Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR)     

Funding Opportunity Title

Tools to Enhance Studies of Glial Cell Development, Aging, Disease and Repair (R21)

Activity Code

R21 Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Award

Announcement Type

New

Related Notices

None

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-HD-12-211

Companion FOA

None  

Number of Applications

See Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

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

93.865; 93.213; 93.389; 93.867; 93.866; 93.273; 93.286; 93.173, 93.121; 93.279; 93.113; 93.859; 93.242; 93.853; 93.361  

FOA Purpose

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is issued as an initiative of the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research.  The Neuroscience Blueprint is a collaborative framework through which 16 NIH Institutes, Centers and Offices jointly support neuroscience-related research, with the aim of accelerating discoveries and reducing the burden of nervous system disorders (for further information, see http://neuroscienceblueprint.nih.gov/).  The goal of this FOA is to encourage research grant applications that propose to develop or substantially modify existing cutting edge technologies that will advance glial cell research, discovery-based research on glial cell diversity, development and/or function in the central (CNS) and peripheral (PNS) nervous systems.  The primary objective of this FOA is to remove barriers to glial cell research that are due to the scarcity of tools, methods and technologies to target and identify glial cells in a rigorous manner. Applications should aim to transform the field of glial cell research by generating tools that will be widely used throughout the neuroscience community. Research supported by this initiative will (i) provide new tools for manipulating and identifying glial cells based on their heterogeneity, developmental stage or functional state; and /or (ii) tools to allow investigation of glial function and processes, thus contributing to our understanding of normal and abnormal neural function.    

Key Dates
Posted Date

December 21, 2011

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

February 29, 2012

Letter of Intent Due Date

February 29, 2012

Application Due Date(s)

March 29, 2012, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

June/July 2012

Advisory Council Review

August 2012

Earliest Start Date(s)

September 2012

Expiration Date

March 30, 2012

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF 424 (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

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is issued as an initiative of the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research.  The Neuroscience Blueprint is a collaborative framework through which 16 NIH Institutes, Centers and Offices jointly support neuroscience-related research, with the aim of accelerating discoveries and reducing the burden of nervous system disorders (for further information, see http://neuroscienceblueprint.nih.gov/).  The goal of this FOA is to encourage research grant applications that propose to develop or substantially modify existing cutting edge technologies that will advance glial cell research, discovery-based research on glial cell diversity, development and/or function in the central (CNS) and peripheral (PNS) nervous systems.  The primary objective of this FOA is to remove barriers to glial cell research that are due to the scarcity of tools, methods and technologies to target and identify glial cells in a rigorous manner. Applications should aim to transform the field of glial cell research by generating tools that will be widely used throughout the neuroscience community. Research supported by this initiative will (i) provide new tools for manipulating and identifying glial cells based on their heterogeneity, developmental stage or functional state; and /or  (ii)  tools to allow investigation of glial function and processes, thus contributing to our understanding of normal and abnormal neural function.

Background

The NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research (Neuroscience Blueprint) is a cooperative effort among the 16 NIH Institutes, Centers and Offices that support neuroscience research. By pooling resources and expertise, the Neuroscience Blueprint concentrates on cross-cutting areas of research and confronts challenges too large for any single Institute or Center.

To accelerate progress toward this goal, the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research is targeting a gap in basic research on glial cell function in the central and peripheral nervous systems.  This Blueprint initiative aims to support the development of “new” tools, or the significant modification of currently existing tools and technologies, to advance the field of glial neurobiology, especially as it relates to neurodevelopment, aging, disease, and plasticity within the central and peripheral nervous systems. 

Glial cells make up a significant proportion of all neural cells in the central and peripheral nervous systems.  There are multiple types of glial cells, which help to maintain and regulate neural function. Microglia and perivascular macrophages provide host immune defense and protection against toxic insults. Astrocytes and peripheral satellite cells regulate the chemical environment of neurons, and recycle neurotransmitters, in particular glutamate, released during synaptic transmission. Oligodendrocytes provide a myelin sheath surrounding axons for efficient propagation of electrical impulses in neurons. Schwann cells perform a similar function in the peripheral nervous system. Radial glial cells serve as a scaffold for neuronal migration in the developing nervous system, and as precursors of both neurons and glial cells in the developing and adult nervous system. NG2 cells (oligodendrocyte precursor cells) differentiate largely into myelinating oligodendrocytes in the developing and adult CNS, although they may also give rise to astrocytes and neurons. In recent years researchers have learned that glial cells are far more than immune sentinels, providers of passive support systems, or simply “glue” or “scaffolding”.  Neuroglial cells play key roles in the developing and adult nervous system, and are involved in virtually every aspect of neuronal function.  Glial cells express cytokines, chemokines, neurotrophic and other factors that guide neural development, neurogenesis, synaptogenesis and synapse elimination.  Glial cells can communicate with other glial cells, and with neurons to regulate brain metabolism, homeostasis, neuronal excitability and plasticity, and pain modulation. Astrocytes form direct interactions with both neurons and the microvasculature and, consequently, may relay signals between the neurovasculature and the nervous system.

Despite significant progress in glial neurobiology research, cellular, developmental and systems-level studies of glial cells still lag far behind those of neurons. For example, extensive research has led to the identification of multiple inhibitory neuron subtypes, generated by distinct combinatorial transcription factor codes and having distinct developmental trajectories, connectivity and electrophysiological characteristics. In contrast, a corresponding gap in knowledge about many glial cell types has been due in large part to the scarcity of tools to identify and target them rigorously. 

Objectives

This FOA encourages research grant applications that propose the development or adaptation of cutting edge technologies for glial cell research within the central and peripheral nervous systems. The primary objective of this FOA is to address barriers to glial cell research that result from a scarcity of tools, methods or techniques to target and identify glial cells in a rigorous manner.  Applications should aim to transform the field of glial research in part by generating foundational tools that will be widely used throughout the basic and translational neuroscience community.  All projects must have relevance to neural function but can focus on glial tool production to study specific developmental periods, such as prenatal, early postnatal, adolescent development, adulthood and/or aging. Applicants may also submit applications for tools to study integrative and interdisciplinary events crossing multiple (e.g., molecular, cellular, circuit, behavioral) levels of analysis and those involving humans, model vertebrates/invertebrates or in vitro preparations. Applications should not be hypothesis-driven, but rather should focus directly on tool development.  Discovery-based or high-risk applications are strongly encouraged.

Examples of responsive applications include those that propose to:

Develop new tools or substantially improve existing tools and technologies for reporting or manipulating glial cell development, subtype identity or function.   Examples include, but are not limited to:

Develop tools to allow investigation of glial function and processes, thus contributing to our understanding of normal and abnormal neural function.    Examples include, but are not limited to:

This FOA is intended to support applications to develop tools to study all types of glial cells,  including but not limited to, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, resident and perivascular microglia, radial glia, Muller cells, Schwann cells, and subventricular zone type B cells.   Applications that rely mainly on traditional methodologies to manipulate or assay glial cells will be considered non-responsive. Such non-responsive applications will be administratively withdrawn before review. Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with the appropriate program official, listed in Section VII, to discuss the relevance of their proposal to the goals of this FOA, as well as to ensure that proposed studies do not duplicate projects that are currently being supported.   

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

Grant

Application Types Allowed

New
The OER Glossary and the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

The participating ICs intend to commit a combined amount for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 of approximately $2,000,000 total costs to fund 4-6 awards.

Awards issued under this FOA are contingent upon the availability of funds and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications. Future year amounts will depend on annual appropriations.  

Award Budget

Direct costs are limited to $275,000 over a two-year period, with no more than $200,000 in direct costs allowed in any single year.

Award Project Period

The total project period for an application submitted in response to this funding opportunity may not exceed two 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 eligible to apply.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are eligible to apply.

Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are allowed.

Required Registrations

Applicant organizations must complete the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. Applicants must have a valid Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number in order to begin each of the following registrations.

All Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) must also work with their institutional officials to register with the eRA Commons or ensure their existing eRA Commons account is affiliated with the eRA Commons account of the applicant organization.

All registrations must be completed by the application due date. Applicant organizations are strongly encouraged to start the registration process at least 4-6 weeks prior to the application due date.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s))

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 PD(s)/PI(s), visit the Multiple Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF 424 (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

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

NIH will not accept any application in response to this FOA that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial peer review unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. NIH will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed.

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:

Deborah Henken, PhD
Developmental Biology, Genetics and Teratology Branch
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 4B01, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD 20892
Rockville, MD 20852-7510 (for express mail or courier service)
Telephone: (301) 496-5541
FAX: (301)480-0303
Email: henkend@mail.nih.gov  

Required and Optional Components

The forms package associated with this FOA includes all applicable components, mandatory 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.

Page Limitations

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

PHS 398 Research Plan Component

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

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:

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.

Foreign Institutions

Foreign (non-US) institutions must follow policies described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, and procedures for foreign institutions described throughout 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 in advance of the deadline to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission.

Organizations must submit applications via 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.

Applicants are responsible for viewing their application 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 SF 424 (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 SF 424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD(s)/PI(s) 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 Central Contractor Registration (CCR). 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 the Division of Scientific Review, NICHD, as well as for responsiveness by components of participating organizations, 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.

For this particular announcement, note the following:  

This R21 exploratory/developmental grant supports investigation of novel scientific tools, or technologies that have the potential for significantly advancing biomedical or biobehavioral research. An R21 grant application need not have extensive background material or preliminary information. Accordingly, reviewers will focus their evaluation on the conceptual framework, the level of innovation, and the potential to significantly advance our knowledge or understanding. Appropriate justification for the proposed work can be provided through literature citations, data from other sources, or, when available, from investigator-generated data. Preliminary data are not required for R21 applications; however, they may be included if available.

NIH understands and accepts that early stage, high-risk/high-impact applications that are responsive to this solicitation may be riskier than other R21 solicitations. Any scarcity in preliminary/feasibility data should be balanced by greater emphasis on rationale and approach. Reviewers should balance the risk with the likelihood of the new tools having an exceptionally high impact on the field, if successful. Reviewers should note that research designs are expected to focus on innovative tool development, rather than innovative hypothesis-driven biological questions.

Overall Impact

Reviewers will provide an overall impact/priority score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following 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? How will the project address barriers to glial research that are due to the lack of tools to identify and target glial cells? How will the study lead to a substantial improvement in the ability of future research to account for glial heterogeneity, development or function in neural processes? How does the application transform the field of glial neurobiology research by generating tools that will be widely used throughout the basic and translational neuroscience community?    

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(s)/PI(s), do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?  For studies using high risk or discovery-based approaches, do the investigators and collaborators have a track record of success, or appropriate training, in relevant topic areas or methodologies?    

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?  If developing new tools or adapting cutting edge techniques originally developed for other purposes, how do these provide a major change in practice from previous methods for studying glial cells? If addressing glial heterogeneity, how are innovative concepts or approaches used to identify phenotypic subtypes, developmental stages or functional states underlying this heterogeneity? How does the application provide conceptually or technically novel ways of studying glial processes in normal or abnormal states, or how does the study synthesize approaches such as using multiple levels of analysis (e.g., molecular, cellular, circuit and behavioral)?    

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?

How will the tools be made sufficiently selective or appropriate for the intended use in glial cells? How will the methodologies lead to a more rigorous distinction between potentially subtle cell subtypes, developmental stages and/or functional states (i.e., cell heterogeneity)? If addressing glial cell processes, how will the design permit the rigorous determination of the role of glial cells as it relates to development, aging, function, disease or plasticity?    

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/priority 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

Not Applicable

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/priority score.

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Reviewers will assess whether the project presents special opportunities for furthering research programs through the use of unusual talent, resources, populations, or environmental conditions that exist in other countries and either are not readily available in the United States or augment existing U.S. resources.

Select 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 Plan is reasonable: 1) Data Sharing Plan.  Since a central goal of this initiative is to generate transformative resources that will be widely used throughout the neuroscience community, applications that propose to generate such resources (e.g., new tools, reagents, or methods) are expected to include a detailed plan for sharing these resources. Reviewers will comment on whether relevant sharing plans adequately address key elements described in the Section IV instructions of this FOA.

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.  Since a central goal of this initiative is to generate transformative tools that will be used widely throughout the neuroscience community, a clear, detailed plan for sharing these tools is expected to be included.  This plan should include a description of what will be shared, a schedule/timeline for availability to other users, and and a plan for post-award disposition, consistent with achieving the goals of this program..

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 NICHD, in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Review assignments 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 Child Health and Human Development (NACHHD) 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(s)/PI(s) 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, CCR 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

Not Applicable

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Non-Competing Continuation Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

A final progress report, invention statement, and 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

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission, downloading or navigating forms)
Contact Center Phone: 800-518-4726
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

eRA Commons Help Desk(Questions regarding eRA Commons registration, tracking application status, post submission issues)
Phone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)
TTY: 301-451-5939
Email: commons@od.nih.gov

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Deborah B. Henken, PhD
Developmental Biology, Genetics and Teratology Branch
Center for Research on Mothers and Children
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 4B01, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD 20892-7510
Telephone: (301) 496-5541
FAX: (301) 480-0303
Email: henkend@mail.nih.gov

Tom Greenwell, PhD
Program Director, Retinal Neuroscience
Division of Extramural Research
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Suite 1300 / MSC 9300
5635 Fishers Lane
Bethesda, MD  20892-9300
Telephone: (301) 451-2020
FAX:  (301) 402-0528
Email: greenwellt@mail.nih.gov

Annette Kirshner, PhD.
Cells and Organ Systems Pathobiology Branch
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Box 12233, KE 3020, MD K3-15
Research Triangle Park, NC  27713
Telephone: (919) 541-0488
FAX: (919) 541-0462
Email: kirshner@niehs.nih.gov

Jill A. Morris, PhD
Program Director, Neurogenetics
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Neuroscience Center, Room 2133
6001 Executive Boulevard
Bethesda, MD 20892 USA
Tel:  301-496-5745
Fax: 301-402-1501
Email:  jill.morris@nih.gov

David M. Panchision, PhD
Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7186, MSC 9641 
Bethesda, MD 20892-9641
Telephone: (301) 443-5288
FAX: (301) 451-5615
Email: panchisiond@mail.nih.gov

Bradley C. Wise, PhD
Chief, Neurobiology of Aging Branch
Division of Neuroscience
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 350
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-9205
Telephone: (301) 496-9350
FAX: (301) 496-1494
Email: wiseb@nia.nih.gov

Soundar Regunathan, PhD
Division of Neuroscience and Behavior
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism National Institutes of Health (NIAAA)
5635 Fishers Lane
Room 2052, MSC 9304
Bethesda, MD 20892-1705
Telephone: (301) 443-1192
FAX: (301) 443-1650
Email: soundar.regunathan@nih.gov

Roger G. Sorensen, PhD, MPA
Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 4287, MSC 9555
Bethesda, MD 20892-9555
Telephone: (301) 443-3205
FAX: (301) 594-6043
Email: rsorense@mail.nih.gov

Barry Davis, Ph.D.
Director, Taste and Smell Program
Division of Scientific Programs
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
6120 Executive Blvd., Suite 400, MSC 7180
Bethesda, MD  20892-7180  
Telephone:  (301) 402-3464
Fax:  (301) 402-6251
Email:  davisb1@nidcd.nih.gov

John Kusiak, PhD
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Telephone: (301) 594-7984
Email: kusiakj@nidcr.nih.gov  

Peer Review Contact(s)

Sherry L. Dupere, Ph.D.
Director, Division of Scientific Review
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 5B01, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD 20892-7510
(Rockville MD 20852 for courier or non-USPS service)
Telephone: (301) 451-3415
FAX: (301) 402-4104
Email:  duperes@mail.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Bryan Clark, MBA
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301 435-6975
Email: clarkb1@mail.nih.gov

Tijuanna E. DeCoster, MPA
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Telephone: 301-496-9231
Email: decostert@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.


Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices


Office of Extramural Research (OER) - Home Page Office of Extramural
Research (OER)
  National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Home Page National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Home Page Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS)
  USA.gov - Government Made Easy


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