Part I Overview Information

Department of Health and Human Services

Participating Organizations
National Institutes of Health, (

Components of Participating Organizations
National Institute on Aging (NIA), (

Title: Sociobehavioral Data Analysis and Archiving in Aging (R03)

Announcement Type
This is a reissue of PA-04-123 which was released July 17, 2004.

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

NOTICE: Applications submitted in response to this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for Federal assistance must be submitted electronically through ( using the SF424 Research and Related (R&R) forms and SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. APPLICATIONS MAY NOT BE SUBMITTED IN PAPER FORMAT.

This FOA must be read in conjunction with the application guidelines included with this announcement in Apply for Grants (hereafter called

A registration process is necessary before submission and applicants are highly encouraged to start the process at least four weeks prior to the grant submission date. See Section IV.

Two steps are required for on time submission:

1) The application must be submitted to by 5:00 p.m. local time (of the applicant institution/organization) on the submission date (see “Key Dates” below).

2) Applicants must complete a verification step in the eRA Commons within two business days of notification from NIH. Note: Since email can be unreliable, it is the responsibility of the applicant to periodically check on their application status in the Commons.

Program Announcement (PA) Number: PA-06-102

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number(s)

Key Dates
Release/Posted Date: March 3, 2006
Opening Date: May 2, 2006 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): Not Applicable
Application Submission Date(s):
AIDS Application Receipt Date(s): See
Peer Review Date(s):
Council Review Date(s):
Earliest Anticipated Start Date:
Additional Information To Be Available Date (URL Activation Date): Not Applicable
Expiration Date: November 2, 2007 (now January 8, 2008 per NOT-OD-07-093)

Due Dates for E.O. 12372
Not Applicable

Additional Overview Content

Executive Summary

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), issued by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) is seeking small grant (R03) applications to: 1) stimulate and facilitate data archiving and secondary analyses of data related to caregiving, cognition, demography, economics, epidemiology, behavioral genetics and other behavioral research on aging; 2) provide support for preliminary projects using secondary analysis that could lead to subsequent applications for other research project grant award mechanisms; 3) provide support for rapid analyses of new databases and experimental modules for purposes such as informing the design and content of future study waves; 4) provide support for the development, enhancement and assembly of new databases from existing data; and 5) provide support for pilot research on under-utilized databases.

Table of Contents

Part I Overview Information

Part II Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
1. Research Objectives

Section II. Award Information
1. Mechanism of Support
2. Funds Available

Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants
A. Eligible Institutions
B. Eligible Individuals
2.Cost Sharing or Matching
3. Other - Special Eligibility Criteria

Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Request Application Information
2. Content and Form of Application Submission
3. Submission Dates and Times
A. Submission, Review and Anticipated Start Dates
1. Letter of Intent
B. Sending an Application to the NIH
C. Application Processing
4. Intergovernmental Review
5. Funding Restrictions
6. Other Submission Requirements

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria
2. Review and Selection Process
A. Additional Review Criteria
B. Additional Review Considerations
C. Sharing Research Data
D. Sharing Research Resources
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices
2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
3. Reporting

Section VII. Agency Contact(s)
1. Scientific/Research Contact(s)
2. Peer Review Contact(s)
3. Financial/ Grants Management Contact(s)

Section VIII. Other Information - Required Federal Citations

Part II - Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

1. Research Objectives

The NIA has supported the development of major data collection efforts in areas such as cognition, genetics, long term care, retirement and economic status, caregiving, behavioral medicine, and the dynamics of health and functional change in the very old. This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) encourages secondary analysis and archiving of these data sources.

In February 2003 NIH reaffirmed its support for the concept of data sharing and stated that data should be made as widely and freely available as possible while safeguarding the privacy of participants, and protecting confidential and proprietary data ( Many datasets have been assembled prior to the implementation of this policy and have not been made available to the research community. This funding opportunity provides the opportunity to archive such data to make the data available to the research community.

Applications which are innovative and high risk with the likelihood for high impact are especially encouraged. See also NIH Small Research Grant Program which permits original data collection on several of the topics below (PA-06-180 also available at

Examples of Areas of Investigation:

A. Archiving

The NIH requires that all data collected be made publicly available to the research community. Research teams can request funds under this FOA for data archiving to make previously un-archived studies available. Additionally, many powerful analyses can be conducted on sensitive datasets which cannot be made publicly available in their original form, because they include geographic information or data linked to administrative records. Such data can be made available as a synthetic dataset which can be useful for data exploration by researchers. Work on creating synthetic datasets can also be supported.

B. Biodemography of Aging

Biodemography of aging: including the demographic aspects of heritability and familial aggregation of disease and longevity and genetic variants; incorporation of genetic, biological, and disease variables into demographic models and age-specific mortality rates; the social roles of the elderly in nature; and biological mediators of the relationship between socio-economic status and health. Of particular interest are analyses of biological measures which have been included in social and behavioral data collections as recommended by Cells and Surveys: Should Biological Measures Be Included in Social Science Research? (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2001. Also available at ) Analyses should target the correlates of these biomarkers with social and behavioral outcomes.

C. Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) of Human Genetics Study on Aging

How would attrition rates be affected in longitudinal projects, how does collection of DNA influence willingness to participate in aging studies in general, and what are the larger factors (i.e., health insurance and privacy issues) that pose concern to study participants? Research assessing the role of demographic factors (e.g., age, sex, race/ethnicity) is also needed to understand cultural differences in perceptions of genetic research.

D. Dementia

Studies examining the impact of social relationships (e.g., social network structures, types, levels and quality of social support) on cognitive decline and dementia. Also, demography and economics of dementia and Alzheimer's Disease in older populations.

E. Trends in Chronic Disease and Disability

Investigation of the factors underlying the recent trend in declining disability in the older population. Determination and quantification of the causal factors underlying the trend (e.g. medical technological interventions, healthcare access and use, early life experiences, education, biomedical and social research advances, healthy lifestyle behaviors and public health measures). International comparative analyses of declining disability in countries with different institutional and family structures are encouraged.

F. Living Arrangements

Analysis of the factors that trigger movement of the elderly through various living arrangements, from independent living through the various forms of long- term care, and the functional and health-related outcomes associated with residential options available to older persons.

G. Healthcare and Policy Stimulations

Economic analyses of the impact of aging-related biomedical and social research and resulting new technologies and interventions. Estimation of the impact of medical interventions on future lifetime health care costs. Estimation of the impact of health (including links with geography and demography) on economic development, especially in developing countries. (See The World Health Report 1999: Making a Difference. World Health Organization. Also available at Estimation of the impact of changes in the functional status of the older population on Medicare and other health care costs. Evaluations and simulations of the impact of changes in DHHS and SSA policies (e.g. changing the age of eligibility for Medicare and Social Security benefits, and expanding coverage to include prescription drugs) on the health and functioning of the older population.

H. Burden of Illness

Measurement of the magnitude and socio-economic consequences of burden of illness in the older population. Improved analysis and methodology to allocate and impute burden of illness, given the importance of comorbidity in the older population. This may also include modeling risk factor trajectories and trends in non-communicable disease, disability and mortality in developed and developing countries, with emphasis on aging populations. Analyses and projections of the epidemiological transition in developing countries and research examining the demographic and economic impact of HIV/AIDS on population structure and the elderly, particularly in Africa and other developing countries.

I. Health, Work and Retirement

Health, work and retirement, including: implications of population aging for public and private retirement programs and for income security of future retirees; implications of women's life history (e.g., temporary exits from the labor force for child rearing and caregiving of older parents) on retirement income and savings adequacy; implications for late-life health and financial security of the timing of demographic events such as marriage, child-rearing, widowhood, etc.; determinants of retirement, family labor supply, and saving; consequences of retirement for health and functioning; comparative studies of labor force activity; effects of psychological factors (e.g. expectations, risk taking, personality, altruism, time preferences, etc.) and mental health characteristics (e.g. depression) on economic behaviors (e.g. savings and transfers); and economic and demographic analyses of employer- and organizational- level determinants of labor force participation at older ages.

Research on the nature of work from the worker’s perspective is also encouraged. NIA cosponsored a report by the National Academy of Sciences titled the Health and Safety Needs of Older Workers. This report suggested areas that merit investigation in this field and research on work and on older workers can consult this report. Copies can be obtained at

J. Race, Ethnicity and Socioeconomic Status

Interactions between health and socio-economic status (and their cumulative relationship) over time and across generations. Relationship among health, wealth and education; role of social cohesion as a mediating factor. Improved measures of socioeconomic position for aging populations; improved understanding of the mechanisms underlying associations between socio-economic status and health including the economic determinants of health promotion and disease prevention behaviors. Research to disentangle the effects of socio-economic status, social and environmental factors, health behaviors, and race and ethnicity on health.

Studies of the health of diverse racial and ethnic older populations and the health of small geographic areas. Variables of interest include the effects of lifelong poverty, birth weight, access to and utilization of employer-provided health insurance, recency and circumstances of immigration; the strain of physically demanding work; occupation; wealth, income and early-life health status; and experiences of discrimination.

Studies of the changing composition and conceptualization of race and ethnicity in the US and the effects on population health and health disparities; issues related to the development of racial and ethnic identity and to interactions among racial/ethnic identification and demographic, health, and other outcomes; and issues related to the measurement of race and ethnicity, including racial and ethnic self-identification.

The National Academies of Science recently concluded a panel on Racial and Ethnic Differences in Health in Later Life in the United States. Applicants are encouraged to consult the findings of the report (see )

K. General Demography

General demographic analyses of population aging, including: cohort analyses of aging, including the baby boom cohort; implications of changing family structures on caregiving needs; historical demographic and epidemiological research on the aging process and on the determinants of health and mortality in older populations; forecasting life and active life expectancy, health, medical services and long term care usage; migration and immigration; the impact of state and small area characteristics on health; improved descriptive analyses of centenarian populations; macro and micro dynamics of intergenerational exchanges; use of public and private resources in the period before death; and comparative international analyses of population aging using Census and other data.

L. Meta-analysis

Linking data sets for the purpose of conducting analyses (i.e. meta- analyses, mega-analyses). Applications are encouraged that combine raw data from different data collections to be explored in new and innovative ways in order to achieve new research aims, and/or to permit more breadth, precision, and reliability than can be achieved by the analysis of data from an isolated research study.

M. Caregiving

Research on informal caregiving. Research is encouraged on the transitions between various phases of the caregiving role, especially research on changes as a consequence of acquiring the caregiving role (pre- and post-caregiving). Research is also encouraged on the dyadic relationship between caregiver and care recipient. Research is needed on the embedded nature of the caregiver in the community structure. Such multi-level analysis is especially important.

N. Elder Mistreatment

Research is encouraged using existing databases such as aggregated Adult Protective Service records or state-level data on incidence and prevalence of elder mistreatment. Where adequate and existing data permit, research on the social determinants or risk factors associated with differential types of elder mistreatment is also needed.

O. Behavioral Medicine and Interventions

Research is encouraged that examines the dynamic interrelationships among aging, health, and behavior processes and that emphasizes the influence of the socio-cultural environment on the development and maintenance of health and illness behaviors (e.g., healthy lifestyle practices, medical self management, and coping with chronic illnesses and disabilities). Preliminary analyses that could lead to social, behavioral and environmental interventions for health promotion, disease prevention, and disability postponement are especially encouraged.

P. Cognitive Aging

Research is encouraged that examines changes in cognitive functioning over the life course. Examples include studies that: examine the influence of contexts (behavioral, social, cultural, and technological) on the cognitive functioning and life performance of aging persons; investigate the effects of age-related changes in cognition on activities of daily living, social relationships, and health status; and develop strategies for improving everyday functioning through cognitive interventions. Research is also encouraged on higher-order cognitive processes (e.g., problem-solving, decision-making), social cognition, memory strategies, perceptual skills, and reading and speech comprehension. Research is also welcomed that explores the role of individual difference factors in cognitive functioning (e.g., motivation, self-efficacy, beliefs about aging, emotions, sensory limitations, experience and expertise).

Q. Psychological Development and Integrative Science

Research is encouraged that combines diverse levels of analysis and examines reciprocal interactions among these levels, such as the effects of sociocultural, psychological (social, personality), biological, and genetic processes on behavioral and functional aging.

R. Early Life Determinants of Late-Life Health

Research is encouraged that examines the influence of early life characteristics (e.g. childhood health, SES or exposure to infectious disease) on morbidity and mortality in later life. Comparative and historical work in this area is also encouraged.

Priority will be given to applications undertaking secondary analysis of publicly available datasets that NIA has supported. Such datasets include: the Alameda County Health and Ways of Living Study 1965, 1974, 1994, 1995 Panel; Early Indicators of Later Work Levels, Disease, and Death; Health and Retirement Study; Hispanic EPESE; Human Mortality Database; Longitudinal Employer Household Dynamics; Mexican Health and Aging Study; National Longitudinal Mortality Study; National Long-Term Care Survey;; Panel Study of Income Dynamics; 1990 Public-Use Microdata Sample for the Older Population and the Comparable Samples from ECE Countries (collected by the UN/ECE/PAU); Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health (REACH); Social Environment and Biomarkers of Aging Study (SEBAS); Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging (SATSA) and the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS). Information about these and other datasets that have been supported entirely or in part by the NIA, and instructions on how the data can be accessed, can be found in the “Publicly Available Databases for Aging-Related Secondary Analyses in the Behavioral and Social Sciences,” available in hard copy or on the web at A number of NIA supported datasets are currently being developed and archived; research on these new data sources is encouraged. Information about new data sources can be found in the above-referenced document which is updated to include newly available data sources.

Applicants are especially encouraged to refer to the Minority Aging and Health CD-Rom from the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA) offered to the research community through funding provided by NIA. A number of the datasets mentioned above are made available through NACDA at

Information on other initiatives supported by NIA may be found at the following Internet address:

See Section VIII, Other Information - Required Federal Citations, for policies related to this announcement.

Section II. Award Information

1. Mechanism of Support

This funding opportunity will use the NIH Small Research Grant (R03) award mechanism. The applicant will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project.

This FOA uses just-in-time concepts. It also uses the modular budget formats (see the “Modular Applications and Awards” section of the NIH Grants Policy Statement. All applications submitted in response to this FOA must use the modular budget format. Specifically, if you are submitting an application with direct costs in each year of $250,000 or less (excluding consortium Facilities and Administrative [F&A] costs), use the PHS398 Modular Budget component provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Package and SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (see specifically the Section 5.4, “Modular Budget Component,” of the Application Guide).

Competing renewal (formerly “competing continuation”) applications will not be accepted. Small grant support may not be used for thesis or dissertation research. Two resubmissions (formerly “revisions") of a previously reviewed R03 grant application may be submitted as defined in NIH Policy. See NOT-OD-05-046

Submission of an application under this funding opportunity precludes concurrent submission of any other Public Health Service application containing substantially the same research proposal. In addition, these R03 awards may not be used to supplement research projects currently supported by Federal or non-Federal funds, or to provide interim support of projects under review by the Public Health Service.

For specific information about the R03 programs, see:

2. Funds Available

Although the financial plans of the IC(s) provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this funding opportunity are contingent upon the availability of funds and the receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

A project period of up to two years and a budget for direct costs of up to two $25,000 modules or $50,000 per year may be requested. Some preference may be given to one year projects. It is expected that most of the analyses proposed in response to this announcement can be completed within a year. However, a few analyses, especially those that propose to link multiple datasets, involve restricted confidential data, or involve collaborations among several sites may take more than one year. For these reasons, up to two years of research may be supported. The particular reason or reasons for requesting the second year of support must be stated in the budget justification.

Facilities and administrative costs requested by consortium participants are not included in the direct cost limitation, see NOT-OD-05-004.

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

1.A. Eligible Institutions

You may submit (an) application(s) if your organization has any of the following characteristics:

1.B. Eligible Individuals

Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research is invited to work with their institution to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support. However, NIA limits eligibility under the R03 mechanism to new investigators or established investigators working in a new area. More information regarding NIA’s use of the R03 mechanism can be found at the following address:

A number of important datasets and archives are based in European and other countries (e.g., British birth cohorts, country-specific population registers). Many of these data sets offer unique insights into aging and are important aids in interpreting patterns of aging in the U.S. Domestic investigators are encouraged to collaborate with researchers at these foreign sites in order to access these datasets. Foreign-based investigators are also encouraged to apply for funding directly where it is clear that both the expertise and the data are at the foreign institution and of value to understanding aging in the U.S.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching
This program does not require cost sharing as defined in the current NIH Grants Policy Statement.

3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria

Applicants may submit more than one application, provided they are scientifically distinct.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

Registration and Instructions for Submission via

To download a SF424 (R&R) Application Package and SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for completing the SF424 (R&R) forms for this FOA, link to and follow the directions provided on that Web site.

A one-time registration is required for institutions/organizations at both:

PD/PIs should work with their institutions/organizations to make sure they are registered in the NIH Commons.

Several additional separate actions are required before an applicant institution/organization can submit an electronic application, as follows:

1) Organizational/Institutional Registration in Started

2) Organizational/Institutional Registration in the eRA Commons

3) Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) Registration in the NIH eRA Commons: Refer to the NIH eRA Commons System (COM) Users Guide.

Note that if a PD/PI is also an NIH peer-reviewer with an Individual DUNS and CCR registration, that particular DUNS number and CCR registration are for the individual reviewer only. These are different than any DUNS number and CCR registration used by an applicant organization. Individual DUNS and CCR registration should be used only for the purposes of personal reimbursement and should not be used on any grant applications submitted to the Federal Government.

Several of the steps of the registration process could take four weeks or more. Therefore, applicants should immediately check with their business official to determine whether their institution is already registered in both and the Commons. The NIH will accept electronic applications only from organizations that have completed all necessary registrations.

1. Request Application Information

Applicants must download the SF424 (R&R) application forms and instructions for this FOA through the Apply Web site.

Note: Only the forms package directly attached to a specific FOA can be used. You will not be able to use any other SF424 (R&R) forms (e.g., sample forms, forms from another FOA), although some of the "Attachment" files may be useable for more than one FOA.

For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Phone (301) 710-0267, Email:

Telecommunications for the hearing impaired: TTY 301-451-5936.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Prepare all applications using the SF424 (R&R) application forms and in accordance with the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (MS Word or PDF).

The SF424 (R&R) Application Guide is critical to submitting a complete and accurate application to NIH. There are fields within the SF424 (R&R) application components that, although not marked as mandatory, are required by NIH (e.g., the “Credential” log-in field of the “Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile” component must contain the PD/PI’s assigned eRA Commons User ID). Agency-specific instructions for such fields are clearly identified in the Application Guide. For additional information, see “Tips and Tools for Navigating Electronic Submission” on the front page of “Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.”

The SF424 (R&R) application is comprised of data arranged in separate components. Some components are required, others are optional. The forms package associated with this FOA in APPLY will include all applicable components, required and optional. A completed application in response to this FOA will include the following components:

Required Components:

SF424 (R&R) (Cover component)
Research & Related Project/Performance Site Locations
Research & Related Other Project Information
Research & Related Senior/Key Person
PHS398 Cover Page Supplement
PHS398 Research Plan
PHS398 Checklist
PHS398 Modular Budget

Optional Components:

PHS398 Cover Letter File
R&R Subaward Budget Attachment(s) Form

Note: While both budget components are included in the SF424 (R&R) forms package, the NIH R03 uses ONLY the PHS 398 Modular Budget. (Do not use the detailed Research & Related Budget.)

Foreign Organizations

Several special provisions apply to applications submitted by foreign organizations:

Proposed research should provide a unique research opportunity not available in the United States.

3. Submission Dates and Times

See Section IV.3.A for details.

3.A. Submission, Review and Anticipated Start Dates

Opening Date: May 2, 2006 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: Not Applicable
Application Submission Date(s): Standard dates apply. See for details.
AIDS Application Receipt Date(s): See
Peer Review Date(s): Standard dates apply. Please see for details.
Council Review Date(s): Standard dates apply. Please see for details.
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: Standard dates apply. Please see for details.

3.A.1. Letter of Intent
A letter of intent is not required for this funding opportunity.

3.B. Sending an Application to the NIH

To submit an application in response to this FOA, applicants should access this FOA via and follow steps 1-4. Note: Applications must only be submitted electronically

3.C. Application Processing

Applications may be submitted to on or after the opening date and must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. local time (of the applicant institution/organization) on the application submission date(s). (See Section IV.3.A. for all dates.) If an application is not submitted by the submission date(s) and time, the application may be delayed in the review process or not reviewed.

Upon receipt applications will be transferred from to the NIH Electronic Research Administration process for validation. Both the PD/PI and the Signing Official for the organization must verify the submission via Commons within 2 business days of notification of the NIH validation.

There will be immediate acknowledgement of receipt of applications via both and the Commons. Information related to the assignment of an application to the Scientific Review Group is also in the Commons.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the Center for Scientific Review, NIH. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

The NIH will not accept any application in response to this FOA that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial merit review unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. The NIH will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed. This does not preclude the submission of an application already reviewed with substantial changes, but such application must include an “Introduction” addressing the previous critique. Note such an application is considered a "resubmission" for the SF424 (R&R).

4. Intergovernmental Review
This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement (

Pre-Award Costs are allowable. A grantee may, at its own risk and without NIH prior approval, incur obligations and expenditures to cover costs up to 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new award if such costs: are necessary to conduct the project, and would be allowable under the grant, if awarded, without NIH prior approval. If specific expenditures would otherwise require prior approval, the grantee must obtain NIH approval before incurring the cost. NIH prior approval is required for any costs to be incurred more than 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new award.

The incurrence of pre-award costs in anticipation of a competing or non-competing award imposes no obligation on NIH either to make the award or to increase the amount of the approved budget if an award is made for less than the amount anticipated and is inadequate to cover the pre-award costs incurred. NIH expects the grantee to be fully aware that pre-award costs result in borrowing against future support and that such borrowing must not impair the grantee's ability to accomplish the project objectives in the approved time frame or in any way adversely affect the conduct of the project. See NIH Grants Policy Statement

6. Other Submission Requirements

The NIH requires the PD/PI to fill in his/her Commons User ID in the “PROFILE – Project Director/Principal Investigator” section, “Credential” log-in field of the “Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile” component. The applicant organization must include its DUNS number in its Organization Profile in the eRA Commons. This DUNS number must match the DUNS number provided at CCR registration with For additional information, see “Tips and Tools for Navigating Electronic Submission” on the front page of “Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.”

Renewal (formerly “competing continuation” or “Type 2”) applications are not permitted.

All application instructions outlined in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (MS Word or PDF) are to be followed, with the following requirements for R03 applications:

Note: While each section of the Research Plan needs to be uploaded separately as a PDF attachment, applicants are encouraged to construct the Research Plan as a single document, separating sections into distinct PDF attachments just before uploading the files. This approach will enable applicants to better monitor formatting requirements such as page limits. All attachments must be provided to NIH in PDF format, filenames must be included with no spaces or special characters, and a .pdf extension must be used.

Research Plan

The Specific Aims, Background and Significance, Preliminary Studies, and Research Design and Methods components of the Research Plan must not exceed 10 pages. All tables, graphs, figures, diagrams, and charts must be included with the 10-page limit. Be succinct and remember that there is no requirement to use all 10 pages allotted to the Research Plan.

Please note that a Progress Report is not needed.

For resubmission of an application, an Introduction (not to exceed one page) in addition
to the Research Plan is required. This Introduction, which is not included in the ten-
page limit, must include responses to the criticisms and issues raised in the summary
statement. The changes in the Research Plan must be clearly marked by appropriate
bracketing, indenting or changing of typography, unless the changes include most of the
text. Changes should be summarized in the Introduction.

Specific Instructions for Modular Grant applications.

All R03 applications must be submitted in the modular budget format. The modular budget format simplifies the preparation of the budget by limiting the level of budgetary detail. Applicants may request direct costs for two $25,000 modules, up to a total annual direct cost of $50,000 per year, for up to two years ($100,000 maximum, four modules of $25,000 each).

The SF 424 R&R Application Guide ( includes step-by-step guidance for preparing modular budgets. Additional information on modular budgets is available at

Plan for Sharing Research Data
Not Applicable

Sharing Research Resources
NIH policy requires that grant awardee recipients make unique research resources readily available for research purposes to qualified individuals within the scientific community after publication (see the NIH Grants Policy Statement at Investigators responding to this funding opportunity should include a plan for sharing research resources addressing how unique research resources will be shared or explain why sharing is not possible.

The adequacy of the resources sharing plan and any related data sharing plans will be considered by Program staff of the funding organization when making recommendations about funding applications. The effectiveness of the resource sharing will be evaluated as part of the administrative review of each non-competing Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590, See Section VI.3. Reporting.

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process.

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications submitted for this funding opportunity will be assigned to the ICs on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines.

Appropriate scientific review groups convened in accordance with the standard NIH peer review procedures ( will evaluate applications for scientific and technical merit.

As part of the initial merit review, all applications will:

Applications submitted in response to this funding opportunity will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

The NIH R03 small grant is a mechanism for supporting discrete, well-defined projects that realistically can be completed in two years and that require limited levels of funding. Because the research plan is restricted to 10 pages, an R03 grant application will not have the same level of detail or extensive discussion found in an R01 application. Accordingly, reviewers should evaluate the conceptual framework and general approach to the problem, placing less emphasis on methodological details and certain indicators traditionally used in evaluating the scientific merit of R01 applications including supportive preliminary data. Appropriate justification for the proposed work can be provided through literature citations, data from other sources, or from investigator-generated data. Preliminary data are not required, particularly in applications proposing pilot or feasibility studies.

The goals of NIH supported research are to advance our understanding of biological systems, to improve the control of disease, and to enhance health. In their written critiques, reviewers will be asked to comment on each of the following criteria 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 an 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.

Significance: Does this study address an important problem? If the aims of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge or clinical practice be advanced? What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?

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

Innovation: Is the project original and innovative? For example: Does the project challenge existing paradigms or clinical practice; address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in the field? Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools, or technologies for this area?

Investigators: Are the investigators 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? Does the investigative team bring complementary and integrated expertise to the project (if applicable)?

Environment: Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed studies benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, or subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional support?

2.A. Additional Review Criteria:

In addition to the above criteria, the following items will continue to be considered in the determination of scientific merit and the priority score:

Protection of Human Subjects from Research Risk: The involvement of human subjects and protections from research risk relating to their participation in the proposed research will be assessed. See item 6 of the Research Plan component of the SF424 (R&R).

Inclusion of Women and Minorities in Research: The adequacy of plans to include subjects from both genders and all racial and ethnic groups (and subgroups) as appropriate for the scientific goals of the research will be assessed. Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be evaluated. See item 7 of the Research Plan component of the SF424 (R&R).

Care and Use of Vertebrate Animals in Research: If vertebrate animals are to be used in the project, the five items described under item 11 of the Research Plan component of the SF 424 (R&R).

Biohazards: If materials or procedures are proposed that are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, determine if the proposed protection is adequate.

2.B. Additional Review Considerations

Budget: The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period of support in relation to the proposed research may be assessed by the reviewers. Is the percent effort listed for the PD/PI appropriate for the work proposed? Is each budget category realistic and justified in terms of the aims and methods?

Period of Support: The appropriateness of the requested period of support in relation to the proposed research.

2.C. Sharing Research Data

Not applicable.

2.D. Sharing Research Resources

NIH policy requires that grant awardee recipients make unique research resources readily available for research purposes to qualified individuals within the scientific community after publication (See the NIH Grants Policy Statement Investigators responding to this funding opportunity should include a sharing research resources plan addressing how unique research resources will be shared or explain why sharing is not possible.

Program staff will be responsible for the administrative review of the plan for sharing research resources.

The adequacy of the resources sharing plan will be considered by Program staff of the funding organization when making recommendations about funding applications. The effectiveness of the resource sharing will be evaluated as part of the administrative review of each non-competing Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590). See Section VI.3. Reporting.

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Not Applicable

Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD/PI will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written critique) via the NIH eRA Commons.

If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant. For details, applicants may refer to the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General.

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document. Once all administrative and programmatic issues have been resolved, the NoA will be generated via email notification from the awarding component to the grantee business official.

Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs. See Section IV.5., “Funding Restrictions.”

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities.

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Non-Competing Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

We encourage your inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants. Inquiries may fall into three areas: scientific/research, peer review, and financial or grants management issues:

1. Scientific/Research Contacts:

Elayne Heisler, Ph.D.
Behavioral and Social Research Program
National Institute on Aging
7201 Wisconsin Ave, Suite 533
Bethesda, MD 20892-9205
Telephone: (301) 496-3138
FAX : (301) 402-0051
Email: (e-mail correspondence is preferred)

2. Peer Review Contacts:
Not Applicable

3. Financial or Grants Management Contacts:

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

Section VIII. Other Information

Required Federal Citations

Use of Animals in Research:
Recipients of PHS support for activities involving live, vertebrate animals must comply with PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals ( as mandated by the Health Research Extension Act of 1985 (, and the USDA Animal Welfare Regulations ( as applicable.

Human Subjects Protection:
Federal regulations (45CFR46) require that applications and proposals involving human subjects must be evaluated with reference to the risks to the subjects, the adequacy of protection against these risks, the potential benefits of the research to the subjects and others, and the importance of the knowledge gained or to be gained (

Data and Safety Monitoring Plan:
Data and safety monitoring is required for all types of clinical trials, including physiologic toxicity and dose-finding studies (Phase I); efficacy studies (Phase II); efficacy, effectiveness and comparative trials (Phase III). Monitoring should be commensurate with risk. The establishment of data and safety monitoring boards (DSMBs) is required for multi-site clinical trials involving interventions that entail potential risks to the participants (NIH Policy for Data and Safety Monitoring, NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts,

Sharing Research Data:
Investigators submitting an NIH application seeking $500,000 or more in direct costs in any single year are expected to include a plan for data sharing or state why this is not possible (

Investigators should seek guidance from their institutions on issues related to institutional policies and local IRB rules, as well as local, State and Federal laws and regulations, including the Privacy Rule. Reviewers will consider the data sharing plan but will not factor the plan into the determination of scientific merit or the priority score.

Access to Research Data through the Freedom of Information Act:
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to provide 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 funding opportunity 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.

Sharing of Model Organisms:
NIH is committed to support efforts that encourage sharing of important research resources including the sharing of model organisms for biomedical research (see At the same time the NIH recognizes the rights of grantees and contractors to elect and retain title to subject inventions developed with Federal funding pursuant to the Bayh Dole Act (see the NIH Grants Policy Statement All investigators submitting an NIH application or contract proposal, beginning with the October 1, 2004 receipt date, are expected to include in the application/proposal a description of a specific plan for sharing and distributing unique model organism research resources generated using NIH funding or state why such sharing is restricted or not possible. This will permit other researchers to benefit from the resources developed with public funding. The inclusion of a model organism sharing plan is not subject to a cost threshold in any year and is expected to be included in all applications where the development of model organisms is anticipated.

Inclusion of Women And Minorities in Clinical Research:
It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their sub-populations must be included in all NIH-supported clinical research projects unless a clear and compelling justification is provided indicating 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 clinical research should read the "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research (; a complete copy of the updated Guidelines is available at The amended policy incorporates: the use of an NIH definition of clinical research; updated racial and ethnic categories in compliance with the new OMB standards; clarification of language governing NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials consistent with the SF424 (R&R); and updated roles and responsibilities of NIH staff and the extramural community. The policy continues to require for all NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials that: a) all applications or proposals and/or protocols must 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) investigators must report annual accrual and progress in conducting analyses, as appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group differences.

Inclusion of Children as Participants in Clinical Research:
The NIH maintains a policy that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) must be included in all clinical research, conducted or supported by the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them.

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 (

Required Education on the Protection of Human Subject Participants:
NIH policy requires education on the protection of human subject participants for all investigators submitting NIH applications for research involving human subjects and individuals designated as key personnel. The policy is available at

Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESC):
Criteria for federal funding of research on hESCs can be found at and at Only research using hESC lines that are registered in the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry will be eligible for Federal funding ( It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide in the project description and elsewhere in the application as appropriate, the official NIH identifier(s) for the hESC line(s)to be used in the proposed research. Applications that do not provide this information will be returned without review.

NIH Public Access Policy:
NIH-funded investigators are requested to submit to the NIH manuscript submission (NIHMS) system ( at PubMed Central (PMC) an electronic version of the author's final manuscript upon acceptance for publication, resulting from research supported in whole or in part with direct costs from NIH. The author's final manuscript is defined as the final version accepted for journal publication, and includes all modifications from the publishing peer review process.

NIH is requesting that authors submit manuscripts resulting from 1) currently funded NIH research projects or 2) previously supported NIH research projects if they are accepted for publication on or after May 2, 2005. The NIH Public Access Policy applies to all research grant and career development award mechanisms, cooperative agreements, contracts, Institutional and Individual Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards, as well as NIH intramural research studies. The Policy applies to peer-reviewed, original research publications that have been supported in whole or in part with direct costs from NIH, but it does not apply to book chapters, editorials, reviews, or conference proceedings. Publications resulting from non-NIH-supported research projects should not be submitted.

For more information about the Policy or the submission process please visit the NIH Public Access Policy Web site at and view the Policy or other Resources and Tools including the Authors' Manual (

Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information:
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued final modification to the "Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information", the "Privacy Rule", on August 14, 2002. The Privacy Rule is a federal regulation under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 that governs the protection of individually identifiable health information, and is administered and enforced by the DHHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

Decisions about applicability and implementation of the Privacy Rule reside with the researcher and his/her institution. The OCR Website ( provides information on the Privacy Rule, including a complete Regulation Text and a set of decision tools on "Am I a covered entity?" Information on the impact of the HIPAA Privacy Rule on NIH processes involving the review, funding, and progress monitoring of grants, cooperative agreements, and research contracts can be found at

URLs in NIH Grant Applications or Appendices:
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. Furthermore, we caution reviewers that their anonymity may be compromised when they directly access an Internet site.

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

Authority and Regulations:

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance at and is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review. Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The NIH Grants Policy Statement can be found at

The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free workplace and discourage the 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.

Loan Repayment Programs:
NIH encourages applications for educational loan repayment from qualified health professionals who have made a commitment to pursue a research career involving clinical, pediatric, contraception, infertility, and health disparities related areas. The LRP is an important component of NIH's efforts to recruit and retain the next generation of researchers by providing the means for developing a research career unfettered by the burden of student loan debt. Note that an NIH grant is not required for eligibility and concurrent career award and LRP applications are encouraged. The periods of career award and LRP award may overlap providing the LRP recipient with the required commitment of time and effort, as LRP awardees must commit at least 50% of their time (at least 20 hours per week based on a 40 hour week) for two years to the research. For further information, please see:

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
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