Notice to Modify RFA-RM-13-006 "NIH Pioneer Award Program (DP1)" regarding the Award Budget, Biographical Sketch, and Research Strategy

Notice Number: NOT-RM-15-015

Key Dates
Release Date:   July 28, 2015

Related Announcements
RFA-RM-13-006   

Issued by
Office of Strategic Coordination (Common Fund)

Purpose

This Notice serves two purposes.

First, this Notice announces a change in the the Award Budget. The Award budget is modified from $500,000 Direct Costs each year for five years, plus applicable Facilities and Administrative Costs, to $700,000 Directs Costs each year for five years, plus applicable Facilities and Administrative Costs.

Current language:

Part 2. Section II. Award Information

Award Budget

Awards will be for $500,000 Direct Costs each year for five years, plus applicable Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs to be determined at the time of award.

 

Revised language:

Part 2. Section II. Award Information

Award Budget

Awards will be for $700,000 Direct Costs each year for five years, plus applicable Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs to be determined at the time of award.

 

Current language:

Part 2. Section IV.2 Instructions for Application Submission

SF424(R&R) Cover

Beginning with "Total Federal Funds Requested"

Total Federal Funds Requested:  Enter $2,500,000.  (See note below.)

Total Non-Federal Funds:  Enter $0.

Total Federal & Non-Federal Funds:  Enter $2,500,000.

Estimated Program Income:  Enter $0.

Note:  The Budget Request is entered only in Fields "Total Federal Funds Requested" and "Total Federal & Non-Federal Funds" as described above.  Funds may be requested for personnel (including collaborators), supplies, equipment, sub-contracts, and other allowable costs. Only the five-year total – $2.5 million -- should be entered in Fields "Total Federal Funds Requested" and "Total Federal & Non-Federal Funds". Applicable Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs will be determined at the time of award and should not be included in the budget request.  A detailed budget is not requested and will not be accepted.

Cover Letter: List significant collaborators for proposed Pioneer Aware project. Letters of collaboration and biosketches of collaborators are not allowed. Provision of names here is only to help exclude conflicts during reviewer assignment. Information regarding any collaborators may be included in the Essay

Revised language:

Part 2. Section IV.2 Instructions for Application Submission

SF424(R&R) Cover

Beginning with "Total Federal Funds Requested"

Total Federal Funds Requested:  Enter $3,500,000.  (See note below.)

Total Non-Federal Funds:  Enter $0.

Total Federal & Non-Federal Funds:  Enter $3,500,000.

Estimated Program Income:  Enter $0.

Note:  The Budget Request is entered only in Fields "Total Federal Funds Requested" and "Total Federal & Non-Federal Funds" as described above.  Funds may be requested for personnel (including collaborators), supplies, equipment, sub-contracts, and other allowable costs. Only the five-year total – $3,500,000 -- should be entered in Fields "Total Federal Funds Requested" and "Total Federal & Non-Federal Funds." Applicable Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs will be determined at the time of award and should not be included in the budget request.  A detailed budget is not requested and will not be accepted.

Cover Letter: List significant collaborators for proposed Pioneer Aware project. Letters of collaboration and biosketches of collaborators are not allowed. Provision of names here is only to help exclude conflicts during reviewer assignment. Information regarding any collaborators may be included in the Essay

Second, this Notice announces modifications to align with standard biographical sketch format that became effective May 25, 2015 (see NOT-OD-15-032). The new standard biographical sketch format will be adopted and the one page attachment for describing the Program Director/Principal Investigator's (PD/PD's) single most significant publication or research accomplishment will no longer be used. Additionally, the requirement for the applicant to include a statement indicating his/her commitment to devote a minimum of 51% research effort to the New Innovator Award has been moved to the Research Strategy section.

Current language

Part 2. Section IV.2 Instructions for Application Submission

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following modifications:

Bibliography & References Cited:  DO NOT USE. Reference citations are not required, but may be included in the essay and will be included in the page limit.

Facilities & Other Resources Statement:   1 page maximum.

Equipment:  DO NOT USE.

Other Attachments:   Attach description of no more than one page of the PD(s)/PI(s) single most significant publication or research accomplishment that supports the PD(s)/PI(s) claim of innovativeness and demonstrates the PD(s)/PI(s) ability to successfully conduct high-risk, high-reward research.  Limit description to one single accomplishment, not a summary of several accomplishments, multiple publications, or background narratives.  Publications or other documents will not be accepted.   

Revised language

Part 2. Section IV.2 Instructions for Application Submission

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following modifications:

Bibliography & References Cited:  DO NOT USE. Reference citations are not required, but may be included in the essay and will be included in the page limit.

Facilities & Other Resources Statement:   1 page maximum.

Equipment:  DO NOT USE.

Other Attachments:   DO NOT USE.

Current language

Part 2. Section IV.2 Instructions for Application Submission

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Profile - Project Director/Principal Investigator Field -  Attach Biographical Sketch: Attach PD(s)/PI(s) biographical sketch, two pages maximum, following the format on the Biographical Sketch Format Page shown in the Application Guide, omit Section A – Personal Statement and Section D - Research Support.  A list of current and pending support must be submitted on the SF 424 Senior/Key Person Profile Component.  No biographical sketches of potential collaborators or other key personnel are to be submitted and will not be accepted.  Information on potential collaborators is not required but may be included in the Essay.

Profile - Project Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) - Attach Current and Pending Support:  Attach a list of Current and Pending Support from all sources, including current year direct costs and percent effort devoted to each project. Use the format for Other Support shown in the Application Guide.  Include overlap and the major goals of each project listed, both current and pending.  A statement must be included that, if chosen to receive an award, the applicant will commit a minimum of 51% of his/her research effort to the project supported by the Pioneer Award.  It is incumbent upon applicants to convince the reviewers that they will be able to devote the required minimum 51% research effort to the proposed project, and that the Pioneer Award project will be the major focus of their labs.  Applicants with current research commitments exceeding 49% must provide a detailed explanation describing how their effort on existing grants will be adjusted to permit them to devote the required minimum effort to the Pioneer Award project.  Applicants who will not be able to meeting this requirement should not submit applications.

Profile - Senior Key Person 1:  Do not use.  Submit information only for PD(s)/PI(s).  Information on collaborators or other key personnel is not required but may be included in the Essay.

Revised language

Part 2. Section IV.2 Instructions for Application Submission

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Profile - Project Director/Principal Investigator Field -  Current and Pending Support:  Attach a list of Current and Pending Support from all sources, including current year direct costs and percent effort devoted to each project.

Profile - Senior Key Person 1:  Do not use.  Submit information only for PD/PI. Information on collaborators or other key personnel is not required but may be included in the Essay.

Current language:

PHS 398 Research Plan

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

2.1:  Introduction to Application:  Do not use.

2.2:  Specific Aims:  Do not use.

2.3:  Research Strategy:  Upload the Essay here. Describe your innovative vision for addressing a major biomedical or behavioral problem or challenge, the importance of this problem or challenge, and your qualifications to engage in groundbreaking research. No detailed scientific plan should be provided since the research plan is expected to evolve during the tenure of the grant. The essay should include the following sections in the order given with the headings as shown below:
Scientific Area:   Provide 1-digit code and abbreviation for primary and secondary science areas at beginning of essay. See "Agency Routing Identifier" information above for codes and format.
Project Title: The project title must be included at the beginning of the Essay.
Project description:  What is the scientific problem or challenge that will be addressed, and why is this important? What are the pioneering, and possibly high-risk, approaches that, if successful, might lead to groundbreaking or paradigm-shifting results? The writing should be at a level that conveys the significance and impact of the application to broadly knowledgeable scientists with different expertise domains.

Evidence of PD(s)/PI(s) innovativeness:  What concrete evidence can you provide for your claim of innovativeness? For example, qualities common to many highly innovative people include an interest in, and the ability to integrate, diverse sources of information; an inclination to challenge paradigms and take intellectual risks; persistence in the face of failure; an ability to attract the right collaborators; and the energy and concentration necessary to plan and execute effective strategies for accomplishing goals. 

How the planned research differs from the PD(s)/PI(s) past or current work: How does the proposed project represent a new and distinct direction for your research?  While a new research direction may have as its foundation the applicant's prior work and expertise, it cannot be an obvious extension or scale-up of a current research enterprise, which could be anticipated to be appropriate for a new or renewal R01 application.  Rather, a new research direction must reflect a fundamental new insight into the potential solution of a problem, which may derive from the development of exceptionally innovative approaches and/or from the posing of radically unconventional hypotheses.  Applications for projects that are extensions of ongoing research should not be submitted. 

Suitability for Pioneer Award program: Why is the planned research uniquely suited to the stated goal of the Pioneer Award program, rather than a more “traditional” grant mechanism?

Note: References are not required but if included must fit within the five-page limit.  Figures and illustrations may be included but must also fit within the five-page limit.  Letters of collaboration will not be accepted.  Information on collaborators may be included in the Essay and their names and affiliations should be listed in the Cover Letter Component. 

Inclusion Enrollment Report:  Do not use.

Progress Report Publication List:  Do not use.

Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan:  Do not use.

Consortium/Contractual Arrangements:  Do not use.

Letters of Support:  Do not use.

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, and Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS)) as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modification:
Generally, Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, and GWAS Sharing Plan) are expected, but for this FOA the Resource Sharing Plans will be requested as Just in Time information if an award is being considered.

Appendix: Appendix materials are not allowed.

Revised language:

PHS 398 Research Plan

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Introduction to Application:  Do not use.

Specific Aims:  Do not use.

Research Strategy:  Upload the Essay here. Describe your innovative vision for addressing a major biomedical or behavioral problem or challenge, the importance of this problem or challenge, and your qualifications to engage in groundbreaking research. No detailed scientific plan should be provided since the research plan is expected to evolve during the tenure of the grant. The essay should include the following sections in the order given with the headings as shown below:
Scientific Area:   Provide 1-digit code and abbreviation for primary and secondary science areas at beginning of essay. See "Agency Routing Identifier" information above for codes and format.
Project Title: The project title must be included at the beginning of the Essay.
Project description:  What is the scientific problem or challenge that will be addressed, and why is this important? What are the pioneering, and possibly high-risk, approaches that, if successful, might lead to groundbreaking or paradigm-shifting results? The writing should be at a level that conveys the significance and impact of the application to broadly knowledgeable scientists with different expertise domains.

Evidence of PD(s)/PI(s) innovativeness:  What concrete evidence can you provide for your claim of innovativeness? For example, qualities common to many highly innovative people include an interest in, and the ability to integrate, diverse sources of information; an inclination to challenge paradigms and take intellectual risks; persistence in the face of failure; an ability to attract the right collaborators; and the energy and concentration necessary to plan and execute effective strategies for accomplishing goals. 

How the planned research differs from the PD(s)/PI(s) past or current work: How does the proposed project represent a new and distinct direction for your research?  While a new research direction may have as its foundation the applicant's prior work and expertise, it cannot be an obvious extension or scale-up of a current research enterprise, which could be anticipated to be appropriate for a new or renewal R01 application.  Rather, a new research direction must reflect a fundamental new insight into the potential solution of a problem, which may derive from the development of exceptionally innovative approaches and/or from the posing of radically unconventional hypotheses.  Applications for projects that are extensions of ongoing research should not be submitted.  

Suitability for Pioneer Award program: Why is the planned research uniquely suited to the stated goal of the Pioneer Award program, rather than a more “traditional” grant mechanism?

Statement of research effort commitment: A statement must be included that, if chosen to receive an award, the PD/PI will commit a minimum of 51% of his/her research effort to the project supported by the Pioneer Award. Applicants with current research commitments exceeding 49% must provide a compelling explanation describing how their effort on existing grants will be adjusted to permit them to devote the required minimum effort to the Pioneer Award project. 

Note: References are not required but if included must fit within the five-page limit.  Figures and illustrations may be included but must also fit within the five-page limit.  Letters of collaboration will not be accepted.  Information on collaborators may be included in the Essay and their names and affiliations should be listed in the Cover Letter Component. 

Progress Report Publication List:  Do not use.

Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan:  Do not use.

Consortium/Contractual Arrangements:  Do not use.

Letters of Support:  Do not use.

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, and Genomic Data Sharing (GDS)) as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modification:
Generally, Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, and GDS Plan) are expected, but for this FOA the Resource Sharing Plans will be requested as Just in Time information if an award is being considered.

Appendix: Appendix materials are not allowed

All other aspects of this FOA remain the same.

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to:

Ravi Basavappa, Ph.D.
Office of the Director (OD)
Telephone: 301-435-7204
Email: PioneerAwards@mail.nih.gov