Part I Overview Information


Department of Health and Human Services

Participating Organizations
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (http://www.nih.gov)

Components of Participating Organizations
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), (http://www.niehs.nih.gov)
National Cancer Institute (NCI), (http://www.cancer.gov)
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), (http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov)
National Institute on Aging (NIA), (http://www.nia.nih.gov)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), (http://www.niaaa.nih.gov)
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), (http://www.niams.nih.gov)
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), (http://www.nichd.nih.gov)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), (http://www.niddk.nih.gov)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), (http://www.nida.nih.gov)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), (http://www.ninds.nih.gov)
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), (http://www.ninr.nih.gov)
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), (http://www.nccam.nih.gov)
Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH), (http://orwh.od.nih.gov)

Title:  Epigenomics of Human Health and Disease (R01)

Announcement Type
New

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

Request for Applications (RFA) Number: RFA-ES-10-002

NOTICE: Applications submitted in response to this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for Federal assistance must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov) using the SF424 Research and Related (R&R) forms and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

APPLICATIONS MAY NOT BE SUBMITTED IN PAPER FORMAT.

This FOA must be read in conjunction with the application guidelines included with this announcement in Grants.gov/Apply for Grants (hereafter called Grants.gov/Apply).

A registration process is necessary before submission and applicants are highly encouraged to start the process at least four (4) weeks prior to the grant submission date. See Section IV.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number(s)
93.133, 93.393, 93.394, 93.395, 93.396, 93.233, 93.837, 93.838, 93.839, 93.866, 93.273, 93.846, 93.865, 93.173, 93.121, 93.847, 93.279, 93.853, 93.361, 93.213, 93.393, 93.394, 93.395, 93.396

Key Dates
Release/Posted Date:  July 7, 2010
Opening Date:  August 29, 2010 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: August 29, 2010
NOTE: On-time submission requires that applications be successfully submitted to Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. local time (of the applicant institution/organization). 
Application Due Date:  September 29, 2010
Peer Review Date: March 2011
Council Review Date: May 2011
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: July 1, 2011
Additional Information To Be Available Date (Activation Date): Not Applicable
Expiration Date: September 30, 2010

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Additional Overview Content

Executive Summary

Table of Contents


Part I Overview Information

Part II Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
1. Research Objectives


Section II. Award Information

1. Mechanism of Support

2. Funds Available

Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants

    A. Eligible Institutions
    B. Eligible Individuals
2. Cost Sharing or Matching
3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria

Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Request Application Information

2. Content and Form of Application Submission
3. Submission Dates and Times
    A. Receipt, Review, and Anticipated Start Dates
          1. Letter of Intent
    B. Submitting an Application Electronically to the NIH
    C. Application Processing   
4. Intergovernmental Review
5. Funding Restrictions
6. Other Submission Requirements

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria
2. Review and Selection Process
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
3. Reporting

Section VII. Agency Contacts
1. Scientific/Research Contact(s)

2. Peer Review Contact(s)
3. Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Section VIII. Other Information - Required Federal Citations

Part II - Full Text of Announcement


Section I. Funding Opportunity Description


1. Research Objectives

Purpose

 Qualified investigators from academic or research institutions are invited to submit an application for this funding opportunity announcement whose goal is to address the Epigenomics of Human Health and Disease. The purpose of this FOA is to identify novel research proposals that will significantly impact our understanding of the epigenetic basis of human disease, aging, or response to insult by correlating changes in the epigenome with altered cellular states and unravel the mechanism by which these changes occur or lead to the development of disease. In general, applications should focus on the use of diseased, aged, or otherwise compromised human primary cells or tissues.   However, studies using cell lines or mammalian animal models may be appropriate  if the applicant provides compelling reasons why primary human tissues cannot be examined for the disease/condition of interest (for example, if human tissue is extremely difficult or impossible to obtain, or for multigenerational studies). This FOA supports both discovery-based approaches that reveal genome-wide epigenetic characteristics of disease, as well as biochemical or molecular approaches that aim to reveal the mechanism by which these changes result in disease.

Objectives

Understanding the molecular basis of human biology and disease is of fundamental importance to the Institutes, Centers, and Offices of the NIH. The complex biological processes underlying states of health and diseases involve interactions between many genes and external influences, and are likely to be driven by both the DNA sequence itself, as well as by modifications that affect the transcriptional capacity of these genes. Epigenetic marks (e.g., DNA methylation or histone tail modification) affect gene expression through direct modifications to the DNA or the way it is packaged into chromatin, thus altering accessibility to trans-acting factors. These epigenetic marks are only one facet of this form of gene regulation. The successful establishment and maintenance of transcriptional profiles depends on the interplay between epigenetic modifications, interacting proteins, non-coding RNAs, and inter- and intra-chromosomal interactions, as well as on factors yet to be discovered.  Perturbation of any one of these regulatory elements may have profound consequences on the health of an organism.

This announcement encourages research which will significantly impact our knowledge of how epigenetic regulatory mechanisms contribute to human disease. Therefore, studies that would result in incremental advances in our understanding of disease pathogenesis are not of interest.  Applicants must propose projects that investigate changes in epigenetic profiles as a cause or consequence of disease, aging, or environmental perturbation, including any sex-specific epigenetic changes observed in compromised states, and the mechanism by which these changes lead to disease. Although the use of global, unbiased approaches is encouraged, focused study of smaller chromosomal regions is appropriate if it has the potential to significantly impact our understanding of a particular disease process. Applications focused on a single gene, gene set, restricted genomic region, or epigenetic factors already known to be involved in a particular human disease will not be considered responsive to this FOA.  Applicants should propose studies in primary human cells or tissues that represent compromised, abnormal or diseased states in humans, and include analyses in comparative (control) normal or healthy cells/tissues for the disease under study. Examples of disease-related research areas that address physiologically compromised, abnormal or diseased states include:

Applicants may propose analyses of epigenetic regulatory marks, factors or effector proteins including, but not limited to, regions or patterns of DNA modifications (e.g., methylcytosine, hydroxymethylcytosine), histone tail modifications (e.g., acetylation, phosphorylation, ubiquitination) or other components of chromatin structure and remodeling, histone variants, chromatin or DNA methylation-associated proteins, non-coding RNAs such as siRNAs (21-23 nucleotides), PIWI interacting or piRNAs (26-31 nucleotides), or germ line RNAs (24-29 nucleotides), and/or inter- or intra-chromosomal interactions that may be altered in or contribute to diseased or otherwise compromised states.  Proposed studies may include the generation of genome-wide maps of epigenetic marks or other related regulatory elements in normal and diseased (or otherwise compromised) cell types. Applicants may also propose mechanistic studies aimed at understanding the cause or consequence of epigenetic differences between normal and diseased cells. Although epigenetic factors are intricately associated with gene expression, the analysis of gene expression profiles without epigenetic profiling or mechanistic studies will not be considered responsive to this FOA.

Applicants should propose studies involving human cells and tissues (except under special circumstances, described below) and provide a clear rationale for why particular cells or tissue types are used. This rationale should describe how understanding epigenetic changes in perturbed or diseased states as compared to normal or healthy states of the cell or tissue type in question will disrupt current paradigms concerning disease etiology or progression or how it will create new paradigms where none exists. Because epigenetic profiles are known to differ to some degree between cell types, special attention should be paid to the appropriateness of cell or tissue type selected.  Tissue types that are not obviously impacted in a given disease (for example, using buccal cells to investigate a neurological disorder) must be described and well-justified.  Reviewers will be evaluating the cell/tissues types used in the study (see Section V. Application and Review Information).

The NIH recognizes that certain studies, such as those on bone or brain-related disorders or multigenerational studies, may be restricted to animal or cell line models at present because appropriate human research models are not available, or human studies are otherwise not feasible. For diseases that cannot be pursued in human tissues, applicants may propose to work in mammalian models or cell lines, but must provide a specific rationale for why the use of these model systems is essential to further the understanding of human disease. The rationale for each proposed line should be provided in the application.

The intent of this announcement is to encourage research into the epigenetic mechanisms underlying diseased or otherwise compromised states. However, the NIH anticipates that cell/tissue systems for the study of some diseases may not be immediately amenable to these approaches. Thus, applicants may propose projects whose initial aims involve the analysis of cells or tissues of non-diseased primary cells/tissues as a comparison for the disease of interest; however, the proposed aims must involve comparative analyses of relevant abnormal or diseased cells/tissues by year 3 of the project.

Comparative analyses involving more than one cell/tissue type, or disease state or process, may also be appropriate. Applicants may propose to investigate epigenetic profiles in existing (archived) or new human biospecimens collected as part of other ongoing funded human clinical or epidemiological studies of human disease. Proposals seeking to initiate new human studies for the purpose of collecting biospecimens for epigenomic analysis are outside the scope of this funding announcement. However, the addition of an epigenome-wide mapping component, funded through this FOA, to an ongoing clinical or epidemiological study of human disease may be appropriate.

In some cases, shorter exploratory studies may be required before larger-scale projects can be proposed.  In order to accomplish such studies, applicants may propose shorter (two to three year) awards. Examples might include:

NIH Roadmap Epigenomics Program.

Grants funded under this FOA are considered to be affiliated with the NIH Roadmap Epigenomics Program. The Roadmap Epigenomics Program is comprised of five major initiatives, funded between 2008 and 2009: 1) Reference Epigenome Mapping Centers, 2) Epigenomics Data Analysis and Coordination Center, 3) Technology Development in Epigenetics, 4) Discovery of Novel Epigenetic Marks, 5) Epigenomics of Human Health and Disease. These initiatives are described in detail at the following link: (http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/epigenomics/initiatives.asp).

The Roadmap Epigenomics Program is integrated on multiple levels. Regular meetings between the REMC, EDACC, and NCBI teams enable these groups to coordinate and standardize their efforts in generating genome-wide epigenetic information, as well as for verifying and releasing this data through the EDACC and NCBI.  Data produced by all components of the program will be integrated by the EDACC and made available through the Epigenetics Public Interface.  An external scientific panel provides scientific advice and guidance throughout the life of the program.  A yearly All-Hands Meeting will assemble investigators from all components of the program (including applicants funded under this Roadmap-affiliated FOA) fostering collaboration and cross-fertilization of ideas.  In addition to the efforts already described, monoclonal antibodies against up to 50 epigenetic targets nominated by the scientific community are being produced over the next several years to provide standardized, low-cost reagents to the public.  Finally, workshops will be held periodically to identify needs in specific areas of epigenetics research as they arise, as well as to help integrate the efforts of the Roadmap Epigenomics Program with other international and US epigenetics efforts.

Summary of Requirements

Applications responsive to this FOA should have the potential to dramatically impact our understanding of the epigenetic basis of one or more human diseases. In addition to describing how current paradigms concerning disease processes will be disrupted, responsive applications will:

Each of these points must be clearly addressed within the application. Applications that fail to meet the requirements of this FOA may be deemed unresponsive to the FOA by NIH program staff in the Epigenomics of Human Health and Disease Workgroup, administratively withdrawn without review, and will not be considered for funding.

See Section VIII, Other Information - Required Federal Citations, for policies related to this announcement.

Section II. Award Information


1. Mechanism of Support

This FOA will use the R01 award mechanism. The Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project.  

This FOA uses “Just-in-Time” information concepts (see SF424 (R&R) Application Guide). It also uses the modular as well as the non-modular budget formats (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm). Specifically, a U.S. organization submitting an application with direct costs in each year of $250,000 or less (excluding consortium Facilities and Administrative [F&A] costs) must use the PHS398 Modular Budget component.

U.S. applicants requesting more than $250,000 in annual direct costs and all foreign applicants must complete and submit budget requests using the Research & Related Budget component.

2. Funds Available

$5 million dollars (total costs), in FY 2011, have been committed to fund applications in response to this FOA (approximately 10-15 awards). Additional funds may be available to support meritorious applications of high programmatic priority. The total project period for an application submitted in response to this FOA may not exceed 5 years.  Shorter, exploratory studies may be proposed for 2 to 3 years of funding. It is expected that applications will fall in the range of $250,000 to $800,000 (direct costs. 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 ICs provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this funding opportunity are contingent upon the availability of funds.

Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs requested by consortium participants are not included in the direct cost limitation. See NOT-OD-05-004.

NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made in response to this FOA.

Section III. Eligibility Information


1. Eligible Applicants

1.A. Eligible Institutions

The following organizations/institutions are eligible to apply:

1.B. Eligible Individuals

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

More than one PD/PI (i.e., multiple PDs/PIs), may be designated on the application for projects that require a “team science” approach and therefore clearly do not fit the single-PD/PI model. Additional information on the implementation plans and policies and procedures to formally allow more than one PD/PI on individual research projects is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/multi_pi. All PDs/PIs must be registered in the NIH electronic Research Administration (eRA) Commons prior to the submission of the application (see http://era.nih.gov/ElectronicReceipt/preparing.htm for instructions).

The decision of whether to apply for a grant with a single PD/PI or multiple PDs/PIs is the responsibility of the investigators and applicant organizations and should be determined by the scientific goals of the project. Applications for grants with multiple PDs/PIs will require additional information, as outlined in the instructions below. When considering the multiple PD/PI option, please be aware that the structure and governance of the PD/PI leadership team as well as the knowledge, skills and experience of the individual PDs/PIs will be factored into the assessment of the overall scientific merit of the application.  Multiple PDs/PIs on a project share the authority and responsibility for leading and directing the project, intellectually and logistically. Each PD/PI is responsible and accountable to the grantee organization, or, as appropriate, to a collaborating organization, for the proper conduct of the project or program, including the submission of required reports. For further information on multiple PDs/PIs, please see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/multi_pi.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

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

3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria

Number of Applications. Applicants may submit more than one application, provided each application is scientifically distinct.

Resubmissions.    Resubmission applications are not permitted in response to this FOA.

Renewals. Renewal applications are not permitted in response to this FOA.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information


To download a SF424 (R&R) Application Package and SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for completing the SF424 (R&R) forms for this FOA, use the “Apply for Grant Electronically” button in this FOA or link to http://www.grants.gov/Apply/ and follow the directions provided on that Web site.

Registration:

Appropriate registrations with Grants.gov and eRA Commons must be completed on or before the due date in order to successfully submit an applicationSeveral of the steps of the registration process could take four weeks or more. Therefore, applicants should immediately check with their business official to determine whether their organization/institution is already registered with both Grants.gov and the Commons. All registrations must be complete by the submission deadline for the application to be considered “on-time” (see 3.C.1 for more information about on-time submission).

A one-time registration is required for institutions/organizations at both:

PDs/PIs should work with their institutions/organizations to make sure they are registered in the NIH eRA Commons.

Several additional separate actions are required before an applicant can submit an electronic application, as follows:  

1) Organizational/Institutional Registration in Grants.gov/Get Registered

2) Organizational/Institutional Registration in the eRA Commons

3) Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) Registration in the NIH eRA Commons: Refer to the NIH eRA Commons System (COM) Users Guide.

Both the PDs/PI(s) and AOR/SO need separate accounts in the NIH eRA Commons since both are authorized to view the application image.

Note: The registration process is not sequential.  Applicants should begin the registration processes for both Grants.gov and eRA Commons as soon as their organization has obtained a DUNS number.  Only one DUNS number is required and the same DUNS number must be referenced when completing Grants.gov registration, eRA Commons registration and the SF424 (R&R) forms.

1. Request Application Information

Applicants must download the SF424 (R&R) application forms and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for this FOA through Grants.gov/Apply.

Note: Only the forms package directly attached to a specific FOA can be used. You will not be able to use any other SF424 (R&R) forms (e.g., sample forms, forms from another FOA), although some of the "Attachment" files may be useable for more than one FOA.

For further assistance, contact GrantsInfo -- Telephone 301-435-0714; Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

Telecommunications for the hearing impaired: TTY: (301) 451-5936

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Prepare all applications using the SF424 (R&R) application forms for this FOA through Grants.gov/Apply and in accordance with the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/index.htm).

The SF424 (R&R) Application Guide is critical to submitting a complete and accurate application to NIH. Some fields within the SF424 (R&R) application components, although not marked as mandatory, are required by NIH (e.g., the “Credential” log-in field of the “Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile” component must contain the PD/PI’s assigned eRA Commons User ID). Agency-specific instructions for such fields are clearly identified in the Application Guide. For additional information, see “Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.”

The SF424 (R&R) application has several components. Some components are required, others are optional. The forms package associated with this FOA in Grants.gov/APPLY includes all applicable components, required and optional. A completed application in response to this FOA includes the data in the following components:

Required Components:
SF424 (R&R) (Cover component)
Research & Related Project/Performance Site Locations
Research & Related Other Project Information
Research & Related Senior/Key Person
PHS398 Cover Page Supplement
PHS398 Research Plan
PHS398 Checklist
PHS398 Modular Budget or Research & Related Budget, as appropriate (See Section IV.6 regarding appropriate required budget component.)  

Optional Components:
PHS398 Cover Letter File
Research & Related Subaward Budget Attachment(s) Form

Foreign Organizations (Non-Domestic [non-U.S.] Entities)

NIH policies concerning grants to Foreign (non-U.S.) organizations can be found in the NIH Grants Policy Statement at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_Part12.htm#_Toc54600260.

Applications from Foreign organizations must:

Proposed research should provide special opportunities for furthering research programs through the use of unusual talent, resources, populations, or environmental conditions in other countries that are not readily available in the United States (U.S.) or that augment existing U.S. resources.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS  

Applications with Multiple PDs/PIs

When multiple PDs/PIs are proposed, NIH requires one PD/PI to be designated as the "Contact” PI, who will be responsible for all communication between the PDs/PIs and the NIH, for assembling the application materials outlined below, and for coordinating progress reports for the project. The contact PD/PI must meet all eligibility requirements for PD/PI status in the same way as other PDs/PIs, but has no other special roles or responsibilities within the project team beyond those mentioned above.

Information for the Contact PD/PI should be entered on the SF424 (R&R) Cover component. All other PDs/PIs should be listed in the Research & Related Senior/Key Person component and assigned the project role of “PD/PI.” Please remember that all PDs/PIs must be registered in the eRA Commons prior to application submission. The Commons ID of each PD/PI must be included in the “Credential” field of the Research & Related Senior/Key Person component. Failure to include this data field will cause the application to be rejected.

Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan: For applications designating multiple PDs/PIs, the section of the Research Plan entitled “Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan” must be included. A rationale for choosing a multiple PD/PI approach should be described.  The governance and organizational structure of the leadership team and the research project should be described, and should include communication plans, process for making decisions on scientific direction, and procedures for resolving conflicts. The roles and administrative, technical, and scientific responsibilities for the project or program should be delineated for the PDs/PIs and other collaborators.

If budget allocation is planned, the distribution of resources to specific components of the project or the individual PDs/PIs should be delineated in the Leadership Plan.  In the event of an award, the requested allocations may be reflected in a footnote on the Notice of Award (NoA).

Applications Involving a Single Institution

When all PDs/PIs are within a single institution, follow the instructions contained in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Applications Involving Multiple Institutions 

When multiple institutions are involved, one institution must be designated as the prime institution and funding for the other institution(s) must be requested via a subcontract to be administered by the prime institution. When submitting a detailed budget, the prime institution should submit its budget using the Research & Related Budget component. All other institutions should have their individual budgets attached separately to the Research & Related Subaward Budget Attachment(s) Form. See Section 4.8 of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for further instruction regarding the use of the subaward budget form. 

When submitting a modular budget, the prime institution completes the PHS398 Modular Budget component only. Information concerning the consortium/subcontract budget is provided in the budget justification. Separate budgets for each consortium/subcontract grantee are not required when using the Modular budget format. See Section 5.4 of the Application Guide for further instruction regarding the use of the PHS398 Modular Budget component.

3. Submission Dates and Times

See Section IV.3.A. for details.

3.A. Submission, Review, and Anticipated Start Dates
Opening Date: August 29, 2010 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): August 29, 2010
Application Due Date(s): September 29, 2010
Peer Review Date(s): March 2011
Council Review Date(s): May 2011
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): July 1, 2011

3.A.1. Letter of Intent

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

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

The letter of intent is to be sent by the date listed in Section IV.3.A.

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Lisa Helbling Chadwick, Ph.D. 
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
111 T. W. Alexander Drive
PO 12233, Mail Drop K3-15
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2233
Telephone: (850) 727-7218
Fax: (919) 541-0462
Email: chadwickL@niehs.nih.gov

3.B. Submitting an Application Electronically to the NIH

To submit an application in response to this FOA, applicants should access this FOA via http://www.grants.gov/applicants/apply_for_grants.jsp  and follow Steps 1-4. Note:  Applications must only be submitted electronically.  PAPER APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.  All attachments must be provided to NIH in PDF format, filenames must be included with no spaces or special characters, and a .pdf extension must be used.

3.C. Application Processing

3.C.1 Submitting On-Time

Applications may be submitted on or after the opening date and must be successfully received by Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. local time (of the applicant institution/organization) on the application due date(s). (See Section IV.3.A. for all dates.) If an application is not submitted by the due date(s) and time, the application may be delayed in the review process or not reviewed. All applications must meet the following criteria to be considered “on-time”:

Please visit http://era.nih.gov/electronicReceipt/app_help.htm for detailed information on what to do if Grants.gov or eRA system issues threaten your ability to submit on time.

Submission to Grants.gov is not the last step – applicants must follow their application through to the eRA Commons to check for errors and warnings and view their assembled application!

3.C.2 Two Day Window to Correct eRA Identified Errors/Warnings

IMPORTANT NOTE! NIH has eliminated the error correction window for due dates of January 25, 2011 and beyond. As of January 25, all corrections must be complete by the due date for an application to be considered on-time. See NOT-OD-10-123.

Once an application package has been successfully submitted through Grants.gov, NIH provides applicants a two day error correction window to correct any eRA identified errors or warnings before a final assembled application is created in the eRA Commons.  The standard error correction window is two (2) business days, beginning the day after the submission deadline and excluding weekends and standard federal holidays.  All errors must be corrected to successfully complete the submission process.  Warnings will not prevent the application from completing the submission process.

Please note that the following caveats apply:

3.C.3 Viewing an Application in the eRA Commons

Once any eRA identified errors have been addressed and the assembled application has been created in the eRA Commons, the PD/PI and the Authorized Organization Representative/Signing Official (AOR/SO) have two weekdays (Monday – Friday, excluding Federal holidays) to view the assembled application before it automatically moves forward to NIH for further processing.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the CSR and responsiveness by the IC. Incomplete and/or non-responsive applications will not be reviewed.

There will be an acknowledgement of receipt of applications from Grants.gov and the Commons. The submitting AOR/SO receives the Grants.gov acknowledgments. The AOR/SO and the PI receive Commons acknowledgments. Information related to the assignment of an application to a Scientific Review Group is also in the Commons. 

Note: Since email can be unreliable, it is the responsibility of the applicant to check periodically on the application status in the Commons.

The NIH will not accept any application in response to this funding opportunity that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. However, when a previously unfunded application, originally submitted as an investigator-initiated application, is to be submitted in response to a funding opportunity, it is to be prepared as a NEW application. That is, the application for the funding opportunity must not include an “Introduction” describing the changes and improvements made, and the text must not be marked to indicate the changes from the previous unfunded version of the application.

4. Intergovernmental Review

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

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

Pre-award costs are allowable. A grantee may, at its own risk and without NIH prior approval, incur obligations and expenditures to cover costs up to 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new award if such costs: 1) are necessary to conduct the project, and 2) would be allowable under the grant, if awarded, without NIH prior approval. If specific expenditures would otherwise require prior approval, the grantee must obtain NIH approval before incurring the cost. NIH prior approval is required for any costs to be incurred more than 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new award.

The incurrence of pre-award costs in anticipation of a competing or non-competing award imposes no obligation on NIH either to make the award or to increase the amount of the approved budget if an award is made for less than the amount anticipated and is inadequate to cover the pre-award costs incurred. NIH expects the grantee to be fully aware that pre-award costs result in borrowing against future support and that such borrowing must not impair the grantee's ability to accomplish the project objectives in the approved time frame or in any way adversely affect the conduct of the project (see the NIH Grants Policy Statement).

6. Other Submission Requirements 

PD/PI Credential (e.g., Agency Login)

The NIH requires the PD(s)/PI(s) to fill in his/her Commons User ID in the “PROFILE – Project Director/Principal Investigator” section, “Credential” log-in field of the “Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile” component.

Organizational DUNS

The applicant organization must include its DUNS number in its Organization Profile in the eRA Commons. This DUNS number must match the DUNS number provided at CCR registration with Grants.gov. For additional information, see “Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.”

PHS398 Research Plan Component Sections

All application instructions outlined in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide are to be followed, incorporating "Just-in-Time" information concepts, and with the following additional requirements:

Budget Component

U.S. applicants submitting an application with direct costs in each year of $250,000 or less (excluding consortium Facilities and Administrative [F&A] costs) must use the PHS398 Modular Budget component.

U.S. applicants requesting more than $250,000 in annual direct costs and all foreign applicants must complete and submit budget requests using the Research & Related Budget component.

Supplementary Instructions:

The following exceptions to the general R01 instructions will apply for this FOA:

1.Specific Aims: The primary goal of this FOA is to encourage highly innovative research that will significantly impact our understanding of how epigenetic mechanisms contribute to human disease. Be certain to clearly address the following within the Specific Aims: What is the disease or condition that will be studied, and what is the hypothesis to be tested? How will the proposed studies disrupt the standard paradigm or create a paradigm where none exists? How broad is the potential impact? Which community will be affected, and what is the size of that community? What sets it apart from the work already being done in yours and in other laboratories?

2Research Strategy:  The following must be addressed within this section: What are the epigenetic marks, features or effector proteins to be analyzed, and how will this be accomplished? Provide enough information that reviewers can determine what, in general, you are proposing to do, but do not include a detailed experimental plan. If your methodology is novel, what is unconventional and exceptionally innovative about your approach? How does your approach differ from what other investigators have attempted to do? Tissue type justification is required in this section. Why is this tissue the best choice for a particular disease? How is it relevant to the disease of interest? If you plan to use mammalian animal models or cell culture models, provide strong justification: why can human cells not be used?

Briefly describe your experience and successes in epigenetics research. What makes you and your team uniquely suited to accomplishing the goals outlined in your application? What technologies and approaches have you used in the past, and how successful were these efforts? 

3. Timeline (within Research Strategy, limit, half a page): Provide a timeline for the proposed research. To facilitate evaluation of progress reports, describe when you anticipate that essential components of the project (e.g., acquisition of samples, optimization of protocols, critical experiments to verify the hypothesis, validation of novel tools or techniques) will be completed. 

No updates will be accepted.

Data Sharing: This initiative is affiliated with the NIH Roadmap Epigenomics Program. (http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/epigenomics/). To accelerate progress in the field of epigenomics, grantees funded through this FOA will be expected to participate actively and openly in at least one grantee meeting per year. Substantial information sharing is critical to achieving the program goals,,e.g., creating a public data resource to accelerate broader understanding and the application of epigenomic approaches, and developing standardized platforms, procedures, and reagents for broader epigenomics research.  Accordingly, applicant should address how to achieve these goals (e.g., through information sharing), and any submitted plans for addressing these goals will become a term and condition of the award; failure to openly share information will be considered in continued funding consistent with achieving the goals of the program. It is understood that some information developed under the grants may be proprietary and cannot be shared immediately without damaging the commercialization potential of the scientific discovery or in some cases jeopardizing the protection of human subjects. Applicants should describe their plans for participating in the grantee meetings and for managing any appropriate intellectual property concerns in the context of those meetings and other opportunities for information sharing in the Other Research Plan Sections under Resource Sharing Plan(s) attachments section.  Other investigators in the field (i.e., not supported under this program) may be invited to participate in these meetings, but their agreement to share information substantially will be a prerequisite to their participation. Applicants must budget funds for travel of the PD/PI and up to one additional investigator to attend an annual investigators’ meeting in Washington D.C.

Resource Sharing Plan(s)

NIH considers the sharing of unique research resources developed through NIH-sponsored research an important means to enhance the value and further the advancement of the research. When resources have been developed with NIH funds and the associated research findings published or provided to NIH, it is important that they be made readily available for research purposes to qualified individuals within the scientific community. If the final data/resources are not amenable to sharing, this must be explained in the Resource Sharing section of the application (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing/data_sharing_faqs.htm.)

(a) Data Sharing Plan: Regardless of the amount requested, investigators are expected to include a brief 1-paragraph description of how final research data will be shared, or explain why data-sharing is not possible. Applicants are encouraged to discuss data-sharing plans with their NIH program contact (see Data-Sharing Policy or http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-032.html.)

(b) Sharing Model Organisms: Regardless of the amount requested, all applications where the development of model organisms is anticipated are expected to include a description of a specific plan for sharing and distributing unique model organisms and related resources or state appropriate reasons why such sharing is restricted or not possible (see Sharing Model Organisms Policy, and NOT-OD-04-042.)

(c) Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS): Regardless of the amount requested, applicants seeking funding for a genome-wide association study are expected to provide a plan for submission of GWAS data to the NIH-designated GWAS data repository, or provide an appropriate explanation why submission to the repository is not possible.  A genome-wide association study is defined as any study of genetic variation across the entire genome that is designed to identify genetic associations with observable traits (e.g., blood pressure or weight) or the presence or absence of a disease or condition.  For further information see Policy for Sharing of Data Obtained in NIH Supported or Conducted Genome-Wide Association Studies (go to NOT-OD-07-088, and http://grants.nih.gov/grants/gwas/.)

Roadmap Epigenomics Program Data Sharing

Applicants funded under this Roadmap-affiliated RFA will be expected to address data sharing as set forth under the Roadmap Epigenomics Program.  Therefore, projects funded through this FOA are expected to share technological advances and research data for broadening epigenomics research. For example, depending on the precise nature of the project, sharing can take place in various ways to achieve the goals of the program. Examples of such approaches are described in greater detail in the sections that follow and are consistent with achieving the goals of this program. The PIs of funded projects will be expected to share technological advances and information with other PIs funded by the Roadmap Epigenomics Program through active and open participation in at least one grantee meeting per year. The PIs of funded projects will also be expected to share technological advances and information with epigenetics researchers as a whole and thus need to give thought to an appropriate intellectual property management plan necessary to facilitate meeting the goals of the program.

The precise content of data sharing plans will vary, depending on the data being collected and how the investigator is planning to share the data.  Applicants who are planning to share data should describe briefly the expected schedule for data sharing, the format of the final dataset, the documentation to be provided, whether or not any analytic tools also will be provided, whether or not a data-sharing agreement will be required and, if so, a brief description of such an agreement (including the criteria for deciding who can receive the data and whether or not any conditions will be placed on their use), and the mode of data sharing (e.g., under their own auspices by mailing a disk or posting data on their institutional or personal website, through a data archive or enclave). Investigators choosing to share under their own auspices may wish to enter into a data-sharing agreement. References to data sharing may also be appropriate in other sections of the application.

As described above, applicants are expected to include a plan for sharing research data in their application. The NIH data sharing policy is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing. All investigators responding to this funding opportunity should include a description of how final research data will be shared, or explain why data sharing is not possible.

The reasonableness of data sharing plans or the rationale for not sharing research data will be assessed by the reviewers. However, reviewers will not factor the proposed data sharing plan into the determination of scientific merit or the impact/priority score. Program staff will be responsible for overseeing the data sharing policy and for assessing the appropriateness and adequacy of proposed data-sharing plans. Applicants are encouraged to discuss data sharing plans with their program contact prior to submitting their applications. 

As the Roadmap Epigenomics Program is a community resource program, NIH expects that not only data, but also resources generated during the course of the program (including this Roadmap-affiliated program) should be made rapidly available to the research community and that sharing plans should follow the same principles and spirit as the proposed rapid data release policy. The applicant should provide specific plans for resource sharing and distribution in the application. The adequacy of the resources sharing plans will be considered by the funding organization in achieving the goals of the program initiative. Any accepted resources sharing plan will be part of the terms and conditions of the award. The effectiveness of the resource sharing will be evaluated as part of the administrative review of each non-competing Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590, http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/2590/2590.htm. See Section VI.3. Award Administration Information, “Reporting.”

Sharing with Roadmap Epigenomics Program Grantees

To accelerate progress in the field of epigenomics, grantees will be expected to participate actively and openly in at least one grantee meeting per year. Please be sure to budget for travel expenses to attend this meeting. 

Intellectual Property Management Plan

Certain research plans will require collaboration and coordination between investigators at different institutions, some of whom may not be NIH funding recipients and who may have pre-existing intellectual property obligations to third parties. It is anticipated that commercial embodiments of the results of such research may incorporate single inventions shared by several institutions, or multiple inventions each from a separate institution. Therefore, prior to funding, grant applicants are expected to address, for example, how they will coordinate patent prosecution and licensing activities to ensure that the goals of the program are met

Foreign Applications (Non-Domestic [non-U.S.] Entities)

Indicate how the proposed project has specific relevance to the mission and objectives of the NIH/IC and has the potential for significantly advancing the health sciences in the United States. 

Section V. Application Review Information


1. Criteria 

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process.

2. Review and Selection Process

Review Process

Applications that are complete and responsive to this FOA will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) and in accordance with NIH peer review procedures (http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/peer/), using the review criteria stated below.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

The mission of the NIH is to support science in pursuit of knowledge about the biology and behavior of living systems and to apply that knowledge to extend healthy life and reduce the burdens of illness and disability.  As part of this mission, applications submitted to the NIH for grants or cooperative agreements to support biomedical and behavioral research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system. 

Overall Impact

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

Scored Review Criteria

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

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? Does the proposed work have the potential to significantly change our understanding of the epigenetic components of human disease?  How important is the problem or hypothesis? If the effort is successful, how broad is the community that will be affected?

Investigator(s).  Are the PD/PIs, 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? Does the applicant identify adequate informatics expertise?

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?  Does the project provide an innovative way to think of disease?

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 clinical research, are the plans for 1) protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion of minorities and members of both sexes/genders, as well as the inclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed? Does the applicant provide a rationale for the selection of cells/tissues that is compelling for the disease/condition of interest? Does the applicant propose to work in human cells/tissues or provide a specific rationale for using a mammalian animal model because an appropriate human model is not available?  Is the experimental plan logical such that there is at least some likelihood that the project will succeed? Has the applicant provided adequate statistical justification for the sample sizes to be analyzed?

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?  Do the proposed studiesy employ critical collaborative arrangements (such with the EDACC and/or REMCs funded by the Roadmap Epigenomics Program)? Additional Review Criteria

As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider the following additional items in the determination of scientific and technical merit, but will not give separate scores for these items.

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

For research that involves human subjects  and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children.  When the proposed project involves clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for inclusion of minorities and members of both genders, as well as the inclusion of children.

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

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

Resubmission Applications.  Resubmission are not allowed for this FOA.

Renewal Applications.  Renewals are not allowed for this FOA.

Revision Applications.  Revisions are not applicable to this FOA.

Additional Review Considerations

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

Applications from Foreign Organizations.  As applicable for the FOA or submitted application, reviewers will assess whether the project presents special opportunities for furthering research programs through the use of unusual talent, resources, populations, or environmental conditions that exist in other countries and either are not readily available in the United States or augment existing U.S. resources.

Select Agents Research. Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).

Resource Sharing Plans.  Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable:  1) Data Sharing Plan (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing/data_sharing_guidance.htm); 2) Sharing Model Organisms (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-04-042.html); and 3) Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-07-088.html).

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

Selection Process

Applications submitted in response to this FOA will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Not Applicable.

Section VI. Award Administration Information


1. Award Notices

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

If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant. For details, applicants may refer to the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General.

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document. Once all administrative and programmatic issues have been resolved, the NoA will be generated via email notification from the awarding component to the grantee business official.

Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs. See Section IV.5., “Funding Restrictions.”       

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.

3. Reporting

Awardees will be required to submit the Non-Competing Continuation Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement..

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

Section VII. Agency Contacts


We encourage your inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants. Inquiries may fall into three areas: scientific/research (program), peer review, and financial or grants management issues:

1. Scientific/Research Contact(s):

Lisa Helbling Chadwick, Ph.D. 
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
111 T.W. Alexander Drive
PO 12233, Mail Drop K3-15
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2233
Telephone: (850) 727-7218
Fax: (919) 541-0462
Email: chadwickL@niehs.nih.gov

Before submitting an application, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact NIH staff to verify that the proposal is of interest to at least one of the NIH Institutes or Centers that is participating in the Epigenomics of Human Health and Disease FOA. Applications not considered of interest to any of the participating Institutes and Centers may be deemed non-responsive and administratively withdrawn without being reviewed.  Individual Institute and Center priority areas can be found at http://www.niehs.nih.gov/es10002 .  

2. Peer Review Contact(s):

Michael Schmidt, Ph.D.
Division of Molecular and Cellular Systems
Center for Scientific Review
6701 Rockledge Drive
Room 2198, MSC 7890
Bethesda, MD 20892-7890
Telephone: (301) 435-1147
FAX: (301) 480-2067
Email: mschmidt@csr.nih.gov  

3. Financial/Grants Management Contact(s):

James Williams
Grants Management Specialist
Grants Management Branch
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
111 T.W. Alexander Drive
PO 12233, Mail Drop K3-11
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2233
Telephone:  919-541-1403
Email:  williamsjr@niehs.nih.gov  

Section VIII. Other Information


Required Federal Citations

Use of Animals in Research:
Recipients of PHS support for activities involving live, vertebrate animals must comply with PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/PHSPolicyLabAnimals.pdf) as mandated by the Health Research Extension Act of 1985 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/hrea1985.htm), and the USDA Animal Welfare Regulations (http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/legislat/usdaleg1.htm) as applicable.

Human Subjects Protection:
Federal regulations (45 CFR 46) require that applications and proposals involving human subjects must be evaluated with reference to the risks to the subjects, the adequacy of protection against these risks, the potential benefits of the research to the subjects and others, and the importance of the knowledge gained or to be gained (http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.htm).

Data and Safety Monitoring Plan:
Data and safety monitoring is required for all types of clinical trials, including physiologic toxicity and dose-finding studies (Phase I); efficacy studies (Phase II); efficacy, effectiveness and comparative trials (Phase III). Monitoring should be commensurate with risk. The establishment of data and safety monitoring boards (DSMBs) is required for multi-site clinical trials involving interventions that entail potential risks to the participants (“NIH Policy for Data and Safety Monitoring,” NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-084.html).

Sharing Research Data:
Investigators submitting an NIH application seeking $500,000 or more in direct costs in any single year are expected to include a plan for data sharing or state why this is not possible (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing). Investigators should seek guidance from their institutions, on issues related to institutional policies and local institutional review board (IRB) rules, as well as local, State and Federal laws and regulations, including the Privacy Rule.

Policy for Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS):
NIH is interested in advancing genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to identify common genetic factors that influence health and disease through a centralized GWAS data repository. For the purposes of this policy, a genome-wide association study is defined as any study of genetic variation across the entire human genome that is designed to identify genetic associations with observable traits (such as blood pressure or weight), or the presence or absence of a disease or condition. All applications, regardless of the amount requested, proposing a genome-wide association study are expected to provide a plan for submission of GWAS data to the NIH-designated GWAS data repository, or provide an appropriate explanation why submission to the repository is not possible. Data repository management (submission and access) is governed by the Policy for Sharing of Data Obtained in NIH Supported or Conducted Genome-Wide Association Studies, NIH Guide NOT-OD-07-088. For additional information, see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/gwas/

Sharing of Model Organisms:
NIH is committed to support efforts that encourage sharing of important research resources including the sharing of model organisms for biomedical research (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/model_organism/index.htm). At the same time the NIH recognizes the rights of grantees and contractors to elect and retain title to subject inventions developed with Federal funding pursuant to the Bayh-Dole Act (see the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Beginning October 1, 2004, all investigators submitting an NIH application or contract proposal are expected to include in the application/proposal a description of a specific plan for sharing and distributing unique model organism research resources generated using NIH funding or state why such sharing is restricted or not possible. This will permit other researchers to benefit from the resources developed with public funding. The inclusion of a model organism sharing plan is not subject to a cost threshold in any year and is expected to be included in all applications where the development of model organisms is anticipated.

Access to Research Data through the Freedom of Information Act:
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to provide access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) under some circumstances. Data that are: (1) first produced in a project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds; and (2) cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed through FOIA. It is important for applicants to understand the basic scope of this amendment. NIH has provided guidance at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm. Applicants may wish to place data collected under this funding opportunity in a public archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the distribution for an indefinite period of time. If so, the application should include a description of the archiving plan in the study design and include information about this in the budget justification section of the application. In addition, applicants should think about how to structure informed consent statements and other human subjects procedures given the potential for wider use of data collected under this award.

Inclusion of Women And Minorities in Clinical Research:
It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their sub-populations must be included in all NIH-supported clinical research projects unless a clear and compelling justification is provided indicating that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of the research. This policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public Law 103-43). All investigators proposing clinical research should read the "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research” (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-001.html); a complete copy of the updated Guidelines is 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 SF424 (R&R) application; and updated roles and responsibilities of NIH staff and the extramural community. The policy continues to require for all NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials that: a) all applications or proposals and/or protocols must provide a description of plans to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable; and b) investigators must report annual accrual and progress in conducting analyses, as appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group differences.

Inclusion of Children as Participants in Clinical Research:
The NIH maintains a policy that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) must be included in all clinical research, conducted or supported by the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them. All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the "NIH Policy and Guidelines" on the inclusion of children as participants in research involving human subjects (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 applications for research involving human subjects and individuals designated as key personnel. The policy is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-039.html.

Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESC):
Criteria for Federal funding of research on hESCs can be found at http://stemcells.nih.gov/index.asp and at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-116.html. Only research using hESC lines that are registered in the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry will be eligible for Federal funding (http://escr.nih.gov/). It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide in the project description and elsewhere in the application as appropriate, the official NIH identifier(s) for the hESC line(s) to be used in the proposed research.

NIH Public Access Policy Requirement:
In accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy, investigators funded by the NIH must submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central (see http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/), an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication. The NIH Public Access Policy is available at (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-08-033.html). For more information, see the Public Access webpage at http://publicaccess.nih.gov/.

Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information:
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued final modification to the "Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information", the "Privacy Rule", on August 14, 2002. The Privacy Rule is a federal regulation under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 that governs the protection of individually identifiable health information, and is administered and enforced by the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

Decisions about applicability and implementation of the Privacy Rule reside with the researcher and his/her institution. The OCR website (http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/) provides information on the Privacy Rule, including a complete Regulation Text and a set of decision tools on "Am I a covered entity?" Information on the impact of the HIPAA Privacy Rule on NIH processes involving the review, funding, and progress monitoring of grants, cooperative agreements, and research contracts can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-025.html.

URLs in NIH Grant Applications or Appendices:
All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page limitations. For publications listed in the appendix and/or Progress report, Internet addresses (URLs) or PubMed Central (PMC) submission identification numbers must be used for publicly accessible on-line journal articles. Publicly accessible on-line journal articles or PMC articles/manuscripts accepted for publication that are directly relevant to the project may be included only as URLs or PMC submission identification numbers accompanying the full reference in either the Bibliography & References Cited section, the Progress Report Publication List section, or the Biographical Sketch section of the NIH grant application. A URL or PMC submission identification number citation may be repeated in each of these sections as appropriate. There is no limit to the number of URLs or PMC submission identification numbers that can be cited.

Healthy People 2010:
The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2010," a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas. This FOA is related to one or more of the priority areas. Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at http://www.health.gov/healthypeople.

Authority and Regulations:
This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance at http://www.cfda.gov/ and is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372. Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free workplace and discourage the use of all tobacco products. In addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which regular or routine education, library, day care, health care, or early childhood development services are provided to children. This is consistent with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of the American people.

Loan Repayment Programs:
NIH encourages applications for educational loan repayment from qualified health professionals who have made a commitment to pursue a research career involving clinical, pediatric, contraception, infertility, and health disparities related areas. The LRP is an important component of NIH's efforts to recruit and retain the next generation of researchers by providing the means for developing a research career unfettered by the burden of student loan debt. Note that an NIH grant is not required for eligibility and concurrent career award and LRP applications are encouraged. The periods of career award and LRP award may overlap providing the LRP recipient with the required commitment of time and effort, as LRP awardees must commit at least 50% of their time (at least 20 hours per week based on a 40 hour week) for two years to the research. For further information, please see: http://www.lrp.nih.gov/.


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NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices


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