Release Date:  December 22, 1998

PA NUMBER:  PAR-99-031


National Center for Research Resources

Application Receipt Date:  March 19, 1999


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


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. 4/98), 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


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 $500,000.  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 $500,000.  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 19,
1999 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, R29, 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 (see below).  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 possible.

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 period.

The application must include a plan 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.
4/98).  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, email:

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 NIH Office for Protection from
Research Risks (OPRR), 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 Plan."

Item 6.  The dates should be 04/01/99 through 03/31/00.

Item 8A+B.  Use these blocks 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

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 19, 1999.  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 to:

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:

6705 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 6154 - MSC 7965
BETHESDA, MD 20892-7965
BETHESDA, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)


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 1999
NARRC meeting and the remainder at the NARRC meeting in January 2000.  Funding
decisions on all applications received for the March 19,1999, deadline will not
be made until the program receives an appropriation for FY 2000.  The Council
date will not affect the likelihood of funding.


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 19 (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.  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


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

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


In making funding decisions, the NCRR will give consideration to ensure program
balance among various types of instruments supported and 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:

Ms. Mary Niemiec
Office of Grants Management
National Center for Research Resources
6705 Rockledge Drive, Room 6205, MSC 7965
Bethesda, MD  20892-7965
Telephone:  (301) 435-0842


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 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.

Return to Volume Index

Return to NIH Guide Main Index

Office of Extramural Research (OER) - Home Page Office of Extramural
Research (OER)
  National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Home Page National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Home Page Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS) - Government Made Easy

Note: For help accessing PDF, RTF, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Audio or Video files, see Help Downloading Files.