Department of Health and Human Services
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (http://www.nih.gov)
Components of Participating Organizations
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), (http://www.nida.nih.gov)
Title: 2011 NIDA Avant-Garde Award Program for HIV/AIDS Research (DP1)
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is a reissue of RFA-DA-10-012.
Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:
Request for Applications (RFA) Number: RFA-DA-11-002
NOTICE: Applications submitted in response to this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for Federal assistance must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov) using the SF424 Research and Related (R&R) forms and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
APPLICATIONS MAY NOT BE SUBMITTED IN PAPER FORMAT.
This FOA must be read in conjunction with the application guidelines included with this announcement in Grants.gov/Apply for Grants (hereafter called Grants.gov/Apply).
A registration process is necessary before submission and applicants are highly encouraged to start the process at least four (4) weeks prior to the grant submission date. See Section IV.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number(s)
Release/Posted Date: September 23, 2010
Opening Date: April 26, 2011 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): Not Applicable
NOTE: On-time submission requires that applications be successfully submitted to Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. local time (of the applicant institution/organization).
Application Due Date(s): May 26, 2011
Peer Review Date(s): June 28-29, 2011
Council Review Date(s): August 2011
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): September 2011
Additional Information To Be Available Date (Activation Date): Not Applicable
Expiration Date: May 27, 2011
Due Dates for
Table of Contents
Part I Overview Information
Part II Full Text of Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
1. Research Objectives
Section II. Award Information
1. Mechanism of Support
2. Funds Available
Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants
A. Eligible Institutions
B. Eligible Individuals
2. Cost Sharing or Matching
3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Request Application Information
2. Content and Form of Application Submission
3. Submission Dates and Times
A. Receipt, Review, and Anticipated Start Dates
1. Letter of Intent
B. Submitting an Application Electronically to the NIH
C. Application Processing
4. Intergovernmental Review
5. Funding Restrictions
6. Other Submission Requirements
Section V. Application Review Information
2. Review and Selection Process
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates
Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices
2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
Section VII. Agency Contacts
1. Scientific/Research Contact(s)
2. Peer Review Contact(s)
3. Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)
Section VIII. Other Information - Required Federal Citations
Part II - Full Text of Announcement
This award is designed to support individual scientists of exceptional creativity who propose cutting edge – and possibly transformative - approaches to major challenges in biomedical and behavioral research on HIV/AIDS that are relevant to drug abuse. The term “avant-garde” is used to describe highly innovative approaches that have the potential to be transformative. It is hoped that this high-impact research will open new areas of HIV/AIDS research and/or lead to new avenues for treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS among drug abusers. Proposed research should reflect ideas substantially different from those already being pursued by the investigator or others. Biomedical and behavioral research is defined broadly in this announcement as encompassing scientific investigations in the biological, behavioral, clinical, social, physical, chemical, computational, engineering, and mathematical sciences. The award is meant to support individuals who intend to pursue research directions that are not readily supported by other NIH grant mechanisms. The program is not intended simply to expand the funding of an already supported research project, but rather to support highly creative researchers to pursue visionary concepts and approaches to research on HIV/AIDS.
Avant-Garde awardees are required to commit the major portion (at least 51% or 6.1 person months) of their research effort to activities supported by the Avant-Garde Award Program. Those who will not be able to meet this requirement should not submit applications.
See Section VIII, Other Information
- Required Federal Citations, for policies related to this announcement.
Section II. Award Information
1. Mechanism of Support
This FOA will use the DP1 award mechanism. The Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project. This FOA uses “Just-in-Time” information concepts (see SF424 (R&R) Application Guide). Budgets are not required.
This FOA uses “Just-in-Time” information concepts (see SF424 (R&R) Application Guide). Budgets are not required and will not be accepted.
Sufficient funds have been set aside in FY2011 to provide 2-3 awards, contingent upon the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications. Awards will be for $500,000 in direct costs each year for five years, plus applicable Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs to be determined at the time of award.
and Administrative (F&A) costs requested by consortium participants are not
included in the direct cost limitation. See NOT-OD-05-004.
NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made in response to this FOA.
Foreign (non-U.S.) organizations are not eligible to apply.
1.B. Eligible Individuals
Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the 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.
Investigators at all career levels who meet the eligibility criteria and are currently engaged in research are eligible to submit applications. The research proposed need not be in a conventional biomedical or behavioral discipline; if the individual’s experience is in non-biological areas, however, he/she must demonstrate a commitment to exploring topics of biomedical or behavioral relevance to HIV/AIDS and drug abuse.
This initiative is to support investigators who intend to pursue new research directions – research that is distinct from that currently or previously conducted by the investigator. Applications for projects that are extensions of ongoing research should not be submitted. DP1 awardees are required to commit the major portion (at least 51% or 6.1 person months) of their research effort to activities supported by the Avant-Garde Award program. Those who will not be able to meet this requirement should not submit applications.
Only one PD/PI (i.e., no multiple PDs/PIs) may be designated on the pre-application. NIH intramural investigators are not eligible for support under this program.
Sharing or Matching
This program does not require cost sharing as defined in the current NIH Grants Policy Statement.
3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria
Number of Applications. Individuals may submit only one application as a PD/PI in response to this FOA. There is no limit to the number of applications that an institution may submit.
Resubmissions. Resubmission applications are not permitted. All applications will be considered “new” applications, regardless of any previous applications to the Avant-Garde Award Program.
Renewals. Renewal applications are not permitted in response to this FOA.
download a SF424 (R&R) Application Package and SF424 (R&R) Application
Guide for completing the SF424 (R&R) forms for this FOA, use the “Apply for
Grant Electronically” button in this FOA or link to http://www.grants.gov/Apply/ and follow the directions provided on that Web site.
Appropriate registrations with Grants.gov and eRA Commons must be completed on or before the due date in order to successfully submit an application. Several of the steps of the registration process could take four weeks or more. Therefore, applicants should immediately check with their business official to determine whether their organization/institution is already registered with both Grants.gov and the Commons. All registrations must be complete by the submission deadline for the application to be considered “on-time” (see 3.C.1 for more information about on-time submission).
A one-time registration is required for institutions/organizations at both:
PDs/PIs should work with their institutions/organizations to make sure they are registered in the NIH eRA Commons.
Several additional separate actions are required before an applicant can submit an electronic application, as follows:
1) Organizational/Institutional Registration in Grants.gov/Get Registered
3) Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) Registration in the NIH eRA Commons: Refer to the NIH eRA Commons System (COM) Users Guide.
Both the PDs/PI(s) and AOR/SO need separate accounts in the NIH eRA Commons since both are authorized to view the application image.
Note: The registration process is not sequential. Applicants should begin the registration processes for both Grants.gov and eRA Commons as soon as their organization has obtained a DUNS number. Only one DUNS number is required and the same DUNS number must be referenced when completing Grants.gov registration, eRA Commons registration and the SF424 (R&R) forms.
Request Application Information
Applicants must download the SF424 (R&R) application forms and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for this FOA through Grants.gov/Apply.
Note: Only the forms package directly attached to
a specific FOA can be used. You will not be able to use any other SF424
(R&R) forms (e.g., sample forms, forms from another FOA), although
some of the "Attachment" files may be useable for more than one
For further assistance, contact GrantsInfo -- Telephone 301-710-0267; Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.
Telecommunications for the hearing impaired: TTY: (301) 451-5936
2. Content and Form of Application Submission
Prepare all applications using the SF424 (R&R) application forms for this FOA through Grants.gov/Apply and in accordance with the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/index.htm).
The SF424 (R&R) Application Guide is critical to submitting a complete and accurate application to NIH. Some fields within the SF424 (R&R) application components, although not marked as mandatory, are required by NIH (e.g., the “Credential” log-in field of the “Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile” component must contain the PD/PI’s assigned eRA Commons User ID). Agency-specific instructions for such fields are clearly identified in the Application Guide. For additional information, see “Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.”
The SF424 (R&R) application has several components. Some components are required, others are optional. The forms package associated with this FOA in Grants.gov/APPLY includes all applicable components, required and optional. A completed application in response to this FOA includes the data in the following components:
SF424 (R&R) (Cover component)
Research & Related Project/Performance Site Locations
Research & Related Other Project Information
Research & Related Senior/Key Person
PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement
PHS 398 Research Plan
PHS398 Cover Letter File
PHS 398 Cover Letter File should be submitted only when submitting a Changed/Corrected Application after the submission date, and should include an explanation for the late submission.
IMPORTANT: Special instructions for the Avant-Garde DP1 application are given in Section 6 (Other Submission Requirements). Detailed budgets are not required and will not be accepted.
3. Submission Dates
See Section IV.3.A. for details.
3.A. Submission, Review, and Anticipated Start Dates
Opening Date: April 26, 2011 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): Not applicable
Application Due Date(s): May 26, 2011
Peer Review Date(s): June 28-29, 2011
Council Review Date(s): August 2011
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): September 2011
3.A.1. Letter of Intent
A letter of intent is not required for the funding opportunity.
3.B. Submitting an Application Electronically to the NIH
To submit an application in response to this FOA, applicants should access this FOA via http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html and follow Steps 1-4. Note: Applications must only be submitted electronically. PAPER APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. All attachments must be provided to NIH in PDF format, filenames must be included with no spaces or special characters, and a .pdf extension must be used.
Applications may be submitted on or after the opening date and must be successfully received by Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. local time (of the applicant institution/organization) on the application due date(s). (See Section IV.3.A. for all dates.) If an application is not submitted by the due date(s) and time, the application may be delayed in the review process or not reviewed. All applications must meet the following criteria to be considered “on-time”:
Please visit http://era.nih.gov/electronicReceipt/app_help.htm for detailed information on what to do if Grants.gov or eRA system issues threaten your ability to submit on time.
Submission to Grants.gov is not the last step – applicants must follow their application through to the eRA Commons to check for errors and warnings and view their assembled application!
3.C.2 Viewing an Application in the eRA Commons
Once any eRA identified errors have been addressed and the assembled application has been created in the eRA Commons, the PD/PI and the Authorized Organization Representative/Signing Official (AOR/SO) have two weekdays (Monday – Friday, excluding Federal holidays) to view the assembled application before it automatically moves forward to NIH for further processing.
Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the CSR and responsiveness by the IC. Incomplete and/or non-responsive applications will not be reviewed.
There will be an acknowledgement of receipt of applications from Grants.gov and the Commons. The submitting AOR/SO receives the Grants.gov acknowledgments. The AOR/SO and the PI receive Commons acknowledgments. Information related to the assignment of an application to a Scientific Review Group is also in the Commons.
Note: Since email can be unreliable, it is the responsibility of the applicant to check periodically on the application status in the Commons.
The NIH will not accept any application in response to this funding opportunity that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. However, when a previously unfunded application, originally submitted as an investigator-initiated application, is to be submitted in response to a funding opportunity, it is to be prepared as a NEW application. That is, the application for the funding opportunity must not include an “Introduction” describing the changes and improvements made, and the text must not be marked to indicate the changes from the previous unfunded version of the application.
4. Intergovernmental Review
This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.
5. Funding Restrictions
All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
costs are allowable. A grantee may, at its own risk and without NIH prior
approval, incur obligations and expenditures to cover costs up to 90 days
before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new award if such
costs: 1) are necessary to conduct the project, and 2) would be allowable under
the grant, if awarded, without NIH prior approval. If specific expenditures
would otherwise require prior approval, the grantee must obtain NIH approval
before incurring the cost. NIH prior approval is required for any costs to be
incurred more than 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget
period of a new award.
The incurrence of pre-award costs in anticipation of a competing or non-competing award imposes no obligation on NIH either to make the award or to increase the amount of the approved budget if an award is made for less than the amount anticipated and is inadequate to cover the pre-award costs incurred. NIH expects the grantee to be fully aware that pre-award costs result in borrowing against future support and that such borrowing must not impair the grantee's ability to accomplish the project objectives in the approved time frame or in any way adversely affect the conduct of the project (see theNIH Grants Policy Statement).
All application instructions outlined in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/SF424_RR_Guide_General_Adobe_VerB.pdf) are to be followed, incorporating “Just-in-Time” information concepts, with the following exceptions, which are specific requirements for Avant-Garde Award applications. Applications that do not conform to the specific instructions detailed below will not be reviewed.
The application items include all those required for the Avant-Garde Award pre-applications (X02) submitted under PAR-10-287. The contents of these items must be substantially the same as those submitted in the pre-application. Only minor changes, such as fixing typographical errors, will be allowed. In addition, applicants submitting full applications in response to this DP1 FOA must arrange to have three letters of reference submitted on their behalf and must submit information on human and vertebrate animal subjects, if applicable.
The following documents must be attached to the application: Abstract, Public Health Relevance Statement, Essay, Biographical Sketch (PD/PI only), List of Current and Pending Research Support, description of the applicant’s most significant research accomplishment, Facilities and other Resources, and, if applicable, plans for Human and Vertebrate Animal Subjects. All documents must be in PDF format and must comply with page limits shown below. No additional documents should be uploaded to the application. (See detailed information on each component below).
1. SF424 (R&R) COVER COMPONENT:
Item Number 4.b Agency Routing Identifier: Enter science Area Designation: Designate one area of science from the list below by entering the one-digit code and name of the scientific area (e.g., 1 Natural History and Epidemiology)
1 Natural history and Epidemiology
2 Etiology and Pathogenesis
5 Behavioral and Social Science
Item Number 8. Type of Application: Must be “New”.
Item Number 12. Proposed Project: Enter start date: 9/30/2011; Enter end date: 07/31/2016.
Item Number 15a. Total Federal Funds Requested: Enter $2,500,000.
Item Number 15c. Total Federal and Non-Federal Funds: Enter $2,500,000. (See note below.)
Item Number 15d. Estimated Program Income: Enter $0.
Note: The Budget Request is entered only on Line 15a and c, as described above. Only the five-year total – $2.5 million -- should be entered on Line 15a and c. Applicable Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs will be determined at the time of award and should not be included in the budget request. Funds may be requested for personnel (including co-investigators and collaborators), supplies, equipment, sub-contracts, and other allowable costs. A detailed budget is not requested and will not be accepted.
2. RESEARCH & RELATED PROJECT/PERFORMANCE SITE LOCATIONS COMPONENT: Complete all required fields on the form.
3. R&R OTHER PROJECT INFORMATION COMPONENT:
Item 1-6.b. Complete as required on the form.
Items 7-12 are the same as the X02 pre-application except for correction of minor typographical errors.
Item Number 7. Project Summary/Abstract: Attach an abstract (not to exceed 30 lines) describing the goals of the project. Text only – no figures, animations, or Web links are allowed.
Item Number 8. Project Narrative: Attach Public Health Relevance Statement: In 2-3 sentences written in plain language describe how the proposed research can positively impact HIV/AIDS treatment or prevention among drug abusers.
Item Number 9. Bibliography & References Cited: Do not use. Reference citations are not required, but may be included in the essay and would be included in the five-page limit.
Item Number 10. Facilities & Other Resources: Upload a brief statement (1 page maximum) of the facilities to be used for the conduct of the research.
Item Number 11. Equipment: Do not use.
Item Number 12. Most Significant Research Accomplishment : Attach a description of no more than one page of the applicant’s single most significant publication or research accomplishment; this must be essentially the same as that submitted in the X02 application. Applicants should submit one single accomplishment, not a summary of several accomplishments, multiple publications, or background narratives. Publications or other documents will not be accepted.
4. SF424 (R & R) SENIOR/KEY PERSON PROFILE COMPONENT:
Profile – PD/PI – Attach Biographical Sketch: Complete only for Project Director/Principal Investigator. Do not submit profiles for other senior/key personnel. Attach the two-page biographical sketch using the format shown in the Application Guide, Section 4.5, omitting Sections A and D. The biosketch should contain Section B (Positions and Honors) and Section C (peer-reviewed publications or manuscripts in press in chronological order). Do not include Section A (Personal Statement) or Section D (Research Support). Do not exceed the two-page limit.
Profile – PD/PI – Attach Current and Pending Support: Attach a list of Current and Pending Support from all sources, including current year direct costs and percent effort devoted to each project. A statement must be included that, if chosen to receive an award, the applicant will commit a minimum of 51% or 6.1 person months of his/her research effort to the project supported by the Avant-Garde Award.
Profile – Senior Key Person 1: Do not use.
5. PHS 398 COVER PAGE SUPPLEMENT: Complete all fields.
6. PHS 398 RESEARCH PLAN COMPONENT
Section 2. Research Plan Attachments
UPLOAD DOCUMENTS TO ONLY THE FOLLOWING FIELDS:
2.3 Research Strategy-upload 5-page Essay here, See detailed instructions for Essay below.
2.6 Protection of Human Subjects--If research involving human subjects is mentioned in the essay, upload the Human Subjects Plan using Part II, Supplemental Instructions for Preparing the Protection of Human Subjects Section of the Research Plan.
2.7 Inclusion of Women and Minorities—upload, as appropriate. See Part II Supplemental Instructions for Preparing the Protection of Human Subjects Section of the Research Plan, Sections 4.2 and 5.6.
2.8 Targeted/Planned Enrollment Table-upload, as necessary, see Part II Supplemental Instructions for Preparing the Protection of Human Subjects Section of the Research Plan, Section 4.3.
2.9 Inclusion of Children-upload, as necessary, see Part II Supplemental Instructions for Preparing the Protection of Human Subjects Section of the Research Plan, Sections 4.4 and 5.7.
2.10 Vertebrate Animals—if research involving vertebrate animals is mentioned in the essay, you must address the five points discussed in the Application Guide, Section 5.5.10 Vertebrate Animals.
2.11 Select Agent research Upload the requested information, if applicable. See Part I PHS 398 instructions 5.5.11, Select Agent Research,
DO NOT USE THE FOLLOWING:
21 Introduction to application
2.2 Specific Aims
2.4 Inclusion Enrollment Report
2.5 Progress Report publication List
2.12 Multiple PD/PI Leadership plan
2.13 Consortium/Contractual arrangements
2.14 Letters of support
Detailed Instructions for Essay:
The essay text must be substantially the same as that submitted in the pre-application in response to PAR-10-287. Only minor changes, such as fixing typographical errors, will be allowed. In five pages maximum, describe the applicant’s innovative vision for addressing a major HIV/AIDS biomedical or behavioral problem or challenge, the importance of this problem or challenge, and the applicant’s qualifications to engage in groundbreaking research. No detailed scientific plan should be provided since the research plan is expected to evolve during the tenure of the grant. The essay should include the following sections in the order given with the headings as shown below:
Science area: The area of science must be included at the beginning of the Essay (e.g., 1 Natural history and Epidemiology).
Project title: The project title must be included at the beginning of the essay.
Project description: What is the scientific problem or challenge that will be addressed, and why is this important? What are the pioneering, and possibly high-risk, approaches that, if successful, might lead to groundbreaking or paradigm-shifting results?
Evidence of innovativeness: What concrete evidence can you provide for your claim of innovativeness? For example, qualities common to many highly innovative people include an interest in, and the ability to integrate, diverse sources of information; an inclination to challenge paradigms and take intellectual risks; persistence in the face of failure; an ability to attract the right collaborators; and the energy and concentration necessary to plan and execute effective strategies for accomplishing goals.
How the planned research differs from your past or current work: Describe how the project represents a new and distinct direction for your research.
Suitability for Avant-Garde Award program: Why is the planned research uniquely suited to the stated goal of the Avant-Garde Award program, rather than a traditional grant mechanism?
References are not required but if included must fit within the five-page limit. Figures and illustrations may be included but must also fit within the five-page limit.
Information on collaborations may be included in the Essay.
5. PHS 398 Cover Letter (Optional):
Cover letters should be included only when submitting late applications or Changed/Corrected applications after the submission deadline. Do not submit cover letters for initial submissions or for changed/corrected applications submitted before the submission deadline. The cover letter should contain only the following information:
PD/PI name; Funding Opportunity Title: 2011 NIDA Avant-Garde Award Program (DP1) for HIV/AIDS Research and an explanation of the reason for the late submission.
6. Letters of Reference:
Letters of reference are an important component of the Avant-Garde Award DP1 application. Applicants must arrange to have exactly three letters of reference submitted on their behalf. Applications with fewer or more than three letters of reference will be considered non-responsive and will not be reviewed. Late letters will not be accepted. Applicants are responsible for monitoring the submission of their letters to ensure that three letters have been submitted prior to the submission deadline. Applicants are encouraged to check the status of their letters in their Commons accounts.
To submit a letter of reference, the referee will need the following information:
Funding Opportunity Number (FOA) for this announcement: RFA-DA-11-002;
The applicant’s Commons User Name (Note: Referees do not need to be registered in the Commons and do not need their own Commons User Name – only the Commons User Name of the applicant is required);
The applicant’s first and last name (note – the name must match exactly the applicant’s name in the Commons);
The URL to the letter submission page (https://public.era.nih.gov/commons/public/reference/submitReferenceLetter.do?mode=new);
The letter of reference submission dates –April 26, 2011- May 26, 2011. Deadline for receipt of letters is 5:00 p.m. (local time of the referee) May 26, 2011.
Letters of reference are confidential. Applicants will not have access to the letters. E-mail confirmations will be sent to both the applicant and the referee. The confirmation sent to the applicant will include the referee’s name and the date and time the letter was submitted. The confirmation sent to the referee will include the referee and applicant’s names, a confirmation number, and the date and time the letter was submitted.
Note: Since e-mail can be unreliable, it is the applicant’s responsibility to check the status of his/her letters of reference periodically in the Commons.
Instructions for Referees:
Letters may be submitted to the Commons at (https://public.era.nih.gov/commons/public/reference/submitReferenceLetter.do?mode=new) beginning April 26, 2011, and must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. (local time of the referee), May 26, 2011. Late letters will not be accepted and applications with fewer or more than three letters will not be reviewed. Letters must be submitted electronically – paper copies will not be accepted.
The applicant’s name should be placed at the top of the letter. Although signatures are not required, the letter must include a signature block with the referee’s full name, title, institution, and contact information.
In two pages or less, describe the applicant’s qualities that support the applicant’s claim to scientific innovativeness and creativity. When possible, give specific examples that illustrate these qualities. Address the likelihood that the applicant will conduct groundbreaking research in the proposed research area.
Note: The letter submission page can be accessed without signing into the Commons, and referees do not need to be registered in the Commons. Referees must provide the applicant’s Commons User Name (User ID) and the other information below:
REFEREE INFORMATION (the individual providing the letter of reference):
Referee’s First and Last Name (Required)
Referee’s Middle Initial (MI) (Not Required)
Referee’s Email Address (Required)
Referee’s Institution/Affiliation (Required)
Referee’s Department (Required)
APPLICANT INFORMATION (applicants must send this information to their referees):
Applicant’s Commons User Name (User ID), (Required) (Important – this must be the applicant’s, not the referee’s, Commons User Name (User ID). The letter will not be linked to the appropriate application if the Applicant’s User Name is not entered here.)
Applicant’s Last Name (Required). (Note: must match exactly the applicant’s name in the Commons)
Funding Opportunity Number (FOA) of this announcement: RFA-DA-11-002 (Required)
Confirmation Number (Required only when resubmitting a letter, that is, when submitting a revised or changed/corrected letter for the current FOA)
E-mail confirmations will be sent to both the applicant and the referee following submission of the letter. The email confirmation will include a Confirmation Number that will be required only when submitting a revised or changed/corrected letter. Please print the confirmation email for your records.
Note: If you submitted letters for Avant-Garde Award applicants in a prior year, you must submit new letters of reference this year. Previously submitted letters will not be retrieved.
PD/PI Credential (e.g., Agency Login)
The NIH requires the PD(s)/PI(s) to fill in his/her Commons User ID in the “PROFILE – Project Director/Principal Investigator” section, “Credential” log-in field of the “Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile” component.
The applicant organization must include its DUNS number in its Organization Profile in the eRA Commons. This DUNS number must match the DUNS number provided at CCR registration with Grants.gov. For additional information, see “Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.”
A Budget Component is not required and will not be accepted. Enter $2,500,000 for items 15 a and c.
Appendix materials are not allowed and
will not be accepted. Applications that contain attachments other than those
specified may be rejected during the agency validation process. In addition, no
updates or post-submission materials are allowed.
Resource Sharing Plan(s)
The following materials will be requested as just-in-time information if an award is considered.
NIH considers the sharing of unique research resources developed through NIH-sponsored research an important means to enhance the value and further the advancement of the research. When resources have been developed with NIH funds and the associated research findings published or provided to NIH, it is important that they be made readily available for research purposes to qualified individuals within the scientific community. If the final data/resources are not amenable to sharing, this should be explained in the Resource Sharing section of the application (see https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing/data_sharing_faqs.htm.)
(a) Data Sharing Plan: Investigators seeking $500,000 or more in direct costs in any year are expected to include a brief 1-paragraph description of how final research data will be shared, or explain why data-sharing is not possible. Applicants are encouraged to discuss data-sharing plans with their NIH program contact (see Data-Sharing Policy or https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-032.html.)
(b) Sharing Model Organisms: Regardless of the amount requested, all applications in which the development of model organisms is anticipated are expected to include a description of a specific plan for sharing and distributing unique model organisms and related resources, or state appropriate reasons why such sharing is restricted or not possible (see Sharing Model Organisms Policy, and NIH Guide NOT-OD-04-042.)
(c) Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS): Regardless of the amount requested, applicants seeking funding for a genome-wide association study are expected to provide a plan for submission of GWAS data to the NIH-designated GWAS data repository, or provide an appropriate explanation why submission to the repository is not possible. A genome-wide association study is defined as any study of genetic variation across the entire genome that is designed to identify genetic associations with observable traits (e.g., blood pressure or weight) or the presence or absence of a disease or condition. For further information see Policy for Sharing of Data Obtained in NIH Supported or Conducted Genome-Wide Association Studies (NOT-OD-07-088) and https://grants.nih.gov/grants/gwas/.
Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process.
2. Review and Selection Process
Applications that are complete and responsive to this FOA will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by NIDA and in accordance with NIH peer review procedures (http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/peer/), using the review criteria stated below. Review of applications for this FOA will be conducted by an interview process. Investigators will be interviewed by a panel of distinguished external scientists; Interviews will be held in the Washington, D.C. area on June 28-29, 2011. A second level of review will be conducted by the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse. The Director, NIDA, will make the final selection of awardees based on the evaluations of the interview panel, the recommendations of the Advisory Council, and programmatic considerations. Final selections will be announced publicly, and awards made, by September, 2011.
As part of the scientific peer review, all applications will:
The mission of the NIH is to support science in pursuit of knowledge about the biology and behavior of living systems and to apply that knowledge to extend healthy life and reduce the burdens of illness and disability. As part of this mission, applications submitted to the NIH for grants or cooperative agreements to support biomedical and behavioral research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.
Applications will be evaluated based on the likelihood that the applicant will pursue a ground breaking approach to a problem of relevance to biomedical or behavioral research on HIV/AIDS among drug users. In particular, reviewers will evaluate:
Reviewers will provide an overall impact/priority score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following five scored review criteria, and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).
Scored Review Criteria
Reviewers will consider each of the five review criteria below in the determination of scientific and technical merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.
The following scored review criteria also will be used in assessing the merit of applications.
Significance. Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive the HIV/AIDS field?
Investigator(s). Is the PD/PI well suited to the project? If Early Stage Investigators or New Investigators, or in the early stages of independent careers, do they have appropriate experience and training? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)?
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 project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?
If the project involves clinical research, are the plans for 1) protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion of minorities and members of both sexes/genders, as well as the inclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?
Environment. Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements?
Additional Review Criteria
As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider the following additional items in the determination of scientific and technical merit, but will not give separate scores for these items.
Protections for Human Subjects. For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.
For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials.
Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children. When the proposed project involves clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for inclusion of minorities and members of both genders, as well as the inclusion of children.
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, see https://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/VASchecklist.pdf.
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.
Resubmission Applications. Resubmissions are not allowed for this FOA.
Renewal Applications. Renewals are not allowed for this FOA.
Revision Applications. Revisions are not allowed for this FOA.
Additional Review Considerations
As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will address 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. Foreign are not allowed for this FOA.
Select Agents 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 (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing/data_sharing_guidance.htm); 2) Sharing Model Organisms (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-04-042.html); and 3) Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-07-088.html).
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.
Applications submitted in response to this FOA will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:
Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates
Applicants will be notified of their status following review by the NIDA National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse. Awards will begin by September 30, 2011.
Section VI. Award Administration Information
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 NIH eRA Commons.
the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request
"just-in-time" information from the applicant. For details,
applicants may refer to the NIH
Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards,
Subpart A: General.
A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document. Once all administrative and programmatic issues have been resolved, the NoA will be generated via email notification from the awarding component to the grantee business official.
Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs. See Section IV.5., “Funding Restrictions.”
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.
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.
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.
We encourage your inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants. Inquiries may fall into three areas: scientific/research (program), peer review, and financial or grants management issues:
1. Scientific/Research Contact(s):
Jacques Normand, Ph.D.
Director, AIDS Research Program
National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Institutes of Health
6001 Executive Blvd
Rm 5274 MSC 9581
Bethesda, MD 20892
2. Peer Review Contact(s):
Extramural Affairs Branch
Office of Extramural Affairs
National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, DHHS
6101 Executive Boulevard, Suite 220, MSC 8401
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-8401
Telephone: (301) 435-1389
FAX: (301) 443-0538
3. Financial/Grants Management Contact(s):
Grants Management Branch
National Institute on Drug Abuse/NIH/DHSS
6001 Executive Blvd., MSC 9541
Rockville, MD 20892-9541
Required Federal Citations
Use of Animals
Recipients of PHS support for activities involving live, vertebrate animals must comply with PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/PHSPolicyLabAnimals.pdf) as mandated by the Health Research Extension Act of 1985 (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/hrea1985.htm), and the USDA Animal Welfare Regulations (http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/legislat/usdaleg1.htm) as applicable.
Federal regulations (45 CFR 46) require that applications and proposals involving human subjects must be evaluated with reference to the risks to the subjects, the adequacy of protection against these risks, the potential benefits of the research to the subjects and others, and the importance of the knowledge gained or to be gained (http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.htm).
Data and Safety
Data and safety monitoring is required for all types of clinical trials, including physiologic toxicity and dose-finding studies (Phase I); efficacy studies (Phase II); efficacy, effectiveness and comparative trials (Phase III). Monitoring should be commensurate with risk. The establishment of data and safety monitoring boards (DSMBs) is required for multi-site clinical trials involving interventions that entail potential risks to the participants (“NIH Policy for Data and Safety Monitoring,” NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-084.html).
Sharing Research Data:
Investigators submitting an NIH application seeking $500,000 or more in direct costs in any single year are expected to include a plan for data sharing or state why this is not possible (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing). Investigators should seek guidance from their institutions, on issues related to institutional policies and local institutional review board (IRB) rules, as well as local, State and Federal laws and regulations, including the Privacy Rule.
Policy for Genome-Wide
Association Studies (GWAS):
NIH is interested in advancing genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to identify common genetic factors that influence health and disease through a centralized GWAS data repository. For the purposes of this policy, a genome-wide association study is defined as any study of genetic variation across the entire human genome that is designed to identify genetic associations with observable traits (such as blood pressure or weight), or the presence or absence of a disease or condition. All applications, regardless of the amount requested, proposing a genome-wide association study are expected to provide a plan for submission of GWAS data to the NIH-designated GWAS data repository, or provide an appropriate explanation why submission to the repository is not possible. Data repository management (submission and access) is governed by the Policy for Sharing of Data Obtained in NIH Supported or Conducted Genome-Wide Association Studies, NIH Guide NOT-OD-07-088. For additional information, see
Sharing of Model Organisms:
NIH is committed to support efforts that encourage sharing of important research resources including the sharing of model organisms for biomedical research (see https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/model_organism/index.htm). At the same time the NIH recognizes the rights of grantees and contractors to elect and retain title to subject inventions developed with Federal funding pursuant to the Bayh-Dole Act (see the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Beginning October 1, 2004, all investigators submitting an NIH application or contract proposal are expected to include in the application/proposal a description of a specific plan for sharing and distributing unique model organism research resources generated using NIH funding or state why such sharing is restricted or not possible. This will permit other researchers to benefit from the resources developed with public funding. The inclusion of a model organism sharing plan is not subject to a cost threshold in any year and is expected to be included in all applications where the development of model organisms is anticipated.
Access to Research Data through the Freedom of Information Act:
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to provide access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) under some circumstances. Data that are: (1) first produced in a project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds; and (2) cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed through FOIA. It is important for applicants to understand the basic scope of this amendment. NIH has provided guidance at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm. Applicants may wish to place data collected under this funding opportunity in a public archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the distribution for an indefinite period of time. If so, the application should include a description of the archiving plan in the study design and include information about this in the budget justification section of the application. In addition, applicants should think about how to structure informed consent statements and other human subjects procedures given the potential for wider use of data collected under this award.
Inclusion of Women And Minorities in Clinical Research:
It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their sub-populations must be included in all NIH-supported clinical research projects unless a clear and compelling justification is provided indicating that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of the research. This policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public Law 103-43). All investigators proposing clinical research should read the "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research” (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-001.html); a complete copy of the updated Guidelines is available at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_amended_10_2001.htm. The amended policy incorporates: the use of an NIH definition of clinical research; updated racial and ethnic categories in compliance with the new OMB standards; clarification of language governing NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials consistent with the SF424 (R&R) application; and updated roles and responsibilities of NIH staff and the extramural community. The policy continues to require for all NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials that: a) all applications or proposals and/or protocols must provide a description of plans to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable; and b) investigators must report annual accrual and progress in conducting analyses, as appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group differences.
Inclusion of Children as Participants in Clinical Research:
The NIH maintains a policy that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) must be included in all clinical research, conducted or supported by the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them. All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the "NIH Policy and Guidelines" on the inclusion of children as participants in research involving human subjects (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/children/children.htm).
Required Education on the Protection of Human Subject Participants:
NIH policy requires education on the protection of human subject participants for all investigators submitting NIH applications for research involving human subjects and individuals designated as key personnel. The policy is available at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-039.html.
Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESC):
Criteria for Federal funding of research on hESCs can be found at http://stemcells.nih.gov/index.asp and at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-116.html. Only research using hESC lines that are registered in the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry will be eligible for Federal funding (http://escr.nih.gov/). It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide in the project description and elsewhere in the application as appropriate, the official NIH identifier(s) for the hESC line(s) to be used in the proposed research.
NIH Public Access Policy Requirement:
In accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy, investigators funded by the NIH must submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central (see http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/), an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication. The NIH Public Access Policy is available at (). For more information, see the Public Access webpage at http://publicaccess.nih.gov/.
Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information:
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued final modification to the "Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information", the "Privacy Rule", on August 14, 2002. The Privacy Rule is a federal regulation under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 that governs the protection of individually identifiable health information, and is administered and enforced by the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR).
Decisions about applicability and implementation of the Privacy Rule reside with the researcher and his/her institution. The OCR website (http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/) provides information on the Privacy Rule, including a complete Regulation Text and a set of decision tools on "Am I a covered entity?" Information on the impact of the HIPAA Privacy Rule on NIH processes involving the review, funding, and progress monitoring of grants, cooperative agreements, and research contracts can be found at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-025.html.
in NIH Grant Applications or Appendices:
All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page limitations. For publications listed in the appendix and/or Progress report, Internet addresses (URLs) or PubMed Central (PMC) submission identification numbers must be used for publicly accessible on-line journal articles. Publicly accessible on-line journal articles or PMC articles/manuscripts accepted for publication that are directly relevant to the project may be included only as URLs or PMC submission identification numbers accompanying the full reference in either the Bibliography & References Cited section, the Progress Report Publication List section, or the Biographical Sketch section of the NIH grant application. A URL or PMC submission identification number citation may be repeated in each of these sections as appropriate. There is no limit to the number of URLs or PMC submission identification numbers that can be cited.
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 FOA is related to one or more of the priority areas. Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at http://www.health.gov/healthypeople.
Authority and Regulations:
This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance at http://www.cfda.gov/ and is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372. 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. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free workplace and discourage the use of all tobacco products. In addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which regular or routine education, library, day care, health care, or early childhood development services are provided to children. This is consistent with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of the American people.
Loan Repayment Programs:
NIH encourages applications for educational loan repayment from qualified health professionals who have made a commitment to pursue a research career involving clinical, pediatric, contraception, infertility, and health disparities related areas. The LRP is an important component of NIH's efforts to recruit and retain the next generation of researchers by providing the means for developing a research career unfettered by the burden of student loan debt. Note that an NIH grant is not required for eligibility and concurrent career award and LRP applications are encouraged. The periods of career award and LRP award may overlap providing the LRP recipient with the required commitment of time and effort, as LRP awardees must commit at least 50% of their time (at least 20 hours per week based on a 40 hour week) for two years to the research. For further information, please see: http://www.lrp.nih.gov/.
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