Department of Health and Human Services


Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives, Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP)

Funding Opportunity Title

Limited Competition: Extramural Research Facilities Restoration Program: Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief (C06)

Activity Code

C06 Research Facilities Construction Grant

Announcement Type

New

Related Notices

  • August 28, 2013 - See Notice NOT-OD-13-106. Notice of Special Terms and Conditions for NIH Hurricane Sandy Recovery Awards.

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-OD-13-007

Companion Funding Opportunity

RFA-OD-13-005, R21 Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Award
RFA-OD-13-006, S10 Biomedical Research Support Shared Instrumentation Grants
RFA-OD-13-008, R24 Resource-Related Research Projects;
RFA-OD-13-199, Administrative Supplements

Number of Applications

An institution may submit more than one application.  Do not combine construction projects from more than one building in a single application. See Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

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

93.096 

Funding Opportunity Purpose

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) solicits applications from research institutions damaged as a result of Hurricane Sandy for the purpose of supporting recovery and restoration of research and research infrastructure destroyed or damaged as a result of the hurricane. Benefits of this award are restricted to the FEMA declared major disaster states, which are: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. 

Key Dates
Posted Date

July 3, 2013

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

July 30, 2013

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Application Due Date(s)

August 30, 2013, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

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

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

October/November 2013

Advisory Council Review

January 2014

Earliest Start Date

March/April 2014

Expiration Date

August 31, 2013

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

As described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, an applicant must provide a copy of the application to the State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) no later than the time the application is submitted to NIH. SPOC comments must be submitted to NIH with the application, or the application must indicate the date on which the application was provided to the SPOC 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). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

Table of Contents

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

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement


Section I. Funding Opportunity Description


Purpose

In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of the Northeast United States.  The storm affected numerous communities, including the biomedical communities located in this region. NIH is issuing several funding opportunities specifically to help restore and re-build the research and research infrastructure in the biomedical research institutions damaged as a result of Hurricane Sandy.  Benefits of this award are restricted to the FEMA declared major disaster states, which are: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.  This funding opportunity will be funded through funds received under the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 (P.L. 113-2).

Scope of the Funding Opportunity

This is a one-time funding opportunity.  Applicants must describe how they will accommodate the resources they are requesting in the event that major renovations or re-establishment of resources is required in order to perform the proposed research. Applications also should describe efforts undertaken since the hurricane to recover and restore research and data.

Funds provided by the NIH through this FOA cannot duplicate nor overlap with reimbursement provided by FEMA, under a contract for insurance, or by self-insurance.

Funds will be provided in a single award with a 60-month budget and project period. 

Funds requested must be justified and reflect the actual needs of proposed project based on the scope of work to be completed. Matching funds are not required. 

The acquisition and installation of fixed equipment such as casework, fume hoods, large autoclaves, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems for the research areas, cage washers, animal ventilated racks, static racks, downdraft tables, sterilizing equipment, and other large equipment that are connected to building structure and services, or biological safety cabinets are allowed. Discussion of the appropriateness of the location of such instruments should be part of the application. The location of all fixed equipment should be noted in the line drawings. A list of appropriate equipment can be found at http://dpcpsi.nih.gov/orip/diic/instru_fixed_equip_s10.aspx .

If you plan to request equipment that is not on this list, you should discuss this issue with program staff before submitting your application. Applicants must not request only fixed equipment when responding to this FOA. 

No facilities and administrative (F&A) costs will be awarded.  The NIH reserves the right to conduct post award site visits when deemed essential.

Special notes for High-Technology Equipment: The planning for and inclusion of new or unique medical and scientific technology, such as linear accelerators or positron emission tomography scanners, may require special consultants. The proposed design must be developed to accommodate the equipment selection, as well as recommendations and guidance of the respective manufacturers.

Special notes for Magnetic Resonance Imaging Facilities (MRI): The planning, design, and installation of a MRI system in a facility requires extreme care to ensure that the magnet is sufficiently isolated from ferromagnetic and radio frequency influences of the affected environment and that the surrounding environment is isolated from the effects of the magnetic field. Selection of the proper location for the magnet is extremely important and must be addressed in the earliest stages of planning and designing the MRI system. The specific guidance of the manufacturer of the selected equipment must be followed. Consultants should be used to verify specific requirements.  Discussion of the appropriateness of the location of such instruments as well as all requested fixed equipment should be part of the application.

Sustainable Design Technologies and Approaches

To the maximum extent feasible, sustainable design practices shall be considered in the design requirements for facilities funded through extramural construction/renovation grants.  Applicants are encouraged to implement the primary elements of sustainable design in federally funded facilities.  Sustainability is the outcome of an integrated process of facility development and operation incorporating a balance of life-cycle cost, environmental impact and occupant health and safety, security, and productivity. The following primary elements of sustainable design shall be discussed in all projects, as applicable.

1. Integrated design.
2. Commissioning.
3. Optimization of energy performance.
4. Energy efficiency.
5. Measurement and verification.
6. Protection and conservation of water.
            6.a. Indoor  water (i.e., fixtures that reduce amount of water used; recycling of waste water)
            6.b. Outdoor water (i.e., natural site drainage and low impact storm water retention)
7. Enhancement of indoor environmental quality.
8. Ventilation and thermal comfort.
9. Moisture control.
10. Day lighting.
11. Low-emitting materials.
12. Protection of indoor air quality during renovation.
13. Reducing the environmental impact of materials.
14. Maximizing recycled and bio-based content.
15. Construction waste reuse and recycling.
16. Minimizing use of ozone depleting compounds.

For all improvements and repair projects that impact 40% or more of the overall floor area of a building, the applicant must obtain certification, during the design phase, from the U.S. Green Building

Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or the Green Building initiative’s Green Globes System Certification rating system.

Sustainable Design References 

Department of Health and Human Services. HHS Policy for Sustainable and High Performance Buildings. December 2010. http://www.hhs.gov/about/2010plan.html

Department of Health and Human Services. HHS Real Property Asset Management Plan. http://www.hhs.gov/asa/ofmp/about/real_property_asset_mgmt_plan.pdf

Executive Order 13101: Greening the Government through Waste Prevention, Recycling, and Federal Acquisition http://www.epa.gov/epp/pubs/13101.pdf

Executive Order 13123: Greening the Government through Efficient Energy Management. http://www1.eere.energy.gov/femp/pdfs/eoguidancedoc.pdf

Executive Order 13134: Developing and Promoting Biobased Products and Bioenergy.  http://ceq.hss.doe.gov/nepa/regs/eos/eo13134.html

Executive Order 13148: Greening the Government through Leadership in Environmental Management. http://ceq.hss.doe.gov/nepa/regs/eos/eo13148.html

The Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings, Memorandum of Understanding. http://www.energystar.gov/ia/business/Guiding_Principles.pdf

Green Building Initiative Green Globes System. http://www.thegbi.org

US Green Building Council. http://www.usgbc.org

Whole Building Design Guide http://www.wbdg.org

Major Alterations and Renovations

Funds for alterations and renovations over $500,000 are considered major alterations and renovations and must follow the terms in Part II of the NIH Grants Policy Statement for Construction Grants.  

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

Responsive Applications

Applications must meet the following criteria to be considered responsive:

Non-Responsive Applications

Applications meeting any of the following criteria will be considered non-responsive and will not proceed to peer review:

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

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

Application Types Allowed

New

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 funds received from the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications. The extent and severity of damages on the research building facilities and directly related to Hurricane Sandy will be used in prioritizing funding decisions.

The NIH intends to commit up to approximately $66 M; awards will be made in FY 2014.

Award Budget

Application budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of proposed project.

Award Project Period

The total project period may not exceed 5 years. Funds will be provided in a single award with a 60-month budget and project period.

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

Eligibility is limited to research institutions located in the FEMA declared major disaster states, which are: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

Foreign Institutions

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are not eligible to apply.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply.

Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are not allowed.

Required Registrations

Applicant organizations must complete the following registrations as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. Applicants must have a valid Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number in order to begin each of the following registrations.

All Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PDs/PIs) must also work with their institutional officials to register with the eRA Commons or ensure their existing eRA Commons account is affiliated with the eRA Commons account of the applicant organization.

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

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/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

Multiple PDs/PIs are not allowed.

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

An institution may submit more than one application.  Do not combine construction projects from more than one building in a single application.

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

Section IV. Application and Submission Information


1. Requesting an Application Package

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

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

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

Page Limitations

All page limitations described in the SF424 Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed, with the following exceptions or additional requirements:

Required and Optional Components

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

SF424(R&R) Cover

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

Estimated Project Funding: Applicants must provide the 'Total Federal Funds Requested', 'Total Federal and Non-Federal Funds', and 'Estimated Program Income’.

Is Application Subject to Review by State Executive Order 12372 Process: Applicants should indicate "yes" and provide the date the application was submitted to the State.     

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

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

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

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

Project Summary/Abstract: This section must not exceed one page.

Project Narrative (assemble in order shown below): The Project Narrative should include the following sections and should be submitted in a single PDF attachment. Note: Line drawings and three specifically required tables that follow below do not count against the pages limit.

Begin each section with a header (e.g., Specific Aims).

Specific Aims: This section must not exceed one page and should (1) summarize any request for A&R including the associated square footage and (2) list all requested equipment. 

Background: The Background and Significance section must not exceed two pages. This section should briefly describe the background leading to the present application. State concisely the importance of this restoration project to the performance biomedical research at the institution.  Include a description of damages and loss that occurred as a result of Hurricane Sandy. 

Restoration Plan: The Restoration Plan section is the rest of the project narrative and includes the following: Significance and Need, Project Management and Institutional Commitment, Design Considerations, Engineering Criteria, Architectural Criteria, Equipment and Project Timeline.  The page limits in this section do NOT include the required tables or line drawings.

Significance and Need:

Tables: Begin with two tables containing (1) active and (2) pending grants (from the NIH and other sources) that will be affected by the proposed restoration. These tables should have the following columns: Grant Title, Principal Investigator, Grant Number, Funding Source, Annual Amount of Funding, Start and End Dates.

These tables do not count toward the page limits.

In the case where existing facilities are to be altered or modernized, describe the current status of the space to be improved (age of the existing space, deficiencies in the current space, and number of users). Describe how the requested restoration will correct these deficiencies and problems.  Explain how the proposed restoration will expand, improve, or maintain existing research and research support activities. Describe the modifications to the existing facility to accommodate the proposed functions and the requested equipment. Future scientific needs that would be accommodated as part of the restoration also should be described.

In the case where new construction is proposed, describe how the new facilities will restore existing research and research support activities. Future scientific needs that would be accommodated as part of the new facility also should be described.

Project Management and Institutional Commitment:

Design Considerations:

Table: List in tabular format the size (dimensions) and square footage of each component (e.g., room, alcove, cubicle, laboratory etc.) that will be directly affected by the renovation project. This table will not count against the  page limit.

Engineering Criteria:  Provide information about the mechanical, electrical, plumbing (MEP) systems and utilities in each component.  Include information about the following:

Architectural Criteria: Provide architectural criteria including but not limited to the following:

Provide sufficient information to allow the evaluation of plans for Biological Safety Level-3/Animal Biological Safety Level-3 (BSL-3/ABSL-3) designs, animal facility design, and designs for clinical facilities.

Line Drawings: The line drawings do not count toward the page limits and must be included for all applications submitted in response to this FOA.

If applicable, submit both existing and proposed drawings. 

Although the line drawings do not count toward the page limits additional text must not be included in the line drawings to circumvent the page limits.  Such additional text will be counted toward the  page limit.

Equipment: List and justify all requested fixed equipment. Equipment should be relevant to the function of the facility and should serve an identified user group.  Information such as the manufacturer, model number, size, capacity, total cost, and location in the facility should be included.  The table of fixed equipment will not count toward the page limit of the Project Narrative. Quotes for equipment should be provided in the Budget Justification section below.

Timeline: Show plans to complete the project within three years following NIH approval of designs.

Other Attachments: In the Other Attachments section, include the following, each as a separate attachment. NOTE: Each attachment must be given a file name using the headings below (e.g., budget_justification_form). Only those items specifically mentioned in "Other Attachments" will not count towards the page limits.

(1) Budget Justification and Vendor Quotes: Applications must include all vendor quotes and the budget justification. A justification must be provided for all items in the budget.

(2) Certification of Title to Site: Applicants must include a legal opinion describing the interest the applicant has in the performance site. The legal opinion should describe any mortgages or other foreclosable liens on the property, including the principal amount of the mortgage (and rate of interest); the dates of the mortgage; the terms and conditions of repayment; the appraised value of the property; and any provisions designed to protect the Federal interest in the property.  The facility must be utilized for biomedical or behavioral research purposes for which it was improved for at least 20 years beginning on the date of beneficial occupancy of the space. Any lease agreement must cover a time period sufficient for the usage requirement and be a minimum of 20 years in length from the completion of the facility.

(3) Documents associated with the Executive Order 12372 ("Intergovernmental Review (SPOC), if applicable to your state.  See http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_spoc.

(4) In a separate brief attachment, applicants must include information about their Institutional Occupational Health Program as it pertains to animal care staff.

(5) For applications proposing restoration of animal facilities, applicants must include the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and if accredited, the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) summary reports, and/or sections of these reports that describe deficiencies of the facility and the animal care program. 

(6) Provide a letter from the institution that verifies that building facilities existed prior to the hurricane and that describes the extent of the damage, destruction or loss resulting from the hurricane. The letter must confirm that the application does not request any funding that overlaps with FEMA, under a contract for insurance, or self insurance payments. The letter must be signed by an institutional Signing Official.   

(7) Three letters of support for research activity may be attached in this section of the application.

Note:

The environmental analysis form (http://dpcpsi.nih.gov/orip/documents/environmental_analysis_form_3-2009.pdf) is not required at the time of the application. Instead this information will be requested by a Grants Management Specialist as part of the Just-in-Time process (NOT-OD-10-120).  

The following documents are likely to be useful when responding to this FOA.

NIH Grants Policy Statement 10/12) Part II- Subpart B (construction grants) http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2012/nihgps_ch10.htm

Please refer to this document for a representative list of allowable and unallowable costs as well as for applicable requirements and procedures for C06s awards. 

NIH Design Requirements http://orf.od.nih.gov/PoliciesAndGuidelines/BiomedicalandAnimalResearchFacilitiesDesignPoliciesandGuidelines/Pages/DesignRequirementsManualPDF.aspx

Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, CDC/NIH, 5th Edition, http://www.cdc.gov/OD/ohs/biosfty/bmbl5/bmbl5toc.htm.  Appendix A is particularly useful.

Information about the Select Agent Rule and related matters. http://www.selectagents.gov/

Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, National Research Council, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. http://www.nyu.edu/uawc/doc/guide-excerpts.pdf

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile Expanded

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

In addition to the PD/PI, applicants must include biographical sketches for a Project Manager/Facilities Person (name and function on the project) and veterinarians (for applications involving construction of animal facilities).  Do not include biographical sketches of other investigators.   

SF424C Budget Information for Construction Programs

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

The Budget Information for Construction Programs (SF424C) must be used to attach an overall application budget page for the total requested funds.

Applicants must provide the “Total Federal Funds Requested”, “Total Federal and Non-Federal Funds”, and “Estimated Program Income’ on the SF424 (R&R) Cover form. form.

PHS 398 Cover Letter (Optional)

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

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

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

PHS 398 Checklist

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

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 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.

Funds will be awarded in a single action using a 60-month budget and project period. 

Awards will be subject to quarterly financial and programmatic reporting requirements.  Details for submitting these required reports will be provided in the Terms of Award.

Funds will be restricted so that they cannot duplicate costs reimbursed by FEMA, under a contract for insurance or self-insurance.  If during the period of the award a claim is paid which provides such duplication, the grantee will be required to pay back the funds to the NIH.

If awarded, all funds are restricted except for Project Design and Engineering Fees. Pre-award costs are allowable only for design and engineering fees. A grantee may, at its own risk and without NIH prior approval, incur obligations and expenditures to cover costs up to 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new award if such costs: 1) are necessary to conduct the project, and 2) would be allowable under the grant, if awarded, without NIH prior approval. If specific expenditures would otherwise require prior approval, the grantee must obtain NIH approval before incurring the cost. NIH prior approval is required for any costs to be incurred more than 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new or renewal award.

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

6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

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

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

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

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

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

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness and responsiveness by Program Staff/ ORIP and Review Staff/National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, 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.

Overall Impact

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

Scored Review Criteria

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

Scientific Merit and Organization of the Total Program and Its Component Parts to be Carried Out in the Facility

Does the applicant provide sufficient evidence of meritorious research program(s) that will benefit from completion of the project? How well are the component parts of the research program (that will be carried out in the facility) coordinated and managed?  How will the proposed repair, renovation, or modernization activity facilitate the applicant institution’s ability to conduct, expand, improve, or maintain biomedical or behavioral research?   

Is there sufficient justification for improving this core facility?  To what extent will the proposed change in the research environment facilitate the applicant institution’s ability to conduct, expand, improve, or maintain biomedical or behavioral research?  How will the proposed repair, renovation, or modernization activity increase efficiency in the use of energy, water, and/or materials to reduce adverse effects on the environment?  

Administrative and Leadership Capabilities of the Applicant’s Officers and Staff

How effective is the facility manager likely to be, based on 1) the administrative approach to managing the facility, 2) the ability to interact with appropriate institutional officials to see that the ongoing needs of the facility are satisfied, and 3) the skills necessary to complete the project on time and within budget?

How effective is the PD/PI likely to be, based on 1) leadership qualities and experience, 2) institutional commitment and support, and 3) the appropriate scientific and fiscal administration skills necessary to complete this project on time and within budget?  Does the applicant provide evidence of future commitment in maintaining this facility?   

Anticipated Effect of the Project on Other Relevant Research Programs and Facilities in the Geographic Area and Nationwide

How likely is the proposed activity to benefit research at other institutions in the local geographic area, given the availability or absence of similar or related facilities?  In which ways is the proposed activity likely to affect similar or related national facilities or benefit research nationwide?   

Need for the Project or Additional Space

How compelling are: 1) the identified need(s) in the research capabilities in the applicant organization and elsewhere that the proposed repair, renovation, or modernization activity is intended to address; 2) tangible benefits to the institutional research capability of the proposed activity; and 3) state-of-the-art research capabilities or efficiencies that would otherwise not be available?

Are requests for equipment justified and of direct benefit to the facility?  Will the requested equipment remedy identified deficiencies or fill gaps in the animal facility?  

Project Design

Design Plan: How likely is the design plan to meet the identified need(s), based on: 1) proposed demolition areas and/or renovation areas, including associated room adjacencies, traffic patterns for the movement of people, animals, and materials (clean and dirty) through the facility, and relative location of needed ancillary areas (e.g., changing rooms for animal facilities); 2) total net and gross square feet of space to be renovated; 3) proposed timeline and sequence of construction; 4) potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented; and 5) implement sustainable design principles?

Engineering Criteria: How likely are the engineering systems to meet the identified need(s), based on: 1) the engineering criteria, including information about the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, and utilities in the renovation; 2) descriptions of changes or additions to existing mechanical and electrical systems; and 3) the number of air changes per hour, electrical power, light levels, hot and cold water, and steam?

Architectural Criteria: How likely are the architectural criteria and finishes to meet the identified need(s), based on: 1) the size dimensions, function, and net and gross square feet for each component; 2) architectural criteria such as the width of corridors and doors and surface finishes for the project; and 3) quality of life issues (e.g., natural lighting, noise, vibration)?

Line Drawings:  How likely are the line drawings to meet the identified need(s), based on: 1) the indicated function of the space; 2) the scale of the line drawings, and indication of adjacencies and operational relationships of equipment; 3) changes to be made to the space; and 4) location of major equipment, fume hoods, sinks, showers, and other major items indicated in the drawings?   

Additional Review Criteria

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

Protections for Human Subjects

Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.

Vertebrate Animals

Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.

Biohazards

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

Resubmissions

Not Applicable

Renewals

Not Applicable

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations

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

Generally not applicable. Reviewers should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.

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 ORIP, in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

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

Applications will be assigned to ORIP. 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 Council of Councils, OD/NIH. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

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

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

Section VI. Award Administration Information


1. Award Notices

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

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

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

Any application awarded in response to this FOA will be subject to the DUNS, SAM Registration, and Transparency Act requirements as noted on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.

Awards may be subject to additional requirements as determined by HHS and OMB.

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.

Awards may be subject to additional requirements as determined by HHS and OMB. The NIH will closely monitor all grants.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

Not Applicable

3. Reporting

Progress reports for multiyear funded awards are due annually on or before the anniversary of the budget/project period start date of award. The reporting period for multiyear funded award progress report is the calendar year preceding the anniversary date of the award. Information on the content of the progress report and instructions on how to submit the report are posted at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/myf.htm.

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. Following completion and occupancy of the facility, grantees must certify on a yearly basis for 20 years that the facility is used to conduct biomedical research.

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. 

Awards may be subject to additional reporting requirements as determined by HHS and OMB.

Awards will be subject to additional quarterly financial and programmatic reporting requirements.  Details for submission of these quarterly reports will be provided in the terms of award.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

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

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

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

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Willie D. McCullough, Ph.D.
Program Director
Office of Research Infrastructure Programs
Telephone: (301) 435-0766
Email: mccullow@mail.nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding engineering or architectural issues to:

Esmail Torkashvan, P.E.
Professional Engineer
Office of Research Infrastructure Programs
Telephone: (301) 435-0766
Email: torkashv@mail.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Barbara J. Nelson, Ph.D.
Scientific Review Officer
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences
Telephone: (301) 435-0806
Email: nelsonbj@mail.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Amy McGuire
Division Coordinator
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences
Office of Research Infrastructure Programs
Telephone: (301) 435-0853
Email: mcguirear@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), 42 USC 283k, and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52b and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.


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