Part I Overview Information

Department of Health and Human Services

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

Components of Participating Organizations
National Institute on Aging (NIA) ( )

Title:  Nathan Shock Centers Of Excellence in Basic Biology of Aging (P30)

Announcement Type
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is a reissue of RFA-AG-04-010.

Request for Applications (RFA) Number: RFA-AG-10-009

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number(s)

Key Dates
Release Date: October 1, 2009
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: November 12, 2009
Application Receipt Date: December 11, 2009
Peer Review Date: February 2010
Council Review Date: May 2010
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: July 1, 2010
Additional Information to Be Available Date (Url Activation Date): N/A
Expiration Date: December 12, 2009

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Additional Overview Content

Executive Summary

Purpose. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) invites applications for support of Centers, known as Nathan Shock Centers of Excellence in Basic Biology of Aging. These Center grants will provide funding for research and training activities that belong within the areas supported by the Division of Aging Biology of the NIA ( ).  They are intended for institutions that can demonstrate a substantial current investment in and commitment to research on the basic biology of aging, but they are not intended to support the Principal Investigator’s research directly, nor clinical research or clinical trials.

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. Mechanism(s) 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, Review and Anticipated Start Dates
         1. Letter of Intent
    B. Sending an Application to the NIH
    C. Application Processing
   D.  Application Assignment
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. Resource Sharing Plan(s)
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 Contact(s)
1. Scientific/Research Contact
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 goal of this program is to enhance the ability of institutions with well-developed programs in basic research on aging biology to further the utilization of state-of-the-art research resources to provide the strongest environment for the conduct of research on aging biology at their Institutions, their geographical neighborhood, and the Nation at large. Thus, this Funding Opportunity Announcement is intended to: 1) enhance the quality of research in the basic biology of aging, 2) facilitate the planning and coordination of aging biology research activities, 3) provide support and a suitable environment for investigators new to aging biology research to acquire research skills and experience at institutions that have demonstrated commitment to, and expertise in, basic biology of aging research, and 4) to develop potential regional and/or national resource Centers.  Thus, each application must include at least:  1) a core to support administrative functions, including an advisory committee (not to be named in the application). Optionally, this core may also be in charge of organizing outreach activities including courses, lectures and symposia, 2) a research development core in charge of supporting pilot/feasibility projects, and providing temporary salary support for investigators just entering the field of biology of aging research, to a point where they can compete for independent support, and 3) at least two research core activities such as animal facilities, pathology, integrated physiology, comparative biology, molecular/cell biology, informatics, etc. which must be utilized by three or more projects on aging research that are already funded.  Each core must be directed by an appropriately qualified investigator.

Administrative/Program Enrichment Core. This core is required for the administrative management of the overall Center, as well as support for the required outside advisory panel. The Administrator (if one is used) will assist the Principal Investigator (Director) in managing the Center, addressing issues of fiscal management and compliance with institutional, DHHS, NIH and NIA policies.  In addition, each Center must establish an advisory panel of experts from outside the institution.  This panel should not be named, nor should potential members be contacted, until after the review process is completed, and awards are made.  This panel must be convened at least once during the fourth year of funding, and must provide a written evaluation of the progress of the Center to both the Center and the NIA no later than January, 2014.  Additional use of this advisory panel shall be at the discretion of the Center Director.

This core should present a plan (but not an actual agreement) on how it will collaborate with other funded Nathan Shock Centers, and promote the dissemination of research findings and availability of materials, reagents and other resources generated by the Center, through the development of a joint informative and interactive web site.

Funds should be requested to permit travel by the Director and one other senior staff to the annual meeting of Nathan Shock Center Directors and NIA staff. Currently, these meetings are held as part of the Annual AGE meeting. Additional elements of this core, including outreach activities, courses on the biology of aging, seminar program, conferences, etc., are encouraged, but they are optional.

Research Development Core. The Research Development Core will provide support for career development of junior faculty and other investigators who wish to change career direction towards basic aging research in the form of pilot projects.  It may also serve as a resource for pursuing an exciting new finding beyond the limits that existing support allows.  Interdisciplinary activities that focus resources from a variety of fields on understanding biological processes of aging are encouraged. The request for Research Development Core support must contain 1) a plan for the selection of faculty to be supported, 2) a general plan for the career development of individuals who will be selected for these positions, 3) a plan for review and selection of pilot projects to be pursued, and 4) a list of senior faculty who will participate in research career development, along with their curriculum vitae and current research support.  The institution must be able to demonstrate adequate resources for the support of the research efforts of proposed junior investigators, and a plan for monitoring their progress and development toward independence.

The budget for each pilot project, including salary for the investigator, may not exceed $50,000 per year (direct cost), and the total budget for pilot projects under this core is expected to not exceed $100,000 per year (direct cost).  Pilot projects funded must receive prior approval from NIA staff, and should be described briefly in the annual progress reports.

This core may also provide temporary salary support, not to exceed 24 months, and research supplies for faculty in specified areas of research complementary to ongoing activities of the group.  No more than three faculty may receive salary support through this core at any one time, including salary on pilot projects.  It must be clearly described how any requested salary support in this core will enhance the existing program. Funds may also be requested for salary support for the director of the Research Development Core, who will be responsible for coordinating all activities within said core.

The Research Development Core may also be used to encourage the career development of other faculty through the use of research core resources, even though their salary support is provided from other sources.  This may include investigators from other institutions, including, but not limited to, investigators from other Shock Centers. Finally, this core may include a specific plan for support of research by and training of students or faculty from underrepresented ethnic groups or with disabilities, or from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Research Resource Cores. These cores will provide support for personnel, equipment, supplies and limited renovation costs needed to develop new, or improve existing resources, that foster shared use and collaborative research.  Because a supply of appropriate animal models that are free of disease is essential for many areas of research on biological aging, support may be requested for the development and maintenance of animal resources (both classical and new animal models) to meet this need.   Personnel and equipment costs for integrated physiology and/or pathology studies may also be requested.  To gain insight into the mechanisms of aging through understanding the underlying intrinsic biology, a variety of molecular/cellular biology capabilities might be required, and can be supported through these cores.  Research Resource cores must support at least 3 ongoing basic research projects. Further examples include, but are not limited to:

Centers are encouraged to develop resources that will also be available for collaborative research projects with investigators from other institutions, including but not limited to other Shock Centers.  A plan must be presented to describe how such access to Center resources will be managed, so as not to overwhelm the personnel and resources of the Center. The requirement that resources support at least three basic research projects may be partially met by projects at institutions other than the grantee institution.

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

Section II. Award Information

1. Mechanism of Support

This funding opportunity will use the NIH P30 (Center Core grant) mechanism. This mechanism supports shared resources and facilities for categorical research by a number of investigators from different disciplines who provide a multidisciplinary approach to a joint research effort or from the same discipline who focus on a common problem. The core grant is integrated with the Center’s component projects or program project though funded independently from them. The Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project.  

This FOA uses “Just-in-Time” information concepts. It also uses non-modular budget formats described in the PHS 398 application instructions (see 

2. Funds Available

The estimated amount of funds available for support of up to 5 projects awarded as a result of this announcement is $ 4 million for fiscal year 2010. The expected direct cost amount for individual awards should not exceed $ 800,000, and should be commensurate with the work proposed. Applications with budget requests exceeding this amount will not be reviewed. Applications should be for 5 years, and future year amounts will depend on annual appropriations.

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.

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

1.A. Eligible Institutions

The following organizations/institutions are eligible to apply:

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
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