NIH GUIDE, Volume 26, Number 40, December 19, 1997

PA NUMBER:  PAR-98-018


National Center for Research Resources

Application Receipt Date:  March 20, 1998


The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) is continuing its
competitive Shared Instrumentation Grant (SIG) Program initiated in Fiscal
Year 1982.  Results of the most recent study, "The National Survey of Academic
Research Instruments and Instrumentation," published in 1997 identified
bioanalytical equipment of the type provided through this Program as the top
most priority. The objective of the program is to make available to
institutions expensive research instruments that can only be justified on a
shared-use basis and for which meritorious research projects are described.
The SIG Program provides a cost effective mechanism for groups of NIH-
supported investigators to obtain commercially-available, technologically
sophisticated equipment costing more than $100,000.


Under the general research support authority of Section 301(a)(3) of the
Public Health Service Act, Shared Instrumentation Grant awards are made to
public and non-profit institutions only.  For purposes of these guidelines, an
"institution" is defined as the organizational component identified on page 1,
item 11 of the PHS 398 (rev. 5/95), for which descriptive information is
provided on page 9-10 in the PHS 398 kit.  These institutions include health
professional schools, other academic institutions, hospitals, health
departments, and research organizations.  Federal institutions, foreign
institutions, and for-profit institutions are  not eligible to apply. 
Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons with disabilities are
encouraged to apply as Principal Investigators.


Awards under this Program Announcement (PA) will use the SIG mechanism (S10).
SIG provides support for expensive state-of-the-art instrumentation utilized
in both basic and clinical research. Applications are limited to instruments
that cost at least $100,000 per instrument or integrated instrument system.
The maximum award is $400,000. Since the nature and scope of the instruments
that may be requested will vary, it is anticipated that the size of an award
will vary also. Awards will be made for the direct costs only. The institution
must meet those costs (not covered in the normal purchase price) required to
place the instrumentation in operational order as well as the maintenance,
support personnel, and service costs associated with maximum utilization of
the instrument. There is no upper limit on the cost of the instrument, but the
maximum award is $400,000. Grants will be awarded for a period of one year and
are not renewable. Supplemental applications will not be accepted. The program
does not provide indirect costs or support for construction or alterations and
renovations. Cost sharing is not required. If the amount of funds requested
does not cover the total cost of the instrument, the application should
describe the proposed sources(s) of funding for the balance of the cost of the
instrument. Documentation of the availability of the remainder of the funding,
signed by an appropriate institutional official, must be presented to NCRR
prior to the issuance of an award.

Applications proposing the direct purchase of an instrument that the
institution has secured or is planning to secure via a leasing agreement are
urged to consult with their institutional sponsored projects office regarding
applicable PHS policy prior to executing the leasing agreement.  If the
leasing agreement was executed more than one year prior to submission of the
SIG application, the applicant must provide strong justification for the
requested Federal funds. Further, the instrument must be considered state-of-
the-art at the time of submission of the SIG application.


This program is designed to provide for the acquisition or updating of
expensive shared-use instrumentation not generally available through other NIH
mechanisms, such as the regular research project, program project, or center
grant programs. Proposals for research on advancing the design or for the
development of new instrumentation will not be considered.

Applications will be accepted for a single, commercially-available instrument
or an integrated instrument system. An application for more than one type of
instrumentation will not be considered responsive to this program announcement
and will be returned.

Types of instrumentation supported include, but are not limited to, nuclear
magnetic resonance systems, electron and confocal microscopes, mass
spectrometers, protein and DNA sequencers, biosensors, x-ray diffractometers
and cell sorters. Support will not be provided for general purpose equipment
or purely instructional equipment, personal computers, personal work stations,
printers, and Ethernet interfaces. Proposals for "stand alone" computer
systems will only be considered if the instrument is solely dedicated to the
research needs of a broad community of NIH-supported investigators.

An institution may submit more than one application for different
instrumentation for the March 20, 1998 deadline. However, if several
applications are submitted for similar instrumentation from one or more
eligible institutions on the same campus of a university, documentation from a
high level official must be provided stating that this is not an unintended
duplication, but part of a campus-wide institutional plan.

Since the intent of the program is to promote sharing, a major user group of
three or more investigators must be identified.  A minimum of three major
users must be Principal Investigators on NIH peer reviewed research grants at
the time of the application and award. For purposes of this program research
grants are defined as those grants awarded with the following activity codes: 
P01, R01, U01, R35 and R37. The application must show a clear need for the
instrumentation by projects supported by multiple NIH research awards and
demonstrate that these projects will require at least 75 percent of the total
usage of the instrument. Major users can be individual researchers, or a group
of investigators within the same department or from several departments at the
applicant institution. NIH extramural awardees from other nearby institutions
may also be included.

If the major user group does not require total usage of the instrument, access
to the instrument should be made available to other users upon the advice of
the internal advisory committee. These users need not be NIH awardees, but
priority should be given to NIH-supported scientists engaged in
biomedical/behavioral research. To promote cost effectiveness, to encourage
optimal sharing among individual investigators, research groups and
departments and to foster a collaborative multidisciplinary environment, the
instrument should be integrated into a central core facility, whenever

Each applicant institution must propose a Principal Investigator who can
assume administrative/scientific oversight responsibility for the
instrumentation requested. An internal advisory committee to assist in this
responsibility should also be utilized. The Principal Investigator and the
advisory group are responsible for the development of guidelines for shared
use of the instrument, for preparation of all reports required by the NIH, for
relocation of the instrument within the grantee institution if the major user
group is significantly altered, and for continued financial support for the
maximum utilization and maintenance of the instrument in the post-award

A plan should be proposed for the day-to-day management of the instrument
including designation of a qualified individual to supervise the operation of
the instrument and to provide technical expertise to the users. Specific plans
for sharing arrangements and for monitoring the use of the instrument should
be described. If a grant award is made, a final progress report is required
that describes the use of the instrument, listing all users and indicating the
value of the instrumentation to the research of the major users and to the
institution as a whole. This report must be submitted to NCRR 90 days
following the end of the project period.


Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS 398 (rev.
5/95).  Application kits are available at most institutional offices of
sponsored research and may be obtained from the Division of Extramural
Outreach and Information Resources, Center for Scientific Review, 6701
Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone (301) 710-0267,

1.  Form page 1 (Face page of the application) -

Item 1. Name the type of instrument requested.  (Note in bold type at the
bottom of the face page if a duplicate application has been sent to NSF or to
another organization or agency.)

Item 2. Check the box marked "YES" and enter the number and title of this
program announcement.

Item 4. If human subjects are involved in the research, follow the
instructions for completing Item 4 on the Face Page of Form PHS 398,
certifying that an Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved by the Office for
Protection from Research Risks (OPRR), PHS has reviewed and approved the
protocols involving human subjects.  If the protocols are ongoing and have
already received prior IRB review and approval within one year of the
submission date of this application, then additional IRB review is not
necessary. However, this fact must be noted in Item 4 on the Face Page, and,
if space is insufficient, the date(s) of prior IRB review and approval of each
protocol involving human subjects should be listed in the "Research Plans."

Item 5. If live vertebrate animals are involved in the research, follow the
instructions for completing Item 5 on the Face Page of Form PHS 398, verifying
that an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approved by OPRR
has reviewed and approved the protocols involving animals. If the protocols
are ongoing and  have already received prior IACUC review and approval within
three years of the submission date of this application, then additional IACUC
review is not necessary.  However, this fact must be noted in Item 5 on the
Face Page and, if space is insufficient, the date(s) of prior IACUC review and
approval of each protocol involving animals should be listed in the "Research

Item 6. Write in 04/01/99 through 03/31/00.

Item 8A. Use this block to give the total amount requested from NCRR for this
instrument or system.

Item 11. Insert the appropriate code identification.

2.  Form page 2. Complete the abstract as directed.  Under "Key Personnel,"
give data on the Principal Investigator and the major user group as required.

3.  Form page 4. Describe the instrument requested including manufacturer and
model number. The model chosen should be justified by comparing its
performance with other available instruments. Provide a detailed budget
breakdown of the main equipment and accessories requested including tax and
import duties, if applicable. An itemized quote from a vendor should be
included. If a project involves a potential biohazard, funds for accessory
containment equipment for the instrument or instrument system may be included
in the requested budget.

4.  Form page 5. Budget Estimates for All Years.  Not applicable; do not

5.  Form page 6 - Biographical Sketch.  In addition to the personnel listed on
page 2, include a biographical sketch of the person(s) who will be in charge
of maintenance and operation of the instrument and a brief statement of the
qualifications of the individual(s). Biographical sketches should not exceed 2
pages for each individual.

6.  Form page 7 - Other Support.  Provide the requested information for each
major user and for each application for the same instrumentation sent to NSF
or another organization or agency.

7.  Form page 8 - Resources.  Not applicable; do not complete.

8.  Research Plan section of the application. (If this is a revised
application, note the special instructions on page 15 in the PHS 398 kit
regarding completion of this section of the application.)

Provide information relative to the points identified under criteria for
review including:

a.  Inventory similar instruments existing at the applicant institution,
neighboring research institutions, or otherwise accessible; describe why they
are unavailable or inappropriate for the proposed research and provide a clear
justification why new or updated equipment is needed, including accessories.
Include specific documentation on the current usage of existing instruments
and a realistic estimate of the projected usage for the requested instrument.

b.  Since the projects of the major users have been previously peer reviewed,
the project descriptions should be brief and focused on a clear explanation of
how the requested instrument would be utilized to enhance the progress of the
ongoing funded research.  Descriptions should not exceed two pages per user.
Sufficient technical detail (preliminary data and/or supplemental information)
should be included to evaluate whether the instrument is appropriate, would be
effectively employed, and would provide advantages over other methods. The
needs of the research projects should be clearly tied to the requested
instrument and should indicate the benefit of the instrument to the research
objectives of each major user.  Use a table to list the names of the users,
brief titles of the projects, the NIH grant numbers and the estimated
percentage of use.  List the page number of this table under "Table of
Contents" (Form page 3) after "Resources".  Make a separate table to indicate
the major users' needs for requested accessories.  If possible, each user
should highlight those publications that demonstrate the user's expertise in
using the requested instrumentation.

c.  Describe the organizational plan to administer the grant. Include
membership of the advisory committee, policies and procedures for assuring use
and equitable sharing of the instrument and plans for including minor or
outside users.

d.  Submit a specific financial plan for long-term operation and maintenance
of the instrument. Provide documentation (e.g., separate letters signed by
appropriate institutional officials) describing the required institutional
commitment in support of the proposed plan.

Applications must be received by March 20, 1998. Applications received after
this date will not be accepted for review in this competition and will be
returned to the applicant. The completed, signed original and four exact
photocopies of the signed application and any appendix material must be sent

CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC REVIEW (formerly Division of Research Grants)
6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 1040 - MSC 7710
BETHESDA, MD  20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)

One copy of the application and appendix material must be sent to:

Shared Instrumentation Grant Program
Biomedical Technology Area
National Center for Research Resources
6705 Rockledge Drive, Room 6154 - MSC 7965
Bethesda, MD  20892-7965


Applications that are complete and responsive to the program announcement will
be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review
group convened instrument specific in accordance with NIH peer review
procedures. As part of the initial merit review, all applications will receive
a written critique and may undergo a process in which only those applications
deemed to have the highest scientific merit, generally the top half of
applications under review, will be discussed, assigned a priority score, and
receive a second level review by the National Advisory Research Resources
Council (NARRC).

Applications are reviewed by specially convened instrument-specific initial
review groups of the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) for scientific and
technical merit and for program considerations by the (NARRC) of the NCRR.
Approximately half of the applications will be reviewed at the September 1998
NARRC meeting and the remainder at the NARRC meeting in January 1999. Funding
decisions on all applications received for the March 20,1998, deadline will
not be made until the program receives an appropriation for FY 1999. The
Council date will not affect funding decisions.

Joint NIH/NSF Submission

A recent NIH/NSF Memorandum of Understanding permits the joint agency review
and funding of requests for a single instrument costing more than $500,000
which would normally be eligible for submission to both NIH and NSF.  Such a
request may be submitted to NIH  for the March 20 (SIG) deadline for review by
NIH with NSF participation, thus avoiding separate agency peer review.  Under
this arrangement, the agencies may offer joint funding in excess of their
current award limits of $400,000.  Applicants contemplating joint NIH-NSF
submission are strongly urged to contact both the NSF Division of Biological
Infrastructure (NSF contact:  Multi-User Biological Instrumentation Program
Officer:; (703) 306-1472) and the NCRR SIG Program (Dr.
Marjorie A. Tingle 301-435-0772; for information
concerning eligibility and required documentation.

Review Criteria

o  The Scientific Need

The extent to which an award for the specific instrument would  meet the
scientific needs and enhance the planned research endeavors of the major users
by providing an instrument that is unavailable or to which availability is
highly limited.

o  Technical Expertise

The availability and commitment of the appropriate technical expertise within
the major user group or the institution for use of the instrumentation.

o  Management Plan

The adequacy of the organizational plan for use of the instrument and the
internal advisory committee for oversight of the instrument including sharing

o  Institutional Commitment

The institution's commitment for continued support of the utilization and
maintenance of the instrument.

o  Overall Benefit

The benefit of the proposed instrument to the overall research community it
will serve.


In making funding decisions, the NCRR will give consideration to ensure
program balance among various types of instruments supported and/or geographic
distribution of awards.


Inquiries are encouraged. The opportunity to clarify any issues or questions
from potential applicants are welcome.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic or scientific issues to:

Marjorie A. Tingle, Ph.D.
Shared Instrumentation Grant Program
National Center for Research Resources
6705 Rockledge Drive, Room 6154, MSC 7965
Bethesda, MD  20892-7965
Telephone:  (301) 435-0772
FAX:  (301) 480-3659

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Mr. Ezra Moore
Office of Grants Management
National Center for Research Resources
6705 Rockledge Drive, Room 6205, MSC 7965
Bethesda, MD  20892-7965
Telephone:  (301) 435-0850


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No.
93.371, Biomedical Technology. Awards will be made under authorization of the
Public Health Service Act, Titles III and IV, (Public Law 78-410, as amended
by Public Law 99-158, 42 USC 241 and 287) and administered under PHS grants
policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Part 74. This
program is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of
Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide a
smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products. In
addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking
in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which
regular or routine education, library, day care, health care or early
childhood development services are provided to children. This is consistent
with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of
the American people.

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