Part I Overview Information


Department of Health and Human Services

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

Components of Participating Organizations
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), (http://www.ncrr.nih.gov)

Title:  Recovery Act Limited Competition: Extramural Research Facilities Improvement Program (C06)

Announcement Type
New

Request for Applications (RFA) Number: RFA-RR-09-008

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

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

APPLICATIONS MAY NOT BE SUBMITTED IN PAPER FORMAT.

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

A registration process is necessary before submission and applicants are highly encouraged to start the process at least four (4) weeks prior to the grant submission date. See Section IV.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number(s)
93.702

Key Dates
Release/Posted Date: March 5, 2009
Opening Date: April 6, 2009 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)
NOTE: On-time submission requires that applications be successfully submitted to Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. local time (of the applicant institution/organization). 
Application Due Date(s):  May 6, 2009 (projects between $2M and $5M); June 17, 2009 (projects between $10M and $15M), July 17, 2009 (projects between $5M and $10M)
Peer Review Date(s): June 2009 and October 2009 
Council Review Date(s): October 2009 and January 2010
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): December 2009 and April 2010
Additional Information To Be Available Date (Activation Date): Not Applicable
Expiration Date: July 18, 2009

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Applicants are required to comply with Executive Order (E.O.) 12372 as implemented by 45 CFR Part 100, Intergovernmental Review of Department of Health and Human Services Programs and Activities. E.O. 12372 sets up a system for state and local government review of proposed Federal assistance applications.  Applicants (other than federally recognized Indian tribal governments) should contact their State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) as early as possible to alert them to the prospective applications and receive any necessary instructions on the state process.  For proposed projects serving more than one state, the applicant is advised to contact the SPOC of each affected state.

A current list of SPOCs is located at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants/spoc.html.  States without a SPOC do not participate in this process. The SPOC must be given 60 days to review a construction grant application.  Applicants are to provide the SPOC with a copy of the application not later than the time the application is submitted to the Center for Scientific Review (CSR), NIH.  Applications submitted to NIH in response to this solicitation must contain either SPOC comments or documentation indicating the date on which the application was submitted to the SPOC for review.  The SPOC comment period ends 60 days after the application receipt date. The granting agency does not guarantee to accommodate or explain state process recommendations it receives after that date.

All SPOC comments must be forwarded to both the applicant and to the NCRR Program Official listed under INQUIRIES.  If comments are provided by the SPOC, the applicant may wish to submit to the NIH a response to the comments and any appropriate changes in its application.  If no response is received from the SPOC by the end of the 60 days allotted for review of the application, the applicant must notify the NIH that no response was received.

Additional Overview Content

Executive Summary

Table of Contents


Part I Overview Information

Part II Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
1. Research Objectives


Section II. Award Information

1. Mechanism of Support

2. Funds Available

Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants

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

Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Request Application Information

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

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria
2. Review and Selection Process
    A. Additional Review Criteria
    B. Additional Review Considerations
    C. Resource Sharing Plan
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
3. Reporting

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

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

Section VIII. Other Information - Required Federal Citations

Part II - Full Text of Announcement


Section I. Funding Opportunity Description


1. Research Objectives

The Recovery Act appropriated $1.0B for grants or contracts under section 481A of the Public Health Service Act to construct, repair or renovate existing non-Federal research facilities.  In addition, the Recovery Act appropriated $300M for shared instrumentation and other capital research equipment. The availability of improved facilities and the next generation of instruments will speed the translation of basic research to treatments and cures.  These purchases and improvements are expected to stimulate the economy by creating and/or maintaining American jobs.  Applications with little or no effect on American jobs are not likely to be funded.  Furthermore, in the interest of the environment, it is expected that green/sustainable technologies and design approaches will be employed when possible.  When preparing an application, the impact of the improvements or the equipment on the environment must be considered and described in the application.

Four related FOAs have been released in response to the Recovery Act, two for instrumentation and two that allow alterations and repairs. 

For shared instruments in the range of $100,000 to $500,000, eligible organizations should apply under PAR-09-028 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-09-028.html ).  The funds available in that FOA have been increased using funds from the Recovery Act

For instruments in the range of $600,000 to $8M, eligible organizations should apply under PAR-09-118The upper limit for requested funds under this FOA has been significantly raised.

To renovate or repair core facilities, eligible organizations should apply under RFA-RR-09-007 .  Funds requested under that FOA can range from $1M to $10M. 

To make major alterations and renovations to existing facilities, add to existing facilities, complete uninhabitable shell space in existing facilities, or construct new facilities, eligible organizations should apply under this FOA.  Major alterations and renovations are defined as those that exceed $500,000.  Funds requested under that FOA can range from $2M to $15M.  

The NCRR encourages the submission of improvement grant applications from biomedical research institutions to improve biomedical research and/or animal facilities. The principal objective of this program is to facilitate and enhance the conduct of PHS-supported biomedical and behavioral research by supporting the costs of designing and improving non-Federal basic and clinical research and animal facilities to meet the biomedical and/or behavioral research, and research support needs of an institution or a research area at an institution.

Examples of such improvements include:

1) Altering/modernizing/constructing space to create BSL-2 or BSL-3 facilities, or renovating existing facilities.

2) Altering/modernizing/constructing space to create facilities that are compliant with Good Laboratory Practices or Good Manufacturing Practices to foster the translation of basic research discoveries into clinical studies.

3) Altering/modernizing/constructing space to create simulation facilities for training health care providers and researchers.  General classroom renovations are not permitted.

4) Altering/modernizing/constructing space to create facilities to maintain animal colonies for biomedical and behavioral research such as barrier-type housing facilities.

5) Altering/modernizing/constructing space to create larger metabolic chambers that would allow simulations of real world physical activities.

6) Altering/modernizing/constructing space to provide the infrastructure for bio specimen repositories or for establishing DNA clinical repositories with genome-wide genotyping capacity.

7) Altering/modernizing/constructing space to provide exposure chambers for humans and animals that provide venues for challenge studies with commonly occurring pollutants.

8) Altering/modernizing/constructing space in animal facilities to co-locate equipment for imaging, phenotyping, or environmental challenges.

9) Altering/modernizing/constructing space in animal and high containment research facilities to provide appropriate security measures and promote the safety and welfare of research animals, researchers, and animal care staff.

10) Altering/modernizing/constructing biomedical and/or animal facilities to improve the conduct of PHS funded research.

11) Altering/modernizing/constructing biomedical and/or animal facilities to enhance the cyberinfrastructure within the facility such as wiring.  Funds will not be provided for servers or other similar movable equipment.   

This list only provides some examples and is not meant to be exhaustive.  

The acquisition and installation of fixed equipment such as casework, fume hoods, large autoclaves, upgrading 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.

No facilities and administrative (F&A) costs or continuation costs will be awarded.  The NIH reserves the right to conduct site visits when deemed essential. This may include site visits during the application/proposal evaluation process and/or visits during the project or at the completion of the project.

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

Special notes for Magnetic Resonance Imaging Facilities: The planning, design, and installation of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system in a facility requires extreme care to ensure that the magnet is sufficiently isolated from ferromagnetic and radio frequency influences of the impacted 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.

Green/Sustainable Design

In keeping with requirements for federally funded facilities, grantees are encouraged to implement the following listed 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. At minimum, the following primary elements of sustainable design shall be included in all projects.

1.       Integrated design.

2.       Commissioning.

3.       Optimization of energy performance.

4.       Energy efficiency.

5.       Measurement and verification.

6.       Protection and conservation of water.

7.       Indoor water.

8.       Outdoor water.

9.       Enhancement of indoor environmental quality.

10.     Ventilation and thermal comfort.

11.     Moisture control.

12.     Day lighting.

13.     Low-emitting materials.

14.     Protection of indoor air quality during renovation.

15.     Reducing the environmental impact of materials.

16.     Maximizing recycled and bio-based content.

17.     Construction waste reuse and recycling.

18.     Minimizing use of ozone depleting compounds.

In addition to incorporating the primary elements of improvements and repair projects, all improvements and repair projects that have a total project cost equal to or greater than $10 million and/or impacting 40% or more of the overall floor area, must obtain certification 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.

Green/Sustainable Design References

Department of Health and Human Services. HHS Policy for Sustainable and High Performance Buildings. December 2007. http://www.hhs.gov/asam/ofmp/hiperfbldngpol.pdf 

Department of Health and Human Services. HHS Real Property Asset Management Plan. http://www.hhs.gov/asam/ofmp/ramp.doc 

Executive Order 13101: Greening the Government through Waste Prevention, Recycling, and Federal Acquisition. http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=1998_register&docid=fr16se98-113.pdf 

Executive Order 13123: Greening the Government through Efficient Energy Management. http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=1999_register&docid=fr08jn99-171.pdf 

Executive Order 13134: Developing and Promoting Biobased Products and Bioenergy. http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/1999.html#13134 

Executive Order 13148: Greening the Government through Leadership in Environmental Management. http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2000_register&docid=fr26ap00-129.pdf 

OMB Circular A-11, Section 55-Energy and Transportation Efficiency Management. http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars/a11/current_year/s300.pdf#search=%22OMB%20Circular%20A-11%20Part%207%22 

OMB Circular A-11, Part 7 (Section 300), Planning, Budgeting, Acquisition, and Management of Capital Assets. http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars/a11/current_year/s300.pdf#search=%22OMB%20Circular%20A-11%20Part%207%22 

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

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.

Section II. Award Information


1. Mechanism of Support

This FOA will use the C06 award mechanism. The Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project.  

This FOA uses “Just-in-Time” information concepts (see SF424 (R&R) Application Guide).

2. Funds Available

The Recovery Act has made $1.0B available for grants or contracts under section 481A of the Public Health Service Act to construct, repair or renovate existing non-Federal research facilities. Those funds will be allocated to awards under this FOA and RFA-RR-09-007.  In addition, the Recovery Act has made $300M available for shared instrumentation and other capital research equipment. Those funds will be allocated to equipment requested in this FOA, to equipment requested under the high end instrumentation program, PAR-09-118, and to equipment requested under the shared instrument program (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-09-028.html.

The expected direct cost amount for individual awards under this FOA is between $2M and $15M.

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

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.

Funds for design are available upon receipt of the notice of grant award.  However, funds for improvements will not be released until final architectural drawings, specifications, and updated cost estimates are approved by NCRR.    

The grantee is required to begin the design phase immediately upon receipt of the notice of grant award.  Initial Schematic Designs must be submitted to NCRR no later than 4 months following the receipt of the notice of grant award.  The NCRR expects to review those documents in 4 weeks or less.  Design Develop documentation, incorporating comments from the review of the initial Schematic Design, must be received within 8 months of the release of the notice of grant award.  NCRR also expects to review those documents in 4 weeks or less.  The final Construction Document is due no later than 14 months following the release of the notice of grant award.  Following approval of the final construction document, all funds will be released.  All funds must be obligated no later than June 30th of the fifth year from the initial date of award.

The Schematic Design documents shall include a complete description of all systems proposed for the project.  This is to include updated design criteria, methodology, redundancy, key features, and preliminary equipment sizes based on building gross square feet area.  Updated system diagrams for all systems shall also be included. In addition, a copy of updated calculations and updated cost estimate shall be included.

The Design Development documents shall include an updated description of all systems proposed for the project.  This is to include updated design criteria, methodology, redundancy, key features, and equipment sizes based on room by room calculations.  A copy of all calculations shall be included in this submittal.  Updated system diagrams for all systems and utilities shall also be included.  These diagrams shall include preliminary sizing of all pipe and ductwork mains.  In addition, the following must be included in this submission:  copy of all heating and cooling load calculations, building energy model and life-cycle cost analysis, updated cost estimate, outline specifications, preliminary construction phasing plans, ductwork and piping floor plans with sizing for all mains in every area of the building, equipment layout, control diagrams, equipment details, room pressurization analysis, control diagrams, draft specification sections for all equipment and work including controls and commissioning, and other documents indicated in other sections of this document.

The final Construction Documents shall include:  a copy of final room by room ventilation calculations, heating and cooling load calculations including all equipment sizing calculations, final energy model and life cycle analysis report, complete and fully sized riser diagrams and system diagrams for all systems and utilities, fully sized piping and ductwork floor plans, equipment lay out and details, control diagrams, final pressurization analysis, construction phasing plans, final specifications including controls and commissioning, final cost estimate, and any other relevant documents.

At each of these design review stages, two hard copies of the documentation as well as an electronic copy must be submitted.  Grantees may submit multiple stages (Schematic Design together with Design Development or Design Development together with Construction Design) at their own risk if this would expedite the review process.  Advertisement for construction/renovation bids and the construction/renovation may be initiated only after receipt of approval for the final construction documents from NCRR.

Early in the design process, applicants are strongly encouraged to review the "NIH Grants Policy Statement," which is available online at (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_Part9.htm#_Toc54600155.)  The sections related to public policy requirements and construction (i.e., Part III) are particularly relevant.  The Policies and Guidelines document from the NIH Office of Research Facilities is also helpful. See http://orf.od.nih.gov/PoliciesAndGuidelines/FacilitiesPoliciesandGuidelines/DesignRequirementsManualPDF.htm

Section III. Eligibility Information


1. Eligible Applicants

1.A. Eligible Institutions

The following organizations/institutions are eligible to apply:

1.B. Eligible Individuals

Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the PD/PI is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support.  The PI must be a highly placed institutional individual who has responsibility for allocation of space for biomedical and behavioral research and research training, e.g. Dean, Provost, Department Head, Center or Institute Director.  Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

Only one PI may be designated on the application.  

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

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

3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria

Number of Applications. An institution is defined as an organization with a separate IPF code. Each institution is expected to submit no more than three applications under this FOA.  Each application must be distinct.  An institution is not limited to one submission per application date. 

Resubmissions. Resubmission applications are not permitted in response to this FOA.

Renewals.   Renewal applications are not permitted in response to this FOA.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information


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

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

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

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

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

2) Organizational/Institutional Registration in the eRA Commons

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

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

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

1. Request Application Information

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

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

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

Telecommunications for the hearing impaired: TTY: (301) 451-5936

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

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

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

The SF424 (R&R) application has several components. Some components are required, others are optional. The forms package associated with this FOA in Grants.gov/APPLY includes all applicable components, required and optional. A completed application in response to this FOA includes the data in the following components:

Required Components: 
SF424 (R&R) (Cover component)
Research & Related Other Project Information
Research & Related Senior/Key Person
Budget Information for Construction Programs (SF-424C)
PHS398 Cover Page Supplement
PHS398 Checklist

Optional Components:
PHS398 Cover Letter File

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS   

Applications Involving a Single Institution

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

3. Submission Dates and Times

See Section IV.3.A. for details.

3.A. Submission, Review, and Anticipated Start Dates
Opening Date: April 6, 2009 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)
Application Due Date(s): May 6, 2009 (projects between $2M and $5M); June 17, 2009 (projects between $10M and $15M), July 17, 2009 (projects between $5M and $10M).
Peer Review Date(s): June 2009 and October 2009
Council Review Date(s): October 2009 and January 2010
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): December 2009 and April 2010

3.A.1. Letter of Intent

A letter of intent is not required for the funding opportunity.

3.B. Submitting an Application Electronically to the NIH

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

3.C. Application Processing

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

Once an application package has been successfully submitted through Grants.gov, any errors have been addressed, and the assembled application has been created in the eRA Commons, the PD/PI and the Authorized Organization Representative/Signing Official (AOR/SO) have two weekdays (Monday – Friday, excluding Federal holidays) to view the application image to determine if any further action is necessary.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the CSR and responsiveness by the IC. Incomplete and/or non-responsive applications will not be reviewed.

There will be an acknowledgement of receipt of applications from Grants.gov and the Commons. The submitting AOR/SO receives the Grants.gov acknowledgments. The AOR/SO and the PI receive Commons acknowledgments. Information related to the assignment of an application to a Scientific Review Group is also in the Commons. 

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

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

4. Intergovernmental Review

This initiative is subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

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

Pre-award costs are allowable. A grantee may, at its own risk and without NIH prior approval, incur obligations and expenditures to cover costs up to 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new or renewal 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

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

The NIH requires the PD(s)/PI(s) to fill in his/her Commons User ID in the “PROFILE – Project Director/Principal Investigator” section, “Credential” log-in field of the “Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile” component.

Organizational DUNS

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

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Component

Include information about the PI/PD, the project manager, and any other key persons in this component.  Do not include information about every user of the facility. C06 applications must specify a Facilities Person in the R&R Senior/Key Person Profile component or applicant will receive the following error message: “Facilities Person must be identified for this application.”

Please provide the information for this person after the PD/PI on the Senior/Key Person page.  Specify a project role of ‘Other’ or ‘Other Professional’, and an Other Project Role Category of ‘Facilities Person’.  The Project Manager for the Construction/Repair/Renovation project should be given the title of “Facilities Person”.

Budget Information for Construction Programs (SF-424C)

You MUST provide an entry for the Total Estimated Project Funding, Total Federal and non-Federal Funds (both non-zero), and Estimated Program Income, all on the SF 424 RR Cover. (If the non-Federal funds are truly zero, enter $1).

Project Narrative Sections

Page limitations of the Project Narrative Sections are listed below. All attachments must be provided to NIH in PDF format, filenames must be included with no spaces or special characters, and a .pdf extension must be used.   

PROJECT NARRATIVE (assemble in order shown below): The Project Narrative should include the following sections and should be submitted in a single PDF attachment. The Specific Aims, Background, and Improvement Plans are limited to a total of 20 pages.

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

Specific Aims:  This section must be one page or less.  The Specific Aims should (1) summarize any request for improvement including the associated square footage and (2) list all requested equipment. 

Background:  The Background and Significance section must not exceed one page.  This section should briefly describe the background leading to the present application.  State concisely the importance of this improvement project to biomedical and/or behavioral research at the institution.

Improvement Plans:  The Improvement/Equipment Plan can be up to 18 pages (or more) as long as the number of pages in the Specific Aims, Background, and Improvement Plans sections totals no more than 20 pages.  The page limits in this section do NOT include the requested tables or line drawings.

Significance and Need:   Begin with two tables containing (1) active and (2) pending grants (from the NIH and other sources) that will be affected by the proposed improvement.  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 improvements will correct these deficiencies and problems.  Explain how the proposed improvements 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 improvement also should be described.

In the case where new construction is proposed, describe how the new facilities will expand, improve, or maintain 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: Describe the administrative structure and oversight for the project.  Describe the ongoing institutional commitment to the new or altered space.

Design Considerations:  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 improvement project.

Engineering Criteria:  Provide information about the mechanical, electrical, plumbing systems and utilities in each component.  Include information about the number of air changes per hour, electrical power, light levels, hot and cold water, steam, MEP requirements, fire protection requirements, biohazard and radiation safety requirements, chemicals used, major scientific equipment to be installed including environmental rooms, density of fume hoods, building population, and number of workstations, security/surveillance and building automation systems.

Architectural Criteria:  Provide architectural criteria such as the width of corridors and doors and surface finishes.  Architectural criteria should also address quality of life issues (e.g. natural lighting, noise, vibration), a planning module (laboratory neighborhood concepts, central support core concepts, material management), and planning concepts and functional relationships and zoning of the area to be improved.  Sufficient information must be provided to allow the evaluation of plans for BSL-3/ABSL-3 designs, animal facility designs, and designs for clinical facilities.

Line Drawings:  Include floor plans for the improvement.  The line drawings must fit on an 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper.  Do not submit blueprints.  All floor plans must be legible with the scale clearly indicated.  The floor plans must indicate the location of equipment and illustrate safety clearances and workspace.  If applicable, submit both existing and proposed drawings.  The drawings should indicate size dimensions, function, and the net and gross square feet for each room.  The total net and gross square feet of space to be improved should also be given.  The plan should indicate the location of the proposed construction/renovation area in the existing building.  Changes or additions to existing mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems should be clearly described in notes made directly on the plan or attached to the plan.  The line drawings must indicate egress routes.  The drawings must indicate the functional layout of the proposed facility showing the location of entries and exits, clearances, and the location of fixed equipment.  The line drawings do not count toward the page limits. Note that applications over 40 pages (including Tables and Line Drawings) will receive the following warning (but not an error): The Program Narrative (Other Project Information, Project Narrative attachment) is limited to 40 pages.

Equipment:  List and justify all fixed equipment.  Equipment should be relevant 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. 

Project Timeline:  Show plans to complete the project within three years following the 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., Environmental_Analysis_Form).

(1) Environmental Analysis Form (http://www.ncrr.nih.gov/resinfra/environmental_Analysis_Form.pdf.

(2) Budget Justification and Vendor Quotes:  The next attachment should be all vendor quotes and the budget justification. A justification must be provided for each piece of equipment.

(3) 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 10 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 10 years in length from the completion of the facility.

(4) Documents associated with the Executive Order 12372, if applicable.

(5) Applicants must include an estimate of the number of American jobs that are expected to be created or maintained by this project.  In this document, applicants must also briefly summarize their plans to implement green/sustainable design principals.    

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

NIH Grants Policy Statement (03/01/01) Part II- Subpart B (construction grants) http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_Part9.htm#_Toc54600155Please refer to this document for a representative list of allowable and unallowable costs. 

Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, CDC/NIH, 5th Edition, http://www.cdc.gov/OD/ohs/biosfty/bmbl5/bmbl5toc.htmAppendix 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

NIH Model Commissioning guide http://des.od.nih.gov/eWeb/research/farhad2/Commissioning/nih_cx_guide/ComGuideTitle.htm 

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

Appendix Materials

This FOA does not allow appendix material.  Additional supplementary material will not be accepted after the receipt of the application.

Resource Sharing Plan(s)

Not applicable to the C06 mechanism.

Section V. Application Review Information


1. Criteria 

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

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications that are complete and responsive to this FOA will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by NCRR and in accordance with NIH peer review procedures (http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/peer/), using the review criteria stated below.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications will:

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

The mission of the NIH is to support science in pursuit of knowledge about the biology and behavior of living systems and to apply that knowledge to extend healthy life and reduce the burdens of illness and disability.  As part of this mission, applications submitted to the NIH for grants or cooperative agreements to support biomedical and behavioral research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.  Applications will receive an overall impact/priority score based, among other pertinent factors, including those below, on the following criteria: “(1) The scientific merit of the total program and its component parts to be carried out in the facility; (2) The administrative and leadership capabilities of the applicant's officers and staff;(3) The organization of the applicant's research program and its relationship with the applicant's overall research programs; (4) The anticipated effect of the project on other relevant research programs and facilities in the geographic area, and nationwide; (5) The need for the project or additional space; and (6) The project cost and design.

Overall Impact. Reviewers will provide an overall impact/priority score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the institution involved.  Reviewers will consider the criteria listed below.  Major strengths and weaknesses will be summarized based on these criteria.

Significance and Need.  Is there sufficient justification for improving this 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?  Is the administrative approach to managing the facility appropriate?  Does the proposed improvement increase efficiency in the use of energy, water, or materials to reduce adverse impacts on the environment?     

Project Management and Institutional Commitment.  Does the PI have the scientific and fiscal administration skills necessary to complete this project on time and within budget?  Are the administrative management and oversight of the project adequate?  Does the project manager(s) have the appropriate experience and background suited to the proposed project?  Is the institution committed to using the improved space for biomedical or behavioral research?  Has the institution provided evidence that it will be able to provide the resources to complete this project on time and within budget?

Design Considerations.   Does the plan indicate the proposed construction/renovation area, including associated room adjacencies, traffic patterns for the movement of people, animals, and materials (clean and dirty) through the facility, relative location of needed ancillary areas (e.g. changing rooms for animal facilities)?  Are the total net and gross square feet of space to be improved provided?  Does the design implement green/sustainable design principals?  Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented?

Engineering Criteria:  Do the engineering criteria include information about the mechanical, electrical, plumbing systems and utilities in the construction/renovation?  Are the number of air changes per hour, electrical power, light levels, hot and cold water, and steam appropriate for the project?

Architectural Criteria:  Are the architectural criteria such as the width of corridors and doors and surface finishes appropriate for the project?

Line Drawings:  Is the function of the space indicated?  Do the line drawings indicate the size dimensions, function, and net and gross square feet for each component?   Are the line drawings at a scale adequate to explain the project?  Do the plans indicate the changes to be made to the space?  Are changes or additions to existing mechanical and electrical systems clearly described and adequate to the project?  Are the line drawings drawn to scale to indicate adjacencies and operational relationships of equipment?  Is the location of major equipment, fume hoods, sinks, showers, and other major items indicated in the drawings?  Are areas to be demolished indicated?

Timeline:  Are the proposed timeline and sequence for improvement reasonable?

Equipment.  Are requests for equipment justified?  Will the requested equipment serve an identified user group?  Is the location of the equipment indicated in the line drawings?

Environment.  Is the project design, materials, construction approaches or requested equipment consistent with green/sustainable principles?  Is sustainability 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?  Does the project meet the minimum requirements of sustainability listed under the Research Objectives section of this FOA?

Additional Review Criteria.  As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider the following additional items in the determination of scientific and technical merit, but will not give separate scores for these items.

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.

Additional Review Considerations.  As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will address each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items and should not consider them in providing an overall impact/priority score.

Budget and Period Support.  Reviewers will consider whether the budget, vendor quotes, and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed project.

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Not Applicable

Section VI. Award Administration Information


1. Award Notices

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

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

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

The terms of the NoA will reference the requirements of the Recovery Act.

In addition to the standard NIH terms of award, all funding provided under the Recovery Act will be subject to the HHS Standard Terms and Conditions for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).  The full text of these terms approved for NIH awards can be found in the following document: Standard Terms and Conditions for AARA Awards.

The resource sharing plan will become part of the terms and conditions of the award.

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

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

This FOA requires all funds to be obligated within three years after the design phase is concluded or no later than June 30 of the 5th year after the award is issued.

Applicants must make a public disclosure of the project by publication and describe its environmental impact at the time the SPOC is notified.  It is suggested that the notice be published in a large-circulation newspaper in the area.  This public disclosure is required by Section 102 of the National Environment Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 and by Federal Executive Order 11514. 

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.

In particular, the Public Policy Requirements for Construction Awards set forth in the NIH Grants Policy Statement apply to all awards under this FOA.  Those requirements include but are not limited to:

1. Elimination of Architectural Barriers to the Handicapped: The Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, as amended, the Federal Property Management Regulations 101-19.6 (41 CFR 101-19.6), and the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards issued by the General Services Administration (41 CFR 101-19.6, Appendix A) set forth requirements to make facilities accessible to, and usable by, the physically handicapped and include minimum design standards. All new facilities constructed with NIH grant support must comply with these requirements.

2. Historic Properties/Archaeological Sites: under the provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended, and the Archeological and Historical Preservation Act of 1960, as amended, the Secretary of the Interior has compiled a National Register of Historic Places—sites and buildings of significant importance to U.S. history. The statutes require that, before approval of a construction grant application (or other applications as specified by NIH), NIH take into account the effect on these sites of the proposed construction (or other) project. The applicant must determine whether activities using NIH financial assistance will affect a property listed in the National Register. If a designated historic property will be affected, the applicant must obtain clearance from the appropriate State Historic Preservation Office before submitting the application. Failure to obtain this clearance will delay NIH action on an application.

3. National Environmental Policy Act (including Public Disclosure): The NIH shall determine the amount of review, if any, required under NEPA to assess the potential environmental impacts of the actions taken under the grant.  If NEPA applies, the application must be accompanied by the applicant’s own separately bound environmental analysis to facilitate review and evaluation for environmental concerns before approval or other action on the application. The NIH shall inform the grantee what additional reviews, if any, are required.

4. Flood Insurance: The Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, as amended (Public Law 93-234), provides that no Federal financial assistance to acquire, modernize, or construct property may be provided in identified flood-prone communities in the United States, unless the community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program and flood insurance is purchased within 1 year of the identification. The flood insurance purchase requirement applies to both public and private applicants for NIH support.

5. Clean Air and Clean Water Act: 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq. and EO 11738 provide for the protection and enhancement of the quality of the nation’s air resources to promote public health and welfare and for restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters.

6. Safe Drinking Water Act: 42 U.S.C. 300h-3 provides for the protection of underground sources of drinking water that have an aquifer, which is the sole source of drinking water. Specifically, no grant may be entered into for any project that the EPA Administrator determines may contaminate such aquifer.

Immediately upon completion of the improvement, the grantee shall, at a minimum, provide the same type of insurance coverage as it maintains for other property it owns, consistent with the minimum coverage specified in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

3. Reporting

The funds to support this FOA have been made available under the Recovery ActGrantees must comply with the requirements set forth in the Recovery Act, including, but not limited to, the reporting requirements described in Section 1512 of the Recovery Act, as well as applicable OMB guidance regarding the use of Recovery Act funds.

To protect the Federal interest in real property that has undergone major improvement with the use of NIH grant funds, grantees shall record a Notice of Federal Interest (NFI) in the appropriate official records of the jurisdiction in which the property is located. The time of recordation shall be when improvement begins. Fees charged for recording the NFI may be charged to the grant.

An annual progress report is required for the 10 years of Federal interest in the facility as a condition of the award and must include a list of publications "originating from the use" of this project facility.  This list should be limited to those scientific papers acknowledging NCRR support including grant numbers.  Failure to comply with the 10-year utilization requirement will result in recovery of the Federal Share of funds used to improved the facility in accordance with Title VIII of the Recovery Act  and 45 CFR 74.32.

A final progress report, invention statement, and Financial Status Report are required when an award is relinquished or when an award is terminated.

Awardees will be required to submit the Non-Competing Continuation Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

In addition, grantees must comply with the requirements set forth in the Recovery Act, including, but not limited to, the quarterly reporting requirements of Section 1512 of the Recovery Act as specified in HHS Standard Terms and Conditions for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  The full text of these terms approved for NIH awards can be found at the following document: Standard Terms and Conditions for AARA Awards.

Recovery Act-related reporting requirements will be incorporated as a special term of award.

Section VII. Agency Contacts


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

1. Scientific/Research Contact(s):

Direct inquiries about scientific and programmatic issues to:

Willie D. McCullough, Ph.D.
Division of Research Infrastructure
National Center for Research Resources
Democracy One, Room 940
6701 Democracy Boulevard
Bethesda, MD 20892-4874

Telephone: (301) 435-0766
Fax: (301) 480-3770
Email: mccullow@mail.nih.gov

Direct inquiries about project design issues to:

Esmail Torkashvan, P.E.
Division of Research Infrastructure
National Center for Research Resources
Democracy One, Room 928
6701 Democracy Boulevard
Bethesda, MD 20892-4874

Telephone: (301) 435-0766
Fax: (301) 480-3770
Email: torkashv@mail.nih.gov

2. Peer Review Contact(s):

Barbara J. Nelson, Ph.D.
Office of Review
National Center for Research Resources

Democracy One, Room 1080
6701 Democracy Boulevard
Bethesda, MD 20892-4874

Telephone: (301) 435-0806
Fax: (301) 480-3660
Email: nelsonbj@mail.nih.gov

3. Financial/Grants Management Contact(s):

Holly Atherton
Office of Grants Management
National Center for Research Resources
Democracy One, Room 1038
6701 Democracy Boulevard
Bethesda, MD 20892-4874

Telephone: (301) 435-0840
Fax: (301) 480-3777
Email: athertoh@mail.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information


Required Federal Citations

The American Recovery And Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Pub. L. No. 111-5): http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h1enr.pdf

Standard Terms and Conditions for Recovery Act Awards: The full text of these terms approved for NIH awards can be found in the following document: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/NIH_HHS_ARRA_Award_Terms.pdf

NIH Public Access Policy Requirement:
In accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy, investigators funded by the NIH must submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central (see http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/), an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication. The NIH Public Access Policy is available at (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-08-033.html). For more information, see the Public Access webpage at http://publicaccess.nih.gov/.

URLs in NIH Grant Applications or Appendices:

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

Healthy People 2010:

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

Authority and Regulations:

This FOA is issued under the Recovery Act, Pub. L. No. 111-5. 

This program is subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372.  All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, and to the Departmental regulations at 42 CFR Part 52b and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.  

The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) is authorized under Sections 481A of the Public Health Services Act, as amended by Sections 303 and 304 of Public Law (PL) 106-505, to make grants or contracts to public and nonprofit private entities to expand, remodel, renovate, or alter existing research and/or animal facilities.

Any awards resulting from this FOA will be subject, as applicable, to the provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act (40 U.S.C. Secs 276a to 276a-7).

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

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


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