Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Funding Opportunity Title
Translational Neural Devices (R61/R33 - Clinical Trial Optional)
Activity Code

R61/R33 Exploratory/Developmental  Phased Award

Announcement Type
Reissue of RFA-NS-21-021
Related Notices
  • March 8, 2024 - Notice of Correction to Application Due Dates for PAR-24-151 "Translational Neural Devices (R61/R33 - Clinical Trial Optional)". See Notice NOT-NS-24-072.
  • 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-24-151
Companion Funding Opportunity
None
Assistance Listing Number(s)
93.853
Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is to encourage investigators to pursue translational activities and small clinical studies to advance the development of low risk therapeutic and diagnostic devices for disorders that affect the nervous or neuromuscular systems. Activities supported in this program include implementation of clinical prototype devices, non-clinical safety and efficacy testing, design verification and validation activities, obtaining Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for a Non-Significant Risk (NSR) study (R61 phase), as well as a subsequent small clinical study (R33 phase). The clinical study is expected to provide information about the device function or final design that cannot be practically obtained through additional non-clinical assessments (e.g., bench top or animal studies) due to the novelty of the device or its intended use. This NOFO utilizes an Exploratory/Developmental Phased Award and will involve participation of NIH program staff in negotiating the final project plan before award and monitoring of research progress. Transition from the R61 to the R33 phase is contingent upon the successful completion of proposed milestones.  

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 NOFO instructions carefully and view the available PEDP guidance material.

Key Dates

Posted Date
February 23, 2024
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
April 29, 2024
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

60 days prior to the receipt date.

Dates in bold and italics reflect changes per NOT-NS-24-072

Application Due DatesReview and Award Cycles
NewRenewal / Resubmission / Revision (as allowed)AIDS - New/Renewal/Resubmission/Revision, as allowedScientific Merit ReviewAdvisory Council ReviewEarliest Start Date
May 29, 2024May 29, 2024Not ApplicableNovember 2024January 2025April 2025
September 27, 2024September 27, 2024Not ApplicableMarch 2025May 2025July 2025
January 28, 2025January 28, 2025Not ApplicableJuly 2025October 2025December 2025
May 28, 2025May 28, 2025Not ApplicableNovember 2025January 2026April 2026
September 29, 2025September 29, 2025Not ApplicableMarch 2026May 2026July 2026
January 28, 2026January 28, 2026Not ApplicableJuly 2026October 2026December 2026
May 28, 2026May 28, 2026Not ApplicableNovember 2026January 2027April 2027
September 28, 2026September 28, 2026Not ApplicableMarch 2027May 2027July 2027
January 28, 2027January 28, 2027Not ApplicableJuly 2027October 2027December 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
January 29, 2027
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 How to Apply - Application Guide and the NOFO) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the How to Apply - 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

A. Overview

This NOFO supports non-clinical testing to enable IRB approval needed to conduct a small NSR clinical study. Studies addressing neurological diseases and care across the lifespan are highly encouraged. All projects must have two phases: R61 and R33. The R61 phase will support non-clinical testing to obtain IRB approval for an NSR clinical study. All projects will start at the R61 phase. The duration of the R61 phase will depend on the maturity of the project at entry and can range from one to two years. Only those R61 phase projects that have met specific criteria (see below) will transition to the R33 phase after NIH administrative review. The R33 phase will support a small clinical study and can last one to three years, however, the total project period (including both the R61 and R33 phases) must not exceed five years. Projects for which only a clinical phase is proposed are outside of the scope of this funding opportunity.

This NOFO utilizes a R61/R33 Exploratory/Developmental Phased Award mechanism. As such, this NOFO supports milestone-driven projects and involves NIH program staff’s participation in negotiating project and milestone plan before award, monitoring the research progress, and making go/no-go decisions. The expectations of the program are in line with those of industry regarding the advancement of devices through the developmental and translational pipelines. As such, an inherent rate of attrition is possible within this program.

Applicants are strongly advised to contact the Scientific/Research contact listed below prior to submission.

B. Scope

Projects must focus on a condition that falls within the mission of NINDS. It is expected that devices within the scope of this program either:

C. Entry criteria

For entry to the program, projects should have:

  • Comprehensive supporting data based on bench, in vitro, and/or in vivo models representative of the intended patient population and indication.
  • Identified one or more clinically meaningful device outcome measures based on input from key stakeholders (e.g., clinicians, patients, and caregivers) as well as supporting literature.
  • A compelling case for successful IRB approval for an NSR study. All regulatory approvals must be in place prior to the start of the R33 phase.

Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to consult with FDA via a Pre-Submission meeting, study risk designation request, and/or 513(g) submission prior to applying for funding through this grant mechanism. Applicants who do not have sufficiently relevant feedback from the FDA regarding all planned activities prior to application for funding may be expected to do so as the first milestone during the first year of the R61 phase of the award. In the event that FDA feedback is not consistent with the plans in the grant, program staff will evaluate the concerns and change of scope that would be needed and work with the investigators to determine the most appropriate course of action. 

D. Phases

R61 phase:
Examples of studies that may be proposed during the R61 phase include, but are not limited to

  • Non-Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) animal studies to develop surgical techniques relevant to the device, optimize relevant therapeutic or diagnostic parameters, and refine device design as necessary for subsequent GLP testing or additional clinical studies for regulatory approval.
  • Bench-top and animal testing to demonstrate compliance with FDA Recognized Standards.
  • Activities to become current Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) compliant.
  • Activities to bring the development process under Design and Quality Systems Control.
  • Device, software, and firmware design verification and validation activities.
  • Development of packaging, connectors, and other accessories necessary for the translation of this technology.
  • Regulatory activities, including pre-submission meetings with FDA or other FDA regulatory submissions (e.g., Humanitarian Device Exemption (HDE), Request for Risk Designation, 513(g) submission).
  • A limited Non-Significant Risk (NSR) clinical experience that does not meet the NIH definition of a clinical trial is also allowable during the R61 phase if it is necessary to support the IRB NSR designation for the small clinical study conducted in the R33 phase.

R33 phase:

The R33 phase will support a small Non-Significant Risk (NSR) clinical study that will lead to either:

  • A marketing application if only a small clinical study or experience is needed to demonstrate the device is safe and effective; or
  • A larger clinical study that will lead to a marketing application; or
  • Use of the clinical experience to inform device design decisions.

Examples of studies that can be proposed during the clinical phase include, but are not limited to:

  • Optimization of the device design with respect to the human functional anatomy;
  • Identification of the most simple, reliable, and cost-effective device configuration for more advanced clinical studies and eventual market approval;
  • Basic proof-of-concept testing in human patients;
  • Studies of the key physiological variables that may impact the function of the device in humans; and
  • Initial assessments of device safety are expected, but only in conjunction with obtaining enabling data about device design or function

E. Non-Responsive Activities

Applications that include the following activities will be considered non-responsive and will be withdrawn and not reviewed:

  • Basic research and studies of disease mechanisms.
  • Animal model development: all in vivo models must be well established and characterized, and available to the applicant.
  • Fundamental basic/applied research projects that employ existing market approved devices for their labeled uses.
  • Significant Risk (SR) clinical studies/studies requiring an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) from the FDA.
  • Delayed-onset clinical studies.
  • Applications lacking a clinical study protocol synopsis included with the submission.
  • Projects focused on technologies for augmentation of healthy individuals.

Applications that are missing parts are deemed to be incomplete and will be withdrawn and not reviewed: 

  • Include a Gantt chart as an attachment, as described in Section IV.2.
  • Include an Intellectual Property (IP) Strategy as an attachment, as described in Section IV.2.
  • Include a Needs Assessment as an attachment, as described in Section IV.2.
  • Include a Long-term Care Plan for Patients as an attachment, as described in Section IV.2.
  • Include a Team Management Plan as described in Section IV.2.
  • Include a Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP) as an attachment, as described in Section IV.2.
  • Attachments that exceed the maximum page limits listed for each attachment in Section IV.2 will be considered non-responsive and will be withdrawn.

F. Milestones

Because device development is inherently risky, it is anticipated that there may be attrition as projects move through the process. Applications must propose one or more milestones associated the transition from the R61 phase to the R33 phase of the project. Milestones are goals that measure success and efficacy that will be used for go/no-go decision-making for the project and should have quantitative success criteria associated with them (see below for details).

For each milestone, provide details on methods, assumptions, experimental designs, and data analysis plans (if the results are quantitatively measured). Specify the quantitative criteria for measuring success and the rationale used to develop and justify the quantitative criteria identified. Quantitative criteria should be robust and consistent with the state-of-the-art in the field. Applicants are encouraged to read examples of milestones (https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Funding/Apply-Funding/Application-Support-Library/Devices-Milestones).

NIH program staff will contact the applicant to discuss, negotiate the proposed milestones and any changes suggested prior to funding the application. The final agreed upon and approved milestones will be specified in the Notice of Award (NoA). Progress towards achievement of the milestones in the R61 phase will be evaluated by NIH program staff to recommend a transition to R33 phase. Program staff may involve independent consultants or subject matter experts with relevant expertise. 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, portfolio balance and program priorities, competitive landscape, and availability of funds.

NIH encourages increasing the rigor and reproducibility of observed results. In some cases, conducting additional critical experiments will be important for NIH to have confidence in making a funding decision.


R61 phase to R33 phase transition:

An administrative review will be conducted by program staff, with potential input by independent consultants, to decide whether a R61 phase project will be transitioned into the R33 phase based on the following:

  • Successful achievement of the defined milestones for the R61 phase of the project;
  • Likelihood of success in clinical testing;
  • Competitive landscape;
  • Program balance;
  • Availability of funds;
  • IRB approval(s) and non-significant risk (NSR) designation;
  • Submission of the final clinical protocol and supporting documents to NIH for administrative review, and notification of approval by NIH;
  • Feedback on activities involving humans subjects obtained from the NINDS Safety and Risk Assessment Committee (SARAC); and
  • Agreement on updated timeline, milestones, and budget for the clinical study

G. Quality and Compliance Requirement

The use of the Design Control and Quality Systems processes (https://www.fda.gov/regulatory-information/search-fda-guidance-documents/design-control-guidance-medical-device-manufacturers) to the degree specified by the FDA is required. Intermediate steps in the Design Control process (e.g., design reviews, design verification, design validation, and design transfer activities) where appropriate. NIH recognizes that the degree to which Design Controls and Quality Systems processes are required by the FDA may vary substantially depending on the specific device. Investigators are encouraged to discuss these issues with the FDA and regulatory consultants prior to submitting an application so the extent to which these processes are required is clearly defined and verifiable in the application. Applicants should consider the Quality System requirements when preparing their device development activities. Applicants should consider Guidelines and Policies for Monitoring Clinical Research in the formation of a plan for data and safety monitoring as required by the appropriate IC.

H. Intellectual Property (IP)

Since the ultimate goal of this program is to bring new therapeutic and diagnostic devices to the market, the program strongly encourages the recipients and/or their collaborators to obtain and retain any IP developed around the device during the project period (see instructions on attachment or letters to address IP issues in Section IV). Recipients of awards are encouraged to identify and foster relationships with potential licensing and commercialization partners early in the device development process. The PD/PI(s) are expected to work closely with technology transfer officials at their institution to ensure that royalty agreements, patent filings, and all other necessary intellectual property arrangements are completed in a timely manner and that commercialization plans are developed and updated over the course of the project. For rare or ultra- rare diseases where commercialization may be challenging, applicants are encouraged to discuss alternative strategies with Scientific/Research staff to get further guidance.

I. Health Equity

Health equity (HE) is the principle underlying the continual process of assuring that all individuals or populations have optimal opportunities to attain the best health possible. Applying the principle of health equity requires that barriers to promoting good health are removed and resources are allocated among populations and/or communities proportional to their need(s) (See more:  NIMHD Health Equity ).

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) is dedicated to addressing neurological health inequities faced by  groups adversely affected by health disparities  as we work to improve the neurological health for all people. The NINDS mission is in alignment with the NIH’s overall commitment to ensure that health disparities and minority health research is prioritized across clinical trials and human subject research ( NIH UNITE Initiative ).  NIH-designated populations  that experience health disparities (HDPs) include racial and ethnic minority populations (Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders), socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, underserved rural communities, sexual and gender minority groups, and people living with disabilities.

Despite research advances and improvement of health outcomes overall, health disparities within the US as a whole and within neurological disorders and stroke in particular, persist. Disparities in neurological diseases can not be explained by biological risk factors alone and social determinants of health (SDOH) are increasingly recognized as important drivers of inequities in neurologic disease and outcomes ( NINDS SDOH framework ). Health disparities in neurological disorders exist across the lifespan. In pediatric populations, neurological health disparities in acute care settings such as the emergency room impact the diagnosis, treatment and long-term health and longevity from childhood through adulthood.

J. Pre-application Consultation

As a milestone-driven R61/R33 Exploratory/Developmental Phased Award mechanism, NIH program staff will be involved in the negotiation and execution of the projects. Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with NIH program staff when planning an application. Early contact provides an opportunity for staff to provide further guidance on program scope, goals, and developing appropriate milestones. When possible, applicants should contact program staff at least 12 weeks before a receipt date. 

K . 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.

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
Revision

The OER Glossary and the How to Apply - Application Guide provides 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 need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project. In all cases, applicants should propose a budget that is reasonable and appropriate for completion of the research project. 

Award Project Period

The proposed project period for the R61 phase must not exceed 2 years. The proposed project period for the R33 phase must not exceed 4 years. The total duration of the R61 and R33 may not exceed 5 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
  • Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Organizations)
Foreign Organizations

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Organizations) are eligible to apply.

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are 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 How to Apply - 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 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.

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 How to Apply - 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:

Nick Langhals, PhD

Email: NINDS-Devices@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 How to Apply - Application Guide must be followed.

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

All instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide must be followed.

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

All instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide must be followed.

Other Attachments:

Gantt Chart (Required – 1 page max):

Applications that exceed this limit or do not include this attachment will be withdrawn. This attachment should be entitled "Gantt.pdf". Applicants should include a project timeline in the form of a Gantt chart (or similar) that includes all major tasks to be performed during the project. The chart should also include estimated start and completion dates for those tasks.

Intellectual Property (IP) Strategy (Required – 3 pages max):

Applications that exceed this limit or do not include this attachment will be withdrawn. This attachment should be entitled "IP Strategy.pdf". Applicants are encouraged to prepare this section of the application in consultation with their institution's technology transfer officials, if applicable.

A goal of this program initiative is to advance research towards the development of products that will benefit the public. Accordingly, applicants should describe the IP landscape surrounding their therapeutic device. This should include any known constraints that could impede the development of their therapeutic device or diagnostic (e.g., certain restrictions under transfer or sharing agreements, applicants' previous or present IP filings and publications, similar technologies that are under patent and/or on the market, etc.) and how these issues could be addressed as appropriate and consistent with achieving the goals of the program.

  • If the applicant proposes using a device or technology whose IP is not owned by the applicant's institution, either an investigational therapeutic, FDA-approved therapeutic, or other licensed product, the applicant should address any questions that may constrain or impede its ability to operate and move the technology forward consistent with achieving the goals of the program.
  • Applicants should include a letter (see Letters of Support) from the entity that owns the IP indicating whether the entity will provide the device or technology, if there are any limits on the studies that can be performed with that device or technology, and if there is agreement about public disclosure of results (including negative results), and whether there is an agreement already in place.
  • If patents pertinent to the therapeutic device being developed under this application have been filed, the applicants should indicate the details of filing dates, what types of patents are filed, application status, and associated United States Patent Office (USPTO) links, if applicable.

Applicants should also discuss future IP filing plans. For a multiple-PD/PI, multiple-institution application, applicants should describe how IP will be shared or otherwise managed, and the infrastructure of each institution for bringing the technologies to practical application and for coordinating these efforts (e.g., licensing, managing IP) among the institutions in the Team Management Plan (see below).

Needs Assessment (Required – 3 pages max):

Applications that exceed this limit or do not include this attachment will be withdrawn. This attachment should be entitled "Needs Assessment.pdf". The Needs Assessment should:

  • Establish performance requirements with clear, quantifiable metrics and identify significant issues faced by stakeholders (patients, clinicians, caregivers, customers), which is a key step in the design control process and will be evaluated for adequacy;
  • Critically evaluate primary or secondary data that have been used to identify deficiencies in current capabilities and the origins of the problem or critical barrier;
  • Describe the beneficiaries of the proposed work and how their needs have been identified;
  • Distinguish "wants" from "needs" and outline the involvement of those who will benefit in the development of a solution;
  • Describe how finite resources can best be deployed to develop and disseminate a feasible and applicable solution; and
  • Identify any human factors (i.e. ergonomics) incorporated into the proposed research that optimize human interaction, productivity, and understanding while using the technology.

Long-term Care Plan for Patients (Required – 3 pages max):

Applications that exceed this limit or do not include this attachment will be withdrawn. This attachment should be entitled "Long-term Care.pdf" which will be reflected in the final image. First, applicants should describe the anticipated care needs of participants after a trial has ended, which are related to their trial participation (e.g., continued access to the device, device maintenance, and/or device explant). Where relevant, it is recommended that applicants consider various posttrial scenarios, such as device and trial failure or success, regulatory approval options, and decisions by device manufacturers to commercialize or discontinue a product.

Second, applicants must describe a plan for the care of patients at the end of the study and after the study period, if appropriate, related to the potential care needs. These plans may vary from project to project, depending on, for example, whether patients are likely to have other ways to access this care, the anticipated risks and benefits of receiving this care, the anticipated risks and benefits of lacking this care, and the feasibility of facilitating this care. Plans might include, for example:

  • Procedure or plans to bring the subjects' condition to pre-intervention baseline levels or minimize unfavorable residual effects.
  • manufacturer-supported device maintenance for patients responding to therapy,
  • manufacturer support for filing of compassionate use exemptions for device maintenance, etc.

All plans should include information regarding post-trial obligations (e.g., explantation, hardware and software maintenance and/or updates, or device-related medical expenses).

Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP) (Required - 1 page max):

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

Schematics (Optional – 1 page max):

Applications that exceed this limit will be withdrawn. This attachment should be entitled “Schematics.pdf”. This attachment may include images, photos, drawings, engineering schematics, design specifics, and associated labeling and captions.

Communications with the IRB (Optional – 5 pages max):

Applications that exceed this limit will be withdrawn. This attachment should be entitled “IRB Communications.pdf”. Applicants should submit relevant approval letters and associated attachments.

For projects requiring non-clinical testing to support an IRB NSR designation, preliminary communications (e.g., letter or other documentation) with the IRB indicating what non-clinical testing will be necessary to support the NSR clinical study.

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

All instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide must be followed.

R&R Budget

All instructions in the How to Apply - 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 How to Apply - Application Guide must be followed.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

All instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide must be followed.

PHS 398 Research Plan

All instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Specific Aims

In the single Specific Aims attachment, include aims delineated for the non-clinical testing and the clinical study.

Research Strategy

The single Research Strategy attachment must include the following subsections:

Significance

A. Clinical Impact and Feasibility

Please note that each application should focus on only one neurological disorder or disease, even if the device proposed for development could be used for more than one indication. The target patient population and intended use should guide the design of the device and of the proposed clinical activities. Studies seeking to develop technology which addresses neurological diseases and care across the lifespan are highly encouraged.

  • Describe the current state of knowledge of the etiology, clinical characteristics, and current and projected prevalence of the proposed disease indication.
  • Briefly discuss available treatments, their limitations, and how the proposed project would address an unmet clinical need or provide a benefit over existing therapies, regardless of therapeutic or diagnostic class (i.e. agents and devices).
  • Describe the significant advantages of the proposed device over early generations that may or may not have been marketed and why this iteration is likely to succeed where the prior iterations were insufficient (if applicable).
  • Identify one or more clinically robust and meaningful device outcome measures based on input from both clinicians and patients and supporting literature.
  • Discuss how the proposed project would affect clinical practice and how it relates to current therapy development or significant efforts underway in academia and industry, including both neurotherapeutics and devices.
  • Describe the minimally acceptable and ideal results of the proposed clinical study and explain the rationale for each.

B. Supporting Data for Entry

The Supporting Data for Entry section should contain, at a minimum, comprehensive data and information that validate the feasibility of conducting studies to address the specific aims. When presenting preliminary results, details about study design, execution, analysis, and interpretation must be included. PD(s)/PI(s) should explain the choice of models or assays used to collect preliminary data, and primary, secondary and exploratory endpoints collected and how they are clinically relevant.

  • For novel devices, proof-of-concept data of device function are required. These data must be obtained using a prototype device that is close to the final device design anticipated for clinical testing, ideally tested in an animal model representative of the intended patient population. Sufficient detail of the device design should be included such that a comparison between the device used to collect preliminary data and the proposed device can be made.
  • For any device, the supporting data for entry should include a description of the device and its capabilities with sufficient detail for reviewers to assess if the device is appropriate for use in the proposed clinical activities.
  • A clear schematic, drawing, and/or image should be included along with the device description either in the supporting data section or as an optional attachment (see above, Other Attachments- Schematics).
  • Applicants should justify the type of stimulation proposed (if applicable), target(s), and patient population. Blinding, randomization, power analysis for sample size, and independent replication should be included in the application wherever possible.
  • For applications proposing first-in-human studies, preliminary data in humans are not required.
  • The application should present a credible path towards a NSR clinical study. As such, pre-submission feedback from the FDA or preliminary communications with the IRB, if included, should indicate that the proposed pre-clinical testing plan is sufficient to support a successful IRB approval for an NSR clinical study by the end of the R61 phase. 

Approach

A. Technology Translation Plan

Applicants must include an overall plan for device development and translation to outline how the proposed technology will be adopted into clinical practice, based on the work included in the application and beyond.

This plan should include:

  • A clearly stated device development timeline that includes practical, achievable goals leading up to, during, and beyond the proposed clinical trial.
  • Evidence of contact with appropriate U.S. regulatory bodies (e.g., FDA Non-Significant Risk designation), if available, should indicate that the regulatory path to market is reasonable.
  • A description of what methods/procedures/approaches used in current clinical practice will change as a result of the adoption of this technology,
  • An estimated timeline for when clinical adoption will be feasible, highlighting key benchmarks (e.g., pivotal study, regulatory approval, widespread implementation, clinical adoption),
  • A discussion of any additional studies needed and why,
  • Key stakeholders and how they will be engaged for each step, and
  • A description of any anticipated obstacles that could delay or subvert adoption and potential ways to address/mitigate those obstacles.

B. Detailed Plans for Research Strategy

In this section applicants should elaborate on their device testing strategy to enable the clinical studies. Research plans and milestones for the clinical study (R33 phase) should be included in the PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form.

R61 phase: Non-clinical activities in the R61 phase should include:

  • A project plan compatible with an accelerated timeline to obtain approval to conduct the clinical study.
  • A clearly stated device testing timeline that includes quantifiable, practical, achievable goals in support of the proposed clinical study.
  • A description of all non-clinical testing necessary to support obtaining IRB approval for an NSR clinical study, including the standards to which the testing will comply (e.g., Good Laboratory Practices (GLP), International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 11135, ISO 10993, Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), etc.).
  • Plans for contact with and submissions to the appropriate U.S. regulatory bodies (e.g., FDA in the form of pre-submission meetings or Non-Significant Risk designation), if applicable.
  • Plans for all necessary benchtop and animal studies required by the FDA to support an NSR study. Biocompatibility and large animal safety studies (e.g., canine, porcine, ovine, etc.) are often required by the FDA and should be considered in this section.
  • Applicants should include a large animal GLP safety study conducted on the full-final device system using the final manufacturing process intended to support the market submission.
  • If a large animal safety study is not required by the FDA for future market submission, or a test of the full final system using final design and manufacturing processes is not required, applicants should note this in this section and include a communication from the FDA clearly stating this is the case in the form of a response to a Pre-Submission via the “Communication with Regulatory Bodies” attachment (PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trial Information, Section 4.5.a).
  • Anticipated risks in the device testing process, including potential needs for design changes, and mitigations based on initial test results.
  • A description of any independent contractors and their role(s) in the proposed non-clinical study.
  • A description of oversight groups that may be formed and their role(s) in the proposed study.
  • Only minor alterations to the device design necessary to enable the anticipated clinical study.
  • Appropriately timed device design modifications to avoid impacting the validity or schedule for the proposed non-clinical testing.
  • A clear indication that study conceptualization and planning are at a stage sufficient to allow for an assessment of the likelihood of clinical trial success.
  • No clinical dependencies on the development of new and previously untested device elements/concepts that have significant risk of failure.

C. Milestones and Timeline

Milestones should be associated with clear, quantitative criteria for measuring success and efficacy that can be used for go/no-go decision making

R61 Phase to R33 Phase transition:

  • Milestones should be included that focus on tests that are needed to obtain an IRB NSR designation. This may include but is not limited to bio-compatibility testing and large animal studies.
  • For projects requiring non-clinical testing to support an IRB NSR designation, preliminary communications (e.g., letter or other documentation) with the IRB indicating what non-clinical testing will be necessary to support the NSR clinical trial should be included as a Year 1 milestone. The milestone plan should be constructed so that FDA and/or IRB feedback on the testing plan can be incorporated into the design of critical tests prior to their initiation.

R33 phase:

  • Information related to human subjects and clinical studies that supports the R33 research strategy (including milestones and timeline) should be included in the PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form. Investigators should clearly articulate what the next step will be in technology translation assuming a successful outcome of the clinical study and justify the outcome metrics for the proposed clinical study in terms of quantifiable minimum-success criteria necessary to enable this next step.

Letters of support

Applicants should include letters of support from consultants, contractors, and collaborators.

  • If applying from an academic institution, 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 from that private entity that states whether they are agreeing to provide the device or technology, if there is any limit on the studies that can be performed with that device or technology, limitations on sharing of data, and whether licensing agreements are in place.
  • If collaborating with a contract research or manufacturing organization (CRO / CMO), letter of support can summarize results of tests that have been performed, but should not contain detailed results of all testing (2 pages max).

Resource Sharing Plan:

Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the How to Apply - Application Guide

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 How to Apply - Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Data Management and Sharing Plan - Required

  • 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.
  • If patent protection is being sought, investigators should explain how data will be shared after filing for patent protection to allow for both further research and the development of commercial products to advance forward, consistent with achieving the goals of the program.

Use of Common Data Elements in NIH-funded Research

NINDS encourages the use of common data elements (CDEs) in basic, clinical, and applied research, patient registries, and other human participants research to facilitate broader and more effective use of data and advance research across studies. CDEs are data elements that have been identified and defined for use in multiple data sets across different studies. Investigators are encouraged to consult the NIH CDE Repository and describe in their applications any use they will make of NIH-supported CDEs in their projects, when applicable.  Use of CDEs can facilitate data sharing and standardization to improve data quality and enable data integration from multiple studies and sources, including electronic health records. NIH ICs have identified CDEs for many clinical domains (e.g., neurological diseases), types of studies (e.g. genome-wide association studies (GWAS)), types of outcomes (e.g., patient-reported outcomes), and patient registries (e.g., the Global Rare Diseases Patient Registry and Data Repository). NIH has established a “Common Data Element (CDE) Repository Resource Portal" (http://cde.nih.gov/) to assist investigators in identifying NIH-supported CDEs when developing protocols, case report forms, and other instruments for data collection. The Portal provides guidance about and access to NIH-supported CDE initiatives and other tools and resources for the appropriate use of CDEs and data standards in NIH-funded research. NINDS identified CDEs for many clinical neurological/neuromuscular diseases and types of outcomes (e.g., patient-reported outcomes). NINDS provides resources for CDEs (https://www.commondataelements.ninds.nih.gov/#page=Default) to assist investigators in developing protocols, case report forms, and other instruments for data collection. Investigators are encouraged to consult the NINDS CDE website and describe in their applications any use they will make of these CDEs in their projects.

The NIH notices referenced below provide additional NIH guidance that should be considered in developing a strong data management and sharing plan. The list is instructive but not comprehensive.

  • Elements of an NIH Data Management and Sharing Plan (NOT-OD-21-014)
  • Applicants are encouraged to ensure that data collected by the study conform to Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) principles.
  • NIH has provided guidance around selecting a repository for data generated by NIH-supported research and has developed desirable characteristics for all data repositories (NOT-OD-21-016).
  • NIH encourages human-subject studies to incorporate the measures from the Core and Specialty collections, which are now available in the PhenX Toolkit (www.phenxtoolkit.org) (for example, see NOT-DA-12-008, NOT-MH-15-009)
  • Data should be organized according to a standard model that is widely accepted within the field. An example for the clinical research studies would be the OMOP Common Data Model, which has also been successfully adapted for use with observational (including survey) studies more generally. In addition, the HL7 FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) standard (NOT-OD-19-122) may facilitate the flow of data with electronic health record (EHR)-based datasets, tools, and applications.
  • NIH encourages clinical research programs and researchers to adopt and use the standardized set of data classes, data elements, and associated vocabulary standards specified in the United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI) standards, as they are applicable (NOT-OD-20-146). Use of the USCDI can complement the FHIR standard and enable researchers to leverage structured EHR data for research and enable discovery. 

Recipients  conducting research that includes collection of genomic data should incorporate requirements under the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy (NOT-OD-14-124, NOT-OD-15-086).

Appendix:

Only limited Appendix materials are allowed. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the How to Apply - Application Guide.

Please see NOT-OD-18-126 for allowable appendix materials

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 How to Apply - 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 How to Apply - Application Guide must be followed.

Section 3 - Protection and Monitoring Plan

3.1 Protection of Human Subjects

In addition to the standard components, this section should include a Neuroethics section. Ethical considerations are intrinsic to the responsible conduct of neuroscience research and the translation of neuroscience advances (scientific and technological) into clinical practice.  Applicants are required to describe the ethical considerations related to

  • the design and conduct of the proposed study (e.g., for trials in which research is ancillary to a clinical procedure, therapeutic misconception may be a concern, or for trials without a prospect of benefit to participants, the appropriateness of the risks of the study may require consideration) and
  • the potential (long-term) implications of the proposed study (e.g., the potential psychosocial or legal implications for patients of developing predictive biomarkers for pre-symptomatic individuals).

Where relevant, applicants should describe how these ethical considerations are addressed in the study design and monitoring plan addressing the guiding principles below (see Neuroethics Guiding Principles for the NIH BRAIN Initiative for additional considerations).

  • Make assessing safety paramount
  • Anticipate special issues related to capacity, autonomy, and agency
  • Protect the privacy and confidentiality of neural data
  • Attend to possible malign uses of neuroscience tools and neurotechnologies
  • Move neuroscience tools and neurotechnologies into medical or nonmedical uses with caution
  • Identify and address specific concerns of the public about the brain
  • Encourage public education and dialogue
  • Behave justly and share the benefits of neuroscience research and resulting technologies

3.3 Data Safety and Monitoring Plan

Attachment DSMP: Regardless of whether the proposed study is a clinical trial or not, applicants must submit a data safety and monitoring plan and should consider Guidelines and Policies for Monitoring Clinical Research in the formation of the plan as required by the appropriate IC. Applicants should:

3.5 Overall Structure of Study Team

Attachment: Team Management Plan (Required – 2 pages max): Applications that exceed this limit or do not include this attachment will be withdrawn. NIH strongly encourages applicants to form diverse multidisciplinary teams that consist of non-clinical and clinical scientists, disease experts, regulatory experts, bioethics specialists, experts in manufacturing under Quality Systems and Design Controls, and other relevant academic, clinical, and/or industry experts including individuals who are underrepresented in the biomedical workforce (defined in NIH NOT-OD-20-031). This team should have the expertise to clearly define gaps to be addressed during this funding period, to develop the details of the project plans and experiments, and to successfully execute the research strategy and clinical study. An organizational structure that clearly defines the team structure and relationships among the various components must be described in the team management plan and illustrated in an organizational chart. This plan should also describe the governance and organizational structure of the leadership team and the research project, including communication plans, processes for making decisions on scientific direction, intellectual property, and procedures for resolving conflicts. For publications, policies to address the ordering and recognition of authors, and decisions about what material to publish, consistent with the interests of commercial partners (where applicable), should be presented.

The team management plan must establish and name a Scientific Steering Group (SSG) that consists of senior and/or key team members and meets regularly to discuss project status, problems, and directions. In cases of partnering organizations/institutions, the SSG should include representatives from each organization/institution. Those individuals identified in the team management plan, who together would have the intellectual and leadership responsibilities, would likely be members of the SSG. Technology transfer officials from the participating organizations are also encouraged to be members of the SSG. Plans for enhancing the abilities and opportunities for investigators to work across disciplinary boundaries should also be included.

Section 4 - Protocol Synopsis


4.5.a. If yes, describe the availability of Investigational Product (IP) and Investigational New Drug (IND)/Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) status:
Attachment: FDA Communications:

  • Applicants should include a summary (1-page max) of interactions with the FDA supported by the following documentation (10 pages max), which should be attached: approved minutes from all pre-submission meetings, risk determination, breakthrough device designation, 513(g) letter (if applicable), communications on official FDA letterhead, and email communications with substantive information regarding the device, review, or outcome. This material should only be submitted in section 4.5.a of the application or as post-submission material.
  • Large animal safety studies are often required by the FDA to support a market submission. Applicants should include a large animal GLP safety study conducted on the full-final device system using the final manufacturing process intended to support their market submission. If a large animal safety study is not required by the FDA, or a test of the full final system using final design and manufacturing processes is not required, applicants should include a communication from the FDA clearly stating this is the case in the form of a response to a Pre-Submission. If these studies are proposed, but ultimately not needed, program staff will work with the investigators to remove the relevant milestones and associated costs of these activities from the award.

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 How to Apply - Application Guide must be followed.

Delayed onset trials are not responsive and will not be accepted.

PHS Assignment Request Form

All instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide must be followed.

Foreign Organizations

Foreign (non-U.S.) organizations must follow policies described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, and procedures for foreign organizations described throughout the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

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), NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code (if applicable), eRA Commons, and Grants.gov

4. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. 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 How to Apply - 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. 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 How to Apply - 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.

Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP)

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.

Applications Involving the NIH Intramural Research Program

The requests by NIH Intramural Scientists will be limited to the incremental costs required for participation. As such, these requests will not include any salary and related fringe benefits for career, career conditional or other Federal employees (civilian or uniformed service) with permanent appointments under existing position ceilings or any costs related to administrative or facilities support (equivalent to Facilities and Administrative or F&A costs). These costs may include salary for staff to be specifically hired under a temporary appointment for the project, consultant costs, equipment, supplies, travel, and other items typically listed under Other Expenses. Applicants should indicate the number of person-months devoted to the project, even if no funds are requested for salary and fringe benefits.

If selected, appropriate funding will be provided by the NIH Intramural Program. NIH intramural scientists will participate in this program as PDs/PIs in accord with the Terms and Conditions provided in this NOFO. Intellectual property will be managed in accord with established policy of the NIH in compliance with Executive Order 10096, as amended, 45 CFR Part 7; patent rights for inventions developed in NIH facilities are NIH property unless NIH waives its rights.

Should an extramural application include the collaboration with an intramural scientist, no funds for the support of the intramural scientist may be requested in the application. The intramural scientist may submit a separate request for intramural funding as described above.

Post Submission Materials

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

IRB Communications (Optional – 5 pages max):

  • Submissions that exceed this limit will not be accepted.
  • This attachment should be entitled “IRB Communications.pdf”.
  • Applicants should submit relevant approval letters and associated attachments.
  • For projects requiring non-clinical testing to support an IRB NSR designation, preliminary communications (e.g., letter or other documentation) with the IRB indicating what non-clinical testing will be necessary to support the IRB NSR determination

FDA Communications (Optional - 10 pages max):

Applicants should include a summary (1-page max) of interactions with the FDA, supported by the following associated and attached documentation:

  • approved minutes from all pre-submission meetings
  • notification of risk determination
  • breakthrough device designation
  • 513(g) letter (if applicable)
  • communications on official FDA letterhead
  • email communications with substantive information regarding the device, review, or outcome.

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.

For this particular announcement, note the following:

  • The market size for the proposed types of therapeutic or diagnostic devices through this request for applications may be considered small compared to other markets. Provided these smaller markets are sustainable, applications should not be penalized for their comparatively smaller market. NIH is supportive of research for both rare and high incidence disorders that fall under the mission of NIH.
  • The R61/R33 Exploratory/Developmental Phased grant supports investigation of novel scientific ideas or new interventions, model systems, tools, or technologies that have the potential for significant impact on biomedical or behavioral and social sciences research. Appropriate justification for the proposed work can be provided through literature citations, data from other sources, or from investigator-generated data. Accordingly, the evaluation will emphasize the conceptual framework, the level of innovation, and the potential to significantly advance our knowledge or understanding.

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?

Specific to this NOFO:

Supporting Data for Entry:

  • For a novel device, was the proof-of-concept data on device function obtained using a prototype device that is close to the final device design?
  • Are the device and device capabilities clearly described with sufficient detail, and does the device appear appropriate for use in the proposed clinical study?
  • Is justification provided for the type of stimulation proposed, neural target(s), and patient population?
  • If included, for Non-Significant Risk (NSR) studies, do the preliminary communications with the IRB indicate that that the proposed pre-clinical testing plan is sufficient to support the NSR clinical study?

Needs Assessment (attachment):

  • Is the needs assessment adequate and complete?
  • Does the needs assessment incorporate input from all relevant stakeholders (patients, clinicians, caregivers)  regarding the device performance requirement(s) for the clinical issue to be addressed?
  • Were the beneficiaries of the proposed research described and were their needs identified?

Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP attachment):

  • 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?

Specific to this NOFO:

Team Management Plan (attachment):

  • Does the project engage a diverse multidisciplinary team(s) consisting of clinicians, scientists, device engineers, data/computational scientists, regulatory specialists, and/or ethics specialists, as appropriate?
  • Evaluate the adequacy of the level of expertise and experience of the investigative team for non-clinical, clinical, regulatory, manufacturing, and other relevant components of the project.
  • Is the team’s governance and organizational structure appropriate for the support of the research project?
  • Evaluate the Scientific Steering Group (SSG). Are the members appropriate? Has an interdisciplinary team been assembled?

Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP attachment):

  • 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?

Specific to this NOFO:

  • How significant of an advantage does the proposed device offer over all existing clinically available approaches for the same indication regardless of therapeutic or diagnostic classes, including drugs, biologics, as well as competing device technologies?
  • If the proposed device is designed to improve over early generations, are potential advantages identified? Are the changes in the proposed device likely to succeed where the predecessor did not?

Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP attachment):

  •  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:

Technology Translation Plan

  • Are the overall plans and timeline for device development reasonable, including the plan after conclusion of the proposed study?
  • Is the regulatory plan reasonable in terms of regulatory path to market as well as FDA data requirements to meet the appropriate regulatory standard (e.g., reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness for de novo  submissions, substantial equivalence for 510(k) submissions)?
  • Does the estimated timeline for clinical adoption indicate feasible key translation benchmarks for adoption into clinical practice?
  • Does the plan address whether and how key stakeholders will be engaged at each step?

Detailed Plans for Research Strategy:

  • Will the implementation of the overarching plan lead to the development and testing of the proposed therapeutic device?
  • Is a large animal safety study proposed that will be performed utilizing GLP and the final device design or is there a clear reason that a large animal study will not be necessary to support the market submission (e.g., communication from the FDA)?
  • Do the proposed project plans and timeline indicate a likelihood of reaching  IRB approval for a non-significant risk (NSR) study at end of the R61 phase?

Long-term Patient Care Plan (Attachment):

  • Has the applicant anticipated the key long-term care needs that patients may have, related to trial participation?
  • Is the plan for care of patients at the end of the study reasonable? For example, does it address whether patients are likely to have other ways to access this care, the anticipated risks and benefits of receiving this care, the anticipated risks and benefits of lacking this care, and the feasibility of facilitating this care can be considered in this determination?
  • If applicable, does the plan address financial liability for injury, device removal, device revision, and management of in-dwelling devices either during or after the study?

Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP attachment):

  •  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?

Specific to this NOFO:

  • Are there sufficient regulatory resources on the team to facilitate regulatory consultations and approvals?
  • Is the environment at the applicant institution or the subcontracting organization sufficient to support any proposed GMP and GLP activities?

Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP attachment):

  • 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.

    Milestone Plan

    • Does the Gantt chart provide sufficient detail of the projected timeline with key project tasks? Do these details demonstrate feasible and well-justified plans for completion of the study?
    • Are milestones timely and robust and associated with clear, quantitative criteria for efficacy and success that allow go/no-go decisions?
    • Are the timelines proposed for achieving the milestones realistic and inclusive of necessary steps, but also efficient without adding unnecessary steps?
    • Does the provided Gantt chart demonstrate a reasonable timeline for the project plan?
    • Are milestones included that reflect the planned regulatory requirements of the project, e.g., successfully obtaining IRB approval for a NSR clinical study?

    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.

    Intellectual Property (IP) strategy (attachment):

    • Are potential issues regarding the IP landscape for the device being developed and means for addressing any IP hurdles/barriers addressed? Do the IP Strategy attachment and related letters of support address potential concerns?
    • Are there any known constraints that could impede the development of the device?
    • Are IP filing plans well described appropriate?
    • If multiple institutions/companies are involved, is IP sharing adequately addressed?

    Applications from Foreign Organizations

    Reviewers will assess whether the project presents special opportunities for furthering research programs through the use of unusual talent, resources, populations, or environmental conditions that exist in other countries and either are not readily available in the United States or augment existing U.S. resources.

    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.

    Appeals of initial peer review will not be accepted for applications submitted in response to this NOFO.

    Applications will be assigned to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this NOFO. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NANDSC) Council. . 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. This request is not a Notice of Award nor should it be construed to be an indicator of possible 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 Laws and Regulations Enforced by 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 System for Award Management (SAM.gov) requirements. SAM.gov requires Federal agencies to review and consider information about an applicant in the designated integrity and performance system (currently SAM.gov) prior to making an award. An applicant can review and comment on any information in the responsibility/qualification records available in SAM.gov. NIH will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the information available in the responsibility/qualification records in SAM.gov, 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

    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.

    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.

    Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP)

    Recipients 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 (Responsibility/Qualification in SAM.gov, formerly 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)

    Nick Langhals, PhD
    National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
    Telephone: 301-496-1779
    Email: NINDS-Devices@nih.gov

    Peer Review Contact(s)

    Chief, Scientific Review Branch
    National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
    Telephone: 301-496-9223
    Email: nindsreview.nih.gov@mail.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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