This Program Announcement expired on May 6, 2005 

Release Date:  August 14, 2001

PA NUMBER:  PA-01-127 (This PA has been reissued, see PA-05-103)
                      (Expiration date extended, see NOT-DK-04-017)

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
National Institute on Aging
National Cancer Institute



The Division of Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases (DKUHD) of the 
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases 
(NIDDK), the Biology of Aging Program of the National Institute on Aging 
(NIA) and the Cancer Cell Biology Branch of the National Cancer 
Institute (NCI) invites applications through the 
exploratory/developmental (R21) grant mechanism from investigators with 
research interests related to the kidney and fall within the purview the 
NIH mission.  The primary intent of this initiative is to foster the 
development of high-risk pilot and feasibility research by newly 
independent or established investigators, to develop new ideas 
sufficiently to allow for subsequent submission of R01 applications 
focusing on research problems relevant to the study of both acute and 
chronic kidney diseases, and their complications, in both the adult and 
pediatric populations.  These grants are not intended to support or 
supplement ongoing funded research of an established investigator, or to 
serve as an alternative mechanism of support for projects not receiving 
funding as competitive continuation applications. 


The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to increasing the quality 
and years of healthy life and to eliminating health disparities as 
described in the objectives of “Healthy People 2010”.  This document is 
a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas and is available 


Applications may be submitted by domestic for-profit and non-profit 
organizations, public and private, such as universities, colleges, 
hospitals, and laboratories, units of state and local governments, and 
eligible agencies of the Federal government.  Racial/ethnic minority 
individuals, women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to 
apply as principal investigators.  Further, this mechanism is for the 
support of either new investigators  [defined as independent 
investigators who have not held R01, R29, and subprojects of program 
project (P01) or center grants (P50) or equivalent], or established 
investigators entering a new research field or developing a new line of 


Specific application instructions have been modified to reflect "MODULAR 
GRANT" and "JUST-IN-TIME" streamlining efforts that have been adopted by 
the NIH. Complete and detailed instructions and information on Modular 
Grant applications have been incorporated into the PHS 398 (rev. 
5/2001).  Additional information on Modular Grants can be found at

This program will be supported through the exploratory/developmental 
grant (R21) mechanism. These awards are to demonstrate feasibility and 
obtain preliminary data testing innovative ideas that represent a clear 
departure from ongoing research interests. These grants will not be 
renewable, continuation of projects developed under this program will be 
through the regular research grant (R01) program.  Projects will be 
limited to $100,000 direct costs per year and are limited to two years 


The NIDDK, the NIA and the NCI invite investigator-initiated 
applications.  Appropriate topics for investigation would include, but 
are not limited to:

o Development of methods to identify and define novel signaling 
molecules and pathways involved in renal cellular and tissue 
development, and the genetic programming of renal morphogenesis and 

o Development of animal models reflecting the complexity of human kidney 
diseases, that permits exploration of candidate mechanisms leading to 
development, injury, and/or tolerance to injury.

o Development of less complex models to take advantage of evolutionary-
conserved mechanisms involving responses to injury and repair.

o Development of new approaches for utilizing mutant organisms for the 
study of membrane transport.

o Crystallization of new regulatory and membrane proteins for study of 
their structural biology.

o Development of technological tools, to improve molecular studies of 
renal disease, such as methods to permit parallel assessment of gene 
expression on renal biopsies.
o Development of animal models of inflammation/endothelial 
dysfunction/sepsis leading to kidney disease.

o Development of novel vectors and delivery systems for use in gene 
therapy of systemic and inherited kidney diseases, including disorders 
such as polycystic kidney disease, diabetic nephropathy, diabetes 
insipidus, cystinuria, “renal” hypertension, tubulointerstitial 
nephropathy, Alport’s, Bartter’s, Gittelman’s, Liddle’s, and Fanconi 

o Development of new methods to determine the role of complement and 
complement regulatory proteins, oxidants and proteases, cytokines, 
chemokines, growth factors, and adhesion molecules and matrix components 
in immunologic kidney disease.

o Combinatorial chemistry for development of new renal reagents.

o Identification and characterization of early markers of renal disease 

o Identification of novel approaches to improve the immediate and long-
term outcome in pediatric chronic renal failure. 

o Development of new methods for temporal and spatial control of 
transgene expression in the kidney.

o Development of micro-methods and miniaturized assays for physiologic 
and metabolic studies/measurements in small/young animals and children.

o Development and use of array technology and bioinformatics to 
characterize renal tissues in health and disease states.

o Use of molecular and proteomic techniques, such as differential 
display, arrays, second-generation library screens, 2-D gels, etc. to 
screen for novel kidney tissue-specific genes, novel disease or 
regulatory genes, and/or etiologic agents.

o Use of phage display or other novel approaches to identify kidney-
specific proteins.

o Development of novel strategies for treating progressive renal disease 
using animal models and/or short term feasibility studies in humans.

o Identify new factors contributing to symptoms and morbidity in 
patients with treated end stage renal disease.

o  Use of molecular and proteomic techniques on urine, blood or tissue 
to discover more sensitive markers of chronic renal disease, its 
progression and response to treatment.

o Identification of new pathophysiologic mechanisms and modes of 
treatment for diabetic nephropathy.

o Use of epidemiological and biochemical approaches to identifying new, 
non-traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease in patients with 
chronic real disease. 

o Studies focused on age-related changes in the biology of the kidney 
and kidney function, and propensity for diseases of the kidney relevant 
to older subjects.

o Studies focused on mechanisms of biological, chemical and physical 
carcinogenesis and subsequent tumor growth and progression to kidney 


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 UPDATED "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 
(, a 
complete copy of the updated Guidelines are available at


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 address:

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


NIH policy requires education on the protection of human 
subject participants for all investigators submitting NIH 
proposals for research involving human subjects.  This 
policy announcement is found in the NIH Guide for Grants 
and Contracts Announcement dated June 5, 2000, at the 
following website:


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 to 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 


The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been 
revised to provide public access to research data through the Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA) under some circumstances.  Data that are (1) 
first produced in a project that is supported in whole or in part with 
Federal funds and (2) cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency 
in support of an action that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a 
regulation) may be accessed through FOIA.  It is important for 
applicants to understand the basic scope of this amendment.  NIH has 
provided guidance at:

Applicants may wish to place data collected under this PA in a public 
archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the 
distribution for an indefinite period of time.  If so, the application 
should include a description of the archiving plan in the study design 
and include information about this in the budget justification section 
of the application. In addition, applicants should think about how to 
structure informed consent statements and other human subjects 
procedures given the potential for wider use of data collected under 
this award.


The PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms (rev. 
5/2001) at are 
to be used in applying for these grants and will be accepted at the 
standard application deadlines ( 
as indicated in the application kit.  This version of the PHS 398 is 
available in an interactive, searchable PDF format. Although applicants 
are strongly encouraged to begin using the 5/2001 revision of the PHS 
398 as soon as possible, the NIH will continue to accept applications 
prepared using the 4/1998 revision until January 9, 2002. Beginning 
January 10, 2002, however, the NIH will return applications that are not 
submitted on the 5/2001 version.  For further assistance contact 
GrantsInfo, Telephone 301/710-0267, Email:


The modular grant concept establishes specific modules in which direct 
costs may be requested as well as a maximum level for requested budgets. 
Only limited budgetary information is required under this approach.  The 
just-in-time concept allows applicants to submit certain information 
only when there is a possibility for an award. It is anticipated that 
these changes will reduce the administrative burden for the applicants, 
reviewers and NIH staff.  The research grant application form PHS 398 
(rev. 5/2001) at 
is to be used in applying for these grants, with modular budget 
instructions beginning on page 13 of the application instructions.  
Applicants are permitted, however, to use the 4/1998 revision of the PHS 
398 for scheduled application receipt dates until January 9, 2002.  If 
you are preparing an application using the 4/1998 version, please refer 
to the step-by-step instructions for Modular Grants available at

All application instructions outlined in the PHS 398 application kit are 
to be followed, with the following modifications for R21 applications:  

1.  R21 applications will use the “MODULAR GRANT” and “JUST-IN-TIME” 
concepts, with direct costs requested in $25,000 modules, up to the 
total direct costs limit of $100,000 per year. 

2. Although preliminary data are not required for an R21 application, 
they may be included.

3.  Sections a-d of the Research Plan of the R21 application may not 
exceed 15 pages, including tables and figures.  

4.  R21 appendix materials should be limited, as is consistent with the 
exploratory nature of the R21 mechanism, and should not be used to 
circumvent the page limit for the research plan.   Copies of appendix 
material will only be provided to the primary reviewers of the 
application and  will not be reproduced for wider distribution.  The 
following materials may be included in the appendix:

o  Up to five publications, including manuscripts (submitted or accepted 
for publication), abstracts, patents, or other printed materials 
directly relevant to the project.  These may be stapled as sets.
o  Surveys, questionnaires, data collection instruments, and clinical 
protocols.  These may be stapled as sets.
o  Original glossy photographs or color images of gels, micrographs, 
etc., provided that a photocopy (may be reduced in size) is also 
included within the 15 page limit of items a-d of the research plan

The program announcement title and number must be typed on line 2 of the 
face page of the application form and the YES box must be marked.  Mail 
the signed, original, single-sided application, along with five exact, 
single-sided copies and five collated sets of appendix materials to:

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


Applications will be assigned on the basis of established Public Health 
Service referral guidelines.  Applications that are complete will be 
evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer 
review group convened in accordance with 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 
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 the supported research are to advance our understanding of 
biological systems, improve the control of disease, improve health care 
services, 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 high 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) Innovation: Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches or 
method? Are the aims original and innovative? Does the project challenge 
existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?

(2) Investigator: Is the investigator appropriately trained and well 
suited to carry out this work? Is the work proposed appropriate to the 
experience level of the principal investigator and other researchers (if 
any)?  Is the investigator a new investigator, an established 
investigator entering a new field, or an established establishing a new 
of investigation?

(3) Significance: Does this study address an important problem? If the 
aims of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge be 
advanced? What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or 
methods that drive this field?

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

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

In addition to the above criteria, in accordance with NIH policy, all 
applications will also 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 will also 
be evaluated.

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.


Applications will compete for available funds with all other approved 
applications.  The following will be considered in making funding 

o Quality of the proposed project as determined by peer review
o Availability of funds
o Program priority


Inquiries are encouraged. The opportunity to clarify any issues or 
questions from potential applicants is welcome.  Relevant Scientific 
Program Officers may be identified through the DKUHD webpage at or by making 
direct inquiries to:

M. James Scherbenske, Ph.D.
Renal Physiology/Cell Biology and 
  Kidney Centers and SBIR Programs Director
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
6707 Democracy Blvd, Room 613
Bethesda, MD  20892-5458
Telephone:  (301) 594-7719
FAX:  (301) 480-3510 

Direct inquiries regarding NIA programmatic issues to:

Frank Bellino, Ph.D.
Biology of Aging Program
National Institute on Aging
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 2C231 MSC 9205
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
Telephone:  (301) 496-6402
FAX:  (301) 402-0010

Direct inquiries regarding NCI programmatic issues to:

Judy Mietz, Ph.D.
Cancer Cell Biology Branch
National Cancer Institute
6130 Executive Boulevard
Executive Plaza North, Room 5032
Rockville, MD  20852
Telephone:  (301) 496-7028
FAX:  (301) 402-1037

Inquiries regarding NIDDK fiscal and administrative matters may be 
directed to:

Mrs. Helen Y.S. Ling
Division of Extramural Activities
6707 Democracy Blvd, Room 629
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 594-8857
FAX:  (301) 480-3504

Inquiries regarding NIA fiscal and administrative matters may be 
directed to:

Linda Whipp
Grants and Contracts Management Office
National Institute on Aging
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 2N212, MSC 9205
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
Telephone:  (301) 496-1472
FAX:  (301) 402-3672

Inquiries regarding NCI fiscal and administrative matters may be 
directed to:

Crystal Wolfrey
National Cancer Institute GAB
Executive Plaza South, Room 243, MSC 7150
6120 Executive Boulevard
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-8634
FAX:  301-496-8601


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance 
No. 93.849 and 93.866.  Awards are made under authorization of the 
Public Health Service Act, Title IV, Part A (Public Law 78-410, as 
amended by Public Law 99-158, 42 USC 241 and 285) and administered under 
PHS grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Part 
74.  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, 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 people.

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

Office of Extramural Research (OER) - Home Page Office of Extramural
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Bethesda, Maryland 20892
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