This Program Announcement expires on August 14, 2001.


Release Date:  December 1, 2000 (Supercedes November 30, 1999 version)

PA NUMBER:  PA-01-024

National Cancer Institute
National Eye Institute
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
National Human Genome Research Institute
National Institute on Aging
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
National Institute of Mental Health
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institute of Nursing Research
National Library of Medicine

Letter of Intent Receipt Dates:  January 16, 2001 and July 13, 2001
Application Receipt Dates:       February 16, 2001 and August 14, 2001


Participating Institutes and Centers (ICs) of the National Institutes of Health 
(NIH) invite applications for R01 awards to support Bioengineering Research 
Partnerships (BRPs) for basic multidisciplinary research addressing important 
biological or medical research problems.  A BRP is a multidisciplinary research 
team applying an integrative, systems approach to develop knowledge and/or 
methods to prevent, detect, diagnose, or treat disease or to understand health 
and behavior.  The partnership must include appropriate bioengineering expertise 
in combination with basic and/or clinical investigators.  A BRP may propose 
discovery-driven, developmental, non-hypothesis-driven, design-directed, or 
hypothesis-driven research at universities, national laboratories, medical 
schools, large or small businesses, or other public and private entities. 

On October 29, 1998, NIH issued the related program announcement (PA) PAR-99-009 
( for Bioengineering 
Research Grants (BRGs).  The BRGs differ from the BRP applications in the 
expectation that the research will be performed in a single laboratory or by a 
small number of investigators.


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 is related to one 
or more of the priority areas.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of 
"Healthy People 2010" on the Internet at


Applications may be submitted by domestic for-profit and non-profit, public and 
private organizations such as universities, colleges, hospitals, national 
laboratories, industrial research organizations, large or small businesses, 
units of state and local governments, and eligible agencies of the Federal 
government.  Foreign institutions are not eligible to apply, but BRP 
collaborative projects may include work at a foreign site when the expertise at 
the foreign site is not present in the United States.  Racial/ethnic minority 
individuals, women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply as 
principal investigators.


The mechanism of support will be the NIH R01 regular research grant. 
Responsibility for the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed 
project will be solely that of the applicant.  The total requested project 
period for a competitively-reviewed application may not exceed five years.

In accordance with NIH policy 
investigators planning to submit an application in 
response to this PA that requests $500,000 or more in direct costs for any year 
are advised that agreement for acceptance of both any such new application 
and/or any subsequent amended application must be obtained from a NIH research 
institute or center prior to submittal.  Instructions for obtaining this 
agreement are provided in the section titled APPLICATIONS EXCEEDING $500,000 PER 

Since most budget requests associated with BRP applications are expected to 
exceed $250,000 per year direct costs, the modular grant concept will not be 
used for this program announcement.  Detailed budgets are required for BRP 


For any grant, the maximum total costs to be awarded in any year is $2 million.  
The number of awards and level of support will depend on the number of 
applications of high scientific merit that are received and the availability of 
funds. Funding in subsequent years will be contingent upon satisfactory progress 
during the preceding year(s) and the availability of funds.  Applicants are 
encouraged to discuss budget requests with NIH scientific and financial contacts 
listed under INQUIRIES prior to submission.  The initial period of support for a 
BRP award may be up to five years.  The award may be competitively renewed for a 
second period up to five years.  NIH does not envision more than one renewal 


Many of today"s biomedical problems are too complex to be solved by biologists 
or clinicians alone. Partners are needed in many disciplines including physics, 
mathematics, chemistry, computer sciences, and engineering.  Bioengineering 
integrates principles from a diversity of technical and biomedical fields.  The 
creativity of interdisciplinary teams is resulting in new basic understandings, 
novel products, and innovative technologies for addressing biomedical problems.  
Bioengineering also crosses the boundaries of many scientific disciplines, and 
thus partnerships between academia, Federal laboratories, and industry are 

Recognizing the increasing importance of bioengineering in public health, the 
NIH established the Bioengineering Consortium (BECON) in 1997 as a central focus 
for NIH bioengineering research.  Each subsequent year, BECON has held two-day 
symposia on emerging topics of interest related to bioengineering including 
bioengineering (1998), bioimaging, (1999), and nanotechnology (2000).  Summaries 
of the presentations and the conclusions of these symposia are available on the 
Internet at  

Discussions and recommendations of symposia participants aided the formulation 
of the BRP and BRG program announcements. Both the BRP and BRG PAs recognize 
that applications for bioengineering projects most often focus on technology 
development rather than on proving or disproving scientific hypotheses.  
Therefore, the NIH review criteria for bioengineering applications submitted in 
response to these PAs have been modified to ensure that these applications are 
evaluated appropriately and fairly.


One objective of this program announcement is to encourage research in selected 
basic bioengineering areas.  Bioengineering is defined as follows: 
Bioengineering integrates physical, engineering, and computational science 
principles for the study of biology, medicine, behavior, or health.  It advances 
fundamental concepts, creates knowledge from the molecular to the organ systems 
level, and develops innovative biologicals, materials, processes, implants, 
devices, and informatics approaches for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment 
of disease, for patient rehabilitation, and for improving health.

A second objective is to encourage collaborations and partnerships among the 
scientific and biomedical disciplines.  Each BRP should bring together the 
necessary basic science and engineering and/or clinical expertise to focus on a 
significant area of bioengineering research within the mission of the NIH. In 
addition to the benefits to be derived from the research, the collaborations and 
partnerships can create opportunities for transdisciplinary communication and 
training for a new generation of scientists capable of interacting across 
traditional technical boundaries.  


Applications for BRP awards should focus on an area of bioengineering research 
where progress is likely to make a significant contribution to improving human 
health.  It is likely that these areas will be of interest to many NIH research 
institutes and centers (ICs).  Bioengineering areas of particular relevance to 
the mission of ICs are listed below.  This list is not all-inclusive.

Behavioral science
Bioelectrics, ion channels, and organ function
Clinical medicine, therapeutics and drug delivery
Combinatorial approaches to chemistry, materials, genes, and therapeutics
Functional genomics including microarray technology, integrated systems, and 
analytical tools
Imaging, molecular imaging, and image-guided methods
Nanotechnology and microtechnology
Informatics, databases, and computational methods
Computational modeling and simulation
Medical implants, biomembranes, sensors and devices
Complex biological systems
Organ culture systems and organogenesis
Rehabilitation and prostheses
Cell and tissue engineering and biomaterials
Tissue regeneration
Integrative physiology
Drug bioavailability
Computer-assisted diagnosis and procedures


An organizational structure that clearly defines the partnership and justifies 
relationships among the various components must be developed and described in 
the application.  The BRP size, structure, and mode of operation should match 
the needs and scope of the proposed research.  

The BRP Principal Investigator (PI) is responsible for management, staffing, and 
resource allocation and for administering the award in accordance with NIH 
policies.  The PI has the responsibility and authority to use BRP funds in the 
most productive way to achieve the goals defined at the time of the award.  To 
accomplish this task, the PI should adjust funding among BRP participants to 
support new partners or to reduce support to old partners as needed. 


BRP PIs will meet annually to share results, to ensure that the NIH has a 
coherent view of the advances in these fields, and to have an opportunity for 
collective problem solving among the PIs.  The cost of participating in this 
annual meeting should be included in the BRP budget.

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" published in the “NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts” on August 2, 
2000 ( 
Recent revisions relate to NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials and require: a) 
all applications or proposals and/or protocols to provide a description of plans 
to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by sex/gender and/or 
racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable, and b) all 
investigators to report accrual and to conduct and report analyses, as 
appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group differences. 


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 on the Internet at  


All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within 
specified page limitations.  Unless otherwise specified in an NIH solicitation, 
Internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide information necessary 
for the review because reviewers are under no obligation to view the Internet 
sites.  Reviewers are cautioned that their anonymity may be compromised when 
they directly access an Internet site.


Prospective applicants are asked to submit by the deadlines given on the first 
page of this announcement a letter of intent that includes a descriptive title 
of the proposed research, the name, address, telephone number, and e-mail 
address of the Principal Investigator, the identities of other key personnel and 
participating institutions, and the number and title of the PA.  Although the 
letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the 
review of a subsequent application, this information is useful to NIH staff to 
plan the BRP review process.

The letter of intent is to be sent via email to  An 
acknowledgement of receipt will be provided. 


In accordance with NIH policy 
an applicant planning to submit a proposal that requests 
$500,000 or more in direct costs for any year must contact program staff at a 
research institute or center for approval before submitting the application, 
i.e., as plans for the study are being developed. The applicant must identify 
the institute or center and the staff member who agreed to accept assignment of 
the application in the cover letter that transmits the proposal.  A list of 
scientific contacts for each of the NIH IC’s is available on the Internet at


Applicants are strongly advised to contact IC scientific staff listed under 
INQUIRIES to discuss the responsiveness of their plans to the intent of this PA 
and the relevance of their proposed work to the institute’s mission before 
preparing a detailed research application.  Detailed information on research 
missions and programs for each NIH institute and center is available on the 
individual IC’s Web sites which can be accessed through the NIH Homepage at  Since a BRP award may include funds from several NIH ICs, 
applicants may be directed to contact staff in more than one institute or 

Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 
4/98). 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:  Application kits are also available on the Internet at  

Follow the PHS 398 instructions for "Preparing Your Application" with the 
following modifications and additions:

1.  Page limitations have been increased to a maximum of 40 pages from the usual 
25 page limit for sections A-D of the "Research Plan" of an application. This 40 
page limit is an absolute maximum.  Applicants are encouraged to be concise and 
use fewer pages.

2.  Description Page - The institution leading the BRP and any other 
participating institutions must be identified. The description should provide a 
clear indication of the area of bioengineering research that will be the focus 
of the BRP, the planned multidisciplinary approach, the specific milestones to 
be achieved, and timelines for achievement for the first year and additional 
years of the grant.

3.  An organization chart (OC) that clearly defines the partnership and 
relationships among its various components must be included with the 
application. A program plan (PP) should accompany the OC and list major tasks 
with a timeline of expected milestones for the entire project period.  The OC 
and PP must not exceed one page each.  This information should be included in 
the Research, Design, and Methods section of the application.

4.  BRP Budget Items - A separate budget for each partner at a 
subcontract/consortium institution, and when appropriate for clarity, for each 
partner within the grantee institution must be included.  Include a summary 
budget for all BRP participants with partners at non-grantee institutions shown 
as consortium arrangements.

The NIH ICs will not provide annual support in excess of $2 million total cost 
for any year.  Direct cost inflationary increases following the first year may 
be included, but the total cost maximum request level of $2,000,000 per year 
must be observed.

The PI is expected to devote a minimum of 25% effort to the BRP.  The percent 
effort requested for other personnel should be limited to time devoted 
specifically to BRP Partner activities and not to other research activities.  
Information documenting the level of effort on BRP activities should be included 
in the application.  The need for all requested personnel costs should be 
thoroughly justified.  The percent effort of the BRP PI should be justified in 
the context of the PI"s other responsibilities. Administrative support (a 
secretary or an administrative assistant) may be requested for the BRP office 
only for matters directly pertaining to the BRP.

There will be an annual BRP PI meeting at a date and location to be determined 
by NIH staff.  Applicants should include travel funds specifically for these 
meetings in the BRP budget request.  

Applicants may request and justify other travel funds in addition to the funds 
required for the annual PI meeting.  Travel funds could be used to promote 
collaboration among BRP partners at different institutions or at a distant site, 
be used for travel of external advisors to the BRP site, and/or be used for BRP 
partners to attend scientific meetings essential to the progress of the BRP and 
for which other funds are not available.

Other expenses can be requested including costs necessary for the central 
administration and fiscal management of the BRP including relevant and 
reasonable costs for reprints, graphics, and publications.

With regard to projected funding by source, some BRP applicants may anticipate 
or receive commitments for significant funding from other than NIH sources, 
e.g., from a collaborating company. In this case, applications should describe 
the source, annual amount, and use of the other funding.

5.  Other Support - Provide a complete listing of current and pending support 
for the Principal Investigator, Co-Investigator(s), and other key personnel for 
grantee and partnering organizations.

6.  Resources - The application should describe the equipment and facilities 
available for the proposed BRP.

If the BRP entails an institutional commitment of resources across boundaries in 
the institution or anticipates the provision of institutional resources, include 
letters from appropriate senior-level individuals describing their agreements to 
support those commitments.

Where appropriate, describe the shared facilities to be established including 
specific major research instruments and plans for the development of 
instruments.  Describe plans for maintaining and operating the facilities 
including staffing, provisions for user fees, and plans for ensuring access to 
outside users.  Distinguish between existing facilities and those still to be 

7.  Research Plan

     A.  Specific Aims - Describe the specific aims in the selected area of 
bioengineering research and the goals for the first year and for the long term. 
Delineate the design principle(s) supporting the research to be performed and/or 
the hypothesis(-es) to be tested.  Describe the expected applications of the 
bioengineering research that will improve human health. One page is recommended.

     B.  Background and Significance - Briefly describe the area of 
bioengineering research that is the focus of the BRP.  Critically evaluate 
existing knowledge and approaches that have been or are being applied in the 
area and specifically describe how the proposed BRP approach will advance the 
field.  State concisely the importance and health relevance of the research 
proposed to achieve the Specific Aims.

     C.  Preliminary Studies and Rationale - Preliminary studies are not 
required for BRP applications, but applicants with preliminary results should 
describe them. In the absence of preliminary results, applicants should describe 
the rationale and scientific and engineering bases for the proposal.

     D.  Research Design and Methods - A BRP should focus on a systems approach 
in a significant area of bioengineering research.  Describe an overall research 
plan that is sufficiently long term (five to ten years) to justify organizing a 
BRP and adaptable enough to permit change as the research proceeds.  Clearly 
indicate current activities, why a BRP is necessary, and what unique 
opportunities will be provided by the proposed BRP.  Explain the integrative-
engineering approach and why such an approach is essential to the proposed 
research.  If the proposed BRP research is closely related to ongoing research 
or an existing center, explain how the research activities of the BRP will 
complement but not overlap existing research.  Describe the contributions of 
each partner and how these will be integrated and organized to accomplish the 
specific aims of the project.  Provide a tentative sequence or timetable for the 
project.  If appropriate to the project, state quantitative milestones 
corresponding to timetable events. Include a description of how the data will be 
collected, analyzed, and interpreted.  Discuss major technical challenges and 
possible alternative approaches to achieve the aims.  Describe plans for 
enhancing the abilities and opportunities for investigators and trainees to work 
across disciplinary boundaries.  Describe how the data and technological 
advances will be disseminated to other investigators, and if relevant, how the 
technology developed (intellectual property) will be transferred to the 
commercial sector for product development.    


The title and number of this program announcement 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:

6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 1040 - MSC 7710
BETHESDA, MD  20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)

Applications must be received by the application deadline dates given on the 
first page of this solicitation.  If an application is received after that date, 
it will be returned to the applicant without review.  


Applicants are advised that the 40-page application should contain all relevant 
information.  Appendix materials should not be submitted with the application.  
Reviewers are not obligated to read appended materials. Applicants who wish to 
send appendices should wait until they receive notification that the application 
has been assigned to an Initial Review Group.   At that time, they should 
contact the Scientific Review Administrator of the committee to which their 
application is assigned to receive further instructions.


The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept any application in 
response to this PA that is essentially the same as one currently pending 
initial review unless the applicant withdraws the pending application.  The CSR 
will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already 
reviewed.  This does not preclude the submission of a substantive revision of an 
application already reviewed, but such an application must include an 
introduction addressing the previous critique. 


Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by CSR staff and 
for responsiveness by program staff of the IC to which an application is 
assigned.  Incomplete and/or non-responsive applications will be returned to the 
applicant without further consideration.  Applications that are complete and 
responsive will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by Scientific 
Review Groups of the CSR.  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 applications under review) may be discussed, assigned a priority score, and 
receive a second-level review by the appropriate national advisory council or 


The NIH review criteria have been adapted to ensure that the BRP application is 
evaluated appropriately.  The score should reflect the overall impact that the 
BRP award could have on the selected area of bioengineering research based on 
consideration of the five criteria given below.  The emphasis on each criterion 
can vary from one application to another depending on the nature of the 
application and its relative strengths.  An application need not be strong in 
all categories to be judged likely to have major technical or scientific impact 
and thus deserve a high priority score.  For example, an investigative 
partnership may propose to perform important work that by its nature is not 
innovative but is essential to advance a field. 

A BRP may propose discovery-driven, developmental, non-hypothesis-driven, 
design-directed, of hypothesis-driven research at universities, national 
laboratories, medical schools, large or small businesses, or other public and 
private entities.  The review criteria include:

1. Significance.  If the specific aims of the BRP are achieved, will they 
provide significant advances in the selected area of bioengineering research? Is 
the research likely to have a significant impact on other areas of research? 
Will the technological advances have a significant impact on human health?

2. Approach. Are the BRP engineering, scientific and clinical approaches and 
methods adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the aims of 
the project?  Does the application address potential problem areas and consider 
alternative strategies?  Is a timetable with adequate research milestones 
proposed?  Are appropriate specifications and evaluation procedures provided for 
assessing technological progress? 

Is the proposed partnership adequate for the research?  Is the partnership 
strategy well-planned and documented?  Is there evidence that the partners from 
academia or industry can work together effectively, have an impact on achieving 
the research goals, and disseminate the technology developed?  Do they describe 
arrangements that facilitate the fruitful participation of a partner at a 
distant site?  If partnership with industry or small business is included, does 
this positively affect the research goals and technology dissemination?  

3. Innovation.  Does the BRP propose new approaches, explore new research 
paradigms, or represent new concepts that combine engineering, physical, and 
clinical sciences?  Will the proposed approaches or concepts solve current 
scientific or technical problems in novel ways?

4. Investigators.  Is the PI capable of coordinating and managing the proposed 
BRP? Are the investigators (partners) appropriately trained in their disciplines 
and capable of conducting the proposed interdisciplinary work? 

5. Environment.  Does the scientific and technological environment in which the 
work will be done contribute to the probability of success?  Does the proposed 
research take advantage of unique features of the scientific environment or 
employ useful collaborative arrangements within the partnership?  Is there 
evidence of institutional support?  Does the partnership create potential 
opportunities to foster transdisciplinary communication and training across 
traditional scientific and technical boundaries?

In addition to these five review criteria, applicants must demonstrate adequate 
provisions for the protection of human subjects, humane care and use of animals, 
safety of the research environment, and compliance with the "NIH Guidelines for 
the Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research," and 
"NIH Policy and Guidelines on the Inclusion of Children as Participants in 
Research Involving Human Subjects."


BRP applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended 
applications. Funding decisions will be based on the quality of the proposed 
research as determined by peer review, availability of funds, and the 
institute’s programmatic priority for the focus of the proposed research.


Inquiries concerning this PA are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any 
issues or questions from potential applicants is welcome.

Inquiries or contacts concerning institute-specific scientific or financial 
issues should be directed to the NIH BECON scientific or financial contacts 
listed at the following Web site:  These scientific 
contacts can also be used to obtain permission to submit applications that 
request more the $500,000 of direct costs in any year.

Inquiries regarding general programmatic issues or notices of intent should be 
directed to:

Dr. Richard E. Swaja
Office of Extramural Research
1 Center Drive – Room 152
Bethesda, MD  20892-0152
TEL: 301-402-2725
FAX: 301-496-0232

Inquiries concerning review issues should be directed to:

Dr. Eileen Bradley
Center for Scientific Review
6701 Rockledge Drive
Bethesda, MD  20892
TEL: 301-435-1179
FAX: 301-480-2241	


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Nos. 
93.394, 93.395, 93.396, 93.306, 93.867, 93.172, 93.837, 93.838, 93.839, 93.866, 
93.273, 93.855, 93.856, 93.846, 93.864, 93.865, 93.929, 93.279, 93.173, 93.121, 
93.847, 93.848, 93.849, 93.113, 93.821, 93.859, 93.862, 93.242, 93.853, 93.361, 
and 93.879.  

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, any 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 

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

H H S Department of Health
and Human Services

  N I H National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892