Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

Funding Opportunity Title

Environmental Health Sciences Core Centers (EHS CC) (P30)

Activity Code

P30 Center Core Grants

Announcement Type

Reissue of RFA-ES-13-012

Related Notices

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-ES-15-007

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

Number of Applications

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

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

93.113 

Funding Opportunity Purpose

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites grant applications from qualified institutions to support Environmental Health Sciences Core Centers (EHS CC). A Core Center Grant is an institutional award to support centralized scientific resources and facilities shared by investigators with existing research projects.  By providing intellectual leadership, advanced technologies/ methodologies, and supporting community engagement, a core center is intended to enhance the ability of scientists working in the field of environmental health sciences to identify and capitalize on emerging issues that will translate into advances improving the understanding of the relationships among environmental exposures, human biology, and disease.  

Key Dates
Posted Date

December 23, 2014

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

March 22, 2015

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

March 22, 2015

Application Due Date(s)

April 22, 2015, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on this date.

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

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

August 2015

Advisory Council Review

January 2016

Earliest Start Date

April 1, 2016

Expiration Date

April 23, 2015

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

** ELECTRONIC APPLICATION SUBMISSION REQUIRED**

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

Required Application Instructions

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

Table of Contents

Part 1. Overview Information
Part 2. Full Text of the Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Section II. Award Information
Section III. Eligibility Information
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
Section V. Application Review Information
Section VI. Award Administration Information
Section VII. Agency Contacts
Section VIII. Other Information

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

The NIEHS Environmental Health Sciences Core Centers (EHS CC) Program provides funding for institutional infrastructure to support scientific equipment, facilities, and other resources shared among researchers tackling related environmental health questions. The centers foster interactions among researchers to allow them to take advantage of innovations and approaches beyond what individual scientists would be likely to attain by working independently. As intellectual hubs for environmental health research, the membership of EHS CC's is expected to be the thought leaders for the field and advance the goals of the NIEHS Strategic Plan (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/about/strategicplan/.)

The overall goals for the EHS CC Program are to enhance the capabilities of existing programs in environmental health sciences, assist with building programmatic and scientific capacity, lead in the development of novel research directions, recruit and groom future leaders in the field, and pioneer efforts in community engagement.  An EHS CC must be an identifiable organizational unit within a single university, medical center, or a consortium of cooperating institutions with a university affiliation.  The EHS CC grant provides facilities and resources to accelerate research along the spectrum from basic mechanistic and toxicological science to population and public health and dissemination. An EHS CC should foster integration, coordination, and translation by cooperation among investigators conducting high-quality research clearly related to the effects of environmental factors on human health. It should create a structure that allows center members with different expertise to come together in order to answer complex and/or emerging questions leading to improved strategies towards preventing environmentally-induced disorders. In addition, the structure of the Center should facilitate multi-directional interaction with communities.  While the EHS CC grant provides support for core resources and facilities, it does not provide direct funding for research projects, although limited funds are provided for pilot projects.

To maximize creativity, flexibility and capitalize on latest scientific trends, the EHS CC Director may develop a dynamic structure which meets the on-going intellectual needs of the members.  This structure can change as the intellectual needs change to accommodate new opportunities for collaboration.  Research Cores are not required as organizational units but are allowed.  

NIEHS considers community engagement and multi-directional communication as essential activities to advance the goals and relevance of an EHS CC. A Community Outreach and Engagement Core is therefore a required component. 

To qualify for an EHS CC, the applicant institution must have a base of ongoing, independently supported, peer-reviewed research projects clearly dedicated to the study of environmental health sciences or environmental medicine, a substantial portion of which should be supported by NIEHS.  This research base provides the major support for Center members who would benefit from shared resources.  The research base must exist prior to the submission of an application and will be considered by program staff.  Focus, relevance, interrelationships, quality, productivity, and, to some extent, quantity, are all considerations in judging the adequacy of the research base. See Section IV.2 Application and Submission Information under the Administrative Core component for more detailed description of EHS base support calculation.

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

Grant: A support mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity.

Application Types Allowed

New
Renewal
Resubmission

Revision

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

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NIEHS intends to fund an estimate of 4-6 awards, corresponding to a total of $7.5M, for fiscal year 2016.

Award Budget

Application budgets are limited to $0.7M, $1.0M or $1.3M Direct Costs per year as determined by Direct Costs of NIH awards in which an EHS CC member is designated as the PD/PI.

Award Project Period

The project period is limited to 5 years.  

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

Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants
Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

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

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

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

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

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

For-Profit Organizations

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

To be eligible for an EHS CC award, the applicant institution must demonstrate that they have a minimum of three active NIEHS-supported research awards from three distinct PDs/PIs who are members of the proposed Center. At the time of submission of a competing application, the qualifying awards must have at least 1 full active year remaining.

Acceptable support includes R01, R03, R21, R37, R43, R44, P01, P42, P50, U01 and U19 or Research Career Development Awards (K-grants). Each multi-component (e.g. P01, P50, or U19) award will count as one qualifying research project regardless of the location of the parent grant.

Clinical trials, T-awards, U45, and Conference awards (R13, U13) do not count towards this requirement.  Furthermore, grants and cooperative agreements in extension periods, either with or without additional funds, as well as supplements of any kind, do not count toward this requirement.

Foreign Institutions

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

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

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

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

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

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

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

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

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

2. Cost Sharing

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

3. Additional Information on Eligibility
Number of Applications

Only one application per institution (normally identified by having a unique DUNS number or NIH IPF number) is allowed.

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

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

In addition, the NIH will not accept a resubmission (A1) application that is submitted later than 37 months after submission of the new (A0) application that it follows.  The NIH will accept submission:

  • To an RFA of an application that was submitted previously as an investigator-initiated application but not paid;
  • Of an investigator-initiated application that was originally submitted to an RFA but not paid; or
  • Of an application with a changed grant activity code.
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Requesting an Application Package

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

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

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

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

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

Letter of Intent

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

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

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

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Linda Bass, Ph.D
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Building 530, Room 3074
P.O. Box 12233 (K3-03)
530 Davis Drive
Research Triangle Park, NC 27713.
Telephone: 919-541-1307
Fax: 919-541-2503
Email: bass@niehs.nih.gov

Page Limitations

Component Types Available in ASSIST

Research Strategy/Program Plan Page Limits

Overall

12 pages

Admin Core

12 pages

Core
(Use for:

- Integrative Health Sciences Facility Core (IHSFC)
- Facility Core(s)
- Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC))

12 pages

Pilot Proj Program

6 pages

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

Instructions for the Submission of Multi-Component Applications

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

Revision applications must include an Overall component and the components that are affected by the revision. Therefore, the component requirements listed below may not apply to the revision application.

The application should consist of the following components:

  • Overall: required
  • Administrative Core: required
  • Integrated Health Sciences Facility Core (IHSFC): required
  • Facility Cores: at least one required
  • Community Outreach and Engagement Core: required
  • Pilot Project Program: required
Overall Component

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

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Overall)

Complete entire form.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement  (Overall)

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

Research & Related Other Project Information (Overall)

Follow standard instructions.

Project Summary/Abstract. Provide a Project Summary/Abstract of a Strategic Vision for the Center.  Also describe the Environmental Health Identity and the Impact of the Research Base on the goals of the EHS CC.

The application must indicate a minimum of three distinct active NIEHS-supported research grants from three-member PDs/PIs with at least 1 full year of activity remaining at the time of submission, not including administrative extensions, either with or without additional funds.

Project Narrative. In the project narrative (i.e., the "public health relevance" statement), briefly state the relevance of the Center’s research to public health.

Facilities and Other Resources: Describe the Institutional Commitment for the proposed EHS CC at the applicant institution.  Document previous and planned institutional support: e.g., financial, personnel, positions, and/or priority access to resources.  Also describe the organizational position of the EHS CC in the institutional hierarchy.

Address the commitment of the parent organization or any of its partners to the EHS CC and its goals.  The parent institution is expected to recognize the EHS CC as a formal organizational component and provide documented evidence of space dedicated to the needs of the Center, protected time to devote to Center activities, staff recruitment, dedicated equipment, or other financial support for the proposed Center.  The parent institution should provide assurance of its commitment to continuing support of the EHS CC in the event of a change in directorship and a well-defined plan for this eventuality should be in place.  In addition, it is expected that the Institution will support the goal of providing to Center members’ priority access to Institution’s and Center’s facilities and services at minimal or reduced cost.

Other Attachments. The following "Other Attachments" should be included with the overall component in order to aid in the review of applications.  The filename provided for each attachment will be the name used for the bookmark in the application image.

  • Grant Support - Title this attachment "Grant Support" and include all Federal and non-federal grant support for EHS CC members.  Include Grant numbers, levels of effort for the PD/PI, complete title, EHS CC collaborators, annual direct costs, and the funding period. List NIEHS – supported grants first in the list.  Table A1 and Table A2 are provided for applicant assistance with this requirement (see http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/dert/programs/core/guidelines/index.cfm).
  • Center Members - Title this attachment "Center Members" and list all the EHS Core Center Members including highest educational degree, Institutional title, and affiliation including department. Include personnel effort if known. Tables B1 and B2 are provided for applicant assistance with this requirement (see http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/dert/programs/core/guidelines/index.cfm.).
  • Facility Core Use - Title this attachment "Facility Core Use" and for each proposed Facility Core, indicate the project name, center member, type of support, services used, and notable outcomes. Table C is provided for applicant assistance with this requirement (see http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/dert/programs/core/guidelines/index.cfm).

Pre-formatted Tables are available for applicant use to facilitate completion and can be downloaded from: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/dert/programs/core/guidelines/index.cfm

Applicants may prepare their own Tables or formats in place of the preformatted. All Tables must be converted to pdf for uploading.

Project/Performance Site Location(s) (Overall)

Enter primary site only.

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

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Overall)

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

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

Budget (Overall)

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

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

PHS 398 Research Plan (Overall)

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

Specific Aims: The specific aims for the Center should describe the strategic vision, theme, and  goals to be accomplished. 

Research Strategy: Provide a written strategy for how the EHS CC will implement its vision and which future directions will likely be followed during the project period. The plan should outline the existing skills, technologies and scientific research base, and communication and community engagement expertise at the institution.  This plan should describe how the Core Center will enhance ongoing projects, identify and bring in outstanding new projects, respond to future challenges and opportunities, and promote collaborations, advances in technology, and progress in environmental health sciences.  Detail expected scientific outcomes including a description of anticipated impact on human disease and public health.  An organizational chart should be included to illustrate the structure, interactions, and leaders of the EHS CC.

The Strategic Vision must address the following critical elements:

Theme – Provide the central theme(s) of the EHS CC and the likely supported research, resources, and relevance to environmental health.  The theme may be broad or focused, depending upon the goals of the EHS CC but should indicate translational elements along the spectrum from basic mechanistic and toxicological science to population and public health, disease prevention, and community engagement.  Within this section, describe the research capacity and clearly identifiable major scientific focus in environmental health and related biomedical research.  The EHS CC should foster interdisciplinary cooperation among established investigators conducting high-quality research in environmental health science.

Goals and directions – Describe current and future directions for the EHS CC in the forthcoming project period.  The impact of Center-based science should be discussed in detail as well as how the facility/service cores contribute to advancing Center goals. Provide an overview of the research supported by the EHS CC and its likely impact on understanding environmental health and, ultimately, public health.  Describe how the central themes and goals integrate with the needs and concerns of the target communities. Describe short and long-term goals and measures of success.  Provide expected advances in the field of environmental health, and the impact these advances will likely have on understanding exposure-disease processes and  potential for translating to public health or clinical practice. Describe examples of research conducted by Center members or teams that have successfully been translated to the bedside or community or identify plans to translate research findings during the project period. Describe new or innovative tools or methods to support the Center’s emphasis. Document how the Center forms, organizes, and leads its teams towards answering complex questions and the role of target communities or community advisors in these decisions.  Identify levels of risk for these goals, potential roadblocks to achieving them, and how the Center might respond to these challenges. Applications might also describe the earlier accomplishments of the Center teams - either funded or not by NIEHS - and how it intends to build upon its successes. These accomplishments should be presented, as appropriate in the areas of basic science, clinical research, public health, disease prevention, and community engagement.  Plans for Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC) must indicate how this entity will integrate with the EHS CC, interact with target audiences, and promote the vision of the Center.

Integration of investigators of multiple skills and talents – Outline steps the EHS CC will take to promote interdisciplinary studies and collaborations, especially among basic scientists and clinical researchers, and, where appropriate, community engagement experts.  Explain the types of initiatives planned to stimulate teams and attract high-caliber professionals.  Describe the expected level of high-risk/high-payoff research that may require long-term support.

Building research capacity – Provide details on the special talents and resources that will be drawn to and built upon at the EHS CC. Offer how these talents will be used to promote new collaborations and produce multidimensional teams to address complex questions.  Include a plan for bringing investigators into the EHS CC from within and outside the area of environmental health sciences and needed expertise.  Describe academic and research partnerships that will be pursued by the EHS CC to advance its goals and missions.  Provide a plan to determine the need for services, instrumentation or other infrastructure of the EHS CC.  Address the steps that will ensure that the EHS CC proceeds at the cutting edge of technology and concepts.  As it is expected that facility core needs will change over time, include the process to evaluate needs and implement changes.

The application must define, in this section, the eligibility criteria for EHS CC membership and note which individuals play key leadership roles in the EHS CC.  Indicate the steps to engage full and/or junior members in EHS CC activities and to enhance collaborations and translational research among Center members.  Describe how established investigators/community engagement experts will be engaged as advisors or mentors for early stage career Center members.

Steps taken to encourage research and/or Outreach Teams that focus complementary expertise on complex and emerging questions in environmental health should be discussed within the Strategic Vision.  Steps taken to encourage such activities and brief examples of ongoing or planned research should be discussed as appropriate with reference to supporting Facility/Service Cores.  Do not provide an exhaustive list of ongoing incremental research.  Weave significant findings and advances throughout the narrative of this section to demonstrate the leadership and impact of the center on building its environmental health sciences program.

For renewals, summarize activities carried out during the preceding performance period that demonstrate the level of success in reaching previously stated goals.

Environmental Health Identity and Impact of Research Base - The EHS CC fosters interdisciplinary cooperation among established investigators conducting high-quality research in environmental health science.  Therefore, existence of a strong research capability in environmental health sciences is fundamental to establishment or continuation of an EHS CC.  To qualify for support, an institution must demonstrate this research capability so as to have a clearly identifiable, major scientific focus in environmental health research.  Consequently, an existing program of excellence in biomedical research in the field of environmental health science is a basic prerequisite for establishment of an EHS CC and it must demonstrate it can capitalize upon these research capabilities and resources to significantly advance understanding of its chosen scientific focus.  Please describe the Environmental Health Identity and Impact of the Research Base on the plans for promoting translational research and outreach efforts.

Research grant support from NIH and sources other than PHS should be listed and will be considered in the determination of its suitability of focus on environmental health sciences if the research is (1) related to human health in areas where there is evidence for the involvement of environmental factors in disease etiology or phenotypic expression, (2) of outstanding quality, and (3) funded based on peer or internal review of rigor comparable to that of PHS.

NIEHS will make the final decision in determining whether the applicant EHS CC Institution has the critical mass of grants, investigators, and projects in the area of environmental health.  Prior to submission of an application, the proposed Center Director is encouraged to consult with Institute Staff regarding the adequacy of the research base.

Progress Report Publication List: For renewal applications, include a list of publications related to or derived from EHS CC support or assistance.  Indicate whether the EHS CC was cited in the acknowledgments and provide the PMCID.  Table D is provided for applicant assistance with this requirement (see http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/dert/programs/core/guidelines/index.cfm).  

Letters of Support: Letters of support should be provided where appropriate to demonstrate collaboration, access to resources, institutional commitment, etc.

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

  • All applications submitted for the January 25, 2015 due date or after are expected to comply with the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy as detailed in NOT-OD-14-111, as applicable.
  • All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan.

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

Administrative Core

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

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Administrative Core)

Complete only the following fields:

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

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Administrative Core)

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

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

Project Narrative:  Do not complete. Note: ASSIST screens will show an asterisk for this attachment indicating it is required. However, eRA systems only enforce this requirement in the Overall component and applications will not receive an error if omitted in other components.

Facilities and Other Resources: Assisting new investigators in attaining independent status or established investigators in developing new promising areas of expertise is an objective of the Center. A plan should be developed that describes the approach to identify target candidates, resources available to them such as use of the Pilot Project Program and other facilities cores, examples of planned scientific enrichment activities for selected investigators including  collegial support such as career enrichment programs, assistance and guidance, mini-sabbaticals, special lectures, visiting scientist symposia, seminars, workshops, and short courses both at the parent institution or off-site, resources for classes, travel, training; and a mechanism for monitoring their career advancement. To facilitate developmental activities, active involvement by senior investigators within the EHS CC is strongly encouraged.

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

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

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

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Administrative Core)
  • ASSIST will default to “Project Lead”. If you would like to use a different category, then replace “Project Lead” below with a different Category (e.g., Core Lead).
  • In the Project Director/Principal Investigator section of the form, use Project Role of ‘Other’ with Category of ‘Core Lead’ and provide a valid eRA Commons ID in the Credential field.
  • In the additional Senior/Key Profiles section, list Senior/Key persons that are working in the component.
  • Include a single Biographical Sketch for each Senior/Key person listed in the application regardless of the number of components in which they participate. When a Senior/Key person is listed in multiple components, the Biographical Sketch can be included in any one component.
  • If more than 100 Senior/Key persons are included in a component, the Additional Senior Key Person attachments should be used. The application must name the Center Director who will serve as the PD/PI of the Center and Core Leader of the Administrative Core.
  • The Center Director is expected to have appropriate experience with authority to oversee the organization and operation of the EHS CC and to provide scientific and administrative leadership for the total program. The Center Director should devote at least 2.4 months annual effort to the EHS CC. A Deputy Center Director must also be designated to serve in the absence of the Director.
  • The background, scientific and administrative expertise and academic/research accomplishments should be provided in the Senior/Key Personnel form and biosketches of the Director and Deputy Director. It is expected that the Center Director, as well as the Deputy Center Director, will have considerable experience as a leader in environmental health sciences and distinguished records of scientific and administrative accomplishment. Summarized examples of administrative and scientific leadership carried out during earlier performance periods. If applicable, cite accomplishments of the Director and Deputy Director as heads of academic departments, multi-component research programs, or center entities. 
Budget (Administrative Core)

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

Allowable Budget for the EHS CC

Allowable Direct Costs are based on the Direct Costs of NIH awards in which an EHS CC member is designated as the PD/PI.. The sum of qualifying NIEHS support (as defined below) plus 0.1 multiplied by other qualifying NIH funded grants are used to find the maximum allowable Direct Cost of an application.

For applications competing for FY2016 funding, the allowable Direct Cost level is determined by Table 1.

=============================================

Table 1

--------

Qualifying NIH Support                              Allowable

[NIEHS + 0.1 (other NIH)]                         Direct Costs

-----------------------------------                --------------

Up to and including $3,000,000                $   700,000

$3,000,001 - $10,000,000                                   $1,000,000

Above $10,000,000                                   $1,300,000

=============================================

In the following example, if an Institution's membership includes PDs/PIs on NIEHS grants with Direct Costs totaling $2.0M and other NIH grants with Direct Costs totaling $6M, the maximal allowable budget would be $700,000 as calculated, below:

Qualifying Support = [$2.0M + 0.1($6M)] = $2.0M + $0.6M = $2.6M

The calculated value of Qualifying Support is less than $3M and, according to Table 1, allows a request of $700,000 Direct Costs.

Budgets are limited to $1.3M Direct Costs in any one year.

Qualifying Grants and Cooperative Agreements:

i.   All qualifying support must have at least 1 active year remaining at the time of submission and be clearly focused on environmental health science.

ii. Renewal grant applications that will be peer-reviewed between the time of submission and award may be included in the base calculation. (NOTE: if renewal is not funded, the base calculation will be adjusted accordingly and may affect DC amount received.)

iii. NIEHS: K-awards, P01, P42, P50, R01, R03, R21, R37, R43, R44, U01, U19

iv. Other NIH Institutes: K-awards, P01, P50/P60, R01, R03, R21, R37, U01

v. In the case of multicomponent projects such as P01 or P42 only costs of the sub-project led by the EHS CC member may be included.

vi. Not included, regardless of institute: Clinical trials, T-awards, U45, and Conference awards (R13, U13). Furthermore, grants and cooperative agreements in extension periods, either with or without additional funds, as well as supplements of any kind, are not included.

NIEHS Program Staff will make the final determination on whether a grant qualifies for inclusion in budget calculations. All awards, in particular those supported by non-NIEHS Institutes, must clearly focus on Environmental Health Science.

Other Budget Information

Budget to cultivate junior and mid-level and recruited investigators to develop careers and research programs in environmental health sciences should be included in the administrative core budget. Direct costs for the sum of activities should not exceed $150,000 annually. This figure does not include salary for the EHS CC’s “New Investigator” or “Recruited Center Investigator". Allowable expenses include:

New Investigator:

  • Temporary salary support (up to 9 months effort) for 1 - 2 years and equipment may be provided in the application for a named New Investigator in a specified area of research. The investigator can work in the basic sciences, clinical research, or public health disciplines relevant to environmental health. Former post-doctoral fellows, are eligible for this position.
  • The New Investigator indicated in the application is eligible to compete for support for up to 2 years through the pilot project program. Subsequently recruited individuals are to be named by the Center Director and submitted for approval to the EHS CC's Internal or External Advisory Board, as appropriate.

Recruited Center Investigators:

  • Partial salary support (up to 9 months effort) for not more than 2 years, technical support, and equipment for independent investigators newly recruited from outside the Center. The recruit would be expected to bring new technologies or novel scientific areas of expertise into the environmental health sciences arena that enhance the Center’s research capabilities. Former graduate students and postdoctoral fellows of Center members should not be considered for support unless, in exceptional cases, it can be demonstrated that they have established independent research careers (for example have transitioned to an R00 award)  and will provide critical expertise.
  • Specific individuals to be awarded Recruited Center Investigator support need not be identified in the application, but the amount budgeted for this purpose should be declared, and, to the extent possible, the types of individuals sought and their expected roles in the Center described.

At a minimum, the greater of $80,000 Direct Costs or 10% of the total direct costs are to be devoted annually to COEC.

In non-competing years, EHS CC with Direct Costs of less than $1M may re-calculate the budget and request an additional $50,000 in direct costs by demonstrating a significant increase of NIEHS - support. Increases in the award will be based on determination by NIEHS Program Staff and availability of funds.

All travel associated with the annual EHS CC Meeting or External Advisory Board members should be budgeted within the Administrative Core.

COEC is to budget travel for its field or community work, etc. within the COEC section.

Annual EHS CC Meetings: Each Center must budget $5,000 per year to support the annual EHS CC Meetings in venues to be determined in collaboration with the Center Investigators and NIEHS. EHS CC should expect to host the EHS CC  meeting once within the project period and may want to set funds aside for the event. Please consult with program staff for details. Travel costs should also budget for EHS CC members to travel to the annual 2 - 3 day meeting at a minimum for the Director, COEC Director, and Administrative Assistant. Travel budget should also include travel for 1-2 COEC staff to attend annual Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH) meeting.

Items Not Allowed Under a P30 EHS CC Grant Include:

1. Direct support of individual research except for Pilot Projects.

2. Salary for Co-Directors, Co-investigators, or individuals unless clearly defined roles are documented in the operation of the EHS CC.

3. Travel to workshops or scientific meetings, other than training in the course of Career Development activities.

4. Page and publication charges.

5. Director’s Funds or Discretionary Fund.

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

PHS 398 Research Plan (Administrative Core)

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

Specific Aims:  The administrative core provides oversight and coordination of EHS CC activities. State the aims of the Administrative Core.  

Research Strategy: Applicants should describe the administrative structure of the Center and the roles and responsibilities of all key personnel. The administrative core is responsible for overseeing organizational structure, budgeting and reporting functions and provides the leadership for scientific and programmatic activities of the EHS CC.

Through the required Administrative Core, the Center Director provides leadership and guidance in fulfilling the stated objective of his or her Center. It is expected that the organization of the Administrative Core will provide a supportive structure sufficient to promote the scientific vision of the center and to accomplish the following:

  • Coordination and integration of EHS CC components and activities.
  • Cultivate junior and mid-level and recruited investigators to develop careers and research programs in environmental health sciences to advance the vision of the Center
  • Assessment of productivity, effectiveness, and appropriateness of EHS CC activities and determination of EHS CC membership, assessment of scientific opportunities and areas for collaboration among EHS CC members.
  • Organization of EHS CC activities, such as retreats, invitation of consultants, meetings, and focus groups.
  • Recordkeeping of meeting minutes and measures of success including: use of EHS CC facilities, publications, pilot project awards, and new grant applications resulting from preliminary data enabled by the EHS CC.
  • Organization of the Internal and External Advisory Groups.
  • Interactions with other EHS CCs, the NIEHS, and other appropriate individuals, groups, or organizations.

Coordination and integration: The application should describe how the Administrative Core will take a leadership role in ensuring the synthesis of findings and activities from research projects and cores towards solving the central problem proposed by the Center.  In addition, direct lines of communication between the Administrative Core and Community Outreach and Engagement Cores (as well as with the other cores, as appropriate) should be delineated, as all of these cores serve critical roles for Center integration.

Cultivating careers: The application should describe methods and procedures of how the Administrative Core will engage new investigators and newly recruited investigators and assist them towards independent status. Planned scientific and didactic enrichment activities should be described. Plans to monitor progress and a detailed description of the senior investigator involved in these activities must be detailed

Center coordination: The application should describe how the center will monitor productivity, effectiveness, and appropriateness of EHS CC activities (record keeping of core usage, meeting minutes, etc.); strategies for stimulating interaction among center members (i.e., retreats, invitation of consultants, meetings, and focus groups).

In addition the administrative structure must include an Internal Advisory Committee (IAC) and an External Advisory Committee (EAC). Renewal applications must document the functions and effectiveness of the External and Internal Advisory Committees.  Do not list potential EAC members in the application.

Leadership Qualifications: The Center Director is expected to have appropriate experience with authority to oversee the organization and operation of the EHS CC and to provide scientific and administrative leadership for the total program. A Deputy Center Director must also be designated to serve in the absence of the Director, with other responsibilities described

The Deputy Director is expected to play an active role in the organization and operation of the EHS CC. The roles and authorities are left to the team to develop, but potential responsibilities include oversight of Career Development, Pilot Projects, one or more Research Core activities, or other Leadership activities.

It is expected that leadership will transition when appropriate. Please briefly describe plans for a succession plan for EHS CC leadership to maintain the entity at the pinnacle of the field, either temporarily or permanently.

Letters of Support: Include letters of support where appropriate to demonstrate collaborations, access to resources, institutional commitment, etc.

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

All applications submitted for the January 25, 2015 due date or after are expected to comply with the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy as detailed in NOT-OD-14-111, as applicable

All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan.

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

Planned Enrollment Report  (Administrative Core)

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

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report (Administrative Core)

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

Integrative Health Sciences Facility Core

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

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Integrative Health Sciences Facility Core)

Complete only the following fields:

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

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Integrative Health Sciences Facility Core)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Integrative Health Sciences Facility Core)

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

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

Project Narrative:  Do not completeNote: ASSIST screens will show an asterisk for this attachment indicating it is required. However, eRA systems only enforce this requirement in the Overall component and applications will not receive an error if omitted in other components

Project/Performance Site Location(s) (Integrative Health Sciences Facility Core)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

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

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Integrative Health Sciences Facility Core)

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

Budget (Integrative Health Sciences Facility Core)

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

For a list of allowed or restricted budget items, please see the Budget section under Administrative Core above.

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

PHS 398 Research Plan (Integrative Health Sciences Facility Core)

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

Specific Aims: The Integrative Health Sciences Facility Core (IHSFC) is intended to facilitate translational research findings bi-directionally along the spectrum from basic and/or clinical research to the applied or public health arenas. State the aims for the IHSFC.

Research Strategy: The IHSFC provides resources to facilitate the progression of environmental health sciences from basic mechanistic and toxicological research to use by affected communities for improved public health, and/or clinical practice. The IHSFC Core is to be designed to support collaborative efforts among basic scientists, clinical researchers, community engagement experts, and/or public health practitioners by:

  • Providing services and access to instrumentation and technologies that foster integration of basic science, public health research including epidemiology and intervention studies, and patient-oriented clinical research.
  • Supporting research to improve early detection, prevention, and/or therapeutic strategies for environmentally–related disorders.
  • Enhancing partnerships between researchers and community-based organizations that impact on conduct of clinical and public health research.

Among its functions, the IHSFC may provide services that capitalize on access to well-characterized patient groups and control subjects for research projects. These can include study subject recruitment and retention activities, and follow-up by mail, phone or in-person to gather needed data for research projects. Clinical services may include clinical laboratory or other assessments, pathology services, collection, processing and long-term storage of human tissue samples, blood, urine or other biospecimens, and preparation of questionnaires or other assessment tools. Among its roles, the IHSFC can facilitate and support partnerships between study investigators and human populations, communities, or health care providers. Description of services, equipment, and other activities of this core need to be well documented. When applicable, procedures for collecting, storing, and distributing biological samples should be included in the application. Partnerships with other units at the institution that support these types of activities should be described.

Without duplicating the information in the Facility Core Use table in the Overall component, the application should include a summary of the types of research projects and/or clinical trials that use or plan to use the core. Include specific examples and the likely benefits to other research activities. If applicable, highlight key activities carried out during an earlier performance period for the teams or a center entity that have advanced the Center vision and/or scientific focus.

For renewals, summarize activities carried out during the preceding performance period that demonstrate the level of success in reaching previously stated goals.

Letters of Support: Include letters of support where appropriate to demonstrate collaborations, access to resources, institutional commitment, etc.

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, and Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS)) as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modification with the following modification:

All applications submitted for the January 25, 2015 due date or after are expected to comply with the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy as detailed in NOT-OD-14-111, as applicable.

All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan.

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

Planned Enrollment Report  (Integrative Health Sciences Facility Core)

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

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report (Integrative Health Sciences Facility Core)

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

Facility Cores

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

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Facility Cores)

Complete only the following fields:

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

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Facility Cores)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Facility Cores)

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

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

Project Narrative:  Do not complete. Note: ASSIST screens will show an asterisk for this attachment indicating it is required. However, eRA systems only enforce this requirement in the Overall component and applications will not receive an error if omitted in other components

Project/Performance Site Location(s) (Facility Cores)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

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

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Facility Cores)

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

Budget (Facility Cores)

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

For a list of allowed or restricted budget items, please see the Budget section under Administrative Core above.

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

PHS 398 Research Plan (Facility Cores)

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

Specific Aims: The intent of Facility Cores is to furnish groups of EHS CC investigators with technologies, services, or instrumentation that will enhance the research in progress, consolidate manpower effort, and contribute to cost effectiveness. State the specific aims of the Facility Core.

Research Strategy:  A central function and process of the EHS CC grant are through support of Facility Cores which are designed to furnish groups of EHS CC investigators with technologies, services, or instrumentation that will enhance the research in progress, consolidate manpower effort, and contribute to cost effectiveness. At least three investigators with independently funded projects and demonstrated need for such a core or service form the minimum required research base to establish a core facility. The minimum set of users does not in itself provide sufficient justification for establishment of a Facility Core.

Describe the Facility Core. Facility cores should draw on EHS CC research needs, including, but not limited to: animal use and transgenic, imaging, tissue culture, pathology support, biostatistics and statistical support, oligonucleotide synthesis, analytical chemistry, proteomics, bioinformatics, exposure assessment, and handling of human tissue specimens. Establishment and continued support for Facility Cores by an EHS CC application must be justified on the basis of use by independently funded EHS CC investigators. The utilization of Facility Cores by pilot projects is encouraged.

Facility Cores for the EHS CC should be unique and not duplicate services or facilities that already exist at the parent or collaborating institutions or can be purchased commercially. University-wide facility cores providing services in areas relevant to environmental health research have become more widely available at many research centers. EHS CCs should utilize existing facility cores where appropriate and describe in the application how members of the EHS CC would receive priority access, favorable cost arrangements, and training on unique technologies. If facilities within a university-wide facility are not sufficient to meet the needs of the EHS CC, then the applicant is to provide information on the existing facilities and on how the Center and greater university facility plan to partner. Proposed Center Facility Cores that appear to replicate services already available at the applicant institution will not be allowed without extensive justification. Facility Cores should not duplicate services that can be purchased in the private sector at prices below university-derived costs. 

The application must provide the total operating budget for the Facility Core together with the percentage of support requested from the Center Grant. User logs or similar information used to complete the on-line form should be maintained and made available on request to the NIEHS in order to validate the extent of use and degree of sharing. In the case of new proposed Centers or new Facility Cores within an existing Center, similar information regarding anticipated use of the Cores should be provided. Define the use or expected use of the Facility Core by Center members and/or projects in terms of Low, Medium, or High (on a scale of 1-3).

The application should explain the organization and proposed mode of operation of each core. It should include a plan for prioritizing investigator use of the core as well as a definition of qualified proposed and potential users. This definition need not be too narrow, since limited use of a core might be an enticement to established investigators in other fields to lend their expertise to the field of environmental health. The use of the Facility Core for training purposes is encouraged and, if so planned, a description of the extent of and approach to this training should be included. 

Although Facility Cores are meant to provide services for Center members, they also play an important role in developing new methodologies, adapting instrumentation for Center needs, and educating Center members of the value and utility of services and methods. Funds can be designated to support these aspects of the Facility Cores and discussion of how these activities will be performed should be included in the application.

For renewals, summarize activities carried out during the preceding performance period that demonstrate the level of success in reaching previously stated goals.

Letters of Support: Include letters of support where appropriate to demonstrate collaborations, access to resources, institutional commitment, etc.

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, and Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS)) as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modification:

All applications submitted for the January 25, 2015 due date or after are expected to comply with the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy as detailed in NOT-OD-14-111, as applicable.

All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan.

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

Planned Enrollment Report  (Facility Cores)

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

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report (Facility Cores)

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

Community Outreach and Engagement Core

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

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Community Outreach and Engagement Core)

Complete only the following fields:

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

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Community Outreach and Engagement Core)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Community Outreach and Engagement Core)

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

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

Project Narrative:  Do not complete. Note: ASSIST screens will show an asterisk for this attachment indicating it is required. However, eRA systems only enforce this requirement in the Overall component and applications will not receive an error if omitted in other components

Project/Performance Site Location(s) (Community Outreach and Engagement Core)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

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

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Community Outreach and Engagement Core)

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

Budget (Community Outreach and Engagement Core)

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

For a list of allowed or restricted budget items, please see the Budget section under Administrative Core above.

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

PHS 398 Research Plan (Community Outreach and Engagement Core)

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

Specific Aims:  The Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC) promotes multi-directional communication among the EHS CC and its specified audience(s). State the aims for the COEC.

Research Strategy: The EHS CC occupies a unique position to develop and sustain community outreach and engagement activities through its COEC. Programs developed by COECs will lead the field of environmental health outreach and engagement at the local and national level. To ensure responsiveness and relevance to community (broadly defined) needs, the COEC promotes multi-directional communication among the EHS CC and its stated audience(s) on issues of prevention, environmental health literacy, and environmental public health.

Describe the COEC’s vision and objective to conduct each of the following three critical functions.

1. Translate and disseminate EHS CC research results into environmental public health knowledge for identified audience(s). COECs develop and implement appropriate outreach and engagement programs to increase awareness and understanding of environmental health research being conducted at the EHS CC.

2. Communicate audience issues, needs, and concerns to EHS CC members. In working with community-based organizations, disease advocacy groups, and other local, state, or regional partners to enhance dialogue, as well as fostering interactions with Center members on environmental health issues the informs and guides EHS CC members in developing appropriate research activities that address the expressed needs.

3. Advance the field of community engagement. Evaluate outreach models, disseminate results at local and national levels, and promote models for national implementation.

The objectives, activities, and products outlined in the strategy must be aligned and integrated with the research strengths and focus of the EHS CC.

COECs must:

  • Identify one or more audience(s) most appropriate to the mission of the EHS CC. For the purposes of the EHS CC Program, there are three audiences of interest: Community, Policy-makers, and Public Health and/or Health Care Professionals.
  • Establish a Stakeholder Advisory Board (SAB) to facilitate and strengthen multi-directional interaction between the EHS CC and partners.  For renewal applications, current SAB members should be listed.
  • Possess the appropriate expertise for the identified audience and outlined activities. COECs should be directed by staff trained in public health, outreach and education, and/or other relevant disciplines at a Master’s or Doctoral level.

As part of their plan on how they will carry-out these three key functions, COECs should:

state clear and measurable objectives;

  • demonstrate alignment to research strength and focus of the Center;
  • identify existing and future partners;
  • prioritize short, mid, and long-term activities to be implemented;
  • list and describe expected products;
  • identify specific environmental problems;
  • outline how they are capable of responding to new issues;
  • state anticipated impacts and their significance for environmental public health; and
  • define evaluation tools to measure the impact of core activities.

For guidance on evaluation, applicants are encouraged to review the PEPH Evaluation Metrics Manual at http://www.niehs.nih.gov/pephmetrics

Additional program notes for the COEC that may be addressed include:

  • COECSs are expected to advance the field of community engagement and environmental health communication and as such may conduct social science/communication research to examine the impacts and outcomes of their work.
  • COECs are not expected to conduct community-based participatory research (CBPR), as it is not their intended goal. COECs may choose to align their vision and goals to the principles of CBPR. As described in the Principles of Community Engagement, NIEHS seeks more collaborative efforts. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/communityengagement/pce_what.html
  • Collaborations among COECs in EHS CCs are desirable. Support of collaborations can be from NIEHS/NIH or other agencies and foundations.
  • COECs are encouraged to contact NIEHS staff within the Division of Extramural Research and the Office of Communication and Public Liaison in developing printed and audiovisual educational materials. These outreach activities must be identified as programs supported by the EHS CC.

Although the COEC should not include epidemiology, clinical trials, clinical services delivery, or community-engaged research, the Core may be useful in establishing a relationship with a community-based organization that could form the foundation of a research grant application. In such cases, COEC proposals may be considered for pilot project funding. COEC activities should not go beyond public and community education concerning environmental disease risk and/or hazard exposure recognition, as the COEC is not intended to give medical, legal, political, social, or economic advice.

  • K-12 curriculum development is not allowed as a COEC activity

All COEC-produced materials must be submitted to the Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH) Resource Center. https://connect.niehs.nih.gov/peph/index.cfm?directTo=peph.landing.

  • For renewals, summarize activities carried out during the preceding performance period that demonstrate the level of success in reaching previously stated goals. Clearly delineate and report the specific activities, products, integration with other Center activities, etc. that document the accomplishments of the COEC.

Letters of Support: Include letters of support where appropriate to demonstrate collaborations, access to resources, institutional commitment, etc.

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, and Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS)) as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modification:

All applications submitted for the January 25, 2015 due date or after are expected to comply with the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy as detailed in NOT-OD-14-111, as applicable.

All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan.

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

Planned Enrollment Report  (Community Outreach and Engagement Core)

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

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report (Community Outreach and Engagement Core)

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

Pilot Project Program

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

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Pilot Project Program)

Complete only the following fields:

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

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Pilot Project Program)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Pilot Project Program)

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

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

Project Narrative:  Do not complete. Note: ASSIST screens will show an asterisk for this attachment indicating it is required. However, eRA systems only enforce this requirement in the Overall component and applications will not receive an error if omitted in other components

Other Attachments: Please title an attachment "Pilot Projects" and list all Pilot Projects supported all or in part by the EHS CC.  Include the years funded, awardee, amount of funds for the pilot, title, publications derived from support, and resulting grants funded (including annual direct costs, grant number, and funding agency).  Table E is provided for applicant assistance with this requirement (see http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/dert/programs/core/guidelines/index.cfm).

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

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

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

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

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

Budget (Pilot Project Program)

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

It is suggested that up to 25% of the annual direct costs be allocated to Pilot Project support, although greater amounts may be requested with justification.

For a list of allowed or restricted budget items, please see the Budget section under Administrative Core above. However, considerable discretion is allowed for funding of pilot projects and reasonable costs associated with research projects are permitted. Conference Travel to present findings is not allowed. In addition, the Pilot Projects Program may include a reasonable level of salary support for the Project Leader and other participating staff.

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

PHS 398 Research Plan (Pilot Project Program)

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

Specific Aims: The intent of the Pilot Project Program is support short-term projects to explore the feasibility of new areas of study which lead to collection of sufficient data to pursue support through other funding mechanisms. State the aims for the Pilot Project Program.

Research Strategy: A Pilot Project Program is an integral part of the EHS CCs. The Research Strategy for this section should include a plan to support pilot studies for basic mechanistic and toxicological, clinical biomedical, epidemiological, educational, behavioral and social science, and communication research or community engaged activities. The description of a plan to solicit, review, and administer pilot grants must be included and a separate budget, including the total request for pilots, must be submitted. Criteria for review of pilot studies must be developed and included in the application. The Pilot Project Program should support short-term projects to explore the feasibility of new areas of study which lead to collection of sufficient data to pursue support through other funding mechanisms. Include a clear description of the process designed to award and evaluate progress in pilot projects. Investigators are encouraged to consult with NIEHS program staff for submission of new NIH applications based on pilot project-supported data.

Pilot Projects are intended to:

(a) Provide initial support for new investigators to establish new lines of research;

(b) Allow exploration of possible innovative new directions representing a significant departure from ongoing funded research for established investigators in environmental health sciences;

(c) Stimulate investigators from other areas of endeavor to apply their expertise to environmental health research and environmental medicine; and

(d) Foster opportunities that meet goals set out in the EHS CC Plan. Pilot projects should strive to fill in gaps in research areas relevant to the scientific focus of the EHS CC.

While Foreign Components are not acceptable in the EHS CC, select pilot projects partly performed in a foreign country may be approved by NIEHS after an award is made. The pilot project must demonstrate a highly compelling justification both to the EHS CC through its selection process and to NIEHS. All foreign pilot projects are subject to NIH and Federal regulations and guidelines governing the approval of such activities and will be considered case-by-case.

A renewal application should include: historical overview of the Pilot Project Program during the last program period; a description of the management of the program. The basis for grant support resulting from pilot projects should be discussed briefly in the application. For example, funds for preliminary data collection, use of Center facilities, or guidance and/or collaborations could be cited as appropriate. Include the process for application review and award and the measures of success, such as publications, subsequent funding, and career advancement of the sponsored individuals.

Letters of Support: Include letters of support where appropriate to demonstrate collaborations, access to resources, institutional commitment, etc.

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, and Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS)) as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modification:

All applications submitted for the January 25, 2015 due date or after are expected to comply with the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy as detailed in NOT-OD-14-111, as applicable.

All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan.

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

Planned Enrollment Report  (Pilot Project Program)

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

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report (Pilot Project Program)

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

3. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission.

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

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

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

4. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

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

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

6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

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

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

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

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

Important reminders:

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

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

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

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

In order to expedite review, applicants are requested to notify the NIEHS Scientific Review Officer, Dr. Bass by email at bass@niehs.nih.gov when the application has been submitted. Please include the FOA number and title, PD/PI name, and title of the application.

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

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria

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

Overall Impact - Overall

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

Scored Review Criteria - Overall

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

Significance

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

Are the EHS CC’s plans targeted toward building research capacity?  Will the plans, as proposed, attract investigators to the EHS CC from within and outside environmental health sciences?  Will the research supported by the EHS CC likely contribute to understanding of environmental health sciences and, ultimately, public health?

Investigator(s)

Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the EHS CC? 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 Director or Facility Core leader demonstrate the ability to provide scientific and administrative leadership and direction? Does the application indicate that the Director has the authority to appoint new members to the EHS CC and discontinue membership status, when appropriate? Is the Deputy Director qualified to serve in the absence of the Director?   

Innovation

Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?   

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the EHS CC? 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 EHS CC involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed? 

Environment

Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements? 

Does the EHS CC demonstrate that it includes the skills, technologies, and capacity to foster interdisciplinary, state-of-the-art, and innovative research that would lead to important discoveries or major scientific advances in the chosen areas of focus? Are the size and breadth of the research grant base in the EHS CC directly relevant to environmental health sciences and to the theme of the EHS CC, placing special emphasis on NIEHS-supported grants? Does the EHS CC take advantage of the capability of its research base to maximize scientific productivity, particularly through interdisciplinary coordination and collaboration? 

Additional Review Criteria - Overall

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

Overall/Strategic Vision

  • Does the applicant articulate a clear and practical set of goals?
  • Are the goals reasonable and attainable in consideration of the expertise, facilities, and funds available?
  • Are the EHS CC’s plans sufficient to promote multi-disciplinary studies and collaborations, especially among basic scientists and clinical researchers?
  • Does the Vision suggest and present plans to encourage collaboration, sharing of resources within the EHS CC, and steps towards translational science and dissemination?
  • Are the results of following the path outlined in the Vision likely to lead to advances in environmental health sciences or related fields, improved mentoring of early stage investigators, improved community engagement, and/or public health?

Institutional Commitment

  • Is the level of institutional commitment appropriate and demonstrative of significant support to the EHS CC?
  • Do the presence, stature, and effectiveness of the NIEHS EHS CC represent an established organizational component within the institution? 

Administrative Core

  • Is the administrative structure designed for effective management of the EHS CC?
  • Are the strategies employed by the EHS CC for future research leaders in environmental health sciences, environmental medicine, and public health appropriate?
  • How well does the EHS CC plan and carry out recruiting and supporting new investigators?
  • Is the EHS CC‘s plan for providing cross-discipline experiences for junior and established investigators sufficient to learn current and necessary techniques that are absent from their research programs?
  • Has the EHS CC established itself as a recognizable entity in the fields of environmental health sciences and environmental medicine and public health?
  • How well does the EHS CC plan for initiating, continuing, and discontinuing individual membership?
  • Is the percent effort of the administrative staff of the EHS CC appropriate, in terms of their qualifications and contributions to the specialized needs and conduct of the EHS CC's research activities?
  • What are the EHS CC’s plans for using the Internal Advisory Committee and External Advisory Committee?  Is the expertise of the advisory committees adequate?

Integrative Health Sciences Facility Core

  • Will the services offered for technologies foster the integration of basic science, public health research, including epidemiology and intervention studies, and patient-oriented clinical research?
  • Is the research support adequate to improve early detection, prevention, and/or therapy for environmentally–related disorders?
  • How well do the EHS CC and community based organizations support partnerships between researchers that will impact on the conduct of clinical and public health research?

Facility/Service Cores

  • What is the Core’s utility to the overall EHS CC and its membership?
  • How well does the proposed Facility Core respond to the needs of the EHS CC membership and the chosen scientific or outreach focus of the application? Do the plans suggest outstanding quality?
  • Are plans presented for quality control and to provide the services or materials within reasonable timeframes?
  • Are the Facility Cores and their services and materials timely and at the frontier of technology appropriate for the research the EHS CC plans to support?
  • Is the Facility Core cost-effective?
  • What are the overall qualifications of the personnel involved?

Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC)

(a) Vision and Objective

  • Is the COEC a logical outgrowth of the EHS CC theme?
  • Will the COEC lead to a mutually-beneficial, bidirectional relationship between the academic institution and the community?
  • Are objectives for COEC clear and measurable? Do they prioritize short, mid and long-term activities? Are evaluation plans defined to measure the impact of core activities? If so, are the evaluation plans appropriate?

(b) Translating research information into environmental public health knowledge:

  • Are outreach and educational engagement programs proposed to increase awareness and understanding of environmental health research being conducted at the EHS CC?
  • How appropriate is the identified target audience?  With respect to the COEC’s defined target audience, are the specific plans, activities, and coordination for the proposed COEC, appropriate?  
  • What is the role of the Core in the activities in the EHS CC? Is adequate integration proposed?
  • Is the past and/or projected use of the Core sufficient to warrant its establishment or continuance?  Is the use of the Core balanced and broadly based as opposed to being used by a few individuals?

(c) Ensuring EHS CC understanding of community and other stakeholder needs

  • Is the composition of the Stakeholder Advisory Board (SAB) adequate and what is the contribution of this group to administrative decisions?
  • Other than the SAB, are the specific plans appropriate to increasing EHS CC awareness of community concerns?
  • Do the plans adequately describe a process for maintaining transparent communications between the identified audience and the academic partners throughout the entire process of the activity? 
  • Does the plan address methods of building and sustaining community partnerships and community participation?

(d) Leadership and staff expertise

  • Is the COEC Director qualified for the position? Does he or she demonstrate expertise in public health, outreach and education, health communication, or other relevant disciplines at the Master’s or Doctoral level?
  • Does the investigator provide previous experience/evidence for conducting community engagement activities/projects? 
  • Does the proposed staff possess suitable expertise to fulfill the stated objectives of the COEC?
  • Do the plans enhance the likelihood of success? 

Pilot Project Program

  • How feasible and practical are the EHS CC plans to review and distribute funds for pilots?
  • Does the EHS CC plan to use pilot project funds in a manner that encourages innovative ideas of importance to environmental health sciences?
  • Will the EHS CC use the Pilot Project Program in order to fill gaps in research areas relevant to the scientific focus of the EHS CC?
  • Are there adequate plans to use pilot projects to support early stage investigators to supplement career development aims?
Protections for Human Subjects

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

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

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

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

Vertebrate Animals

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

Biohazards

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

Resubmissions

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

Renewals

For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the last funding period. The following questions will be addressed:

  • Are the overall quality and productivity of the Center members currently appropriate, especially as they relate to the interactive, collaborative research opportunities in basic, applied, and clinical research targeted by the Center?
  • Is there evidence that the Center stimulates and increases the productivity of Center members and supports novel approaches to environmental health science research?  Has the Center made major progress and achievements since its last renewal?
  • Have there been any changes in the environmental health sciences research orientation of the Center?  If yes, what progress and opportunities have these changes presented to Center members?
  • What specific resources provided to the Center by the institution, such as personnel, appropriate facilities, financial support, and other forms of support will assure the success of the Center? 
  • What were the Center’s major accomplishments in the preceding project period and how did they build upon its successes? Has the Center been successful in translating basic science advances to the bedside, to public health, or to prevention or from the applied areas back to the laboratory for refinement and improved understanding of mechanisms? Are there adequate plans for enhancing these transitions in the next project period?

Specifically, for Leadership and Expertise, both overall in the Center and also in the COEC, reviewers will address the following:

  • Is there evidence that significant discoveries or major accomplishments have occurred since the last review?
  • Is there evidence of the effectiveness of the Center in developing novel technologies and building upon research opportunities?
  • What is the past performance of each senior leader in overseeing the planning, integration, and coordination of research involved in the Center?

Specifically, for Cultivating careers, reviewers will address the following:

  • Has the Center been successful in attracting promising candidates?
  • Are the provided examples of training appropriate and practical for modern science and career progression? Are the offered resources and skill development opportunities appropriate for cutting edge environmental health sciences?
  • Have the candidates demonstrated appropriate upward progression in academic or commercial sectors? Are reasonable levels of such progression provided, such as publications in reputable journals, senior authorship, grant funding, increasing obligations from the Institution, and promotion?

Specifically, for Pilot Projects reviewers will address the following:

  • How well did the Center review and distribute funds for the pilot projects?
  • Were pilot project funds used in a manner that encourages innovative ideas of importance to environmental health sciences?
  • Did the Center use the Pilot Project Program to fill gaps in research areas relevant to the scientific focus of the Center?
  • Have pilot project funds been used to stimulate scientifically productive interactions and collaborations?

Specifically for Community Outreach and Engagement Cores reviewers will address the following:

  • What is the past progress of the Center in the development of an effective COEC? What impact has the Center had on the target audience? What impact has the COEC had on the Center?  What types of educational and outreach materials have been created as part of the COEC? Are they relevant to the science of the Center?
Revisions

For Revisions, the committee will consider the appropriateness of the proposed expansion of the scope of the project. If the Revision application relates to a specific line of investigation presented in the original application that was not recommended for approval by the committee, then the committee will consider whether the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group are adequate and whether substantial changes are clearly evident.

Additional Review Considerations - Overall

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

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable

Select Agent Research

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

Resource Sharing Plans

Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: 1) Data Sharing Plan; 2) Sharing Model Organisms; and 3) Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS)/Genomic Data Sharing Plan .

Budget and Period of Support

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

2. Review and Selection Process

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

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices

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

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

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

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

Prior Approval of Pilot Projects

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

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General  and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities. More information is provided at Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

Not Applicable

3. Reporting

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

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

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

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

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

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

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

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Claudia Thompson, Ph.D.
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS))
Telephone: 919-541-4638
Email: thomps14@niehs.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Linda Bass, Ph.D.
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Telephone: 919-541-1307
Email:  bass@niehs.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Aaron Nicholas
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Telephone: 919-541-0039
Email: nicholaa@niehs.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Authority and Regulations

Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.

NIH Office of Extramural Research Logo
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Home Page
Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS)
USA.gov - Government Made Easy
NIH... Turning Discovery Into Health®


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