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 General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

Funding Opportunity Title

Drug Docking and Screening Data Resource (U01)

Activity Code

U01 Research Project – Cooperative Agreements

Announcement Type

Reissue of RFA-GM-08-008

Related Notices

  • October 18, 2013 - See Notice NOT-OD-14-003. Guidance on Resumption of NIH Extramural Activities Following the Recent Lapse in Appropriations.
  • August 21, 2013: Removed reference to ASSIST in section IV.3, since ASSIST is currently only available for multi-project applications.
  • May 30, 2013 (NOT-OD-13-074) - NIH to Require Use of Updated Electronic Application Forms for Due Dates on or after September 25, 2013. Forms-C applications are required for due dates on or after September 25, 2013.

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-GM-14-010

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

Number of Applications

See Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

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

93.859

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to continue to increase the amount of publicly available, high-quality data describing structures and affinities of protein-drug ligand complexes -data vital for development, validation, and benchmarking of drug docking and screening software.  Accurate and robust methods for in silico drug screening are expected to speed drug discovery and reduce drug development cost by focusing experimental efforts on the most promising candidate compounds. The ability to predict side effects resulting from off-target binding and to increase repurposing of existing pharmaceuticals is an additional expected benefit. 

This FOA solicits applications to maintain, expand and enhance the existing NIGMS-funded Drug Docking and Scoring Data Resource by (i) maintaining strong working relationships with current and past data donors from the pharmaceutical industry and academia; (ii) recruiting new donors of unique datasets valuable to the docking and screening software effort; (iii) optimizing the value of these datasets by adding a limited amount of carefully chosen new experimental results; (iv) maintaining the existing Data Resource contents and integrating them with new data and with information from other sources, such as the Protein Databank; and (v) making all Resource data freely and efficiently available for use by the in silico drug docking and screening community.  

Key Dates
Posted Date

June 19, 2013

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

September 9, 2013

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

September 9, 2013

Application Due Date(s)

(Extended to November 1, 2013 per NOT-OD-14-003), Originally October 9, 2013, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

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

February-March 2014

Advisory Council Review

May 2014

Earliest Start Date

July 2014

Expiration Date

(Extended to November 2, 2013 per NOT-OD-14-003), Originally October 10, 2013

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

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). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

Table of Contents

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

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement


Section I. Funding Opportunity Description


Purpose

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to continue to increase the amount of publicly available, high-quality data describing structures and affinities of protein-drug ligand complexes -data vital for development, validation, and benchmarking of drug docking and screening software.  Accurate and robust methods for in silico drug screening are expected to speed drug discovery and reduce drug development cost by focusing experimental efforts on the most promising candidate compounds. The ability to predict side effects resulting from off-target binding and to increase repurposing of existing pharmaceuticals is an additional expected benefit.

This FOA solicits applications to maintain, expand and enhance the existing NIGMS-funded Data Resource (Community Structure-Activity Resource, CSAR, www.csardock.org) by:

Background

In 2005 and 2006 NIGMS held workshops to identify roadblocks to the development of efficient and robust software tools for drug design (Report of the NIGMS Workshop on Challenges in Docking and Virtual Screening; Report on the Challenges in Docking and Virtual Screening Operational Meeting).  At that time participants identified as a major limitation the very small amount of publicly available data suitable for developing and testing such ligand-protein docking and screening software.  There was strong support among both the industrial and the academic participants for a government effort that would result in the collection, curation, and public release of additional high-quality datasets combining matched structural, affinity, and other physical-chemical information for multiple ligand complexes of a variety of typical drug target proteins.

In response to this community need, the NIGMS issued RFA-GM-08-008 to establish a Drug Docking and Screening Data Resource (hereafter, the Data Resource).  The unique role of the Data Resource was to increase the public availability of high quality experimental datasets  for development, validation, and benchmarking of computer software for drug docking to protein targets and to provide a platform for evaluation of  such software.  Its main functions included: 1) design, collection, curation, and expansion of high-value datasets; 2)  organization, maintenance, and availability of data; 3) benchmarking of docking and screening software; 4) community consultation and outreach; 5) facile public data sharing.  As a result of the competition under RFA-GM-08-008, a single award was made to the University of Michigan (Heather Carlson, PI). With this award, the University of Michigan established the Community Structure-Activity Resource, CSAR.  This resource has pursued the objectives stated in the FOA. Its’ activities are documented on its website (www.csardock.org), along with access to the data accumulated thus far and descriptions of ongoing community benchmarking exercises.

When considering reissuance of this FOA NIGMS staff identified several concerns that remain to be addressed:  1) An initial lag in receipt of datasets from industrial sources resulted in data accumulation below the level necessary for this resource to flourish.  Additional approaches to generation of de novo datasets were needed that take advantage of other resources and other investigators’ expertise.  2)  Participation of the community in periodic large-scale benchmarking exercises has been satisfying, but not as robust as it might have been.  Additional ways are needed to engage the community in the development and exploitation of the Data Resource and to promote more productive use of the newly developed datasets.  3) There is a need for resources to experimentally test prospective predictions of drug binding to community user-selected targets.

Research Objectives

Design, Solicitation, Curation, and Expansion of Datasets

The highest priority activity of the project team selected under this FOA will be to continue identification, collection, and evaluation of datasets submitted by contributors for quality, completeness and utility.  Key to this effort will be to identify the characteristics of optimal datasets for addressing specific important challenges in the drug docking and screening field.

The intention is to populate the Data Resource database with existing, contributed data insofar as possible.  Data will be actively solicited and collected from both academic and industrial sources.  Activities will include:

Other activities that may be required include re-refinement of pre-existing X-ray crystallographic data from contributors; expression and purification of known target proteins using existing protocols; determination of additional X-ray crystallographic structures of targets with identified ligands, as well as with new compounds deemed likely to enhance the value of the datasets; experimental determination or redetermination of binding affinities for series of ligands to generate complete and consistent datasets; and determination of other physical properties of drug-like molecules that are potentially of high value for the prediction of ligand affinity.

Organization, Maintenance, and Availability of Data

The Data Resource will integrate all datasets currently available from CSAR into a single database optimized for the design and testing of computer-based methods for drug binding affinity prediction and in formats commonly used by the development community.  Data should be made available via a well-designed, efficient and freely accessible web-based interface. The web-based interface should permit facile upload of all appropriate experimental data provided by contributors and have sufficient capacity to allow multiple community users to download the complete dataset on a regular basis.  For all atomic resolution structures (newly determined or re-refined), all data typically required for reporting must be deposited in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) in accordance with NIH policy (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not99-010.htm). Data in the Data Resource database and the PDB must be released promptly to the entire user community, with the exception of occasional temporary delays, which should be publicly announced in advance (see Benchmarking, below).

Benchmarking of Docking and Screening Software

The Data Resource should facilitate parameterization and benchmarking of docking and screening software by all users, including by the periodic generation of test sets of temporarily unreleased matched affinity data and protein ligand complex structures.  In addition, the Data Resource should periodically organize and promote community benchmarking exercises.  The user community should be actively engaged in the design and timing of these exercises, so that they are the most productive tests of specific drug design challenges. 

Projected Datasets in the Data Resource

 It is expected that the Data Resource will coordinate efforts to extend and enhance datasets contributed to the Resource by: 1) collaborating with groups that have already developed well-validated binding and activity assays; 2) designing series of small-molecule ligands to well-behaved, structurally characterized targets that will systematically test fundamental principles of molecular recognition; and 3) investigating collaborations with other resources, such as the NIGMS-funded PSI:Biology Centers, to accelerate the rate of protein-ligand structure determination.  

The original goals for the Data Resource were that 8-12 datasets would be received from contributors, assembled, curated, completed with experimental data and released to the public each year, where a dataset comprises binding affinity data for 10-50 analogous compounds per target protein, with high resolution structural data for at least one third of these. Ideally, several series, of differing chemotypes, for each target were to be made available. This ambitious schedule remains a goal.  Plans should also be described for alternative strategies to maintain progress when dataset donation lags, or when significant improvement or expansion of the contributed datasets is required. 

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

Cooperative Agreement: A support mechanism used when there will be substantial Federal scientific or programmatic involvement. Substantial involvement means that, after award, NIH scientific or program staff will assist, guide, coordinate, or participate in project activities.

Application Types Allowed

New
Renewal

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

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NIGMS intends to fund 1 award, corresponding to approximately $750,000 for fiscal year 2014.  Future year amounts will depend on annual appropriations.

Award Budget

Application budgets may not exceed $500,000 direct costs per year.

Award Project Period

The project period is expected to be five 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

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

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

For-Profit Organizations

Governments

Other

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 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.

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

All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account and should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate an existing account with the applicant organization’s eRA Commons account. 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.

NIH will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed within the past thirty-seven months (as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement), except for submission:

Section IV. Application and Submission Information


1. Requesting an Application Package

Applicants must download 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.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. 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:

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Dr. Peter C. Preusch
Division of Cell Biology and Biophysics
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Building 45, Room 2AS. 13C
Bethesda MD 20892-6200
Telephone: 301-594-0828
Email: preuschp@mail.nih.gov

Page Limitations

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

Required and Optional Components

The forms package associated with this FOA includes all applicable components, required and optional. Please note that some components marked optional in the application package are required for submission of applications for this FOA. Follow all instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide to ensure you complete all appropriate “optional” components.

SF424(R&R) Cover

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

R&R Budget

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS 398 Cover Letter

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS 398 Research Plan

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

Research Strategy

In addition to the plans for meeting the Research Objectives enumerated above, there are other requirements for the Drug Docking and Screening Data Resource.

Management Plan

Applications must include a project management plan, that addresses how the Data Resource will go about setting priorities, utilizing resources, personnel, and space, and resolving other management issues.

Community Consultation and Outreach

Applicants must have plans to communicate and promote to the scientific community the value of the data provided by the Data Resource, and to solicit suggestions and advice from the research community on topics such as the optimal design and timing of benchmarking activities, or community designation of targets and ligand series to answer specific research questions.

One component of community consultation must be establishment of an External Advisory Committee (EAC) of 3-5 members, which should meet at least annually to provide advice to the Data Resource investigators on the operations, quality and utility of the resources. Other roles for the EAC and additional mechanisms by which the EAC can enhance communication with potential data contributors and the community should also be described.  Although the plans for the EAC should be described, names of potential members should not be included.  Potential members should NOT be contacted, named, or appointed until after an award is made.  Renewal applications ONLY should provide the names and affiliations of all present and recent past advisors, identified as such.

Interoperability

To avoid unnecessary duplication of scientific resources, the Data Resource must continue to connect seamlessly to other related resources, such as those of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and the Protein Databank (PDB), that are already widely used by the docking and screening software research and development community.  Plans to avoid duplication, and maximize compatibility with commonly used formats and standards of practice should be described.

Sustainability

Applicants must present plans to sustain and maintain the operability and data integrity of the Data Resource, including provisions for expected growth, personnel changes, and disaster recovery. Availability of necessary capacity to host such a service must be documented or plans to create such capacity laid out.

Portability

The Data Resource will provide a unique resource to the research community.  At the end of this second project period, the NIGMS may consider re-announcing the program for open competition.  The successful applicant to the current FOA must present plans to:

Milestones

The application should present a detailed timeline and milestones describing how the Research Objectives will be implemented.

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.

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.

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. 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. NIH and Grants.gov systems check the application against many of the application instructions upon submission. Errors must be corrected and a changed/corrected application must be submitted to Grants.gov on or before the application due date.  If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late.

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.

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.

Important reminders:
All PD(s)/PI(s) 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. See Section III of this FOA for information on registration requirements.

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. 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 by the Center for Scientific Review and responsiveness by NIGMS, NIH. Applications that are incomplete and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.  

Post-Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in NOT-OD-10-115.

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

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

Scored Review Criteria

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

Significance

Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field? Will the Data Resource as proposed substantially increase the amount of high-quality 3D structural and affinity data available to the scientific community for development, validation, testing and benchmarking of docking and screening software?

Investigator(s)    

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

Innovation

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

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed?

If the project involves clinical research, are the plans for 1) protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion of minorities and members of both sexes/genders, as well as the inclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?

Environment

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

Additional Review Criteria

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

Protections for Human Subjects

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 Human Subjects Protection and Inclusion Guidelines.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

When the proposed project involves clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for inclusion of minorities and members of both genders, as well as the inclusion of children. For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Human Subjects Protection and Inclusion Guidelines.

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

Not Applicable

Renewals

For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the last funding period  toward providing the community with valuable data for development and benchmarking of in silico drug docking and screening software.

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations

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).

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 NIGMS, 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:

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 General Medical Sciences Council. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

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 the DUNS, SAM Registration, and Transparency Act requirements as noted on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

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

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

The following special terms of award are in addition to, and not in lieu of, otherwise applicable U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) administrative guidelines, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) grant administration regulations at 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92 (Part 92 is applicable when State and local Governments are eligible to apply), and other HHS, PHS, and NIH grant administration policies.

The administrative and funding instrument used for this program will be the cooperative agreement, an "assistance" mechanism (rather than an "acquisition" mechanism), in which substantial NIH programmatic involvement with the awardees is anticipated during the performance of the activities. Under the cooperative agreement, the NIH purpose is to support and stimulate the recipients' activities by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the award recipients in a partnership role; it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activities. Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility resides with the awardees for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities may be shared among the awardees and the NIH as defined below.

The PD(s)/PI(s) will have the primary responsibility for:

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

NIH Science Officer

A member of the NIGMS extramural staff (Science Officer) will have substantial scientific involvement during the conduct of the project through technical assistance, advice, and coordination. The NIH Program Official and the NIH Science Officer may not be the same person. The NIH Science Officer will be named in the award notice.

The NIH Science Officer will:

NIH Program Official

The NIH Program Official will be a member of the NIH extramural staff who will be responsible for the normal scientific and programmatic stewardship of the award and will be named in the award notice. The NIH Program Official and the NIH Project Coordinator may not be the same person.

The NIGMS Program Official will:

Areas of Joint Responsibility include:

The PD/PI and the NIGMS Science Officer will be jointly responsible for selecting an External

Advisory Committee for the project, and for ensuring, via input from the External Advisory

Committee and other sources, that the needs of the docking and screening software development community are being met. The Data Resource External Advisory Committee will meet at least annually to review progress and to provide to community feedback and guidance on dataset selection policy, timing and execution of the community benchmark exercises.

Data Sharing

The data and other resources generated by the research should be easily accessible as described in Section IV.2 under "Resource Sharing Plan".  Sharing will guarantee nonexclusive access, timely and responsible release, and reasonable accommodation. To implement these principles, the PD(s)/PI(s) working with the NIGMS Science Officer will develop operating rules and guidelines that are beyond those specified in the application or agreed upon at the time of award. The milestones and management should reflect an appropriate balance between responsible validation and a prompt timetable for evaluation and release.

Dispute Resolution

Any disagreements that may arise in scientific or programmatic matters (within the scope of the award) between award recipients and the NIH may be brought to Dispute Resolution. A Dispute Resolution Panel composed of three members will be convened. It will have three members: a designee of the GNPN Steering Committee chosen without NIH staff voting, one NIH designee, and a third designee with expertise in the relevant area who is chosen by the other two; in the case of individual disagreement, the first member may be chosen by the individual awardee. This special dispute resolution procedure does not alter the awardee's right to appeal an adverse action that is otherwise appealable in accordance with PHS regulation 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D and DHHS regulation 45 CFR Part 16.

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the annual Non-Competing Progress Report (PHS 2590 or RPPR) 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)

Web ticketing system: https://public.era.nih.gov/commonshelp
TTY: 301-451-5939
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

Web ticketing system: https://grants-portal.psc.gov/ContactUs.aspx
Email: support@grants.gov

GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and process, finding NIH grant resources)
Telephone: 301-435-0714
TTY 301-451-5936
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Peter C. Preusch, Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Telephone: 301-594-0828
Email: preuschp@mail.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Helen R. Sunshine, Ph.D.
Chief, Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Telephone: 301-594-2881
Email: Sunshinh@nigms.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Earl C. Melvin
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Telephone: 301-594-3912
Email: melvine@mail.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

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

Authority and Regulations

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


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