SMALL ANIMAL IMAGING RESOURCE PROGRAMS
 
RELEASE DATE:  October 2, 2003

RFA Number: RFA-CA-04-011 (This RFA has been reissued, see RFA-CA-07-004)
 
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
 
PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS:  

National Institute of Health (NIH) 
 (http://www.nih.gov)

COMPONENTS OF PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS:  

National Cancer Institute (NCI)
 (http://www.nci.nih.gov)

CATALOG OF FEDERAL DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE NUMBER: 93.394 

LETTER OF INTENT RECEIPT DATE: November 18, 2003
APPLICATION RECEIPT DATE: December 18, 2003

This Request for Applications (RFA) is a reissue of RFA-CA-01-012 "Small 
Animal Imaging Resource Programs" which was released in the NIH Guide on July 
31, 2000.

THIS RFA CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION

o Purpose of this RFA
o Research Objectives
o Mechanism(s) of Support 
o Funds Available
o Eligible Institutions
o Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators
o Special Requirements 
o Where to Send Inquiries
o Letter of Intent
o Submitting an Application
o Supplementary Instructions
o Peer Review Process
o Review Criteria
o Receipt and Review Schedule
o Award Criteria
o Required Federal Citations

PURPOSE OF THIS RFA
 
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) invites applications from extramural 
investigators for Small Animal Imaging Resource Programs (SAIRPs).  These 
grants will support (a) shared imaging research resources to be used by 
cancer investigators, (b) research related to small animal imaging 
technology, and (c) training of both professional and technical support 
personnel interested in the science and techniques of small animal imaging.  
Small Animal Imaging Resource Programs (SAIRPs) will enhance capabilities for 
conducting basic, clinical, and translational cancer research relevant to the 
mission of the NCI.  Major goals of this initiative are to increase 
efficiency, synergy, and innovation of such research and to foster research 
interactions that cross disciplines, approaches and levels of analysis.  
Building and strengthening such links holds great potential for better 
understanding cancer, and ultimately, for better treatment and prevention.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES  

Background  

Small animal models, particularly genetically engineered mice, are 
increasingly recognized as powerful discovery tools in cancer research. One 
of the limitations of the use of experimental animals is the need to 
sacrifice the animals to perform tissue or molecular analysis.  This prevents 
researchers from observing in vivo the natural or perturbed evolution of the 
processes under study.  Functional, molecular, and morphologic quantitative 
imaging techniques are an important tool for providing data about 
biochemical, genetic or pharmacological processes in vivo, and repetitively 
in the same animal.

Animal models of cancer formation and treatment allow identification of tumor 
biology and provide tumor-bearing animals for testing therapeutics.  
Combining imaging with animal modeling allows the animals to be used as their 
own controls, and permits acquisition of molecular data from tumors that are 
interacting on a molecular level with their microenvironment.  It is clear 
that the expression of genes in tumors and their surrounding tissues is 
different in situ than it is in excised or cultured preparations.  In vivo 
molecular imaging is evolving to be a form of in vivo assay reporting the 
molecular activity in tumor and normal cells.  Furthermore, anatomic and 
functional imaging are valuable in population studies of genetically 
engineered mice to indicate which mice are expressing tumors, how many tumors 
are present in a given animal, and where they are located.  

In experiments for which temporal changes are a variable of interest, without 
imaging data one would need a cohort of mice for each data point. Imaging 
allows the study of a cohort of animals for the entire course of an 
experiment, which might include tumor initiation, growth, treatment, and re-
growth.  In vivo imaging facilitates the use of fewer animals, better control 
of the experiments, and acquisition of data from the tumor-host system.  The 
characterization and use of genetically engineered mice, stimulated by The 
Mouse Models of Human Cancer Consortium, is entering a new era with emphasis 
on utilization of mouse models.  Small animal imaging is essential to gain 
full knowledge about the model and its behavior under experimental 
conditions. 

The SAIR program thus far has been very successful, with a number of 
different achievements.  Animal imaging research and its inclusion in funded 
grants has increased.  The technology required for animal imaging, often more 
demanding than that for human imaging because of the resolution required, has 
been advanced.  The techniques of animal imaging have been disseminated more 
widely, encouraging yet more use of animal imaging in cancer research.  
Because there is a need to build on the progress that has been made and to 
continue encouraging the use of imaging in characterizing and employing the 
valuable resource of engineered small animals, especially mice, this program 
is being continued.  

The NCI recognizes the importance, synergy and innovation that often evolve 
from research crossing disciplines, approaches, and levels of analysis.  The 
SAIRP award is envisioned as enhancing such multidisciplinary activities by 
supporting coordinated shared research resources for NIH-funded investigators 
performing cancer research.  The use of such shared resources can increase 
efficiency in an area of research by eliminating unnecessary duplication of 
effort and/or the support of research resources (e.g., costly equipment) that 
might be needed in, but not fully utilized by, the activities of any one 
research grant.  Shared-resource laboratories can stimulate new research 
directions by providing access to equipment, services, and other resources 
that might not otherwise be available.  Finally, shared research resources 
which are properly coordinated will promote research interactions and 
collaborations that cross disciplines, technical and theoretical approaches, 
and levels of analysis, including interactions across basic and clinical 
cancer research.  Such interactions often have results that exceed the sum of 
the contributing activities.  For this reason, participation of 
scientifically diverse base grants are strongly encouraged and, all else 
being equal, applications for SAIRPs with such scientific diversity will be 
given higher priority for funding consideration.

Objectives and Scope

SAIRPs will offer a unique opportunity for multidisciplinary teams within the 
cancer research community to address critical cancer research questions.

Small Animal Imaging Resource Programs (SAIRPs) will provide:

Multiple imaging technologies for small animals, emphasizing, but not limited 
to, those technologies which can provide biochemical, genetic, pathological 
or pharmacological information related to malignancy in vivo.

Technology research and development on innovative new imaging technologies 
appropriate for small animals, as well as refinement and development of 
technologies already established.

Capabilities and personnel to assist in the development and/or production of 
necessary probes for the imaging technologies provided.

Capabilities and personnel to aid in small animal anesthesia and care, as 
well as to consult on the optimal use of animals in connection with the 
cancer-related imaging experiments.

Training for both professional and technical personnel in the techniques and 
methodologies of cancer-related small animal imaging.

Structure

The structure of the SAIRP must reflect the need to ensure that the small 
animal imaging technologies available for access or under development through 
this mechanism are pushing the state of the art in cancer research.  In 
addition, the SAIRP should explore the broadest range of cancer research 
related applications appropriate.

The primary purpose of each SAIRP is to support coordinated shared research 
resources and related research to enhance the capabilities of NIH-supported 
investigators to pursue cancer research relevant to the mission of the NCI.   
A SAIRP is characterized as follows:

SAIRPs and SAIRP-related research represent shared research resources and 
activities that can include services (e.g., software development, 
histological processing, bio-statistical support), equipment (e.g., image 
analysis systems, multi-channel recording equipment), and other resources 
(e.g., use of animal handling facilities, access to supercomputing centers, 
time on scanners, other cancer-related clinical research resources).

SAIRPs must benefit the base grants that they serve and are expected to 
increase efficiency, promote new research directions and foster interactions 
and synergy among investigators.

SAIRPs may also be used by those not in base grants, particularly to the 
extent that they provide opportunities for young investigators, women and 
minorities.  If this is planned, rationale for such usage and for selection 
of such investigators should be provided.  

SAIRPs must address the training of professional and technical individuals 
within the institution as well as from outside in the techniques of cancer-
related small animal imaging.

Resource

The SAIRP should use approximately one half to two thirds of its resources 
and time to provide imaging services and collaboration to cancer-related 
research projects.  As part of the initial application, there must be 
commitments from at least three cancer-related research projects [R01, 
program project (P01), relevant consortia (U01) and/or MERIT (R37) grants], 
or R01-equivalent cancer-related awards from other agencies, that will use 
the small animal imaging resource by the beginning of year two.  After 
implementation, the applicants would be expected to form similar 
collaborations with at least three additional cancer-related research 
projects by the beginning of the third year of the SAIRP award.  At the time 
of application, applicants must give evidence of potential to form these 
additional collaborations.  Collaboration with at least six other cancer-
related research projects using small animals within two years after the 
award is a MINIMUM requirement.  Collaboration with more than six cancer-
related research projects is strongly encouraged.

Applicants must demonstrate that at the time of application they have 
available at least one state-of-the-art imaging technology optimized for 
small animals.  In addition, they must show evidence of experience with in 
vivo imaging of small animals using the available technology.

Applicants must provide plans for providing at least one additional imaging 
technology for small animals within the first year of the award.  This could 
be acquired commercially or developed in-house.  Funds to acquire or develop 
this additional imaging technology may be included in the budget of year one 
of the application.

Imaging Technology Research

The SAIRP should use approximately one third to one half of its resources and 
time for research and development of cancer-related small animal imaging 
technology.  This could be further development and optimization of existing 
technologies or exploration of novel technologies.  Methods to produce valid 
quantitative results would be particularly encouraged.  Funds for small 
animal imaging technology research may be included in the application budget 
for all years of the award.

Training

A plan for training of individuals including basic scientists, clinicians, 
technologists and support personnel interested in learning the techniques and 
science of small animal imaging must be included.  Some of the trainees must 
come from institutions other than the awardee institution.  The training 
should include both didactic and hands-on instruction.

Governance

The Director of the SAIRP must have a demonstrated capability to organize, 
administer and direct the shared resource.  Applicants must describe their 
plan for governance, and methods to be used to evaluate and select protocols 
to support with the SAIRP.  It is suggested that a scientific advisory board 
of collaborators and other cancer investigators would be established for this 
purpose.  The expertise of the scientific advisors and the structure of the 
board should be discussed, but the advisors do not need to be named at the 
time the application is submitted.

Two years after the award there will be a review by NCI program staff to 
confirm that: two or more small animal imaging technologies have been 
implemented and are operational; collaboration with a minimum of six cancer- 
related research projects requiring imaging data from small animals is in 
progress; developmental research on small animal imaging systems is in 
progress.

If these components do not exist or are insufficient, the award will be 
phased out.

Research Support

The following are examples of ancillary research capabilities for which 
funding could be requested in a SAIRP application.  This list of examples is 
not meant to be comprehensive or exclusive of other possibilities.

Contrast agent support: synthesize agents that can be used by investigators 
to differentially label normal or abnormal structures, or make evident 
specific processes in tumor imaging studies.

Supercomputer support: fund access to high performance platforms and 
technical assistance in optimizing algorithms used in analyzing very large 
data sets resulting from high resolution imaging, 3D and 4D imaging, etc.

Informatics support: funds to support the purchase as well as research and 
development of tools and approaches for data storage, retrieval, analysis, 
visualization and manipulation.

Imaging instrument support: purchase equipment, supplies, and service 
contracts needed for small animal imaging.

Research animal support: support of laboratory facilities to provide the 
animal imaging operations.

Biostatistics support: support for statistical consultation in experimental 
design and data analysis for cancer-related small animal imaging.

Activities Supported

An overall budget for the SAIRP should be provided, as well as budgets for 
each of the proposed imaging instruments, including instrument-related 
research.  Direct costs may be requested that are essential for the support 
of the SAIRPs and must be fully documented and justified; salary support for 
administrative costs should be kept at a minimum.  

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This RFA will use the NIH resource- related research projects (R24) 
mechanism.  This mechanism is used to support projects that enhance 
capabilities of resources to contribute to extramural research of the Public 
Health Service.  As an applicant you will be solely responsible for planning, 
directing, and executing the proposed project.

This RFA is a one-time solicitation.  The anticipated award date is July 1, 
2004.  Amended or competing continuation applications will be accepted only 
through future RFAs, the publication of which will be contingent upon program 
priorities and availability of funds.

This RFA uses just-in-time concepts.  It also uses the non-modular budgeting 
format.  Follow the instructions for non-modular budget research grant 
applications.  This program does not require cost sharing as defined in the 
current NIH Grants Policy Statement at 
http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2001/part_i_1.htm.

FUNDS AVAILABLE  

NCI intends to commit approximately $4.5 million total cost in FY2004 to fund 
five new and/or competitive continuation grants in response to this RFA which 
includes funds for adding small animal imaging equipment as described below; 
subsequent year funding would be less, because it would not fund equipment 
acquisition.  Approximately $3.45 million total cost for all the SAIRPs will 
be available each year for years two through five of the award. Approximately 
$18.3 million total cost will be available for the five-year period of the 
award for all the SAIRPs.  

Purchase or assembling of imaging equipment will be allowed in the first year 
only.  The funds requested should be based on the requirements of the project 
and the requested costs must be fully justified.  Each SAIRP will provide 
services, equipment and/or other research resources to the base grants; 
imaging technology research related to the SAIRP, in turn, will enhance the 
capabilities of the SAIRP.  The coordinated use of shared resources increases 
the efficiency of cancer research, facilitates the use of new technologies 
and the pursuit of new lines of cancer-related research, and promotes 
interdisciplinary and collaborative research.  

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

ELIGIBLE INSTITUTIONS   

You may submit (an) application(s) if your institution has any of the 
following characteristics: 
   
o For-profit or non-profit organizations 
o Public or private institutions, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, 
and laboratories 
o Units of State and local governments
o Eligible agencies of the Federal government  
o Domestic institutions
o Foreign institutions are not eligible to apply.

Applicants for SAIRPs may request support for a period of up to 5 years.  By 
the beginning of the third year of the SAIRP award, each application for a 
SAIRP must serve a minimum of six cancer-related research projects (R01, 
R21/R33 or R33), program projects (P01), relevant consortia (U01) and/or 
MERIT (R37) grants (known as the base grants).  Training grants (T32) and 
individual and institutional fellowship grants are not eligible for inclusion 
as base grants.  R01-equivalent cancer-related awards from other agencies may 
be included as base grants.  Only one SAIRP will be awarded to any single 
applicant organization, but base grants may be housed in multiple 
institutions.  In general, each cancer-related research project grant should 
only serve as a base grant for one SAIRP.  If well justified, activities and 
research may be located at sites and institutions other than that/those of 
the base grants and the SAIRP.  For example, research related to a program 
might exist at a transgenic facility, supercomputer center, imaging facility, 
etc., which is neither at nor part of the institution applying for the SAIRP, 
nor at or part of any of the institutions housing the base grants.  

One intention of this initiative is to promote regional distribution of small 
animal imaging facilities.

INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS

Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry 
out the proposed research is invited to work with their institution to 
develop an application for support.  Individuals from underrepresented racial 
and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always 
encouraged to apply for NIH programs.   

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Describe the specific manner in which each component proposed will relate to 
the base grants.  For each component, describe the level of use by the base 
grants; starting in year three of the award, each imaging technology must be 
used by at least three of the cancer-related base grants.

A budget item to support travel of two persons to an annual meeting of 
individuals from all the funded SAIRPs should be included.  

WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES
 
We encourage inquiries concerning this RFA 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:

o Direct your questions about scientific/research issues to:
 
Barbara Y. Croft, Ph.D.
Cancer Imaging Program
National Cancer Institute
6130 Executive Boulevard, Room 6064
Bethesda, MD 20892-7412
Telephone: (301) 496-9531
FAX: (301) 480-3507
Email: bc129b@nih.gov

o Direct your questions about peer review issues to:

Referral Officer 
Division of Extramural Activities 
National Cancer Institute 
6116 Executive Blvd., Room 8041, MSC-8329
Rockville, MD 20852 (express courier)
Bethesda, MD 20892-8329
Telephone (301) 496-3428
Fax: (301) 402-0275
Email:  ncirefof@dea.nci.nih.gov

o Direct your questions about financial or grants management matters to:

Kelli Oster
Grants Administration Branch
National Cancer Institute
6120 Executive Boulevard, Room 243, MSC 7150
Bethesda, MD 20892-7150
Telephone: (301) 496-8621
FAX: (301) 496-8601
Email: osterk@gab.nci.nih.gov

LETTER OF INTENT

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

o Descriptive title of the proposed research
o Name, address, and telephone number of the Principal Investigator
o Names of other key personnel 
o Participating institutions
o Number and title of this RFA 

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:

Barbara Y. Croft, Ph.D.
Cancer Imaging Program
National Cancer Institute
6130 Executive Boulevard, Room 6064
Bethesda, MD 20892-7412
Telephone: (301) 496-9531
FAX: (301) 480-3507
Email: bc129b@nih.gov

SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION
 
Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application 
instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001). Applications must have a DUN and 
Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as the 
Universal Identifier when applying for Federal grants or cooperative 
agreements. The DUNS number can be obtained by calling (866) 705-5711 or 
through the web site at http://www.dunandbradstreet.com/. The DUNS number 
should be entered on line 11 of the face page of the PHS 398 form. The PHS 
398 document is available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in an interactive 
format.  For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone (301) 435-0714, 
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.
 
SUPPLEMENTARY INSTRUCTIONS:

The SAIRPs are intended to enhance the capabilities of scientists to pursue 
cancer research relevant to the mission of the National Cancer Institute.  
The manner in which the proposed SAIRP will do this must be made clear in the 
application.  The following sections should replace the Specific Aims, 
Background and Significance, Preliminary Studies/Progress Report, and the 
Research Design and Methods sections of the traditional Research Plan in form 
PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001), adhering to the 25-page limit:

General Description of the SAIRP:

Describe the SAIRP, existing small animal imaging instrument(s), proposed 
small animal imaging instrument(s), and ancillary capabilities existing and 
proposed.  Describe the provision of cancer-related imaging services and the 
small animal imaging research and development proposed.  Describe the plans 
for training of professionals and technical support personnel.

General Description of the cancer-related Base Grants of the SAIRP (Not to 
exceed 1 (one) page for each base grant participating in the SAIRP):

Provide an overview of the research goals and approaches used in each of the 
base grants and the manner in which the SAIRP award will benefit the research 
activities of the base grants.  In addition, describe the specific ways in 
which the SAIRP will increase efficiency, promote new research directions and 
foster research interactions and synergy of cancer-related research.  
Finally, for each of the base grants, the following must be provided: the 
grant number, title, name of the Principal Investigator, grantee 
organization, the project period end date, and the direct cost budget for the 
year for which the description in the SAIRP application is based.

Operational Plan:

Describe arrangements required to implement the SAIRP, including the manner 
in which priority for imaging facility access and use is decided, the 
operational and administrative role of the director of the imaging facility, 
etc.  This section is especially important for those applications proposing 
an offsite facility.

Imaging Equipment Descriptions:

Describe the purpose of each component, describe imaging technology-related 
research including the manner in which it is expected to enhance the 
capabilities of the imaging instruments, and clearly indicate the space, 
facilities, resources, services, technical and professional expertise and 
support that the applicant institution will provide.

Describe the specific manner in which each component will relate to the base 
grants.  For each component, describe the level of use by the base grants; 
starting in year three of the award, each imaging technology must be used by 
at least three of the cancer-related base grants.

Ancillary Capabilities

Describe the specific ancillary capabilities requested and how they will 
enhance the SAIRP.

Training Program

Describe a dedicated plan for the training of individuals in the science of 
cancer-related small animal imaging.  A plan for training of individuals such 
as basic scientists, clinicians, technologists, and support personnel 
interested in learning the techniques and science of small animal imaging is 
required.  Examples of training for research scientists or clinicians might 
be in the form of, but not limited to, full-time or part-time post-doctoral 
fellowships.  Examples of training for support personnel might be in the form 
of, but not limited to, short-term courses.  Some of the trainees must come 
from institutions other than the awardee institution.  The training should be 
comprehensive and include both didactic and hands-on instruction.

Table of Contents

The table of contents should reflect the actual contents of the application 
and should not copy the categories of PHS 398 Form Page 3.

Budget and Financial Information

Break out the budget contribution for each proposed small animal imaging 
instrument.  The budget and the proposed research and resource provision 
should be aligned.

Appendix:  All instructions in the Form 398 application kit apply.  

USING THE RFA LABEL: The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) 
application form 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.

SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH: 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
Bethesda, MD 20817(for express/courier service)
 
At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application and all 
copies of the appendix material must be sent to:

Referral Officer 
Division of Extramural Activities
National Cancer Institute
6116 Executive Boulevard, Room 8041, MSC 8329
Bethesda, MD 20892-8329
Rockville, MD 20852 (for express/courier service)

APPLICATIONS HAND-DELIVERED BY INDIVIDUALS TO THE NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE 
WILL NO LONGER BE ACCEPTED.  This policy does not apply to courier deliveries 
(i.e. FEDEX, UPS, DHL, etc.) 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-CA-02-002.html)  
This change in practice is effective immediately.  
This policy is similar to and consistent with the policy for applications 
addressed to Centers for Scientific Review as published in the NIH Guide 
Notice http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-012.html.

APPLICATION PROCESSING:  Applications must be received on or before December 
18, 2003.  If an application is received after that date, it will be returned 
to the applicant without review. 

Although there is no immediate acknowledgement of the receipt of an 
application, applicants are generally notified of the review and funding 
assignment within eight weeks.
 
The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept any application in 
response to this RFA 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 an RFA, 
it is to be prepared as a NEW application.  That is, the application for the 
RFA 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.  

PEER REVIEW PROCESS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by CSR and 
responsiveness by the NCI.  Incomplete and/or nonresponsive applications will 
not be reviewed.  
  
Applications that are complete and responsive to the RFA will be evaluated 
for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group 
convened by the Division of Extramural Activities of the NCI in accordance 
with the review criteria stated below.  As part of the initial merit review, 
all applications will:

o Undergo a process in which only those applications deemed to have the 
highest scientific merit, generally the top half of the applications under 
review, will be discussed and assigned a priority score
o Receive a written critique
o Receive a second level review by the National Cancer Advisory Board. 

REVIEW CRITERIA

The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of 
biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health.  In 
the written comments, the reviewers will be asked to evaluate the application 
in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed research will have a 
substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals.  The scientific review 
group will address and consider each of these criteria in assigning the 
application's overall score, weighting them as appropriate for each 
application.   

o Significance 
o Approach 
o Innovation
o Investigator
o Environment
  
The 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 the application address an important problem? If the aims 
of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge be advanced? 
What will be the effect of this resource program on the concepts or methods 
that drive this field? What is the likelihood that the proposed SAIRP will 
increase efficiency, promote new research directions, facilitate interactions 
across disciplines and levels of analysis, and/or across theoretical and 
technological approaches?  Will the SAIRP significantly enhance the 
capabilities of the base grants to pursue cancer research relevant to the 
NCI? Is there participation of scientifically diverse base grants? 

APPROACH: Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses 
adequately developed, well-integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the 
SAIRP? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider 
alternative tactics? How will the effectiveness of the SAIRP in achieving its 
goals be judged?  The application will also be reviewed on the merit of a 
plan to provide a comprehensive and balanced didactic and hands-on training 
experience.  This should include a plan for the training of individuals from 
the awardee institution as well as from other institutions throughout the 
country in the science of small animal imaging.  

INNOVATION: Does the imaging research project employ novel concepts, 
approaches or methods? Are the aims original and innovative? Does the imaging 
research project challenge existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or 
technologies?

INVESTIGATOR: Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited to 
manage the SAIRP and carry out the research? Is the work proposed appropriate 
to the experience level of the principal investigator and other researchers 
(if any)? Has the Principal Investigator assembled the appropriate team to 
manage the SAIRP and conduct the proposed research?

ENVIRONMENT: Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done 
contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed experiments take 
advantage of unique features of the scientific environment or employ useful 
collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional support?

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

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 
398 research grant application instructions (rev. 5/2001) will be assessed.

ADDITIONAL REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS 

Sharing Research Data 

Applicants requesting more than $500,000 in direct costs in any year of the 
proposed research must include a data sharing plan in their application. 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 priority score. (See url in Federal Citations, below.)
 
BUDGET:  The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period 
of support in relation to the proposed research.

RECEIPT AND REVIEW SCHEDULE

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  November 18, 2003      
Application Receipt Date:  December 18, 2003
Peer Review Date:  March 2004
NCAB Review Date:  June 2004
Earliest Anticipated Start Date:  July 1, 2004
 
AWARD CRITERIA

Award criteria that will be used to make award decisions include:

o Scientific merit (as determined by peer review)
o Availability of funds
o Programmatic priorities
 
REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS 

SHARING RESEARCH DATA:  Starting with the October 1, 2003 receipt date, 
investigators submitting an NIH application seeking more than $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, 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.

PUBLIC 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 public 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 PA 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.

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 
RFA, Small Animal Imaging Resource Programs, is related to priority area of 
cancer.  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 authorization of Sections 301 
and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and 
administered under NIH grants policies and 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 promote the non-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


Office of Extramural Research (OER) - Home Page Office of Extramural
Research (OER)
  National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Home Page National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Home Page Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS)
  USA.gov - Government Made Easy


Note: For help accessing PDF, RTF, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Audio or Video files, see Help Downloading Files.