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 of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) (www.niams.nih.gov)

Title: NIAMS Clinical Trial Outcomes Instrument Development Grant Program (U01)

Announcement Type

New

Request For Applications (RFA) Number: RFA-AR-06-006

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number(s)
93.846

Key Dates
Release Date: June 29, 2006
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): July 29, 2006
Application Receipt Date(s): August 29, 2006
Peer Review Date(s): November, 2006
Council Review Date(s): January, 2007
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): April, 2007
Expiration Date: August 30, 2006

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Additional Overview Content

Executive Summary

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 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
    A. Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award
       1. Principal Investigator Rights and Responsibilities
       2. NIH Responsibilities
       3. Collaborative Responsibilities
       4. Arbitration Process
3. Reporting

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

Section VIII. Other Information - Required Federal Citations

Part II - Full Text of Announcement


Section I. Funding Opportunity Description


1. Research Objectives

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

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

The ability to conduct well-designed clinical studies to assess efficacy of new therapies depends on the identification of clinically relevant endpoints and development of sensitive and specific instruments that accurately reflect the course and stage of disease. Except for the most common diseases (i.e., rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis), outcomes measures and benchmarks for comparison of clinical outcomes are sorely lacking in most areas of clinical research interest to NIAMS. For some diseases, a number of outcome instruments exist but they are not used consistently. For example, in lupus, there are more than 20 “instruments” that can be used in clinical trials to measure outcomes. Some measure disease activity, some measure organ damage, some are composite or index instruments that capture some, but not all, components/responses in disease. Often, lupus clinical trials are conducted using similar therapeutics but different outcomes instruments. This makes the comparison of results and the potential efficacy, toxicity, and complications of new therapeutic approaches very difficult. In addition, it hampers efforts by organizations, such as the FDA, to develop guidance documents for industry with benchmarks for approval of new agents. The same applies to many other diseases, illnesses and injuries of interest to the NIAMS.

In spite of the diversity of potential therapeutic approaches, trials in diseases, illnesses and injuries of interest to the NIAMS are difficult because many of the diseases are rare; the clinical manifestations are heterogeneous, requiring long-term follow-up; and the outcomes are often measured with "disease index/activity" measure instruments, which are a combination of many clinical parameters. The lack of proven therapies for other diseases of interest to the NIAMS such as muscular dystrophy, inflammatory myopathies, and other muscle and skin diseases is due in part to the rarity and heterogeneity of these diseases and in part to the lack of standardized and validated approaches for assessing disease activity and damage in patients. Skeletal muscle specific outcome measures or validated surrogate markers are not adequate for studies of treatments or systematic longitudinal assessments. Common, chronic diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, require long term follow up, and there may be no consensus about the best outcomes measures for trials aimed at structural change (i.e., prevention of erosion, delayed joint space narrowing, etc), single organ damage prevention (i.e., lung fibrosis in scleroderma), or surgical treatments. These factors contribute to clinical trial designs that frequently involve a large number of patients and are very costly. In a recent NIAMS-sponsored lupus conference, the private sector identified the lack of understandable, universal outcomes measures as the primary impediment to embarking more vigorously in clinical trials for this disease. (http://www.niams.nih.gov/ne/reports/sci_wrk/2002/summary.htm).

In addition to established therapies, new agents and approaches are being developed in laboratories and tested in experimental animals for repair/replacement and preventive interventions of diseases, illnesses and injuries of interest to the NIAMS. Trials for these agents/technologies are also difficult because the primary outcome measure may be distant to the therapeutic target. For example, the prevention of lupus nephritis with a tolerogenic dose of a very specific agent is difficult to evaluate when the outcome is changes in a disease activity index that combines indicators of many organ systems and overall disease activity.

New technologies are being applied rapidly to the development of biomarkers of disease for identification of patient subsets, evaluation of disease outcomes, evaluation of response to therapies and the identification of predictors of outcomes. However, it is unclear how these potentially valuable biomarkers (i.e., array data) can be incorporated into disease outcome measure instruments in a meaningful way. Thus, there is a great need to refine existing instruments to incorporate biomarkers and to test biomarkers together with other outcomes in large cohorts. New techniques in the areas of clinimetrics, statistical analysis, computer simulation, etc. may help improve the design of relevant outcome variables that include biomarkers to be used in smaller, more cost-effective trials.

Scope

This RFA encourages projects that propose to design, evaluate, validate, and test new and/or improved outcome measures for clinical trials in diseases, illnesses and injuries of interest to the NIAMS (see http://www.niams.nih.gov/rtac/funding/faq.htm). The experimental design of a project may include, for example, consensus development approaches, meetings of experts, collection of data, beta testing of new instruments, mathematical and computer modeling, validation studies. The proposal should include plans to disseminate information and have input from relevant scientific communities and professional organizations on the scientific merit and applicability of new and improved outcomes. Approaches that take advantage of bioinformatics to speed up data collection, analysis, dissemination and updates are encouraged.

Suggested topics may include, but are not limited to:

Section II. Award Information


1. Mechanism(s) of Support

This RFA will use the NIH Cooperative Agreement U01 award mechanism.

As an applicant, you will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project.

This funding opportunity uses the just-in-time budget concepts. It also uses the non-modular budget format described in the PHS398 application instructions (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398.htm). A detailed categorical budget for the “Initial Budget Period” and the “Entire Proposed Period of Support” is to be submitted with the application.

The NIAMS U01 is a cooperative agreement award mechanism. In the cooperative agreement mechanism, the Principal Investigator (PI) retains the primary responsibility and dominant role for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project, with NIH staff being substantially involved as a partner with the PI, as described under Section VI. 2. Administrative Requirements, "Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award". Plans beyond the current funding period have not been defined.

These awards are not renewable.

2. Funds Available

The NIAMS intends to commit approximately $1 million dollars in FY 2006 to fund four or five new and/or competing continuation grants in response to this RFA. An applicant may request a project period of up to three years and a budget for direct costs up to $150,000 dollars per year.

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 IC(s) 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. The anticipated start date is April, 2007. The total period of performance will not exceed three years.

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 as the Principal Investigator (PI) 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 support.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

Not required

The most current Grants Policy Statement can be found at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/nihgps_Part2.htm#matching_or_cost_sharing

3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria

One application per applicant may be submitted in response to this RFA.

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 GrantsInfo, 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 (see http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/notices-files/NOT-OD-03-055.html).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 individual designated as the PD/PI on the application must also be registered in the NIH eRA Commons. It is not necessary for PDs/PIs to register with Grants.gov. The PD/PI must hold a PD/PI account in the Commons and must be affiliated with the applicant organization. This account cannot have any other role attached to it other than the PD/PI. This registration/affiliation must be done by the Authorized Organization Representative/Signing Official (ARO/SO) or their designee who is already registered in the Commons.

Both the PD/PI and AOR/SO need separate accounts in the NIH eRA Commons since both are authorized to view the application image.

Note that if a PD/PI is also an NIH peer-reviewer with an Individual DUNS and CCR registration, that particular DUNS number and CCR registration are for the individual reviewer only. These are different than any DUNS number and CCR registration used by an applicant organization. Individual DUNS and CCR registration should be used only for the purposes of personal reimbursement and should not be used on any grant applications submitted to the Federal Government.

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 special opportunities for furthering research programs through the use of unusual talent, resources, populations, or environmental conditions in other countries that are not readily available in the United States or that augment existing U.S. resources.

3. Submission Dates and Times

Applications must be received on or before the receipt date described below (Section IV.3.A).

3.A. Receipt, Review and Anticipated Start Dates
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): July 29, 2006
Application Receipt Date(s): August 29, 2006
Peer Review Date(s): November, 2006
Council Review Date(s): January, 2007
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: April, 2007

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:

Madeline Turkeltaub, R.N., Ph.D.
Clinical Research Program Manager and Deputy Director
National Institute for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
6701 Democracy Blvd., Suite 800
Bethesda, MD 20892-4872
Telephone: (301) 594-2463
FAX: 301-480-4543
Email: mturkeltaub@mail.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 material must be sent to:

Yan Wang, M.D., Ph.D.
Chief, Review Branch
NIAMS Extramural Program
6701 Democracy Blvd., Suite 800
Bethesda, MD 20892-4872
Telephone: (301) 594-4957
FAX: 301-480-4543
Email: wangy1@mail.nih.gov

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 NIAMS. 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.

Information on the status of the application should be checked by the Principal Investigator in the eRa Commons at: https://nih.gov/commons/.

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/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_Part6.htm.

6. Other Submission Requirements

Awardees must agree to the "Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award" in Section VI.B"Award Administration Information".

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

The precise content of the data-sharing plan will vary, depending on the data being collected and how the investigator is planning to share the data. Applicants who are planning to share data may wish to describe briefly the expected schedule for data sharing, the format of the final dataset, the documentation to be provided, whether or not any analytic tools also will be provided, whether or not a data-sharing agreement will be required and, if so, a brief description of such an agreement (including the criteria for deciding who can receive the data and whether or not any conditions will be placed on their use), and the mode of data sharing (e.g., under their own auspices by mailing a disk or posting data on their institutional or personal website, through a data archive or enclave). Investigators choosing to share under their own auspices may wish to enter into a data-sharing agreement. References to data sharing may also be appropriate in other sections of the application.

All applicants must include a plan for sharing research data in their application. The data sharing policy is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing. All investigators responding to this funding opportunity should include a description of how final research data will be shared, or explain why data sharing is not possible.

The reasonableness of the data sharing plan or the rationale for not sharing research data will be assessed by the reviewers. However, reviewers will not factor the proposed data sharing plan into the determination of scientific merit or the priority score.

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/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm and http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_Part7.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 NIAMS 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, Minorities and Children in Research: The adequacy of plans to include subjects from both genders, all racial and ethnic groups (and subgroups), and children 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.

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

Data Sharing Plan: The reasonableness of the data sharing plan or the rationale for not sharing research data will be assessed by the reviewers. However, reviewers will not factor the proposed data sharing plan into the determination of scientific merit or the priority score. The presence of a data sharing plan will be part of the terms and conditions of the award. The funding organization will be responsible for monitoring the data sharing policy http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing

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/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

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/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_part4.htm).

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document. Once all administrative and programmatic issues have been resolved, the NoA will be generated via email notification from the awarding component to the grantee business official (designated in item 12 on the Application Face Page). If a grantee is not email enabled, a hard copy of the NoA 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 NoA 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 NoA. 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/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_Part4.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/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_part9.htm).

The following Terms and Conditions will be incorporated into the award statement and will be provided to the Principal Investigator as well as to the appropriate institutional official, at the time of award.

2.A. Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

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

The administrative and funding instrument used for this program will be the cooperative agreement (U01), an "assistance" mechanism (rather than an "acquisition" mechanism), in which substantial NIH programmatic involvement with the awardees is anticipated during the performance of the activities. Under the cooperative agreement, the NIH purpose is to support and stimulate the recipients' activities by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the award recipients in a partnership role; it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activities. Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility resides with the awardees for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities may be shared among the awardees and the NIH as defined below.

2.A.1. Principal Investigator Rights and Responsibilities


The Principal Investigator will have the primary responsibility to:

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

2.A.2. NIH Responsibilities

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

Additionally, an agency program official or IC program director will be responsible for the normal scientific and programmatic stewardship of the award and will be named in the award notice.

2.A.3. Collaborative Responsibilities

A Scientific Advisory Board is responsible to oversee the development of appropriately validated outcomes instruments that are likely to be adopted by the scientific community as a method of measuring clinical outcomes. The Scientific Advisory Board will be made up of a statistician, the Project Investigator, the NIAMS Project Scientist for the project and one or more members from Professional organizations representing the scientific community that will use the outcome instruments. The Project Scientist will not chair the Scientific Advisory Board. The Board is advisory to NIAMS and the investigator.

It is the responsibility of the Board to make recommendations related to revisions of measurement instruments if needed; validation analyses methods and conclusions; continuation of the project to the next phase and dissemination plans. Decisions will be made with an attempt for consensus when possible and by a majority vote of a quorum when necessary. Outside consultants/experts may be asked to participate in these discussions as nonvoting advisors.

During each year of the funding period there will be one meeting convened in the Bethesda, MD area and there will be conference call meetings convened at intervals related to completion of study milestones. The purpose of the meetings is to share strategies and assure that appropriate standards are used to validate outcome instruments; assess scientific progress, discuss strategy and potential avenues of collaboration such as with public/private partnerships; and establish strategies to accelerate the use of the validated instruments by members of the scientific community.

2.A.4. Arbitration Process

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

3. Reporting

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:

Gayle E. Lester, Ph.D.
Director, Osteoarthritis Initiative & Diagnostic Imaging
NIAMS, NIH
One Democracy Plaza
6701 Democracy Boulevard Suite 800, MSC 4872
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-4872
Tel: (301) 594-3511
FAX: (301) 480-4543
Email: lester1@mail.nih.gov

Joan McGowan, Ph.D.
Chief, Musculoskeletal Diseases Branch
NIAMS, NIH
One Democracy Plaza
6701 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 800, MSC 4872
Bethesda, MD 20872-4872|
Tel: (301) 594-5055
FAX: (301) 480-4543
Email: mcgowanj@mail.nih.gov

James S. Panagis, M.D.
Director, Orthopaedics Program
NIAMS, NIH
One Democracy Plaza
6701 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 800, MSC 4872
Bethesda, MD 20872-4872
Tel: (301) 594-5055
FAX: (301) 480-4543
Email:panagisj@mail.nih.gov

Susana Serrate-Sztein, M.D.
Chief, Rheumatic Diseases Branch
NIAMS, NIH
One Democracy Plaza
6701 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 800, MSC 4872
Bethesda, MD 20872-4872
Tel: (301) 594-5032
FAX: (301) 480-4543
Email: szteins@mail.nih.gov

Madeline Turkeltaub, R.N., Ph.D.
Clinical Research Project Manager and Deputy Director
NIAMS, NIH
One Democracy Plaza
6701 Democracy Blvd., Suite 800, MSC 4872
Bethesda, MD 20892-4872
Tel : (301) 594-2463
FAX: (301) 480-4543
Email: mturkeltaub@mail.nih.gov

2. Peer Review Contacts:

Yan Wang, M.D., Ph.D.
Chief, Review Branch
NIAMS, NIH
One Democracy Plaza
6701 Democracy Blvd., Suite 800, MSC 4872
Bethesda, MD 20892-4872
Tel: (301) 594-4957
Fax: (301) 402-2406
Email: wangy1@mail.nih.gov

3. Financial or Grants Management Contacts:

Melinda Nelson
Chief Grants Management Officer
NIAMS, NIH
6701 Democracy Blvd.Suite 800
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
Tel: (301) 594-3535
Fax: (301) 480-5450
E-mail: nelson1@mail.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information


Required Federal Citations

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).

Sharing Research Data:
Investigators submitting an NIH application seeking $500,000 or more in direct costs in any single year are expected to include a plan for data sharing or state why this is not possible (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing).

Investigators should seek guidance from their institutions, on issues related to institutional policies and local IRB rules, as well as local, State and Federal laws and regulations, including the Privacy Rule. Reviewers will consider the data sharing plan but will not factor the plan into the determination of the scientific merit or the priority score.

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.

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.

Inclusion of Children as Participants in Clinical Research:
The NIH maintains a policy that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) must be included in all clinical research, conducted or supported by the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the "NIH Policy and Guidelines" on the inclusion of children as participants in research involving human subjects (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/children/children.htm).

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.

NIH Public Access Policy:
NIH-funded investigators are requested to submit to the NIH manuscript submission (NIHMS) system (http://www.nihms.nih.gov) at PubMed Central (PMC) an electronic version of the author's final manuscript upon acceptance for publication, resulting from research supported in whole or in part with direct costs from NIH. The author's final manuscript is defined as the final version accepted for journal publication, and includes all modifications from the publishing peer review process.

NIH is requesting that authors submit manuscripts resulting from 1) currently funded NIH research projects or 2) previously supported NIH research projects if they are accepted for publication on or after May 2, 2005. The NIH Public Access Policy applies to all research grant and career development award mechanisms, cooperative agreements, contracts, Institutional and Individual Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards, as well as NIH intramural research studies. The Policy applies to peer-reviewed, original research publications that have been supported in whole or in part with direct costs from NIH, but it does not apply to book chapters, editorials, reviews, or conference proceedings. Publications resulting from non-NIH-supported research projects should not be submitted.

For more information about the Policy or the submission process please visit the NIH Public Access Policy Web site at http://publicaccess.nih.gov/ and view the Policy or other Resources and Tools including the Authors' Manual (http://publicaccess.nih.gov/publicaccess_Manual.htm).

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.


Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices


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