Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Fellowship Awards to Support Training in Research Related to Down Syndrome as Part of the INCLUDE Project
Notice Number:
NOT-OD-22-126

Key Dates

Release Date:

May 18, 2022

First Available Due Date:
August 08, 2022
Expiration Date:
April 09, 2024

Related Announcements

NOT-MD-22-020 - Notice of Participation of NIMHD in NOT-OD-22-126, “Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Fellowship Awards to Support Training in Research Related to Down Syndrome as Part of the INCLUDE Project”.

PA-21-048 - Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (Parent F32)

PA-21-049 - Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Fellowship for Students at Institutions with NIH-Funded Institutional Predoctoral Dual-Degree Training Programs (Parent F30)

PA-21-050 - Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Fellowship for Students at Institutions Without NIH-Funded Institutional Predoctoral Dual-Degree Training Programs (Parent F30)

PA-21-051 - Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (Parent F31)

PA-21-052 - Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Parent F31 - Diversity)

Issued by

Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD)

National Eye Institute (NEI)

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

National Institute on Aging (NIA)

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

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

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)

Purpose

The NIH INvestigation of Co-occurring conditions across the Lifespan to Understand Down syndromE (INCLUDE) Project seeks to improve health and quality-of-life for individuals with Down syndrome (DS). This Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) announces NIH support for the professional development of trainees aiming to establish a career in DS-related research. By providing these scientists with training, resources, and mentorship, the NIH intends to support the career development of junior investigators in DS 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. Investigators early in their careers (e.g., predoctoral candidates) as well as those with advanced degrees (e.g., PhD, MD) may benefit from mentorship from established investigators and professionals in the DS research community in basic science fields as well as clinical and translational arenas. 

Background 

Down syndrome is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability, the most common autosomal trisomy, and one of the most visible and universally recognized genetic syndromes. Each year there are approximately 5300 babies born in the United States with DS. Within the past 25 years, the average lifespan for a person with Down syndrome has doubled, from 30 to 60 years. Despite this increase in lifespan, individuals with Down syndrome and their families face significant and changing health challenges with age, and they have often been excluded from participation in research that could improve their health outcomes and quality of life. While all people with Down syndrome are connected by the common feature of a complete or partial copy of chromosome 21 (trisomy 21), there are significant physical and cognitive differences among them, indicating that inter-individual variability exists.   

Down syndrome is associated with an increased prevalence of autism and epilepsy. About 75% of individuals experience cognitive decline in a syndrome that resembles Alzheimer’s disease but has its onset a decade or two earlier than typical Alzheimer’s disease. Individuals with Down syndrome 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 Down syndrome infrequently develop solid tumors such as breast or prostate cancer, and despite multiple risk factors for coronary artery disease and high rates of obesity, sleep apnea, and type 1 diabetes, they rarely develop atherosclerosis or have myocardial infarctions. Understanding this unique combination of risk and resiliencies will inform medical advances for individuals with Down syndrome, and for individuals who do not have Down syndrome but share these co-occurring conditions.  

This FOA is one of several trans-NIH research initiatives created in response to Fiscal Year 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 Omnibus Appropriations Reports, which encourage NIH to expand its current efforts on Down syndrome and common co-occurring conditions also seen in the general population, while supporting the career development of Down syndrome investigators. Together, the initiatives are called the INCLUDE Project (INvestigation of Co-occurring conditions across the Lifespan to Understand Down syndromE). Information about projects that were funded in prior years, as well as the NIH INCLUDE Down Syndrome Research Plan, are available on the INCLUDE Project website at https://www.nih.gov/include-project/.  

Research Objectives 

The purpose of this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) is to support Fellowship Award applications that are focused on Down syndrome and that meet programmatic objectives for the INCLUDE Project.

The NIH is issuing this NOSI to expand the community of investigators conducting research related to DS by encouraging scientists and physicians early in their research careers to develop research projects related to co-occurring conditions associated with DS. 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?for the project is available on the?INCLUDE?website. Applications in response to this NOSI should be aligned with the overall NIH INCLUDE Project?Research Plan, which consists of three components: 

  • Component 1: Targeted, high risk-high reward, basic science studies in areas highly relevant to Down syndrome 

  • Component 2: Assembly of a large cohort of individuals with Down syndrome across the lifespan to perform deep phenotyping and study co-existing conditions 

  • Component 3: Inclusive clinical trials of existing and future treatments and interventions for co-occurring conditions in individuals with Down syndrome 

Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD/PIs) planning to submit applications in response to this NOSI are strongly encouraged to contact the scientific contacts of this NOSI prior to submission to be advised on appropriateness of the intended resource and research plans for this program, competitiveness of a potential application, and alignment with program priorities of the INCLUDE initiative. The Frequently Asked Questions page of the INCLUDE website has a list of?contacts?for each participating NIH Institute and Center under "General". 

Projects that propose to recruit subjects with DS are encouraged to promote enrollment of research subjects in the DS patient registry supported by NIH,?DS-Connect®. For other data and biospecimens collected from human genetic or non-genetic studies, awardees are 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 those applications that generate clinical data, it is expected that the data sharing plan will include the INCLUDE Data Coordinating Center (DCC)

Application and Submission Information

Applicants must select the IC and associated FOA to use for submission of an application in response to this NOSI. The selection must align with the IC requirements listed in order to be considered responsive to that FOA. Applications nonresponsive to the terms of this NOSI will not be considered for the NOSI initiative. In addition, applicants using NIH Parent Announcements (listed below) will be assigned to those ICs on this NOSI that have indicated those FOAs are acceptable and based on usual application-IC assignment practices.

This notice applies to due dates on or after August 8, 2022 and subsequent receipt dates through April 9, 2024.

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.

FOA

Title

First Available Due Date

Expiration Date

Participating IC(s)

PA-21-048

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (Parent F32)

August 8, 2022

April 9, 2024

NCI; NEI; NHLBI; NIA; NIAMS;NICHD; NIDCD; NIDCR; NIMHD

PA-21-049

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Fellowship for Students at Institutions with NIH-Funded Institutional Predoctoral Dual-Degree Training Programs (Parent F30)

August 8, 2022

April 9, 2024

NCI; NEI; NHLBI; NIA; NICHD; NIDCD; NIDCR; NIMHD; ORIP

PA-21-050

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Fellowship for Students at Institutions Without NIH-Funded Institutional Predoctoral Dual-Degree Training Programs (Parent F30)

August 8, 2022

April 9, 2024

NCI; NEI; NHLBI; NIA; NIAMS; NICHD; NIDCD; NIDCR; NIMHD; NINDS; ORIP

PA-21-051

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (Parent F31)

August 8, 2022

April 9, 2024

NCI; NEI; NHLBI; NIA; NIAMS; NICHD; NIDCD; NIDCR; NIMHD; NINDS; ORIP

PA-21-052

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Parent F31 - Diversity)

August 8, 2022

April 9, 2024

NCI; NEI; NHLBI; NIA; NIAMS; NICHD; NIDCD; NIDCR; NIMHD; NINDS; ORIP

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-OD-22-126” (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.

Applicants planning to submit an application in response to this NOSI are strongly encouraged to contact and discuss their proposed research/aims with an NIH Program Officer listed on this NOSI well in advance of the grant receipt date.

Although an NIH Institute 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 not be considered for the NOSI initiative.

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to the Scientific/Research, Peer Review, and Financial/Grants Management contacts in Section VII of the listed funding opportunity announcements.

The Frequently Asked Questions page of the INCLUDE website has a list of? contacts? for each participating NIH Institute and Center under "General".

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Charlene Schramm, PhD
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Telephone: 301-402-3793
Email: schrammc@nih.gov

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)

Kelly Fritz
NICHD, GMB
Telephone:301-827-5429
Email: kelly.fritz@nih.gov