Notice of Specialist Interest (NOSI): Advancing Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) Research through Catalytic Tool and Technology Development
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

June 17, 2020

First Available Due Date:
October 16, 2020
Expiration Date:
January 08, 2023

Related Announcements

PAR-20-140:Catalytic Tool and Technology Development in Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases (R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Issued by

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)


The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) is issuing this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) to announce the opportunity for investigators to apply for funding for developing novel tools and technologies that enable new lines of scientific inquiry and/or treatment, prevention, or diagnosis of Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD).


Despite advances in the understanding of the genetics of PKD, effective treatment is limited to tolvaptan. Many aspects of PKD pathophysiology are poorly understood and their relationship to disease progression remains unclear. These gaps in knowledge have left us with a dearth of alternate treatment targets which would prevent or delay the development of chronic kidney failure, as well as the other complications of PKD. New discoveries are frequently catalyzed by technological innovations, so developing novel tools or technologies to study PKD is essential to closing knowledge gaps and improving outcomes for people with PKD.

Research Objectives

- Applications submitted to this NOSI are expected to be highly innovative. These tools and technologies are expected to lead to scientific breakthroughs and/or significant advances in understanding of the pathophysiology of PKD, new treatments, or preventive strategies. These projects may involve considerable technical and scientific risk that should be balanced by the potential high impact on human-health and PKD research (i.e., high-risk, high-reward).

- The projects supported by this NOSI could involve proof-of-concept studies, prototyping, beta-testing, optimization and standardization of technical specifications for subsequent deployment of the tool or technology in laboratory or clinical settings. Example areas for tool and technology development include, but are not limited to:

  • Tools to support the identification and translation of drug targets, such as relevant organoid, cell, tissue, or animal models.
  • Innovative radiological or intravital imaging methods, or novel imaging probes which would allow studies of residual functional renal tissue or cystic changes in PKD.
  • Novel technologies for highly-multiplexed interrogation of human PKD tissue with cellular resolution (e.g., epigenomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomic assays).
  • Cutting-edge bioinformatic or machine learning tools for analysis of complex or dynamic data, to draw novel inferences, identify new therapeutic targets, or enable clinical decision support.
  • Novel tools or sensors for deep phenotyping to enhance clinical studies and clinical trials of treatments for PKD.

- This NOSI is not intended to support application of tools or technologies that have already been deployed in PKD research or projects that include incremental advances. However, projects from outside research fields proposing to modifyor adapt their existing tools and technologiesto PKD research are permitted. Extensive preliminary data demonstrating feasibility and utility in PKD is an indication that the project is beyond the scope of this NOSI.

- Applicants should describe how their novel tool or technology will broadly enable and advance PKD research beyond the specific focus of the applicant's research interests.

- Applications to this NOSI should include projects distinct from those that can be supported through the traditional R01 grant mechanism. For example, long-term projects, or projects designed to increase knowledge in a well-established area, are not appropriate for this NOSI.

- Studies involving human subjects or tissues are encouraged.

- Awardees will present their work at the annual meeting of the PKD Research Consortium and will be strongly encouraged to participate in the working groups and meetings of the Consortium.

- Prior to publication but upon validation, awardees will be expected to share their Tools and Technologies with the greater research community through the Consortium.

Application and Submission Information

This notice applies to due dates on or after October 16, 2020 and subsequent receipt dates through January 8, 2023.

Applications for this initiative must be submitted using the following funding opportunity announcement (FOA) or any reissues of this announcement through the expiration date of this notice.

PAR-20-140: Catalytic Tool and Technology Development in Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases (R21 Clinical Trial 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-DK-20-034” (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.
  • The budget should include travel funds for the Program Director/Principal Investigator(PD/PI) to attend the 3-day PKD Research Consortium Annual Meeting, anticipated to be held at the NIH main campus or in the Washington, DC metro area.


Please direct all inquiries to the contacts in Section VII of the listed funding opportunity announcements with the following additions/substitutions:

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Christine Maric-Bilkan, Ph.D.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone: 301-435-0486

Susan Mendley, M.D.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone: 301-827-1861

Peer Review Contact(s)

Examine your eRA Commons account for review assignment and contact information (information appears two weeks after the submission due date).

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Tommy Gunter
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone: 301-451-3447

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices