Notice of Special Interest: Small Grants for Secondary Analyses of Existing Data Sets and Stored Biospecimens
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

October 1, 2020

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

Related Announcements

PA-20-200 - NIH Small Research Grant Program (Parent R03 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Issued by

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



This Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) encourages applications that propose to conduct secondary analyses using publicly available NICHD-funded data sets or stored biospecimens. The goal of this program is to facilitate innovative yet cost-effective research utilizing data and biospecimens collected with NICHD resources.


Research studies supported by NICHD and other scientific funders often produce data and/or specimens with utility beyond the hypotheses and questions the original research projects were designed to address. The types of data available for analysis by researchers outside the original research team include data from clinical trials, panel studies and other longitudinal research, cross-sectional studies, observational studies, multi-method studies, and other types of basic biomedical, clinical, behavioral, demographic, and epidemiological research. Secondary use of existing data offers a cost-effective way to foster research within the scientific mission of the NICHD. Supporting secondary data analysis also lowers costs to researchers, especially researchers early in their careers and/or at resource-limited institutions, by decreasing the time and funds required to engage in research.

In the past, limited data availability and poor documentation of available data were major barriers to secondary analysis of data and biospecimens. Ongoing NIH and NICHD support for data sharing, expanding NIH data and resource sharing requirements, and the development of standards for data documentation and metadata are all factors that have increased the amount and quality of data available for secondary analysis has increased.

Examples of NICHD datasets and research resources include: the NICHD Data and Specimen Hub (DASH), Data Sharing for Demographic Research (DSDR), the Child Language Development Exchange (CHILDES), the Mouse Genome Informatics (MGI), and Xenbase.


This initiative encourages secondary analysis on scientific topics within the scientific scope of NICHD overall and the research priorities of the NICHD Extramural Scientific Branches and NCMRR. Research involving linking existing data to complementary data sources such as administrative records, vital statistics, or spatial data is encouraged. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Physiological factors affecting change (e.g., endocrine, musculoskeletal health, reproductive health) at different points in the life span, including factors contributing to health status across the life course
  • Genetic and other determinants of reproductive health and disease
  • Differences in risk factors related to health and developmental outcomes at different ages, at different stages of disease progression, and in the presence or absence of co-existing conditions
  • Early-life changes that influence health and disease risk in adolescence, young adulthood, or during the reproductive years
  • Public health and cost impact of specific combinations of disability and/or more chronic conditions
  • Differences in health outcomes (effectiveness and safety) between alternative treatment regimens or health care management strategies
  • Potential differential effects of interventions due to age, race, gender or other factors through subgroup analysis of data from completed NICHD-funded clinical trials
  • Exploratory analysis, including assays on stored bio-specimens, to explore effects of interventions on additional outcomes
  • Analysis and meta-analysis of existing data sets to inform designs of future clinical trials (e.g., to determine prevalence of a disease or condition, or a combination of conditions in a population of interest; to estimate effects size of an intervention and duration of treatment in a population of interest, etc.)
  • Analysis or meta-analysis of existing data sets to explore opportunities for and the need for comparative effectiveness clinical trials in a topic area
  • Methodological development using one or more data sets to develop and test new analytic approaches within the scientific mission of NICHD and within the scientific scope of NICHD or NCMRR priorities
  • Development of common data elements (CDEs) or ontologies across existing data resources

Program priorities

The highest priority of this initiative is to support applications proposing secondary analysis on research topics within the scientific mission of the NICHD and the scientific scope of the NICHD Extramural Scientific Branches or NCMRR that use data or biospecimens produced or collected with NICHD support.

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact NICHD Program staff in their area of scientific interest prior to submission.

  • Applications involving secondary analysis of data or biospecimens produced or collected with support from other NIH Institutes/Centers/Offices on topics within the NICHD scientific mission and the scientific scope of the NICHD extramural branches or NCMRR may be proposed but is not high priority.
  • Applications addressing research topics outside the NICHD scientific mission and the scientific scope of the NICHD Extramural Scientific Branches and NCMRR are low priority for this initiative, regardless of whether the collection of the data or specimens involved were supported by NICHD.

Application and Submission Information

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

PA-20-200 NIH Small Research Grant Program (Parent R03 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-HD-20-022 (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.

Although NICHD is not listed as a Participating Organization in all the FOAs listed above, applications for this initiative will be accepted.

Applications nonresponsive to terms of this NOSI will be withdrawn from consideration for this initiative.


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

Scientific/Research Contact

Regina Bures, PhD
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-496-9485

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