include a sharing research resources plan addressing how unique research resources will be shared or explain why sharing is not possible.

Program staff will be responsible for the administrative review of the plan for sharing research resources.

The adequacy of the resources sharing plan will be considered by Program staff of the funding organization when making recommendations about funding applications. Program staff may negotiate modifications of the data and resource sharing plans with the awardee before recommending funding of an application. The final version of the data and resource sharing plans negotiated by both will become a condition of the award of the grant. The effectiveness of the resource sharing will be evaluated as part of the administrative review of each non-competing Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590). See Section VI.3. Reporting.

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates
Not applicable

Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

After the peer review of the application is completed, the Principal Investigator will also receive a written critique called a Summary Statement.

If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant. For details, applicants may refer to the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General (http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm).

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Grant Award (NGA) will be provided to the applicant organization. The NGA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document. Once all administrative and programmatic issues have been resolved, the Notice of Grant Award will be generated via email notification from the awarding component to the grantee business official (designated in item 14 on the Application Face Page). If a grantee is not email enabled, a hard copy of the Notice of Grant Award will be mailed to the business official.

Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NGA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs. See Also Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the notice of grant award. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General (http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm) and Part II Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities (http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm).

3. Reporting

Awardees will be required to submit the PHS Non-Competing Grant Progress Report, Form 2590 annually (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/2590/2590.htm) and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

We encourage your inquiries concerning this funding opportunity 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:

1. Scientific/Research Contacts:

Sherry Sherman, Ph.D.
Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology Program
National Institute on Aging, NIH
Gateway Building, Suite 3C-307 7201 Wisconsin Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20892-9205
Telephone: (301) 496-6942
FAX: 301-402-1784
Email: shermans@nia.nih.gov

Jill Carrington, Ph.D.
Biology of Aging Program
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Suite 2C231
7201 Wisconsin Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20892-9205
Telephone: (301) 402-7749
FAX: 301-402-0010
Email: carringj@nia.nih.gov

Andrew Monjan, Ph.D.
Neuroscience and Neuropsychology of Aging Program
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Suite 350
7201 Wisconsin Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20892-9205
Telephone: (301) 496-9350
FAX: 301-496-1494
Email: monjana@mail.nih.gov

2. Peer Review Contact:

Dr. Mary Nekola, Chief
Scientific Review Office
National Institute on Aging
7201 Wisconsin Ave., #2C212
Bethesda, MD 20892-9205
Telephone: (301) 402-7702
FAX: (301) 402-0066
Email: NekolaM@nia.nih.gov

3. Financial or Grants Management Contact:

Johnny Bladen
Grants and Contracts Management Office
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Suite 2N212
7201 Wisconsin Ave
Bethesda , MD 20892-9205
Telephone: (301) 496-1472
FAX: 301-402-3672
Email: jbladen@nia.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

Required Federal Citations

Use of Animals in Research:
Recipients of PHS support for activities involving live, vertebrate animals must comply with PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/PHSPolicyLabAnimals.pdf) as mandated by the Health Research Extension Act of 1985 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/hrea1985.htm), and the USDA Animal Welfare Regulations (http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/legislat/usdaleg1.htm) as applicable.

Human Subjects Protection:
Federal regulations (45CFR46) require that applications and proposals involving human subjects must be evaluated with reference to the risks to the subjects, the adequacy of protection against these risks, the potential benefits of the research to the subjects and others, and the importance of the knowledge gained or to be gained (http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.htm).

Data and Safety Monitoring Plan:
Data and safety monitoring is required for all types of clinical trials, including physiologic toxicity and dose-finding studies (phase I); efficacy studies (Phase II); efficacy, effectiveness and comparative trials (Phase III). Monitoring should be commensurate with risk. The establishment of data and safety monitoring boards (DSMBs) is required for multi-site clinical trials involving interventions that entail potential risks to the participants (NIH Policy for Data and Safety Monitoring, NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-084.html).

Sharing of Model Organisms:
NIH is committed to support efforts that encourage sharing of important research resources including the sharing of model organisms for biomedical research (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/model_organism/index.htm). At the same time the NIH recognizes the rights of grantees and contractors to elect and retain title to subject inventions developed with Federal funding pursuant to the Bayh Dole Act (see the NIH Grants Policy Statement http://grants.nih.gov/archive/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm). All investigators submitting an NIH application or contract proposal, beginning with the October 1, 2004 receipt date, are expected to include in the application/proposal a description of a specific plan for sharing and distributing unique model organism research resources generated using NIH funding or state why such sharing is restricted or not possible. This will permit other researchers to benefit from the resources developed with public funding. The inclusion of a model organism sharing plan is not subject to a cost threshold in any year and is expected to be included in all applications where the development of model organisms is anticipated.

Inclusion of Women And Minorities in Clinical Research:
It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their sub-populations must be included in all NIH-supported clinical research projects unless a clear and compelling justification is provided indicating 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 clinical research should read the "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-001.html); a complete copy of the updated Guidelines is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_amended_10_2001.htm. The amended policy incorporates: the use of an NIH definition of clinical research; updated racial and ethnic categories in compliance with the new OMB standards; clarification of language governing NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials consistent with the new PHS Form 398; and updated roles and responsibilities of NIH staff and the extramural community. The policy continues to require for all NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials that: a) all applications or proposals and/or protocols must 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) investigators must report annual accrual and progress in conducting analyses, as appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group differences.

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 applications for research involving human subjects and individuals designated as key personnel. The policy is available 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://stemcells.nih.gov/index.asp 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 (http://escr.nih.gov/). It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide in the project description and elsewhere in the application as appropriate, 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.

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 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 funding opportunity 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.

Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information:
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued final modification to the "Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information", the "Privacy Rule", on August 14, 2002. The Privacy Rule is a federal regulation under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 that governs the protection of individually identifiable health information, and is administered and enforced by the DHHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

Decisions about applicability and implementation of the Privacy Rule reside with the researcher and his/her institution. The OCR website (http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/) provides information on the Privacy Rule, including a complete Regulation Text and a set of decision tools on "Am I a covered entity?" Information on the impact of the HIPAA Privacy Rule on NIH processes involving the review, funding, and progress monitoring of grants, cooperative agreements, and research contracts can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-025.html.

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 at http://www.cfda.gov/ and is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review. 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 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The NIH Grants Policy Statement can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm.

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.

Loan Repayment Programs:
NIH encourages applications for educational loan repayment from qualified health professionals who have made a commitment to pursue a research career involving clinical, pediatric, contraception, infertility, and health disparities related areas. The LRP is an important component of NIH's efforts to recruit and retain the next generation of researchers by providing the means for developing a research career unfettered by the burden of student loan debt. Note that an NIH grant is not required for eligibility and concurrent career award and LRP applications are encouraged. The periods of career award and LRP award may overlap providing the LRP recipient with the required commitment of time and effort, as LRP awardees must commit at least 50% of their time (at least 20 hours per week based on a 40 hour week) for two years to the research. For further information, please see: http://www.lrp.nih.gov/.


Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices


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