Department of Health and Human Services
Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Funding Opportunity Title

Centers Without Walls for Collaborative Research in the Epilepsies: Developing Disease Modifying or Prevention Therapies (U54)

Activity Code

U54 Specialized Center- Cooperative Agreements

Announcement Type

New

Related Notices

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-NS-15-001

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

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

93.853  

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of this FOA is to solicit applications for an Epilepsy Center without Walls (CWOW) focused on multidisciplinary, collaborative research to further the development of disease modifying or prevention therapies for epilepsy. 

Key Dates
Posted Date

August 21, 2014

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

October 6, 2014

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

October 6, 2014

Application Due Date(s)

November 6, 2014, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on this date.

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

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

February 2015

Advisory Council Review

May 2015

Earliest Start Date

July 2015

Expiration Date

November 7, 2014

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

** ELECTRONIC APPLICATION SUBMISSION REQUIRED**

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

Required Application Instructions

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

Table of Contents

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

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

The ultimate goal of this Epilepsy Center Without Walls (CWOW) is to facilitate development of a first-in-class disease modifying or prevention therapy for epilepsy. The CWOW award(s) will support the clinical and/or preclinical studies necessary to overcome the key limitations that prevent proposed interventions from immediately entering translational development or clinical testing. A required shared resource Core will enable additional investigators outside the CWOW to benefit from the expertise and infrastructure built in the CWOW. The award will also support public engagement activities among investigators, people with epilepsy, caregivers, and epilepsy-related voluntary organizations to support these partnerships in clinical research and future trials.

Background

The epilepsies are a collection of disorders that present significant public health burdens (see Epilepsy Across the Spectrum: Promoting Health and Understanding). The NINDS supports research to better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent the numerous seizure-related syndromes known as the epilepsies, as well as co-occurring conditions and mortality. Although seizures can be controlled by available therapies for approximately two-thirds of all individuals diagnosed with epilepsy, difficult side effects and epilepsy-related conditions such as depression, anxiety, cognitive issues or developmental delays continue to affect quality of life for many. To date, no known treatments other than surgery appear to alter the course of the disease, and none prevents epilepsy from developing in those individuals at risk. Developing a first-in-class disease modifying or prevention therapy for epilepsy is such an extremely high-risk venture that most private sector entities have not invested in this area of therapy development. Therapeutic antiepileptogenesis research, though high-risk, may provide a proof-of-concept that galvanizes additional research investment by other funding sources, including private industry.

Since 2000, one of the highest priorities identified by the epilepsy research community in the NINDS Benchmarks for Epilepsy Research is the ability to modify the course of the disease by intervening in the epileptogenic process in people with epilepsy. An equally challenging goal is to prevent the development of epilepsy in those individuals who are known to be at risk, prior to the emergence of clinical or electrographic seizures. Advances in this area would move the research community forward into a new era of control for epilepsy.

Prevention of the first seizure (epilepsy prevention) and disease modification (changing the progression or severity of the disease after the onset of seizures) may be related, but distinct, phenomena.  Each will likely require different approaches to study the underlying mechanisms and to identify effective interventions. Likewise, the epilepsies are characterized by many different etiologies, co-occurring neuropsychiatric, neurodevelopmental and somatic conditions and phenotypic features; it is possible that any one specific etiology will require targeted treatment(s) capable of modifying or preventing its expression. In 2010, the NINDS sponsored a workshop on "Anti-epileptogenesis (AEG) and Disease Modification: Alignment and Validation of Clinical Targets and Pre-Clinical Models." The workshop was designed to:

1) Prioritize the human epilepsy syndromes best suited for clinical proof-of-concept studies of prevention or disease modification in the near future;

2) Define what additional information about individual syndromes will be critical to facilitate development of preclinical screens or to design feasible clinical trials;

3) Promote the identification of various preclinical tools and models that can be used to identify and validate potential therapies (i.e., the use of biomarkers, surrogate markers, independent data validation);

4) Suggest working templates for clinically meaningful definitions of the terms disease modification, epileptogenesis, anti-epileptogenesis, prevention and cure and consider the regulatory implications of this terminology for labeling purposes;

5) Identify windows of opportunity (i.e., during early development, or after injury) for the use of specific treatments and develop clinically relevant preclinical studies.

Applicants are encouraged to review the summary of the workshop, available at http://www.ninds.nih.gov/news_and_events/proceedings/AEG_disease_modification_082010.htm.

Specific Objectives of the Research Program

Applications for an Epilepsy Center Without Walls (CWOW) should come from a multidisciplinary, collaborative team proposing synergistic research projects and appropriate scientific and administrative cores. All CWOW applications should include a description of the intended clinical population, the biologic rationale for the intervention strategy, and the key issues that prevent the proposed interventions from immediately entering translational development. The projects and cores included in the CWOW application should be designed to directly address and overcome these limitations. A CWOW application may include preclinical studies and/or non-interventional clinical studies, as necessary given the state of the field for a particular population and indication. Applicants should propose studies to test the hypotheses that present obstacles to further translational or clinical research (supported either by NINDS or industry partners), such as IND-enabling studies or clinical trials. Applicants should note that the scope of this FOA does NOT include IND-enabling studies or clinical trials themselves; NINDS supports IND-enabling studies and clinical trials in its specific translational and clinical trial programs [(http://www.ninds.nih.gov/funding/areas/translational_research/index.htm) and (http://www.ninds.nih.gov/research/clinical_research/index.htm.)]. Applicants are encouraged to review these programs to better understand the scope of studies that may be proposed in the CWOW application, and studies that should be pursued subsequently in the translational or clinical trials programs. The intent of this CWOW FOA is to support multidisciplinary studies whose results will build a rigorous and compelling rationale for NIH and/or industry partners to fund further translational or clinical development.

Applicants seeking support for projects that are stand-alone, single-component basic, translational, clinical studies or trials in epilepsy should contact the Scientific/Research Contact listed in Section VII. “Agency Contacts” below for guidance on funding opportunities for these specific types of projects.

CWOW applications will be considered in three different tracks:

  • Preclinical studies track: This track includes CWOW applications that consist entirely of projects that involve studies in preclinical model systems. These studies may include, but are not limited to, those that seek to develop in vitro assays, establish rigorous preclinical proof of efficacy, preliminary pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, effect of repeated exposures, or definition of appropriate treatment windows, duration, or dosing and route of administration paradigms.
  • Clinical studies track: This track includes CWOW applications that consist entirely of projects that involve studies in clinical populations or healthy volunteers. These studies may include, but are not limited to, those that seek to establish or validate 1) biomarkers of risk, disease progression, or treatment response, 2) tools to stratify participants in clinical trials, 3) tools to determine target engagement of therapeutic candidates, or 4) clinical outcome measures and study designs appropriate for evaluating disease-modifying or prevention treatments. Interventional clinical trials are not permitted.
  • Dual studies track: This track includes CWOW applications that consist of Projects that involve studies in both preclinical model systems and clinical populations.

Each CWOW application must have at least three research Projects, an Administrative Core, a Shared Resource Core, and a Public Engagement Core. Scientific Cores may be included if needed. The proposed number and composition of projects and cores should reflect the overall theme(s) and requirements of the CWOW to achieve its goals, and should be appropriate for the requested budget.

Projects: The CWOW application must include three or more related, integrated, and high-quality research Projects that provide a multi-disciplinary, yet unified, approach to the problem to be investigated.

Administrative Core: An Administrative Core is required and the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigators (PIs) should serve as the lead(s) of this Core. The Administrative Core should provide for the integration and management of activities within the CWOW. The Administrative Core will also be responsible for developing and maintaining a public website to communicate the mission and goals of the CWOW, in addition to advertising the availability of shared resources to the rest of the community. A goal of the CWOW is to share data, reagents, methods and other resources with the broader epilepsy research community. Applicants are encouraged to form the strongest teams to address the research questions, regardless of geography.

Shared Resource Core: Each CWOW application must have at least one core facility that shares its services or resources with the national or international epilepsy research community. The Shared Resource Core should be designed and managed to support the efforts of the CWOW Projects as well as serving as a resource for the national and international epilepsy research community. Shared access to this Core is intended to help facilitate research directed toward translational or clinical development of additional disease-modifying or preventive therapies.

Public Engagement Core: Each CWOW must have a core that promotes education and outreach activities with the community of individuals with epilepsy and caregivers that will lay a strong foundation for future clinical research studies and/or trials.

Scientific Core(s): Scientific Cores may be proposed as necessary, but must be justified in terms of the scientific Projects. 

Ideally, at their completion, the CWOW activities will have generated 1) a rigorous evidence base that  justifies further translational or clinical development of one or more clinical candidates for preventing/modifying epilepsy, 2) sufficient information about the clinical population to design appropriate trials, 3) an engaged group of research partners composed of people with epilepsy, caregivers, and/or related voluntary organizations, and 4) new resources and collaborations that facilitate translational or clinical research for other disease modifying or prevention approaches. 

The Epilepsy CWOW is a collaborative effort that requires frequent interactions of awardees among themselves and with the NIH. Applicants should be willing to: participate in Executive and/or Steering Committee Meetings and regular telephone conference calls; cooperate with other awardees in the development and design of research priorities, especially regarding resources; and agree to the "Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award" in Section VI.2. "Award Administration Information." Awardees will also attend an annual Epilepsy Centers Without Walls Program conference at which all CWOW awardees will present progress updates. Each CWOW in the overall NINDS CWOW program will organize and host these annual conferences on a rotating basis. 

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

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

Application Types Allowed

New

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

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

NIH intends to fund up to 2 awards, corresponding to a total of up to $9 million total costs, for fiscal year 2015. Future year amounts will depend on annual appropriations.

Award Budget

Application budgets may not exceed $3 million direct costs per year. Budgets need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed Project.

Award Project Period

The scope of the proposed projects should determine the project period. The maximum project period is 5 years.

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

Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants
Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

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

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

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

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

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

For-Profit Organizations

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

Governments

  • State Governments
  • County Governments
  • City or Township Governments
  • Special District Governments
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized)
  • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
  • U.S. Territory or Possession

Other

  • Independent School Districts
  • Public Housing Authorities/Indian Housing Authorities
  • Native American Tribal Organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Faith-based or Community-based Organizations
  • Regional Organizations
Foreign Institutions

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

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

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

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

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

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

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

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

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

2. Cost Sharing

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

3. Additional Information on Eligibility
Number of Applications

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

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

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

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

  • To an RFA of an application that was submitted previously as an investigator-initiated application but not paid;
  • Of an investigator-initiated application that was originally submitted to an RFA but not paid; or
  • Of an application with a changed grant activity code.

There is a 10 year limit on the total project period for all NINDS CWOW cooperative agreements.      

Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Requesting an Application Package

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

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

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

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

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

Letter of Intent

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

By the date listed in Part 1. Overview Information, prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information (please include names of PD(s)/PI(s), key personnel and their institutions in table format):

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

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Brandy E Fureman, PhD
Telephone: 301-496-1917
Fax: 301-402-1501
Email: furemanb@ninds.nih.gov 

Page Limitations

Component Types Available in ASSIST

Research Strategy/Program Plan Page Limits

Overall

12

Admin Core

12

Core (use for Shared Resource Core, Public Engagement Core, and Scientific Core)

6

Project

12

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

Instructions for the Submission of Multi-Component Applications

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

The application should consist of the following components:

  • Overall: required
  • Administrative Core: required
  • Shared Resource Core: required
  • Public Engagement Core: required
  • Scientific Cores: optional
  • Projects: at least 3 are required
Overall Component

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

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Overall)

Complete entire form.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement  (Overall)

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

Research & Related Other Project Information (Overall)

Follow standard instructions.

Project/Performance Site Location(s) (Overall)

Enter primary site only.

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

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Overall)

Include only the Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) and any multi-PDs/PIs (if applicable to this FOA) for the entire application. The application should name the CWOW Director(s) (Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) who will be the key figure(s) in the administration, management, and coordination of the CWOW grant. The CWOW Director(s) will be responsible for the organization and operation of the CWOW.  The CWOW Director(s) should be recognized scientific leaders experienced in the field of epilepsy research and must be able to coordinate, integrate, and provide guidance in the establishment of research programs.

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

Budget (Overall)

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

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

PHS 398 Research Plan (Overall)

Specific Aims: The specific aims should briefly but specifically describe the goals of the proposed research and summarize the expected outcome(s), including the impact the proposed research will exert on the field.     

Research Strategy: The Overall Research Strategy should describe the major theme of the CWOW, its goals and objectives, background information and the overall importance of the research to the development of therapies to modify or prevent the epilepsies. Describe the rationale for the total proposed program. Explain the strategy for achieving the goals defined for the overall program and how each research project and core relates to that strategy. A successful CWOW application will include a well-integrated research strategy that clearly shows how the proposed projects and cores will foster therapeutic development of a disease modifying or prevention therapy for a specific population with epilepsy. The program should be viewed as interrelated research Projects, each of which is not only individually scientifically meritorious but is complementary to the other Projects and related to the overall theme developed for the CWOW. Provide justification in the application that: (a) the proposed Projects are such that they require an intensive collaborative effort to succeed and (b) that key personnel will collaborate effectively.

Describe the organizational structure of the CWOW. Also describe any connections between the proposed CWOW and any other organizations such as voluntary groups or industry partners. Explain how different units of the organization, including key personnel, will interact, why they are essential to accomplishing the overall goal of the research, and how combined resources create capabilities that are more than the sum of the parts.

As the research strategy is prepared, it is important to note that NINDS believes that applications that propose preclinical research, or clinical applications that are based on previous preclinical data, will be greatly strengthened if the design, execution, and interpretation of the proposed studies and supporting data are adequately described. NINDS encourages investigators, whenever possible, to address these elements directly in their applications. Investigators are urged to discuss these issues with Scientific/Research staff prior to submission of applications (see: NOT-NS-11-023 at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-NS-11-023.html). The NINDS also expects that applications for the Epilepsy CWOW will conform to the principles outlined in Landis et al., 2012.  

Letters of Support: Include letters of support/agreement for any collaborative/cooperative arrangements, subcontracts, or consultants. Letters of support for the U54 CWOW overall should be included with the Overall component. Letters of support for individual scientific projects or cores should be included with those components of the application.

Collaboration with NIH Intramural Researchers: A letter from the Scientific Director of the collaborating NIH Institute or Center must be submitted as part of the CWOW application, and must specify the amount of intramural resources to be allocated to the proposed project. In addition, the letter should state that the conduct of the project will comply with the DHHS regulations for research involving human subjects (if applicable) and with the PHS policy on vertebrate animal research (if applicable).

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

  • All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan.
  • CWOW awards are required to include NINDS Common Data Elements (CDEs) where applicable.
  • Applicants should confirm that the consent forms for funded projects specifically address the following: (1) disclosure that biological materials and clinical data may be distributed to other researchers in both academia and in industry; (2) assurance that such data will be stored and maintained without personal identifiers; (3) disclosure that analyses of these data may be conducted by other scientists currently not included within the current research team, potentially including those with commercial interests; (4) that the data collected by the researchers may be used as necessary to study any other disorder. 

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

Administrative Core

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

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Administrative Core)

Complete only the following fields:

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

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Administrative Core)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Administrative Core)

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

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

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

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

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

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

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Administrative Core)

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

Budget (Administrative Core)

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

The CWOW Director(s) must individually commit to at least 1.8 person months (15%) of effort for the duration of the award.

The budget should cover travel expenses for appropriate personnel to attend annual in-person Center Without Walls meetings as well as collaborations between laboratories involved in the Center Without Walls. Each CWOW in the overall NINDS CWOW program will be expected to organize and host the annual CWOW conference on a rotating basis; however, funding for the conference itself will be provided by NINDS through a different mechanism and should not be included in the CWOW application budget.

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

PHS 398 Research Plan (Administrative Core)

Specific Aims: The specific aims should briefly but specifically describe the goals of the proposed Administrative Core and summarize the expected outcome(s).  

Research Strategy: The Administrative Core will be responsible for the management and administration of the overall CWOW. This section of the application should describe the strategies and processes that will be used to manage the CWOW and achieve the goals. This Core, led by the CWOW Director(s), will provide oversight for the projects and cores, promote coordination and collaboration within the CWOW and with investigators and organizations outside the CWOW. The Administrative Core will also be responsible for developing and maintaining a public website to communicate the mission and goals of the CWOW, in addition to advertising the availability of shared resources to the rest of the community. The application should include a Charter with detailed policies regarding publication and assignment of intellectual property rights, as well as plans for sharing pre-competitive data, reagents and methods with the broader epilepsy research community. A narrative description should be provided in the application that includes the planning and coordination of research activities; the integration of cross-disciplinary research; the oversight of fiscal and resource management; and the maintenance of ongoing communication. Indicate who will be responsible for each of these activities. Applicants should specify appropriate administrative/business management staff and oversight mechanisms by the CWOW Director(s) and Executive Committee.

When multiple performance sites are planned, the Administrative Core should include leadership and communication plans adequate to manage the multiple sites.

The Administrative Core should establish an Executive Committee, composed of key members of the CWOW and NINDS staff.

The application should also provide the following information:

Information on an agreed-upon charter for the Center Without Walls that includes:

  • Organizational Chart
  • Staffing: Description of key professional and support staff functions.
  • Guidelines for authorship on all publications resulting from research supported by the CWOW award.
  • Guidelines for assignment of intellectual property rights among CWOW collaborators
  • Plans for sharing pre-competitive data, reagents and methods with the broader epilepsy research community.
  • Discussion of the use of the NINDS Common Data Elements for all proposed clinical studies (http://www.nindscommondataelements.org/default.aspx ).
  • Discussion for the utilization, as appropriate, of current NINDS-funded resources such as the NINDS Biospecimen Repository at Coriell, other Epilepsy Center Without Wall initiatives, and the International Epilepsy Electrophysiology Portal (IEEG), etc.
  • Schedule for reports to NINDS and relevant oversight committees on all issues related to individual Project and Core performance.
  • Milestone goals that set performance expectations for continued funding of individual Projects and Cores
  • Additional policy and procedures for the CWOW as appropriate.

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:

The Administrative Core should provide oversight of the resource sharing plans of the CWOW. A competitive application is expected to provide a plan regarding the timely sharing of specimens, cells, animal models and redacted data generated with support from this award with other qualified research scientists, both within and outside the CWOW, and ensuring that such data are HIPPA compliant. Applicants should describe plans for tracking requests for resources and monitoring the timely accomplishment of the activities described in the resource sharing plans.

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

Planned Enrollment Report  (Administrative Core)

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

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report (Administrative Core)

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

Shared Resource Core

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

Each CWOW should contain a core that provides services and/or resources that are shared with other investigators nationally and perhaps internationally. These resources could be reagents, specimens, services or technical expertise that will help to accelerate progress of multiple projects toward the development of therapies for modifying disease in individuals with epilepsy or preventing it in those at risk.

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Shared Resource Core)

Complete only the following fields:

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

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Shared Resource Core)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Shared Resource Core)

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

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

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

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Shared Resource Core)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

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

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Shared Resource Core)

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

Budget (Shared Resource Core)

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

The Shared Resource Core is required to offer services, reagents, expertise, or other resources to investigators outside the CWOW.  Applicants may choose to budget funds to support these collaborations from within the CWOW Shared Resource Core budget, or to provide them on a fee for service basis. If outside funds are used to support such collaborations, the funds must come from a peer-reviewed grant award from a public or private funding organization.

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

PHS 398 Research Plan (Shared Resource Core)

Specific Aims: The specific aims should briefly but specifically describe the goals of the proposed Shared Resource Core and summarize the expected outcome(s), including the impact on the field.

Research Strategy:  Describe how this shared Core will meet the needs of the national/international epilepsy research community. Projects outside the CWOW that would use the Core should be described in general terms and investigators outside the Center should not be contacted, as this would lead to conflicts of interest during peer review. If Cores providing similar resources are already available, explain the need for this additional Core.

Describe the function of the shared core as a resource to the CWOW. This section must clearly present the facilities, techniques, and professional skills that the Core will provide. A core is principally designed as a service or resource component; it would be highly unusual to include research in a core (a possible exception would be methodology development). Applicants should contact the Institute staff if further guidance is needed.

Discuss ways in which these centralized services will produce an economy of effort and/or savings in overall costs compared to their inclusion as part of each Project in the program. To aid in the review of the application, please include a table of information concerning the scientific Projects that the core would serve and the proportion of the cost of the core associated with each research Project involved.

Cores may already exist in some form prior to the application. When proposing support for an already existing core, describe how the CWOW award would enhance the resources or services already available through new innovation and technology development, expanded availability, increased throughput, etc.

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

  • Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, and GWAS Sharing Plan) are expected.

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

Planned Enrollment Report  (Shared Resource Core)

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

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report (Shared Resource Core)

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

Public Engagement Core

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

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Public Engagement Core)

Complete only the following fields:

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

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Public Engagement Core)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Public Engagement Core)

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

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

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

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Public Engagement Core)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

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

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Public Engagement Core)

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

Budget (Public Engagement Core)

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

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

PHS 398 Research Plan (Public Engagement Core)

Specific Aims: The specific aims should briefly but specifically describe the goals of the proposed Public Engagement Core and summarize the expected outcome(s), including the impact on the field.

Research Strategy:  The Public Engagement Core will be responsible for coordinating public outreach and engagement activities among CWOW investigators, people with epilepsy, caregivers, and epilepsy-related voluntary organizations towards the goal of partnering in clinical research and future trials of disease modifying or prevention therapy. This section of the application should describe the strategies and processes that will be used to engage the appropriate population of people with epilepsy, caregivers, and epilepsy-related voluntary organizations in ways that will encourage their partnership with investigators in current or future clinical research studies and trials. An example includes, but is not limited to, an application that proposes a Public Engagement Core focused on public consultation to determine acceptable risk/benefit ratios, meaningful outcome measures, and successful enrollment and retention strategies for a future trial of disease modifying or prevention therapy. Another example is a Public Engagement Core that would conduct education and outreach activities to increase the number of lay individuals who are knowledgeable about and willing to participate in the design, review, conduct, or oversight of clinical research studies and trials in epilepsy. A narrative description should be provided that includes the planning and coordination of these activities, as well as methods for evaluating their impact. Applicants are strongly encouraged to involve a person with epilepsy, a caregiver, or a representative of an epilepsy-related voluntary organization in the leadership of the Public Engagement Core.

Letters of Support: Include letters of support/agreement for any collaborative/cooperative arrangements, subcontracts, or consultants.

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:

  • Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, and GWAS Sharing Plan) are expected.

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

Planned Enrollment Report  (Public Engagement Core)

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

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report (Public Engagement Core)

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

Scientific Core

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

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Scientific Core)

Complete only the following fields:

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

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Scientific Core)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Scientific Core)

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

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

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

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

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

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

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Scientific Core)

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

Budget (Scientific Core)

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

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

PHS 398 Research Plan (Scientific Core)

Specific Aims: The specific aims should briefly but specifically describe the goals of the proposed Scientific Core and summarize the expected outcome(s).  

Research Strategy:  Describe the function of the Scientific Core as a resource to the CWOW. This section must clearly present the facilities, techniques, and professional skills that the Core will provide. A core is principally designed as a service or resource component; it would be highly unusual to include research in a core (a possible exception would be methodology development). Applicants should contact the Institute staff if further guidance is needed.

Describe the role of the core as a resource to the CWOW as a whole. Discuss ways in which these centralized services will produce an economy of effort and/or savings in overall costs compared to their inclusion as part of each Project in the program. To aid in the review of the application, please include a table of information concerning the scientific Projects that the core would serve and the proportion of the cost of the core associated with each research Project involved.

Cores may already exist in some form prior to the application. When proposing support for an already existing Core, describe how the CWOW award would enhance the resources or services already available through new innovation and technology development, expanded availability, increased throughput, etc.

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

  • Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, and GWAS Sharing Plan) are expected.

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

Planned Enrollment Report  (Scientific Core)

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

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report (Scientific Core)

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

Project

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

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Project)

Complete only the following fields:

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

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Project)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Project)

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

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

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

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Project)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

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

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Project)

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

Budget (Project)

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

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

PHS 398 Research Plan (Project)

Specific Aims: The specific aims should briefly but specifically describe the goals of the proposed research and summarize the expected outcome(s), including the impact the proposed research will exert on the field.  

Research Strategy:  Clearly state its overall objective and explain the relevance of the project to the central theme of the CWOW. In addition, an explanation should be included describing how the Project addresses a key limitation preventing translational or clinical development of a disease modifying or prevention therapy. Describe how the Project relates to and both complements and enhances the other research Projects and Cores of the CWOW. Why the Project is best suited to be carried out in the CWOW environment should be highlighted.

A CWOW application may include Projects focused on preclinical studies and/or non-interventional clinical studies, as necessary given the state of the field for a particular population and indication.

  • Preclinical studies track: This track includes CWOW applications that consist entirely of Projects that involve studies in preclinical model systems. These studies may include, but are not limited to, those that seek to develop in vitro assays, establish rigorous preclinical proof of efficacy, preliminary pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, effect of repeated exposures, definition of appropriate treatment windows and duration, or dosing and route of administration paradigms.
  • Clinical studies track: This track includes CWOW applications that consist entirely of Projects that involve studies in clinical populations or healthy volunteers. These studies may include, but are not limited to, those that seek to establish or validate 1) biomarkers of risk, disease progression, or treatment response, 2) tools to stratify participants in clinical trials, 3) tools to determine target engagement of therapeutic candidates, or 4) clinical outcome measures and study designs appropriate for evaluating disease-modifying or prevention treatments. Interventional clinical trials are not permitted.
  • Dual studies track: This track includes CWOW applications that consist of Projects that involve studies in both preclinical model systems and clinical populations.

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:

  • Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, and GWAS Sharing Plan) are expected.

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

Planned Enrollment Report  (Project)

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

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report (Project)

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

3. Submission Dates and Times

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

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

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

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

4. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

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

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

6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

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

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

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

For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit Applying Electronically.

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

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

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the Center for Scientific Review and 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-13-030.

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria

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

For this particular announcement, note the following:

A CWOW application must include the following components: At least three Research Projects, an Administrative Core, a Shared Resource Core, and a Public Engagement Core. Scientific Cores may be included if needed. The proposed number and composition of Projects and Cores should reflect the overall theme(s) and requirements of the CWOW to achieve its goals, and should be appropriate for the requested budget. Each individual component will be evaluated, discussed, and assigned an individual component score that represents enthusiasm for each component. After the review of the individual components, an overall impact score will be assigned to the application. The overall score for the CWOW application may be higher or lower than the average of the individual components based on the assessment of whether the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. 

Since this FOA specifically seeks applications that address difficult, challenging scientific questions and/or have the potential to overcome critical barriers in the field, the NINDS recognizes that applications may include components or Projects that are exploratory, discovery-based and/or higher risk in nature. The review will evaluate the potential for the CWOW as a whole to have a significant impact on the field during the terms of the award weighing the balance of more conventional approaches with highly innovative components or Projects in which success is not guaranteed. In evaluating higher risk components or exploratory Projects with limited preliminary data, the reviewers will weigh the potential to achieve transformative, paradigm-shifting advances against the risks. The reviewers will evaluate the likelihood that interpretable results will be obtained from exploratory or high risk studies. For example, if proposing a novel hypothesis, the investigator should be able to prove or disprove that hypothesis by the end of the funding period; if proposing exceptionally innovative methodology or technology, the investigator should be able to develop it by the end of the funding period or demonstrate conclusively that the approach is not feasible.

Overall Impact - Overall

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the Center Without Walls (CWOW)  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 CWOW  proposed).

Scored Review Criteria - Overall

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

Significance

Does the CWOW address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? If the aims of the CWOW are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field? Does the CWOW application focus on a clinical population and interventional strategy that will rapidly result in significant breakthroughs for affected individuals and extend these successes to other types of epilepsy? Are the expected results likely to provide a compelling body of work that strongly argues for additional translational or clinical research investment? Will successful completion of the aims result in one or more clinical candidates for disease modification or prevention that can be advanced through translational development or clinical testing? If clinical candidates will not be identified in the CWOW, does the CWOW provide the necessary information about a clinical population and/or model systems that is needed to facilitate future therapy development?    

Investigator(s)

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

Are the qualifications, experience, and commitment of the Director(s) of the CWOW adequate to lead the CWOW and are they devoting sufficient time/effort to achieve the goals? Does the CWOW Director(s) have sufficient authority and credibility within the institution and broader research community as a base for serving a national leadership role in epilepsy related research? If more than one CWOW Director is proposed, are clear leadership plans in place?  

Innovation

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

Approach

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

Environment

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

Scored Review Criteria - Projects

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?   

Does the Project integrate well into the overall theme of the CWOW? If the aims of the Project are successfully completed, will a key barrier to therapeutic development have been overcome?

Investigator(s)

Are the qualifications, experience, and commitment of the investigator (s) adequate to lead the Project and are they devoting sufficient time/effort to achieve the goals? Are the investigator(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; do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the Project?

Innovation

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

Approach

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

If the Project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed? Are there appropriate plans for the rigorous management and quality control of any research data or materials to be obtained from human subjects? If included, is the patient cohort well-defined and appropriately diverse? Are plans in place for patient recruitment? Will clinical data be collected using the NINDS Common Data Elements (CDEs)? Is the timeline for Project activities included and adequate? If applicable, is the proposed clinical Project rationale based upon a sufficiently rigorous body of high quality preclinical or clinical research?

If the Project involves basic or preclinical research, is there evidence of rigor in terms of rationale, preliminary data, experimental design and strategies to minimize bias? If applicable, will the successful completion of the basic or preclinical research studies form a rigorous evidence base on which to build future translational or clinical development?

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?

Scored Review Criteria - Cores

In contrast to the review of Projects, reviewers will not provide individual criterion scores for Cores and will assign an overall numeric rating only. The review criteria for the individual Cores are provided below.

Administrative Core

Does the leader(s) of the Administrative Core have appropriate expertise and dedicate sufficient time to administrative activities? Is the line of communication clear between the Center Director and the Administrative Core Leader? Is the proposed management structure appropriate for scientific administration as well as fiscal administration, procurement, property and personnel management, planning and budgeting? Is there an appropriate plan for establishing and maintaining effective communications and cooperation among CWOW investigators and with investigators outside the CWOW? Are plans for development of the public CWOW website adequate? Are there internal and external procedures for monitoring and evaluating the proposed research Projects and Core facilities/resources? Are there appropriate plans for management of data, animal models and other resources? Does the Administrative Core contain the required Attachment containing the CWOW Charter?

Scientific Cores

Is the Scientific Core essential to advance the scientific aims of one or more proposed research Projects? Is the Core connected to the central theme of the overall program? How valuable are the facilities or services provided by the Core (including procedures, techniques, and quality control)? Are they being used effectively? Are the Core Lead and key personnel well-qualified to provide the Core service(s)?

If human subjects, vertebrate animals, or biohazards are to be used in a Core, the adequacy of these sections will be assessed and will be considered in evaluating the individual Core. Are there appropriate plans for the rigorous management and quality control of any research data or materials to be obtained from human subjects? If included, is the patient cohort well-defined and appropriately diverse? Are plans in place for patient recruitment? Will clinical data be collected using the NINDS Common Data Elements (CDEs)? Is the timeline for Core activities included and adequate?

Public Engagement Core

Does the Public Engagement Core Lead have appropriate expertise and dedicate sufficient time to engagement Core activities? Is the line of communication clear between the Center Director and Public Engagement Core Lead? Are there appropriate plans for outreach activities that will contribute to the education and/or direct involvement of people with epilepsy, caregivers and/or epilepsy-related voluntary organizations in the research conducted by the CWOW?

Shared Resource Core

Does the Shared Resource Core Lead have appropriate expertise and dedicate sufficient time to Shared Resource Core activities? Is the line of communication clear between the Center Director and Shared Resource Core Lead? Are there appropriate plans for advertising opportunities for outside investigators to utilize the services of the Shared Resource Core? Are there appropriate plans for reviewing, prioritizing and coordinating Projects from outside investigators in the context of ongoing support for CWOW Projects? Will the services provided to the broader epilepsy research community facilitate development of additional disease modifying or prevention therapies?

Additional Review Criteria - Overall

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

CWOW as an Integrated Effort

The overall U54 CWOW will be evaluated as an integrated research effort. The relationship and contributions of the Research Projects and Cores to the overall objectives will be discussed and evaluated.

Are there clear advantages of conducting the proposed research as a program rather than through separate research efforts? Will the research efforts taken together have more impact on the field than each separate Project conducted in isolation? Will the research proposed in individual Projects be enhanced by the CWOW?

At the completion of CWOW activities, is it likely that key issues limiting the translation of the chosen disease-modifying or prevention therapy for the selected clinical population will have been adequately addressed?

Protections for Human Subjects

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

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

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children

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

Vertebrate Animals

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

Biohazards

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

Resubmissions

Not Applicable 

Renewals

Not Applicable  

Revisions

Not Applicable 

Additional Review Considerations - Overall

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

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable

Select Agent Research

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

Resource Sharing Plans

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

Budget and Period of Support

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

2. Review and Selection Process

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

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices

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

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

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

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

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

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

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

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

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

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

The overall function of the CWoW as described under "Specific Research Objectives". This includes the development of the standard operating procedures, and consistent emphasis on collaborative interactions between all CWoW investigators, advisory and steering committees, and NIH representatives. Awardees will retain custody of and have primary rights to the data and software developed under these awards, subject to Government rights of access consistent with current DHHS, PHS, and NIH policies.

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

An NIH Project Scientist will be responsible for: (1) overseeing the activities of the CWOW, along with the other entities delineated above, to ensure that studies are properly conducted and completed in a timely fashion; (2) providing advice and guidance to ensure that the CWOW runs in accordance with NIH policies and procedures, and is consistent with the mission of the NIH to improve public health; and (3) serving as a point of contact for investigators with the NIH; (4) disseminating information from the Institute and communicating with Institute leadership to ensure that the CWOW operates smoothly.

An NIH Program Official will be responsible for the normal scientific and programmatic stewardship of the award and will be named in the award notice.

The NIH will appoint an Advisory Board for the entire Epilepsy CWOW Program. It is expected that this Board will include representatives from academia, industry, other government agencies, and non-profit organizations. The role of this Advisory Board will include discussion of direction of Projects, including vision for integration of studies and how they can best serve the overall goals of the Project and stakeholders.

Areas of Joint Responsibility include:

The NINDS Project Scientist and staff will work closely with the Advisory Board, the Steering Committees, and the PD(s)/PI(s) of all Projects and Cores in order to ensure proper conduct of the CWOW.

Dispute Resolution:

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

3. Reporting

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

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

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

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

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

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission, downloading forms and application packages)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726
Web ticketing system: https://grants-portal.psc.gov/ContactUs.aspx
Email: support@grants.gov

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

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Brandy Fureman, PhD
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Telephone: 301-496-1917
Email: furemanb@ninds.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Chief, Scientific Review Branch
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Telephone: 301-496-9223
Email: nindsreview.nih.gov@mail.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Tijuanna DeCoster, PhD
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.

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