Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)

Funding Opportunity Title
Solutions to Enable Regional Genomic Medicine eConsult Services (R41/R42 Clinical Trial Optional)
Activity Code

R41/R42 Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grant - Phase I, and Fast-Track

Announcement Type
New
Related Notices
  • November 14, 2023- Clarification of Implementation of the NIH SBIR and STTR Foreign Disclosure Pre-award and Post-Award Requirements. See Notice NOT-OD-24-029.
  • June 12, 2023 - Implementation of the NIH SBIR and STTR Foreign Disclosure Pre-award and Post-Award Requirements­­. See NOT-OD-23-139.
  • February 23, 2023 - Notice of Change to Minimum Performance Standards for SBIR and STTR Applicants­­. See NOT-OD-23-092.
  • 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.
Funding Opportunity Number (FON)
PAR-24-107
Companion Funding Opportunity
None
Number of Applications

See Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

Assistance Listing Number
93.172
Notice of Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of this notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) is to solicit Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant applications from small businesses to develop innovative solutions for commercialization that would enable regional genomic medicine eConsult Services.

Key Dates

Posted Date
January 09, 2024
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
April 30, 2024
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

April 30, 2024

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
May 30, 2024 Not Applicable Not Applicable November 2024 January 2025 April 2025

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
May 31, 2024
Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the SBIR/STTR (B) Instructions in the How to Apply – Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this NOFO or in a Notice from the 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

Purpose

This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) invites applications from eligible small businesses to develop solutions for commercialization that can be used to enable regional clinician-to-clinician genomic medicine eConsult services. Specifically, we seek products, such as technologies or services, that will allow for the development and sustainment of eConsult services.

Eligible United States small business concerns (SBCs) may submit Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I, and Fast-Track grant applications. Small business applicants interested in submitting a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant application should submit to the related funding opportunity, PAR-24-106.

SBIR and STTR are phased programs. The main objective in SBIR and STTR Phase I is to establish the technical merit and feasibility of the proposed research and development efforts. An SBIR and STTR Phase II continues the R&D efforts to advance the technology toward ultimate commercialization. At the conclusion of an SBIR/STTR Phase II, it is expected that the small business will fully commercialize their product or technology using non-SBIR/STTR funds (either federal or non-federal). Small businesses that are eligible to submit Phase II applications for projects that were supported with a Phase I SBIR or STTR award are expected to submit the regular Phase II application as a "Renewal" application based on the awarded Phase I SBIR or STTR project. Only one Phase II application may be awarded for a specific project supported by a Phase I award.

NIH Fast-Track: An NIH STTR Fast-Track incorporates a submission and review process in which both Phase I and Phase II applications are submitted and reviewed together as one application to reduce or eliminate the funding gap between phases. 

Definitions

For the purposes of this NOFO, the following definitions are used:

  • Electronic consults (eConsults) refers to electronic messages sent between clinicians about general or patient-specific questions. These communications are clinician-to-clinician and do not directly include the patient.
  • Regional eConsult services are defined as those providing services to multiple unaffiliated healthcare organizations.
  • A solution is any source of value for the end-users and customers. A solution can be a product, technology, or service, such as physical/tangible device as well as digital services, software as a service, templates, educational materials, or non-physical/non-tangible products (including but not limited to digital applications, digital platforms, or service models). These and other comparable examples could be considered eligible solutions. 

Background 

Non-regional eConsult services (i.e., those within a single organization or system) have been established by many institutions in non-genomic specialties. They’ve been shown to reduce specialty clinic appointment wait times, healthcare costs and utilization, and patient travel costs and burden, and to improve primary/specialty communication. Previous research has demonstrated the feasibility of eConsult services and identified factors promoting successful implementation including compatibility with existing workflows, clarity of communications, technologic simplicity, and protected time for consultants. In addition to the benefits seen in non-regional services, regional eConsult services have successfully provided specialty care in large, disadvantaged populations with historically poor access to specialty care. Regional eConsult services can promote equity of access by enabling patients to obtain the care that they need without referrals to other providers.

The use of genomic testing in primary and specialty care remains scant, in part due to lack of understanding and confidence with genomics among non-genetic clinicians and lack of access to genetic specialists. Yet, genomic medicine eConsult services are rare despite the potential support that these services could provide.

The August 2022 Genomic Medicine XIV Meeting on Genomic Learning Health Systems highlighted the need for consult services to support clinicians in providing genomic care, especially in lower-resourced settings that do not have genetic experts. The subsequent NHGRI Genomic Consultation Research Working Group explored the current status of genomic eConsult services at their institutions and research needed to successfully implement these services elsewhere.

First-year results from one genomic medicine eConsult service demonstrated rapid turnaround times and high rates of actionable recommendations and follow-through on those recommendations. More extensive experience in Ontario showed that genomic eConsults enabled many primary care providers (PCPs) to provide care without referring the patient and that most referring PCPs perceived the eConsult as valuable for patient management. Unfortunately, such services are currently targeted only to the clinicians within these institutions, so clinicians in locations without access to genomic specialists lack access to genomic medicine eConsults as well.

While regional genomic medicine eConsult services have been shown to be effective in Ontario, similar services are not available in the United States. Barriers such as inconsistent licensure laws, lack of consultants, and diverse Electronic Health Record systems have stymied efforts to create regional services. Solutions that can help eConsult services overcome barriers need to be developed.

Specific Objectives

A variety of solutions that can enable eConsult services are needed. NHGRI will consider applications that address barriers to setting up eConsult services; conducting outreach, promotion, and education about eConsult services; and/or providing eConsults. Eligible small businesses can submit applications focusing on solutions that reduce costs, time, and/or increase access to regional genomic medicine eConsult services. Solutions of interest include, but are not limited to, those that address the following barriers: 

  • Technologies that allow diverse EHR systems to transmit and manage eConsult requests, associated clinical information, and/or information needed for reimbursement.
  • Artificial intelligence and/or machine learning solutions that can triage, identify common questions, create responses, or otherwise enable eConsult services.
  • Services or technologies that help manage the administration of eConsult services, such as the reimbursement or multi-state licensure of consultants.
  • Services or products that can be used to educate providers on the need for and use of eConsult services.

Applications with one or more of the characteristics listed below will be considered non-responsive and will not be reviewed:

  • Solutions that focus on specific areas specialties of genomic medicine, such as those only providing eConsults for oncology or prenatal concerns.
  • Solutions that do not enable regional services (i.e., work within a single healthcare system).

Relationship to eConsult Network

As part of a related funding opportunity, RFA-HG-24-001, NHGRI is soliciting U01 research applications for sites to participate in the Genomic Medicine eConsult Research Network, hereafter referred to as the ‘eConsult Network.' The eConsult Network will consist of 2-3 sites working with NHGRI to conduct research on the impact of and methods for implementing regional clinician-to-clinician genomic medicine eConsult services. Specifically, sites will be funded to research how to best design, implement, and sustain regional genomic medicine eConsult services; provide outreach to potential users, including those at underserved settings; and assess the impact on key stakeholders while developing successful implementation strategies and resources that can be broadly shared and adopted. Small businesses are eligible to apply for the U01 NOFO. Or, small businesses can choose to research and develop components of eConsult services, or other related solutions that would enable regional eConsult services under this STTR NOFO or the related SBIR NOFO (PAR-24-106).

Small businesses that are awarded under the SBIR or STTR NOFOs will have the option of participating in Network calls and meetings. However, they will not be voting members of the Steering Committee.

Data Sharing

NHGRI recognizes that data sharing is essential to advance genomic research and will expect recipients to comply with the NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy (NOT-OD-21-013) and NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy (NOT-OD-14-124). A FAQ with SBIR/STTR specific information is also available. NHGRI supports the broadest appropriate data sharing with timely data release through widely accessible data repositories. Please follow the NIH guidance on writing a Data Management and Sharing (DMS) Plan here, and ensure the Plan is in alignment with NHGRI’s data sharing expectations, which are summarized at genome.gov/data-sharing. Scientific data that is shared should be submitted to an established repository as described in the Data Management and Sharing Policy guidance and NHGRI’s guidance on where to submit scientific data.

Per NOT-HG-21-002, NHGRI expects data shared under this NOFO to include comprehensive metadata; use standardized data collection protocols and survey instruments for capturing data, as appropriate; and use standardized notation for metadata (e.g., controlled vocabularies or ontologies) to enable the harmonization of datasets for secondary research analyses. To assist in improving data sustainability and utility, applicants are encouraged to align the development of their data sets using the FAIR Guiding Principles. Policies and standards related to data sharing and data integration to be implemented in this Network will be shared with the broader community.

Pre-Application Webinar and Program Website

NHGRI will hold a pre-application webinar for potential applicants on Tuesday, February 6, 2024 at 2 pm ET (1pm CT / 12pm MT / 11am PT). Participation in the webinar is optional and not required to submit an application. Information about the webinar can be found at: https://www.genome.gov/event-calendar/eConsult-Webinar. The webinar connections will open 15 minutes in advance of the start time. During the webinar, NIH staff will give an overview of the NOFO and application submission process and field questions from potential applicants. Attendees can ask questions during the webinar and are encouraged to email questions in advance to Renee Rider at Renee.Rider@nih.gov.

For those who cannot attend, a recording of the webinar will be posted on the above website. Questions and answers from the webinar and other frequently asked questions will also be posted.

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

Grant: A financial assistance mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity.

Application Types Allowed
New (Phase I, Fast-Track)

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 the 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

Budgets up to $400,000 total costs (not including technical and business assistance) for Phase I and up to $2,150,000 total costs for Phase II may be requested.

Award Project Period

Durations up to 2 years for Phase I and up to 3 years for Phase II may be requested. Applicants are encouraged to propose a project duration period that is reasonable and appropriate for completion of the research project.

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

Only United States small business concerns (SBCs) are eligible to submit applications for this opportunity. A small business concern is one that, at the time of award of Phase I and Phase II, meets all of the following criteria:
 

1. Is organized for profit, with a place of business located in the United States, which operates primarily within the United States or which makes a significant contribution to the United States economy through payment of taxes or use of American products, materials or labor;

2. Is in the legal form of an individual proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, corporation, joint venture, association, trust or cooperative, except that where the form is a joint venture, there must be less than 50 percent participation by foreign business entities in the joint venture;

3.

  1. SBIR and STTR.  Be a concern which is more than 50% directly owned and controlled by one or more individuals (who are citizens or permanent resident aliens of the United States), other business concerns (each of which is more than 50% directly owned and controlled by individuals who are citizens or permanent resident aliens of the United States), an Indian tribe, ANC or NHO (or a wholly owned business entity of such tribe, ANC or NHO), or any combination of these; OR
  2. SBIR-only.  Be a concern which is more than 50% owned by multiple venture capital operating companies, hedge funds, private equity firms, or any combination of these.  No single venture capital operating company, hedge fund, or private equity firm may own more than 50% of the concern, unless that single venture capital operating company, hedge fund, or private equity firm qualifies as a small business concern that is more than 50% directly owned and controlled by individuals who are citizens or permanent resident aliens of the United States; OR
  3. SBIR and STTR.  Be a joint venture in which each entity to the joint venture must meet the requirements set forth in paragraph 3 (i) or 3 (ii) of this section. A joint venture that includes one or more concerns that meet the requirements of paragraph (ii) of this section must comply with § 121.705(b) concerning registration and proposal requirements.

4. Has, including its affiliates, not more than 500 employees.

If the concern is more than 50% owned by multiple venture capital operating companies, hedge funds, private equity firms, or any combination of these falls under 3 (ii) or 3 (iii) above, see Section IV. Application and Submission Information for additional instructions regarding required application certification.

If an Employee Stock Ownership Plan owns all or part of the concern, each stock trustee and plan member is considered an owner.

If a trust owns all or part of the concern, each trustee and trust beneficiary is considered an owner.

Definitions:

  • Hedge fund has the meaning given that term in section 13(h)(2) of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1851(h)(2)). The hedge fund must have a place of business located in the United States and be created or organized in the United States, or under the law of the United States or of any State.
  • Portfolio company means any company that is owned in whole or part by a venture capital operating company, hedge fund, or private equity firm.
  • Private equity firm has the meaning given the term “private equity fund” in section 13(h)(2) of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1851(h)(2)). The private equity firm must have a place of business located in the United States and be created or organized in the United States, or under the law of the United States or of any State.
  • Venture capital operating company means an entity described in § 121.103(b)(5)(i), (v), or (vi). The venture capital operating company must have a place of business located in the United States and be created or organized in the United States, or under the law of the United States or of any State.
  • ANC means Alaska Native Corporation.
  • NHO means Native Hawaiian Organization.


SBCs must also meet the other regulatory requirements found in 13 C.F.R. Part 121. Business concerns, other than investment companies licensed, or state development companies qualifying under the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, 15 U.S.C. 661, et seq., are affiliates of one another when either directly or indirectly, (a) one concern controls or has the power to control the other; or (b) a third-party/parties controls or has the power to control both. Business concerns include, but are not limited to, any individual (sole proprietorship) partnership, corporation, joint venture, association, or cooperative. The SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide should be referenced for detailed eligibility information.
 

Small business concerns that are more than 50% owned by multiple venture capital operating companies, hedge funds, private equity firms, or any combination of these are NOT eligible to apply to the NIH STTR program.
 

Performance Benchmark Requirements

       

Phase I to Phase II Transition Rate Benchmark: In accordance with guidance from the SBA, the HHS SBIR/STTR Program is implementing the Phase I to Phase II Transition Rate benchmark required by the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011 and the SBIR and STTR Extension Act of 2022.The benchmark establishes a minimum number of Phase II awards the company must have received relative to a given number of Phase I awards received during the 5-fiscal year time period. The Transition Rate is calculated as the total number of SBIR and STTR Phase II awards a company received during the past 5 fiscal years divided by the total number of SBIR and STTR Phase I awards it received during the past 5 fiscal years excluding the most recently completed year. The Transition Rate requirement, agreed upon and established by all 11 SBIR agencies, was published for public comment in a Federal Register Notice on October 16, 2012 (77 FR 63410) and amended on May 23, 2013 (78 FR 30951).

     

  • For SBIR and STTR Phase I applicants that have received more than 20 Phase I awards over the past 5 fiscal years (excluding the most recently-completed fiscal year): Companies that do not meet or exceed the benchmark minimum Transition Rate of 0.25 will not be eligible to apply for a Phase I, Fast-Track, or Direct Phase II (if available) award for a period of one year from the date of the application submission. This requirement does not apply to companies that have received 20 or fewer Phase I awards over the prior 5-fiscal year period.
  • For application deadlines that fall on or after April 5, 2023: For SBIR and STTR Phase I applicants that have received more than 50 Phase I awards over the past 5 fiscal years (excluding the most recently-completed fiscal year): Companies that do not meet or exceed the benchmark minimum Transition Rate of 0.5 will not be eligible to receive more than 20 total Phase I and Phase II awards for a period of one year from the date on which such determination is made. This requirement does not apply to companies that have received 50 or fewer Phase I awards over the 5-fiscal year period.

On June 1 of each year, SBA will identify the companies that fail to meet minimum performance requirements. SBA calculates individual company Phase I to Phase II Transition Rates using SBIR and STTR award information across all federal agencies. SBA will notify companies and the relevant officials at the participating agencies. More information on the Phase I to Phase II Transition Rate requirement is available at SBIR.gov.

Phase II to Commercialization Benchmark: In accordance with guidance from the SBA, the HHS SBIR/STTR Programs are implementing the Phase II to Commercialization Rate benchmark for Phase I applicants, as required by the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011 and the SBIR and STTR Extension Act of 2022. The Commercialization Rate Benchmark was published in a Federal Register notice on August 8, 2013 (78 FR 48537), with a reopening of the comment period published on September 26, 2013 (78 FR 59410).

  • For companies that have received more than 15 Phase II awards from all agencies over the past 10 fiscal years (excluding the two most recently completed fiscal year): Companies that meet this criterion must show an average of at least $100,000 in revenues and/or investments per Phase II award or at least 0.15 (15%) patents per Phase II award resulting from these awards during the past 10- fiscal year period. Applicants that fail this benchmark will not be eligible to apply for New Phase I, Fast-track or Direct Phase II (if applicable) awards for a period of one year. This requirement does not apply to companies that have received 15 or fewer Phase II awards over the 10-fiscal year period, excluding the two most recently completed fiscal years.
  • For application deadlines that fall on or after April 5, 2023: For companies that have received more than 50 Phase II awards from all agencies over the past 10-fiscal years (excluding the two most recently completed Fiscal Year): Companies that meet this criterion must show an average of at least $250,000 of aggregated sales and investment per Phase II award over the past 10-fiscal year period. Applicants that fail this benchmark will not be eligible to receive more than 20 total Phase I and Phase II awards for a period of one year from the date on which such determination is made. This requirement does not apply to companies that have received 50 or fewer Phase II awards over the 10-fiscal year period, excluding the two most recently completed fiscal years.
  • For application deadlines that fall on or after April 5, 2023: For companies that have received more than 100 Phase II awards from all agencies over the past 10-fiscal years (excluding the two most recently completed Fiscal Year): Companies that meet this criterion must show an average of at least $450,000 of aggregated sales and investment per Phase II award over the past 10-fiscal year period. Applicants that fail this benchmark will not be eligible to receive more than 20 total Phase I and Phase II awards for a period of one year from the date on which such determination is made. This requirement does not apply to companies that have received 100 or fewer Phase II awards over the 10-fiscal year period, excluding the two most recently completed fiscal years.
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, may be 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 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.
    • 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.
  • SBA Company Registry – See How to Apply – Application Guide for instructions on how to register and how to attach proof of registration to your application package. Applicants must have a UEI to complete this registration. SBA Company registration is NOT required before SAM, Grants.gov or eRA Commons registration.
  • 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 his/her 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.

For the STTR program, the PD(s)/PI(s) may be employed with the SBC or the single, “partnering” non-profit research institution as long as s/he has a formal appointment with or commitment to the applicant SBC, which is characterized by an official relationship between the SBC and that individual.

Each PD/PI must commit a minimum of 10% effort to the project and the PD/PI must have a formal appointment with or commitment to the applicant small business concern, which is characterized by an official relationship between the small business concern and that individual. Such a relationship does not necessarily involve a salary or other form of remuneration.

The How to Apply – Application Guide should be referenced for specific details on eligibility requirements. For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, see Multiple Principal Investigators section of the How to Apply – 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.

NIH will not accept similar grant applications with essentially the same research focus from the same applicant organization. This includes derivative or multiple applications that propose to develop a single product, process, or service that, with non-substantive modifications, can be applied to a variety of purposes. Applicants may not simultaneously submit identical/essentially identical applications under both this funding opportunity and any other HHS funding opportunity, including the SBIR and STTR Parent announcements.

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time, NIH Grants Policy Statement 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).

A Phase I awardee may submit a Phase II application either before or after expiration of the Phase I budget period, unless the awardee elects to submit a Phase I and Phase II application concurrently under the Fast-Track procedure. To maintain eligibility to seek Phase II or IIB support, a Phase I awardee should submit a Phase II application, and a Phase II awardee should submit a Phase IIB application, within the first six due dates following the expiration of the Phase I or II budget period, respectively.

Contractual/Consortium Arrangements

In Phase I and Phase II, at least 40% of the research or analytical effort must be performed by the small business concern and at least 30% of the research or analytical effort must be performed by the single, “partnering” research institution. The basis for determining the percentage of work to be performed by each of the cooperative parties will be the total of direct, F&A/indirect costs, and fee attributable to each party, unless otherwise described and justified in “Consortium/Contractual Arrangements” of the PHS 398 Research Plan component of the SF424 (R&R) application forms.

A small business concern may subcontract a portion of its SBIR or STTR award to a Federal laboratory within the limits above. A Federal laboratory, as defined in 15 U.S.C. § 3703, means any laboratory, any federally funded research and development center, or any center established under 15 U.S.C. §§ 3705 & 3707 that is owned, leased, or otherwise used by a Federal agency and funded by the Federal Government, whether operated by the Government or by a contractor.

The basis for determining the percentage of work to be performed by each of the cooperative parties in Phase I or Phase II will be the total of the requested costs attributable to each party, unless otherwise described and justified in “Consortium/Contractual Arrangements” of the PHS 398 Research Plan component of SF424 (R&R) application forms.

Additional details are contained in the SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide.

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 SBIR/STTR (B) 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: 

Renee Rider, JD, MS, CGC
Telephone: 301-443-4336
Email: Renee.Rider@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) SBIR/STTR Application Guide must be followed.

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

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

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

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

Facilities & Other Resources

In addition to describing the scientific environment and the company support, the applicant must describe the business environment and resources, or how the company will obtain access to the appropriate business resources, for completing and commercializing the proposed product or service. This includes any relevant intellectual property associated with the project necessary to facilitate commercialization.

Other Attachments:

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile Expanded

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

R&R Budget

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

DMS Costs

Budgets may include any funds required to support sharing of scientific data under this NOFO. NIH provides guidance on allowable costs for data management and sharing here.

R&R Subaward Budget

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

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

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

PHS 398 Research Plan

SBIR/STTR Information Form

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

The Research Strategy section must include a timetable for achieving the specific aims with concrete identifiable milestones. These milestones should be described in detail and be feasible within the time-frame of the award period.

Resource Sharing Plans:

Other Plan(s)

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 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) applicants are required to address a Data Management and Sharing Plan, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year. However, SBIR and STTR recipients may retain the rights to data generated during the performance of an SBIR or STTR award for up to 20 years after the award date, per the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program Policy Directive. An acceptable Data Management and Sharing plan can reference and incorporate these data rights. Further information about SBIR and STTR data rights are enumerated in the NIH GPS.

Appendix:

Note that Phase I SBIR/STTR Appendix materials are not permitted.  Only limited items are allowed in the Appendix of other small business applications.  The instructions for the Appendix of the Research Plan are described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide; any instructions provided here are in addition to the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide Instructions.

SBIR/STTR Information Form

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

PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

When involving human subjects research, clinical research, and/or NIH-defined clinical trials 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) SBIR/STTR Application Guide must be followed.

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

See Part 2. 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), eRA Commons, and Grants.gov

4. Submission Dates and Times

Part I.  contains information about Key Dates and time. 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.

7. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR 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.

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.

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, NIH. Applications that are incomplete or non-compliant will not be reviewed. 

In order to expedite review, applicants are requested to notify the NHGRI Referral Office by email at Jennifer.Troyer@nih.gov when the application has been submitted. Please include the FON and title, PD/PI name, and title of the application.

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.

 

Does the project and proposed product or service address an important problem, a critical barrier to progress, or unmet need 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 and commercialization of the resulting product or service change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field? Does the proposed project have commercial potential to lead to a marketable product, process or service? (In the case of Phase II, Fast-Track, and Phase II Competing Renewals, does the Commercialization Plan demonstrate a high probability of commercialization? How strong is the described market opportunity in the Commercialization Plan including: (i) the product or service being developed; (ii) target customers; and (iii) how the product will solve a demonstrated customer need?

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 the proposed product or service?

Specific to this NOFO:

  • Does the applicant identify and address significant barriers to implementing regional genomic eConsult services? Examples of significant barriers include, but are not limited to, licensure laws, reimbursement, or low-resource settings.
  • Are the solutions that the applicant plans to create likely to be useful to end-users in a variety of healthcare settings, such as academic medical centers, community hospitals, private practices, and safety net services?
 

Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project and will they devote sufficient effort to successfully complete the proposed aims? Do the PD(s)/PI(s) have appropriate experience and training to lead this project? If so, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments in 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? For projects in later stages, does the team have expertise to commercialize the technology/service/product?

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?

 

Does the proposed product or service represent an innovative approach to addressing an important problem, barrier to progress, or unmet need in research or clinical practice? Does the end product or service proposed in the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms? Will the end product or service proposed have significant advantages over existing approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions or those in development?

In the case of Phase II, Fast-Track, and Phase II Competing Renewals, does the small business present a reasonable plan to create a temporal barrier against other companies aiming to provide a similar solution, including protecting the intellectual property relevant to the product and technology(ies) being studied or used during the project?

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?

 

Are the research aims appropriate for the current stage of development? Do the aims represent the necessary steps to further advance the development of the product or service? 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? For a Phase I application, are there clear, appropriate, measurable goals (milestones) that should be achieved prior to initiating Phase II? Have the investigators presented adequate plans to address relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies in vertebrate animals or human subjects?

For a Phase I, will the strategy establish feasibility, and will particularly risky aspects be managed? Are there clear, appropriate, measurable goals (milestones) that should be achieved prior to initiating Phase II?

For a Fast-Track, Are there clear, appropriate, measurable goals (milestones) that should be achieved prior to initiating Phase II? Will successful completion of the research aims significantly advance development of the proposed product or service toward eventual commercialization?

For a Phase II, will successful completion of the research aims significantly advance development of the proposed product or service toward eventual commercialization? How well did the applicant demonstrate progress toward meeting the Phase I objectives, demonstrating feasibility, and providing a solid foundation for the proposed Phase II activity?

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?

 

Will the scientific and business environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success and eventual commercialization? Are the small business 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 arrangement?

For a Phase I, does the company have appropriate business expertise and resources, or have they identified appropriate business resources, to accomplish the aims of this project and support commercialization of the proposed product or service?

For a Phase II or Fast-Track, does the applicant have access to the business experts and resources needed to accomplish the aims of this project and to commercialize the proposed product or service?

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?

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 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)?

 

Not applicable

 

For Phase I/Phase II Fast-Track Applications, reviewers will consider the following:

1. Does the Phase I application specify clear, appropriate, measurable goals (milestones) that should be achieved prior to initiating Phase II?

2. To what extent was the applicant able to obtain letters of interest, additional funding commitments, and/or resources from the private sector or non-SBIR/STTR funding sources that would enhance the likelihood for commercialization?

 

For Phase II and Phase I/Phase II Fast-Track Applications, reviewers will consider the following:

How well does the applicant present the market opportunity, including market segments, that its product or technology will address? Does the applicant understand the barriers to commercialization of its product or service (e.g., regulatory approval, insurance reimbursement, competitive products, customer preferences)? Does the applicant have appropriate strategies to address these barriers?

Does the applicant provide appropriate post-SBIR product development and commercialization milestones and explain how it will achieve these milestones? Does the applicant present a plan for funding the development and commercialization of the product or service? If applicable, did the applicant obtain letters of interest or commitment for such funding and/or resources?

Are the small business executives, management team, and business experts well suited to advance the development and commercialization of the proposed product or service? If not, is there a plan in place to add the necessary expertise as the product advances towards commercialization?

Is there a sound strategy for driving product adoption and generating revenue from the product or service (e.g., product sales, licensing, partnerships)?

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Not Applicable.

 

Not Applicable.

 

Not Applicable.

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.

 

Reviewers will consider whether work to be performed outside of the United States is thoroughly justified, based on a rare and unique circumstance, and necessary to the overall completion of the project.

 

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).

 

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

 

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.

 

Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research. If applicable, reviewers will consider whether work to be performed outside of the United States is thoroughly justified, based on a rare and unique circumstance, and necessary to the overall completion of the project.

2. Review and Selection Process 

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate Scientific Review Group convened by NHGRI, in accordance with NIH peer review policies and practices, 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 committee 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.

nApplications 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.
  • Security risk as assessed by the HHS Due Diligence Program

Disclosure Requirements Regarding Ties to Foreign Countries

Upon request applicants are required to disclose all funded and unfunded relationships with foreign countries, using the Required Disclosures of Foreign Affiliations or Relationships to Foreign Countries form (referred to as the “Disclosure Form” hereafter), for all owners and covered individuals. A “covered individual” is defined as all senior key personnel identified by the SBC in the application (i.e., individuals who contribute to the scientific development or execution of a project in a substantive, measurable way).

Upon request, applicants must submit the completed Disclosure Form and any additional agency-specific information electronically in eRA Commons via the Just-In-Time (JIT) process as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement (GPS) Section 2.5.1 Just-in-Time Procedures. Applicants must continue to comply with NIH Other Support disclosure requirements as provided in NIH GPS Section 2.5.1 and may be required to provide similar information on the Disclosure Form for covered individuals identified in the application. If participating in this NOFO, SBC applicants applying to CDC and FDA will follow each agency’s policies for submitting additional documents during the pre-award process. Applicants that do not submit the completed Disclosure Form during the JIT process will be deemed noncompliant and not be considered for funding.

Denial of Awards

Applicants are encouraged to consider whether their entity’s relationships with foreign countries of concern will pose a security risk.Prior to issuing an award, NIH, CDC, and FDA will determine whether the SBC submitting the application:

  • has an owner or covered individual that is party to a malign foreign talent recruitment program;
  • has a business entity, parent company, or subsidiary located in the People’s Republic of China or another foreign country of concern; or
  • has an owner or covered individual that has a foreign affiliation with a research institution located in the People’s Republic of China or another foreign country of concern.

A finding of foreign involvement with countries of concern will not necessarily disqualify an applicant. Final award determinations will be based on the above finding of foreign involvement and whether the applicant’s involvement falls within any of the following risk criteria, per the Act:

  • interfere with the capacity for activities supported by NIH, CDC, or FDA to be carried out;
  • create duplication with activities supported by NIH, CDC, or FDA;
  • present concerns about conflicts of interest;
  • were not appropriately disclosed to NIH, CDC, or FDA;
  • violate Federal law or terms and conditions of NIH, CDC, or FDA; or
  • pose a risk to national security.

Generally, NIH, CDC, and FDA will not provide SBC applicants the opportunity to address any identified security risks prior to award. NIH, CDC, and FDA will not issue an award under the SBIR/STTR program if the covered relationship with a foreign country of concern identified in this guidance is determined to fall under any of the criteria provided.

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD/PI will be able to access their 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" (JIT) information from the applicant as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. SBIR and STTR applicants under consideration for award will be required to submit the SBA U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) issued the Required Disclosures of Foreign Affiliations or Relationships to Foreign Countries form during the JIT process. Applicants that fail to submit a Disclosure Form will not be considered for funding.

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.”

Report fraud, waste and abuse

The Office of Inspector General Hotline accepts tips from all sources about potential fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement in Department of Health & Human Services programs. The reporting individual should indicate that the fraud, waste and/or abuse concerns an SBIR/STTR grant or contract, if relevant. Report Fraud.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

Not Applicable

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. SBIR and STTR recipients may retain the rights to data generated during the performance of an SBIR or STTR award for up to 20 years after the award date, per the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program Policy Directive. An acceptable Data Management and Sharing plan can reference and incorporate these data rights. Further information about SBIR and STTR data rights are enumerated in the NIH GPS.

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.

NIH requires that SBIR/STTR recipients submit the following reports within 120 days of the end of the grant budget period unless the recipient is under an extension.

Failure to submit timely final reports may affect future funding to the organization or awards with the same PD/PI.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 200.301.

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 as amended (FFATA), includes a requirement for recipientsof Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later. All recipientsof applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreementsare required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over the threshold.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, 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.Proceedingsinformation 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 2 CFR Part 200 – Award Term and Conditionfor Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.

Disclosure of Foreign Relationships Reporting Requirements

Recipients are responsible for monitoring their relationships with foreign countries of concern post-award, for any changes that may impact previous disclosures. SBCs receiving an award under the SBIR/STTR program are required to submit an updated Disclosure Form to report any of the following changes to NIH, CDC, and FDA throughout the duration of the award:

  • any change to a disclosure on the Disclosure Form;
  • any material misstatement that poses a risk to national security; and
  • any change of ownership, change to entity structure, or other substantial change in circumstances of the SBC that NIH, CDC, and FDA determine poses a risk to national security.

Regular, annual updates are required at the time of all SBIR/STTR annual, interim, and final Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs). For changes that occur between RPPR submissions, updated Disclosure Forms are required within 30 days of any change in ownership, entity structure, covered individual, or other substantive changes in circumstance, as described above. Recipients are required to upload these updated disclosures using the Additional Materials (AM) tool in eRA Commons. 

If the recipient reports a covered foreign relationship that meets any of the risk criteria prohibiting funding described in this NOFO, NIH, CDC, and FDA may deem it necessary to terminate the award for material failure to comply with the federal statutes, regulations, or terms and conditions of the federal award. Refer to NIH GPS Section 8.5.2 Remedies for Noncompliance or Enforcement Actions: Suspension, Termination, and Withholding of Support for more information. Recipients are encouraged to monitor their covered foreign relationships post-award and avoid entering into relationships, both funded and unfunded, that may pose a security risk and jeopardize their ability to retain their award.


Agency Recovery Authority and Repayment of Funds

An SBC will be required to repay all amounts received from NIH, CDC, and FDA under the award if either of the following determinations are made upon assessment of a change to their disclosure:

  • the SBC makes a material misstatement that NIH, CDC, and FDA determine poses a risk to national security; or
  • there is a change in ownership, change in entity structure, or other substantial change in circumstances of the SBC that NIH, CDC, and FDA determine poses a risk to national security.

The repayment requirements and procedures provided in Section 8.5.4 Recovery of Funds of the NIH GPS apply and may also be subject to additional noncompliance and enforcement actions as described in Section 8.5.2 of the GPS. Recipients are required to follow the repayment procedures provided in the Guidance for Repayment of Grant Funds to the NIH.

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

SBA Company Registry (Questions regarding required registration at the SBA Company Registry and for technical questions or issues)
Website to Email: http://sbir.gov/feedback?type=reg

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Renee Rider, JD, MS, CGC 
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) 
Telephone: 301-443-4336
Email: Renee.Rider@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Examine your eRA Commons account for review assignment and contact information (information appears two weeks after the submission due date).

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Devon Bumbray-Quarles
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
Telephone: 301-451-7928
Email: devon.bumbray@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 45 CFR Part 75 and 2 CFR Part 200.

The SBIR Program is mandated by the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982 (P.L. 97-219), reauthorizing legislation (P.L. 99-443) P.L. 102-564, P.L. 112-81 (SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011), as reauthorized and extended under P.L. 114-328, Section 1834, P.L. 115-232, and P.L. 117-183. The basic design of the NIH SBIR Program is in accordance with the Small Business Administration (SBA) SBIR Policy Directive.

The STTR Program is mandated by the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-135), and reauthorizing legislation, P.L. 107-50, P.L. 112-81 (SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011), as reauthorized and extended under P.L. 114-328, Section 1834, P.L. 115-232, and P.L. 117-183. The basic design of the NIH STTR Program is in accordance with the Small Business Administration (SBA)STTR Policy Directive.

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