LOW-COST MEDICAL IMAGING DEVICES RELEASE DATE: January 6, 2003 RFA: EB-03-006 National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) (http://www.nibib1.nih.gov/) LETTER OF INTENT RECEIPT DATE: February 17, 2003 APPLICATION RECEIPT DATE: March 14, 2003 THIS RFA CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION o Purpose of this RFA o Research Objectives o Mechanism(s) of Support o Funds Available o Eligible Institutions o Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators o Special Requirements o Where to Send Inquiries o Letter of Intent o Submitting an Application o Peer Review Process o Review Criteria o Receipt and Review Schedule o Award Criteria o Required Federal Citations PURPOSE OF THIS RFA The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) invites applications for NIH Research Project Grant (R01) awards to support interdisciplinary basic research or Exploratory/Developmental Research (R21) awards to support novel investigations for reduced cost imaging devices that can be broadly applied to research on biological or disease processes. The primary purpose of this Request for Applications (RFA) is to support research and development of low-cost imaging devices used for detection, screening, diagnosis, and treatment of human disease and injury. Medical imaging is critical for quality health care, yet remains widely unavailable to many patients in small hospitals, rural communities and underdeveloped nations. Thus, this initiative is directed at the invention and development of low-cost imaging devices for more efficient application and worldwide use of medical imaging devices. Applications are expected to describe how the proposed technology or research will reduce the cost of medical imaging, and the expected magnitude of the cost-reduction. Most current imaging devices used for diagnosis and treatment planning are expensive and unavailable to large segments of humanity, therefore the primary motivation of this initiative is to stimulate research that will lead to lower cost imaging devices. Development of inexpensive, innovative, high-resolution imaging devices is needed, with particular emphasis on early detection and efficient treatment of disease and injury. Furthermore, cost reductions in high technology imaging devices will result in reduced health care costs. The integration of new, low-cost improvements of existing and emerging imaging technologies is also sought. For example, cost reductions are sought for detectors, sensors or other essential components of imaging devices. Thus, new technologies are needed that enhance, augment, and improve devices for biomedical imaging while reducing the overall cost of imaging procedures. Associated improvements in imaging technology may include, but are not limited to: increasing the speed of data acquisition, enabling real-time imaging, improving the efficiency of information processing, or otherwise reduce the cost of acquiring and processing biomedical images. The intent of these kinds of improvements would be the reduction of imaging time and processing time, while maintaining image quality. In some cases it may be desirable to sacrifice image quality to significantly reduce the cost of an imaging device. However, useful imaging devices for detection, diagnosis and treatment remain the goal, and it is left to the investigator to demonstrate the cost/benefit of such devices. In other words, the trade-off between significant cost reduction and loss of image quality must be described, while the benefit of the imaging device to human health must be clearly defined. In summary, this initiative will facilitate the development of low- cost, generic, in vivo imaging technologies applicable to multiple organs and diseases. This RFA is intended to stimulate (a) development of low-cost image technologies, including high risk/high gain research on innovative technologies and (b) development useful biomedical imaging systems and methods for more cost effective health care. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES The need to support research and development of low-cost imaging devices has been identified at scientific meetings and NIH workshops on biomedical imaging including the IEEE Biomedical Imaging Conference, 2002 the Image Guided Interventions Workshop, September 2002 and the NIBIB Workshop on Future Research Directions, December 2002. As a part of its global health initiative under the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the need for imaging technologies in underdeveloped nations was recently mentioned in a Federal Agency report. This RFA contributes to the NIBIB mission and to the broad NIH initiative to reduce health disparities among nations by strengthening medical technologies and research infrastructure in developing countries. Technological and scientific and needs that will be addressed include 1) the need for imaging devices that are unavailable to large segments of humanity, particularly in underdeveloped nations; 2) the need to reduce the rising costs of imaging technologies used in the health care system of the United States; and 3) the need for the invention and development of low-cost imaging devices that will make imaging technologies widely available, particularly in remote or rural communities and small hospitals that do not have ready access to these technologies. The following research areas are examples of appropriate topics for applications in response to this RFA. This list is meant to be representative and is not all-inclusive: o Expansion of less costly imaging techniques into broader applications that currently can only be done with more expensive technologies. It will be the responsibility of the investigator to demonstrate the cost/benefit of their technique. Cost/benefit should be demonstrated with measures of performance that demonstrate the instrument can meet the design objectives. o Imaging device components that reduce the cost of existing imaging devices (e.g. MRI, CT, PET, ultrasound, or optical devices). For example, development of high temperature superconductors for MRI magnets or cost/benefit improvements in RF coils or pulse gradient systems. o New imaging devices that are low-cost and provide novel methods for the diagnosis or treatment of disease or injury. o New imaging technologies that replace extant imaging devices used for diagnosis and treatment. For example, new optical imaging devices that replace tomographic or MR imaging used for specific diagnostic tests or interventions. o More efficient detectors. o New approaches to collimation that reduce imaging costs. o Simple, inexpensive imaging devices such as portable ultrasound machines or radiographic devices that could be cheaply and widely distributed. o Novel imaging devices that improve existing technologies and might be used to replace alternative, high-cost imaging devices, yet achieve the same result. For example, projection radiography used in place of computed tomography for volumetric imaging. o Reconstruction methods that improve diagnostic capabilities of existing low-cost devices. For example, 3D reconstructions from ultrasound or optical imaging. MECHANISM OF SUPPORT This RFA will use the NIH R01 (Research Project Grant) and R21 (Exploratory/Developmental Grant) award mechanisms. As an applicant you will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project. This RFA is a one-time solicitation. Future unsolicited, competing-continuation applications based on this project will compete with all investigator-initiated applications and will be reviewed according to the customary peer review procedures. The anticipated award date is September 2003. The R01 mechanism is recommended for applications that emphasize basic discovery or cross-cutting research that addresses specific aspects of reducing costs of imaging devices. Research periods associated with the R01 proposals are limited to five years. The R21 Exploratory/Developmental Award supports exploratory or developmental research aimed at proof-of-principle for high-risk projects where very little or no preliminary data is available. An R21 application can be for up to two years with a maximum budget request of $275,000 direct costs for the 2-year period and a maximum page limit of 15 pages. R21 applications are not renewable. Investigators are encouraged to use data generated from the R21 application to apply for further funding through the R01 mechanism (or other appropriate mechanisms). This RFA uses just-in-time concepts. It also uses the modular as well as the non-modular budgeting formats (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm). Specifically, if you are submitting an application with direct costs in each year of $250,000 or less, use the modular format. Otherwise follow the instructions for non-modular research grant applications. FUNDS AVAILABLE The NIBIB intends to commit approximately $5,000,000 in FY 2003 to fund 12 to 15 new and/or competitive continuation grants in response to this RFA. For R01s, an applicant may request a project period of up to 5 years. There is no cap on the budget. For R21s, an applicant may request a project period of up to 2 years and a budget for direct costs of up to $275,000 for the 2-year period. Because the nature and scope of the proposed research will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary. Although the financial plans of the NIBIB provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this RFA are contingent upon the availability of funds and the receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications. ELIGIBLE INSTITUTIONS You may submit (an) application(s) if your institution has any of the following characteristics: o For-profit or non-profit organizations o Public or private institutions, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, and laboratories o Units of State and local governments o Eligible agencies of the Federal government o Domestic or foreign INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research is invited to work with their institution to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH programs. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS Restrictions and Exclusions: Development of animal imaging devices and complementary devices such as contrast agents, molecular probes, capsules, etc., are not part of the current initiative and would be considered non-responsive to this RFA; however, these areas may be covered by other related initiatives (e.g. small animal imaging, molecular imaging and bioengineering (BECON and other) initiatives). In addition, applications proposing to improve or invent imaging methodologies without reducing costs will also be deemed non-responsive to this RFA. General Clinical Research Centers: Applicants from institutions that have a General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) funded by the NIH National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) may wish to identify the GCRC as a resource for conducting the proposed research. If so, a letter of agreement from either the GCRC program director or principal investigator should be included with the application. Meetings: Principal Investigators will be required to attend an annual meeting organized by NIBIB. Please include travel to the Bethesda, MD area as part of the budget request. WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES We encourage inquiries concerning this RFA and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants. Inquiries may fall into these areas: scientific/research and financial or grants management issues: o Direct your questions about scientific/research issues to: Dr. John W. Haller Health Scientist Administrator Division of Biomedical Imaging National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering National Institutes of Health/DHHS 6707 Democracy Blvd. Suite 200 Bethesda, MD 20892-5477 Telephone: 301-451-4772 Fax: 301-480-4971 Email: hallerj@mail.nih.gov o Direct questions regarding financial or grants management matters to: Ms. Lisa Moeller Grants Management Specialist National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering National Institutes of Health/DHHS 6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 900 Bethesda, MD 20892-5469 Telephone: 301-451-4782 Fax: 301-480-4974 Email: moellerl@mail.nih.gov LETTER OF INTENT Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information: o Descriptive title of the proposed research o Name, address, and telephone number of the Principal Investigator o Names of other key personnel o Participating institutions o Number and title of this RFA Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review. The letter of intent is to be sent by the date listed at the beginning of this document. The letter of intent should be sent to: David T. George, Ph.D. Chief, Office of Scientific Review Division of Extramural Activities National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering NIH/DHHS Suite 920 6707 Democracy Blvd. Bethesda, MD 20892 Telephone: (301) 496-8633 Fax: (301) 480-0675 Email: georged1@mail.nih.gov SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001). The PHS 398 is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in an interactive format. For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone (301) 435-0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov. SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR MODULAR GRANT APPLICATIONS: Applications requesting up to $250,000 per year in direct costs must be submitted in a modular grant format. The modular grant format simplifies the preparation of the budget in these applications by limiting the level of budgetary detail. Applicants request direct costs in $25,000 modules. Section C of the research grant application instructions for the PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html includes step- by-step guidance for preparing modular grants. Additional information on modular grants is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm. USING THE RFA LABEL: The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) application form must be affixed to the bottom of the face page of the application. Type the RFA number on the label. Failure to use this label could result in delayed processing of the application such that it may not reach the review committee in time for review. In addition, the RFA title and number must be typed on line 2 of the face page of the application form and the YES box must be marked. The RFA label is also available at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/label-bk.pdf. SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH: Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the Checklist, and five signed, photocopies, in one package to: Center For Scientific Review National Institutes Of Health 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710 Bethesda, MD 20892-7710 Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service) APPLICATION PROCESSING: Applications must be received by the application receipt date listed in the heading of this RFA. If an application is received after that date, it will be returned to the applicant without review. The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept any application in response to this RFA that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. The CSR will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed. This does not preclude the submission of substantial revisions of applications already reviewed, but such applications must include an Introduction addressing the previous critique. Please Note: As of November 27, 2001, all applications and other deliveries to the Center for Scientific Review must come via courier delivery or the USPS. Applications delivered by individuals to the Center for Scientific Review will no longer be accepted. For additional information, see the NIH Guide Notice http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-012.html. PEER REVIEW PROCESS Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by CSR and responsiveness by NIBIB. Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant without further consideration. If the application is not responsive to the RFA, CSR staff may contact the applicant to determine whether to return the application to the applicant or submit it for review in competition with unsolicited applications at the next appropriate NIH review cycle. Applications that are complete and responsive to the RFA will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by CSR in accordance with the review criteria stated below. As part of the initial merit review, all applications will: o Receive a written critique o Undergo a process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific merit, generally the top half of the applications under review, will be discussed and assigned a priority score o Receive a second level review by the National Advisory Council for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering REVIEW CRITERIA The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health. In the written comments, reviewers will be asked to discuss the following aspects of your application in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed research will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals: o Significance o Approach o Innovation o Investigator o Environment The scientific review group will address and consider each of these criteria in assigning your application's overall score, weighting them as appropriate for each application. Your application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact and thus deserve a high priority score. For example, you may propose to carry out important work that by its nature is not innovative but is essential to move a field forward. (1) SIGNIFICANCE: Does your study address an important problem? If the aims of your application are achieved, how do they advance scientific knowledge? What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or methods that drive this field? (2) APPROACH: Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the project? Do you acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics? (3) INNOVATION: Does your project employ novel concepts, approaches or methods? Are the aims original and innovative? Does your project challenge existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies? (4) INVESTIGATOR: Are you appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work? Is the work proposed appropriate to your experience level as the principal investigator and to that of other researchers (if any)? (5) ENVIRONMENT: Does the scientific environment in which your work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed experiments take advantage of unique features of the scientific environment or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional support? ADDITIONAL REVIEW CRITERIA: In addition to the above criteria, your application will also be reviewed with respect to the following: o PROTECTIONS: The adequacy of the proposed protection for humans, animals, or the environment, to the extent they may be adversely affected by the project proposed in the application. o INCLUSION: The adequacy of plans to include subjects from both genders, all racial and ethnic groups (and subgroups), and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the research. Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be evaluated. (See Inclusion Criteria included in the section on Federal Citations, below) o DATA SHARING: The adequacy of the proposed plan to share data. o BUDGET: The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period of support in relation to the proposed research. RECEIPT AND REVIEW SCHEDULE Letter of Intent Receipt Date: February 17, 2003 Application Receipt Date: March 14, 2003 Peer Review Date: June/July 2003 Council Review: September 2003 Earliest Anticipated Start Date: September 30, 2003 AWARD CRITERIA Award criteria that will be used to make award decisions include: o Scientific merit (as determined by peer review) o Availability of funds o Programmatic priorities. REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN CLINICAL RESEARCH: It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their sub-populations must be included in all NIH-supported clinical research projects unless a clear and compelling justification is provided indicating that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of the research. This policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public Law 103-43). All investigators proposing clinical research should read the AMENDMENT "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research - Amended, October, 2001," published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts on October 9, 2001 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-001.html); a complete copy of the updated Guidelines are available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_amended_10_2001.htm. The amended policy incorporates: the use of an NIH definition of clinical research; updated racial and ethnic categories in compliance with the new OMB standards; clarification of language governing NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials consistent with the new PHS Form 398; and updated roles and responsibilities of NIH staff and the extramural community. The policy continues to require for all NIH- defined Phase III clinical trials that: a) all applications or proposals and/or protocols must provide a description of plans to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable; and b) investigators must report annual accrual and progress in conducting analyses, as appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group differences. INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS: The NIH maintains a policy that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) must be included in all human subjects research, conducted or supported by the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them. This policy applies to all initial (Type 1) applications submitted for receipt dates after October 1, 1998. All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the "NIH Policy and Guidelines" on the inclusion of children as participants in research involving human subjects that is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/children/children.htm. REQUIRED EDUCATION ON THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN SUBJECT PARTICIPANTS: NIH policy requires education on the protection of human subject participants for all investigators submitting NIH proposals for research involving human subjects. You will find this policy announcement in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts Announcement, dated June 5, 2000, at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-039.html. PUBLIC ACCESS TO RESEARCH DATA THROUGH THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) under some circumstances. Data that are (1) first produced in a project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed through FOIA. It is important for applicants to understand the basic scope of this amendment. NIH has provided guidance at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm. Applicants may wish to place data collected under this RFA in a public archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the distribution for an indefinite period of time. If so, the application should include a description of the archiving plan in the study design and include information about this in the budget justification section of the application. In addition, applicants should think about how to structure informed consent statements and other human subjects procedures given the potential for wider use of data collected under this award. URLs IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES: All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page limitations. Unless otherwise specified in an NIH solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide information necessary to the review because reviewers are under no obligation to view the Internet sites. Furthermore, we caution reviewers that their anonymity may be compromised when they directly access an Internet site. HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010: The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2010," a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas. This RFA is related to one or more of the priority areas. Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at http://www.health.gov/healthypeople. AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS: This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 93.286 and 93.287 and is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review. Awards are made under authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284)and administered under NIH grants policies described at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92. The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke- free workplace and discourage the use of all tobacco products. In addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which regular or routine education, library, day care, health care, or early childhood development services are provided to children. This is consistent with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of the American people.


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