This Program Announcement expires three years from the Release Date shown 
directly below, unless reissued.


Release Date:  May 24, 2000  (Revised December 6, 2000 - See NOT-GM-01-001)

PA NUMBER:  PA-00-099

National Institute of General Medical Sciences


This is a re-announcement of PA-99-109, release date June 3, 1999.
The purpose of this Program Announcement (PA) is to facilitate collaborative 
and interdisciplinary approaches to significant biological problems by 
investigators at different institutions. This initiative will use the R24 
grant mechanism, designed for groups of currently funded investigators 
working on a common problem, to 1) attract and coordinate expertise in 
different disciplines and approaches and 2) to provide access to specialized 
resources and equipment. This mechanism must involve investigators at 
different institutions and must introduce new collaborative and interactive 
activities that will further the shared research goals and significantly 
enhance what could be accomplished with the individual investigators’ grant 

This PA is one of a pair of new initiatives to increase support opportunities
for collaborative ventures.  It is restricted to collaborative activities 
that require support of up to $300,000 direct costs per year.  A companion
initiative, GM-99-007 
(, was 
published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts on May 
28, 1999 and was re-announced on December 13, 1999. That program is a 
solicitation to provide a high level of resources to allow investigators to 
extend their research efforts and to form a research consortium to address a 
research problem in a comprehensive and highly integrated fashion.

This PA also strongly encourages consideration of existing and previously
announced mechanisms whenever appropriate to enhance collaborative and
integrative approaches to research problems.  These mechanisms include: 
administrative supplements to NIGMS-funded research grants; competing 
supplements to NIGMS-funded research grants; individual R01 grants containing 
a consortium arrangement for a collaborative component; program project (P01) 
and center (P50) grants; and Interactive Research Project Grants (IRPG).


The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health 
promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2010," a PHS 
led national activity for setting priority areas.  This Program Announcement 
(PA), Integrative and Collaborative Approaches to Research, is related to one 
or more of the priority areas.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of 
"Healthy People 2010" at


The following paragraph was added on December 6, 2000 per NOT-GM-01-001.
The following site contains new information on the eligibility requirements for 
this Program Announcement:  This 
information supercedes the eligibility requirements listed below.

Applications must be for projects in the areas of research supported by 
NIGMS. Applicants should visit the NIGMS website at 
for detailed information on NIGMS areas of research interest. Applicants are 
strongly advised to contact the NIGMS staff listed below, prior to 
submission, to discuss the eligibility of a proposed application, and also to 
consult an informational page with frequently asked questions and answers at 
URL Applicants also are 
strongly encouraged to submit a letter of intent. NIGMS reserves the right to 
return applications that are unresponsive to the Program Announcement.

Only Principal Investigators (PIs) of NIGMS-funded R01 or R37 grants with two
or more years of support remaining at the time of award can serve as a 
consortium leader. One consortium leader, coordinating a minimum of two 
funded projects for the duration of the R24 award, may apply for resources to 
support collaborative and integrative approaches and activities needed to 
better address a common biological problem. The consortium leader should be 
prepared to devote at least 10% effort to the R24 grant. Other participating 
members of the consortium must have external, peer-reviewed research grant 
support from either an NIH Institute or Center, or another source. 
Participating investigators are expected to be at multiple institutions and 
should devote at least 5% effort to the consortium. Component projects do not 
have to be in phase with the grant support of the consortium leader. 
Component projects may end or be renewed during the R24 award as long as a 
minimum of two collaborative projects is maintained. Replacement or addition 
of participating components with access to consortium support will be 
considered for approval by NIGMS, as long as the overall scientific goals 
remain the same.

Applications may be submitted by domestic and foreign, for-profit and non-
profit organizations, public and private institutions, such as universities,
colleges, hospitals, laboratories, units of State and local governments, and
eligible agencies of the Federal government.  Participation from industry is
permitted and encouraged when scientifically justified.  Racial/ethnic
minority individuals, women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to
apply as principal investigators.  Participating members also may be from the
above organizations and institutions.


This PA will use the National Institutes of Health (NIH) R24 award mechanism. 
Responsibility for the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed 
project will be solely that of the applicant. The total project period for an 
application submitted in response to this PA may not exceed four years.  
Funded consortia will be eligible for only one competing renewal application. 
The R24 grant mechanism will be used to support activities that will 
substantially enhance the conduct of the already funded research projects 
through collaborative activities. A maximum of $300,000 direct costs per year 
will be provided for all or some of the following:

o  Salaries for personnel that bridge or add to the intellectual and
technological approaches of the individual consortium components

o  Travel expenses for collaborative activities

o  Specialized training of personnel in cross disciplinary concepts and

o  Equipment

o  Access to resources, such as those for genomics, high throughput
technologies, bioinformatics and computational services, electronic
communication media to facilitate participation of off site laboratories and
collaborative capabilities

o  Facilities for model organisms

Other Available Mechanisms of Support

Before pursuing the R24 mechanism of this PA, individual investigators are
strongly encouraged to first consider mechanisms already in place that can be
used for the support of collaborative and interactive activities. These
include: administrative or competing supplements 
( to research 
grants, which could be used to add a collaborator or a resource to an 
individual funded grant; program projects and centers 
(, which could be 
used to provide research and core support to a group of investigators seeking 
new funds for collaborative activities and projects; the Interactive Research 
Project Grant (IRPG) mechanism, for individual R01 applicants 
seeking interactive resources; and a consortium component of an R01 grant, 
for investigators applying for a grant in which they wish support for a 
collaborator. Applicants should contact NIGMS staff for advice on the most 
appropriate mechanism to achieve their goals.


Background and Rationale

Biomedical science has entered an era in which collaboration across
disciplines is essential to tackle many complex biological problems. 
This increased need for collaborative and integrative approaches stems from
the rapid progress in understanding biology at the molecular level.  Although
much remains to be done in defining and analyzing molecular events, a wealth
of molecular details can now be used to increase our understanding of the
global control and integration of biological processes.  This effort will 
require the involvement of cross disciplinary groups of scientists and a 
diversity of resources.

It is unrealistic to expect that individual laboratories will have the 
breadth of expertise and resources to pursue problems that increasingly 
require the application of multiple approaches.  Investigators with expertise 
in disciplines such as chemistry, physics, engineering, mathematics, and 
computer science increasingly will be needed to realize the full potential of 
biomedical research.  Furthermore, the ability to attack multifaceted 
problems will involve sophisticated data collection and access to rapidly 
evolving technologies.  However, technologies and approaches such as 
combinatorial chemistry, DNA chips, high throughput mass spectrometric 
analysis, and bioinformatics are not readily available and affordable to many 
laboratories that could benefit from their use.


The purpose of this Program Announcement (PA) is to encourage, through a new
initiative, collaborative and integrative approaches to important biological 
problems, that cross institutional and disciplinary boundaries. The goal is 
to bring together groups of already funded investigators from diverse 
institutions, and to provide additional resources for collaborative 
activities, via the use of the R24 grant mechanism. The additional funds must 
support activities that are likely to significantly enhance existing 
capabilities and introduce new approaches to the research aims. The 
collaborations should be focused on a common problem, the requested resources 
should be necessary to advance the problem being addressed, and the most 
appropriate collaborators, regardless of location, should be involved. This 
mechanism is not intended simply to support core facilities for the purpose 
of access or efficiency of use. It also is not designed to support groups of 
investigators at the same institution that would normally interact and 
collaborate in the absence of a consortium grant. The requested resources 
must facilitate the collaboration and integration of the component projects 
and support a synthesis of information that would not take place if each 
grant were given its own resource facility.  All areas of research 
traditionally supported by NIGMS will be considered as appropriate for the 
participating components of the R24 grant mechanism. Applicants are advised 
to visit the NIGMS website at for detailed 
information on NIGMS areas of research interest.


It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and
their subpopulations must be included in all NIH supported biomedical and
behavioral research projects involving human subjects, unless a clear and
compelling rationale and justification is provided that inclusion is
inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of 
the research.  This policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993
(Section 492B of Public Law 103-43).

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the
"NIH Guidelines For Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical
Research," which have been published in the Federal Register of March 28, 
1994 (FR 59 14508-14513) and in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Vol. 
23, No. 11, March 18, 1994 available on the web at the following URL address:


It is the policy of NIH that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21)
must be included in all human subjects research, conducted or supported by 
the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them. 
This policy applies to all initial (Type 1) applications submitted for 
receipt dates after October 1, 1998.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the
"NIH Policy and Guidelines on the Inclusion of Children as Participants in
Research Involving Human Subjects" that was published in the NIH Guide for
Grants and Contracts, March 6, 1998, and is available at the following URL

Investigators also may obtain copies of these policies from the program staff
listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide additional relevant
information concerning the policy.


Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS 398 (rev.
4/98) and will be accepted at the standard application deadlines as indicated
in the application kit.  Application kits are available at most institutional
offices of sponsored research and may be obtained from the Division of
Extramural Outreach and Information Resources, National Institutes of Health,
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone
301/710-0267, email:

The Background section must include a description of the already funded
component projects that is sufficient to enable an assessment of the degree 
to which the R24 grant would facilitate collaborative and integrative 
approaches to the research problem. This section also should contain a 
rationale for why this group of components and investigators was selected, 
and why the requested consortium support is likely to significantly
enhance progress on the research problem, beyond what could be accomplished
with the individual research grant support. If some of the participating 
investigators are at the same institution, a rationale must be provided 
explaining how this R24 mechanism will enhance integration and collaboration 
amongst those participants, beyond what would normally be expected of a group 
of investigators with shared interests at the same institution. The 
Experimental Plan should contain a description of the approaches and how they 
will be accomplished to further the research goals. The principal 
investigator should describe how the activities will be coordinated and made 
accessible to all participating components. Applicants also should include 
specific plans for sharing data and materials that may be generated through 
the consortium grant. The Resources section should address existing 
intellectual and other resources.

The title and number of the PA must be typed on line 2 of the face page of 
the application form and the YES box must be marked.

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the
Checklist, and five signed photocopies in one package to:

BETHESDA, MD  20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)


Applications will be assigned on the basis of established NIH referral
guidelines.  Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical 
merit by an appropriate scientific review group convened in accordance with 
standard NIH peer review procedures.  As part of the initial merit review, 
all applications will receive a written critique and undergo a process in 
which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific merit, 
generally the top half of the applications under review, will be discussed, 
assigned a priority score, and receive a second level review by the 
appropriate national advisory council or board.

Review Criteria

The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of
biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health.  In
the written comments reviewers will be asked to discuss the following aspects
of the application in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed 
research will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals.  Each 
of these criteria will be addressed and considered in assigning the overall 
score, weighting them as appropriate for each application.  Note that the 
application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely 
to have major scientific impact and thus deserve a favorable priority score.  
For example, an investigator may propose to carry out important work that by 
its nature is not innovative but is essential to move a field forward.

(1) Significance:  Will the integrative and collaborative studies supported 
by this application further research on an important problem?  If the goals 
of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge be advanced?  
What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or approaches that 
drive this field?

(2) Approach:  Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses
adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the
component projects?  Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas
and consider alternative tactics?

(3) Innovation:  Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches or

(4) Investigators:  Is the consortium leader appropriately trained and well
suited to oversee this work?  Is the work proposed appropriate to the
experience level of the principal investigator and other researchers?

(5) Environment:  Does the scientific environment in which the work will be
done contribute to the probability of success?  Do the proposed activities
take advantage of unique features of the participating grantees or employ
useful collaborative arrangements?  Is there evidence of institutional

Additional Review Criteria

o Will the proposed collaborative and integrative activities and/or resources
significantly enhance the ability of the investigators to address the 
research goals of the funded component projects?

o Do the  component projects address a common problem and are they suitable 
for a collaborative and integrative approach?

o Have the team members been assembled with respect to employing the talent 
and expertise that are needed to address the shared research problem, 
regardless of their locations?

In addition to the above criteria, in accordance with NIH policy, all
applications also will be reviewed with respect to the following:

o The adequacy of plans to include both genders, minorities and their
subgroups, and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the
research.  Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects also will be

o The reasonableness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to the
proposed research

o The adequacy of the proposed protection for humans, animals or the
environment, to the extent they may be adversely affected by the project
proposed in the application.

The initial review group also will examine the provisions for the protection
of human subjects and the safety of the research environment.


Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended
applications. For NIGMS, the following will be considered in making funding
decisions: Quality of the proposed collaborative activities as determined by
peer review, the degree to which the collaborative components and/or
activities will significantly enhance the conduct of the research, program
priority, and availability of funds.


Inquiries are strongly encouraged to determine the responsiveness of proposed
applications to the PA.  The opportunity to clarify any issues or questions
from potential applicants is welcome.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

James Cassatt, Ph.D.
Division of Cell Biology and Biophysics
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Building 45, Room 2AS19
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594-0828
FAX:  (301) 480-2004

Judith Greenberg, Ph.D.
Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Building 45, Room 2AS25
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594-0943
FAX:  (301) 480-2228

Michael Rogers, Ph.D.
Division of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biological Chemistry
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Building 45, Room 2AS49
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594-3827
FAX:  (301) 480-2802

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Ms. Marcia Cohn
Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Building 45, Room 2AN44
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594-3918
FAX:  (301) 480-2554


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No.
93.821, 93.859, 93.862.  Awards are made under authorization of sections 301 
and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and 
administered under NIH grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 
45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.  This program is not subject to the intergovernmental 
review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide a
smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products.  In
addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking
in certain facilities (or in some cases, and portion of a facility) in which
regular or routine education, library, day care, health care or early
childhood development services are provided to children.  This is consistent
with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of
the American people.

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