Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Availability of Administrative Supplements for Submission to the ASPIRE (A Specialized Platform for Research Exploration) Collaborative Research Program
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

June 28, 2023

First Available Due Date:
New Date August 10, 2023 as per NOT-TR-23-025
Expiration Date:
New Date August 11, 2023 as per NOT-TR-23-025

Related Announcements

  • December 10, 2020 - New Chemistries for Un-drugged Targets through A Specialized Platform for Innovative Research Exploration (ASPIRE) Collaborative Research Program (UG3/UH3 Clinical Trials Not Allowed). See NOFO RFA-TR-21-001.
  • October 9, 2020 - Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional). See NOFO PA-20-272.
  • NOT-TR-23-025 - Notice to Extend the Due Date and Expiration Date of NOT-TR-23-019

Issued by

National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)



This Notice announces the availability of administrative supplements for active awards (e.g., award not in an extension period) funded through the NCATS ASPIRE Program notice of funding opportunity RFA-TR-21-001: New Chemistries for Un-drugged Targets through A Specialized Platform for Innovative Research Exploration (ASPIRE) Collaborative Research Program (UG3/UH3 Clinical Trials Not Allowed).

This supplemental funding is intended to bolster the integrated nature of the ASPIRE Program by providing support for implementation of the virtual approaches utilized by the award recipients of RFA-TR-21-002 Virtual Approaches Towards New Chemistries for Un-drugged Targets through A Specialized Platform for Innovative Research Exploration (ASPIRE) Collaborative Research Program (U18 Clinical Trials Not Allowed) . The supplemental support will focus on implementing synergistic solutions that are within the currently approved scope of the aims described by the award recipients of RFA-TR-21-001 to enhance the capabilities of the ASPIRE Laboratory. Only active award recipients of RFA-TR-21-001 may apply for this administrative supplement opportunity.


The NCATS ASPIRE Program develops innovative and catalytic approaches to the drug development paradigm through development of: (1) expanded access to chemical space relevant to the development of therapeutics through applied automation technologies; (2) data-mining and analysis tools (3) experimental design and execution technologies; (4) high throughput reaction screening and biological assaying technology. The ultimate goal of the NCATS ASPIRE Program is the development of an integrated platform that scientists can use for advancing translational science relevant to development and pre-clinical testing of new and safer treatments for a wide spectrum of diseases and conditions. The approaches being developed through ASPIRE are intended to be applicable to any translational problem. The ASPIRE program is collaborative by design and encourages open discussion among award recipients to facilitate development of proposed solutions and their integration in the ASPIRE platform.

The extramural ASPIRE Program published the above notices of funding opportunity to the greater scientific community for the development of tools and technologies to improve the capabilities of the NCATS ASPIRE Laboratory.

The work between the NCATS ASPIRE Laboratory and the award recipients is ongoing. In January 2023, the recipients were invited to the ASPIRE Laboratory to meet, familiarize themselves with the ASPIRE Laboratory at NCATS, discuss the technologies they are incorporating into the laboratory and present their progress thus far. During the meeting, aspects of the virtual solutions from the RFA-TR-21-002 award recipients were identified as being within the scope and meaningful to incorporate within the RFA-TR-21-001 projects for implementation through collaboration between the two groups. We seek to provide supplemental funding to support the synergy between the virtual and physical components being developed for the ASPIRE Laboratory.

Specific Areas of Research Interest

Applications submitted in response to this NOSI should address one or more of the following research objectives:

  • Integration of custom software for automated data analysis addressing core research workflows.
  • Development of user interfaces capable of generating interactive outputs (i.e. reaction screening heat maps).
  • Incorporation of communication algorithms between centralized servers and automated instruments.
  • Development of algorithms to generate Chemical Description Language (XDL) from the data collected from automated instruments.
  • Development of training sets for AI/ML algorithms using the data generated from automated instruments.
  • Development of templates for incorporating data from automated instruments into electronic chemistry notebooks.
  • Other topics within the scope of the RFA-TR-21-001 awarded grants will be considered with justification.

Administrative Review

NIH will conduct administrative reviews of submitted applications and will support the most meritorious applications based upon the programmatic priorities and availability of funds.

The following administrative criteria will be used to assess the supplement requests and should be addressed in the application.

The extent to which the collaborations proposed in the supplement request provide additional benefit(s) to the physical platforms funded through RFA-TR-21-001 will be considered in assessing the merit of the proposed activities. Examples of additional benefit(s) include, but are not limited to:

  • Increasing data management capabilities,
  • Incorporation of instrumental data into databases in an acceptable format for AI/machine learning training and training set development,
  • Definition of adopted or developed standards that would address future sustainability, scaling and future use of solutions, and/or
  • Cross-instrumental and server/instrument communication.

Application and Submission 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 must be followed, with the following additions:

  • Only active award recipients under RFA-TR-21-001 may apply.
  • Award recipients of RFA-TR-21-001 can submit only one application, but the application can include more than one award recipient supported through RFA-TR-21-002. All proposed work must be well justified and within the scope of the parent grant.
  • Application Due Date: Submissions must be received by 08/10/2023 , at 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization for FY 2023 funding consideration.
  • For funding consideration, applicants must include NOT-TR-23-019 (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.
  • Requests for funding support and activity cannot exceed the time remaining in the current parent grant budget period supported in Fiscal Year 2023.
  • The Research Strategy section of the application is limited to 3 pages and should include:
    • A summary of the parent grant activities,
    • Description of how the supplement activity fits within the current scope of work of the parent grant,
    • Description of how the funded parent project will benefit from the collaborative effort described,
    • Description of how the collaborative effort will benefit the ASPIRE Program,
    • Milestones associated with the supplement planned activities and timeline, and
    • A timeline description, feasibility and research plans outlining the collaborative effort.
  • To be eligible, the parent award must be active (i.e., not be in an extension period), and the activities proposed in the supplement application must be accomplished within the remaining active budget period that started in the current fiscal year for the existing parent award.
  • Recipients of supplemental funds under this announcement will be expected to provide progress updates to NIH program staff on the collaborative research project.

Reporting Requirements

Recipients of administrative supplements are required to report progress associated with the supplement activities in the annual Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) and/or the Final RPPR, as applicable. For these supplements, the reporting expectation is that major accomplishments during the relevant budget period are listed explicitly and with enough detail to allow evaluation of progress. Additionally, if funding will continue into the next budget period, planned activities should be discussed at the same level of granularity. Failure to comply with these reporting requirements may result in delayed processing of the non-competing continuation and/or delays of the award closeout.


  • Budgets may not exceed the total direct costs of the current parent award and must be commensurate with the actual needs of the proposed project. An awarded supplement amount, in combination with the parent award amount, may provide support above the established dollar limit for the parent grant award.
  • The budget should not exceed $150,000 in direct costs for a collaborative proposal between an award recipient of RFA-TR-21-001 and one award recipient of RFA-TR-21-002.
  • The budget should not exceed $200,000 in direct costs for a collaborative proposal between an award recipient of RFA-TR-21-001 and more than one award recipient of RFA-TR-21-002.
  • Funds must be used to meet increased costs that are within the scope of the approved award but were unforeseen when the new or renewal application or grant progress report for non-competing continuation support was submitted.
  • The supplement application budget period requested should be well-justified and not duplicate funding support provided via the parent award. The budget period requested cannot exceed the time remaining for the current budget period for Fiscal Year 2023.
  • All project-related expenses must be justified as specifically required by the proposed activities and must not duplicate items generally available from other sources at the applicant or collaborating institutions.
  • The budget Justification must include a statement regarding the expenditure plans of currently available unobligated grant funds for the parent award, to demonstrate the need for additional funds.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to notify the program contact at NCATS and the Institute supporting the parent award (if applicable) that a request has been submitted in response to this NOSI to facilitate efficient processing of the request.

Applications that do not meet these requirements will not be considered for this NOSI initiative.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Dobrila Rudnicki
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences
Phone: 301-594-2080