Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): NIAID Priorities for Biomedical Knowledgebases & Repositories
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

June 8, 2020

First Available Due Date:
September 25, 2020
Expiration Date:
May 09, 2023

Related Announcements

PAR-23-078 - Biomedical Knowledgebase (U24 - Clinical Trials Not Allowed)

PAR-23-079 - Biomedical Data Repository (U24 - Clinical Trials Not Allowed)

PAR-20-097 - Biomedical Knowledgebase (U24 - Clinical Trials Not Allowed)
PAR-20-089 - Biomedical Data Repository (U24 - Clinical Trials Not Allowed)

Issued by

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)


The purpose of this NOSI is to communicate NIAID’s special interest in potential applications under the Biomedical Data Repository (PAR-20-089) and Knowledgebase (PAR-20-097) FOAs, focused on the establishment of new, or continued development/renewal of existing repositories and knowledgebases that are of high-value relevance to the immune-mediated and infectious disease research community.


The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) leads and supports basic, preclinical, and clinical research to inform the development and testing of new and improved vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics to treat, and prevent infectious and immune-mediated diseases. NIAID is unique in its dual-mandate: to pursue a complex and diverse research portfolio that advances our knowledge of pathogen biology, host response to microbes, normal immune function and the dysfunction that underlies asthma, allergy, and transplantation and to develop therapeutic interventions and diagnostics while maintaining the capacity to quickly launch a research response to newly emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.

NIAID supports basic and clinical research through its three extramural divisions and conducts research within its three intramural divisions. Over 70 percent of NIAID’s nearly U.S. $ 5 billion budget supports research at institutions in the United States and across the world. These research studies relate to aspects of both infectious diseases (i.e., those caused by pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, and eukaryotic parasites) and immunological diseases (e.g., those related to allergy, asthma, autoimmunity, immunodeficiency, and transplantation). The data from these studies encompass a variety of data types - molecular (including multiple omics), imaging (microscopy and radiology), physiological, anatomical, clinical, behavioral, epidemiological, and environmental the volume and complexity of which are growing rapidly.

Hence a critical need exists to effectively and efficiently establish high-priority, mission related repositories (data ingestion, preservation, and access) and knowledgebases (data extraction, harmonization, and annotation/curation) as part of NIAID’s vision to establish a federated, interoperable data ecosystem. Establishing these repositories and knowledgebases through good data management practices is the key to data and knowledge discovery, integration, and data reuse, as outlined by the FAIR Data Principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable digital objects) - Wilkinson et al, DOI: 10.1038/sdata.2016.18.

Establishing FAIR data repositories and knowledgebases will better allow both the NIAID basic and clinical research community to adopt data-driven approaches to develop hypotheses, transform data into actionable insights and knowledge and their translation into developing new and improved diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines, as well as a better understanding of pathogenesis, disease transmission, pathogen evolution, pathogen-host interaction, host response to infection and therapeutic interventions and immune function and dysfunction.


This Notice is to alert extramural investigators that the NIH has published two new Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs): PAR-20-089 "Biomedical Data Repository (U24- Clinical Trials Not Allowed)" and PAR-20-097 "Biomedical Knowledgebase (U24 Clinical Trials Not Allowed)". As noted in these FOAs, data repositories and knowledgebases have distinct functions, metrics for success, and sustainability needs. In order to support them most effectively, NIH intends to fund them as cooperative agreement awards. NIAID grant applications proposing a free-standing data repository or knowledgebase must therefore apply under PAR-20-089 or PAR-20-097.

NIAID will support applications for data repositories and knowledgebases that are relevant to immune-mediated and infectious diseases. They must have a clear rationale, demonstrate their uniqueness, and benefit the immune-mediated and infectious disease research community and align with NIAID’s vision for a federated, interoperable data ecosystem. Existing NIAID funded repositories or knowledgebases seeking support under this NOSI must describe the current impact and engagement with the targeted research community.

Investigators seeking to sustain data sets generated from research grant awards are expected to utilize generalist and/or domain-specific repositories per their award's data management and sharing plan. Standalone biomedical data repositories and knowledgebases developed as ancillary activities to other research projects will not be considered for funding through other grant mechanisms; however targeted funding opportunities may allow the devlopment of program specific repositories and/or knowledgebases.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult the NIAID scientific/research contact regarding the appropriateness of the planned application to NIAID’s mission, scientific areas of interests and programmatic priorities. NIAID-defined programmatic needs and vision for a federated interoperable data ecosystem as well the proposed sustainability plans will play a critical part in determining which repositories and knowledgebases will be supported.

Application and Submission Information

This notice applies to due dates on or after September 25, 2020 and subsequent receipt dates through May 9, 2023.

Submit applications for this initiative using one of the following funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) or any reissues of these announcement through the expiration date of this notice.

  • PAR-20-097 Biomedical Knowledgebase (U24 - Clinical Trials Not Allowed)
  • PAR-20-089 Biomedical Data Repository (U24 - Clinical Trials Not Allowed)

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and the funding opportunity announcement used for submission must be followed, with the following additions:

  • For funding consideration, applicants must include NOT-AI-20-044 (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF424 R&R form. Applications without this information in box 4B will not be considered for this initiative
Applications nonresponsive to terms of this NOSI will be not be considered for the NOSI initiative.


Please direct all inquiries to the Scientific/Research, Peer Review, and Financial/Grants Management contacts in Section VII of the listed funding opportunity announcements.

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