Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Administrative Supplements to Support the Exploration of Cloud in NIH-supported Research
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

February 9, 2023

First Available Due Date:
April 11, 2023
Expiration Date:
April 12, 2023

Related Announcements

PA-20-272- Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional)

Issued by

Office of Data Science Strategy (ODSS)

National Eye Institute (NEI)

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)

National Institute on Aging (NIA)

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

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

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)

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 Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)

National Library of Medicine (NLM)

Fogarty International Center (FIC)

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)

Office of Strategic Coordination (Common Fund)

National Cancer Institute (NCI)


This notice announces the availability of supplemental funds from the Office of Data Science Strategy (ODSS) to NIH-managed or NIH-majority-funded projects that may benefit from using the cloud. The purpose of this announcement is to explore and test potential opportunities for leveraging cloud solutions to enhance existing NIH activities. Projects already using cloud may apply to explore and test cloud capabilities not yet leveraged. This initiative is aligned with the NIH Strategic Plan for Data Science, which describes actions aimed at building a better data infrastructure and a modernized data ecosystem.


The NIH Strategic Plan for Data Science seeks to enable a highly efficient and effective biomedical and behavioral research data ecosystem to meet the increasing data management and analysis needs of NIH researchers in an era when the data volume and complexity from NIH-supported research are increasing rapidly. In particular, NIH seeks to support its researchers to obtain the needed computational capabilities including the access to latest hardware and software. Large scale cloud computing platforms (see NIST SP 800-145 for a definition of Cloud Computing) provide on-demand storage and computing power as well as various software and access to specialized hardware such as GPUs, making big-data research more accessible to the individual biomedical or behavioral researcher.

The potential impact and benefits from cloud computing can be difficult to realize for multiple reasons, many of which are disproportionately felt by under-resourced institutions and communities, and this understanding is consistent with the discussion in recent NIH Virtual Workshop on Broadening Cloud Computing Usage in Biomedical Research and responses from the RFI: NIH Programs to Increase Access to Cloud Computing to Diverse Biomedical Research Institutions. Challenges include a lack of resources for testing cloud-based solutions; uncertainty about costs associated with specific jobs and use cases in a cloud environment; and uncertainty about which workflows would benefit most from the cloud.

Research Objective

The goal of this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) is to encourage and enable researchers to explore and test opportunities to enhance their research projects by incorporating cloud capabilities. Projects already using cloud may apply to explore and test cloud capabilities not yet leveraged. Projects supported through this NOSI should result in improved understanding of how to best use cloud resources. Specifically, this opportunity is to support proof-of-concept explorations, measurements, or other tests of the suitability and feasibility of using cloud resources to enhance NIH-supported research projects. Proposed projects should result in a better understanding of which use cases are cost effective or enable significant enhancements to strategic data science goals such as facilitating new discoveries through access to modern computing and storage platforms at scale; broadening and diversifying participation in NIH research; facilitating the interoperability of NIH data, for example, by enabling multi-cloud or cross-cloud architectures; enhancing existing projects by utilizing new cloud technologies; or improving the computational and cost efficiencies of research. Applicants should consider the expertise needed for the proposed work and incorporate new partners, as needed.

Applications in response to this NOSI are strongly encouraged to include the following information:

  1. A description of the research project that will be explored and tested in the cloud environment.
  2. A description of the cloud solution, which includes but not limited to the cloud services, the cloud service providers (CSPs), and the cloud architecture; and a description of the whole solution if any non-cloud specific software and non-cloud hardware is utilized. Applications may include a diagram(s) for the cloud and/or whole solution architecture.
  3. How the cloud solution will be leveraged.
  4. An assessment of the potential impact of cloud solutions on the project if shown to be successful.
  5. A plan to test and evaluate the impact of cloud solutions with respect to explicitly stated aims, what metrics will be used.
  6. Personnel and their expertise to carry out the proposed work, including collaborators with relevant cloud skills if needed.
  7. Timeline and milestones to carry out the proposed work in this supplement funding period.

These supplements may be used to support a variety of activities including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. Assessing the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of establishing a cloud instance of an existing on-premises project; or of running on-prem jobs or workflows in the cloud.
  2. Assessing the feasibility of hybrid solutions that make use of both on-prem and cloud resources.
  3. Testing the feasibility of porting existing research projects, or parts of projects, to new hardware, using cloud services.
  4. Exploring the benefits of shared computational environments or scaling of environments using cloud.
  5. Exploring potential efficiencies or computational benefits of running workflows, or parts of workflows, in the cloud.
  6. Exploring options that avoid or reduce data download/egress costs by carrying out data analysis in the cloud.

Awardees should be willing to participate in virtual meetings organized by NIH.

Applications that are not appropriate and out of scope for this NOSI include:

  • Projects with no potential benefit from cloud resources.
  • Projects that do not include a way to measure or assess the suitability of cloud resources for particular aims. Projects that are unlikely to result in improved understanding of how to best use cloud resources.
  • Projects focused on hardening existing research software. (Please see the FAQ for other funding opportunities to support this type of project.)
  • Projects that need additional documents such as IT security certificate and/or data regulatory approval and/or other policy approval in order to conduct the proposed work after the application submission.
  • Proposals that require more than one year to conduct the proposed scope of work.
  • Proposals that do not explicitly meet all the requirements stated elsewhere in this NOSI.
  • Proposals that are out of scope of the parent award.

ICO Specific Considerations

Office of Strategic Coordination

The NIH Office of Strategic Coordination (Common Fund - supports multiple transformative research programs that generate new technologies, methods, and data.  Many of these programs produced rich public data sets containing multi-dimensional molecular and phenotypic data from humans and model organisms.  Established Common Fund data sets listed below are well-poised for increased community use:

OSC is interested in proposals that substantially leverage at least one of the above datasets.  Substantial leverage is defined as use and citation of the dataset(s) in the envisioned research products of the proposed work (manuscripts, presentations, book chapters, portals, etc.). 

Application and Submission Information


To be eligible, the parent award must be able to receive funds in FY2023 (Oct. 1, 2022 - Sept. 30, 2023). Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the program officer of the parent award to confirm eligibility.

The total requested budget cannot exceed $150K direct cost including cloud resources. Please see Additional Information section if requesting budget for cloud services. The number of awards will be contingent on availability of funds and receipt of meritorious applications.

Eligible Activity Codes:

Additional funds may be awarded as supplements to parent awards using any Activity Code that is listed in PA-20-272, with the following exceptions: Small business activity codes (e.g., R41, R42, R43, R44, U44, and Fast Track), as well as fellowship activity codes (e.g., F05, F30, F31, F32, F33 and F99) are NOT ELIGIBLE. Note that not all participating NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) support all the activity codes that may otherwise be allowed. Applicants are therefore strongly encouraged to consult the program officer of the parent grant to confirm eligibility.

Centers and multi-project grant mechanisms are eligible but must provide a strong justification for why existing funds cannot be reallocated toward the proposed project and clearly demonstrate benefit of leveraging cloud solution.

For awards that already include funds for cloud services, applicants should provide strong justification for why additional funds are needed, given that these activities could already be supported through the parent award.

Additional Information

Applications for this initiative must be submitted using the following opportunity or its subsequent reissued equivalent.

  • PA-20-272- Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional)

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and PA-20-272 must be followed, with the following additions:

  • Application Due Date(s) – Apr. 11, 2023, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.
  • For funding consideration, applicants must include "NOT-OD-23-070" (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF424 R&R form. Applications without this information in box 4B may not be considered for this initiative.
  • Requests may be for one year of support only, and the proposed budget period cannot exceed that of the parent award.
  • The supplement should be given a title separate from the parent grant.
  • The Project Summary should briefly summarize the parent grant and describe the goals of the supplement project.
  • Biosketches for additional staff may be included beyond the Key Personnel in order to document the strength of the cloud development staff.
  • The Introduction page should succinctly describe the parent grant goals and relevant background for the project and indicate how the proposed supplement is in scope of the parent grant.
  • The Specific Aims page should provide the name or clearly identify the project that is the subject of the supplement project.
  • The Research Strategy section of the application is limited to 4 pages including any diagrams. This section should succinctly justify the value of the project to the scientific community such as significant user base or clear potential for increased adoption and community access. Research Strategy should describe how the proposed project will be implemented including the cloud implementation, and how the implementation will be assessed, and provide an implementation and assessment plan with timelines for the proposed activities.
  • The applicants must outline the requested cloud resources including, but not limited to, data storage, computing, cloud software, data movement/egress, and other related cloud services in the Budget Justification section. The applicants must clearly state the CSP(s) they want to use and the budget they want to request for each CSP. Applicants are strongly encouraged to support their budget requests by including estimates from CSP’s pricing calculators if using commercial CSPs. Applicants affiliated with institutions enrolled in the NIH Science and Technology Research Infrastructure for Discovery, Experimentation, and Sustainability (STRIDES) Initiative are expected to reflect the STRIDES discounts in their budget requests if using STRIDES partnered CSPs.
  • The applicants must disclose cloud support they obtained for the proposed work from other sources, and provide justification why additional cloud support is needed.
  • The applicants must have obtained the necessary documents including but not limited to IT security certificate and/or data regulatory approval and/or other policy approval in order to perform the proposed work prior to the submission if applicable.

Administrative Evaluation Process

Submitted applications must follow the guidelines of the IC that funds the parent grant. Administrative Supplements do not receive peer review. Each IC will conduct administrative reviews of applications submitted to their IC separately. The most meritorious applications will be evaluated by a trans-NIH panel of NIH staff and supported based upon availability of funds. The criteria described below will be considered in the administrative evaluation process:

  1. To what extent will the proposed work enhance the understanding of which use cases are appropriate for cloud resources? Is there a clear plan to evaluate the impact of the cloud?
  2. If successful, to what extent will cloud resources impact the goals of the parent award and the strategic goals of NIH in data science and research?
  3. Is the proposed project technically feasible within the supplement's funding period? Are the proposed timelines and milestones adequate and realistic?
  4. To what extent is the collective expertise of the proposed team adequate to achieve the proposed goals?
  5. Is the requested budget for this project fully justified and reasonable? Why or why not?
  6. If the proposed work involves controlled access data, has the team obtained the necessary documents including, but not limited to, IT security certificates and/or data regulatory approval and/or other policy approval in order to perform the proposed work?

Other Information:

It is strongly recommended that the applicants contact their respective program officers at the Institute supporting the parent award in advance to:

  • Confirm that the supplement falls within scope of the parent award
  • Request the requirements of the IC for submitting applications for administrative supplements

Potential applicants may contact the scientific contact listed on this NOSI in advance of the application receipt date for clarifications about the scope of this supplemental funding opportunity.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Fenglou Mao

Office of Data Science Strategy (ODSS)
Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives
Office of the Director
Telephone: 301-451-9389