Department of Health and Human Services


Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR)

Funding Opportunity Title

High Priority Behavioral and Social Research Networks (R24)

Activity Code

R24 Resource-Related Research Projects

Announcement Type

New

Related Notices

  • October 18, 2013 - See Notice NOT-OD-14-003. Guidance on Resumption of NIH Extramural Activities Following the Recent Lapse in Appropriations.
  • August 21, 2013: Removed reference to ASSIST in section IV.3, since ASSIST is currently only available for multi-project applications.

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-AG-14-007

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

Number of Applications

See Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

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

93.866

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) issued by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), working in part with funds contributed by the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (http://obssr.od.nih.gov/index.aspx ), is to provide infrastructure support for advancing development of specific emerging and high priority interdisciplinary areas of behavioral and social research of relevance to aging. The infrastructure support will facilitate research networks through meetings, conferences, small scale pilots, training, and dissemination to encourage growth and development of specified priority areas and of resources for the field at large. Projects are solicited that will develop, strengthen, and evaluate transdisciplinary approaches and methods for basic behavioral and/or social research.

Key Dates
Posted Date

July 17, 2013

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

September 22, 2013

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

September 22, 2013

Application Due Date(s)

(Extended to November 1, 2013 per NOT-OD-14-003), Originally October 22, 2013, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

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)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

February/March 2014

Advisory Council Review

May 2014

Earliest Start Date

August 2014

Expiration Date

(Extended to November 2, 2013 per NOT-OD-14-003), Originally October 23, 2013

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.

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 National Institute on Aging (NIA), working in part with funds contributed by  the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (http://obssr.od.nih.gov/index.aspx ),  is pursuing this initiative to provide infrastructure support in specific emerging and high priority interdisciplinary areas of behavioral and social research of relevance to aging. This FOA will use the NIH Resource-Related Research Project (R24) mechanism to facilitate research networks to seed the following integrative and interdisciplinary research areas through meetings, conferences, small scale pilots, short term training opportunities (such as intensive workshops, summer institutes, or visiting scholar programs) and dissemination activities to encourage growth and development of the field at large, so they can develop to the point where work in this area can be supported through standard mechanisms (such as research grants, conference grants, program projects, centers, and/or institutional training grants). Development of research networks is critical to advance the science in the following high priority* emerging areas, where integration across studies, disciplines and institutions is required:

1. Reversibility: Assessing the prospects for mid-late life reversibility of phenotypes associated with early life adversity and subsequent later life health and socioeconomic disparities. See: http://www.nia.nih.gov/about/events/2012/network-reversibility-meeting  and http://www.nia.nih.gov/research/dbsr/featured-reports

2. Epigenetics: Advance research from a life course perspective that elucidates how epigenetic processes translate the effects of social environments into behavioral or behaviorally mediated outcomes that may persist throughout life into middle and late adulthood.   See: http://www.esrc.ac.uk/news-and-events/events/epigenetics/index.aspx   

3. Valuing Health Research: Facilitate a network to study the production of biomedical and behavioral science research and its impact on health, especially healthy aging, and the economy.  See: http://sites.nationalacademies.org/dbasse/currentprojects/dbasse_081115 and http://www.nih.gov/about/impact/economy.htm

4. Stress Measurement: Advancing the science of psychosocial stress measurement to enhance behavioral and social surveys of aging and strengthen lab-survey linkages in this area. See: http://www.nia.nih.gov/about/events/2012/stress-measurement-meeting and http://www.nia.nih.gov/about/events/2011/nia-workshop-allostatic-load

5. Economics and Psychology: Stimulate new interdisciplinary thinking on policy-relevant behavioral science topics such as the long-term consequences of educational attainment for health and well-being at older ages, and public health approaches to behavior change in later life. 

See: Science of Behavior Change: https://commonfund.nih.gov/behaviorchange/meetings.aspx;

Well-being and public policy: http://www.nia.nih.gov/about/events/2012/workshop-use-well-being-measures-policy-analysis and http://www.nia.nih.gov/about/events/2011/workshop-role-well-being-measures-public-policy;

Economic Phenotypes: http://www.nia.nih.gov/about/events/2011/nia-workshop-refining-economic-phenotypes and http://www.nia.nih.gov/about/events/2011/workshop-economic-phenotypes

6. Replicability: Facilitating the process of replication of research results in the behavioral and social sciences of aging. See: http://www.nia.nih.gov/about/events/2012/addressing-challenges-replicability-behavioral-and-psychological-science

* The UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has expressed interest in this funding opportunity and may opt to independently support components of applications submitted under this initiative.  The ESRC interest in this funding opportunity is confined to applications addressing 1. Reversibility, 2. Epigenetics, and 3. Valuing Health Research.  To be eligible for ESRC support, applications must be submitted to the ESRC and include a UK component and UK investigator. For further information on what constitutes a 'UK component' see the FAQ document associated with this RFA http://www.nia.nih.gov/research/dbsr/faq-networks-rfa-r24.

*The NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research is particularly interested in applications addressing 3. Valuing Health Research and  6. Replicability in the Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Background

The National Institute on Aging (NIA), Division of Behavioral and Social Research (BSR) supports basic social and behavioral research and research training on the processes of aging at both the individual and societal level (see the BSR website here). Though a significant fraction of research supported by BSR in pursuit of the NIA mission falls within a specific discipline or field, BSR encourages interdisciplinary approaches to behavioral and social research.  BSR has recently supported a number of initiatives to seed integrative and interdisciplinary research that exploits new methodologies and knowledge as well as infrastructure development in emerging and high priority areas of behavioral and social science related to aging. These areas are typically developing rapidly and require ongoing flexible dynamic infrastructure support to advance the production of high quality research and facilitate collaborations between scientists whose diverse areas of expertise are essential for actualizing innovative research in the field. They also require training new investigators and recruiting the best scientists to aging research to ensure continued growth in these fields.

Network support would include all activities designed to bring together scientists to develop an area or research infrastructure to advance the field at large.  It could also encompass bridging human and animal studies to target specific research questions where relevant. Such support would also include meetings both large and small to develop program areas, interact on the development of infrastructure, dissemination and feedback on developmental activities, etc. Short term training may also be appropriate for some networks, and may take a variety of forms and can be productive at all career levels, including intensive summer institutes, series of workshops and related network activities, advanced seminars on methodology, or short term residential opportunities. Small scale pilot programs can be particularly useful in some cases to support the development of novel or high risk approaches requiring interdisciplinary collaboration. Network funding for pilot projects should either advance broad network goals or support preliminary studies with potential to form a foundation for future independent research in areas relevant to network goals.

The networking, advanced training, and infrastructure-building activities required for these efforts are rarely covered under an individual grant, and often do not fit the timelines for typical support mechanisms.  In many instances the researchers that can support a successful network in an emerging area span multiple disciplines and are rarely located at a single institution. Therefore, this FOA is designed to provide research resources to develop networks in specific high priority areas of behavioral and social research in aging.

Scope

This FOA is designed to address the network development needs of researchers interested in advancing interdisciplinary aging-relevant research agendas in the social and behavioral sciences. For the purposes of this FOA, aging-relevant research is that which addresses issues of importance to the well-being and health of either mid-life or older adults, and can include data spanning the entire life course. 

Applications must propose efforts to advance one of the listed high priority research areas in the behavioral and social sciences of relevance to aging.  Applications should prepare plans for new high impact activities that are not feasible with existing resources.  

The application should be designed to have a substantial impact on the progress and quality of behavioral and social research of relevance to aging by virtue of the proposed activities.  Networks are intended to serve the broader community of behavioral and social researchers engaged in aging-relevant research in the designated scientific area, and are consequently unlikely to be limited to a single institution.  For network activities that span multiple institutions, applicants are encouraged to describe in the Approach section of the Research Strategy how those activities will be coordinated across institutions, and how the proposed activities will effectively engage with other relevant activities at participating institutions. Projects must propose a plan for dissemination of network products to the field at large.

Networks may propose to support small scale pilot projects. Network funding for pilot projects should either advance broad network goals or support preliminary studies with potential to form the basis for independent research applications consistent with network goals.  Projects proposing small scale pilot programs must include a description for how pilot projects will be solicited and reviewed in the Approach section of the Research Plan.  

NOTE: Applicants are encouraged to limit the number of key personnel on Network applications, to avoid establishing conflicts of interest throughout the emerging field.  Participation in network activities, including presentation at workshops, or serving as faculty on summer institutes, or receiving pilot funding, will not constitute formal collaboration from the perspective of NIH, with the exception of those key personnel listed on the application. Network activities are intended to advance the field at large.  An important consideration in developing a network is the potential to grow the field substantially through recruitment of new investigators rather than sustaining only the original team.

The NIA encourages potential applicants to contact program staff listed in Section VII to discuss potential network development programs prior to submission of an application. The NIA encourages network applicants to support activities that will foster diversity of the scientific workforce.  

Responsiveness Criteria

Existing efforts are not responsive to this FOA unless the application proposes specific plans for new high impact activities that would not otherwise be feasible. 

Projects focused on technology development are not responsive to this FOA.

Projects that support clinical trials or provide patient services are not responsive to this FOA.

Investigators seeking support for traditional scientific meetings should use the link to PA-12-212 NIH Support for Conferences and Scientific Meetings (Parent R13/U13). Investigators who wish to seek support for pre and post-doctoral research training should use the link to PA-11-184, Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grants (T32).

Applicants need not have a prior history of conducting research in aging.

Supplemental Awards by UK Economic and Social Research Council

The UK Economic and Social Research Council has expressed interest in separately funding components of applications submitted under this initiative. To be eligible for ESRC support, applications must be submitted to the ESRC and include a UK component and UK investigator. NIA welcomes collaborative US/UK projects and strongly encourages applicants to share their applications with the ESRC and to share the results of peer review with them. You may send your application to the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) at the address below:

Economic and Social Research Council
Attn: NIA Collaborative Program on Reversibility
Polaris House
North Star Avenue
Swindon
SN2 1UJ
UK
Email address: ESRCNIAnetworks@esrc.ac.uk

 Further information on what constitutes a 'UK component' from the perspective of the ESRC is detailed in the see the FAQ document (see link below). ESRC decisions regarding support to any applications submitted under this FOA will be fully independent of the NIA decision-making process.

Resources for Applicants:

Answers to any frequently asked questions regarding this FOA will be posted at:  http://www.nia.nih.gov/research/dbsr/faq-networks-rfa-r24

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

Grant: A support mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity.

Application Types Allowed

New

The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

The National Institute on Aging intends to commit $600,000 in FY 2014 to support 3-4 awards. The NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research intends to commit $175,000 in FY 2014. The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations, and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Award Budget

Application budgets may not exceed $175,000 per year in direct costs and need to reflect actual needs of the proposed project.

Award Project Period

The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period. The maximum period is 5 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

The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

For-Profit Organizations

Governments

Other

Foreign Institutions

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are eligible to apply.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are 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.

Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s))

All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account and should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate an existing account with the applicant organization’s eRA Commons account. 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.

NIH will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed within the past thirty-seven months (as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement), except for submission:

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, 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:

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Lis Nielsen, Ph.D.
Division of Behavioral and Social Research
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
7201 Wisconsin Ave., #533
Bethesda, MD 20892-9205
Telephone: 301-402-4156
Email: nielsenli@nia.nih.gov

A copy of the letter of intent can be sent to the UK Economic and Social Research Council at: ESRCNIAnetworks@esrc.ac.uk

Page Limitations

All page limitations described in the SF424 Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.

Required and Optional Components

The forms package associated with this FOA includes all applicable components, required and optional. Please note that some components marked optional in the application package are required for submission of applications for this FOA. Follow all instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide to ensure you complete all appropriate “optional” components.

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, with the following additional instructions:

Please note: Applicants are encouraged to limit the number of key personnel on Network applications, to avoid establishing conflicts of interest throughout the emerging field.  Participation in network activities, including participation in and presentation at workshops, serving as faculty on summer institutes, receiving pilot funding, will not constitute formal collaboration from the perspective of NIH, with the exception of those key personnel listed on the application.

R&R 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:

Specific Aims: The application should specify how the proposed project (a) will support advancement of one of the listed high priority research areas in the behavioral and social sciences and (b) advance research that addresses issues of importance to the well-being and health of either mid-life or older adults (which may include data spanning the entire life course). Activities should be described that will benefit growth and development of the field at large, attract the best scientists to aging-relevant research, and support research projects of the highest quality and significance in their respective fields.

Research Strategy: In the Significance section of the Research Strategy, the application should address how the proposed project will support advancement of one of the listed high priority research areas in the behavioral and social sciences of relevance to aging. The application should specify how the proposed activities will have substantial impact on the progress and quality of behavioral and social research in the designated field.

In the Innovation section of the Research Strategy, the application should address how the proposed networking activities will advance an emerging field of research relevant to aging and why these goals cannot be met through existing institutional programs or structures.  The application should propose new high impact activities that are not feasible with existing resources.

In the Approach section of the Research Strategy, the application should address plans for dissemination and access to ensure that the network and its products will be appropriately targeted for the highest impact to potential participants and beneficiaries.  The application should describe how the proposed activities will have the potential to grow the field substantially through recruitment of new investigators rather than sustaining only the original team. Applications should describe milestones appropriate for assessing the ongoing value of the proposed activities. Applications should describe how the proposed activities will effectively engage with other relevant activities at participating institutions. For applications spanning multiple institutions, a plan for coordination across institutions should be clearly specified. 

Networks may propose to support small scale pilot projects. Network funding for pilot projects should either advance broad network goals or support preliminary studies with potential to form the basis for independent research applications consistent with network goals.  Projects proposing small scale pilot programs must include a description for how pilot projects will be solicited and reviewed in the Approach section of the Research Strategy.  

Letters of Support: Letters documenting any agreements between the PD(s)/PI(s) and senior administration officials or other institutional officials are not required but may be included. For consultants, letters should include rate/charge for consulting services.

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, and Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS)) as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

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. 

Foreign Institutions

Foreign (non-U.S.) institutions must follow policies described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, and procedures for foreign institutions described throughout 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.

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 by the Center for Scientific Review and responsiveness by components of participating organizations, NIH. Applications that are incomplete and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.  

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


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 this particular announcement, note the following:

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?  Does the proposed project support advancement of one of the listed high priority research areas in the behavioral and social sciences of relevance to aging?  Are the proposed activities designed to promote progress and improve the quality of behavioral and social research in the designated field?  

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 PD(s)/PI(s) have a history of service-oriented efforts outside the needs of their own research?  Are they uniquely positioned to support the activities of the proposed network, and to integrate their efforts with broader strategic interests of potential network participants on a national and international scale?     

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?   Does the application explain how the proposed networking activities will advance an emerging field of research relevant to aging and why these goals cannot be met through existing institutional programs or structures? Does the application propose new high impact activities that are not feasible with existing resources?    

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 clinical research, are the plans for 1) protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion of minorities and members of both sexes/genders, as well as the inclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?  Do the proposed activities have the potential to grow the field substantially through recruitment of new investigators rather than sustaining only the original team? Do the plans for dissemination and access ensure that the network and its products will be appropriately targeted for the highest impact to potential participants and beneficiaries? Are the proposed milestones appropriate for assessing the ongoing value of the proposed activities? Does the application describe how the proposed activities will effectively engage with other relevant activities at participating institutions? For network activities spanning multiple institutions, is a plan for coordination across institutions clearly specified?   For projects proposing small scale pilot programs, is there an adequate description of how pilot projects will be solicited and reviewed?    

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 clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for inclusion of minorities and members of both genders, as well as the inclusion of children. 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

Not Applicable

Renewals

Not Applicable

Revisions

Not Applicable

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

Reviewers will assess whether the project presents special opportunities for furthering research programs through the use of unusual talent, resources, populations, or environmental conditions that exist in other countries and either are not readily available in the United States or augment existing U.S. resources.

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) Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS).

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 the National Institute on Aging, 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:

Appeals of initial peer review will not be accepted for applications submitted in response to this FOA.

Applications will be assigned to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the National Advisory Council on Aging. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

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 the DUNS, SAM Registration, and Transparency Act requirements as noted on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants 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

Not Applicable

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the annual Non-Competing Progress Report (PHS 2590 or RPPR) 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 Commons Help Desk (Questions regarding 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)

Web ticketing system: https://public.era.nih.gov/commonshelp
TTY: 301-451-5939
Email: commons@od.nih.gov

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission, downloading forms and application packages)
Contact Center Telephone: 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
TTY: 301-451-5936
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Lis Nielsen, Ph.D.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Telephone: 301-402-4156
Email: nielsenli@nia.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Ramesh Vemuri, Ph.D.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Telephone: 301-496-9666
Email: Vemuri@nia.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Jeff Ball
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Telephone: 301-402-7732
Email: ballj@nia.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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