Part I Overview Information


Department of Health and Human Services

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

Components of Participating Organizations
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), (http://www.nhgri.nih.gov)

Title:  Near-Term Technology Development for Genome Sequencing (R21)

Announcement Type
This is a reissue of RFA-HG-06-016, which was previously released September 28, 2006

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

APPLICATIONS MAY NOT BE SUBMITTED IN PAPER FORMAT.

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

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

Request For Applications (RFA) Number: RFA-HG-07-017

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number(s)
93.172

Key Dates
Release/Posted Date: September 11, 2007
Opening Date:  October9, 2007 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): October 9, 2007
NOTE: On time submission requires that applications be successfully submitted to Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. local time (of the applicant institution/organization). 
Application
Submission/Receipt Date(s):  November 9, 2007
AIDS Application Submission/Receipt Date(s): Not applicable
Peer Review Date(s): January-February 2008
Council Review Date(s): May 2008
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): July 1, 2008
Additional Information To Be Available Date (Activation Date): September 4, 2007
Expiration Date: November 10, 2007

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Additional Overview Content

Executive Summary

Table of Contents


Part I Overview Information

Part II Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
1. Research Objectives

Section II. Award Information
1. Mechanism of Support
2. Funds Available

Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants

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

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

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria
2. Review and Selection Process
    A. Additional Review Criteria
    B. Additional Review Considerations
    C. Sharing Research Data
    D. Sharing Research Resources
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices
2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
    A. Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award
3. Reporting

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

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

Section VIII. Other Information - Required Federal Citations

Part II - Full Text of Announcement


Section I. Funding Opportunity Description


1. Research Objectives

Purpose

The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) solicits grant applications under this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to develop novel technologies that will substantially reduce the cost of genomic DNA sequencing.  Current technologies are able to produce the sequence of a mammalian-sized genome of the desired data quality for $5 to $10 million; the goal of this initiative is to reduce costs by at least two orders of magnitude.  As some technologies that have potential to achieve this goal are already in or near the commercial market, applications to this FOA will need to show clear advantage over current and emerging technologies.

Parallel FOAs of identical scientific scope (RFA-HG-07-016, RFA-HG-07-018, RFA-HG-07-019) solicit applications under the R01, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant programs.  Related FOAs (RFA-HG-07-020, RFA-HG-07-021, RFA-HG-07-022, RFA-HG-07-023) solicit grant applications to develop technologies to reduce DNA sequencing costs by four orders of magnitude.

Background

The ability to sequence complete genomes and the free dissemination of the sequence data have dramatically changed the nature of biological and biomedical research.  Sequence and other genomic data have the potential to lead to remarkable improvement in many facets of human life and society, including the understanding, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease; advances in agriculture, environmental science and remediation; and the understanding of evolution and ecological systems.

The ability to sequence many genomes completely has been made possible by the enormous reduction of the cost of sequencing in the past two decades, from tens of dollars per base in the 1980s to a fraction of a cent per base today.  However, even at current prices, the cost of sequencing a mammalian-sized genome to high quality is about ten million dollars and, accordingly, we have continued to be very selective when choosing new genomes to sequence.  The emergence over the past two years of a new generation of sequencing technologies is encouraging.  Nevertheless, we remain far away from achieving costs to enable the use of comprehensive genomic sequence information in the study of biology and disease.  The rationale for achieving the ability to sequence entire genomes inexpensively is very strong.

There are many areas of high priority research to which genomic sequencing at dramatically reduced cost would make vital contributions:

The broad utility and high importance of dramatically reducing DNA sequencing costs, prompted the NHGRI, in 2004, to embark on two parallel technology development programs.  The first, described in this FOA and parallel FOAs for other grant mechanisms, has the objective of reducing the cost of producing a high quality sequence of a mammalian-sized genome by two orders of magnitude – to about $100,000.  The goal of the second program is the development of technology to sequence a genome for a cost that is reduced by four orders of magnitude – to about $1,000.  For both programs, the cost targets are defined in terms of a mammalian-sized genome, about 3 gigabases (Gb), with a target sequence quality equivalent to, or better than, that of the mouse assembly published in December 2002 (Nature 420:520, 2002).

The ultimate goal of these programs is to obtain technologies that can produce assembled sequence (i.e., de novo sequencing).  However, an accompanying shorter-term goal is to obtain highly accurate sequence data at the single base level, i.e., without assembly information, that can be overlaid on a reference sequence for the same organism (i.e., re-sequencing).  This could be achieved, for example, with short reads that have no substantial information linking them to other reads.  While the sequence product of this kind of technology would lack some important information, such as information about genomic rearrangements, it would nevertheless potentially be available more rapidly and produce data of great value for certain uses in studying disease etiology and in individualized medicine.  Therefore, both programs’ objectives include a balanced portfolio of projects developing both de novo and re-sequencing technologies.  As for de novo sequencing, the goal of technology development for re-sequencing is to reduce costs by two orders of magnitude, and ultimately four orders of magnitude, from the current cost of producing comparable data.

Sequencing strategy and quality

State-of-the-art technology – fluorescence detection of dideoxynucleotide-terminated DNA extension reactions resolved by capillary array electrophoresis (CAE) – allows the determination of sequence “read” segments approximately 1000 nucleotides long.  If all of the DNA in a 2-3 Gb genome were unique, it would be possible to determine the sequence of the entire genome by generating a sufficient number (10s of millions) of randomly-overlapping 1000-base reads and aligning their overlaps.  However, the human and the majority of other interesting genomes contain a substantial amount of repetitive DNA.  To cope with the complexities of repetitive DNA elements and to assemble the thousand-base reads in the correct long-range order across the genome, current genomic sequencing methods involve a variety of additional strategies, such as the sequencing of both ends of cloned DNA fragments, use of libraries of cloned fragments of different lengths, incorporation of map information, achievement of substantial redundancy (multiple reads of each nucleotide from overlapping fragments) and application of sophisticated assembly algorithms to filter and align the reads.

The “gold standard” for genomic sequencing remains 99.99% accuracy (not more than one error per 10,000 nucleotides) with essentially no gaps (http://www.genome.gov/10000923).  The final steps in achieving that very high sequence quality cannot be automated and require substantial hand-crafting.  However, recent experience suggests that the majority of comparative, and much medically-useful sequence information can be obtained from automatically generated sequence assemblies that have been variously identified as “high-quality draft” or “comparative grade.”  Therefore, while the ultimate goal is sequencing technology that produces perfect accuracy, the goal of the current de novo sequencing program is to develop technology for automatically generating sequence of at least the quality of the mouse draft genome sequence that was published in December 2002 (Nature 420:520, 2002).

For re-sequencing technologies, in which newly-determined sequence is overlaid on a scaffold of a known reference sequence from other individuals of the same organism, the challenges include the production of sequence of sufficiently high quality to distinguish between sequencing errors and real polymorphism.  The presence of gene families with very similar sequence presents another complication, particularly when using technologies that produce short sequence reads.  Additional challenges for short-read sequencing include the identification of copy number changes and genomic rearrangements, and the identification of haplotypes (i.e., linear juxtapositioning of particular single nucleotide polymorphism [SNP] alleles along a single chromosome) in diploid organisms.  Thus, in proposing the development of re-sequencing technologies, it is essential to state the goals clearly in terms of the technical capability and costs associated with meeting these challenges.

Technology path

Most investigators interested in reducing DNA sequencing costs anticipate that a few additional two-fold decreases in cost can be achieved with the current CAE-based technology, with a realistic lower limit of perhaps $1 million per mammalian-sized genome.  However, it is likely that this efficiency will only be achieved in a few very large, well-capitalized, experienced, automated laboratories.  To achieve the broadest benefit from DNA sequencing technology for biology and medicine, systems are needed that are not only substantially more efficient but also are easier to use by the average research laboratory.

Efforts are currently under way to streamline the well-established dideoxy terminator chemistry and CAE separation methods, by increasing parallel sample processing while integrating the sample preparation and analysis steps on a single platform.  Improvements in separation polymers and fluorescent dyes will facilitate these developments.  As these approaches are based largely on the experience of currently successful high-throughput CAE-based methods, they have potential to produce cost savings in the range of several factors of two beyond the current CAE-based systems.  They also have the potential to widen the user base for the technology, as the infrastructure and knowledge needed to conduct relatively high-throughput sequencing, or clinical diagnostic sequencing, would be substantially reduced and simplified.

Two methods that were proposed in the early days of the Human Genome Project involve the use of mass spectrometry and sequencing by hybridization.  Both methods have been pursued, with some limited success for sequencing, but substantial success for other types of DNA analysis.  Both continue to hold additional potential utility for sequencing, although certain inherent limitations will need to be overcome.

More recently, additional methods have been investigated.  Two broad approaches are representative.

One is sequencing-by-extension, in which template DNA is elongated in stepwise fashion, and each sequential extension product is detected.  Extension is generally achieved by the action of a polymerase that adds a deoxynucleotide, followed by detection of a fluorescent or chemiluminescent signal, and the cycle is then repeated.  Variants of this approach rely on other enzymes, such as ligases, and hybridization of labeled oligonucleotides.  To obtain sufficient throughput, the method is implemented at a high level of multiplexing, by arraying large numbers of sequencing extension reactions on a surface.  Key factors in this general approach include the manner in which the fluorescent signal is generated and the system requirements thus imposed.  Depending on the specific approach, challenges of template extension methods include the synthesis of appropriate labeled nucleotide analogues of high purity; identifying processive polymerases that incorporate nucleotide analogs with high fidelity; discriminating the fluorescence of nucleotides that have been incorporated into the growing chain from those present in the reaction mix (background); distinguishing subsequent nucleotide additions from previous ones; accurate enumeration of homopolymer runs (multiple sequential occurrence of the same nucleotide); maintaining synchrony among the multiple copies of DNA being extended to generate a detectable signal or achieving the sensitivity to detect extension of individual DNA molecules; spatial discrimination on the array; and developing fluidics, surface chemistry, and automation to build and run the system.  Most current methods using this approach produce short sequence reads (less than 100 bases), so a continuing challenge is to extend read length and develop sequence assembly strategies.  Achieving high base calling accuracy continues to be challenging.  Remaining challenges notwithstanding, this technology has advanced rapidly, with several commercial platforms either in or nearly in the hands of multiple user groups, and costs moving toward the stated goal of two order-of-magnitude reduction.  

Among the numerous candidate technologies for reducing costs by four orders of magnitude is the nanopore sequencing concept, first introduced in the mid-1990s.  The goal is to read the linear sequence of nucleotides without copying the DNA and without incorporating labels, relying instead on extraction of signal from the native DNA nucleotides.  The requirements include a sensor, perhaps comparable in size to the DNA molecule itself, that interacts sequentially with individual nucleotides in a DNA chain and distinguishes between them on the basis of chemical, physical or electrical properties.  Optimal implementation would analyze intact, native genomic DNA isolated from biological, medical or environmental samples without amplification or modification, and would provide very long sequence reads (tens of thousands to millions of bases) rapidly and at sufficiently high redundancy to produce assembled sequence of high quality.  Several laboratories have reported significant progress – both empirical and toward understanding the theoretical requirements – toward achieving these goals.  The estimate, stated in 2004, that it may take ten years to conduct the substantial basic research and technology development that are needed to achieve such revolutionary technological advances, appears to be realistic.

While the approaches described immediately above are examples of projects currently being pursued, they are undoubtedly not the only ways to achieve substantially reduced DNA sequencing costs.  Also, methods to apply either approach could conceivably lead to that approach being successful for reaching either a two- or four-order of magnitude reduction in the cost of sequencing.  NHGRI seeks to support any technology approach that promises to achieve the stated goals. Information on projects previously funded under related FOAs is available at http://www.genome.gov/10000368#6.

Research and Scope

The goal of research supported under this FOA is to develop new or improved technology to enable rapid, efficient genomic DNA sequencing. The specific goal is to reduce sequencing costs by at least two orders of magnitude -- $100,000 serves as a useful target cost for a mammalian-sized genome because the availability of complete genomic sequences at that cost would revolutionize biological research and medicine.  While not in a cost range that would enable the use of sequencing in individualized medicine, such technology would permit the sequencing of many genomes for a small fraction of current costs.  A 100-fold cost reduction would make possible more extensive studies of human variation for disease gene studies, substantially expanded comparative genomics to understand the human genome, and many other studies relevant to NIH, other federal agencies and the private sector.  Entirely new lines of investigation would be enabled by making “large-scale sequencing” accessible to the diverse interests of many research laboratories and companies.

Investment by NHGRI and others has resulted in substantial progress, such that several groups are now in or near commercial release of instruments and users are gaining experience with the data generated by these systems.  The systems, as currently deployed or envisioned within the next year or two, may reach the goal of reducing sequencing costs to about $100,000 per high quality mammalian genome.  Yet, there remain substantial challenges to achieving the qualities – e.g., read length, read quality, data to support assembly, robust hands-off operation – needed to fully achieve the goals of this FOA.  Therefore, NHGRI will place highest priority on applications in response to this FOA that either (1) propose to achieve $100,000 genome sequencing by developing new approaches that will outperform those being employed in the current ”next-generation” sequencing technologies, or (2) address specific weaknesses or shortcomings in those methods.

The applicant is expected to articulate specifically advantages relative to the state of the art.  An effective way to do so would be to include in the grant application a table that displays achieved and proposed performance of the technology for which support is sought, in comparison with deployed technologies.  An example of such a table is shown at the following website:  http://www.genome.gov/26022666.  The use of such a table is not required, but is offered as a concise format for stating goals in context.  Applicants may address advantages of their proposed method by offering additional column headings, and may include any information they might have on the actual performance of other technologies that are on the market or in development.

The scientific and technical challenges inherent in achieving a 100-fold reduction in sequencing costs are considerable.  Achieving this goal may require research projects that entail substantial risk.  That risk should be balanced by an outstanding scientific and management plan designed to achieve the very high payoff goals of this solicitation.  High risk, high payoff projects may fail for legitimate reasons; applicants proposing such projects should describe plans to terminate the project if key milestones cannot be achieved in a reasonable time.

Many projects aimed at next-generation DNA sequencing technologies require substantial advances in a combination of fields such as signal detection, enzymology, chemistry, engineering, bioinformatics, etc.  It is therefore anticipated that proposals responding to this FOA will involve fundamental and engineering research conducted by multidisciplinary teams of investigators.  The guidance for budget requests accommodates the formation of groups having investigators at several institutions, in cases where that is needed to assemble a team of the appropriate balance, breadth and experience.

Applicants may propose to develop full-scale sequencing systems, or to investigate key components of such systems.  For the latter, applicants must describe how the knowledge gained as a result of their project would be incorporated into a full system that they might subsequently propose to develop, or that is being developed by other groups.  Such independent proposals are an important path for pursuing novel, high risk/high pay-off ideas.

Research conducted under this FOA may include development of the computational tools associated with the technology, e.g., to extract sequence information, including image analysis and signal processing, and to evaluate sequence quality and assign confidence scores.  It may also address strategies to assemble the sequence from the information being obtained from the technology or by merging the sequence data with information from parallel technology.  However, this FOA will not support development of sequence assembly or sequence analysis software independent of technology development to obtain the sequence.

The quality of sequence to be generated by the technology is of paramount importance for this solicitation.  Two major factors contributing to genomic sequence quality are per-base accuracy and contiguity of the assembly.  Much of the utility of comparative sequence information will derive from characterization of sequence variation between species, and between individuals of a species.  Therefore, per-base accuracy must be high enough to discern polymorphism at the single-nucleotide level (substitutions, insertions, deletions).  Experience and resulting policy have established a target accuracy of not more than one error per 10,000 bases.  All applications in response to this FOA, whether to develop re-sequencing or de novo sequencing technologies, must propose achieving per-base quality at least to this standard.

Assembly information is needed for determining sequence of new genomes, and ultimately also for genomes for which a reference sequence exists, to detect rearrangements, insertions, deletions, and copy number changes.  All of these are associated with disease, and knowledge of rearrangements can reveal new biological mechanisms.  The phase of single nucleotide polymorphisms to define haplotypes is important in understanding and diagnosing disease.  Achieving a high level of sequence contiguity may be essential to achieve the full benefit from the use of sequencing for individualized medicine, e.g., to evaluate genomic contributions to risk for specific diseases and syndromes, and drug responsiveness.  Nevertheless, it is recognized that perfect sequence assembly from end to end of each chromosome is unlikely to be achievable with most technologies in a fully automated fashion and without adding considerable cost.  Therefore, for the purpose of this solicitation, grant applications proposing technology development for de novo sequencing shall describe how they will achieve, for about $100,000, a draft-quality assembly that is at least comparable to that represented by the mouse draft sequence produced by December 2002:  7.7-fold coverage, 6.5-fold coverage in Q20 bases, assembled into 225,000 sequence contigs connected by at least two read-pair links into supercontigs [total of 7,418 supercontigs at least 2 kb long], with N50 length for contigs equal to 24.8 kb and for supercontigs equal to 16.9 Mb (Nature 420:520, 2002).  Grant applications that propose technology development for re-sequencing should explain how they will achieve a two-order-of magnitude reduction in cost compared to technologies that can produce similar quality of data, today.

The grant applications will be evaluated, and funding decisions made, in such a way as to develop a balanced portfolio that has strong potential to develop both robust re-sequencing and de novo sequencing technologies.  If the estimate is correct, that achieving the goal of a 100-fold cost reduction for de novo genome sequencing will be achieved by about 2009, then low-cost re-sequencing technologies might be expected to be demonstrated in a shorter time.  Grant applications that present a plan to achieve high quality re-sequencing while on the path to high quality de novo sequencing will receive high priority.  Similarly, applications that propose to reduce costs by two orders of magnitude while on a path to four orders of magnitude will also receive high priority.

The major focus of this FOA funding opportunity announcement is on the development of new technologies for detection of nucleotide sequence.  Any new technology will eventually have to be incorporated effectively into the entire sequencing workflow, starting with a biological sample and ending with sequence data of the desired quality, and this issue should be addressed.  Sample preparation requirements are a function of the detection method and the sample detection method affects the way in which output data are handled.  Therefore, these aspects of the problem are clearly relevant and should be addressed in an appropriate timeframe in the research plan.  However, applicants should address the most critical and highest-risk aspects of the project, on which the rest of the project is dependent, as early as possible in the research plan.

Practical implementation issues related to workflow and process control for efficient, high quality, high-throughput DNA sequencing should be considered early in system design.  Some technology development groups lack practical experience in high throughput sequencing, and in testing of methods and instruments for robust, routine operation.  Applicants may therefore wish to include such expertise as they develop their suite of collaborations and capabilities.

The goal of this research is to develop technology to produce sequence from entire genomes.  Projects have been launched to determine sequence from selected important regions (e.g., all of the genes).  Grant applications that propose to meet the cost targets by sequencing only selected regions of a genome will be considered unresponsive to this FOA.  However, applications that propose novel ways to sequence selected genomic regions, cost-effectively, while on a path to whole-genome sequencing, are responsive.

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

Section II. Award Information


1. Mechanism of Support

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) will use the NIH Exploratory/ Developmental Grant (R21) award mechanism.  

The applicant will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project.

This FOA uses “Just-in-Time” information concepts. It also uses the modular as well as the non-modular budget formats (see the “Modular Applications and Awards” section of the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Specifically, if you are submitting an application with direct costs in each year of $250,000 or less (excluding consortium Facilities and Administrative [F&A] costs), use the PHS398 Modular Budget component provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Package and SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (see specifically Section 5.4, “Modular Budget Component,” of the Application Guide).

All foreign applicants must complete and submit budget requests using the Research & Related Budget component found in the application package for this FOA. See NOT-OD-06-096, August 23, 2006.

As this is an R21 RFA, competing renewal applications will not be accepted.

2. Funds Available

Because the nature and scope of the proposed research will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary. Although the financial plans of the Institute provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this funding opportunity are contingent upon the availability of funds and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

The participating organization, NHGRI, intends to commit approximately $1 million dollars total costs in FY2008 to fund 3 applications.  An applicant may request a project period of up to 3 years and a budget for direct costs up to $200,000 dollars per year.  

NIH grants policies as described in the NOT-OD-05-004, November 2, 2004.  

Section III. Eligibility Information


1. Eligible Applicants

1.A. Eligible Institutions

You may submit an application(s) if your institution/organization has any of the following characteristics:

1.B. Eligible Individuals

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

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

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

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

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

3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria

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

Section IV. Application and Submission Information


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

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

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

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

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

2) Organizational/Institutional Registration in the eRA Commons

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

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

Note that if a PD/PI is also an NIH peer-reviewer with an Individual DUNS and CCR registration, that particular DUNS number and CCR registration are for the individual reviewer only. These are different than any DUNS number and CCR registration used by an applicant organization. Individual DUNS and CCR registration should be used only for the purposes of personal reimbursement and should not be used on any grant applications submitted to the Federal Government.

Several of the steps of the registration process could take four weeks or more. Therefore, applicants should immediately check with their business official to determine whether their organization/institution is already registered in both Grants.gov and the Commons. The NIH will accept electronic applications only from organizations that have completed all necessary registrations.

1. Request Application Information

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

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

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

Telecommunications for the hearing impaired: TTY 301-451-5936.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Prepare all applications using the SF424 (R&R) application forms and in accordance with the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for this FOA through Grants.gov/APPLY.

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

The SF424 (R&R) application is comprised of data arranged in separate components. Some components are required, others are optional. The forms package associated with this FOA in Grants.gov/APPLY will include all applicable components, required and optional. A completed application in response to this FOA will include the following components:

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

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

Foreign Organizations (Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entity)

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

Applications from foreign organizations must:

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

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS  

Applications with Multiple PDs/PIs

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

Information for the Contact PD/PI should be entered in item 15 of the SF424(R&R) Cover component. All other PDs/PIs should be listed in the Research & Related Senior/Key Person component and assigned the project role of “PD/PI.” Please remember that all PDs/PIs must be registered in the eRA Commons prior to application submission. The Commons ID of each PD/PI must be included in the “Credential” field of the Research & Related Senior/Key Person component. Failure to include this data field will cause the application to be rejected.

All projects proposing Multiple PDs/PIs will be required to include a new section describing the leadership of the project.

Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan: For applications designating multiple PDs/PIs, a new section of the research plan, entitled “Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan” (Section 14 of the Research Plan Component in the SF424 (R&R)), must be included. A rationale for choosing a multiple PD/PI approach should be described.  The governance and organizational structure of the leadership team and the research project should be described, including communication plans, process for making decisions on scientific direction, and procedures for resolving conflicts. The roles and administrative, technical, and scientific responsibilities for the project or program should be delineated for the PDs/PIs and other collaborators. 

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

Applications Involving a Single Institution

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

Applications Involving Multiple Institutions 

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

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

3. Submission Dates and Times

See Section IV.3.A for details.

3.A. Submission, Review, and Anticipated Start Dates
Opening Date: October 9, 2007 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): October 9, 2007
Application Submission/Receipt Date(s): November 9, 2007
Peer Review Date(s): January-February 2008
Council Review Date(s): May 2008
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): July 1, 2008

3.A.1. Letter of Intent

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

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

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

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Jeffery A. Schloss, Ph.D.
Division of Extramural Research
National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH
5635 Fishers Lane, Suite 4076
Bethesda, MD 20892-9305
Telephone:  (301) 496-7531
Email: schlossj@exchange.nih.gov

3.B. Submitting an Application Electronically to the NIH

To submit an application in response to this FOA, applicants should access this FOA via http://www.grants.gov/Apply and follow steps 1-4. Note:  Applications must only be submitted electronically.  PAPER APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. 

In order to expedite the review, applicants are requested to notify the NHGRI Referral Office by email kn24c@nih.gov when the application has been submitted.  Please include the FOA number and title, PD/PI name, and title of the application.

3.C. Application Processing

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

Once an application package has been successfully submitted through Grants.gov, any errors have been addressed, and the assembled application has been created in the eRA Commons, the PD/PI and the Authorized Organization Representative/Signing Official (AOR/SO) have two business days to view the application image.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the Center for Scientific Review, NIH and responsiveness by the NHGRI. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

There will be an acknowledgement of receipt of applications from Grants.gov and the Commons. Information related to the assignment of an application to a Scientific Review Group is also in the Commons. 

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

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

4. Intergovernmental Review

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

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

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

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

6. Other Submission Requirements

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

The NIH requires the PD/PI to fill in his/her Commons User ID in the “PROFILE – Project Director/Principal Investigator” section, “Credential” log-in field of the “Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile” component. The applicant organization must include its DUNS number in its Organization Profile in the eRA Commons. This DUNS number must match the DUNS number provided at CCR registration with Grants.gov. For additional information, see “Registration FAQs – Important Tips -- Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.”

Organizational DUNS

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

PHS398 Research Plan Component Sections

While each section of the Research Plan component needs to be uploaded separately as a PDF attachment, applicants are encouraged to construct the Research Plan component as a single document, separating sections into distinct PDF attachments just before uploading the files. This approach will enable applicants to better monitor formatting requirements such as page limits. All attachments must be provided to NIH in PDF format, filenames must be included with no spaces or special characters, and a .pdf extension must be used. 

Special Instructions for Modular Grant applications

R01 applications from U.S. institutions/organizations requesting up to $250,000 per year in direct costs (excluding consortium F&A costs) must be submitted in a modular budget format. Additional information on modular budgets is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm. When submitting a modular budget, the applicant organization will include only the PHS398 Modular Budget component. See Section 5.4 of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for further instructions regarding the use of the PHS398 Modular Budget component.

Foreign organizations may not submit modular budgets. See NOT-OD-06-096

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

Appendix Materials

NIH has published new limitations on grant application appendix materials to encourage applications to be as concise as possible while containing the information needed for expert scientific review. See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-07-018.html.

Applicants must follow the specific instructions on Appendix materials as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/index.htm).

Do not use the Appendix to circumvent the page limitations of the Research Plan component. An application that does not observe the required page limitations may be delayed in the review process.

Note: While each section of the PHS398 Research Plan component needs to be uploaded separately as a PDF attachment, applicants are encouraged to construct the Research Plan component as a single document, separating sections into distinct PDF attachments just before uploading the files. This approach will enable applicants to monitor better formatting requirements such as page limits. All attachments must be provided to NIH in PDF format, filenames must be included with no spaces or special characters, and a .pdf extension must be used.

Foreign Applications (Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entity)

Supplementary Instructions

Projects that propose to build sequencing systems (in contrast to developing components) that will be assembled by the end of the project period may wish to present a strong case for that system’s capabilities by proposing to demonstrate the sequencing of a substantial amount of DNA (e.g., mega- to gigabases) at the target cost and quality; other measures may be proposed by the applicant.

A detailed research plan must be presented. The application should include a description of the level of risk of key technical challenges, alternative approaches, go/no-go decision points, etc. It should also include a detailed timeline accompanied by quantitative milestones (see below) that address the key scientific and technical challenges central to the approach. The timeline and milestones are essential for use by the grantee and the NHGRI for planning the research project and assessment of progress toward goals, and by the reviewers for evaluating the proposal.

Timelines and quantitative milestones are essential for development of a realistic research plan; they provide a basis for project leaders to make decisions, assess their own progress, set priorities, and redistribute resources when needed. It will be particularly important to establish quantitative milestones in cases where subsequent steps in technology development depend upon threshold performance characteristics of earlier developments. Elaboration of timelines and milestones is primarily the responsibility of the applicant, and the quality and utility of the proposed timelines and milestones will be a review criterion, because they reflect the insights and judgment of the applicant concerning key challenges and how best to conduct the research. The NHGRI appreciates that these projects will require research, not just engineering; progress toward milestones will be evaluated accordingly. If the proposed timeline and milestones are not adequate in the case of an otherwise meritorious proposal, reviewers of the application may make recommendations to NHGRI regarding improved timelines and milestones.

To accelerate progress in the field of advanced DNA sequencing technology development, grantees will be required to participate actively and openly in at least one grantee meeting per year. Substantial information sharing will be required and is a condition of the award; failure to openly share information will be grounds for discontinuation of funding. It is understood that some information developed under the grants will be proprietary and cannot be shared immediately without damaging the commercialization potential of the technology. Applicants should describe their plans for participating in the grantee meetings and for managing the intellectual property concerns in the context of those meetings and other opportunities for information sharing. Other investigators in the field (i.e., not supported under this program) may be invited to participate in these workshops; their agreement to share information substantially will be a prerequisite to participation. Applicants should request travel funds in their budgets for the Principal Investigator and two additional lead investigators to attend the annual meetings.

Applicants may include funds for an internally appointed advisory board. However, they should not contact potential advisors, nor should potential advisors be named in the grant application, to avoid conflicts of interest in the review process.

All applicants must describe their plan for providing access to the technology developed under this grant support, and information about that technology. For example, the technology might be made available as a fee-for-service, through sale of instruments and/or reagents, through collaboration, through publication and posting of results, plans and methods, or by other means. If any quantity of sequence data will be collected under grant support, a plan to disseminate those data must be described. 

In summary, applicants must incorporate into application section 5 (Research Design and Methods):

In addition to sections a-d of the PHS 398 research plan, applicants must include a management plan (not to exceed 4 pages) incorporating:

Page limits for the management plan are in addition to the page limits for the research plan.  The management plan should be included under “Other Research Plan Sections, 17. Resource Sharing Plan,” of the 424 R&R form.

Plan for Sharing Research Data

The precise content of the data-sharing plan will vary, depending on the data being collected and how the investigator is planning to share the data. Applicants are required to describe their plan to share data at grantee meetings, and are required to describe plans to disseminate the technology and information about the technology that is being developed under this grant support. These requirements are described in the section immediately above (Other Submission Requirement, Supplementary Instructions). If new sequence data (rather than sequencing to validate technology using known sequence templates) will be collected during the project, then the applicant should describe data release plans consistent with NHGRI’s strongly-endorsed rapid release of genomic data and materials.  The specific NHGRI policy on release of sequence data is available at http://www.genome.gov/10506376

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

The reasonableness of the data sharing plan or the rationale for not sharing research data will be assessed by the reviewers. However, reviewers will not factor the proposed data sharing plan into the determination of scientific merit or the priority score.

Sharing Research Resources

NIH policy expects that grant recipients make unique research resources readily available for research purposes to qualified individuals within the scientific community after publication (See the NIH Grants Policy Statement  http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm#_Toc54600131). Investigators responding to this funding opportunity should include a sharing research resources plan addressing how unique research resources will be shared or explain why sharing is not possible.

The adequacy of the resources sharing plan and any related data sharing plans will be considered by Program staff of the funding organization when making recommendations about funding applications. The effectiveness of the resource sharing will be evaluated as part of the administrative review of each Non-Competing Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590). See Section VI.3., “Reporting.”

Section V. Application Review Information


1. Criteria 

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

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications that are complete and responsive to the FOA will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by NHGRI in accordance with the review criteria stated below.

As part of the initial merit review, all applications will:

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

The goals of NIH supported research are to advance our understanding of biological systems, to improve the control of disease, and to enhance health. In their written critiques, reviewers will be asked to comment on each of the following criteria in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed research will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals. Each of these criteria will be addressed and considered in assigning the overall score, weighting them as appropriate for each application.

Note that an application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact and thus deserve a high priority score. For example, an investigator may propose to carry out important work that by its nature is not innovative but is essential to move a field forward.

Significance: Does this study address an important problem? If the aims of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge or clinical practice be advanced? What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?

Approach: Are the conceptual or clinical framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well reasoned, and appropriate to the aims of the project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics? For applications designating multiple PDs/PIs, does the Leadership Plan ensure that there will be sufficient coordination and communication among the PDs/PIs?  Are the administrative plans for the management of the research project appropriate, including plans for resolving conflicts?

Innovation: Is the project original and innovative? For example: Does the project challenge existing paradigms or clinical practice; address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in the field? Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools, or technologies for this area?

Investigators: Are the
PD/PI(s) and other key personnel appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work? Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level of the principal investigator and other researchers? Does the PD/PI(s) and investigative team bring complementary and integrated expertise to the project (if applicable)?

Environment: Do(es) the scientific environment(s) in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed studies benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, or subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional support?

2.A. Additional Review Criteria:

In addition to the above criteria, the following items will continue to be considered in the determination of scientific merit and the priority score:

Resubmission Applications (formerly “revised/amended” applications): Are the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group adequate? Are the improvements in the resubmission application appropriate?

Protection of Human Subjects from Research Risk: The involvement of human subjects and protections from research risk relating to their participation in the proposed research will be assessed. See the “Human Subjects Sections” of the PHS398 Research Plan component of the SF424 (R&R).
 
Inclusion of Women, Minorities and Children in Research: The adequacy of plans to include subjects from both genders, all racial and ethnic groups (and subgroups), and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the research will be assessed. Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be evaluated. See the “Human Subjects Sections” of the PHS398 Research Plan component of the SF424 (R&R)

Care and Use of Vertebrate Animals in Research: If vertebrate animals are to be used in the project, the adequacy of the plans for their care and use will be assessed. See the “Other Research Plan Sections” of the PHS398 Research Plan component of the SF424 (R&R). 

Biohazards: If materials or procedures are proposed that are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, determine if the proposed protection is adequate. 

2.B. Additional Review Considerations

Budget and Period of Support: The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the appropriateness of the requested period of support in relation to the proposed research may be assessed by the reviewers. The priority score should not be affected by the evaluation of the budget.

Applications from Foreign Organizations: Whether the project presents special opportunities for furthering research programs through the use of unusual talent, resources, populations, or environmental conditions in other countries that are not readily available in the United States or that augment existing U.S. resources will be assessed. 

2.C. Sharing Research Data

The reasonableness of the data sharing plan or the rationale for not sharing research data will be assessed by the reviewers. However, reviewers will not factor the proposed data sharing plan into the determination of scientific merit or the priority score. The presence of a data sharing plan will be part of the terms and conditions of the award. The funding organization will be responsible for monitoring the data sharing policy. The data sharing plan includes the plan for sharing data at grantee meetings, plans for data and technology dissemination, and plans for rapidly depositing sequence data into public databases (if applicable).

2.D. Sharing Research Resources

Program staff will be responsible for the administrative review of the plan for sharing research resources.

The adequacy of the resources sharing plan and any related data sharing plans will be considered by Program staff of the funding organization when making recommendations about funding applications. The effectiveness of the resource sharing will be evaluated as part of the administrative review of each Non-Competing Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590), See Section VI.3., “Reporting.”

Model Organism Sharing Plan:  Reviewers are asked to assess the sharing plan in an administrative note. The sharing plan itself should be discussed after the application is scored. Whether a sharing plan is reasonable can be determined by the reviewers on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the organism, the timeline, the applicant's decision to distribute the resource or deposit it in a repository, and other relevant considerations

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Not Applicable

Section VI. Award Administration Information


1. Award Notices

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

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

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

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

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Prior to funding an application, the NHGRI will negotiate the milestones with the applicant, beginning with the applicant ’s stated milestones and incorporating recommendations from the review panel, the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research, and staff. The negotiated milestones will become a condition of the award, including appropriate language to recognize that the project includes research whose outcomes are unpredictable.

To accelerate progress in the field of advanced DNA sequencing technology development, grantees will be expected to participate actively and openly in at least one grantee meeting per year. Substantial information sharing will be required and is a condition of the award; failure to openly share information will be grounds for discontinuation of funding. It is understood that some information developed under the grants will be proprietary and cannot be shared immediately without damaging the commercialization potential of the technology. Applicants should describe their plans for participating in the grantee meetings and for managing the intellectual property concerns in the context of those meetings and other opportunities for information sharing. Other investigators in the field (i.e., not supported under this program) may be invited to participate in these workshops; their agreement to share information substantially will be a prerequisite to their participation. The applicant’s participation plan, after negotiation with NHGRI staff, will become the minimum standard for continued funding.

Grantees may be asked to host the annual grantee meetings on a rotating basis. The NHGRI will negotiate a schedule for the grantee meetings and will adjust budgets to accommodate these meetings. Holding these meetings at grantee sites or in association with other meetings will facilitate information sharing and participation of a larger portion of the research staff than would otherwise occur.

The applicant’s plans, as negotiated with staff, for complying with timelines and milestones, participation in grantee meetings, submitting progress reports, and sharing research data will be conditions of the award.

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

3. Reporting

Applicants must plan to submit two progress reports per year – one at the time of the non-competing continuation and one at a time to be determined by NHGRI staff. The latter may coincide with grantee meetings, meetings of advisors to NHGRI, or site visits. The NHGRI will use information from reports, meetings, site visits, etc. to evaluate each grantee’ progress and the success of the overall program; this information will be used to determine if funding levels should be increased or decreased for future years, for each grant, and for the program.

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

Section VII. Agency Contacts


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

1. Scientific/Research Contacts:

Jeffery A. Schloss, Ph.D.
Division of Extramural Research
National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH
5635 Fishers Lane, Suite 4076
Bethesda, MD 20892-9305
Telephone:  (301) 496-7531
Email: schlossj@exchange.nih.gov

2. Peer Review Contacts:

Ken Nakamura, Ph.D.
Scientific Review Branch
National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH
5635 Fishers Lane, Suite 4076
Bethesda, MD 20892-9306 (U.S. Postal Service Express or regular mail)
Rockville, MD 20852 (for express/courier service, non-USPS service)
Telephone:  (301) 402-0838
E-mail:  kn24c@nih.gov

3. Financial or Grants Management Contacts:

Cheryl Chick
Grants Administration Branch
National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH
5635 Fishers Lane, Suite 4076
Bethesda, MD  20892-9306
Phone: (301) 435-7858
Fax: (301) 402-1951
E-mail: chickc@mail.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information


Required Federal Citations

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

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

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

Sharing Research Data:
Investigators submitting an NIH application seeking $500,000 or more in direct costs in any single year are expected to include a plan for data sharing or state why this is not possible (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing).

Investigators should seek guidance from their institutions, on issues related to institutional policies and local IRB rules, as well as local, State and Federal laws and regulations, including the Privacy Rule. Reviewers will consider the data sharing plan but will not factor the plan into the determination of the scientific merit or the priority score.

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

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

Inclusion of Women And Minorities in Clinical Research:
It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their sub-populations must be included in all NIH-supported clinical research projects unless a clear and compelling justification is provided indicating that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of the research. This policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public Law 103-43). All investigators proposing clinical research should read the "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research” (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-001.html); a complete copy of the updated Guidelines is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_amended_10_2001.htm. The amended policy incorporates: the use of an NIH definition of clinical research; updated racial and ethnic categories in compliance with the new OMB standards; clarification of language governing NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials consistent with the SF424 (R&R) application; and updated roles and responsibilities of NIH staff and the extramural community. The policy continues to require for all NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials that: a) all applications or proposals and/or protocols must provide a description of plans to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable; and b) investigators must report annual accrual and progress in conducting analyses, as appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group differences.

Inclusion of Children as Participants in Clinical Research:
The NIH maintains a policy that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) must be included in all clinical research, conducted or supported by the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the "NIH Policy and Guidelines" on the inclusion of children as participants in research involving human subjects (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/children/children.htm).

Required Education on the Protection of Human Subject Participants:
NIH policy requires education on the protection of human subject participants for all investigators submitting NIH applications for research involving human subjects and individuals designated as key personnel. The policy is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-039.html.

Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESC):
Criteria for federal funding of research on hESCs can be found at http://stemcells.nih.gov/index.asp and at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-005.html. Only research using hESC lines that are registered in the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry will be eligible for Federal funding (http://escr.nih.gov). It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide in the project description and elsewhere in the application as appropriate, the official NIH identifier(s) for the hESC line(s) to be used in the proposed research. Applications that do not provide this information will be returned without review.

NIH Public Access Policy:
NIH-funded investigators are requested to submit to the NIH manuscript submission (NIHMS) system (http://www.nihms.nih.gov) at PubMed Central (PMC) an electronic version of the author's final manuscript upon acceptance for publication, resulting from research supported in whole or in part with direct costs from NIH. The author's final manuscript is defined as the final version accepted for journal publication, and includes all modifications from the publishing peer review process.

NIH is requesting that authors submit manuscripts resulting from 1) currently funded NIH research projects or 2) previously supported NIH research projects if they are accepted for publication on or after May 2, 2005. The NIH Public Access Policy applies to all research grant and career development award mechanisms, cooperative agreements, contracts, Institutional and Individual Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards, as well as NIH intramural research studies. The Policy applies to peer-reviewed, original research publications that have been supported in whole or in part with direct costs from NIH, but it does not apply to book chapters, editorials, reviews, or conference proceedings. Publications resulting from non-NIH-supported research projects should not be submitted.

For more information about the Policy or the submission process, please visit the NIH Public Access Policy Web site at http://publicaccess.nih.gov/ and view the Policy or other Resources and Tools, including the Authors' Manual.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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.