Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Funding Opportunity Title

Minority-Based Community Clinical Oncology Program Groups (U10)

Activity Code

U10 Cooperative Clinical Research – Cooperative Agreements

Announcement Type

Reissue of RFA-CA-10-012

Related Notices

  • June 8, 2012 - This RFA has been reissued as RFA-CA-12-008.

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-CA-11-008

Companion FOA

U10, RFA-CA-11-006 and U10, RFA-CA-11-007

Number of Applications

Only one application per institution is allowed as defined in Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

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

 93.393, 93.394, 93.395, 93.399  

FOA Purpose

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) solicits applications for the program known as “Minority-Based Community Clinical Oncology Program” (Minority-Based CCOP/MBCCOP). This program allows practicing oncologists who serve large racial/ethnic minority populations to participate in NCI-sponsored clinical trials. The purpose of this program is to support, as a national resource, research activities of physicians involved in the care of minorities who are eligible to participate in NCI-sponsored cancer prevention, control, and treatment clinical trials. The NCI clinical trials program supports MBCCOPs by providing access to clinical trials in cancer centers, major university centers, and community programs. The linkage of minority cancer patients/participants to the current NCI clinical trials network facilitates the transfer of new research advancements in cancer prevention/control/treatment practices to minority communities and their physicians. The CCOP Network consists of three components each with its own FOA. The components are as follows: Minority Based-CCOPs (covered by this FOA), CCOP Groups (also referred to as CCOPs), and CCOP Research Bases. A Minority-Based CCOP encompasses community oncologists who accrue patients/participants to NCI-approved clinical trials. These trials are designed and conducted by the CCOP Research Bases, which also manage and analyze the data, and report the results. CCOP Research Bases must be located either at an NCI-supported Clinical Cooperative Group or at an NCI-designated Cancer Center. CCOP was established in 1983 to develop and conduct state-of-the-art cancer prevention, control and treatment clinical trials with significant involvement of community oncologists and populations they serve. The CCOP Network mission includes: (1) accelerating development of interventions to prevent and treat cancer and its symptoms by increasing accrual to trials; (2) fostering quality care in the community through adoption of results from clinical trials; and (3) increasing the involvement of minority and underserved patient/participant populations in cancer clinical trials and associated research.

Key Dates
Posted Date
Letter of Intent Due Date

June 21, 2011

Application Due Date(s)

July 28, 2011

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

November/December, 2011

Advisory Council Review

January, 2012

Earliest Start Date(s)

June, 2012

Expiration Date

July 29, 2011

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the PHS398 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. While some links are provided, 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 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 overall objective of the Minority-Based CCOP Program is to bring state-of-the-art cancer clinical trials to minority individuals in their own communities and to involve physicians practicing in these communities in NCI-approved clinical trials in an effort to reduce health disparities in minority populations.

Minority-Based CCOP groups (also referred to as Minority-Based CCOPs) provide patients access to clinical trials in cancer centers, major university centers, and community programs. This access is realized through another, separately funded, arm of the program termed “Research Bases,” which comprise participating NCI Cooperative Groups and Cancer Centers. The linkage to the current clinical trials network is expected to facilitate the transfer of advances in cancer prevention/control/treatment practices to minority communities and their physicians.

The overall objective of the Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) Network, of which the Minority-Based CCOP Program is a component, is to develop and conduct state-of-the-art cancer prevention clinical trials and control and treatment clinical trials with prominent involvement of community oncologists and the populations that they serve. The CCOP, established by the Division of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 1983, is a community-based clinical trials network that links community physicians, who accrue participants/patients to cancer clinical trials as part of their overall practice, with NCI Cooperative Groups and Cancer Centers that serve as their “CCOP Research Bases.”

The CCOP Network is designed to: (1) increase the involvement of community oncologists, other specialists (e.g., surgeons, family practitioners, gastroenterologists, urologists, gynecologists), and their patients in clinical trials designed by NCI Cooperative Groups and Cancer Centers; (2) involve a wider segment of the community in cancer clinical trials, including minorities, women, and other underserved (e.g., rural) populations; and (3) accelerate the transfer of knowledge gained from clinical trials to community oncology practices.

The CCOP Network consists of three types of components:

Minority Based CCOP Groups (this FOA);

CCOP Groups (RFA-CA-11-006); and

CCOP Research Bases (RFA-CA-11-007).

A Minority Based CCOP Group is a consortium of oncologists from one or more interacting community institutions with at least 30% racial/ethnic cancer patients that accrue patients/participants to clinical trials that are designed and conducted by the CCOP Research Bases. Each Minority-Based CCOP must accrue annually at least 50 patients to treatment clinical trials and at least 50 participants to cancer prevention and control clinical trials. Equally important to accrual, Minority-Based CCOPs also assure the quality of the data collected and the safety of the participants/patients entered on trials.

A CCOP Group is a consortium of community oncologists from one or more interacting community institutions that accrue patient/participants to clinical trials designed and conducted by the CCOP Research Bases. Each CCOP Group must accrue annually at least 50 patients to treatment clinical trials and at least 50 participants to prevention and control clinical trials. Equally important to accrual, CCOPs also assure the quality of the data collected and the safety of the participants/patients entered on trials.

A CCOP Research Base designs clinical trials for use in the CCOP Network. It also conducts the trials, manages and analyzes the data, and reports the results. CCOP Research Bases must either be: (1) a NCI-funded Clinical Cooperative Group (2) NCI-designated Cancer Center; or (3) an existing (i.e., currently funded) Research Base. Cooperative Group CCOP Research Bases design and conduct cancer treatment and cancer prevention and control clinical trials. Cancer Center CCOP Research Bases design and conduct only cancer prevention and control clinical trials.

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) solicits new and renewal applications for Minority-Based CCOP Groups.

Definition: Cancer prevention/control clinical trials include the clinical evaluations of: the effectiveness of interventions for the purpose of reducing the risk for developing cancer (including, but not limited to chemo-preventive agents; surgical interventions, and lifestyle modifications); methods for early detection of cancer and precancerous lesions; interventions to improve patients’ quality of life or to treat symptoms arising from cancer or toxicities arising from cancer therapy; ways to improve continuing, palliative, and end-of-life care; and research questions that can be applied to the area listed above that evaluate cancer disparities.

Background

The CCOP Network was initiated in 1983 as a mechanism for including community oncologists and their patients in treatment clinical trials designed by NCI Cooperative Groups and Cancer Centers. In 1986, the Network’s focus expanded to include cancer prevention/control clinical trials research aimed at reducing cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality through the evaluation of interventions in controlled clinical trials. In 1990, the Minority-Based CCOP was initiated to provide minority populations broader access to NCI cancer clinical trials.

The Minority-Based CCOP is designed to: (1) Provide access to state-of-the-art cancer prevention/control and/treatment clinical trials to practicing physicians for the enrollment of individuals from the following racial and ethnic populations: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (racial and ethnic categories and definitions are contained in the Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity (OMB Statistical Policy Directive No. 15) at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/fedreg/1997standards.html); (2) Serve as a basis for (a) involving communities in diverse geographic regions of the United States (U.S.) in cancer prevention/control/treatment clinical trials and (b) investigating the impact of cancer therapy and control advances in community medical practices; (3) Increase the involvement of primary health care providers and other specialists (e.g., surgeons, urologists, gynecologists) with the Minority-Based CCOP investigators in cancer prevention/control /treatment clinical trials, providing an opportunity for education and exchange of information; (4) Increase overall enrollment of minorities to NCI-approved cancer prevention/control/treatment clinical trials; (5) Provide an operational base for extending cancer control and reducing cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality in minority populations by accelerating the transfer of newly developed cancer prevention, early detection, treatment, patient management, and continuing care technology to widespread community application; and (6) Contribute to reducing disparities among underrepresented populations in cancer prevention, detection, control, and treatment by the recruitment, enrollment, and retention of minorities and to provide access to these populations to facilitate collection of data by other relevant research disciplines that seek diverse populations.

The Minority-Based CCOP is an important part of the overall Network’s efforts, as this program links physicians caring for large numbers of underserved patients to the NCI clinical trials network. Racial and ethnic minorities, adolescents, patients > 65 years of age, individuals from rural and lower socioeconomic status are among the populations identified as being underrepresented in cancer clinical trials. The Minority-Based CCOP has a unique opportunity to help identify and address research questions related to the more serious and more prevalent cancers and cancer-related problems which exist in racial/ethnic minorities and other underserved populations. The MBCCOP also has the unique opportunity to identify the clinical trial needs of an increasing number of new racial and ethnic groups which are underrepresented in clinical research. Outcomes of such research will help facilitate the application of these findings to cancer prevention, control, treatment, and survival to these populations.

In 2010 the Minority-Based CCOP Program consisted of 16 Minority-Based CCOP Groups, located in 12 states and Puerto Rico involving more than 50 hospitals and 470 physicians serving both urban and rural communities. In 2010, Minority-Based CCOP Groups enrolled over 1,150 patients to NCI-approved cancer clinical trials.

The CCOP Network consisted of 47 CCOP Groups, located in 28 states involving more than 340 hospitals and more than 3,000 physicians. CCOP Groups enrolled approximately 9,225 patients to treatment and prevention and control trials in 2010. The Network also included 12 CCOP Research Bases, which conducted several hundred treatment/prevention/control trials.

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

Cooperative Agreement: A support mechanism used when there will be substantial Federal scientific or programmatic involvement. Substantial involvement means that, after award, scientific or program staff will assist, guide, coordinate, or participate in project activities.

Application Types Allowed

New
Renewal
Resubmission

The OER Glossary and the PHS398 Application Guide provide details on these application types.

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

The National Cancer Institute intends to commit an estimated total of $3.6 million for 5-6 awards. Future year amounts will depend on annual appropriations.

Award Budget

Application budgets are not limited, but need to reflect actual needs of the proposed project. Because the nature and scope of the proposed research will vary from application to application, the size of each award will also vary.

Award Project Period

 The total project period proposed may not exceed 3 years for new applications and 5 years for renewal applications.

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

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Organizations) are not eligible to apply. Foreign (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not allowed.

For new and renewal Minority-Based CCOP applications, the following eligibility provisions apply:

An application may be submitted by a community institution defined as a hospital, a clinic, a group of practicing physicians, a health maintenance organization (HMO), or a consortium of hospitals and/or clinics and/or physicians and/or HMOs that agree to work together with a PD/PI and a single administrative focus; and

An application may be submitted by an NCI-designated cancer center if 30 percent or greater of its patients are from a racial/ethnic group; the center focuses on research and methodologies to analyze outcomes in cancer disparities; and can demonstrate experience in community outreach and accrual of minority patients.

Awardee institutions for currently funded Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) Groups are eligible to apply for a Minority-Based CCOP award, but must state in the application that the current CCOP Group support will be relinquished if a Minority-Based CCOP award is received.

Institutions not eligible to apply for the CCOP Group awards include:

Required Registrations

Applicant organizations must complete the following registrations as described in the PHS398 Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. Applicants must have a valid Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number in order to begin each of the following registrations.

All Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD/PIs) must also work with their institutional officials to register with the eRA Commons or ensure their existing eRA Commons account is affiliated with the eRA Commons account of the applicant organization.

All registrations must be completed by the application due date. Applicant organizations are strongly encouraged to start the registration process at least four (4) weeks prior to the application due date.

Eligible Individuals (Project Director/Principal Investigator)

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) 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 PHS398 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

Only one application per institution is allowed .

NIH will not accept any application in response to this FOA that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial peer review unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. NIH will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed. Resubmission applications may be submitted, according to the NIH Policy on Resubmission Applications from the PHS398 Application Guide.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package

Applicants are required to prepare applications according to the current PHS 398 application forms in accordance with the PHS 398 Application Guide.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the PHS398 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.

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:

Descriptive title of proposed research
Name, address, and telephone number of the PD(s)/PI(s)
Names of other key personnel
Participating institutions
Number and title of this funding opportunity

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Worta McCaskill-Stevens, MD, MS
Division of Cancer Prevention
National Cancer Institute
6130 Executive Boulevard
Executive Plaza North, Room 2017, MSC 7340
Bethesda, MD 20892-7340 (for U.S. Postal Service regular or express mail)
Rockville, MD 20852 (for non-USPS delivery)
Telephone: 301-496-8541
Email: mccaskiw@mail.nih.gov

Application Submission

Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application forms and 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)

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

Referral Officer
Division of Extramural Activities
National Cancer Institute
6116 Executive Boulevard, Room 8041, MSC 8329
Bethesda, MD 20892-8329 (for U.S. Postal Service regular or express mail)
Rockville, MD 20852 (for non-USPS delivery)
Telephone: 301-496-3428
Email: ncirefof@dea.nci.nih.gov

Page Limitations

All page limitations described in the PHS398 Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.  Sub-sections of Section 3. Research Strategy of the PHS 398 Research Plan will include sub-sections A – D and standard page limits for the Research Strategy are as follows:

Standardized table templates are available at http://prevention.cancer.gov/programs-resources/programs/ccop/apply. Applicants are strongly encouraged to use templates for Table 1, 2, 3A, 3B, 4 and 5 and 8 for the inclusion as part of the Resources section.

Research Plan

All instructions in the PHS398 Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Section 3. Research Strategy must consist of the following new sub-sections A – D (see details below).

Other sections of the PHS 398 Research Plan remain unmodified and should be completed following standard instructions.

NOTE: An application from a currently funded MBCCOP Group (renewal application) must include a progress report under Section 3. Research Strategy, sub-section A –Program Overview.

A. Program Overview

The availability of facilities, including laboratories, inpatient and outpatient resources, cancer registries, etc., must be described. A statement of commitment from each participating institution or organization (Note: Include letters of institutional commitment under Research Plan section “Letters of Support” (e.g., Consultants)) and/or documentation of consortium arrangements must be provided (Note: Include Letters of Intent to Establish a Consortium under Research Plan Section "Letters of Support". Applicants, whose applications are considered for funding, will have to provide fully executed consortium agreements as a Just-in-Time requirement). In addition, each application must have a defined space for administrative activities and administrative personnel that will serve as a focus for data management, quality control, and communication. The description of this space may be included under the Resources section or under Organizational Structure.

B. Research Program

The process the CCOP group uses to select trials and the recruitment and retention plans for the selected trials should be described. The MBCCOP Groups outreach efforts and methods for engaging the community its serves should be described as well. The CCOP Group’s plan for recruiting women and minority populations must be described and may be included under Section 5.5.7 Inclusion of Women and Minorities.

The application should describe the MBCCOP Group’s interactions with its Institutional Review Board(s) and the processes it has for ensuring compliance with regulations for Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval and informed consent (compliance with 45 CFR 46) related research involving human subjects. The description may be included under Section 5.5.6 Protection of Human Subjects of the application and cross referenced to this section of the Research Plan.

The research base(s) affiliations should be described in the application. Table 8 is available at: http://prevention.cancer.gov/programs-resources/programs/ccop/apply and may be included in the Resources section of the application. Copies of affiliation agreements should be included under Section 14. Letters of Support. The rationale for choosing these research base affiliations should be discussed. In addition, the application should outline its plans for contributing to the scientific agenda as well as the infrastructure of its affiliated research bases over the next project period. Examples of contributions might include such activities as: participation/membership in research base committees; serving as chair(s) on cancer clinical trials; authorship of joint publications, etc. Information coming from the community via the CCOP Group that informs the research base scientific agenda should also be described.

Accrual Goals: Each application must include plans for achieving accrual goals to cancer prevention/control trials and treatment trials over the next project period. Plans must list estimated accrual to specified NCI-approved trials by participating physicians (current or proposed) (Use Table 6A and 6B at: http://prevention.cancer.gov/programs-resources/programs/ccop/apply). A narrative explanation of the Minority-Based CCOP’s projected accrual goals is allowable. Renewal applications must include evidence that the Minority-Based CCOP can meet or exceed the required minimum of 50 new participants/patients accruals to cancer prevention/control trials. For new applications the minimum required for prevention/control accruals are: 30, 40 and 50 patients/participants in year 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Fifty (50) new participants/patients accruals to cancer treatment trials are required annually for all applicants. Exceptions to this requirement are described under Section VI. 2. A. Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award, Accrual Requirements for Minority-Based CCOP Awardee. In addition, provide statistics on the numbers of patients on treatment trials who are still being followed per protocol requirements, if applicable.

The application should describe the type of cancer prevention/control trials the MBCCOP Group plans on implementing during the next project period. In addition, the application must describe implementation plans for at least two NCI-approved cancer prevention/control clinical trials that use an intervention, such as a trial of a chemo-preventive agent or a trial to study an intervention/agent for the treatment of a cancer symptom. The application should include specifics on patient/participant recruitment, compliance and follow-up, etc. The clinical trials selected must come from CCOP Research Bases with which the MBCCOP Group is or proposes to affiliate.

C. Leadership

As the leader of the MBCCOP Group, it is expected that the PD/PI plays a leadership role in some capacity to the community served by the Group. The application should describe the leadership role played by PD/PI and other Senior/Key personnel (if applicable) and the impact it has on the success of the CCOP Group as well as on the overall community.

In addition, the application should describe the leadership positions held by the PD/PI with the CCOP Group’s affiliated research bases as well as contributions made in that position along with its impact. Parallel descriptions should be given for other Senior/Key personnel, if applicable.

A mentoring plan or program for leadership succession within the CCOP Group is recommended to ensure a smooth transition of leadership if and when necessary. If such a plan exists or is under development it should be described in the application.

The application should propose a committed group of multidisciplinary professionals appropriate for its expected clinical trials participation. This team should include medical oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, pathologists, oncology nurses, data managers, health educators, and other disciplines (e.g., gynecology, urology, gastroenterology, pediatrics, internal medicine, family practice), as appropriate. A description of the team, how they operate and interact and how they lend their expertise to achieve the goals of the CCOP Group should be provided.

D. Administrative/Data Management Core

The summary audit report(s) of MBCCOP Group performance by affiliated CCOP Research Base(s) should be provided. These reports may be included under Section 5.5.6 Protection of Human Subjects. A brief description of the overall summary audit(s) results should be included in this Administrative & Data Management sub-section of the Research Plan and cross referenced to the actual summary audits reports.

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 PHS398 Application Guide, with the following modifications:

Appendix

Do not use the appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix (please note all format requirements) as described in the PHS398 Application Guide.

3. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates. 

Information on the process of receipt and determining if your application is considered “on-time” is described in detail in the PHS398 Application Guide.

Applicants may track the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration.

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 received on or before the due dates in Part I. Overview Information. If an application is received after that date, it will not be reviewed.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the Center for Scientific Review and responsiveness by the National Cancer Institute , NIH. Applications that are incomplete and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.

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

NOTE: The applicant should review the Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award prior to preparing the application as these terms include information and clarifications needed by the applicant to understanding the complete requirements of a CCOP award.

Budget requests may include the following allowable items:

The following items are NOT allowed in the budget requests:

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in NOT-OD-10-115.

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.

Overall Impact - Overall

Reviewers will provide an overall impact/priority score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the program 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 program proposed).

Scored Review Criteria - Overall

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 program that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

Significance

Does the program address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? If the aims of the program 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?

Investigator(s)

Are the PD/PIs, collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the program? 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?

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?

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the program? 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 program 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?

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 - Overall

As applicable for the program proposed, reviewers will evaluate the following additional items while determining scientific and technical merit, and in providing an overall impact/priority score, but will not give separate scores for these items.

A. Program Overview

B. Research Program

Does the existing MBCCOP Group (or new Group applicants) have in place an appropriate process for selecting clinical trials that fits their structure? Does the process include appropriate CCOP Group team members?

Are the recruitment/retention plans and outreach plans adequately described and a rationale provided for the likely effectiveness of the plan?

How effective is the existing MBCCOP Group (or new Group applicants) in engaging the community served? How relevant are these activities to the goals and roles of CCOP Groups?

Are the affiliations of the CCOP Group with Research Base(s) appropriate and consistent with the rationale provided in the application?

C. Leadership

Has the PD/PI demonstrated effective leadership abilities in the community served by the MBCCOP Group and/or to the affiliated research bases of the Group? Have other Key/Senior personnel taken on leadership roles that contribute to the success of the MBCCOP Group and/or the research agenda of the affiliated research bases?

D. Administrative/Data Management

Is the quality assurance plan/program for data management and investigational drug monitoring described with sufficient detail to assess it completeness? Does the plan/program appear to be robust enough to accomplish its objectives?

Do the audit report evaluations reflect that the MBCCOP Group (new or renewal) is in good standing overall or do they reflect problems that are of concern?

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 Human Subjects Protection and Inclusion Guidelines.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

When the proposed program 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 Human Subjects Protection and Inclusion Guidelines.

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

For Resubmissions, the committee will evaluate the application as now presented, taking into consideration the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group and changes made to the program.

Renewals

For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the last funding period.

Revisions

Not Applicable.

Additional Review Considerations - Overall

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/priority score.

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable.

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 Cancer Institute  (assignments will be shown in the eRA Commons), in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center and 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 Cancer Advisory Board. 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 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, CCR 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

The following special terms of award are in addition to, and not in lieu of, otherwise applicable U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) administrative guidelines, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) 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 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 program as a whole, although specific tasks and activities may be shared among the awardees and the NIH as defined below.

The PD(s)/PI(s) will have the primary responsibility for:

Throughout these Terms and Conditions of Award, “CCOP awardee” refers to the organizational structure which is composed of the key personnel (including the designated accruing physicians) and the institutions/organizations of the performance sites, including those designated as affiliates and CCOP components, all of whom agree to collaborate on research goals of the NCI Community Clinical Oncology Program.

The following three documents (and any subsequent modification to them) are hereby incorporated by reference as terms of award. These documents describe the programmatic responsibilities for the conduct of the research supported by this cooperative agreement. The documents are as follows:

The PDs/PIs of the CCOP Research Bases will have the primary responsibility for:

To receive credit for accruals the MB-CCOP awardee must access NCI-approved treatment and prevention/control clinical trials through the CCOP Research Bases with which MB-CCOP awardee has affiliation agreements. The MB-CCOP awardee also may access treatment trials from Research Bases with which it is not affiliated through the NCI’s Cancer Trials Support Unit (CTSU). Accruals by MB-CCOP awardees to CTSU protocols will receive credits (towards the required accrual quotas) and not per case reimbursement.

All clinical trials originating at the CCOP Research Bases must be reviewed and approved by the Protocol Review Committee of the Division of Cancer Prevention (DCP) or the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis (DCTD), NCI, prior to implementation.

Each MB-CCOP awardee must affiliate with one national multi-specialty cooperative group having a spectrum of cancer treatment and prevention/control clinical trials. As an exception, MB-CCOP awardees may be granted permission to affiliate with more than one multi-specialty group, if the MB-CCOP awardee participates in NCI-sponsored “pilot” projects. In addition, each MB-CCOP awardee may affiliate with as many other Research Bases (exclusive of the multi-specialty groups) as the MB-CCOP deems appropriate.

Typically, an established MB-CCOP Group is expected to affiliate with approximately four to six CCOP Research Bases (in addition to its affiliation with multi-specialty cooperative group). Through these affiliations, the MB-CCOP awardee must ensure an access to an adequate selection of clinical trials for its patient population and to meet/or exceed the minimum accrual requirements.

If participation of the MB-CCOP awardee in the clinical trials of one CCOP Research Base competes with that of another CCOP Research Base with which the MB-CCOP awardee is affiliated, the MB-CCOP must prioritize the protocols to avoid bias in the allocation of participants/patients to competing protocols.

Note: A list of eligible Research Bases may be obtained from the CCOP Web pages at http://prevention.cancer.gov/programs-resources/programs/ccop/rbccop or by contacting the Community Oncology and Prevention Trials Research Group (COPTRG), DCP, NCI, at (301) 496-8541.

When circumstances require changes in Research Base affiliations, prior written approval from the DCP Program Director is required. The Guidelines for Approval of CCOP Organizational Changes is available at http://prevention.cancer.gov/programs-resources/programs/ccop/resource

Each Minority-Based CCOP awardee must accrue a minimum of 50 participants/patients per year to cancer prevention/control clinical trials (except for new i.e., Type 1 applications which must meet the incremental requirements of 30, 40, and 50 during the initial 3 years).

Each MB-CCOP awardee must accrue a minimum of 50 participants/patients per year to treatment clinical trials. The minimum of 50 treatment participants/patients may be waived in case of:

In accordance with CCOP Research Base guidelines and NCI policies, the MB-CCOP awardee must establish and follow procedures for the assurance of data quality and for the prevention and/or identification of false or otherwise unreliable data. The MB-CCOP awardee must follow policies developed by the CCOP Research Bases with which they are affiliated. Any data irregularities identified through quality control procedures or through the audit program that raise the suspicion of intentional misrepresentation of data must be reported to the NCI DCP Program Director within 24 hours. COPTRG must be notified by telephone (301-496-8541) of any findings suspicious or suggestive of intentional misrepresentation of data and/or disregard of regulatory safeguards for any of the three components (regulatory, pharmacy, and patient care) within an audit. It should be emphasized that a reasonable level of suspicion is sufficient to warrant notification to NCI of irregularity and/or misrepresentation.

The MB-CCOP awardee must provide the NCI DCP Program Director with access to all data generated under this award for periodic review of data management procedures of the MB-CCOP. Data must also be available for external monitoring if required by NCI's agreement with other federal agencies, such as the FDA, OHRP and with NCI's agreements with pharmaceutical companies for the co-development of investigational agents. The awardees will retain custody of and primary rights to their data.

Investigators performing trials under cooperative agreements will be expected, in cooperation with NCI, to comply with all FDA monitoring and reporting requirements for investigational agents. Specifically, all MB-CCOP investigators accruing participants/patients must have an active FDA Form 1572 on file with the Pharmaceutical Management Branch, Clinical Trials Evaluation Program (CTEP), DCTD, NCI.

Each MB-CCOP awardee must agree to periodic on-site audits by representatives of its CCOP Research Base(s), NCI, or an NCI-designee. Such on-site audits may include review of the following:

The performance sites designated as affiliates and MB-CCOP components and the individual accruing investigators participating or collaborating with the MB-CCOP awardee must comply with the monitoring standards established by the CCOP Research Base(s) and stated in the NCI GUIDELINES FOR ON-SITE MONITORING OF CLINICAL TRIALS FOR COOPERATIVE GROUPS, CCOP RESEARCH BASES, and THE CANCER TRIALS SUPPORT UNIT (CTSU) (http://ctep.cancer.gov/branches/ctmb/clinicalTrials/monitoring_coop_ccop_ctsu.htm).

Sites found not to be in compliance with the NCI monitoring guidelines may be suspended from participating in Research Base trials until compliance can be confirmed by NCI/CTMB.

Specifically, the institutions/organizations representing performance sites must adhere to the following standards:

Radiotherapy equipment must have its calibration verified according to standards set by the Radiologic Physics Center (RPC) in order for institutions to participate in clinical trials requiring radiation therapy, as required by the affiliated Research Base(s).

Certain organizational changes in the structure of a MB-CCOP awardee must have the prior written approval of the DCP Program Director. These changes include the addition/deletion of a participating physician, a health professional other than a physician (who is active in enrolling participants/patients to cancer treatment, prevention and control trials), an affiliate, a component, or a Research Base affiliation. The Guidelines for Approval of CCOP Organizational Changes is available at http://prevention.cancer.gov/programs-resources/programs/ccop/resource

MB-CCOPs are part of a national network for conducting cancer prevention/control and treatment clinical trials. As such, each MB-CCOP may be asked to participate in strategy sessions or workshops and in the continuing evaluation of the program and its impact in the community.

Each MB-CCOP awardee may be asked to maintain a new patient/participant log or minimal registry to include as applicable age, sex, race, insurance status, risk factors, primary site of cancer, stage of disease, and disposition for the potentially eligible patient/participant pool seen by the MB-CCOP investigators.

Each MB-CCOP awardee must establish mechanisms to meet DHHS/PHS regulations for the protection of human subjects. Appropriate documentation must be available for review. At a minimum, these requirements include the following:

For other Federally mandated requirements see the following Federal citations:

Timely publication of major findings is encouraged. Publications or oral presentations of work conducted under this cooperative agreement require proper acknowledgment of NCI support. See the NIH Public Access Policy for specific requirements.

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

A National Cancer Institute (NCI) Division of Cancer Prevention (DCP) Program staff member(s) acting as a Project Scientist(s) or Project Coordinator(s) will have substantial programmatic involvement that is above and beyond the normal stewardship role in awards, as described below. Additional NCI staff members may be designated to have substantial involvement (e.g., in the role of Project Coordinators). The NCI Project Scientist(s)/Coordinator(s) will not attend peer review meetings of renewal (competing continuation) and/or supplemental applications. If such participation is deemed essential, these individuals will seek NCI waiver according to the NCI procedures for management of conflict of interest.

Additionally, an NCI program director acting as Program Official will be responsible for the normal scientific and programmatic stewardship of the award and will be named in the award notice. Some Program Officials may also have substantial programmatic involvement (as Project Scientists/Coordinators). In that case, the individual involved will not attend peer review meetings of renewal (competing continuation) and/or supplemental applications or will seek NCI waiver as stated above.

The main NCI responsibilities pertinent to MB-CCOP awards include the following activities.

The NCI Program staff members will review organizational change request and provide a written response. Organizational changes requiring NCI approval are outlined in “Guidelines for Approval of CCOP Organizational Changes,” available at http://prevention.cancer.gov/programs-resources/programs/ccop/resource

The NCI Program staff members will provide a suggested format for the CCOP’s initial and renewal application as well as the annual report (PHS 2590).

The review of each CCOP awardee by the DCP/NCI Program staff members will include the following:

Areas of Joint Responsibility include:

Execution of this program will require collaboration among the PD/PIs of the CCOP Groups and CCOP Research Bases, the DCP Project Scientists(s) and staff as well as NCI DCTD CTEP Program officials and staff, and/or its designees/contractors as described above.

Dispute Resolution:

Any disagreement(s) that may arise in scientific or programmatic matters (within the scope of the award) between award recipients and the NIH may be brought to Dispute Resolution. A Dispute Resolution Panel composed of three members will be convened. It will have three members: a designee of the Steering Committee 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; in the case of individual disagreement, the first member may be chosen by the individual awardee. This special dispute resolution procedure does not alter 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

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Non-Competing Continuation Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Additional Reporting Requirements for MB-CCOP Group Awardees:

CCOP group awardees will report their cumulative accrual to NCI-approved clinical trials at 6 months, 9 months (included in the annual progress report), and 12 months for each budget period.

A suggested format for CCOP-specific information relative to the progress summary section of the PHS Form 2590 will be provided. The format is available at https://ccop.nci.nih.gov/.

Adverse Event Reporting Procedures

To comply with FDA regulations, all recipients of NCI support for clinical trials, including Research Bases responsible for coordinating and monitoring such trials, must promptly report adverse events (including adverse drug reactions) to the NCI and any other trial sponsor(s) according to NCI Guidelines. For treatment trials utilizing CTEP investigational agents, guidelines are listed at http://ctep.cancer.gov/reporting/adeers.html. For cancer prevention and control trials utilizing DCP investigational agents, guidelines are listed at http://prevention.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/management/pio

The awardee will notify all institutions/investigators participating in this project, funded or unfunded, about the above requirement and about the institutions'/investigators' responsibility to report adverse events as specified in the protocol.

A final progress report, invention statement, and Financial Status Report are required when an award is relinquished when a recipient changes institutions or when an award is terminated.

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

GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and process, finding NIH grant resources)
Telephone 301-435-0714
TTY 301-451-5936
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov

eRA Commons Help Desk(Questions regarding eRA Commons registration, tracking application status, post submission issues)
Phone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)
TTY: 301-451-5939
Email: commons@od.nih.gov

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Worta McCaskill-Stevens, MD, MS
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 301-496-8541
Email: mccaskiw@mail.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Examine your eRA Commons account for review assignment and contact information (information appears two weeks after the submission due date).

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Sean Hine
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 301-496-2182
Email: hines@mail.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.


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
NIH . . . Turning Discovery Into Health

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