Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Accelerating Medicines Partnership Autoimmune and Immune-Mediated Diseases: Technology and Analytic Cores (TACs) and Research Management Unit (RMU) (UC2) (Clinical Trials Not Allowed)
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:
February 25, 2021
Estimated Publication Date of Funding Opportunity Announcement:
March 2021
First Estimated Application Due Date:
Spring 2021
Earliest Estimated Award Date:
September 2021
Earliest Estimated Start Date:
September 2021
Related Announcements

NOT-AR-21-013 - Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Accelerating Medicines Partnership Autoimmune and Immune-Mediated Diseases: Disease Teams for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Psoriatic Spectrum Diseases and Sjogren’s Syndrome (UC2 Clinical Trial Optional)

Issued by

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)

All applications to this funding opportunity announcement should fall within the mission of the Institutes/Centers. The following NIH Offices may co-fund applications assigned to those Institutes/Centers.

Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH)


This Notice is to inform the research community that the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), and Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH) intend to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the Accelerating Medicines Partnership Autoimmune and Immune-Mediated Diseases: Technology and Analytic Cores (TACs) and Research Management Unit (RMU). This FOA will use the UC2 (High Impact Research and Research Infrastructure Cooperative Agreement Programs) grant mechanism.

This Notice of Intent to Publish (NOITP) is being provided to allow potential eligible applicants sufficient time to assemble teams and develop competitive and responsive projects.

The FOA is expected to be published in March 2021. Details of the planned FOA are provided below.

Research Initiative Details

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to invite UC2 applications to continue and expand the clinical infrastructure of the AMP RA/SLE Program as part of the planned AMP Autoimmune and Immune Mediated Diseases (AMP AIM) Program.

The NIH, pharmaceutical companies and nonprofit organizations together created the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) to develop new models for identifying and validating promising biological targets for new diagnostics and drug development. A major goal is to generate pre-competitive, disease-specific data that will be publicly accessible to the broad biomedical community for further research. Over the last 6 years, the Accelerating Medicines Partnership rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus (AMP RA/SLE) program has brought together public and private communities to make unprecedented progress in understanding the cell populations, pathways and potential novel drug targets that drive these diseases.

AMP AIM will extend the concept of disease deconstruction that was established by the AMP RA/SLE Program to psoriatic spectrum diseases (PSD) and Sjogren’s syndrome (SS). The AMP AIM Program will also pioneer the concept of disease reconstruction by bringing in novel multi-modal analytics to elucidate how innate and adaptive cells of the immune system and tissue-resident cells network with each other to cause inflammation, abnormal function, tissue injury, and clinical disease. The goal of the program is to develop a comprehensive and integrated understanding of disease pathways to identify targets for intervention.

The AMP AIM Program will be carried out by a research infrastructure to be established using two interrelated FOAs that will support research teams which will form the AMP AIM Network. The Network is defined as the consortium of investigators and institutions funded under both FOAs. A diagram of the organizational structure can be found on the NIAMS website.

Teams supported by this FOA will work together and with the Disease Teams (DTs) (as described in the companion notice NOT-AR-21-013) to analyze tissue and specimens from patients with RA, Lupus, PSD, or SS. The Disease Teams and Cores will probe and resolve the structural, functional and molecular complexities of tissue at the single-cell level. Following a short planning and harmonization period, teams will conduct initial, pilot, exploratory projects with existing tissue samples to demonstrate the feasibility of scaling up new interrogation methods. Large-scale analytic pipelines will be implemented once samples become available. An NIH-designated Knowledge Portal (KP) will provide the infrastructure, resources and management for sharing data, network models, and analytical tools, as well as the data integration activities for the AMP AIM Program. This FOA is intended to support only human studies; applications that include animal or model systems are not responsive.

The AMP AIM Network will be made up of four distinct, highly interactive Research Components with complementary roles as follows:

1. Disease Teams (DTs). Each DT will lead the development of the research agenda and research priorities for one disease (RA, Lupus, PSD, or SS). The teams will identify critical opportunities and, select, recruit and deep phenotype the most informative patient populations to implement disease de- and reconstruction strategies of the AMP AIM program. They will establish cross-sectional and longitudinal cohorts and collect biopsy tissue and biosamples for research projects.

2. Technology and Analytics Cores (TACs). TACs will test, optimize and apply innovative technologies to interrogate and analyze human biopsy tissue and biosamples. (e.g. single cell metabolomics and lipidomics). The TACs include the specialized Tissue Repository and Systems Biology Cores. All TACs will be aligned to work collaboratively to support Network-wide activities and priorities.

3. Research Management Unit (RMU). The RMU will provide centralized management and operational support to the network including providing and/or overseeing clinical monitoring for the entire AMP AIM program.

4. Knowledge Portal (KP). The KP will provide an interface for storage, analysis aggregation and visualization of all data generated by the DTs and TACs.

It is anticipated that the AMP AIM Program research goals and objectives will be fulfilled through a series of prioritized projects to be implemented collaboratively by the Network following a short planning period. Activities may include, but not limited to:


  • DTs and TACs collaboratively establish disease research priorities and analytic pipelines.
  • Collaboratively define shared priorities across diseases.
  • Design analytic pipelines.
  • Establish common, harmonized clinical protocols and studies.
  • Obtain regulatory approvals.


  • Enroll a small number of patients.
  • Assess quality of phenotype data and biopsy protocols at each site.
  • Optimize and validate tissue processing and interrogation methods.
  • Optimize next generation assays.
  • Conduct small scale proof of concept studies to determine if clinical and analytic pipelines are robust.
  • Refine analytic pipeline design.

Scale-Up Pipelines:

  • Implement analytic pipelines in large cohorts.
  • Periodically update and release data and tools to facilitate analysis.
  • Develop meta-analysis plans and strategies, develop and deploy tools that researchers can use to interrogate the data, promote the identification of potential druggable targets based on new omics type data.
  • Make data available via open or controlled access depending on the data type and data source and as determined by the informed consent documents for each study guided by the designated IRB.

Pilot and Scale-Up pipeline projects will be conducted collaboratively.

NIH expects that studies proposed in the applications will be a starting point for discussions regarding the research to be undertaken to achieve the AMP AIM program objectives. It is unlikely that any study proposed in the application will be undertaken exactly as planned, or at an individual site.

FOA Considerations

The FOA is not intended to support hypothesis-driven research but will support discovery.

Each application submitted to this anticipated FOA should be focused on only one of the three types of TACs (described below) or on the RMU. Applicants may submit more than one application. Applicants may submit a separate application for Disease Teams, under the anticipated companion FOA.

Technology and Analytic Cores (TACs)

The Technology and Analytic Cores include the Technology Cores, Systems Biology Core and Tissue Repository Core. The TACs will work collaboratively with the Disease Teams to develop analytic pipelines.

Technology Cores (TC)

Each TC application should be focused primarily on one high-dimensional tissue interrogation analytic (e.g., single-cell proteomics) or closely related high-dimensional tissue interrogation analytics (e.g., single-cell transcriptomics and proteomics). Novel technologies in single-cell approaches are encouraged.

The TCs will:

  • Provide state of the art approaches to tissue disaggregation (if required) and processing for relevant analytic pipelines using tissue sections and/or dissociated cells,
  • Use current state of the art and develop novel methods that can be used or adapted to interrogate human biopsy tissue to probe the structural, histologic, functional and molecular complexities of end organ involvement in autoimmune diseases.
  • Conduct analytic-specific data quality control and primary data analysis.

Systems Biology Core (SBC)

The SBC will develop and apply tools and technologies for systems-level analyses of multi-dimensional datasets generated from the research projects, in collaboration with the DTs and TACs.

The goal is to identify modules and pathways active in specific tissue cell types and define how they differ between diseases or patients with different characteristics. The SBC will conduct research to:

  • Apply existing bioinformatics tools to analyze and interpret Network-generated data.
  • Conduct research on new informatics approaches to perform integrative analyses and interpret data generated by the AMP AIM investigators.
  • In collaboration with the TACs, DTs and KP, contribute to a central database system to facilitate Network data standardization, data accessibility, archiving and transfer.
  • Provide scientific, technical support and training about analytical strategies to the Network and to individual DTs and TACs.
  • Conduct Pilot and Feasibility projects.

Tissue Repository Core (TRC)

The TRC should focus on identifying the most efficient methods for tissue handling and storage, and on developing standard operating procedures to support tissue acquisition and distribution activities in collaboration with DTs, TACs, and KP. The TRC will:

  • Optimize the efficient use of available samples for tissue analytics.
  • Ensure that Network investigators work with well-characterized, high-quality tissue specimens, peripheral blood cells, plasma, and serum from patients with RA, lupus, SS, PSD, and related autoimmune diseases.
  • Provide research resources including: (i) consultation with the DTs and TACs, (ii) SOPs for sample and specimen processing; and (iii) coordinating centralized tissue quality control readings, if needed.
  • Develop guidelines for distribution of limited tissue samples and make recommendations to the AMP AIM Network and the NIH for tissue acquisition and distribution.

Research Management Unit

The Research Management Unit will provide operational management, clinical monitoring, and coordination of program-wide activities. The RMU will coordinate the operations of the AMP AIM, establish necessary working groups, develop study timelines and provide clinical monitoring. The structure of the proposed RMU should reflect lines of authority, personnel with specific responsibilities for internal function, quality assurance and control.

Funding Information
Estimated Total Funding


Expected Number of Awards

Upto six awards for Technology Cores.

1 award for Research Management Unit

1 award for Systems Biology Core.

1 award for Tissue Repository Core.

Estimated Award Ceiling


Primary CFDA Numbers
Anticipated Eligible Organizations
Public/State Controlled Institution of Higher Education
Private Institution of Higher Education
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Other than Federally Recognized)
Indian/Native American Tribally Designated Organization (Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
Regional Organization
Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entity (Foreign Organization)
Public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities
U.S. Territory or Possession
Independent school districts
County governments
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Federally Recognized)
Nonprofit with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institution of Higher Education)
State Government
For-Profit Organization (Other than Small Business)
Small Business

Applications are not being solicited at this time.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices