Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Funding Opportunity Number (FON)
Analytical Validation of a Candidate Biomarker for Neurological or Neuromuscular Disorders (U01 Clinical Trial Optional)
Activity Code

U01 Research Project – Cooperative Agreements

Announcement Type
Reissue of PAR-21-056
Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Related Notices

    See Notices of Special Interest associated with this funding opportunity

  • August 31, 2022- Implementation Changes for Genomic Data Sharing Plans Included with Applications Due on or after January 25, 2023. See Notice NOT-OD-22-198.
  • August 5, 2022- Implementation Details for the NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy. See Notice NOT-OD-22-189.
Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) Number
PAR-24-095
Companion Funding Opportunity
PAR-24-096 , U44 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Cooperative Agreements - Phase II
PAR-24-097 , U01 Research Project (Cooperative Agreements)
PAR-24-098 , U44 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Cooperative Agreements - Phase II
Assistance Listing Number(s)
93.853
Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of this notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) is to support rigorous analytical validation of method(s) used for measuring biomarkers for neurological and neuromuscular disorders for use in clinical trials or clinical practice.  Applicants must justify the unmet need for the biomarker(s) and measurement methods and specify one or two context(s) of use for the biomarker(s). Activities supported include optimizing and evaluating the accuracy, precision, reportable range, and analytical sensitivity and specificity of the detection method across multiple sites and operators and establishing reference intervals and quality control procedures. Multi-site applications are expected but not required.  

This NOFO requires a Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP), which will be assessed as part of the scientific and technical peer review evaluation. Applications that fail to include a PEDP will be considered incomplete and will be withdrawn.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the NOFOinstructions carefully and view the available PEDP guidance material.

The NIH recognizes that diverse teams working together and capitalizing on innovative ideas and distinct perspectives outperform homogeneous teams. There are many benefits that flow from a diverse scientific workforce, including: fostering scientific innovation, enhancing global competitiveness, contributing to robust learning environments, improving the quality of the research, advancing the likelihood that underserved populations participate in, and benefit from research, and enhancing public trust.

To support the best science, the NIH encourages inclusivity in research. Examples of structures that promote diverse perspectives include but are not limited to:

  • Transdisciplinary research projects and collaborations among neuroscientists and researchers from fields such as computational biology, physics, engineering, mathematics, computer and data sciences, as well as bioethics.
  • Engagement from different types of institutions and organizations (e.g., research-intensive, undergraduate-focused, minority-serving, community-based).
  • Individual applications and partnerships that enhance geographic and regional heterogeneity.
  • Investigators and teams composed of researchers at different career stages.
  • Participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including groups traditionally underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research workforce (see NOT-OD-20-031), such as underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, those with disabilities, those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and women.
  • Opportunities to enhance the research environment to benefit early- and mid-career investigators.

Key Dates

Posted Date
January 22, 2024
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
February 22, 2024
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

30 days prior to the application due date.

Application Due Dates Review and Award Cycles
New Renewal / Resubmission / Revision (as allowed) AIDS - New/Renewal/Resubmission/Revision, as allowed Scientific Merit Review Advisory Council Review Earliest Start Date
March 22, 2024 March 22, 2024 Not Applicable July 2024 October 2024 December 2024
June 21, 2024 June 21, 2024 Not Applicable November 2024 January 2025 April 2025
February 21, 2025 February 21, 2025 Not Applicable July 2025 October 2025 December 2025
June 20, 2025 June 20, 2025 Not Applicable November 2025 January 2026 April 2026
February 20, 2026 February 20, 2026 Not Applicable July 2026 October 2026 December 2026
June 22, 2026 June 22, 2026 Not Applicable November 2026 January 2027 April 2027

All applications are due by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. 

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.

Expiration Date
June 23, 2026
Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Research (R) Instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide , except where instructed to do otherwise (in this NOFO or in a Notice from NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts).

Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the NOFO) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions.

Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

There are several options available to submit your application through Grants.gov to NIH and Department of Health and Human Services partners. You must use one of these submission options to access the application forms for this opportunity.

  1. Use the NIH ASSIST system to prepare, submit and track your application online.
  2. Use an institutional system-to-system (S2S) solution to prepare and submit your application to Grants.gov and eRA Commons to track your application. Check with your institutional officials regarding availability.

  3. Use Grants.gov Workspace to prepare and submit your application and eRA Commons to track your application.


  4. Table of Contents

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Notice of Funding Opportunity Description

Background

A biomarker is a defined characteristic that is measured as an indicator of a normal biological process, pathogenic process, or responses to an exposure or intervention, including therapeutic interventions. Biomarker modalities are diverse, and can include ‘omics, imaging, behavioral, digital and physiologic endpoints. Because the measurement of the biomarker is integral to defining the biomarker, it is necessary to describe the biomarker in terms of its biological source or matrix, measurable features, and the analytic method used to measure it (“detection method”).

Biomarkers are critical to the discovery and development of therapeutics and can serve a variety of functions such as verifying therapeutic target engagement, improving trial design by patient stratification, and facilitating clinical care decisions. Despite the active pace of discovery of novel biomarker candidates, few biomarkers progress beyond discovery to the robust analytical and clinical validation needed for use in Phase II and Phase III clinical trials. Thus, there is a critical need to advance validation of biomarkers to improve public health, particularly for disorders of the nervous system where advancing therapeutics from discovery to the market are notoriously challenging. Validation of biomarkers for all neurological and neuromuscular disorders within NINDS’ mission and across the age spectrum are within scope.

This NOFO is intended to address the gap in biomarker validation by encouraging rigorous analytical validation of the biomarker detection method for one or two specified context(s) of use. 

Definitions of terms used in this NOFO :

  • Context of Use (COU): A statement that fully and clearly describes the way the biomarker is expected to be used. The COU should include the biomarker category (susceptibility/risk, diagnostic, monitoring, prognostic, predictive, pharmacodynamic/response, or safety), the modality, method of detection, and clinical population characteristics. Context of use statements are discussed extensively in the Framework for Defining Evidentiary Criteria for Biomarker Qualification developed by the Biomarkers Consortium: https://fnih.org/sites/default/files/final/pdf/Evidentiary%20Criteria%20Framework%20Final%20Version%20Oct%2020%202016.pdf
  • Concept: In a regulatory context, the concept is the aspect of an individual’s clinical, biological, physical, or functional state, or experience that the assessment is intended to indicate or reflect.
  • Detection method: The method(s) used for measuring the biomarker(s).
  • Analytical Validation: A process to establish that the performance characteristics of a test, tool, or instrument are acceptable in terms of its sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, precision, and other relevant performance characteristics using a specified technical protocol (which may include specimen collection, handling and storage procedures). This is validation of the test’s, tool’s, or instrument’s technical performance to measure the biomarker(s) of interest.
  • Clinical Validation: A process to establish that the test, tool, or instrument acceptably identifies, measures or predicts the concept of interest. Clinical validation establishes the data needed to support conclusions or interpret the results of the biomarker(s) readout, and the level of confidence for these interpretations.
  • Composite biomarkers/biomarker signatures: when more than one biomarker is being validated for the same context of use (e.g., a panel of biomarkers, or set of features used as a composite indicator).
  • Clinical Outcome Assessment (COA): a measure that describes or reflects how a patient feels, functions, or survives (includes patient-reported outcomes, observer-reported outcomes, clinician-reported outcomes, and performance outcomes).
  • Digital Biomarker: The term “digital biomarker” is widely used to mean assessments that include both biological processes (such as changes in heart rate or galvanic skin response) as well as performance assessments (such as measurements derived from accelerometers). Both digital biomarkers and digital performance assessment are within scope of this NOFO, however other patient-reported outcomes, observer-reported outcomes, and clinician reported outcomes are not within scope.

Biomarker categories as defined in the Biomarkers, EndpointS, and Other Tools (BEST) Resources (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK338448/) include:

  • Monitoring biomarkers to track the success of a therapeutic intervention or the disease progression
  • Diagnostic biomarkers used to detect or confirm presence of a disease or condition of interest or to identify individuals with a subtype of the disease.
  • Prognostic biomarkers for predicting outcomes
  • Predictive biomarkers for differentiating individuals based on favorable or unfavorable effect from a therapeutic or other intervention
  • Pharmacodynamic/response biomarker that indicates biologic activity of a medical product or environmental agent without necessarily drawing conclusions about efficacy or disease outcome or necessarily linking this activity to an established mechanism of action.
  • Safety biomarkers to indicate the likelihood, presence, or extent of an adverse effect
  • Susceptibility/risk biomarkers that indicate the potential for developing a disease or medical condition in an individual who does not currently have a clinically apparent disease.

Research Objectives

This NOFO supports research to conduct analytical validation of the detection method for a biomarker or biomarker signature or composite biomarker for one or two specified context(s) of use.  Premise for the utility of the biomarker(s) should include evidence that the biomarker/biomarker signature/composite has undergone preliminary testing in an appropriate clinical population, using either prospective or retrospective data or samples, and shows sufficient clinical sensitivity and specificity and/or association with the biological concept of interest to warrant additional investment.  In addition, applications to this NOFO should include evidence that the detection method for the biomarker has already been developed and subjected to initial evaluation of precision and analytical sensitivity. This NOFO supports research that clearly describes how the proposed study plans to optimize and standardize the detection method, as well as clearly define and rigorously test the analytic and pre-analytic variables to evaluate and reduce sources of variability when measuring the biomarker.

Earlier stage research that still needs to conduct clinical proof of concept studies to establish the relationship between candidate biomarkers with a concept of interest (with or without detection method development) should consider applying to the companion NOFO, PAR-22-089 “Development of Biomarkers or Biomarker Signatures for Neurological and Neuromuscular Disorders”. Alternatively, studies that are seeking to conduct final clinical validation research using detection methods that have already been extensively analytically validated for the proposed context of use should consider the companion NOFO “Clinical Validation of Biomarkers for Neurological and Neuromuscular conditions”.  

The Analytical Validation NOFOs and companion Clinical Validation NOFOs are designed to help gather the data package needed for clinical trial readiness and may be used to support a submission to the FDA’s Biomarker Qualification Submission or to the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

For more information on the Biomarker Qualification program see: https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DevelopmentApprovalProcess/DrugDevelopmentToolsQualificationProgram/BiomarkerQualificationProgram/default.htm

Application Characteristics

  • A strong justification for use of the proposed detection method and biomarker including clinical and/or research unmet need should be included.
  • Feasibility, including potential added clinical burden and cost should also be directly addressed.
  • The status of the existing detection method and the plan for its optimization in clinical laboratories or point of care settings should be described.
  • The project should include analytical validation in multiple testing sites. If a single site is proposed, a scientific justification should be included.
  • Milestones describing the metrics for evaluating analytical validation to assess success in achieving each of the research plan’s objectives must be included.

Although an individual indicator may be useful as more than one category of biomarker (i.e. both diagnostic and monitoring) the type of evidence required to validate it depends on the biomarker category specified; for example, a monitoring biomarker would need to demonstrate robustness in a longitudinal study design whereas a diagnostic may be evaluated at a cross sectional design. Thus, defining the biomarker category(ies) is essential to developing the experimental design and analytical performance necessary to validate it.

  • The research strategy should clearly describe how the application will utilize a rigorous design, execution, and interpretation of the proposed studies. NINDS encourages investigators, whenever possible, to address these elements directly in their applications.

Analytical Validation should include the following metrics with use of FDA guidance standards appropriate for the Context of Use

  • Accuracy
  • Precision
  • Analytical sensitivity
  • Analytical specificity including interfering substances or signals
  • Reportable range of test results for the test system
  • Reference intervals (normal values) with controls and calibrators
  • Harmonization of analytical performance of the detection method to be performed in multiple laboratories
  • Establishment of appropriate quality control and improvement procedures
  • Any other performance characteristics necessary for establishing calibration and control procedures

Collaborations

Multi-disciplinary collaboration among scientific investigators, developers, clinicians, statisticians, consultants, and clinical laboratory staff are an integral part of the application. Projects proposed for this NOFO should utilize multi-site design as applicable, with standardized data stewardship to ensure reproducibility and reliability across users and operators.

Investigators are encouraged to form collaborations with individuals knowledgeable in the FDA qualification process as well as those familiar with the process of analytical validation, including statistical design and analysis experts.

Leveraging Existing Resources

Where applicable, applicants are encouraged to leverage existing research resources for their studies. Such resources may include clinical biospecimen samples from the NINDS Human Biospecimen and Data Repository (BioSEND; https://biosend.org/) or other existing biospecimen, imaging and data repositories. Leveraging the resources of ongoing clinical trials or clinical studies supported through other Federal or private funds is also encouraged.

Project Milestones

A project timeline with annual milestones must be included in the application (see Section IV). Milestones should describe project decision points with results-driven, quantitative metrics for go/no-go decision making throughout the funding period.

The NIH Program Official will contact the applicant to discuss the proposed milestones prior to the award. Under this Cooperative Agreement mechanism, NINDS Program Staff will have substantial communication and involvement with researchers in decision-making prior to award and during the conduct of the study to provide oversight of data and safety monitoring, ensure the timely completion of the proposed studies and to maximize the positive impact of the studies on upcoming clinical trials. The Program Officer and Scientific Officer will discuss with the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) any recommended changes to the research plan or suggestions from peer review, and the plan and milestones may be revised as appropriate prior to the award.

Rigor, Reproducibility, Data Sharing and Intellectual Property

NINDS, as part of NIH, strives for rigor and transparency in all research it funds. For this reason, NINDS explicitly emphasizes the NIH application instructions related to rigor and transparency (https://grants.nih.gov/policy/reproducibility/guidance.htm) and provides additional guidance to the scientific community (https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Funding/grant_policy). For example, the biological rationale for the proposed experiments must be based on rigorous and robust supporting data, which means that data should be collected via methods that minimize the risk of bias and be reported in a transparent manner. If previously published or preliminary studies do not meet these standards, applicants should address how the current study design addresses the deficiencies in rigor and transparency. Proposed experiments should likewise be designed in a manner that minimizes the risk of bias and ensures validity of experimental results.

To improve reproducibility and community uptake, investigators are generally expected to share code/scripts, analytic tools/statistical models, protocols/processes and metadata before the end of the project’s period of performance. If there is a plan to commercialize aspects of the project such as analytic software, applicants should consult with their tech transfer office when developing the data sharing plan and intellectual property plan.  Budgets should reflect any costs associated with these efforts. Information on many available NIH supported or frequently used repositories is available at: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/NIHbmic/nih_data_sharing_repositories.html

Applicants collecting biofluid samples from prospectively enrolled study participants are encouraged to share samples through the NINDS biomarker repository, BioSEND (https://biosend.org/ ) to provide the broader scientific community with a data resource for hypothesis generation and test validation. Applicants should contact BioSEND to incorporate sharing plans and cost in their application.

Pre-Application Consultation

Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with NINDS Program Staff early on during the planning for an application. This early contact will provide an opportunity to discuss and clarify NINDS policies and guidelines, including the scope of the project relative to the NINDS mission and intent of this NOFO. These discussions can also provide any needed clarification regarding development of an appropriate timeline and milestone plan.

Funding Considerations

Applications within the top scoring meritorious range will be considered for funding. Within that range, priority may be placed on applications that fill a critical program gap to ensure biomarker development that is reflective of the breadth of disorders and conditions within NINDS’s mission. Additionally, priority will be given to biomarkers that: 1) address an unmet medical need, 2) are supported by a strong biological rationale, 3) include a carefully designed plan for performance evaluation, 4) include a plan for standardization of samples and data collection for use in validation and 5) provide a strong justification for the utility of the biomarker in the clinical setting or for use in clinical trial design.

Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP)

  • This NOFO requires a Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP) as described in NOT-MH-21-310,submitted as Other Project Information as an attachment (see Section IV).
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the NOFO instructions carefully and view the available PEDP guidance material. The PEDP will be assessed as part of the scientific and technical peer review evaluation, as well as considered among programmatic matters with respect to funding decisions.

Applications Not Responsive to this NOFO

Non-responsive studies include:

  • clinical trials or clinical research where the primary intent is to develop therapeutic agents or devices,
  • clinical trials or clinical research to evaluate a therapeutic agent or device’s clinical safety, efficacy, effectiveness, and/or clinical management,
  • pre-clinical research using animal models,
  • applications where the primary intent is to validate clinical outcome assessments rather than biomarkers, 
  • applications that do not specify the context(s) of use,
  • applications that do not include milestones,
  • applications that are not within the NINDS mission

Non-responsive applications will be administratively withdrawn without review.

See Section VIII. Other Information for award authorities and regulations.

Investigators proposing NIH-defined clinical trials may refer to the Research Methods Resources website for information about developing statistical methods and study designs.

Section II. Award Information

Funding Instrument

Cooperative Agreement: A financial assistance mechanism used when there will be substantial Federal scientific or programmatic involvement. Substantial involvement means that, after award, NIH scientific or program staff will assist, guide, coordinate, or participate in project activities. See Section VI.2 for additional information about the substantial involvement for this NOFO.

Application Types Allowed
New
Resubmission
Revision

The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types. Only those application types listed here are allowed for this NOFO.

Clinical Trial?

Optional: Accepting applications that either propose or do not propose clinical trial(s).

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Award Budget

Application budgets are not limited but should to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

Award Project Period

T?he scope of the proposed project should determine the project period. The maximum project period is 4 years.

NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made from this NOFO.

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Organizations

All organizations administering an eligible parent award may apply for a supplement under this NOFO.

Higher Education Institutions

  • Public/State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education
  • Private Institutions of Higher Education

The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:

  • Hispanic-serving Institutions
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)
  • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions
  • Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

  • Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)
  • Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)

For-Profit Organizations

  • Small Businesses
  • For-Profit Organizations (Other than Small Businesses)

Local Governments

  • State Governments
  • County Governments
  • City or Township Governments
  • Special District Governments
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized)

Federal Government

  • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
  • U.S. Territory or Possession

Other

  • Independent School Districts
  • Public Housing Authorities/Indian Housing Authorities
  • Native American Tribal Organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Faith-based or Community-based Organizations
  • Regional Organizations
Foreign Organizations

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Organizations) are not eligible to apply.

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply.

Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are allowed. 

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. Failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission, please reference NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 2.3.9.2 Electronically Submitted Applications for additional information. 

  • System for Award Management (SAM) – Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
    • NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code – Foreign organizations must obtain an NCAGE code (in lieu of a CAGE code) in order to register in SAM.
    • Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) - A UEI is issued as part of the SAM.gov registration process. The same UEI must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • eRA Commons - Once the unique organization identifier is established, organizations can register with eRA Commons in tandem with completing their Grants.gov registration; all registrations must be in place by time of submission. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • Grants.gov – Applicants must have an active SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s))

All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account.  PD(s)/PI(s) should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate their existing account with the applicant organization in eRA Commons. If the PD/PI is also the organizational Signing Official, they must have two distinct eRA Commons accounts, one for each role. Obtaining an eRA Commons account can take up to 2 weeks.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with their organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and women are always encouraged to apply for NIH support. See, Reminder: Notice of NIH's Encouragement of Applications Supporting Individuals from Underrepresented Ethnic and Racial Groups as well as Individuals with Disabilities, NOT-OD-22-019.

For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

2. Cost Sharing

This NOFO does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 1.2 Definition of Terms.

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

Number of Applications

Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time, per NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 2.3.7.4 Submission of Resubmission Application. This means that the NIH will not accept:

  • A new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping new (A0) or resubmission (A1) application.
  • A resubmission (A1) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of the previous new (A0) application.
  • An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see NIH Grants Policy Statement 2.3.9.4 Similar, Essentially Identical, or Identical Applications).

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

The application forms package specific to this opportunity must be accessed through ASSIST, Grants.gov Workspace or an institutional system-to-system solution. Links to apply using ASSIST or Grants.gov Workspace are available in Part 1 of this NOFO. See your administrative office for instructions if you plan to use an institutional system-to-system solution.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Research (R) Instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide except where instructed in this notice of funding opportunity to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

Letter of Intent

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows IC staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

By the date listed in Part 1. Overview Information, prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • Name(s), address(es), and telephone number(s) of the PD(s)/PI(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Carol Taylor-Burds, PhD
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Telephone: 301-496-1779
Email: carol.taylor-burds@nih.gov

Page Limitations

All page limitations described in the How to Apply – Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.

Instructions for Application Submission

The following section supplements the instructions found in the How to Apply – Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this NOFO.

SF424(R&R) Cover

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

Other Attachments:  

Timeline and Proposed Milestones (required; 3 pages maximum)

Milestones should describe project decision points with quantitative metrics for go/no-go decision making throughout the funding period. Annual quantitative milestones are required to provide clear indicators of a project's continued progress or emergent difficulties. Milestones will be used to monitor project progress as part of the evaluation for continued funding by the Program Official and Project Scientists.

For each milestone, provide a brief description of the success criteria and justification for those criteria.

Quantitative milestones are dependent on the project but should include items such as:

  • Progress metrics such as enrollment goals, sample and data collection goals, key experiments conducted, etc.
  • Performance metrics such as reaching target sensitivity, specificity, precision and accuracy thresholds, achieving target inter and intra rater reliability and achieving other QA/QC thresholds needed for successful analytical validation across sites (if applicable) and operators. 
  • If applicable, planned interactions to obtain feedback or submit qualification packages to regulatory agencies such as the FDA or CMS such as, but not limited to, filing for qualification as a medical device development tool, letter of intent for biomarker qualification, CLIA certification, or plans to request an FDA Q-Submission meeting

A Gantt chart for the timeline of attaching each milestone must be included.

Team management plan (required; 3 pages maximum):

 All applicants must include a team management plan that describes the workflow of the team/key personnel. Applicants are strongly encouraged to form multidisciplinary teams that consist of clinical scientists, disease/biology matter expertise, statisticians, particularly those with clinical trial design expertise, regulatory expertise, and other academic/industry experts relevant to the modalities used in the application. Describe how the team will work together (e.g., data generation, reporting of data and integrated review across teams with various disciplines, decision-making, etc.) over the course of the project and include letters of support (below). This section should be complementary to the “Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan” leadership plan by focusing on how the project will be managed across sites, PIs, co-Is and consultants.  Effective project management is a critical component of achieving the program goals, especially as the team size increases. Elements to consider include: 

  • Organizational structure, team composition, and roles
  • Shared vision, contributions, and distributed responsibility for decision-making
  • Resource sharing and allocation
  • Credit assignment
  • Knowledge Transfer
  • Coordination and communication
  • Intra-team data sharing, archiving, and preservation

Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP) :

  • In an "Other Attachment" entitled "Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives," all applicants must include a summary of strategies to advance the scientific and technical merit of the proposed project through expanded inclusivity.
  • The PEDP should provide a holistic and integrated view of how enhancing diverse perspectives is viewed and supported throughout the application and can incorporate elements with relevance to any review criteria (significance, investigator(s), innovation, approach, and environment) as appropriate.
  • Where possible, applicant(s) should align their description with these required elements within the research strategy section.
  • The PEDP will vary depending on the scientific aims, expertise required, the environment and performance site(s), as well as how the project aims are structured.
  • The PEDP may be no more than 1-page in length and should include a timeline and milestones for relevant components that will be considered as part of the review.

Examples of items that advance inclusivity in research and may be part of the PEDP can include, but are not limited to:

  • Discussion of engagement with different types of institutions and organizations (e.g., research-intensive, undergraduate-focused, minority-serving, community-based).
  • Description of any planned partnerships that may enhance geographic and regional diversity.
  • Plan to enhance recruiting of women and individuals from groups historically under-represented in the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research workforce.
  • Proposed monitoring activities to identify and measure PEDP progress benchmarks.
  • Plan to utilize the project infrastructure (i.e., research and structure) to support career-enhancing research opportunities for diverse junior, early- and mid-career researchers.
  • Description of any training and/or mentoring opportunities available to encourage participation of students, postdoctoral researchers and co-investigators from diverse backgrounds.
  • Plan to develop transdisciplinary collaboration(s) that require unique expertise and/or solicit diverse perspectives to address research question(s).
  • Publication plan that enumerates planned manuscripts and proposed lead authorship.
  • Outreach and planned engagement activities to enhance recruitment of individuals from diverse groups as research participants including those from under-represented backgrounds.

For further information on the Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP), please see https://braininitiative.nih.gov/about/plan-enhancing-diverse-perspectives-pedp

Associated clinical trial protocols and consent forms (required if applicable; no page limit): Applications that propose to conduct ancillary studies to clinical trials and/or leverage samples/data collected from previous clinical trials must include the clinical trial protocols and consent forms used in the trials.

Intellectual Property Plan (if applicable; 1 page maximum):  Applicants are encouraged to prepare this section in consultation with their institutions' technology transfer officials.

Applicants should describe any constraints of which they are aware that could impede commercialization (e.g., certain restrictions under transfer or sharing agreements, applicants' previous or present IP filings and publications, similar biomarkers that are under patent protection and/or on the market, etc.) and how these issues could be addressed with achieving the goals of this program. If the IP of the detection method device/technology/software is owned by an entity other than the applicant's institution, then a letter of support should be obtained indicating there will not be any limitations imposed on the studies or the product which would impede achieving the goals of the funding program. If patents have been filed around the biomarker detection method(s) used in this application, then the applicant should indicate the details of filing dates, what type of patents are filed, and application status, and associated USPTO links, if applicable

Letters of Support (if applicable; no page limits):

  • Applicants should include letters of support from consultants, contractors, and collaborators.
  • Include letters of support/agreement for any collaborative/cooperative arrangements, subcontracts, consultants, and / or BioSEND if biospecimens are being collected.
  • If applicable, include a letter of support from the technology transfer official who will be managing intellectual property associated with this project.
  • If research will be performed at more than one institution, include a letter of support from each institution clarifying how intellectual property will be shared or otherwise managed across the institutions.
  • If collaborating with a private entity, include a letter of support that addresses any agreement to provide agent(s), any limits on the studies that can be performed with said agent(s), any limitations on sharing of data (including negative results), and whether a licensing agreement(s) will be needed and in place once the project is funded. This letter should come from a high official within the private entity who has authority to speak on these issues.
  • If an application plans to utilize the infrastructure or resources of existing projects, whether funded by the NINDS, other governmental or non-governmental entities, letters of support detailing the terms of collaboration and data sharing must be included.

If existing biospecimens are to be used, include letters of support or approval for use of those samples, including those banked at BioSEND. For example, if samples include those adjudicated by the Parkinson's Disease Biospecimen Review Access Committee (PD-BRAC), a letter indicating BRAC approval should be included (https://pdbp.ninds.nih.gov/pd-brac)

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

R&R or Modular Budget

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PEDP implementation costs

  • Applicants may include allowable costs associated with PEDP implementation (as outlined in the Grants Policy Statement section 7:https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps/html5/section_7/7.1_general.htm).

R&R Subaward Budget

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS 398 Research Plan

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

This NOFO supports the validation of analytical methods for biomarker measurements, including evaluation of the detection method, its performance characteristics, and the optimal conditions that will generate reproducibility and accuracy consistent with FDA guidelines that are fit for the purpose of the detection method.

Context of Use and Specific Aims

Context of Usebriefly describe the contexts of use which must include both the BEST biomarker category and the biomarker’s intended use in therapeutic development or clinical practice (no more than two contexts of use should be included).

Specific Aims Briefly describe the project aims, including the technical questions to be answered and the performance outcomes and characteristics needed in order to be used for the stated Context of Use(s). A scientific hypothesis is not required for this type of application.

Research Strategy

The Research Strategy Section should include the following sections and address the following topics:

Clinical Context and Unmet Need:

  • Explaining on the Context of Use described in the aims page, explain how the biomarker/biomarker signature/composite is intended to be used to advance therapeutic development or in clinical practice, including the clinical population(s) where the biomarker is intended to be used.
  • Describe the unmet need for the candidate biomarker; if applicable, justify how the candidate biomarker and detection method will be a meaningful advancement to any existing biomarkers, outcome assessments, or other tools that are currently being used for the same context of use.
  • Describe the feasibility of broadly implementing the detection method for the proposed context of use, including limiting factors such technical expertise, amount of time or cost or burden for patients and clinicians.  
  • Explain why the proposed analytical validation studies are needed to advance translational medicine for the context of use specified.

Premise, Biological Rationale and Technical Readiness:

  • Applicants should describe the rigor, robustness, and transparency of supporting data that are being used to justify the proposed study and address any gaps identified. Provide rigorous supporting literature and/or preliminary data supporting the biological premise for the candidate biomarker(s) as an indicator(s) of a normal biological process, pathogenic process, or biological responses to an exposure or intervention, including therapeutic interventions, as appropriate for the specified context of use.
  • Describe the evidence that the biomarker has undergone initial testing in the relevant clinical population using retrospective or prospective data, including the initial sensitivity(ies) and specificity(ies) that has/have been found.
  • Describe the method of detection and cite any protocols, patents for prototypes demonstrating it is ready for analytical validation testing rather than still requiring significant hardware or software development.
  • Explain the scope of what specimens or signals will be used for the analytical validation studies (e.g., serum, plasma, CSF, fresh frozen or formalin-fixed tissue, neuroimaging modalities and protocols, behavioral or physiological measures, etc).
  • Summarize the available data on the current performance metrics for the detection method and explain what additional optimization and/or additional performance metrics need to be evaluated for the proposed context of use.  
  • Describe the overall strengths, weaknesses, and rigor of the supporting literature and preliminary data.

Approach and Statistical Analysis Plan:

  • NINDS urges investigators to follow the NIH guidance for rigor and transparency in grant applications. These recommended research practices include, where applicable, expressing clear rationale for the chosen model(s) and primary/secondary endpoint(s), describing tools and parameters clearly, blinding, randomizing, ensuring adequate sample size, pre-specifying inclusion/exclusion criteria, appropriately handling missing data and outliers, implementing appropriate controls, preplanning analyses, and using appropriate quantitative techniques.It is also strongly recommended to indicate clearly the exploratory vs. confirmatory components of the study, consider study limitations, and plan for transparent reporting of all methods, analyses, and results so that other investigators can evaluate the quality of the work and potentially perform replications.
  • Describe the overall research strategy, experimental design and statistical analysis plans to optimize performance of the detection method and evaluate the analytical validity for the proposed Context of Use. Applicants should provide a Statistical Analysis Plan (SAP) for analyses specified in the study protocol, including a description of how the statistical analysis of the primary, secondary, and other endpoints will be performed; how the sample size was determined; how missing data will be handled;  and other measures to ensure rigor and transparency of the analysis. 
  • If applicable, the SAP should include sufficient details about any computer simulations used to investigate the operating characteristics or to determine sample size, accounting for the impact of noncompliance, missing data, subject eligibility criteria, etc. It is particularly important to discuss the range of conditions that were considered in the simulation and why this range was considered appropriate, how robust the findings were across the range of conditions considered, and how the study will adjust for any design deficiencies (e.g., bias, loss of power) the simulations revealed.
  • Describe the approaches for ensuring standardization of data/sample collection. If retrospective samples or data are being used, provide details as to how they were collected and plans to address and evaluate differences across sites/sources.
  • Describe any controls or calibrators to be used, or to be developed, and how they will be validated.
  • Describe the plans to evaluate and minimize variability due to any pre-analytic variables such as sample collection and preparation, signal acquisition, or other potentially interfering variables. 
  • Describe the plan for evaluating (i) Accuracy, (ii) Precision, (iii) Analytical sensitivity, (iv) Analytical specificity including interfering substances/signals, (v) Reportable range of test results for the test system, (vi) Reference intervals (normal values) with controls and calibrators, (vii) inter and intra variability across multiple operators and laboratories (if applicable), (viii) Any other performance characteristic needed to determine if the detection method is sufficiently robust, reliable and accurate for the specified context of use. 
  • If an algorithm, or machine learning will be used to measure the biomarker(s), provide detailed plans for validation of the algorithm(s) including training and testing procedures and address how overfitting will be avoided. Describe how the algorithm stability and reliability will be tested, and the overall rationale for the approaches(es)/model(s) selected.

If an application proposes to use only a single site for analytical validation, then a short paragraph with the heading “justification for single site analytical validation” must be included to justify why a multisite setting is unnecessary or impossible (such as for rare diseases/conditions that can only be diagnosed or treated in a few specialized settings)

Resource Sharing Plan:

Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. 

Applicants planning to collect biofluid samples from prospectively enrolled study participants should also provide the broader scientific community with a biofluid sample resource for hypothesis generation, test validation, and discovery related through the NINDS biomarker repository, BioSEND (https://biosend.org/). Applicants should contact BioSEND to incorporate sharing plans and cost in their application. Note that costs for collection are NOT included as a component of the NINDS Biomarkers Repository award. 

Other Plan(s):

Note: Effective for due dates on or after January 25, 2023, the Data Management and Sharing Plan will be attached in the Other Plan(s) attachment in FORMS-H application forms packages.

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

  • All applicants planning research (funded or conducted in whole or in part by NIH) that results in the generation of scientific data are required to comply with the instructions for the Data Management and Sharing Plan. All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, must address a Data Management and Sharing Plan.  
Appendix:

Only limited Appendix materials are allowed. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

The Appendix should include the following, as appropriate for the proposed study:

  • Standardized protocols for measuring the biomarkers proposed
  • If the investigators have had communications with the FDA about the proposed biomarker(s) or device/technology used to measure the biomarker(s), a summary of the meeting or documentation of guidance from the FDA is required.
PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

When involving human subjects research, clinical research, and/or NIH-defined clinical trials (and when applicable, clinical trials research experience) follow all instructions for the PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following additional instructions:

If you answered “Yes” to the question “Are Human Subjects Involved?” on the R&R Other Project Information form, you must include at least one human subjects study record using the Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form or Delayed Onset Study record.

Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

Delayed Onset Study

Note: Delayed onset does NOT apply to a study that can be described but will not start immediately (i.e., delayed start). All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS Assignment Request Form

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

See Part 1. Section III.1 for information regarding the requirement for obtaining a unique entity identifier and for completing and maintaining active registrations in System for Award Management (SAM), NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code (if applicable), eRA Commons, and Grants.gov

4. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates and times. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission. When a submission date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.

Organizations must submit applications to Grants.gov (the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies). Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration. NIH and Grants.gov systems check the application against many of the application instructions upon submission. Errors must be corrected and a changed/corrected application must be submitted to Grants.gov on or before the application due date and time.  If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late. Applications that miss the due date and time are subjected to the NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 2.3.9.2 Electronically Submitted Applications.

Applicants are responsible for viewing their application before the due date in the eRA Commons to ensure accurate and successful submission.

Information on the submission process and a definition of on-time submission are provided in the How to Apply – Application Guide.

5. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

6. 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 only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 7.9.1 Selected Items of Cost.

7. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.  Paper applications will not be accepted.

Applicants must complete all required registrations before the application due date. Section III. Eligibility Information contains information about registration.

For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit How to Apply – Application Guide. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Dealing with System Issues guidance. For assistance with application submission, contact the Application Submission Contacts in Section VII.

Applications must include annual milestones. Applications that fail to include annual milestones will be considered incomplete and will be withdrawn. Applications must include a PEDP submitted as Other Project Information as an attachment. Applications that fail to include a PEDP will be considered incomplete and will be withdrawn before review.

Important reminders:

All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile form. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH. See Section III of this NOFO for information on registration requirements.

The applicant organization must ensure that the unique entity identifier provided on the application is the same identifier used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the System for Award Management. Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness and compliance with application instructions by the Center for Scientific Review and responsiveness by components of participating organizations, NIH. Applications that are incomplete, non-compliant and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.

Requests of $500,000 or more for direct costs in any year

Applicants requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs in any year (excluding consortium F&A) must contact a Scientific/ Research Contact at least 6 weeks before submitting the application and follow the Policy on the Acceptance for Review of Unsolicited Applications that Request $500,000 or More in Direct Costs as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in the policy

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process.  Applications submitted to the NIH in support of the NIH mission are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

A proposed Clinical Trial application may include study design, methods, and intervention that are not by themselves innovative but address important questions or unmet needs. Additionally, the results of the clinical trial may indicate that further clinical development of the intervention is unwarranted or lead to new avenues of scientific investigation.

Overall Impact

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).

Scored Review Criteria

Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

Significance

Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? Is the prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project rigorous? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

Are the scientific rationale and need for a clinical trial to test the proposed hypothesis or intervention well supported by preliminary data, clinical and/or preclinical studies, or information in the literature or knowledge of biological mechanisms? For trials focusing on clinical or public health endpoints, is this clinical trial necessary for testing the safety, efficacy or effectiveness of an intervention that could lead to a change in clinical practice, community behaviors or health care policy? For trials focusing on mechanistic, behavioral, physiological, biochemical, or other biomedical endpoints, is this trial needed to advance scientific understanding?

Further criteria specific to this opportunity:

  • If successful, how likely are the proposed biomarker(s) and detection method(s) to be used in future clinical trials or decision making in clinical practice  for the proposed context(s) of use?
  • If successful, how much of an improvement will availability of the proposed biomarker(s) and detection method(s) be over existing tools serving the same or similar function for decision making in clinical trials or clinical practice?
  • How broadly can this biomarker be implemented considering technical limitations, time and cost and burden on patients and clinicians? How well does the application describe whether the prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project employed rigorous practices such as minimization of potential experimenter biases, robust experimental designs, transparent reporting of results and analyses, and careful interpretation? 
  • How well does the application address ambiguity, weaknesses, or limitations in rigor of the prior research, if applicable?
  • To what extent do the efforts described in the Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives further the significance of the project?

Investigator(s)

Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? If Early Stage Investigators or those in the early stages of independent careers, do they have appropriate experience and training? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance, and organizational structure appropriate for the project?

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

With regard to the proposed leadership for the project, do the PD/PI(s) and key personnel have the expertise, experience, and ability to organize, manage and implement the proposed clinical trial and meet milestones and timelines? Do they have appropriate expertise in study coordination, data management and statistics? For a multicenter trial, is the organizational structure appropriate and does the application identify a core of potential center investigators and staffing for a coordinating center?

Further criteria specific to this opportunity:

  • How appropriate is the multidisciplinary team of investigators across the areas of expertise needed to achieve the project goals?
  • If applicable, how appropriate are the consultants for success of the project goals and preparing or achieving for regulatory approvals?
  • Are the roles of each collaborator sufficiently defined in the team management plan and budget justification?
  • To what extent will the efforts described in the Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives strengthen and enhance the expertise required for the project?

Innovation

Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

Does the design/research plan include innovative elements, as appropriate, that enhance its sensitivity, potential for information or potential to advance scientific knowledge or clinical practice?

Further criteria specific to this NOFO:

  • Although innovation is not required for analytical validation, how innovative is the application in terms of elements such as study design, detection method or proposed clinical context ?
  • To what extent will the efforts described in the Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives meaningfully contribute to innovation?

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Have the investigators included plans to address weaknesses in the rigor of prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project? Have the investigators presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed? Have the investigators presented adequate plans to address relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies in vertebrate animals or human subjects?

If the project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of individuals of all ages (including children and older adults), justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

Does the application adequately address the following, if applicable

Study Design

Is the study design justified and appropriate to address primary and secondary outcome variable(s)/endpoints that will be clear, informative and relevant to the hypothesis being tested? Is the scientific rationale/premise of the study based on previously well-designed preclinical and/or clinical research? Given the methods used to assign participants and deliver interventions, is the study design adequately powered to answer the research question(s), test the proposed hypothesis/hypotheses, and provide interpretable results? Is the trial appropriately designed to conduct the research efficiently? Are the study populations (size, gender, age, demographic group), proposed intervention arms/dose, and duration of the trial, appropriate and well justified?

Are potential ethical issues adequately addressed? Is the process for obtaining informed consent or assent appropriate? Is the eligible population available? Are the plans for recruitment outreach, enrollment, retention, handling dropouts, missed visits, and losses to follow-up appropriate to ensure robust data collection? Are the planned recruitment timelines feasible and is the plan to monitor accrual adequate? Has the need for randomization (or not), masking (if appropriate), controls, and inclusion/exclusion criteria been addressed? Are differences addressed, if applicable, in the intervention effect due to sex/gender and race/ethnicity?

Are the plans to standardize, assure quality of, and monitor adherence to, the trial protocol and data collection or distribution guidelines appropriate? Is there a plan to obtain required study agent(s)? Does the application propose to use existing available resources, as applicable?

Data Management and Statistical Analysis

Are planned analyses and statistical approach appropriate for the proposed study design and methods used to assign participants and deliver interventions? Are the procedures for data management and quality control of data adequate at clinical site(s) or at center laboratories, as applicable? Have the methods for standardization of procedures for data management to assess the effect of the intervention and quality control been addressed? Is there a plan to complete data analysis within the proposed period of the award?

Specific to this NOFO:

  • How appropriate is the overall research strategy, experimental design and statistical analysis plans to optimize performance of the detection method and evaluate the analytical validity for the proposed Context of Use, including controls, and plans for standardization?
  • How appropriate are the description of the plans for  evaluating and minimizing any pre-analytic variables such as those during sample collection and preparation, signal acquisition, or other potentially interfering variables? 
  • How appropriate and well justified are the plans for evaluating (i) Accuracy, (ii) Precision, (iii) Analytical sensitivity, (iv) Analytical specificity including interfering substances/signals, (v) Reportable range of test results for the test system, (vi) Reference intervals (normal values) with controls and calibrators, (vii) inter and intra variability across multiple operators and laboratories (if applicable), (viii) Any other performance characteristic needed to determine if the detection method is sufficiently robust, reliable and accurate for the specified context of use?
  • If an algorithm, or machine learning will be used to measure the biomarker(s), how appropriate are the plans for validating of the algorithm(s) including training and testing procedures? How well described and justified are the plans for avoiding overfitting, and establishing algorithm stability and reliability as well as the rationale for the approaches(es)/model(s) selected?
  • How well does the proposed research incorporate methodological rigor where applicable, including, but not limited to, clear rationale for the chosen model(s) and primary/secondary endpoint(s), clear descriptions of tools and parameters, blinding, randomization, adequate sample size, pre-specified inclusion/exclusion criteria, appropriate handling of missing data and outliers, appropriate controls, preplanned analyses, and appropriate quantitative techniques? Do the applicants clearly indicate the exploratory vs. confirmatory components of the study, consider study limitations, and plan for transparent reporting of all methods, analyses, and results so that other investigators can evaluate the quality of the work and potentially perform replications? 
  • Are the timeline and milestones associated with the Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives well-developed and feasible? 

Environment

Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, equipment, and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements?

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

If proposed, are the administrative, data coordinating, enrollment and laboratory/testing centers, appropriate for the trial proposed?

Does the application adequately address the capability and ability to conduct the trial at the proposed site(s) or centers? Are the plans to add or drop enrollment centers, as needed, appropriate?

If international site(s) is/are proposed, does the application adequately address the complexity of executing the clinical trial?

If multi-sites/centers, is there evidence of the ability of the individual site or center to: (1) enroll the proposed numbers; (2) adhere to the protocol; (3) collect and transmit data in an accurate and timely fashion; and, (4) operate within the proposed organizational structure?

  • To what extent will features of the environment described in the Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (e.g., collaborative arrangements, geographic diversity, institutional support) contribute to the success of the project?

Additional Review Criteria

As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will evaluate the following additional items while determining scientific and technical merit, and in providing an overall impact score, but will not give separate scores for these items.

Specific for this NOFO: 

Milestones and Timeline:

  • How well do the milestones describe critical quantitative go/no-go decision points necessary to demonstrate progress success?
  • How appropriate are the performance metrics (i.e. level of consistency across replicates, reaching target sensitivity and specificity thresholds, demonstration of standardization across sites, data quality standards, etc) for the context of use proposed?
  • How appropriate is the proposed timeline for completing the research goals in an efficient but feasible manor?
  • If the study is leveraging an ongoing clinical trial, will the aims of the biomarker validation study proposed  add significant additional burden to the participants in the ongoing trial?  If the study is leveraging an ongoing clinical trial is sufficient time left in the ongoing trial for the current study to be able to collect the requisite samples or data needed? 

Team management plan:

  • How well does the team management plan describe the team/key personnel workflow over the course of the project including things such as organizational structure, team composition, roles, contributions, resource sharing and allocation, credit assignment, etc?

Associated clinical trial protocols and consent forms (if applicable):

  • Do the consent forms used in the original trial(s) include consent for the proposed biomarker studies? If the consent form is inadequate and do not extend to the proposed studies, are the concerns likely to be addressable by re-consenting the participants (should that be feasible) or will the lack of appropriate consent impede the feasibility of the overall study? 

Intellectual Property (IP) Plan (if applicable):

  • If the applicants intend to commercialize a product from the results generated in this application, is the IP plan appropriate and sufficient with consideration of elements such as the IP landscape of the biomarker(s) and/or detection method, address any constraints if applicable, and provide any patents filed, if applicable?
  • If applicable, how well does the plan address how IP will be handled among the institutions and investigators involved?

Study Timeline

Specific to applications involving clinical trials

Is the study timeline described in detail, taking into account start-up activities, the anticipated rate of enrollment, and planned follow-up assessment? Is the projected timeline feasible and well justified? Does the project incorporate efficiencies and utilize existing resources (e.g., CTSAs, practice-based research networks, electronic medical records, administrative database, or patient registries) to increase the efficiency of participant enrollment and data collection, as appropriate?

Are potential challenges and corresponding solutions discussed (e.g., strategies that can be implemented in the event of enrollment shortfalls)?

Protections for Human Subjects

For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.

For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Individuals Across the Lifespan

When the proposed project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals of all ages (including children and older adults) to determine if it is justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed. For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following three points: (1) a complete description of all proposed procedures including the species, strains, ages, sex, and total numbers of animals to be used; (2) justifications that the species is appropriate for the proposed research and why the research goals cannot be accomplished using an alternative non-animal model; and (3) interventions including analgesia, anesthesia, sedation, palliative care, and humane endpoints that will be used to limit any unavoidable discomfort, distress, pain and injury in the conduct of scientifically valuable research. Methods of euthanasia and justification for selected methods, if NOT consistent with the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals, is also required but is found in a separate section of the application. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals Section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animals Section.

Biohazards

Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.

Resubmissions

For Resubmissions, the committee will evaluate the application as now presented, taking into consideration the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group and changes made to the project.

Renewals

Not Applicable

Revisions

For Revisions, the committee will consider the appropriateness of the proposed expansion of the scope of the project. If the Revision application relates to a specific line of investigation presented in the original application that was not recommended for approval by the committee, then the committee will consider whether the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group are adequate and whether substantial changes are clearly evident.

Additional Review Considerations

As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items, and should not consider them in providing an overall impact score.

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable.

Select Agent Research

Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).

Resource Sharing Plans

Reviewers will comment on whether the Resource Sharing Plan(s) (i.e., Sharing Model Organisms) or the rationale for not sharing the resources, is reasonable.

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources:

For projects involving key biological and/or chemical resources, reviewers will comment on the brief plans proposed for identifying and ensuring the validity of those resources.

Budget and Period of Support

Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s) convened by NINDS, in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications will receive a written critique.

Applications may undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific and technical merit (generally the top half of applications under review) will be discussed and assigned an overall impact score.

Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the appropriate national Advisory Council or Board. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

  • Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by scientific peer review.
  • Availability of funds.
  • Relevance of the proposed project to program priorities.

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

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 eRA Commons. Refer to Part 1 for dates for peer review, advisory council review, and earliest start date.

Information regarding the disposition of applications is available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 2.4.4 Disposition of Applications.

Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization for successful applications. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document and will be sent via email to the recipient's business official.

Recipients must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.6. Funding Restrictions. 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.

Any application awarded in response to this NOFO will be subject to terms and conditions found on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.  This includes any recent legislation and policy applicable to awards that is highlighted on this website.

Individual awards are based on the application submitted to, and as approved by, the NIH and are subject to the IC-specific terms and conditions identified in the NoA.

ClinicalTrials.gov: If an award provides for one or more clinical trials. By law (Title VIII, Section 801 of Public Law 110-85), the "responsible party" must register and submit results information for certain “applicable clinical trials” on the ClinicalTrials.gov Protocol Registration and Results System Information Website (https://register.clinicaltrials.gov). NIH expects registration and results reporting of all trials whether required under the law or not. For more information, see https://grants.nih.gov/policy/clinical-trials/reporting/index.htm

Institutional Review Board or Independent Ethics Committee Approval: Recipient institutions must ensure that all protocols are reviewed by their IRB or IEC. To help ensure the safety of participants enrolled in NIH-funded studies, the recipient must provide NIH copies of documents related to all major changes in the status of ongoing protocols.

Data and Safety Monitoring Requirements: The NIH policy for data and safety monitoring requires oversight and monitoring of all NIH-conducted or -supported human biomedical and behavioral intervention studies (clinical trials) to ensure the safety of participants and the validity and integrity of the data. Further information concerning these requirements is found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/hs/data_safety.htm and in the application instructions (SF424 (R&R) and PHS 398).

Investigational New Drug or Investigational Device Exemption Requirements: Consistent with federal regulations, clinical research projects involving the use of investigational therapeutics, vaccines, or other medical interventions (including licensed products and devices for a purpose other than that for which they were licensed) in humans under a research protocol must be performed under a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigational new drug (IND) or investigational device exemption (IDE).

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, Recipients, and Activities, including of note, but not limited to:

If a recipient is successful and receives a Notice of Award, in accepting the award, the recipient agrees that any activities under the award are subject to all provisions currently in effect or implemented during the period of the award, other Department regulations and policies in effect at the time of the award, and applicable statutory provisions.

If a recipient receives an award, the recipient must follow all applicable nondiscrimination laws. The recipient agrees to this when registering in SAM.gov. The recipient must also submit an Assurance of Compliance (HHS-690). To learn more, see the HHS Office for Civil Rights website

HHS recognizes that NIH research projects are often limited in scope for many reasons that are nondiscriminatory, such as the principal investigator’s scientific interest, funding limitations, recruitment requirements, and other considerations. Thus, criteria in research protocols that target or exclude certain populations are warranted where nondiscriminatory justifications establish that such criteria are appropriate with respect to the health or safety of the subjects, the scientific study design, or the purpose of the research. For additional guidance regarding how the provisions apply to NIH grant programs, please contact the Scientific/Research Contact that is identified in Section VII under Agency Contacts of this NOFO.

In accordance with the statutory provisions contained in Section 872 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417), NIH awards will be subject to the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) requirements. FAPIIS requires Federal award making officials to review and consider information about an applicant in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS) prior to making an award. An applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through FAPIIS and comment on any information about itself that a federal agency previously entered and is currently in FAPIIS. The Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgement about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 2 CFR Part 200.206 “Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.” This provision will apply to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements except fellowships.”

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

The following special terms of award are in addition to, and not in lieu of, otherwise applicable U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) administrative guidelines, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) grant administration regulations at  2 CFR Part 200, and other HHS, PHS, and NIH grant administration policies.

The administrative and funding instrument used for this program will be the cooperative agreement, an "assistance" mechanism (rather than an "acquisition" mechanism), in which substantial NIH programmatic involvement with the recipients is anticipated during the performance of the activities. Under the cooperative agreement, the NIH purpose is to support and stimulate the recipients' activities by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the recipients in a partnership role; it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activities. Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility resides with the recipients for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities may be shared among the recipients and NIH as defined below.

The PD(s)/PI(s) will have the primary responsibility for:

  • Defining objectives and approaches, and for planning, conducting, analyzing, interpreting, drawing conclusions on their studies, publishing and sharing the results.
  • Developing and proposing rigorous milestones that will be achieved during the project period.
  • Retaining custody of, and have all rights to, the data and technology developed under these awards, subject to Government rights of access consistent with current DHHS, PHS, and NIH policies.
  • Pursuing patent protection, as appropriate and consistent with the terms and conditions of the award and goals of the program.
  • Providing progress reports with completeness that include experimental design with rigor, including assumptions for the design of the experiments, the results of the investigations, interpretations of the results, and for concluding whether milestones have been met or not. In cases when NIH program staff request raw data, recipients agree to provide the data.
  • Participate in progress meetings (virtual) at once or twice a year that are organized with NIH staff.
  • Communicating any regulatory meeting dates and agenda to the NIH program staff and invite their participation.
  • Communicating study reports from CROs, meeting minutes (and associated data packages if applicable), letters and other forms of communications with FDA, and other authorities, if applicable.
  • Providing regulatory and clinical documents that are required for administrative review.
  • Verifying that the clinical study is performed in accordance with Good Clinical Practices (GCP) and all IC specific guidelines for data and safety monitoring in clinical trials (e.g. NINDS Guidelines for Data and Safety Monitoring in Clinical Trials: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/research/clinical_research/policies/data_safety_monitoring.htm, and must provide data and regular updates to NIH

NIH staff have substantial programmatic involvement that is above and beyond the normal stewardship role in awards, as described below:

  • Each project will have the support of one or more Subject Matter Expert(s) from NIH program staff who are consulted based on their expertise in the disorder(s) being studied and / or the implementation of the proposed translational research. The responsibility of the SME is to advise the Program Official on project approvals such as questions related to the landscape of the disease or condition(s) being studied.
  • NIH program staff provide input on the milestones and make recommendations regarding their finalization.
  • NIH Program Officer will be responsible for assessing the progress of the project towards the specified milestones, and for recommending if further funds should be released to the project. The NIH Subject Matter Expert(s) may advise the Program Officer on aspects of the research as needed.
  • NIH Program Officer, in consultation with the PIs, may in rare occasions add critical experiments that need to be conducted prior to or during the award as an additional milestone(s). In some cases, these studies will be supported by additional funds from NIH. The NIH Subject Matter Expert(s) may advise the Program Officer on these critical elements and milestones.
  • NIH Program Officer and Subject Matter Expert(s) may participate in meetings together with PIs with regulatory agencies related to the funded project.
  • NIH Program Officer and Subject Matter Expert(s) may consult as necessary with independent consultants or specialists with relevant expertise, assuming confidentiality agreements are in place to mitigate conflicts and protect intellectual property.
  • The continuation of funding recommendation is made by the Program Official after input from the Subject Matter Expert(s),and is reviewed by the Associate Division Director overseeing this program. Funding decisions take into consideration progress towards milestones and overall progress towards meeting the project goals as well as programmatic prioritization, and budget considerations.
    • In rare, well-justified occasions, future-year milestones may be renegotiated based on data and information obtained during the previous year.
    • If, based on the progress report, a funded project does not meet the milestones, funding for the project may be discontinued.
    • In addition to milestones, the decision regarding continued funding will also be based on the overall robustness of the entire data package that adequately allows an interpretation of the results (regardless if they have been captured in the milestones), overall progress, NIH portfolio balance and program priorities, competitive landscape, and availability of funds. 

 Dispute Resolution:

Any disagreements that may arise in scientific or programmatic matters (within the scope of the award) between award recipients and NIH may be brought to Dispute Resolution. A Dispute Resolution Panel composed of three members will be convened. It will have three members: a designee of the Steering Committee chosen without NIH staff voting, one NIH designee, and a third designee with expertise in the relevant area who is chosen by the other two; in the case of individual disagreement, the first member may be chosen by the individual recipient. This special dispute resolution procedure does not alter the recipient's right to appeal an adverse action that is otherwise appealable  in accordance with PHS regulation 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D and DHHS regulation 45 CFR Part 16. 

3. Data Management and Sharing

Consistent with the 2023 NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing, when data management and sharing is applicable to the award, recipients will be required to adhere to the Data Management and Sharing requirements as outlined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Upon the approval of a Data Management and Sharing Plan, it is required for recipients to implement the plan as described.

4. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, recipients will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Awardees will provide updates at least annually on implementation of the PEDP.

A final RPPR, invention statement, and the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout of an award, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. NIH NOFOs outline intended research goals and objectives. Post award, NIH will review and measure performance based on the details and outcomes that are shared within the RPPR, as described at 2 CFR Part 200.301.

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 as amended (FFATA), includes a requirement for recipients of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later.  All recipients of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000.  See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement.

In accordance with the regulatory requirements provided at 2 CFR Part 200.113 and Appendix XII to 2 CFR Part 200, recipients that have currently active Federal grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from all Federal awarding agencies with a cumulative total value greater than $10,000,000 for any period of time during the period of performance of a Federal award, must report and maintain the currency of information reported in the System for Award Management (SAM) about civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings in connection with the award or performance of a Federal award that reached final disposition within the most recent five-year period.  The recipient must also make semiannual disclosures regarding such proceedings. Proceedings information will be made publicly available in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS).  This is a statutory requirement under section 872 of Public Law 110-417, as amended (41 U.S.C. 2313).  As required by section 3010 of Public Law 111-212, all information posted in the designated integrity and performance system on or after April 15, 2011, except past performance reviews required for Federal procurement contracts, will be publicly available.  Full reporting requirements and procedures are found in Appendix XII to 2 CFR Part 200 – Award Term and Conditions for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.

Application Submission Contacts

eRA Service Desk (Questions regarding ASSIST, eRA Commons, application errors and warnings, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, and post-submission issues)

Finding Help Online: https://www.era.nih.gov/need-help (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)

General Grants Information (Questions regarding application instructions, application processes, and NIH grant resources)
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-637-3015

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and Workspace)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726
Email: support@grants.gov

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Carol Taylor-Burds, PhD
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Telephone: 301-496-1779
Email: carol.taylor-burds@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Chief, Scientific Review Branch
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Email: nindsreview@nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Chief Grants Management Officer
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS))
Email: ChiefGrantsManagementOfficer@ninds.nih.gov  

Section VIII. Other Information

Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Authority and Regulations

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 Part 52 and 2 CFR Part 200.

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