Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

National Institute on Aging (NIA)

Funding Opportunity Title
HEAL Initiative: Translating Research to Practice to End the Overdose Crisis (R61/R33 Clinical Trial Optional)
Activity Code

R61/R33 Exploratory/Developmental  Phased Award

Announcement Type
New
Related Notices

See Notices of Special Interest associated with this funding opportunity

NOT-AG-22-034 - Notice of Participation of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) in RFA-DA-23-053

NOT-OD-22-190 - Adjustments to NIH and AHRQ Grant Application Due Dates Between September 22 and September 30, 2022

NOT-DA-22-066 -Notice of Correction to RFA-DA-23-053

NOT-DA-23-007 - Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): HEAL Initiative: Opioid Use Disorder Care Pathways for Individuals with Histories of Exposure to Violence

NOT-DA-23-008 - Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) HEAL Initiative: Workforce Interventions to Improve Addiction Care Quality and Patient Outcomes

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number
RFA-DA-23-053
Companion Funding Opportunity
RFA-DA-23-054 , R33 Exploratory/Developmental Grants Phase II
Assistance Listing Number(s)
93.279, 93.242, 93.213, 93.865, 93.866
Funding Opportunity Purpose

The goal of this initiative is to support action-oriented research that accelerates the translation of research to practice to address the overdose crisis. There remains an urgent need for research that advances the design of stigma-free patient-centered systems of care such that people who experience addiction can recover and sustain their recovery over the long-term. This FOA solicits applications that address understudied areas of opportunity, particularly those that focus on fundamental barriers or facilitators to reducing overdose deaths at the individual, provider, organizational, community, or system levels. Projects should be in alignment with the overall goals of the HEAL Initiative, and should focus on replicable, scalable, equitable approaches for accelerating the movement of evidence-based and promising treatments into routine use. This FOA invites phased applications to support projects for which preliminary or feasibility data is not available at the time of submission. This FOA is a companion to RFA-DA-23-054 , which solicits applications for which pilot data is available.

Key Dates

Posted Date
August 03, 2022
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
October 14, 2022
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

30 days before each application due date.

Application Due Dates Review and Award Cycles
New Renewal / Resubmission / Revision (as allowed) AIDS Scientific Merit Review Advisory Council Review Earliest Start Date
November 14, 2022 November 14, 2022 Not Applicable March 2023 May 2023 July 2023
March 20, 2023 March 20, 2023 Not Applicable July 2023 October 2023 December 2023
November 15, 2023 November 15, 2023 Not Applicable March 2024 May 2024 July 2024
March 20, 2024 March 20, 2024 Not Applicable July 2024 October 2024 December 2024

All applications are due 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.

Expiration Date
March 21, 2024
Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Research (R) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from 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.

There are several options available to submit your application through Grants.gov to NIH and Department of Health and Human Services partners. You must use one of these submission options to access the application forms for this opportunity.

  1. Use the NIH ASSIST system to prepare, submit and track your application online.
  2. Use an institutional system-to-system (S2S) solution to prepare and submit your application to Grants.gov and eRA Commons to track your application. Check with your institutional officials regarding availability.

  3. Use Grants.gov Workspace to prepare and submit your application and eRA Commons to track your application.


  4. Table of Contents

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

Background: HEAL Initiative 

In the 12-month period ending in April 2021, more than 100,000 people lost their lives to overdose deaths. Deaths have continued to rise despite significant efforts and resources aimed at reversing these trends. Research funded through the National Institutes of Health offers numerous promising approaches to responding to this entrenched public health crisis. However, research does not always readily translate to practice. To turn the tide on the overdose crisis, research is needed to address the systemic issues necessary to accelerate the translation of promising research findings to practice.  

This FOA is part of the NIH’s Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) initiative to speed the development and implementation of scientific solutions to the national opioid public health crisis. The NIH HEAL Initiative will bolster research across NIH to (1) improve treatment for opioid misuse and addiction and (2) enhance pain management. More information and periodic updates about the HEAL Initiative are available at:?https://heal.nih.gov/

Purpose:

The goal of this FOA is to support action-oriented research that accelerates the translation of research to practice to address the overdose crisis. There remains an urgent need for research to address understudied areas of opportunity, particularly addressing the fundamental barriers or facilitators to reducing overdose deaths at the individual, provider, organizational, community, or system levels.  High priority areas are those that advance the goal of creating stigma-free patient-centered systems of care such that people who experience addiction can recover and sustain their recovery over the long-term.  

This FOA is a companion to RFA-DA-23-054 which also solicits applications relevant to the focus area. Applicants should note the difference between these FOAs: RFA-DA-23-053 (this FOA) solicits phased awards, which are most appropriate for projects that require 1-2 years for preparatory work such as collecting pilot data; obtaining and integrating existing data sets; building stakeholder engagement; developing, adapting, and testing the feasibility of key components of interventions or implementation strategies; building necessary infrastructure to support a larger trial (e.g., clinical alerts; recordkeeping systems); or similar activities upon which the subsequent phase would be dependent. Phased awards do not require pilot or feasibility data at the time of submission. Awards made under RFA-DA-23-053 may transition to the second (R33) phase to conduct a larger study upon successfully meeting relevant milestones in the R61 phase of the project. In contrast, RFA-DA-23-054 solicits applications that already have relevant preliminary, pilot, or feasibility data and are prepared to launch a larger study immediately upon award. 

Proposed research under this FOA must move beyond descriptive studies that enumerate factors that facilitate or impede the delivery of high-quality, effective addiction treatment services. Rather, applications should seek to develop and test systematic strategies for equitably improving the quality of care for people who experience addiction.  

Applications should attend to methods to accelerate the translation of insights generated by the proposed research into practice. Methods such as implementation science, hybrid implementation/effectiveness trials, and dissemination research are critical tools for achieving this acceleration. Applications must be innovative and should not focus on replicating previous findings. Key elements that must be considered in all applications include:  

  • Meaningful engagement of relevant practitioners and community stakeholders in study conceptualization, design, execution, and interpretation;  

  • Potential scalability of the proposed intervention, including perspectives of prospective payers should the proposed intervention prove to be successful;  

  • Sustainability of the proposed intervention should it prove to be successful;  

  • Health disparities and inequities and the relevance to the interventions or services being studied;  

  • Perspectives of patients or recipients of the services or interventions being studied.  

Proposed projects must align with one or more of the following pillars of the?HHS Overdose Prevention Strategy: harm reduction, treatment of opioid use or stimulant use disorder, and recovery support. Applications may also propose to explore issues relevant to the intersection of opioid or stimulant misuse/use disorders and pain. Applications that focus solely on primary prevention or opioid prescribing will not be considered responsive to this FOA. Applicants interested in primary prevention and opioid prescribing should respond to other relevant HEAL FOAs.   

Studies may take place in a variety of settings including those in the SUD treatment, general and specialty healthcare, criminal justice, social and human services, pain clinics, pharmacies, workplaces, and community settings. Applicants are encouraged to consider nontraditional service delivery settings when these could potentially broaden the reach of evidence-based services to underserved populations and communities, including NIH-designated health disparity populations and other groups that have historically experienced challenges in access to addiction services. 

This FOA is a companion to RFA-DA-23-054. These FOAs solicit applications relevant to the HEAL Translation of Research to Practice for the Treatment of Opioid Addiction team. Periodically, additional Notices of Special Interest may be released by the NIH and published in the NIH guide identifying specific high priority areas of interest relevant to these FOAs. In addition to areas of interest specified by such NOSIs, effectiveness, services, or implementation questions relevant to treatment of opioid use or stimulant use disorder, harm reduction, and recovery support are of general interest. Examples of specific areas of interest include, but are not limited to:  

  • Provider, organizational, community, or system-level interventions that seek to enhance uptake of evidence based practices; 

  • Studies that test novel and efficient service delivery models for OUD and other comorbid medical and mental conditions;  

  • Studies that seek to identify, develop, test, evaluate, and/or refine strategies to disseminate and implement evidence-based practices (e.g. behavioral interventions; prevention, early detection, diagnostic, treatment and disease management interventions; quality improvement programs) into public health, clinical practice, and community (e.g., workplace, school, place of worship) settings to address opioid or stimulant use and comorbid medical and mental conditions, including pain; 

  • Approaches that enhance the quality, effectiveness, affordability, or utilization of existing treatments for opioid use disorder (OUD) and comorbid medical or mental conditions, including pain;  

  • Studies that address novel research questions that would otherwise not be addressed by programs or infrastructure supported through other funders (e.g., Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), settlement funds, private funders, etc.);   

  • Studies that seek to understand major changes or variations in the service delivery environment that may facilitate or impede the delivery of effective, high-quality, patient-centered services;  

  • Projects that seek to understand circumstances and test strategies to stop or reduce (i.e., “de-implement”) the use of interventions that are ineffective, unproven, low-value, or harmful in efforts to demonstrably free up resources and then implement a high-value evidence-based practice

  • Strategies that seek to improve quality, timeliness, and utility of data to inform and support real-time proactive responses within systems and in cross-system collaborations;  

  • Multi-level intervention designs that tackle multiple barriers to or facilitators of access to evidence-based services.  

Additional high priority topics may periodically be solicited under this FOA through one or more Notices of Special Interest, published in the NIH Guide. 

This FOA will not support applications that seek to develop and test the efficacy of novel addiction treatments or similar clinical interventions or new prevention interventions. 

Phases of the Award & Milestones 

This funding opportunity uses a R61/R33 Exploratory/Developmental Phased Award mechanism. Support will be provided for up to 6 years, which includes initial support of up to 2 years of the R61 phase, followed by up to 5 years of support for the R33 phase upon successfully meeting R61 milestones. 

This mechanism is provided to facilitate research for which preliminary data is not available, including high risk/high reward research. However, even for high risk/high reward research, applicants must provide a clear vision for how the research would progress if successful. The R61 phase is a planning phase that can be for up to two years and will support activities that demonstrate feasibility. It is expected that work during this phase will largely focus on issues related to (1) collecting feasibility or pilot data for a clinical trials, (2) stakeholder engagement to ensure buy-in, sustainability, scalability, etc; (3) testing hypotheses for which preliminary data is not otherwise available; or (4) demonstrating ability to access key datasets or build critical infrastructure. Applications must delineate milestones that signify the completion of major elements necessary to support a larger scale project in the second phase (e.g., successful piloting of an intervention or intervention component; accessing or improving timeliness of a specific dataset; establishing Memoranda of Understanding [MOU] with key stakeholders, etc.).  

For transition to the R33 phase, recipients must submit the transition package no less than two months before the completion of the R61 phase. The transition plan should include the R61 progress report describing in detail the progress towards the R61 milestones and a description of how research proposed for the R33 phase will be supported by the completion of the R61 phase milestones. These materials will be evaluated by NIH program staff to determine if the milestones were met. 

Transition to the R33 phases requires administrative review by NIH staff and is not guaranteed. R33 funding decisions will be based on the original R61/R33 peer review recommendations, successful completion of transition milestones, any proposed changes to the R33 research based on R61 findings, program priorities, and availability of funds. It is not expected that all applications will continue to the R33 phase. 

Pre-Application Consultation 

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with appropriate NIH Program staff early in the application development process. This early contact will provide an opportunity to discuss and clarify NIH policies and guidelines, including the scope of the project relative to the HEAL initiative mission and intent of this FOA.? 

Special Considerations 

The following applications will be considered non-responsive and will not be reviewed: 

  • Applications testing new clinical interventions to prevent or treat opioid addiction (i.e., drugs, devices, behavioral therapies). (Note applications may test adaptations of existing interventions, health services interventions, new recovery support interventions, etc.)  

  • Applications that do not address effectiveness, services, or implementation questions relevant to one or more of the following pillars of the HHS Overdose Prevention strategy: harm reduction, treatment of opioid use or stimulant use disorder, and recovery support. 

  • Applications that do not include a timeline and milestones plan. (see instructions in Section IV. SF424 (R&R) Other Project Information)

Data Harmonization for Substance Abuse and Addiction via the PhenX Toolkit:  NIDA strongly encourages investigators involved in human-subjects studies to employ a common set of tools and resources that will promote the collection of comparable data across studies and to do so by incorporating the measures from the Core and Specialty collections, which are available in the Substance Abuse and Addiction Collection of the PhenX Toolkit (www.phenxtoolkit.org).  Please see NOT-DA-12-008 (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-DA-12-008.html) for further details.  

There are also opportunities to harmonize data within the broader NIH HEAL Initiative. Applicants selected for funding should expect to have a conversation with NIH program staff early in their project regarding high priority areas for potential harmonization.   

NIH HEAL Requirements: The NIH HEAL Initiative will require a high level of coordination and sharing between investigators. It is expected that NIH HEAL Initiative award recipients will cooperate and coordinate their activities after awards are made by participating in Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) meetings, including an annual NIH HEAL Investigators Meeting, as well as other activities. 

Diversity: In addition to scientific diversity, applicants should strive to incorporate diversity in their team development plan. Research shows that diverse teams working together and capitalizing on innovative ideas and distinct perspectives outperform homogenous teams. Scientists and trainees from diverse backgrounds and life experiences bring different perspectives, creativity, and individual enterprise to address complex scientific problems. There are many benefits that flow from a diverse NIH-supported scientific workforce, including: fostering scientific innovation, enhancing global competitiveness, contributing to robust learning environments, improving the quality of the research, advancing the likelihood that underserved or health disparity populations participate in, and benefit from health research, and enhancing public trust. Please refer to Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity?NOT-OD-20-031?for more details. 

Points to Consider Regarding Tobacco Industry Funding of NIDA Applicants: The National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse (NACDA) encourages NIDA and its award recipients to consider the points it has set forth with regard to existing or prospective sponsored research agreements with tobacco companies or their related entities and the impact of acceptance of tobacco industry funding on NIDA's credibility and reputation within the scientific community. Please see (http://ww2.drugabuse.gov/about/organization/nacda/points-to-consider.html) for details. 

 

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Areas of Specific Interest and NIMH-Specific Instructions

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is interested in applications to address relevant to priorities described in Goal 4 of the NIMH Strategic Plan for Research and the following Notices of Special Interest to benefit people with OUD and co-occurring mental health conditions and/or suicide risk:

  • NOT-DA-23-008 Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) HEAL Initiative: Workforce Interventions to Improve Addiction Care Quality and Patient Outcomes
  • NOT-DA-23-007 Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): HEAL Initiative: Opioid Use Disorder Care Pathways for Individuals with Histories of Exposure to Violence

For assignment to and funding consideration at NIMH, applicants should include “NOT-DA-23-007" or “NOT-DA-23-008” (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF424 R&R form. Applications that do not include this information will not be assigned to NIMH.

All applications that propose clinical trials and that seek funding consideration at NIMH should follow the NIMH’s experimental therapeutics approach to intervention development and testing (see https://www.nimh.nih.gov/funding/opportunities-announcements/clinical-trials-foas/index.shtml). That is, the scope of work must include specification of targets/mechanisms and assessment of intervention induced changes in the presumed targets/mechanisms that are hypothesized to account for the intervention’s outcomes. In this manner, the results of the trial will advance knowledge regarding therapeutic change mechanisms and be informative regardless of trial outcomes (e.g., in the event of negative results, information about whether the intervention was successful at engaging its targets can facilitate interpretation).

NIMH is committed to supporting research that reduces disparities and advances equity in mental health interventions, services, and outcomes. Accordingly, this FOA encourages research studies that seek to reduce disparities for racial and ethnic minority groups, individuals limited by language or cultural barriers, sexual and gender minorities, individuals living in rural areas, socioeconomically disadvantaged persons and other underserved groups.

NIMH encourages a deployment-focused model of intervention and services design and evaluation that takes into account the perspective of relevant stakeholders (e.g., service users, providers, administrators, payers) and the key characteristics of the settings (e.g., resources, including workforce capacity; existing clinical workflows) that are intended to implement optimized mental health interventions. This attention to end-user perspectives and characteristics of intended clinical and/or community practice settings is intended to ensure the resultant interventions and service delivery strategies are acceptable to consumers and providers, the approaches are feasible and scalable in the settings where individuals are served, and the research results will have utility for end users.

NIMH encourages research on potentially scalable preventive, therapeutic, and services interventions that focuses on practice-relevant questions. Accordingly, collaborations between academic researchers and clinical or community practice partners or networks are encouraged. When possible, studies should capitalize on existing infrastructure (e.g., practice-based research networks such as the NIMH-sponsored Mental Health Research Network (MHRN), electronic medical records, administrative data bases, patient registries, institutions with Clinical and Translational Science Awards) to increase the efficiency of participant recruitment (i.e., more rapid identification and enrollment) and to facilitate the collection of moderator data (e.g., clinical characteristics, biomarkers), longer-term follow-up data, and broader, stakeholder-relevant outcomes (e.g., mental health and general health care utilization, value and efficiency of intervention approaches).

See Section VIII. Other Information for award authorities and regulations.

Investigators proposing NIH-defined clinical trials may refer to the Research Methods Resources website for information about developing statistical methods and study designs.

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
Resubmission

The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types. Only those application types listed here are allowed for this FOA.

Clinical Trial?

Optional: Accepting applications that either propose or do not propose clinical trial(s).

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NIH intends to commit up to $15 million in FY2023 for both this FOA and the companion FOA, RFA-DA-23-054, pending availability of funds and receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Award Budget

Application budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project. Unless well-justified, it is strongly recommended that applicants not request a budget of more than $300,000 in direct costs per year for the R61 phase and $750,000 in direct costs per year for the R33 phase of the project.

Award Project Period

The scope of the project should determine the project period for each phase. The maximum period of the combined R61 and R33 phases is 6 years, with a maximum of 2 years for the R61 phase and maximum of 5 years for the R33 phase of the project. Applicants are encouraged to streamline the project period to complete the research as efficiently as possible. It is recommended that the R33 phase not exceed 4 years unless exceptionally well justified.

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

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

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

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

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

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

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

For-Profit Organizations

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

Local Governments

  • State Governments
  • County Governments
  • City or Township Governments
  • Special District Governments
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized)

Federal Government

  • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
  • U.S. Territory or Possession

Other

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

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

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

Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are allowed. 

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

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

  • System for Award Management (SAM)– Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
    • NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code – Foreign organizations must obtain an NCAGE code (in lieu of a CAGE code) in order to register in SAM.
    • Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)- A UEI is issued as part of the SAM.gov registration process. The same UEI must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • eRA Commons - Once the unique organization identifier is established, organizations can register with eRA Commons in tandem with completing their full SAM and Grants.gov registrations; all registrations must be in place by time of submission. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • Grants.gov – Applicants must have an active SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

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

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

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and women are always encouraged to apply for NIH support. See, Reminder: Notice of NIH's Encouragement of Applications Supporting Individuals from Underrepresented Ethnic and Racial Groups as well as Individuals with Disabilities, NOT-OD-22-019.

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

2. Cost Sharing

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

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

Number of Applications

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

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time, per 2.3.7.4 Submission of Resubmission Application. This means that the NIH will not accept:

  • A new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping new (A0) or resubmission (A1) application.
  • A resubmission (A1) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of the previous new (A0) application.
  • An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see 2.3.9.4 Similar, Essentially Identical, or Identical Applications).

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

The application forms package specific to this opportunity must be accessed through ASSIST, Grants.gov Workspace or an institutional system-to-system solution. Links to apply using ASSIST or Grants.gov Workspace are available in Part 1 of this FOA. See your administrative office for instructions if you plan to use an institutional system-to-system solution.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Research (R) 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.

Letter of Intent

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

By the date listed in?Part 1. Overview Information, prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information: 

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity 

  • Name(s), address(es), and telephone number(s) of the PD(s)/PI(s) 

  • Names of other key personnel 

  • Participating institution(s) 

  • Number and title of this funding opportunity 

The letter of intent should be sent to:?NIDALetterofIntent@mail.nih.gov 

Page Limitations

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

Instructions for Application Submission

The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this FOA.

SF424(R&R) Cover

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

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.

 

Timeline & Milestone Plan (Required - 2 page maximum)

Applicants should include a Timeline and Milestone Plan, clearly specifying proposed milestones and when those milestones are expected to be achieved. Milestones for both phases should be specified, though it is expected that R33 milestones may change based on results from the R61 phase for awards that transition to the R33 phase. 

Stakeholder Engagement Plan (Required– 2 page maximum)

Applications are encouraged to include detailed plans for engaging key stakeholders, including patients, families, providers, payers, and community leaders, as appropriate to the specific goals of their study.  

For assignment to and funding consideration at NIMH, applicants should include “NOT-DA-23-007" or “NOT-DA-23-008” (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF424 R&R form.

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

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

R&R Budget

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

Meetings and Travel: Applicants should assume that all meetings referenced throughout this FOA will be held virtually unless otherwise specified.

NIH program staff may wish to periodically convene award recipients under this program, both virtually and in person. To plan for potential in-person convenings, budgets should include funds for travel for up to 3 people to participate in a 2-day meeting in the Washington DC area in each year of the award.

HEAL Investigators’ Meeting: For budgeting purposes, include travel costs to support the attendance of one PD/PI (one person) at a 2-day, in-person HEAL Investigators meeting in the Washington DC area, annually for the duration of the award.

R&R Subaward Budget

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 Research Plan

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

Specific Aims:

In the single page attachment allowed for the specific aims, applicants should provide an overview of the overarching research question of interest as well as include clearly marked headers for “R61 Specific Aims” and “R33 Specific Aims” with brief descriptions of the aims specific to each phase of the study.

Research Strategy:

The Research Strategy should be organized in a manner that will facilitate peer review. The body of the application should present an overview of the state of the science, current status and relevance of the proposed activities, and consideration of long-term sustainability and scalability of the proposed efforts.

The research strategy must clearly specify how the proposed project addresses effectiveness, services, or implementation questions relevant to one or more of the following pillars of the HHS Overdose Prevention strategy: harm reduction, treatment of opioid use or stimulant use disorder, and recovery support.

The following criteria should be addressed:

Significance:The R61 and R33 should coherently address a single set of research questions and goals, with the R61 phase establishing feasibility and necessary data to support transition to the R33 phase. Given this tight integration, only one Significance section is needed.

Innovation:Given this tight integration of the R61/R33 phases, only one Innovation section is needed. The Innovation section should explain how the proposed project, if successful, would lead to innovations that could help accelerate the translation of research findings to practice that would address the overdose crisis.

Preliminary data is not required nor is it required that teams have worked together previously. The phased award approach allows for earlier stage high risk/high reward projects. However, applications without preliminary data should have a strong scientific premise and establish a strong rationale for how solving the challenges outlined in the application would improve outcomes relevant to overdoses and/or opioid-related morbidity and mortality. NOTE: For early stage research involving new partnerships or where preliminary data is needed to support the premise of the larger study, these aspects of feasibility must be explicitly included as milestones for the R61 phase.

Approach:The application should contain separate Approach sections for the R61 and R33 phases, as described below. It is not necessary to repeat any information or details in the R33 section that are described in the R61 section. Applications must also include a Timeline & Milestone plan as an attachment as described in the SF424(R&R) Other Project Information. The approach sections may reference this attachment and should limit what is repeated from this attachment, except where necessary for clarity.

The approach section must address the following elements in the phase most appropriate to the proposed study:

  • Approach to engaging relevant practitioners and community stakeholders as partners (Note: Applicants must to include detailed plans for stakeholder engagement as an attachment as described in the SF424 (R&R) Other Project Information);
  • Considerations relevant to the sustainability of the proposed intervention should it prove to be successful;
  • Considerations relevant to the potential scalability of the proposed intervention, including perspectives of prospective payers should the proposed intervention prove to be successful;
  • Considerations relevant to health disparities and inequities and the relevance to the interventions or services being studied;
  • Considerations relevant to the perspectives of patients or recipients of the services or interventions being studied, where relevant.

R61 (Phase 1) Approach:

The R61 phase of the award may be up to 2 years long. The R61 Approach section application must include milestones that are expected to be achieved by the end of the R61 phase. Milestones should be specific, quantifiable, and scientifically justified; they should establish the feasibility or empirical basis for pursuing the R33 phase of the study. Milestones should not simply be a restatement of the specific aims for the R61 phase.

Examples of Milestones for the R61 Phase:

  • Fully executed MOUs, letters of support, and data sharing agreements, as relevant to the goals of the study, from partnering departments, agencies or stakeholders
  • Demonstration of active engagement and partnership with key entities and stakeholders (e.g., formation of trans-department or trans-agency change teams)
  • If preliminary data was not included in original application, preliminary data demonstrating feasibility of R33 phase must be included.

For applications where there is no preliminary data or where new partnerships are proposed, applicants should be especially attentive to proposing milestones that will help establish the feasibility of their proposed R33 project.

R33, Phase 2 Approach

Although the Research Strategy for the R33 Phase is expected to be broad and flexible due to the nature of the explorative research in the R61 Phase, the research strategy for the R33 phase of the award should be described in enough detail for reviewers to evaluate the merit of this component of the application, based on anticipated results.

The proposed milestones for the R33 phase may be revised based on activities during the R61 planning phase. In the event of an award, the PD/PI and NIH staff will negotiate proposed changes and a list of appropriate milestones for each year of support.

The R33 phase may include a clinical trial if appropriate for the research questions and study design. Applications that propose a clinical trial in the R33 phase should include relevant information for the proposed clinical trial in the clinical trial attachment. As with milestones, the overall design of the R33 may be modified based on findings from the R61 phase, if appropriate. Any such modifications must be discussed in advance with NIH program staff and would include discussions of relevant changes to the proposed milestones.

Note: The R33 phase of the proposed research may be up to 5 years, although applicants are encouraged to streamline the project period to complete the research as efficiently as possible. Applicants proposing R33 phases that exceed 4 years must provide a very strong justification.

Letters of Support: Include letters of support/agreement for any collaborative arrangements, subcontracts or consultants. For activities to be conducted at an institution other than the applicant institution, a letter of assurance or comparable documentation, signed by the collaborator as well as the institutional officials, must be submitted with the application.

Applicants should include relevant letters of support from targeted systems or stakeholders. Where relationships with relevant systems or stakeholders do not exist or are not yet fully formalized, applicants should include formalizing these relationships as a milestone for the R61 phase.

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

NIH intends to maximize the impact of HEAL Initiative-supported projects through broad and rapid data sharing.?Consistent with the HEAL Initiative Public Access and Data Sharing Policy (https://heal.nih.gov/about/public-access-data), all applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, are required to include a Data Management and Sharing Plan outlining how scientific data and any accompanying metadata will be managed and shared. The plan should describe data types, file formats, submission timelines, and standards used in collecting or processing the data. Data generated by HEAL Initiative-funded projects must be submitted to study-appropriate domain-specific or generalist repositories in consultation with the HEAL Data Stewardship Group to ensure the data is accessible via the HEAL Initiative Data Ecosystem. Guidelines for complying with the HEAL Public Access and Data Sharing Policy can be found at https://heal.nih.gov/data/complying-heal-data-sharing-policy. Resources and tools to assist with data related activities can be found at https://www.healdatafair.org/.

To maximize discoverability and value of HEAL datasets and studies, and facilitate data integration and collaboration, applications submitted in response to this FOA are strongly encouraged to incorporate standards and resources where applicable:

  • Applicants are encouraged to ensure that data collected by the study conform to Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) principles.
  • Applicants are specifically encouraged to incorporate into their planning, an alignment with the guidelines, principles and recommendations developed by the HEAL Data Ecosystem, including but not limited to preparing data to store in selected specified repositories, applying minimal metadata standards, use of core HEAL Clinical Data Elements (CDEs, https://heal.nih.gov/data/common-data-elements), and other necessary requirements to prepare data to connect to the HEAL Data Ecosystem.
  • All new HEAL clinical pain studies are required to submit their case-report forms/questionnaires to the HEAL Clinical Data Elements (CDE) Program. The program will create the CDE files containing standardized variable names, responses, coding, and other information. The program will also format the case-report forms in a standardized way that is compliant with accessibility standards under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C § 794 (d)), which “require[s] Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities.” HEAL Initiative clinical studies that are using copyrighted questionaries are required to obtain licenses for use prior to initiating data collection. Licenses must be shared with the HEAL CDE team and the program officer prior to use of copyrighted materials. For additional information, visit the HEAL CDE Program.
  • To the extent possible, HEAL award recipients are expected to integrate broad data sharing consent language into their informed consent forms and align study consent language with data access and re-use requirements as defined by repository HEAL investigators select to store their HEAL data long-term.

The NIH notices referenced below provide additional NIH guidance that should be considered in developing a strong data management and sharing plan. The list is instructive but not comprehensive.

  • Elements of an NIH Data Management and Sharing Plan (NOT-OD-21-014)
  • NIH has provided guidance around selecting a repository for data generated by NIH-supported research and has developed desirable characteristics for all data repositories (NOT-OD-21-016).
  • NIH encourages the use of data standards including the PhenX Toolkit (www.phenxtoolkit.org) (for example, see NOT-DA-12-008, NOT-MH-15-009)
  • Data should be organized according to a standard model that is widely accepted within the field. An example for the clinical research studies would be the OMOP Common Data Model, which has also been successfully adapted for use with observational (including survey) studies more generally. In addition, the HL7 FHIR® (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) standard (NOT-OD-19-122) may facilitate the flow of data with EHR-based datasets, tools, and applications.
  • NIH encourages clinical research programs and researchers to adopt and use the standardized set of data classes, data elements, and associated vocabulary standards specified in the United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI) standards, as they are applicable (NOT-OD-20-146). Use of the USCDI can complement the FHIR® standard and enable researchers to leverage structured EHR data for research and enable discovery. In addition to USCDI, OMOP, and FHIR standards for enhanced interoperability, investigators and data centers should align their data collection and management practices with recommended guidance emerging from the HEAL CDE and Data Ecosystem programs

Award recipients conducting research that includes collection of genomic data should incorporate requirements under the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy (NOT-OD-14-124, NOT-OD-15-086).

Appendix:
Only limited Appendix materials are allowed. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

When involving human subjects research, clinical research, and/or NIH-defined clinical trials (and when applicable, clinical trials research experience) follow all instructions for the PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following additional instructions:

If you answered “Yes” to the question “Are Human Subjects Involved?” on the R&R Other Project Information form, you must include at least one human subjects study record using the Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form or Delayed Onset Study record.

Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

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

Delayed Onset Study

Note: Delayed onset does NOT apply to a study that can be described but will not start immediately (i.e., delayed start).All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

The R33 portion of this study is NOT considered a delayed onset study.

PHS Assignment Request Form

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

3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

See Part 1. Section III.1 for information regarding the requirement for obtaining a unique entity identifier and for completing and maintaining active registrations in System for Award Management (SAM), NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code (if applicable), eRA Commons, and Grants.gov.

4. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates and times. 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. When a submission date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.

Organizations must submit applications to Grants.gov (the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies). 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. NIH and Grants.gov systems check the application against many of the application instructions upon submission. Errors must be corrected and a changed/corrected application must be submitted to Grants.gov on or before the application due date and time.  If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late. Applications that miss the due date and time are subjected to the NIH Policy on Late Application Submission.

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.

5. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

6. 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.

7. 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 How to Apply – Application Guide. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Dealing with System Issues guidance. For assistance with application submission, contact the Application Submission Contacts in Section VII.

Important reminders:

All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential fieldof the Senior/Key Person Profile form. 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. See Section III of this FOA for information on registration requirements.

The applicant organization must ensure that the unique entity identifier provided on the application is the same identifier used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the System for Award Management. 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 compliance with application instructions by the Center for Scientific Review and responsiveness by NIDA. Applications that are incomplete, non-compliant and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in the policy. Any instructions provided here are in addition to the instructions in the policy.

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process.  Applications submitted to the NIH in support of the NIH mission are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

For this particular announcement, note the following: The overall goal of this FOA is to support action-oriented research that accelerates the translation of research to practice to address the overdose crisis. Projects should be in alignment with the overall goals of the HEAL Initiative and should focus on replicable, scalable, equitable approaches for accelerating the movement of evidence-based and promising treatments into routine use.

A proposed Clinical Trial application may include study design, methods, and intervention that are not by themselves innovative but address important questions or unmet needs. Additionally, the results of the clinical trial may indicate that further clinical development of the intervention is unwarranted or lead to new avenues of scientific investigation.

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.

Significance

Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? Is the prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project rigorous? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?

Specific to the FOA:

  • Does the proposed study propose a project that addresses a critical issue that if addressed, could speed the translation of research to practice relevant to the overdose crisis?

  • Does the application address issues of sustainability and scalability?

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

Are the scientific rationale and need for a clinical trial to test the proposed hypothesis or intervention well supported by preliminary data, clinical and/or preclinical studies, or information in the literature or knowledge of biological mechanisms? For trials focusing on clinical or public health endpoints, is this clinical trial necessary for testing the safety, efficacy or effectiveness of an intervention that could lead to a change in clinical practice, community behaviors or health care policy? For trials focusing on mechanistic, behavioral, physiological, biochemical, or other biomedical endpoints, is this trial needed to advance scientific understanding?

Investigator(s)

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

Specific to the FOA:

  • As appropriate to the proposed design and stated goals, are key partners included as co-investigators and/or collaborators?

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

With regard to the proposed leadership for the project, do the PD/PI(s) and key personnel have the expertise, experience, and ability to organize, manage and implement the proposed clinical trial and meet milestones and timelines? Do they have appropriate expertise in study coordination, data management and statistics? For a multicenter trial, is the organizational structure appropriate and does the application identify a core of potential center investigators and staffing for a coordinating center?

Innovation

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

Specific to the FOA:

  • Does the proposed project have the potential to lead to innovations that could lead to new insights that would support new or different ways of addressing the overdose crisis?

  • Does the application address the scalability and sustainability of the innovations being studied?

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

Does the design/research plan include innovative elements, as appropriate, that enhance its sensitivity, potential for information or potential to advance scientific knowledge or clinical practice?

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Have the investigators included plans to address weaknesses in the rigor of prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project? Have the investigators presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed? Have the investigators presented adequate plans to address relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies in vertebrate animals or human subjects?

If the project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of individuals of all ages (including children and older adults), justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?

Specific to the FOA:

  • Does the plan include well thought out plans for stakeholder engagement and patient engagement, as appropriate to the study?

  • Does the application take issues of health disparities and health inequities and the relevance to the interventions or services being studied into consideration?

  • Is there a well-articulated data sharing plan? Is this plan reasonable?

  • Has the project been designed to efficiently answer the research questions? Is the study timeline well-justified?

  • Are the milestones for the R61 phase well specified?

  • Are plans for the R33 phase well-articulated, including specification of research questions?

  • Do the plans for the R33 phase build in a logical way on the R61 phase?

  • Does the length of the R61 phase seem appropriate and relevant for the scope of work proposed?

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

Does the application adequately address the following, if applicable

Study Design

Is the study design justified and appropriate to address primary and secondary outcome variable(s)/endpoints that will be clear, informative and relevant to the hypothesis being tested? Is the scientific rationale/premise of the study based on previously well-designed preclinical and/or clinical research? Given the methods used to assign participants and deliver interventions, is the study design adequately powered to answer the research question(s), test the proposed hypothesis/hypotheses, and provide interpretable results? Is the trial appropriately designed to conduct the research efficiently? Are the study populations (size, gender, age, demographic group), proposed intervention arms/dose, and duration of the trial, appropriate and well justified?

Are potential ethical issues adequately addressed? Is the process for obtaining informed consent or assent appropriate? Is the eligible population available? Are the plans for recruitment outreach, enrollment, retention, handling dropouts, missed visits, and losses to follow-up appropriate to ensure robust data collection? Are the planned recruitment timelines feasible and is the plan to monitor accrual adequate? Has the need for randomization (or not), masking (if appropriate), controls, and inclusion/exclusion criteria been addressed? Are differences addressed, if applicable, in the intervention effect due to sex/gender and race/ethnicity?

Are the plans to standardize, assure quality of, and monitor adherence to, the trial protocol and data collection or distribution guidelines appropriate? Is there a plan to obtain required study agent(s)? Does the application propose to use existing available resources, as applicable?

Data Management and Statistical Analysis

Are planned analyses and statistical approach appropriate for the proposed study design and methods used to assign participants and deliver interventions? Are the procedures for data management and quality control of data adequate at clinical site(s) or at center laboratories, as applicable? Have the methods for standardization of procedures for data management to assess the effect of the intervention and quality control been addressed? Is there a plan to complete data analysis within the proposed period of the award?

Environment

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

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

If proposed, are the administrative, data coordinating, enrollment and laboratory/testing centers, appropriate for the trial proposed?

Does the application adequately address the capability and ability to conduct the trial at the proposed site(s) or centers? Are the plans to add or drop enrollment centers, as needed, appropriate?

If international site(s) is/are proposed, does the application adequately address the complexity of executing the clinical trial?

If multi-sites/centers, is there evidence of the ability of the individual site or center to: (1) enroll the proposed numbers; (2) adhere to the protocol; (3) collect and transmit data in an accurate and timely fashion; and, (4) operate within the proposed organizational structure?

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.

Study Timeline

Specific to applications involving clinical trials

Is the study timeline described in detail, taking into account start-up activities, the anticipated rate of enrollment, and planned follow-up assessment? Is the projected timeline feasible and well justified? Does the project incorporate efficiencies and utilize existing resources (e.g., CTSAs, practice-based research networks, electronic medical records, administrative database, or patient registries) to increase the efficiency of participant enrollment and data collection, as appropriate?

Are potential challenges and corresponding solutions discussed (e.g., strategies that can be implemented in the event of enrollment shortfalls)?

Protections for Human Subjects

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

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

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Individuals Across the Lifespan

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

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following criteria: (1) description of proposed procedures involving animals, including species, strains, ages, sex, and total number to be used; (2) justifications for the use of animals versus alternative models and for the appropriateness of the species proposed; (3) interventions to minimize discomfort, distress, pain and injury; and (4) justification for euthanasia method if NOT consistent with the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals. Reviewers will assess the use of chimpanzees as they would any other application proposing the use of vertebrate animals. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.

Biohazards

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

Resubmissions

For Resubmissions, the committee will evaluate the application as now presented, taking into consideration the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group and changes made to the project.

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).

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources:

For projects involving key biological and/or chemical resources, reviewers will comment on the brief plans proposed for identifying and ensuring the validity of those resources.

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 NIDA, 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 will receive a written critique.

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

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

Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the appropriate national Advisory Council or Board. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:
  • Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by scientific peer review.
  • Availability of funds.
  • Relevance of the proposed project to program priorities.

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD/PI will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written critique) via the eRA Commons. Refer to Part 1 for dates for peer review, advisory council review, and earliest start date.

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 recipient's business official.

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

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

Individual awards are based on the application submitted to, and as approved by, the NIH and are subject to the IC-specific terms and conditions identified in the NoA.

ClinicalTrials.gov: If an award provides for one or more clinical trials. By law (Title VIII, Section 801 of Public Law 110-85), the "responsible party" must register and submit results information for certain “applicable clinical trials” on the ClinicalTrials.gov Protocol Registration and Results System Information Website (https://register.clinicaltrials.gov). NIH expects registration and results reporting of all trials whether required under the law or not. For more information, see https://grants.nih.gov/policy/clinical-trials/reporting/index.htm

Institutional Review Board or Independent Ethics Committee Approval: Recipient institutions must ensure that all protocols are reviewed by their IRB or IEC. To help ensure the safety of participants enrolled in NIH-funded studies, the recipient must provide NIH copies of documents related to all major changes in the status of ongoing protocols.

Data and Safety Monitoring Requirements: The NIH policy for data and safety monitoring requires oversight and monitoring of all NIH-conducted or -supported human biomedical and behavioral intervention studies (clinical trials) to ensure the safety of participants and the validity and integrity of the data. Further information concerning these requirements is found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/hs/data_safety.htm and in the application instructions (SF424 (R&R) and PHS 398).

Investigational New Drug or Investigational Device Exemption Requirements: Consistent with federal regulations, clinical research projects involving the use of investigational therapeutics, vaccines, or other medical interventions (including licensed products and devices for a purpose other than that for which they were licensed) in humans under a research protocol must be performed under a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigational new drug (IND) or investigational device exemption (IDE).

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, Recipients, and Activities, including of note, but not limited to:

If a recipient is successful and receives a Notice of Award, in accepting the award, the recipient agrees that any activities under the award are subject to all provisions currently in effect or implemented during the period of the award, other Department regulations and policies in effect at the time of the award, and applicable statutory provisions.

Should the applicant organization successfully compete for an award, recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS must administer their programs in compliance with federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, religion, conscience, and sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy). This includes ensuring programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency and persons with disabilities. The HHS Office for Civil Rights provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-providers/provider-obligations/index.html and https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/nondiscrimination/index.html

HHS recognizes that research projects are often limited in scope for many reasons that are nondiscriminatory, such as the principal investigator’s scientific interest, funding limitations, recruitment requirements, and other considerations. Thus, criteria in research protocols that target or exclude certain populations are warranted where nondiscriminatory justifications establish that such criteria are appropriate with respect to the health or safety of the subjects, the scientific study design, or the purpose of the research. For additional guidance regarding how the provisions apply to NIH grant programs, please contact the Scientific/Research Contact that is identified in Section VII under Agency Contacts of this FOA.

Please contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights for more information about obligations and prohibitions under federal civil rights laws at https://www.hhs.gov/ocr/about-us/contact-us/index.html or call 1-800-368-1019 or TDD 1-800-537-7697.

In accordance with the statutory provisions contained in Section 872 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417), NIH awards will be subject to the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) requirements. FAPIIS requires Federal award making officials to review and consider information about an applicant in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS) prior to making an award. An applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through FAPIIS and comment on any information about itself that a Federal agency previously entered and is currently in FAPIIS. The Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgement about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 45 CFR Part 75.205 and 2 CFR Part 200.206 “Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.” This provision will apply to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements except fellowships.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

Not Applicable

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, recipients will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

A final RPPR, 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. NIH FOAs outline intended research goals and objectives. Post award, NIH will review and measure performance based on the details and outcomes that are shared within the RPPR, as described at 45 CFR Part 75.301 and 2 CFR Part 200.301.

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for recipients of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later.  All recipients 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.

In accordance with the regulatory requirements provided at 45 CFR 75.113 and Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75, recipients that have currently active Federal grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from all Federal awarding agencies with a cumulative total value greater than $10,000,000 for any period of time during the period of performance of a Federal award, must report and maintain the currency of information reported in the System for Award Management (SAM) about civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings in connection with the award or performance of a Federal award that reached final disposition within the most recent five-year period.  The recipient must also make semiannual disclosures regarding such proceedings. Proceedings information will be made publicly available in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS).  This is a statutory requirement under section 872 of Public Law 110-417, as amended (41 U.S.C. 2313).  As required by section 3010 of Public Law 111-212, all information posted in the designated integrity and performance system on or after April 15, 2011, except past performance reviews required for Federal procurement contracts, will be publicly available.  Full reporting requirements and procedures are found in Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75 – Award Term and Conditions for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

eRA Service Desk (Questions regarding ASSIST, eRA Commons, application errors and warnings, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, and post-submission issues)

Finding Help Online: http://grants.nih.gov/support/ (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)

General Grants Information (Questions regarding application instructions, application processes, and NIH grant resources)
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-637-3015

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and Workspace)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726
Email: support@grants.gov

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Carrie Mulford, Ph.D.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Telephone: 301827-6473
Email: carrie.mulford@nih.gov

Tisha Wiley, Ph.D.
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Telephone: 301-594-4381
Email: tisha.wiley@nih.gov

Wendy Weber, N.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Telephone: 301-402-1272
Email: weberwj@mail.nih.gov

Michael C. Freed, Ph.D.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Telephone: 301-443-3747
Email: michael.freed@nih.gov

Valerie Maholmes, Ph.D., CAS
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-496-1514
Email: maholmev@mail.nih.gov

Devon Oskvig, Ph.D.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Phone: 301-827-5899
Email: devon.oskvig@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Dharmendar Rathore
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Telephone: 301-402-6965
Email: dharmendar.rathore@nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Pamela Fleming
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Telephone: 301-480-1159
Email: pfleming@nih.gov

Jeni Smits
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Phone: 301-827-4020
Email: jeni.smits@nih.gov

 

Debbie Chen
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Phone: 301-594-3788
Email: debbie.chen@nih.gov

Tamara Kees
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Telephone: 301-443-8811
Email: tamara.kees@nih.gov

Margaret Young
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-642-4552
Email: margaret.young@nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Authority and Regulations

Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Part 75.

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