Department of Health and Human Services
Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

Funding Opportunity Title

George M. O'Brien Urology Cooperative Research Centers Program (U54)

Activity Code

U54 Specialized Center- Cooperative Agreements

Announcement Type

Reissue of RFA-DK-15-002

Related Notices

  • NOT-OD-16-004 - NIH & AHRQ Announce Upcoming Changes to Policies, Instructions and Forms for 2016 Grant Applications (November 18, 2015)
  • NOT-OD-16-006 - Simplification of the Vertebrate Animals Section of NIH Grant Applications and Contract Proposals (November 18, 2015)
  • NOT-OD-16-011 - Implementing Rigor and Transparency in NIH & AHRQ Research Grant Applications (November 18, 2015)

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-DK-16-013

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

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

93.847

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to seek applications for the George M. O’Brien Urology Cooperative Research Centers Program. This program will provide a coordinated platform for multidisciplinary interactions between basic and clinical scientists with the overall goal of understanding the etiology and development of benign urologic diseases and disorders, and providing a collaborative venue to design better treatments, diagnostics, and prevention strategies for these disease conditions within the NIDDK mission interests. This program will also serve as a national resource to the larger urological research community and provide educational enrichment opportunities to scientists electing to pursue research in benign urology. Accordingly, applications are sought from individuals willing to cooperate with the NIDDK under a cooperative centers program. The funded Centers will work with the NIDDK in facilitating research collaborations and interactions within and among centers and with the larger research community to accomplish the overall goal of improving treatment of urologic disorders through enhanced communication and research excellence.

Key Dates
Posted Date

December 4, 2015

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

January 22, 2016

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

January 22, 2016

Application Due Date(s)

February 22, 2016, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on this date.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

June/July 2016

Advisory Council Review

October 2016

Earliest Start Date

December 2016

Expiration Date

February 23, 2016

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

** ELECTRONIC APPLICATION SUBMISSION REQUIRED**

NIH’s new Application Submission System & Interface for Submission Tracking (ASSIST) is available for the electronic preparation and submission of multi-project applications through Grants.gov to NIH. Applications to this FOA must be submitted electronically; paper applications will not be accepted. ASSIST replaces the Grants.gov downloadable forms currently used with most NIH opportunities and provides many features to enable electronic multi-project application submission and improve data quality, including: pre-population of organization and PD/PI data, pre-submission validation of many agency business rules and the generation of data summaries in the application image used for review.

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts) and where instructions in the Application Guide are directly related to the Grants.gov downloadable forms currently used with most NIH opportunities. Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

Table of Contents

Part 1. Overview Information
Part 2. Full Text of the Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Section II. Award Information
Section III. Eligibility Information
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
Section V. Application Review Information
Section VI. Award Administration Information
Section VII. Agency Contacts
Section VIII. Other Information

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Purpose

The George M. O’Brien Urology Cooperative Research Centers Program is designed to support a wide range of basic, translational, and clinical research efforts with the ultimate goal of improving the clinical diagnosis, detection, treatment, and prevention of urologic diseases and disorders within the research mission of the NIDDK. The Centers program will accomplish this goal by the development, sharing, and integration of institutional and national resources; by attracting established investigators from outside the realm of non-malignant urological diseases to study these conditions; and, through the support of educational enrichment of scientists electing to conduct research in the field of benign urology.

The Cooperative Research Centers Program will consist of Research Centers that will coordinate activities in conjunction with the NIDDK under a cooperative agreement. Within this Cooperative Research Centers Program, Center Directors will work with NIDDK staff to promote and facilitate research collaborations and interactions within and between Centers, with the NIDDK Multidisciplinary K12 Urologic Research (KURe) Career Development Program (RFA-DK-12-013), the NIDDK Developmental Centers for Interdisciplinary Research in Benign Urology (RFA-DK-15-001), and the wider research community to develop a national network that accelerates bi-directional knowledge between the laboratory and the clinic. It is expected that these coordinated activities will enhance communication, innovation, and research excellence. The Centers are expected to conduct research to discover and develop promising new leads to advance our understanding of the etiology, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of benign urological disease or disorders. The Centers shall also provide the research infrastructure to support collaborative research projects, to support the educational enrichment of junior scientists, and to recruit established investigators not previously involved in non-malignant urological research.

Background

The O'Brien Urology Research Centers were established by the NIDDK in 1987 as a stand-alone centers program and were most recently renewed in 2008. The transition of the O’Brien Urology Centers to a Cooperative Research Centers Program (U54) reflects the changing overall nature of the scientific enterprise towards interdisciplinary efforts and the need to better integrate research efforts with a wider research community to advance knowledge in the treatment of benign urological disorders and diseases. Despite advances in the previous two decades in the surgical management and medical treatment of urological conditions, millions of Americans remain afflicted with urologic disorders and diseases, including urinary tract infections, urolithiasis, and lower urinary tract disorders associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia, urinary incontinence, or chronic urologic pelvic pain syndromes. The annual treatment cost of these illnesses is at least 11.5 billion dollars per year.

Contributing to the inability to adequately treat patients are the gaps in knowledge of the basic physiology, cell biology, and genetics of urological dysfunction; a lack of objective diagnostic criteria and tests to identify urologic diseases and disorders; inadequate in-depth characterization (phenotyping); and the paucity of information on the epidemiology and natural history of many of these illnesses. The absence of a basic understanding of the cellular/tissue structure and function of the urinary tract and its associated systems (e.g., nervous and lymphatic systems) makes it difficult to establish useful experimental in vivo or in silico models for generating and testing hypotheses necessary to guide many human studies. These knowledge gaps also make it difficult to develop translational tools, such as biomarkers and imaging techniques, necessary for human investigations. Basic research expertise in disciplines such as cell and molecular biology, genomics and proteomics, biochemistry, physiology, developmental biology, tissue engineering, immunology, pathology, neurobiology, and microbiology is vital to address the gaps in basic physiology of the urinary tract and to advance urologic research. Additional expertise outside of the biological sciences, in physics, bio-engineering, chemical and mechanical engineering, as well as in clinical disciplines of urology, gastroenterology, gynecology, endocrinology, anesthesiology, and radiology will also be instrumental to advance the field.

Center

The research at each Center must coalesce upon a single major urologic disease, disorder, or urological complication relevant to the NIDDK mission. This research focus will serve as a central theme for the individual research projects. The research projects of the Center must be interactive and organized to discover and develop new leads for the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of urological dysfunction as defined by the research theme. Research at each Center must coalesce on a single urologic disease or disorder or urological complication relevant to the NIDDK mission which will serve as a central theme for individual research projects. The Administrative Core for each Center may support research projects and Biomedical Research Core(s) at other institutions/organizations through subcontracts. These outside institutions may be at the local, regional, national, or even international levels.

Each Center will consist of:

  • Administrative Core including an Educational Enrichment and an Opportunity Pool Program
  • Research Projects – minimum of 3 projects
  • Biomedical Research Core(s)
  • Pilot Project Program (optional)

The Centers will provide the infrastructure for sharing resources to enhance the efficiency of research and for fostering collaborations among the Centers, NIDDK Multidisciplinary K12 Urologic Research (KURe) Career Development Program and, the NIDDK Developmental Centers for Interdisciplinary Research in Benign Urology. As such, Center participants are expected to work collaboratively among each other and within the Cooperative Research Centers program through sharing of resources and data. In addition, the investigator must agree to be an active participant in Cooperative Research Centers program activities as deemed necessary by appropriate oversight committees. The investigator must agree to participate in the Executive Steering Committee and be responsive to recommendations provided by an independent External Expert Panel.

 

Center Director

The Center Director must be an established investigator with a demonstrated funding and publication record. The Center Director is responsible for scientific and administrative leadership and is expected to work closely with the Executive Steering Committee. One or more Associate Directors may be named as well. The Center Director and Associated Directors may be from any discipline as long as the criteria for leadership are met. Center Director will be responsible for scientific and administrative leadership. This includes, but is not limited to, the following duties:

  • Maintaining the Center’s vision and ensuring the relevance of the Center’s goals to the research mission of the Division of Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases;
  • Establishing and overseeing internal communication and cooperation among Center investigators;
  • Oversight of the Administrative Core and the Educational Enrichment Program;
  • Creating mechanisms for internal monitoring, selecting, and replacing Center professional or technical personnel; and
  • Communicating with NIDDK program staff, the George M. O’Brien Urology Cooperative Research Centers Program, and the KURe Program.

Administrative Core

The Administrative Core will serve as the focus for the synergistic activities of the Center. It will be responsible for the management of resources within the Center. The Administrative Core will include an Educational Enrichment Program, an Opportunity Pool Program and an optional Internal Pilot Project Program.

The Center administrative organization and management are determined by the individual Center (subject to NIH peer review). It is expected that the administrative organization of the Center will have a supportive structure, such as an internal Executive committee. The major responsibilities of the Administrative Core are to:  

  • Develop and maintain the vision and relevant goals of the Center;
  • Coordinate, manage, and integrate the Center components and activities, which include coordinating ongoing research between the separately funded projects and the Biomedical Research Core (if proposed), and harmonizing with the other Research Centers in the Cooperative Research Centers Program,
  • Create mechanisms for internal monitoring, including Center management, fiscal administration, procurement, property and personnel management, planning, budgeting, and other appropriate capabilities;
  • Establish and maintain internal communication and cooperation among Center investigators;
  • Review productivity and effectiveness of the activities of the Center and create a mechanism for selecting and replacing Center professional or technical personnel;
  • Terminate unsuccessful projects, cores, or activities; and
  • Maintain oversight, review the use of, and administration of funds for the Educational Enrichment Program.

Research Centers' meetings

The Center is required to participate in two in-person Executive Steering Committee meetings the first year of funding and then annually thereafter. The first meeting will be held in the Washington, DC area. The purposes of these meetings are to share research experiences with other Centers, assess progress, identify new research opportunities, share materials, enhance and further the potential impact of the Centers. In addition, the Center Director and Project leaders are expected to participate in the annual Urology Program Directors' meeting to present ongoing progress to the NIDDK supported research community.

Educational Enrichment Program

The Administrative Core will be responsible for an Educational Enrichment Program that should further the overall aims and objectives of the Center. The Educational Enrichment Program may consist of seminar series, guest lectures, and workshops that educate Center members and the research community on how to use available databases or other resources, symposia. Other instructional opportunities, including summer student experiences (at the high school, college, and graduate or medical student level) may be developed. Students, fellows, and junior faculty should be encouraged to take full advantage of all Educational Enrichment Program events. It is permissible for Center Institutions to co-fund the activities of the Educational Enrichment Program. Travel support to attend meetings outside of the investigator's or attendee's discipline is encouraged.

Opportunity Pool Program

The Opportunity Pool Program seeks to encourage interactions between Center investigators, the NIDDK KURe fellows, and investigators of the NIDDK Developmental Planning Centers and or the larger research community. A goal of the Opportunity Pool Program is to increase the research capacity of the urology research community by leveraging the resources within the Center. Although funds are not provided directly for training purposes, the Opportunity Pool Program should provide funds for specific educational opportunities such as travel support of investigators to learn new laboratory techniques, develop new collaborations, or engage in scientific information exchange.

Support of research projects within the Opportunity Pool program should be integrated into the overall research goals of a specific Center and where possible make use of the resources provided by the Biomedical Research Core. Such research projects should represent new collaborations between Center's Project Leaders and a) new investigators or b) established investigators not previously involved in urological researchIt is expected that these projects will generate preliminary data to support research applications such as R01 applications. These research projects are not intended to support or supplement ongoing research of an established investigator. Research projects to investigate basic research findings in a clinical setting are encouraged. Opportunity Pool Research Projects are limited to $100,000 direct costs per year and are initially 2 years with an option to extend the project an additional year pending exceptional progress.

It is expected that each Center will be associated at any time with 2 to 4 Opportunity Pool Research projects. Funds for the Opportunity Pool program should be requested as part of the Administrative Core budget, and will be restricted for use to support Opportunity Pool Program pending an external expert panel review and approval by the Executive Steering Committee. It is permissible for Center Institutions to co-fund the activities of the Opportunity Pool Program.

In addition to the Opportunity Pool Program, internal pilot projects may be supported through the Center. The Internal Pilot Project Program will support new investigators or investigators not currently supported by the O'Brien Center. Pilot projects are not intended to support or supplement ongoing research of an established investigator. Support for a particular internal pilot project is limited to two years and is separate from the Opportunity Pool Program.

External Advisory Committee

Although optional, the use of an External Advisory Committee for each Center is highly advisable. The members must not be named in the grant application; however, the process by which members are selected must be described in detail. This group, comprised of 3-5 members, may advise the Center Director and the Center's Executive committee in the areas of scientific direction, budget, policy, collaborations, or other areas

Research Projects

The research projects of the Center must be interactively organized to conduct research to discover and develop new leads for the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a single major urologic disease or disorder or urological complication relevant to the NIDDK mission. The Center's research projects must utilize at least two of the following approaches: 1) clinical or patient-oriented studies (such as genetics, epidemiology, natural history of a disease), 2) translational (such as tools development, imaging, or diagnostic tools development), or 3) basic laboratory science. Research projects are encouraged to use resources and databases from NIDDK-sponsored studies, such as the Urological Diseases in America Project (UDA), Boston Area Community Health Survey (BACH), NIDDK Data Repository, Medical Therapy of Prostatic Symptoms Study (MTOPS), Urinary Incontinence Treatment Network (UITN), NIDDK’s Multidisciplinary Approach to the Study of Chronic Pelvic Pain (MAPP) Research Network, the Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction Research Network (LURN), or GenitoUrinary Development Molecular Anatomy Project (GUDMAP). Research with translational potential is strongly encouraged.

Examples of research themes appropriate for investigation are listed below, but this list is not meant to be exclusive. Applications with a focus on, or which include a project on, malignant urologic diseases are not responsive to this FOA and will not be reviewed.

  • Urolithiasis- including pathophysiology, natural history, epidemiology, prevention, stone formation and dissolution, therapy and treatment outcomes, stone diagnostics and therapeutic development, pediatric stone treatment and outcomes.
  • Urinary Tract Infections- epidemiology, pathogenesis, adherence, bacteriology, diagnostics, and prevention in adult and pediatric populations.
  • Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS) in men and women/ Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy - natural history, prevention, treatment outcomes, therapeutic outcomes, prostatic biology and pathophysiology, genetics, diagnostic and therapeutic development.
  • Urinary Incontinence, Normal Bladder Function and Dysfunction- Epidemiology, treatment outcomes, therapy, pathophysiology, basic bladder biology, neurobiology of bladder function and dysfunction.
  • Erectile Dysfunction- basic biology and pathophysiology, epidemiology, natural history, therapeutic and treatment outcomes, diagnostic and interventional treatment.
  • Chronic Urologic Pelvic Pain Syndromes - basic biology, natural history, pathophysiology, epidemiology, diagnostic development, potential model development, genetics, associated disorders.
  • Urological Complications of Diabetes and Obesity - basic biology, natural history, pathophysiology, epidemiology, potential model development, genetics.
  • Congenital Urinary Malformations of Vesicoureteral Reflux - basic biology, natural history, pathophysiology, epidemiology, potential model development, genetics.

The following are examples of studies that could be proposed to address these disorders, but do not represent an exhaustive list:

  • Organ-specific development and genetics, structure and function, and physiology and pathophysiology with in vivo studies to understand the potential interplay of urologic and non-urologic organs and tissues.
  • Organ maturation and its maintenance during normal aging in the development of lower urinary tract symptoms, including the immune system and changes in function and response to injury of the lower urinary tract.
  • Role of distant organs (central and/or peripheral nervous system) in the development, maintenance, or regression of normal urinary function, and in the progression or expression of urinary tract voiding symptoms.
  • Role of different cell types in heterogeneously complex organs/tissues in initiating, maintaining, and regression of urinary tract symptoms.
  • Role of generalized processes such as inflammation, adaptive or innate immunity, epigenetics, injury/regeneration, etc. in promoting, and amplifying the progression, or regression of urologic disorders.
  • Identification and extensive phenotyping of animal models for modifiable risk factors (e.g., obesity, diabetes, acute infection) for changes associated with lower urinary tract symptoms, and where possible extend phenotyping of modifiable risk factors and associated lower urinary tract changes to a relevant patient population.
  • Identification and extensive phenotyping of animal models for altered central or peripheral nervous system function that contribute to lower urinary tract symptoms and extend the same phenotyping (where possible) to relevant patient populations.
  • Develop, identify, and extensively phenotype animal models that mimic aspects of human lower urinary tract symptoms and extend the same phenotyping to relevant human populations (where possible).
  • Development of tools for characterizing organ function and dysfunction, including patient reported outcomes, non-invasive imaging, biomarkers.

Biomedical Core

The Biomedical Core is defined as a shared resource that provides specialized and essential services, techniques, or instrumentation to Center participants. The Biomedical Research Core enables the Center research projects to be carried out more efficiently and/or more effectively. Because the Biomedical Research Core provides specialized technologies and expertise needed to accomplish the stated goals of the Center, the Biomedical Research Core must be used by two or more of the research projects of the parent Center.

The Biomedical Research Core should be accessible to and should increase interactions between the O'Brien Centers and the NIDDK Multidisciplinary K12 Urologic Research Career Development and the NIDDK Developmental Centers for Interdisciplinary Research in Benign Urology programs through cross-project/laboratory exchange, and sharing of specialized tools, technologies, and expertise. The Biomedical Core may also provide services to funded research projects outside the Center.

Examples of types of Biomedical Core resources that would be considered include, but are not limited to:

  • Collection, analysis, storage and distribution of data and samples
  • Provision of specialized tools and technologies or access to specialized expertise
  • Development, standardization and distribution of reagents and/or protocols
  • Provision of technical assistance, and educational enrichment programs
  • Recruitment of patients and coordination of patient studies
  • Development, beta-testing and dissemination of specialty assays, methods, and services.
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, NIH scientific or program staff will assist, guide, coordinate, or participate in project activities.

Application Types Allowed

New
Renewal
Resubmission from RFA-DK-13-020 or RFA-DK-15-002

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

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NIDDK intends to commit $1,200,000 in FY 2016 to fund one award.

Award Budget

Application budgets are limited to $1 million in direct costs per year.  

Award Project Period

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

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

  • Public/State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education
  • Private Institutions of Higher Education

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

    • Hispanic-serving Institutions
    • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
    • Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)
    • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions
    • Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

  • Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)
  • Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)

For-Profit Organizations

  • Small Businesses
  • For-Profit Organizations (Other than Small Businesses)

Governments

  • State Governments
  • County Governments
  • City or Township Governments
  • Special District Governments
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized)
  • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
  • U.S. Territory or Possession

Other

  • Independent School Districts
  • Public Housing Authorities/Indian Housing Authorities
  • Native American Tribal Organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Faith-based or Community-based Organizations
  • Regional Organizations
Foreign Institutions

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are not eligible to apply.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are eligible to apply.
Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are allowed.

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.

  • Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) - All registrations require that applicants be issued a DUNS number. After obtaining a DUNS number, applicants can begin both SAM and eRA Commons registrations. The same DUNS number must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly CCR) – Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
  • eRA Commons - Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the eRA Commons registration. Organizations can register with the eRA Commons as they are working through their SAM or Grants.gov registration. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • Grants.gov – Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

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

All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account.  PD(s)/PI(s) should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate their existing account with the applicant organization in eRA Commons.If the PD/PI is also the organizational Signing Official, they must have two distinct eRA Commons accounts, one for each role. Obtaining an eRA Commons account can take up to 2 weeks.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

The Center Director is required to have an established record of external funding, but is not required to have a record of accomplishment in urological research. Center Director may not serve concurrently as the Center Director of an NIDDK Urology O’Brien Center and a Developmental Center (P20).

2. Cost Sharing

This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

3. Additional Information on Eligibility
Number of Applications

Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time.  This means that the NIH will not accept:

  • A new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping new (A0) or resubmission (A1) application.
  • A resubmission (A1) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of the previous new (A0) application.
  • An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see NOT-OD-11-101).
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Requesting an Application Package

Applicants can access the SF424 (R&R) application package associated with this funding opportunity using the “Apply for Grant Electronically” button in this FOA or following the directions provided at Grants.gov.

Most applicants will use NIH’s ASSIST system to prepare and submit applications through Grants.gov to NIH. Applications prepared and submitted using applicant systems capable of submitting electronic multi-project applications to Grants.gov will also be accepted.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Grant Application Instructions except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise and where instructions in the Application Guide are directly related to the Grants.gov downloadable forms currently used with most NIH opportunities. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

For information on Application Submission and Receipt, visit Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.

Letter of Intent

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows IC staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

By the date listed in Part 1. Overview Information, prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

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

The letter of intent, preferably electronically, should be sent to:

Dr. Francisco O. Calvo
Chief, Review Branch
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Rm. 752 MSC 5452
Bethesda, MD 20892-5452
(for express/courier service: Bethesda, MD 20817)\
Telephone: 301- 594-8897
Email: calvof@mail.nih.gov

Page Limitations

Component Types Available in ASSIST

Research Strategy/Program Plan Page Limits

Overall

6

Admin Core (use for Administrative Core)

12

Project (use for each Research Project)

12

Pilot Projects

6

Core (use for Biomedical Cores)

6

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

Instructions for the Submission of Multi-Component Applications

The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, and should be used for preparing a multi-component application.

The application should consist of the following components:

  • Overall: Required
  • Administrative Core: Required
  • Research Project: Required, minimum of 3
  • Pilot Projects: Optional, maximum of 2
  • Biomedical Core: Required, maximum of 3
Overall Component

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type ‘Overall’.

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions, as noted.

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Overall)

Complete entire form..

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement  (Overall)

Note: Human Embryonic Stem Cell lines from other components should be repeated in cell line table in Overall component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Overall)

Follow standard instructions..

Project/Performance Site Location(s) (Overall)

Enter primary site only..

A summary of Project/Performance Sites in the Overall section of the assembled application image in eRA Commons compiled from data collected in the other components will be generated upon submission.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Overall)

Include only the Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) and any multi-PDs/PIs (if applicable to this FOA) for the entire application..

A summary of Senior/Key Persons followed by their Biographical Sketches in the Overall section of the assembled application image in eRA Commons will be generated upon submission.

Budget (Overall)

The only budget information included in the Overall component is the Estimated Project Funding section of the SF424 (R&R) Cover.  

A budget summary in the Overall section of the assembled application image in eRA Commons compiled from detailed budget data collected in the other components will be generated upon submission.

PHS 398 Research Plan (Overall)

Introduction to Application: For Resubmission applications, an Introduction to Application is required in the Overall component.

Specific Aims: State the overall goals of the Center and how these goals will be achieved. Summarize the expected outcomes and the impact of the outcomes on the goals of the O'Brien Centers Program as outlined in Section I. Funding Opportunity Description.

Research Strategy: Describe the major theme of the Center, its goals and objectives, and background information. Explain the overall importance of the Research Projects and the Educational Enrichment Program in achieving the goals and objectives of the Center and the overall goals of the O'Brien Centers Program as outlined in Section I. Funding Opportunity Description.  Explain the overall strategy for achieving the goals defined for the Center and how the Administrative Core (including the Educational Enrichment Program and Opportunity Pool Program) Research Projects, and Biomedical Core(s) relate to that strategy. Explain how the different aspects of the organization, including key personnel, will interact, why they are essential to accomplishing the overall goals of the Center, and how combined resources create a Center that is worth more than the sum of its parts.

In addition, provide the following information:

Administration, Organization, and Operation of the Center: Describe the organizational framework including an organizational chart. Include information on the support and commitment of the parent institution for the Center, and the authority of the PD(s)/PI(s). Describe the relationship and lines of authority and sanction by appropriate institutional officials. Specifically address administrative responsibilities between the collaborating institutions, organizational components, faculty, and staff. Include information on the use of advisory or user committees, and the method of determining Core access and space assignment. Do not list specific members for any external advisory committees. The list should only include the type of expertise of the proposed members and their role in advising the Center.

Provide a plan for ensuring the solvency of the proposed team once an award has been made and for resolving conflicts between the Center personnel.

Provide a brief description and rationale for any consortia or consultants.

Letters of Support: Include all assurance letters from consortia investigators and institutions provided in support of the application.

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modification:

All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan. In keeping with the goals of the O'Brien Centers' Program, the applicants are expected to highlight potentially unique core resources and how they plan to share them with other Centers and the research community, as well as provide an overview for and describe the oversight of the resource sharing activities of the Center as a whole.

Appendix: Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide..   

Administrative Core

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type ‘'Admin Core.’

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions, as noted.

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Administrative Core)

Complete only the following fields:

  • ·    Applicant Information
  • ·    Type of Applicant (optional)
  • ·    Descriptive Title of Applicant’s Project
  • ·    Proposed Project Start/Ending Dates
PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Administrative Core)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each P_SingleIndent component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Administrative Core)

Human Subjects: Answer only the ‘Are Human Subjects Involved?’ and 'Is the Project Exempt from Federal regulations?’ questions.

Vertebrate Animals: Answer only the ‘Are Vertebrate Animals Used?’ question.

Project Narrative:  In 1-3 sentences describe the relevance of the Administrative Core activities on public health.

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Administrative Core)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

Note: The Project Performance Site form allows up to 300 sites, prior to using additional attachment for additional entries.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Administrative Core)
  • ·    In the Project Director/Principal Investigator section of the form, use Project Role of ‘Other’ with Category of ‘Administrative Director  and provide a valid eRA Commons ID in the Credential field.
  • ·    In the additional Senior/Key Profiles section, list Senior/Key persons that are working in the component.
  • ·    Include a single Biographical Sketch for each Senior/Key person listed in the application regardless of the number of components in which they participate. When a Senior/Key person is listed in multiple components, the Biographical Sketch can be included in any one component.
  • ·    If more than 100 Senior/Key persons are included in a component, the Additional Senior Key Person attachments should be used.   
Budget (Administrative Core)

Budget forms appropriate for the specific component will be included in the application package.

Minimum levels of effort are 2.4 person months (20%) for the Center Director to oversee scientific and administrative duties of the Center. Associate directors may be named as well; the combined directorship efforts may not exceed 6.0 person months. The Center administration may also include an administrative assistant.

The Administrative Core budget must include funds of $150,000 direct costs per year to fund the Opportunity Pool Program that supports specific educational opportunities such as travel support of investigators to learn new laboratory techniques, develop new collaborations, or engage in scientific information exchange or .collaborative projects that represent new collaborations between Center's Project Leaders and a) new investigators or b) established investigators not previously involved in urological

Additionally, the Administrative Core budget must include funds to support travel of the Center Director and senior/key personnel to attend the Executive Steering Committee meetings as outlined in Section VI and up to $50,000 in direct costs per year to support the Educational Enrichment Program.

Budget Justification: Describe the specific functions of all key personnel, consultants, collaborators and support staff. For all years, explain and justify any unusual items such as major equipment or alterations and renovations. For years 2-5 of support requested, justify any significant increases or decreases in any category over the initial budget period. Identify such changes with asterisks against the appropriate amounts.

Note: The R&R Budget form included in many of the component types allows for up to 100 Senior/Key Persons in section A and 100 Equipment Items in section C prior to using attachments for additional entries. All other SF424 (R&R) instructions apply.

PHS 398 Research Plan (Administrative Core)

Introduction to Application: For Resubmission applications, an Introduction to Application is allowed for each component.

Specific Aims: Describe the specific aims of the Administrative Core including the Educational Enrichment Program and the Collaborative Pool Program.  

Research Strategy: The Administrative Core will serve as the focus for the synergistic activities of the Center. It will be responsible for the management of resources within the Center and outreach to the wider research community. The goals of this core are to develop and maintain the vision and relevant goals of the Center; coordinate, manage, and integrate the Center components and activities, which include coordinating ongoing research between the separately funded projects and the Biomedical Core(s); harmonizing with the other O'Brien Centers in the Cooperative Research Centers Program; and serving as a resource to the wider research community.

Describe the organization of the Administrative Core, including the Educational Enrichment Program and the Opportunity Pool Program, and their importance to the research theme of the Center. Explain the strategy for achieving the specific aims of the Administrative Core and the goals of the O'Brien Centers Program as outlined above.

Describe the strategy, by which the Administrative Core will effectively lead, organize, and provide 1) fiscal and resource management to the Center; 2) manage the Biomedical Core(s); 3) coordinate the Center's research efforts with the other Urology programs including the NIDDK KURe and NIDDK Developmental Center programs, and with the research community; and 4) communicate with the general public an understanding of the implications of Centers Program in the support of research for urological health. Indicate who will be responsible for each of these activities.

Outline the approaches to be utilized for internal monitoring, including Center management, fiscal administration, personnel management, planning, budgeting, and other appropriate capabilities; for establishing and maintaining internal communication and cooperation among Center investigators; for reviewing productivity and effectiveness of the activities of the Center and mitigation strategies for replacing Center personnel and terminating ineffective projects or cores.

Educational Enrichment Program

Describe the proposed activities of the Educational Enrichment Program. This Program may consist of seminar series, guest lectures, workshops, symposia, or other instructional opportunities that further the overall goals of the Center and broaden the reach of the Center activities to the larger research community. Students, fellows, and junior faculty should be encouraged to take full advantage of all Educational Enrichment Program events. It is permissible for Center Institutions to co-fund the activities of the Educational Enrichment Program. Travel support to attend meetings outside of the investigator's or attendee's discipline is encouraged.

Opportunity Pool Program

The Opportunity Pool Program is restricted to pilot studies or collaborative projects with other O'Brien Center investigators, investigators of the NIDDK Developmental Centers, scholars supported by the KURe K12 program or the wider research community. The application should describe how these studies or projects would be solicited. Applications should not include details of the work proposed, but titles of potential studies or projects may be provided. Support for a particular study or project is limited to two years with an option to extend it for an additional year pending review of progress.

For the Opportunity Pool Program describe the internal institutional plans and procedures to ensure that all projects supported from this award will comply fully with all applicable Federal regulations, policies, and guidelines for research involving human subjects, including the evaluation of risks and protections in project proposals, appropriate ethical oversight and funded projects, and plans for data and safety monitoring for clinical trials, if applicable.  

External Advisory Committee

Although optional, the use of an External Advisory Committee for each Center is highly advisable. The members must not be named in the grant application; however, the process by which members are selected must be described in detail as part of the Research Strategy of the Administrative Core. This group, comprised of 3-5 members, may advise the Center Director and the Center's Executive committee in the areas of scientific direction, budget, policy, collaborations, or other areas.

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modification:

The application can note that the Data Sharing Plan submitted within the Administrative Core section applies to the whole Program Project.

Appendix: Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide..   

Planned Enrollment Report  (Administrative Core)

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Planned Enrollment Reports as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. 

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report (Administrative Core)

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. 

Research Project

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type 'Project.’

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions, as noted.

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Research Project)

Complete only the following fields:

  • ·    Applicant Information
  • ·    Type of Applicant (optional)
  • ·    Descriptive Title of Applicant’s Project
  • ·    Proposed Project Start/Ending Dates

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Research Project)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Research Project)

Human Subjects: Answer only the ‘Are Human Subjects Involved?’ and 'Is the Project Exempt from Federal regulations?’ questions.

Vertebrate Animals: Answer only the ‘Are Vertebrate Animals Used?’ question.

Project Narrative:  In 1-3 sentences describe the relevance of the Project activities on public health.

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Research Project)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

Note: The Project Performance Site form allows up to 300 sites, prior to using additional attachment for additional entries.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Research Project)

  • ·    In the Project Director/Principal Investigator section of the form, use Project Role of ‘Other’ with Category of ‘Project Lead’ and provide a valid eRA Commons ID in the Credential field.
  • ·    In the additional Senior/Key Profiles section, list Senior/Key persons that are working in the component.
  • ·    Include a single Biographical Sketch for each Senior/Key person listed in the application regardless of the number of components in which they participate. When a Senior/Key person is listed in multiple components, the Biographical Sketch can be included in any one component.
  • ·    If more than 100 Senior/Key persons are included in a component, the Additional Senior Key Person attachments should be used
  • ·    The Project Leader is required to have an established record of external funding, but is not required to have a record of accomplishment in urological research. The Project leader may serve either as the Center Director of an NIDDK Urology O’Brien Center or a Developmental Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Benign Urology (P20), but may not serve both concurrently.

Budget (Research Project)

Budget forms appropriate for the specific component will be included in the application package.

Minimum level of effort is 1.2 person months (10% effort) for the project leader. Personnel with less than 10% effort are considered Other Significant Contributors. Salary request for participants with less than 10% should not be requested.

Budget Justifications: Describe the specific functions of all key personnel, consultants, collaborators and support staff. For all years, explain and justify any unusual items such as major equipment or alterations and renovations. For years 2-5 of support requested, justify any significant increases or decreases in any category over the initial budget period. Identify such changes with asterisks against the appropriate amounts.

Note: The R&R Budget form included in many of the component types allows for up to 100 Senior/Key Persons in section A and 100 Equipment Items in section C prior to using attachments for additional entries. All other SF424 (R&R) instructions apply.

PHS 398 Research Plan (Research Project)

Introduction to Application: For Resubmission applications, an Introduction to Application is allowed for each component.

Specific Aims: Describe the specific aims of the project.

Research Strategy: Describe the research strategy of the Research Project in the same detail and format as expected for an investigator-initiated R01 grant application. In addition, include a description of the relationship of the Research Project to the other Projects and how the Research Project addresses the overall goals of the Center. Describe how the Research Project contributes to the goals of the Administrative Core, especially the Education Enrichment Program, and the Opportunity Pool Program.  

Letters of Support: Include support letters, if appropriate.

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modification:

The application can note that the Data Sharing Plan that is expected for the "Overall" applies to the Project.

Appendix: Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.   

Planned Enrollment Report  (Research Project)

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Planned Enrollment Reports as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. 

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report (Research Project)

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Pilot Project

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type ‘Pilot Projects.’

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions, as noted.

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Pilot Project)

Complete only the following fields:

  • ·    Applicant Information
  • ·    Type of Applicant (optional)
  • ·    Descriptive Title of Applicant’s Project
  • ·    Proposed Project Start/Ending Dates

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Pilot Project)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Pilot Project)

Human Subjects: Answer only the ‘Are Human Subjects Involved?’ and 'Is the Project Exempt from Federal regulations?’ questions.

Vertebrate Animals: Answer only the ‘Are Vertebrate Animals Used?’ question.

Project Narrative:  In 1-3 sentences describe the relevance of the Pilot Project activities on public health.

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Pilot Project)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

Note: The Project Performance Site form allows up to 300 sites, prior to using additional attachment for additional entries.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Pilot Project)

  • ·    In the Project Director/Principal Investigator section of the form, use Project Role of ‘Other’ with Category of ‘Pilot Project Lead’ and provide a valid eRA Commons ID in the Credential field.
  • ·    In the additional Senior/Key Profiles section, list Senior/Key persons that are working in the component.
  • ·    Include a single Biographical Sketch for each Senior/Key person listed in the application regardless of the number of components in which they participate. When a Senior/Key person is listed in multiple components, the Biographical Sketch can be included in any one component.
  • ·    If more than 100 Senior/Key persons are included in a component, the Additional Senior Key Person attachments should be used.

Budget (Pilot Project)

Budget forms appropriate for the specific component will be included in the application package.

Up to $150,000 direct costs per year may be requested to support the internal pilot projects relevant to the Center's goals in years -01 and -02. Support for a pilot project is limited to two years. Funds requested for years -03 through -05 will be contingent on review and approval of additional pilot projects by NIDDK staff.

Budget Justifications: Describe the specific functions of all key personnel, consultants, collaborators and support staff. For all years, explain and justify any unusual items such as major equipment or alterations and renovations. For years 2-5 of support requested, justify any significant increases or decreases in any category over the initial budget period. Identify such changes with asterisks against the appropriate amounts.

PHS 398 Research Plan (Pilot Project)

Introduction to Application: For Resubmission applications, an Introduction to Application is allowed for each component.

Specific Aims:  Describe the specific aims of the pilot project. 

Research Strategy: Describe the research strategy of the Project in the same detail and format as expected for an investigator-initiated R01 grant application.   

Letters of Support: Include support letters, if appropriate.

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modification:

The application can note that the Resource Sharing Plan expected for the "Overall" applies to the project.

Appendix: Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.   

Planned Enrollment Report  (Pilot Project)

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Planned Enrollment Reports as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. 

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report (Pilot Project)

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. 

Biomedical Core

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type ‘Core’.

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions, as noted.

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Biomedical Core)

Complete only the following fields:

  • ·    Applicant Information
  • ·    Type of Applicant (optional)
  • ·    Descriptive Title of Applicant’s Project
  • ·    Proposed Project Start/Ending Dates

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Biomedical Core)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Biomedical Core)

Human Subjects: Answer only the ‘Are Human Subjects Involved?’ and 'Is the Project Exempt from Federal regulations?’ questions.

Vertebrate Animals: Answer only the ‘Are Vertebrate Animals Used?’ question.

Project Narrative:  In 1-3 sentences describe the relevance of the Biomedical Core activities on public health.

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Biomedical Core )

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

Note: The Project Performance Site form allows up to 300 sites, prior to using additional attachment for additional entries.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Biomedical Core)

  • ·    In the Project Director/Principal Investigator section of the form, use Project Role of ‘Other’ with Category of ‘Biomedical Core Lead’ and provide a valid eRA Commons ID in the Credential field.
  • ·    In the additional Senior/Key Profiles section, list Senior/Key persons that are working in the component.
  • ·    Include a single Biographical Sketch for each Senior/Key person listed in the application regardless of the number of components in which they participate. When a Senior/Key person is listed in multiple components, the Biographical Sketch can be included in any one component.
  • ·    If more than 100 Senior/Key persons are included in a component, the Additional Senior Key Person attachments should be used.

Budget (Biomedical Core)

Budget forms appropriate for the specific component will be included in the application package.

Minimum levels of effort are 2.4 person months (20%) for the Biomedical Core Lead. Personnel with less than 10% effort are considered Other Significant Contributors. Salary for participants with less than 10% should not be requested.

Budget Justifications: Describe the specific functions of all key personnel, consultants, collaborators and support staff. For all years, explain and justify any unusual items such as major equipment or alterations and renovations. For years 2-5 of support requested, justify any significant increases or decreases in any category over the initial budget period. Identify such changes with asterisks against the appropriate amounts.

PHS 398 Research Plan (Biomedical Core

Introduction to Application: For Resubmission application, an Introduction to Application is allowed for each component.

Specific Aims: Describe the specific aims of the Biomedical Core.

Research Strategy: A proposed Biomedical Core must be a shared resource that provides specialized and essential services, techniques, or instrumentation to Center participants. As the Biomedical Core provides specialized technologies and expertise needed to accomplish the stated goals of the Center, the Biomedical Core must be used by two or more of the research projects of the parent Center and no one Project should utilize greater than 50% of the Core services. Describe the purpose and objectives of the Biomedical Core and the administration, organization, and operation of the Biomedical Core. Include a description of services provided and their significance on productivity and quality, as well as documentation of cost-effectiveness and plans for quality control. Describe how access to the Biomedical Core by Center Members and the larger urology research community will be prioritized, advertised, and any fee structure. If a Core already exists, include a description of past services provided, new technologies developed, changes in protocols or Core administration, and other significant developments.

Provide a description of how the Biomedical Core contributes to the goals of the Administrative Core, especially the Education Enrichment Program and the Opportunity Pool Program.

In addition, provide the following information:

  • ·    Brief description of scientific, technical, and support staff functions;
  • ·    Description of current and projected services to other Core and Research projects; and
  • ·    Provide a summary of projected usage of Core services (e.g., assays performed, animals supplied, etc.) by affiliated research projects, including PD/PI, name of grant, and funding source. Provide documentation that the Core will used by at least two of the Research Projects.

Letters of Support: Include support letters, if appropriate.

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modification:

The application can note that the Resource Sharing Plan expected for the "Overall" applies to the Biomedical Core.

Appendix: Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.   

Planned Enrollment Report  (Biomedical Core)

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Planned Enrollment Reports as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. 

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report (Biomedical Core)

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. 

3. Submission Dates and Times

See Part I. Section III.1 for information regarding the requirements for obtaining a Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number and for completing and maintaining an active System for Award Management (SAM) registration. Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission.

Organizations must submit applications to Grants.gov (the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies) using ASSIST or other electronic submission systems. Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration.

Applicants are responsible for viewing their application before the due date in the eRA Commons to ensure accurate and successful submission.

Information on the submission process and a definition of on-time submission are provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

4. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.  Paper applications will not be accepted.

For information on how your application will be automatically assembled for review and funding consideration after submission go to: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/ElectronicReceipt/files/Electronic_Multi-project_Application_Image_Assembly.pdf.

Applicants must complete all required registrations before the application due date. Section III. Eligibility Information contains information about registration.

For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit Applying Electronically. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Guidelines for Applicants Experiencing System Issues.

Important reminders:

All PD(s)/PI(s) and component Project Leads must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH.

The applicant organization must ensure that the DUNS number it provides on the application is the same number used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the System for Award Management (SAM). Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness and compliance with application instructions by the Center for Scientific Review and responsiveness by components of participating organizations, NIH. Applications that are incomplete, non-compliant and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in NOT-OD-13-030.

Section V. Application Review Information

Important Update: See NOT-OD-16-006 and NOT-OD-16-011 for updated review language for applications for due dates on or after January 25, 2016.

1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process. As part of the NIH mission, all applications submitted to the NIH in support of biomedical and behavioral research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

For O'Brien Center applications (U54), peer review of scientific and technical merit focuses on four areas: (1) the individual Research Projects and Pilot Projects; (2) the Administrative Core (esp., Educational Enrichment Program); (3) the individual Biomedical Cores; and (4) the U54 Center as an integrated effort, creating a research enterprise that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Overall Impact - Overall

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the Center 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 Center 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 Center that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

Significance

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

Will the goals of the Center, if successful, lead to advances in benign urological research and increase the research capability of the urology research community?

Will the Educational Enrichment Program make significant contributions to promote new research directions, meaningful collaborations, and outreach to the urology research community?

Does the Collaborative Pool Program make significant contributions to promote new research directions, meaningful collaborations, and outreach to the urology research community?

Does the Biomedical Core(s) provide an essential resource to the Center's research projects and could it benefit the larger urology research community?

Investigator(s)

Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the Center? 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?

Will or has new and important talent been recruited to the Center?      

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 Center? 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 Center involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?   

Are the strategies for achieving the goals of the Center well-defined, feasible, and likely to lead to a multi-disciplinary effort within the Center, advance urological research, and increase the research capability of the larger urology research community? Are there adequate institutional plans and procedures to assure compliance with applicable federal regulations and NIH policies for the protection of human research participants, including the evaluation of risks and protections in project proposals, and appropriate ethical oversight of funded projects?    

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?

Are the structure and functions of the Administrative Core adequate to oversee the Center, significantly promote urological research beyond the traditional field of urology, and provide significant research and educational opportunities? Is there clear evidence of institutional commitment to the Center such as space, protected time, and/or additional financial support for co-funded activities such as the Enrichment Educational Program or the Opportunity Pool Program? Is there a suitable environment for Center interactions and cross-fertilization with scientists from other departments, fields of expertise, and institutions?  

Additional Review Criteria - Overall

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

Center as an Integrated Effort

The overall U54 will also be evaluated as an integrated research effort focused on a central scientific theme within the urological research mission of the NIDDK. The relationship and contributions of each proposed Research Project and Biomedical Core to the overall Center goals will be evaluated and contribute to the overall impact score. This assessment will consider the following:

  • ·    Will there be coordination, interrelationships, and synergy among the projects and cores as they relate to the central research theme?
  • ·    What are the advantages of conducting the proposed research as a program over individual research projects?
  • ·    Will the center structure enhance the value of the individual projects?
  • ·    Are mechanisms proposed for regular communication among the project leaders and outside collaborators
  • ·    Are the administrative structure in place for daily management of the Center, including internal evaluation of the research projects?
Protections for Human Subjects

For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.

For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

When the proposed Center involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of children to determine if it is justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed.  For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following five points: 1) proposed use of the animals, and species, strains, ages, sex, and numbers to be used; 2) justifications for the use of animals and for the appropriateness of the species and numbers proposed; 3) adequacy of veterinary care; 4) procedures for limiting discomfort, distress, pain and injury to that which is unavoidable in the conduct of scientifically sound research including the use of analgesic, anesthetic, and tranquilizing drugs and/or comfortable restraining devices; and 5) methods of euthanasia and reason for selection if not consistent with the AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.

Biohazards

Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.

Resubmissions

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 project.

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 Center proposed, reviewers will consider each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items, and should not consider them in providing an overall impact score.

Applications from Foreign Organizations

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) Genomic Data Sharing Plan .

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.

Overall Impact - Research Projects and Pilot Project(s)

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the Research Project or Pilot Project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).

Scored Review Criteria - Research Projects and Pilot Project(s)

Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

Significance

Does the Project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? If the aims of the Project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?

Investigators

Are the Project leader(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the Project? If Early Stage Investigators or New Investigators, or in the early stages of independent careers, do they have appropriate experience and training? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? If the Project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?

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? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed?

If the Project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion 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?

Is the Project well-integrated into the Center as a whole?

Additional Review Criteria - Research Projects and Pilot Project(s)

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

Protections for Human Subjects

Protections for Human Subjects For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.

For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children

When the proposed project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of children to determine if it is justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed. For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following five points: 1) proposed use of the animals, and species, strains, ages, sex, and numbers to be used; 2) justifications for the use of animals and for the appropriateness of the species and numbers proposed; 3) adequacy of veterinary care; 4) procedures for limiting discomfort, distress, pain and injury to that which is unavoidable in the conduct of scientifically sound research including the use of analgesic, anesthetic, and tranquilizing drugs and/or comfortable restraining devices; and 5) methods of euthanasia and reason for selection if not consistent with the AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.

Biohazards

Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.

Resubmissions

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 project.

Renewals

Not Applicable

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations - Research Projects and Pilot Project(s)

As applicable for the Center proposed, reviewers will consider each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items, and should not consider them in providing an overall impact score.

Applications from Foreign Organizations

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)Genomic Data Sharing Plan.

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.

Overall Impact - Cores

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

Significance

Does the Core address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? If the aims of the Core 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(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the Core? 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 Core? 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 Core involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion 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 - Cores

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

For the Administrative Core: Is there an effective plan for the internal management of the Center including modifying and terminating components, such as the Research Projects and Biomedical Research Core(s), and terminating Center personnel, including the Center and Administrative Directors? Is there an effective plan to evaluate overall Center performance, including internal and external advisory groups?

For the Educational Enrichment program: Are the strategies for the management of the Educational Enrichment program (including the Opportunity Pool Program) well-defined, feasible, and likely to succeed? Are the strategies for engaging the NIDDK K12 KURe, the NIDDK P20 Developmental Center programs, and the research community to promote urological research and provide research and training opportunities, well-defined, feasible and likely to succeed?

Does each Biomedical Research Core have the required minimum of two documented research project users? Is there an effective plan for managing the Biomedical Research Core including plans for advertising core facility services, managing user priority, and establishing fee structure for cores offering services to external projects? Is there an efficient system (e.g., web-based) for request of core services and tracking the use of the core facility?

Are the qualifications and experience of the Core director and key personnel appropriate?

Will the quality of services provided by the Core enable all center investigators to achieve their research goals?

Protections for Human Subjects

For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.

For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children

When the proposed Core involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of children to determine if it is justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed. For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following five points: 1) proposed use of the animals, and species, strains, ages, sex, and numbers to be used; 2) justifications for the use of animals and for the appropriateness of the species and numbers proposed; 3) adequacy of veterinary care; 4) procedures for limiting discomfort, distress, pain and injury to that which is unavoidable in the conduct of scientifically sound research including the use of analgesic, anesthetic, and tranquilizing drugs and/or comfortable restraining devices; and 5) methods of euthanasia and reason for selection if not consistent with the AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.

Biohazards

Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.

Resubmissions

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 project.

Renewals

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

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations - Cores

As applicable for the Core proposed, reviewers will consider each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items, and should not consider them in providing an overall impact score.

Applications from Foreign Organizations

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, bio containment, 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)/Genomic Data Sharing Plan.

Budget and Period of Support

Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s), convened by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases  in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

  • May undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific and technical merit (generally the top half of applications under review) will be discussed and assigned an overall impact score.
  • Will receive a written critique.

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

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

  • Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by scientific peer review.
  • Availability of funds.
  • Relevance of the proposed project to program priorities.
  • Compliance with resource sharing policies
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD/PI will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written critique) via the eRA Commons

Information regarding the disposition of applications is available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices

If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization for successful applications. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document and will be sent via email to the grantee’s business official.

Awardees must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions. Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.

Any application awarded in response to this FOA will be subject to terms and conditions found on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.  This includes any recent legislation and policy applicable to awards that is highlighted on this website.

Prior Approval of Pilot Projects

Awardee-selected projects that involve clinical trials or studies involving greater than minimal risk to human subjects require prior approval by NIH prior to initiation.

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 project 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:

  • Pursuing research objectives consistent with the research scope of the FOA and research favorably recommended by peer review;
  • Conducting experiments and collecting the resulting data;
  • Analyzing, interpreting and presenting results and plans to the Executive Steering Committee for approved activities;
  • Submit monthly interim progress reports, to the Executive Steering Committee for distribution to members of the Centers program and NIDDK staff. Such reports are in addition to the required annual noncompeting continuation progress report.
  • Publishing results, conclusions, and interpretation of the studies.
  • The awardees will agree to: 1) accept the coordinating role of the Executive Steering Committee which includes evaluating objectives and research goals of the Centers Program, and recommending modification, deletion or addition of projects within the Centers Program; 2) follow any common protocols in which they participate for multicenter projects that are approved by the Executive Steering Committee; and 3) accept the cooperative nature of the group process, including the establishment, where appropriate, of smaller collaborative groups comprised of interacting subprojects and/or cores.
  • Awardees will retain custody of and have primary rights to the data and software developed under these awards, subject to Government rights of access consistent with current DHHS, PHS, and NIH policies.

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

  • The NIDDK Project Scientist will participate in the overall coordination of the George M. O’Brien Urology Cooperative Research Centers Program with the Executive Steering Committee. This includes efforts to improve and strengthen inter- and intra-center cooperation amongst the research projects of the Centers, and the Opportunity Pool Program, K12 KURe and the P20 Developmental Center Programs particularly as it pertains to cross-fertilization of basic and clinical research activities within and between centers. As a means of improving inter-center cooperation, the Project Scientist will directly participate in the activities of the smaller collaborative groups as established by the Executive Steering Committee. This will include activity of the Opportunity Pool Program, the access to the Biomedical Research Cores and outreach to the K12 KURe, the P20 Developmental Centers and the research community.
  • The Project Scientist will also assist the research efforts of the Cooperative Research Centers Program by facilitating access to fiscal and intellectual resources provided by industry, private foundations and NIH intramural scientists.
  • The Project Scientist will, as required, help reprogram research efforts, including options to modify or terminate them, by mutual consent between the Cooperative Research Centers Program and NIDDK. In the event of disagreements among Program participants, the Project Scientist will assist in forming an arbitration panel as discussed below.
  • Interact with each individual Center awardee evaluating objectives and research goals of that particular Center, deciding optimal research approaches and protocol designs, and contributing to the adjustment of research protocols or approaches as warranted. The Project Scientist will assist and facilitate this process and not direct it. The Project Scientist will also provide assistance in reviewing and commenting on all major transitional changes of an individual Center's activities prior to implementation to assure consistency with required goals of the George M. O’Brien Urology Cooperative Research Centers Program.
  • Retain the option to recommend the withholding of support from a Center research project or core materially failing to meet the technical performance requirements established by this Centers Program. This includes identifying jointly with participants of the Executive Steering Committee the need to add additional research projects or service cores to Centers or to phase out a Center project or core when performance standards have not been met; and
  • Participate, where warranted, in data analyses, interpretations, and the dissemination of study findings to the research community and health care recipients including co-authorship of the publication or results of studies conducted by the Centers.

In addition, a separate NIDDK Program Official identified in the Notice of Grant Award will be responsible for the normal stewardship and monitoring of the award including review and approval of all progress reports and all budgetary decisions. Additional responsibilities include:

  • Interacting with the principal investigator(s) on a regular basis to monitor project progress. Monitoring may include: regular communications with the principal investigator and staff, periodic site visits, observation of field data collection and management techniques, quality control, fiscal review, and other relevant matters; as well as attendance at Executive Steering Committee, data safety and monitoring board, and related meetings.
  • The NIDDK Program Official will monitor project progress, and may request that a project or portions of a project be closed for reasons including: (a) poor progress; (b) patient safety and regulatory concerns; (c) emergence of new information that diminishes the scientific importance of the project.
  • Making recommendations for continued funding based on: a) overall project progress; b) cooperation in carrying out the research (e.g., attendance at Executive Steering Committee meetings, implementation of group decisions, compliance with the terms of award and reporting requirements); and/or c) maintenance of a high quality of research, which will allow pooling of data and comparisons across multiple cooperative agreement awards for common data elements.

Areas of Joint Responsibility include:

  • Participating on an Executive Steering Committee consisting of the PDs/PIs from each of the participating centers and one NIDDK staff member who will be the Project Scientist. A Chairperson of the Steering Committee, other than the NIDDK Project Scientist, will be selected jointly by the PD/PI and the NIDDK Project Scientist. Each full member of the Executive Steering Committee will have one vote. The purpose of the Executive Steering Committees will be to discuss and evaluate concerns and cooperative activities of the Cooperative Research Centers Program. The Executive Steering Committee will discuss and evaluate the activity of the Opportunity Pool Program, Biomedical Research Cores, and evaluate progress on research and pilot projects. The Executive Steering Committee will establish working subcommittees as necessary and provide feedback to subcommittee leaders at least bi-annually and implement changes in subcommittee membership or direction if needed. Awardee members of the Executive Steering Committee will be required to accept and implement policies approved by the Executive Steering Committee.
  • Meetings of the Executive Steering Committee will be convened twice during the first year and annually thereafter. The annual meeting will include the External Expert Panel. These meetings are separate from any regular conference calls. The purpose of these meetings is to share scientific information, assess scientific progress, identify new research opportunities and potential avenues of collaborations such as with industry, private foundations and/or NIH intramural scientists, establish priorities that will accelerate the translation of preclinical findings into clinical applications, and reallocate resources. The Executive Steering Committee will document progress in written reports to the NIDDK Program Official, and will provide periodic supplementary reports upon request.
  • In anticipation that some centers will have common research interests that address a specific basic and/or clinical research problem and thus, it is envisioned that subgroups will be formed to conduct coordinated research activities recommended by the Executive Steering Committee. As needed, the Executive Steering Committee will develop a publication policy regarding joint authorship of research reports derived from such collaborative efforts.

Dispute Resolution:

Any disagreements that may arise in scientific or programmatic matters (within the scope of the award) between award recipients and the NIH may be brought to 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 regulation 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D and DHHS regulation 45 CFR Part 16..

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement..

A final progress report, invention statement, and the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout of an award, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later.  All awardees of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000.  See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement. 

Section VII. Agency Contacts

We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.

Application Submission Contacts

eRA Commons Help Desk (Questions regarding eRA Commons registration, submitting and tracking an application, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, post submission issues)
Finding Help Online: http://grants.nih.gov/support/ (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission, downloading forms and application packages)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726
Email: support@grants.gov

GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and process, finding NIH grant resources)
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-710-0267

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Deborah K. Hoshizaki
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone: 301-594-7712
Email: dkhosh@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Francisco O. Calvo
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone: 301-594-8897
Email: calvof@mail.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Diana Ly
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone: 301-594-9249
Email: dianaly@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 Part 75.

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