Second Phase of the NIH Roadmap Exploratory Centers for Interdisciplinary Research

Notice Number: NOT-RM-05-006

Key Dates
Release Date: February 4, 2005

Issued by
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), (

The purpose of this notice is to inform potential applicants about the plans for the second phase of the Interdisciplinary Research Centers program which is part of the NIH Roadmap ( This program began with a Request for Applications (RFA) soliciting planning centers using the P20 mechanism ( The P20 RFA called for planning center grants to develop new interdisciplinary approaches to solving significant and complex biomedical research problems. Twenty-one of these planning centers have been funded, and information about each center can be found at Each planning center was funded for three years, and the awards for these centers will expire in July 2007.

Under the NIH Roadmap, all of the Institutes and Centers at NIH plan to participate in a follow-on program to support Interdisciplinary Research Consortia starting in fiscal year 2007. We anticipate that we will fund 8-10 consortia with direct costs of approximately $3 million each year. It is expected that these consortia will be funded for five years. There may be a possibility for renewal depending on the priorities of the NIH Roadmap program and the status of the funded consortia. Applicants for the Interdisciplinary Research Consortia need not have received funding under the P20 planning center phase.

The Interdisciplinary Consortia will use a newly approved model for large programs that involves teams of investigators. These teams will be assembled by the applicants. Each consortium will contain an interrelated set of separate, but linked, applications that may include a variety of grant mechanisms. Each consortium will, therefore, comprise a coherent group of multiple awards to multiple investigators. The coordination and leadership of the parts of the consortium will be funded using a separate award, and the PI of that award will be the overall leader of the consortium. The details of the mechanisms to be used will appear in the RFA, but we anticipate that individual investigator awards, training awards, and core awards for instrumentation and other resources are likely to be among the mechanisms that will be available to each consortium. Potential applicants with suggestions for the use of other mechanisms are encouraged to contact program staff with their suggestions.

The review of these consortia will be conducted in two phases. In the first phase, white papers will be accepted from all potential applicants. These white papers will be evaluated in special emphasis panels and will be scored. Following this first review, the Implementation Group ( will invite full proposals. This two-stage review is required to deal with the large number of applications that are expected and the large size of the full proposals.

The anticipated timeline for this program is as follows:

Jan-Nov 2005

Site visits to funded P20 centers to discover the range of funding mechanisms that will be needed in the Consortia RFA. Other potential applicants are welcome to contact program staff during this time to offer suggestions about the second phase of the program.
Jan 2006

RFA is published in the NIH Guide

Feb 2006 Meeting in the Washington, DC area for the P20 Principal Investigators and a Technical Assistance Workshop for the Consortia RFA. The meeting will be open to all potential applicants.
May 2006

Receipt date for the white papers.

Sep 2006

Scientific merit review of the white papers.

Oct 2006

Invitations for full proposals from the Implementation Group.

Dec 2006

Receipt date for full proposals.

May 2007

Scientific merit review for the full proposals

Sep 2007

Awards announced.


Direct Inquiries to:

Gregory K. Farber, Ph.D.
Health Scientist Administrator
National Center for Research Resources
6701 Democracy Boulevard
Room 960, MSC 4874
Bethesda, MD 20892-4874
Telephone: (301) 435-0778
FAX: (301) 480-3659

Michael F. Huerta, Ph.D.
Associate Director
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Blvd. Room 7202, MSC 9645
Bethesda, MD 20892-9645
[Rockville, MD 20852 for express or courier service]
Telephone: (301) 443-3563
Fax: (301) 443-1731

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