NCRR SHARED INSTRUMENTATION GRANT
RELEASE DATE: December 4, 2002
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Application Receipt Date: March 21, 2003
THIS RFA CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION
o Purpose of this RFA
o Research Objectives
o Mechanism of Support
o Eligible Institutions
o Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators
o Where to Send Inquiries
o Submitting an Application
o Peer Review Process
o Review Criteria
o Receipt and Review Schedule
o Award Criteria
o Required Federal Citations
The purpose of this Request for Applications (RFA) is to continue the
competitive National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) Shared
Instrumentation Grant (SIG) Program initiated in Fiscal Year 1982.
Results of the most recent study, "The National Survey of Academic
Research Instruments and Instrumentation," published in 1997 identified
bioanalytical equipment of the type provided through this Program as the
top most priority. The objective of the program is to make available to
institutions expensive research instruments that can only be justified on
a shared-use basis and for which meritorious research projects are
described. The SIG Program provides a cost-effective mechanism for
groups of NIH-supported investigators to obtain commercially-available,
technologically sophisticated equipment costing more than $100,000.
This program is designed to provide for the acquisition or updating of
expensive shared-use instrumentation not generally available through
other NIH mechanisms, such as the regular research project, program
project, or center grant programs. Proposals for research on advancing
the design or for the development of new instrumentation will not be
Types of instrumentation supported include, but are not limited to,
nuclear magnetic resonance systems, electron and confocal microscopes,
mass spectrometers, protein and DNA sequencers, biosensors, x-ray
diffractometers and cell sorters. Support will not be provided for
general purpose equipment or purely instructional equipment, personal
computers, personal workstations, printers, and Ethernet interfaces.
Proposals for "stand alone" computer systems will only be considered if
the instrument is solely dedicated to the research needs of a broad
community of NIH-supported investigators.
For purpose of eligibility, a major user group of three or more
investigators must be identified. A minimum of three major users must be
Principal Investigators on NIH peer reviewed research grants at the time
of the application and award. For purposes of this program, research
grants are defined as those grants awarded with the following activity
codes: P01, R01, U01, R35, and R37.
The application should also show a clear need for the instrumentation by
projects supported by multiple NIH peer review research grants
(including, but not limited to those listed above) and demonstrate that
these projects will require at least 75 percent of the total usage of the
instrument. Major users can be individual researchers, or a group of
investigators within the same department or from several departments at
the applicant institution. NIH extramural awardees from other nearby
institutions may also be included.
If the major user group does not require total usage of the instrument,
access to the instrument should be made available to other users upon the
advice of the internal advisory committee (see below). These users need
not be NIH awardees, but priority should be given to NIH-supported
scientists engaged in biomedical/behavioral research. To promote cost
effectiveness, to encourage optimal sharing among individual
investigators, research groups and departments, and to foster a
collaborative multidisciplinary environment, the instrument should be
integrated into a central core facility, whenever possible.
Each applicant institution must propose a Principal Investigator who can
assume administrative/scientific oversight responsibility for the
instrumentation requested. This person need not be an NIH grantee. An
internal advisory committee must be named to assist the Principal
Investigator in administering the grant and overseeing the responsibility
for the instrument. The membership of this committee should be broadly
based and include members without a conflict of interest who can resolve
disputes if they arise. The Principal Investigator and the advisory
committee are responsible for the development of guidelines for:
o Maximum utilization of the instrument, including time allocation.
o A detailed plan for the day-to-day management of the instrument.
o A financial plan for the long term operation and maintenance of the
instrument during the post award period.
During the post award period, the Principal Investigator will also be
responsible for obtaining appropriate no-cost extensions of the project
period if needed. Ninety days following the end of the project period, a
final progress report is required that describes the instrument
purchased, and a list of all users and description of the value of the
instrument to the investigators and to the institution as a whole. The
Principal Investigator and the advisory committee are also responsible
for the relocation of the instrument within the institution if the major
user group is significantly altered.
MECHANISM OF SUPPORT
This RFA will use the SIG mechanism (S10). SIG provides support for
expensive state-of-the-art instrumentation utilized in both basic and
clinical research. Applications are limited to instruments that cost at
least $100,000 per instrument or integrated instrument system. The
maximum award is $500,000. Since the nature and scope of the instruments
that may be requested will vary, it is anticipated that the size of an
award will vary also. Awards will be made for the direct costs only.
The institution must meet those costs (not covered in the normal purchase
price) required to place the instrumentation in operational order as well
as the maintenance, support personnel, and service costs associated with
maximum utilization of the instrument. There is no upper limit on the
cost of the instrument, but the maximum award is $500,000. Grants will
be awarded for a period of one year and are not renewable. Supplemental
applications will not be accepted. The program does not provide
facilities and administrative (F&A) costs or support for construction or
alterations and renovations. Cost sharing is not required. If the
amount of funds requested does not cover the total cost of the
instrument, the application should describe the proposed source(s) of
funding for the balance of the cost of the instrument. Documentation of
the availability of the remainder of funding, signed by an appropriate
institutional official, must be presented to NCRR prior to issuance of
Applicants proposing purchase of an instrument that the institution is
planning to lease prior to award are urged to consult with their
institutional sponsored projects office regarding applicable NIH policy
prior to executing the leasing agreement. If the leasing agreement was
executed more than one year prior to submission of the SIG application,
the applicant must provide strong justification for the requested Federal
funds. Further, the instrument must be considered state-of-the-art at the
time of submission of the SIG application. Award adjustments may be
necessary. Execution of a purchase order or agreement, making a down
payment or other formal commitment to purchase the equipment prior to
award must be in compliance with NIH policy regarding pre-award cost
authority [see NIH Grants Policy Statement (Rev.3/01), Allowability of
Costs/Activities, Preaward (Preagreement) Costs, page 96]. Non-
compliance with this policy automatically eliminates an applicant from
eligibility for an award.
The NCRR intends to commit approximately $50,000,000 in FY 2004 to fund
about 150 new grants in response to this RFA. Because the nature and
scope of the research proposed may vary, it is anticipated that the size
of each award will also vary. Although the financial plans of the NCRR
provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this RFA are
contingent upon the availability of funds and the receipt of a sufficient
number of meritorious applications.
You may submit an application if your institution has any of the
o Non-profit organization
o Public or private institutions, such as universities, colleges, and
Under the general research support authority of Section 301(a)(3) of the
Public Health Service Act, Shared Instrumentation Grant awards are made
to public and non-profit domestic institutions only. These institutions
include health professional schools, other academic institutions,
hospitals, health departments, and research organizations. Note that
Federal institutions, foreign institutions, and for-profit institutions
are not eligible to apply. A Federal institution is defined by the NIH as
a Cabinet-level department or independent agency of the executive branch
of the Federal Government or any component organization of such a
department or agency.
To be eligible to apply, three or more NIH funded investigators
(Principal Investigators of active P01, R01, U01, R35 or R37 research
grants) who will be users of the requested instrument must be identified.
Applications will be accepted that request a single, commercially-
available instrument or integrated instrument system which costs at least
$100,000. There is no restriction on the number of applications an
institution can submit to the SIG program each year provided the
applications request different types of equipment. However, if two or
more applications are submitted for similar equipment (for example, two
600 MHz NMR spectrometers) from the same institution, documentation from
a high level institutional official must be provided stating that this is
not an unintended duplication, but part of a campus wide institutional
plan. An application requesting more than one type of instrumentation
(for example, a mass spectrometer and a confocal microscope) will not be
considered responsive to this RFA and will be returned.
INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS
Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women and persons with disabilities
are encouraged to apply as Principal Investigators. The identified
Principal Investigator of the SIG application does not need to have an
active NIH research grant or to be a user of the requested equipment.
WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES
We encourage inquiries concerning this RFA and welcome the opportunity to
answer questions from potential applicants. Inquiries may fall into
three areas: scientific/research, peer review, and financial or grants
o Direct your questions about programmatic or scientific issues to:
Marjorie A. Tingle, Ph.D.
Shared Instrumentation Grant Program
National Center for Research Resources
6705 Rockledge Drive, Room 6148, MSC 7965
Bethesda, MD 20892-7965
Telephone: (301) 435-0772
FAX: (301) 480-3659
o Direct your questions about financial or grants management matters to:
Ms. Janelle D. Wiggins
Office of Grants Management
National Center for Research Resources
6705 Rockledge Drive, Room 6086, MSC 7965
Bethesda, MD 20892-7965
Telephone: (301) 435-0843
SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION
Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant
application instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001). The PHS 398 is
available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/html
in an interactive format. For further assistance contact GrantsInfo,
Telephone (301) 435-0714.
Follow the PHS 398 instructions with the following special instructions
below. Do not use the format for Modular or Just-in-Time applications.
Other Support pages are required (see below).
1. Form Page 1 (Face Page)
Item 1. Name the type of instrument requested.
Item 2. Check the box marked "YES" and enter the number and title of this
Item 4. Not applicable
Item 5. Not applicable
Item 6. The dates should be 04/01/04 through 03/31/05.
Items 7A and 7B, 8A and 8B. Use these blocks to give the total amount
requested from NCRR for this instrument or system. The direct costs and
total costs for the budget period and project period must be the same.
2. Form Page 2. Complete the abstract as directed. Under "Key Personnel,"
give the data on the Principal Investigator and the major user group as
3. Form Page 3. Complete. Insert page number(s) for user and accessory
table(s) (see Research Projects)
Form page 4. Describe the instrument requested including manufacturer and
model number. Use a continuation page(s) as necessary. The model chosen
should be justified by comparing its performance with other available
instruments where appropriate. Specific features and any accessories
should be justified, both in this section and in the description of
research projects. Provide a detailed budget breakdown of the main
equipment and accessories requested including tax and import duties, if
applicable. An itemized quote from a vendor should be included. If a
project involves a potential biohazard, funds for accessory containment
equipment for the instrument or instrument system may be included in the
Form page 5. Budget Estimates for All Years. Not applicable; do not
Modular Budget Format Page. Not applicable
Biographical Sketch Format Page. In addition to the personnel listed
on page 2, include a biographical sketch of the person(s) who will be in
charge of maintenance and operation of the instrument and a brief
statement of the qualifications of the individual(s). Biographical
sketches should not exceed 4 pages for each individual.
Resources Format Page. Not applicable
Checklist Form Page. Check all that apply.
Personal Data Form Page. Complete
Other Support Format Page. Provide the requested information for each
Personnel Report Format Page. Not applicable
Targeted/Planned Enrollment Format Page. Not applicable
Enrollment Format Page. Not applicable
Research Plan section of the application. (If this is a revised
application, note the special instructions on page 15 in the PHS 398
instructions regarding completion of this section of the application). Do
not include what would normally be in Items a-d of the Research Plan but
provide information relative to the points identified under criteria for
Describe the instrument requested. Inventory similar instruments existing
at the applicant institution, neighboring research institutions, or
otherwise accessible; describe why they are unavailable or inappropriate
for the proposed research. Provide a clear justification why new or
updated equipment, including accessories, is needed. Include specific
documentation on the current usage and downtime of existing instruments
and a realistic estimate of the projected usage for the requested
instrument. Be quantitive.
Give a brief description of the major users projects. Since the projects
have been previously peer reviewed, the project descriptions should be
concise and focus on the benefit of the instrument to the research
objectives of each user. Sufficient technical detail (preliminary data
and/or supplemental information) should be included within the research
plan to evaluate whether the instrument is appropriate, would be
effectively employed, and would provide advantages over other methods.
The need for special features and accessories must be justified. If
possible, each user should highlight those publications that demonstrate
the user's expertise in using the requested instrumentation. If the
number of projects is large and broadly diversified, select out a smaller
representative group. Use a table to list the names of the users, brief
titles of the projects, the NIH grant numbers and the estimated
percentage of use. Make a separate table to indicate the user's needs for
the requested accessories. List the page number of each table under Table
of Contents (Form Page 3). For minor users, only include a very brief
(one-paragraph) summary of the research related to the need for the
instruments. The combined project descriptions of the user groups should
not exceed 25 pages.
Describe the technical expertise present at the institution to set up,
run and maintain the instrument. Specify who will operate the instrument
and train new users.
Describe the organizational plan to administer the grant. Include how the
instrument will be utilized, how requests are made, how time will be
allocated among major and minor users and plans for attracting new users.
List the names and titles of the members of the local advisory committee
to oversee instrument use. Indicate the role and responsibility of the
advisory committee in developing and implementing policies and procedures
to assure equitable use of the instrument.
Submit a specific financial plan for long-term operation and maintenance
of the instrument. Explain how the costs to place the instrument in
operational order as well as the maintenance, support personnel, and
service costs associated with effective use of the instrument will be
Describe the institutional infrastructure available to support the
instrumentation. Provide documentation (e.g., separate letters signed by
appropriate institutional officials) specifically describing the required
institutional commitment (in dollars) in support of the proposed plan.
Explain how the instrument will impact NIH funded research and contribute
to the institution's long-range biomedical research goals.
USING THE RFA LABEL: The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev.
5/2001) application form must be affixed to the bottom of the face page
of the application. Type the RFA number on the label. Failure to use
this label could result in delayed processing of the application such
that it may not reach the review committee in time for review. In
addition, the RFA title and number must be typed on line 2 of the face
page of the application form and the YES box must be marked. The RFA
label is also available at:
SENDING AND APPLICATION TO THE NIH: Submit a signed, typewritten original
of the application, including the Checklist, and five signed,
photocopies, in one package to:
CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC REVIEW
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE,
ROOM 1040 - MSC 7710
BETHESDA, MD 20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)
Do not send applications for different instruments in the same package.
APPLICATION PROCESSING: Applications must be received by March 21, 2003.
If an application is received after that date, it will be returned to the
applicant without review.
The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept any application in
response to this RFA that is essentially the same as one currently
pending initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending
application. The CSR will not accept any application that is essentially
the same as one already reviewed. This does not preclude the submission
of substantial revisions of applications already reviewed, but such
applications must include the Introduction addressing the previous
JOINT NIH/NSF SUBMISSION
A recent NIH/NSF Memorandum of Understanding permits the joint agency
review and funding of requests for a single instrument costing more than
$500,000, which would normally be eligible for submission to both NIH and
NSF. Such a request may be submitted to the NIH for the March 21
deadline for review by NIH with NSF participation, thus avoiding separate
agency peer review. Under this arrangement, the agencies may offer joint
funding in excess of their current award limits. Applicants
contemplating joint NIH-NSF submission are strongly urged to contact both
the NSF Division for Biological Infrastructure (NSF contact: Multi-User
Biological Instrumentation Program Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org;
(703-292-8470) and the NCRR SIG Program (Dr. Marjorie A. Tingle 301-435-0772;
SIG@ncrr.nih.gov) for information concerning eligibility
and required documentation.
PEER REVIEW PROCESS
Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR
and responsiveness by the NCRR. Incomplete and/or non-responsive
applications will be returned to the applicant without further
Applications that are complete and responsive to the RFA will be
evaluated for scientific and technical merit by specially convened
initial review groups of the CSR in accordance with the review criteria
stated below. As part of the initial merit review, all applications
o Receive a written critique
o Undergo a process in which only those applications deemed to have the
highest scientific priority will be discussed, assigned a priority
score and receive a second level of review by the National Advisory
Research Resources Council (NARRC).
o The Scientific Need
The extent to which an award for the specific instrument would meet the
scientific needs and enhance the planned research endeavors of the major
users by providing an instrument that is unavailable or to which
availability is highly limited.
o Technical Expertise
The availability and commitment of the appropriate technical expertise
within the major user group or the institution for use of the
o Management Plan
The adequacy of the organizational plan for use of the instrument and the
internal advisory committee for oversight of the instrument including
o Institutional Commitment
The institution's commitment for continued support of the utilization and
maintenance of the instrument.
o Overall Benefit
The benefit of the proposed instrument to the overall research community
it will serve.
RECEIPT AND REVIEW SCHELDULE
Applications must be received by March 21, 2003. Approximately half of
the applications will be reviewed at the September 2003 NARRC meeting and
the remainder at the NARRC meeting in January 2004. Funding decisions on
all applications received for the March 21, 2003, deadline will not be
made until the program receives an appropriation for FY 2004. The Council
date will not affect the likelihood of funding.
In making funding decisions, the NCRR will give consideration to ensure
program balance among various types of instruments supported and
geographic distribution of awards.
o Scientific merit (as determined by peer review)
o Availability of funds
o Programmatic priorities
REQUIRED FEDERAL CITIATIONS
URLs IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES: All applications and
proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page
limitations. Unless otherwise specified in all NIH solicitation,
Internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide information
necessary to the review because reviewers are under no obligation to view
the Internet sites. Furthermore, we caution reviewers that their
anonymity may be compromised when they directly access an Internet site.
HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010: The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to
achieving the health promotion and disease prevention objectives of
"healthy People 2010," a PHS-led national activity for setting priority
areas. This RFA is related to one or more of the priority areas.
Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at
AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS: This program is described in the Catalog of
Federal Domestic Assistance No.93.371, Biomedical Technology. Awards will
be made under authorization of the Public Health Service Act, Title IV,
Part A (Public Law 78-410, as amended by Public Law 99-158, 42 USC 241
and 285) and administered under NIH grants policies and Federal
Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Part 74. This program is not
subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order
12372 or Health Systems Agency review.
The DHHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide
a smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products.
In addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits
smoking in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a
facility) in which regular or routine education, library, day care,
health care or early childhood development services are provided to
children. This is consistent with the DHHS mission to protect and advance
the physical and mental health of the American people.
Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices
Department of Health
and Human Services
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892