September 25, 2020
PA-18-591 - Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional) or its subsequent reissued equivalent
NOT-OD-20-022 - Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Administrative Supplements to NCATS CTSA Program KL2 Institutional Career Development Awards as part of the INCLUDE (Investigation of Co-occurring Conditions across the Lifespan to Understand Down syndrome) Project
RFA-OD-21-007 - INvestigation of Co-occurring conditions across the Lifespan to Understand Down syndromE (INCLUDE) Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Award (R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD)
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)
This Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) announces NIH support for the professional development of early career scientists aiming to establish a career in DS-related research. By providing these scientists with career development research experiences , resources, and mentorship, the NIH intends to foster a pipeline of investigators in DS and other intellectual disabilities who will lead future research to improve the understanding of the biology of DS and support development of new treatments for health conditions experienced by those with DS.
The INvestigation of Co-occurring conditions across the Lifespan to Understand Down syndromE (INCLUDE) Project was developed in response to Fiscal Year 2018 and 2019 Omnibus Appropriations Reports, which encouraged the NIH to expand its current efforts on Down syndrome (DS) and common co-occurring conditions also seen in the general population while increasing the pipeline of DS investigators. Information about projects that were funded in 2018 and 2019, as well as the INCLUDE Project Research Plan, is available on the INCLUDE Project website.
Individuals with DS face significant and changing health challenges but have often been excluded from participation in research that could improve their health outcomes and quality of life. This population is understudied even though DS is the most common genetic cause of intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and, in the past 25 years, the average lifespan has doubled from 30 to 60 years. In addition to intellectual disability, DS is associated with an increased prevalence of autism and epilepsy. About 75% of individuals with DS experience cognitive decline in a syndrome that resembles Alzheimer’s disease, but with onset a decade or two earlier than typical Alzheimer’s disease. Individuals with DS also have high rates of hearing loss, eye abnormalities, congenital heart defects, sleep apnea, pulmonary hypertension, gastrointestinal malformations, thyroid disease, leukemia, and other autoimmune or immune dysregulation disorders including celiac disease. However, people with DS infrequently develop solid tumors such as breast or prostate cancer. Despite multiple risk factors for coronary artery disease and high rates of obesity, sleep apnea, and type 1 diabetes, people with DS rarely develop atherosclerosis or have myocardial infarctions. Understanding this unique combination of risk and resiliencies will inform medical advances for individuals with DS and for individuals who do not have DS but who share these co-occurring conditions.
The NIH is issuing this NOSI to expand the community of investigators conducting research related to DS by encouraging CTSAs to recruit scientists and physicians early in their research careers to develop research projects related to co-occurring conditions associated with DS. This NOSI will support additional scholar slots to those KL2 grants currently approved under the CTSA Program. Sharing of resources and effective communication of outputs to the broader communities are a high priority of the INCLUDE Project. Applicants responding to this NOSI are strongly encouraged to describe plans for rapid sharing of data and results as well as innovative data analytics approaches (see Goal 3, NIH Strategic Plan For Data Science).
A list of Funding Priorities by Institute and Center is available on the INCLUDE website. Applications in response to this NOSI should be aligned with the overall INCLUDE Project Research Plan, which consists of three components:
Projects that propose to recruit subjects with DS are encouraged to promote enrollment of research subjects in the Down syndrome patient registry supported by NIH, DS-Connect®. For other data and biospecimens from human genetic or non-genetic studies, awardees will be encouraged to use biorepositories designated by INCLUDE staff that meet requirements for broad sharing. An NIH resource describing Common Data Elements may be helpful during the planning phases of a project when considering ways to optimize data collection in order to facilitate broad data sharing.
For further information on INCLUDE priorities, resource sharing expectations, and participating NIH Institutes and Centers, see Frequently Asked Questions.
Application and Submission Information
Applications in response to this NOSI for this initiative must be submitted to PA-18-591 - Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional) or its subsequent reissued equivalent.
Instructions for Electronic Application Submission through Grants.gov: Use the “Apply” button(s) in Part I of the PA-18-591 program announcement to access the application forms package posted at Grants.gov.
When presented with more than one form package, use the form package with Competition ID "FORMS-F-ADMINSUPP-K12-KL2-KM1-D43".
Prepare applications using the SF424 (R&R) forms associated with the chosen package. Please note that some forms marked optional in the application package are required for submission of applications for this announcement. Follow all instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide to ensure you complete all appropriate required and optional forms, with the following additional guidance:
Program Plan:(may not exceed 12 pages)
Letters of Support: Attach appropriate letters from all individuals confirming their roles in the proposed supplement program. Include a signed letter, on institutional letterhead, that describes the applicant institution’s commitment to the planned proposed research project. The letter should provide assurance that the candidate scholar will be able to devote a minimum of 9 person-months (75 percent of full-time professional effort) to the supplement project. The letter should confirm that the scholar will be supported by the KL2 if the supplement is funded. The letter should also identify the laboratories, centers, and other specialized institutional facilities that will be made available to the scholar for the research project.
Project/Performance Site Location form: Include the primary site where the proposed supplement activities will be performed. If a portion of the proposed supplement activities will be performed at any other site(s), identify the locations in the fields provided.
Senior/Key Person form:
Budget forms: Using the R&R budget form, only include funds requested for the additional supplement activities.
R&R Other Project Information form, Facilities and Other Resources attachment: Describe how the scientific environment in which the career development activities will be done contributes to the probability of the scholar's success (e.g., institutional support, physical resources, and intellectual rapport). For CTSA Program hub Training Resources, describe the training resources that are available to the scholar.
PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form: Complete this section if the scholar will design and conduct their own independent human subjects research. Approval by the human subjects Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the grantee institution is required prior to award. Adherence to the NIH policy for including women and minorities in clinical studies must also be ensured, if additional human subjects’ involvement is planned for the supplement component.
Erica Rosemond, Ph.D.
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)