Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Collaborative Research Centers (CRCs) (U54)

Notice Number: NOT-NS-17-003

Key Dates
Release Date:  October 21, 2016

Estimated Publication Date of Announcement: December 2016 
First Estimated Application Due Date: April 2017
Earliest Estimated Award Date: September 2017 
Earliest Estimated Start Date: September 2017  

Related Announcements
RFA-NS-17-021
NOT-NS-17-004

Issued by
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Purpose

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), along with other NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs), intends to promote a new initiative by publishing a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to solicit applications for research on myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).  The FOA will invite applications for ME/CFS Collaborative Research Centers (CRCs). The overarching goal of this initiative will be to establish a network of Centers that will work independently and collaboratively to define the causes of and discover improved treatments for ME/CFS.  The purpose of the ME/CFS CRC research program is to facilitate research in ME/CFS through support of 1) collaborative basic and clinical research on ME/CFS, including longitudinal studies of individuals with ME/CFS within each ME/CFS CRC and across CRCs within the network; 2) foster early stage basic and clinical investigators in ME/CFS research; and 3) provide access to information related to ME/CFS for basic and clinical researchers, academic and practicing physicians, healthcare professionals, individuals with ME/CFS, and the lay public.

This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful collaborations and responsive projects. 

The FOA for the ME/CFS CRCs will utilize the U54 activity code for cooperative agreements, which will allow substantial NIH involvement with the awardees. The FOA is expected to be published in December 2016 with an expected application due date in April 2017. The NIH anticipates holding a pre-application web-based teleconference to which all interested prospective applicants are invited. Information about this pre-application web-based teleconference call will be available in the FOA.
Details of the planned ME/CFS CRC FOA are provided below.

Clinical and basic science data management for efficient data collection as well as data mining and data sharing will be addressed through a separate FOA for cooperative agreements will be issued for the Data Management and Coordinating Center (DMCC).  Details regarding the Data Management Coordinating Center FOA can be found in NOT-NS-17-004.

Research Initiative Details

This Notice encourages investigators with expertise and insights into this area of ME/CFS to begin to consider applying for this new FOA.

The intended FOA will solicit applications that propose research on ME/CFS. This initiative will support multidisciplinary, collaborative research teams to investigate the underlying basic mechanisms that cause ME/CFS and to work toward the development of new treatments for ME/CFS.  It is encouraged, but not required, for investigators to partner with the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) investigators at their institution(s).  Each Center will also be expected to collaborate with other funded Centers, and coordinate their research and data collection and management with the Data Management and Coordinating Center.

Applicants are encouraged, but not required to use a multiple program director/principal investigator (PD/PI) mechanism to facilitate collaborations between clinicians and basic scientists.  Multidisciplinary teams and diverse areas of expertise may be represented and may be located at different institutions.  Foreign components are allowed, but applications from foreign institutions will not be allowed under this FOA.

APPLICATIONS ARE NOT BEING SOLICITED AT THIS TIME.

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to:

Vicky Whittemore, PhD
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Telephone: 301-496-1917
Email: vicky.whittemore@nih.gov