National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives, Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP)
Shared Instrumentation for Animal Research (SIFAR) Grant Program (S10 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
S10 Biomedical Research Support Shared Instrumentation Grants
Reissue of PAR-18-599
The Shared Instrumentation for Animal Research (SIFAR) Grant Program encourages applications from groups of NIH-funded investigators to purchase or upgrade scientific instruments necessary to carry out animal experiments in all areas of biomedical research supported by the NIH. Applicants may request clusters of commercially available instruments configured as specialized integrated systems or as series of instruments to support a thematic well-defined area of research using animals or related materials. Priority will be given to uniquely configured systems to support innovative and potentially transformative investigations.
This FOA supports requests for state-of-the art commercially available technologies needed for NIH-funded research using any vertebrate and invertebrate animal species.
This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) does not support requests for single instruments. At least one item of the requested instrumentation must cost at least $50,000, after all applicable discounts. No instrument in a cluster can cost less than $20,000, after all applicable discounts. There is no maximum price requirement; however, the maximum award is $750,000 of direct costs.
January 30, 2019
April 30, 2019
May 31, 2019, by 5:00 PM local time at the applicant organization. All types of applications allowed for this funding opportunity are due on this date.
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.
September - November, 2019
February 1, 2020
June 1, 2019
It is critical that applicants follow the Research (R) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.
I. Funding Opportunity Description
Section II. Award Information
Section III. Eligibility Information
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
Section V. Application Review Information
Section VI. Award Administration Information
Section VII. Agency Contacts
Section VIII. Other Information
The Shared Instrumentation for Animal Research (SIFAR) Grant Program invites groups of NIH-funded investigators engaged in biomedical research using animals to seek support for high-cost, state-of-the art, commercially available scientific instruments. All requested instruments must be used on shared basis and enhance research that uses animals or related materials such as animal tissues, cells, or germplasm.
NIH-funded investigators use many different vertebrate and invertebrate animals in biomedical research, including worms, flies, fish, and rodents. This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) supports instrumentation requests related to all animal species needed for NIH-supported biomedical research. NIH-funded investigators rely on a broad spectrum of technologies including nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometers, mass spectrometers, DNA and protein sequencers, biosensors, electron and confocal microscopes, cell-sorters, and biomedical imagers. This FOA supports requests for all available technologies to enhance research using animals or related biological materials such as tissue, cells, or germplasm, for the ultimate benefit of human health.
Applicants may request clusters of instruments configured as specialized integrated systems or as a series of instruments to support a specific thematic area of biomedical research using animals. An integrated instrumentation system is one in which components, when used in conjunction with one other, perform a function that no single component could provide. A series of instruments may support a specialized workflow or provide synergetic functionalities to advance a thematic area of research. Any instrument, requested as a part of a cluster or a series, must be commercially available.
For example, applicants may request integrated systems to support animal research in any field of biomedical research, such as neurophysiology, cardiac physiology, immunology, developmental biology, or neurobehavioral sciences. Similarly relevant are series of instruments for high-throughput experiments in research areas such as genomics, phenotyping, or metabolomics. Clusters of instruments may improve surgical approaches by incorporating robotics and real-time decision-making procedures based on imaging or molecular characterizations of tissue. A combination of microfluidics-related technologies with high-throughput and high-content screening may advance phenotyping procedures. Likewise, a combination of optical imaging, flow-cytometry, and mass spectrometry may improve and speed up molecular profiling. Also appropriate are integrated systems for cognitive-behavioral studies or advanced monitoring set-ups for comprehensive physiological and metabolic assessment.
Of special interest are unique instrumentation systems that augment experimental capabilities through complementary functions of the individual items. Such systems can enable multi-step protocols and broader approaches by incorporating best practices drawn from different experimental specialties, for example, by combining different modalities to achieve multi-scale capabilities such as linking gene expressions to cell-, organ-, and organism- level pathologies.
It is expected that instruments within a series will be used in conjunction with each other. For example, the placement of instruments in a thematic core facility would focus on investigations in a common scientific field such as cardiovascular or neurological studies. Similarly, instruments placed in a barrier facility would enable longitudinal studies and other investigations requiring special settings such as gnotobiotic environment.
To ensure the effective and collaborative use of all requested instruments, they should be placed in a common or adjacent physical location for ease of access and to promote synergetic operation of the items within the cluster/series.
Requests for single instruments are not appropriate for this FOA and, if submitted to this FOA, they will not be considered for funding. Single instrument requests are supported by the Shared Instrumentation Grant (SIG) Program or High-End Instrumentation (HEI) Grant Program. Concurrent submissions to the SIFAR, SIG, and HEI Programs can be made only under conditions described in Section III.
All requests must be justified by the needs of NIH-funded projects and must demonstrate how the instruments will enhance the conduct of animal research and strengthen scientific outcomes. Priority will be given to specialized clusters of instruments and uniquely configured systems to support innovative and potentially transformative animal research.
In summary, this FOA seeks requests to purchase state-of-the-art commercially available instruments that are to be used on a shared basis and are needed by NIH-funded investigators engaged in biomedical research using animals or related biological materials such as animal tissues, cells, or germplasm.
Instruments must be used for research purposes only.
Foreign-made equipment is allowable.
The SIFAR Program will not support requests for:
Applicants are advised to discuss with the SIFAR Scientific/Research Contact (See Section VII) any questions regarding eligibility, Program requirements, and appropriate configurations of integrated instrument systems or series of instruments to support a particular thematic workflow.
To promote cost effectiveness, to encourage optimal sharing among individual investigators, research groups, and academic departments, and to foster a collaborative multidisciplinary environment, the requested instruments should be integrated in a core facility, whenever possible.
Each applicant institution must propose a Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) who can assume administrative and scientific oversight responsibility for the requested instrumentation. See Section III for qualifications for the PD/PI. The PD/PI also will be responsible for:
An Advisory Committee must be named to assist the PD/PI in administering the grant and overseeing the usage of the instruments. For details on the composition of the Advisory Committee see Section IV.2 under "Administration." The PD/PI and the Advisory Committee are responsible for the development of guidelines for:
The PD/PI and the Advisory Committee should convene meetings and issue annual reports on the instrument status, including their recommendations for the instrument operations.
See Section VIII. Other Information for award authorities and regulations.
Grant: A support mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity.
The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.
Not Allowed: Only accepting applications that do not propose clinical trials
The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.
ORIP intends to commit up to $6,000,000 in FY 2020 to fund an estimate of 12 awards.
Applications will be accepted for commercially available instruments only. At least one item of the requested instrumentation must cost at least $50,000, after all applicable discounts. No instrument in a cluster can cost less than $20,000, after all applicable discounts. There is no upper limit on the cost of each instrument, but the maximum award is $750,000 of direct costs. Since the cost of the various instruments will vary, it is anticipated that the amount of the award will also vary. S10 awards do not allow indirect costs.
It is expected that applicants will employ the best economical approaches, including securing academic discounts, if applicable, to formulate a cost-effective budget while meeting the users’ scientific needs.
Awards are made for one year only.
NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made from this FOA.
Higher Education Institutions
The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:
o Hispanic-serving Institutions
o Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
o Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)
o Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions
o Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)
Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are
not eligible to apply.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply.
Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are not allowed.
Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.
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.
Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.
The PD/PI chosen for this application should have documented (in the biographical sketch) technical expertise directly related to the type of the chosen instrument. The PD/PI does not need to have an NIH research grant or any other research support but is expected to be an expert on the requested instrument. The PD/PI may be a core director, tenured, or non-tenured faculty member of the applicant organization. The PD/PI must be affiliated with the applicant organization and must be registered on eRA Commons.
Multiple PDs/PIs are not allowed under the S10 mechanism.
This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
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. This means that the NIH will not accept:
Only one SIFAR application per institution as identified by the DUNS number, is allowed per the receipt date.
There is no restriction on the number of applications an institution can submit to the SIG and/or High-End Instrumentation (HEI) Programs each year, provided the applications request different types of equipment. In general, concurrent SIG, HEI and/or (SIFAR) applications for the same instrument (or the same type of instrument with added special accessories to meet the HEI budget requirement or the same instrument in a cluster of instruments to meet the SIFAR program requirements) are not allowed. If two or more S10 (either SIG, HEI, or SIFAR) applications are submitted for similar equipment from the same institution, documentation from a high-level institutional official must be provided, stating that this is not an unintended duplication, but part of a campus-wide instrumentation plan. Applicants are advised to discuss with the SIFAR Scientific/Research Contact (see Section VII) potential duplicates before submitting two applications for the same type of instrument.
Three Major Users who have substantial need for the instrument must be identified. Each of these Major Users must be a PD/PI on a distinct active NIH research award in an area of basic, translational, or clinical research. (The requirement is one award per investigator, with more awards per investigator allowed. An award given to multi-PDs/PIs is counted only once towards the fulfillment of this requirement.) NIH training or fellowship grants (i.e., T and F mechanisms), other non-research and SBIR/STTR grants, and OT awards cannot be counted towards the fulfillment of this requirement. Once the eligibility requirement of three Major Users with NIH-funded research projects has been met, additional users with active research awards from NIH or other sources may be added as Major or Minor Users. Investigators with funding from sources such as other Federal agencies (e.g., NSF, DoE, DoD), private foundations, or academic institutions, can be added as Major Users, provided they are engaged in basic, translational or clinical research and can demonstrate a substantial need for the instrument. Major Users can be researchers from the same department or from several departments, divisions or schools at the applicant institution, or from nearby or regional institutions. In certain circumstances, as technology dictates, Major Users may come from distant institutions, but they must demonstrate the need for the instruments and describe plans for regular access to the instrument.
To demonstrate the clear need for the requested instrument, the projects supported by NIH research grants should together require at least 75 percent of the Accessible User Time (AUT) – see Section Other Project Information for the definition of AUT. Major Users supported by NIH grants should together require at least 35 percent of the AUT.
The Major User group must meet the eligibility requirement at the time of submission. In addition, if/when the application is considered for funding, the SIFAR Program Staff will check that the Major User group eligibility requirement is also met at the time of award.
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 FOA. See your administrative office for instructions if you plan to use an institutional system-to-system solution.
It is critical that applicants follow the Research (R) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.
All page limitations described in the SF424 Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.
For this FOA, there is no overall page limit for the entire Instrumentation Plan. However, there are specified page limits for each section of the Instrumentation Plan, as described below. All tables, graphs, figures, diagrams, and charts must be included within the page limits for these sections. The applicants should make every effort to be succinct. It is expected that the length of the Plan's narrative will depend on the type of the requested instruments and the number of users. To be successful, an application does not have to reach the page limits described here.
Note: Letters of Support and Bibliography & References Cited Section are not included in the page limitations.
The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this FOA.
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
Descriptive Title: In the title enter the generic name of the instruments requested (for example, 600MHz NMR Spectrometer or DNA Sequencer).
Proposed Project: Enter start date of 02/01/2020 and end date of 01/31/2021.
Estimated Project Funding:
Total Federal Funds Requested: Enter the total Federal funds for the requested instruments.
This entry cannot exceed $750,000 which is the maximum award
under the SIFAR Program. If the cost of the instrument is more than $750,000
enter $750,000 (or any lower amount of the requested Federal Funds).
Non-Federal Funds: If Total Federal Funds Requested (described
immediately above) and Total Federal & Non-Federal Funds (described
immediately below) are not the same, enter the difference in this line. Explain
how the difference will be paid in the Equipment section on the SF424 (R&R)
Other Project Information form (described below).
Federal & Non-Federal Funds: Enter the total cost of the
instrument from the quote
Program Income: Enter zero Program Income as does not apply to the SIFAR Program.
NOTE: A warning will be generated during submission for any S10 with a budget in excess of $500,000. This warning can be ignored.
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
Project Summary/Abstract: The Project Summary/Abstract should contain a succinct and accurate description of the requested instruments and an explanation of the need for the instruments to advance research projects of the Users. The application's broad, long-term objectives should be stated, concisely describing how access to the instruments will enhance the health-related goals of the research projects. This section should be informative to other persons working in the same or related fields and understandable to a scientifically or technically literate reader.
NOTE: The Project Summary/Abstract must be no longer than 30 lines of text.
Project Narrative: Using no more than two or three sentences, describe the relevance of this research to public health. In this section, be succinct and use plain language that can be understood by a general, lay audience.
Bibliography & References Cited: List only publications that demonstrate the researchers' expertise in operation and usage of the requested instruments or are relevant to research projects, which will be supported by the instrument. References of the Research Projects Section may appear in this section or may be listed at the end of individual research subsections.
Facilities & Other Resources: Not Applicable. Do not include an attachment here.
Equipment: Describe the requested instruments by stating their manufacturers, model numbers, specific features/configurations, and accessories. Provide a detailed budget breakdown of each instrument and requested accessories, including tax and import duties, if applicable. Itemized quotes, with any appropriate discounts, from a vendor or vendors are required. The quotes must be scanned and combined in a single attachment with the equipment description as part of this upload. As described above in SF424 Cover form, include an explanation of Total Non-Federal Funds in this section (if applicable).
If any materials or substances which could create a potential biohazard, are to be analyzed, funds for accessory containment equipment for the instruments may be requested in the budget.
Do not describe the need for the instrumentation in this section; such narrative should be a part of the Justification of Need section of the Instrumentation Plan.
Instrumentation Plan (in lieu of the Research Plan attachment). The entire Instrumentation Plan (with the sections described below) must be saved as a single PDF file - named Instrumentation Plan - and attached via Other Attachments. Organize the Instrumentation Plan in the specified order (described below), starting each section with the appropriate section heading (i.e., Justification of Need, Technical Expertise, Research Projects, etc.). Do not include links to websites for further information. Do not include animations/videos.
Provide an inventory of similar instruments existing at your institution, neighboring research institutions, or otherwise accessible; describe why each similar instrument is unavailable or inappropriate for the proposed research. If similar instruments are listed as "unavailable," add a letter to the Letters of Support section from the instrument manager explaining why the instruments are not available to your user group. If the requested instruments are to be placed in a barrier facility, explain the value of the arrangements for the advancements of animal research in your institution which would not be possible otherwise. Describe how the instruments will benefit the overall animal research scientific infrastructure at your institution.
Describe how the placement of instruments will facilitate their complementary and synergetic use. Include specific documentation on the current usage and downtime of each of these existing instruments in annual hours and a realistic estimate of the projected usage for the requested instrument. You may use tables to clarify the presentation. Tables included within this section will count towards the specified page limit.
Justify the need for software. Recall that all software supported by this program must be integrated in the operation of the instrument and/or be necessary for the generation of high-quality output data from the instrument. Depending on the needs of research projects, different configurations of such software may be needed to ensure the productive scientific use of the instrument. If such additional software modules are requested (e.g., to support mass spec metabolomics, special imaging protocols for optical microscopes, special pulse sequences for MRI, etc.) they must be essential for the advancement of research projects of least 3 Major Users.
Detailed eligibility requirements for Major Users are described in Section III 3.
Since the projects have been previously peer reviewed, describe their details only as necessary to explain how the requested instrumentation will advance the projects’ research objectives and enhance animal research. (Do not simply copy the Specific Aims section from a funded application.) Present sufficient technical details about types of samples or specific experimental protocols to be employed to allow evaluation of whether the instruments are appropriate, would be effectively utilized, and would provide advantages over other methods and other similar existing or new instruments. Similarly, if software modules are requested to enable special hardware capabilities or to enhance the quality of output data, justify how such configuration(s) will advance the research projects of at least 3 Major Users. Specify the anticipated usage in annual hours for each project.
In particular, explain how the integrated function of a cluster or the combined use of the instruments in the series will enhance the research projects. Show how all requested instrumentation items will be synergistically used and together enable improved experimental workflow and advance animal research. Preliminary data are not required, but if available, they may be used to illustrate the benefit of the requested instrument(s) to the research projects. Describe how generated data will be handled and analyzed, so that benefits of the entire experimental set-up can be judged. Summarize benefits that the requested instruments will provide towards answering specific scientific questions or towards the advancement of a specific research area. Describe how the availability of the instruments is expected to aid to the progress of animal research. Be succinct and clear.
If you choose to divide this section into Research Projects of Major Users subsections, list the PD/PI’s name and grant information (number, title, project start and end dates) in the beginning of each subsection.).
Keep in mind that the sole number of users is not a compelling factor to justify scientific needs for the requested instruments. You must focus this section on detailed explanation of how the requested instruments will advance research projects and potentially provide innovative solution to experimental approaches. Research projects may be drawn from a broad array of topics in biomedical research, but all must use animals or related materials, such as animal tissues, cells or germplasm.
Following the tables, for each instrument state (i) a total estimated usage time by Users’ projects in annual hours, (ii) the percentage of the estimated usage time devoted to Major Users’ NIH-funded projects, and (iii) the percentage of the estimated usage time devoted to NIH-funded projects. Major Users with NIH research funding should use the instrument at the level of at least 35% of the AUT; NIH-funded users (Major and Minor) should use the instrument at the level of 75% of the AUT.
The AUT (related to the administration of the instruments) and the expected usage (depending on actual need for each individual instrument) may be significantly different for different types of instruments and at different institutions.
List the names and titles of the members of the local Advisory Committee. The membership of this Committee should be broad, to balance interests of different users, and should include members without conflicts of interest (non-users of the requested instruments) who can resolve disputes, if they arise. The membership of this Committee should include at least one senior institutional official who will represent the financial commitment of the institution. Major and other active Users of the instruments may be members, but none may Chair the Advisory Committee. The PD/PI cannot be a voting member of the Advisory Committee.
The Advisory Committee should meet on a regular basis and should prepare an annual report, which will become part of the Final Research Performance Progress Report and the Annual Usage Reports (see Section VI.3).
Provide a plan about how the Users will be instructed and reminded about citing the S10 award in their publications.
Describe a plan for managing access to the instruments if users' projects involve vertebrate animals or biohazards such as infectious materials.
Typically, during year one, the maintenance costs are fully covered by one-year manufacturer's warranty. In subsequent years, costs of maintenance must be considered in the financial plan. Include a description of projected changes of the financial plan over the subsequent four years.
Confirm the institutional support toward the maintenance and operation of the instruments. In particular, confirm that the institution will commit to provide backup of the financial plan for five years from installation of the instruments or for its effective/usable lifetime. The expected usable lifetime depends on the type of requested instruments. Describe institutional support for personnel.
Letters of Support: All letters of support should be combined in a single file named Letters of Support and uploaded as a separate attachment via Other Attachments. This combined file should include, as applicable:
1) S10 Grant Number;
2) Year of Award;
3) Installation Date of the Instrument;
4) PD/PI's Name;
5) Generic Name of Instrument;
6) Instrument Status: (Active (instrument in use), Pending (order placed but instrument not delivered, instrument received but not installed or not calibrated for general use), Upgraded (or replaced), Not Available (sold, decommissioned, transferred));
7) Actual Usage Time (actual total time in hours per year the instrument was used for research; if the instrument has been installed less than a year ago, the hours can be extrapolated for an estimate of hours per full year);
8) Maintenance Agreement: (Active (Warranty in place), In-House (or Self-Insured), None (Fee for Service, Pending), Not Available (no longer supported by manufacturer); and
9) Number of Publications Citing the S10 Award. Please verify that the reported publications cite the award (or have been linked to the S10 grant and are listed in the NIH RePORTER). If the instrument is currently non-functional, the institution must provide a supplementary explanatory text. An explanation must also be provided if there are no publications for any of the previously awarded S10 grants.
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed. Include the Profile of the PD/PI, Major Users, Minor Users, and technical personnel, as applicable.
This FOA requires the attachment Current & Pending Support for the PD/PI at the time of application submission. (If PD/PI has no research grant or any other research support, state “None” in the form.)
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
See Part 1. Section III.1 for information regarding the requirement for obtaining a unique entity identifier and for completing and maintaining active registrations in System for Award Management (SAM), NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code (if applicable), eRA Commons, and Grants.gov
Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates and times. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission. When a submission date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.
Organizations must submit applications to Grants.gov (the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies). Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration. NIH and Grants.gov systems check the application against many of the application instructions upon submission. Errors must be corrected and a changed/corrected application must be submitted to Grants.gov on or before the application due date and time. If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late. Applications that miss the due date and time are subjected to the NIH Policy on Late Application Submission.
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 SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.
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.
Under the S10 mechanism, funding requests are limited to the purchase cost of the instruments only. Support for technical personnel, service contracts, extended warranties, supplies, and software (except as defined in Part 2 Section I) is not allowable. Cost sharing towards purchase of the instrument is not required and any institutional funds contributed to the costs of the purchase of the instrument are voluntary. If the amount of funds requested does not cover the total cost of the instrument, the application should describe the proposed source(s) of funding for the balance of the cost of the instrument and document their availability in a letter signed by an appropriate institutional official. Note that any voluntarily committed cost will be noted in the Notice of the Award and the institution will be held to the commitment and reporting requirements.
Program does not provide facilities and administrative (F&A) costs or support for construction or alterations or renovations. Matching funds are not required. However, commitment of an appropriate level of institutional support, to ensure the associated sustaining infrastructure, is expected and should be described. Appropriate Grants will be awarded for a period of one year and are not renewable.
Applicants proposing purchase of an instrument that the institution is planning to lease prior to award are urged to consult with their institutional sponsored projects office and the NIH Grant Management Office regarding applicable NIH policy prior to executing the leasing agreement. If the leasing agreement was executed more than one year prior to submission of the SIFAR application, the applicant must provide a strong justification for the requested Federal funds. This justification must demonstrate that the leased instrument is considered state-of-the-art at the time of submission - appropriate award adjustments may be necessary. Execution of a purchase order or agreement, making a down payment or other formal commitment to purchase the equipment prior to award will automatically eliminate an applicant from eligibility for an award.
Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. Paper applications will not be accepted.
Applicants must complete all required registrations before the application due date. Section III. Eligibility Information contains information about registration.
For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit How to Apply – Application Guide. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Dealing with System Issues guidance. For assistance with application submission, contact the Application Submission Contacts in Section VII.
All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF424(R&R) Application Package. 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 FOA for information on registration requirements.
The applicant organization must ensure that the DUNS number it provides on the application is the same number used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the System for Award Management. Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
See more tips for avoiding common errors.
Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness and compliance with application instructions by the Center for Scientific Review, NIH. Applications that are incomplete or non-compliant will not be reviewed.
Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in the policy. Any instructions provided here are in addition to the instructions in the policy.
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.
Reviewers will provide an overall benefit score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood that the requested instrument will exert a sustained, powerful influence on the conduct of research projects and their scientific outcomes, in consideration of the following review criteria.
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/benefit.
Justification of Need
Is the need for the instruments clearly and adequately justified? Is the equipment essential and appropriate? Is the thematic area of animal research well-defined and well-served by the requested instruments? Are all specific features, special accessories, and software configuration of the requested instruments well justified; in particular, by their need of Major Users? Does the requested set-up offer innovative experimental solutions and does it advance animal research? Is the placement of the instrument well-justified to facilitate the complementary and synergetic use of the instruments? Is Accessible User Time (AUT) well defined and explained? Is AUT reasonable? Justification of selection of the proposed instrument may include but is not limited to comparison with other commercially available instruments of similar function.
Does the institution have the technical expertise to make effective use of the requested instruments? How well-qualified are the participating investigators or other assigned personnel to operate and maintain the instruments, conduct the projects, and evaluate the research results, including analysis and interpretation of data? How will new users be trained? How will biosafety procedures be implemented?
Will research with the requested instruments advance the knowledge and understanding of the proposed projects? Will animal research be strengthened and enhanced? How will the research projects of individual Users be enhanced? Do Users adequately justify the requested instruments for the needs of their specific projects? Do at least three Major Users require the entire configuration for their research projects at the level of at least 35% AUT?
Is the plan for the management and maintenance of the requested instruments appropriate? Is the membership of the Advisory Committee broadly based to oversee the use of the instruments for the appropriate range of biomedical investigators, to balance interests of different users, and to resolve disputes, if they arise? How will research time be allocated among the projects? Are the sharing arrangements equitable? If needed, are the policies to manage projects which have animals or biohazards adequate? Is the financial plan for the instruments for five years or the expected lifetime of the instruments reasonable and secured, balancing anticipated expenditures and anticipated income? Is the expected usable lifetime of the instruments reasonable? Are there adequate plans in place to document the use and scientific benefits of the instrument by citations and acknowledgments of the S10 grant in the scientific publications?
Does the institution commitment letter provide support in the event of a shortfall of income? Is the institutional commitment to back-up the financial plan provided for a time period consistent with the expected effective lifetime of the requested instruments? Is the management of the awarded S10 instruments adequate (based on the data in the table of Previously Awarded S10 Instruments in the institutional Letter of Support)? Does the Institution provide adequate infrastructure support for the requested instruments including space to house the instrument and site for sample preparation, if needed?
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.
Generally not applicable. Reviewers
should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.
Generally not applicable. Reviewers
should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.
Generally not applicable. Reviewers
should bring any concerns to the attention of the Scientific Review Officer.
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.
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.
As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items, and should not consider them in providing an overall impact score.
Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research. Reviewers will comment whether applicants employed the best economical approaches, including securing academic discounts, to formulate the cost-effective budget while meeting users' scientific needs.
Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s) convened by Center for Scientific Review, 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:
Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the appropriate national Advisory Council or Board. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:
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.
Applicants should ignore eRA Commons system-generated just-in-time (JIT) requests which are typically sent soon after peer review. If an application is considered for funding, ORIP SIFAR Program staff will send PD/PI special instructions on how to submit a JIT update, from the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once an application is selected for funding, the grants management officer may request additional information.
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 grantee’s business official.
Awardees must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.5. 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 FOA 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.
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, Grantees, and Activities. More information is provided at Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants.
Recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS must administer their programs in compliance with federal civil rights law. This means that recipients of HHS funds must ensure equal access to their programs without regard to a person’s race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, sex and religion. This includes ensuring your programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency. HHS recognizes that 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 FOA. HHS provides general guidance to recipients of FFA on meeting their legal obligation to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to their programs by persons with limited English proficiency. Please see https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/special-topics/limited-english-proficiency/index.html. The HHS Office for Civil Rights also provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/section-1557/index.html; and https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-providers/laws-regulations-guidance/index.html. Recipients of FFA also have specific legal obligations for serving qualified individuals with disabilities. Please see https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/disability/index.html. Please contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights for more information about obligations and prohibitions under federal civil rights laws at https://www.hhs.gov/ocr/about-us/contact-us/index.html or call 1-800-368-1019 or TDD 1-800-537-7697. Also note it is an HHS Departmental goal to ensure access to quality, culturally competent care, including long-term services and supports, for vulnerable populations. For further guidance on providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services, recipients should review the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care at http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=2&lvlid=53.
In accordance with the statutory provisions contained in Section 872 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417), NIH awards will be subject to the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) requirements. FAPIIS requires Federal award making officials to review and consider information about an applicant in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS) prior to making an award. An applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through FAPIIS and comment on any information about itself that a Federal agency previously entered and is currently in FAPIIS. The Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgement about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 45 CFR Part 75.205 “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
A Final RPPR 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.
The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later. All awardees 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.
At the expiration of the grant, a Final Research Performance Progress Report (Final RPPR) is required that describes the purchased instrument, and a list of all users and description of the value of the instrument to the investigators and to the institution as a whole. The following information about the award and the instrument must be included in the SIFAR Final RPPR:
1) Grant Number: 1S10OD#####-01
2) Principal Investigator: (Name, Institution, Department, Address)
3) Funding Period
4) Name of Instrument (including manufacturer and model)
5) Total Purchase Cost
6) Total SIFAR Award Amount
7) Other Sources of Funding (if appropriate)
8) Instrument Installation Date
9) List of users, their funding and hours of use
10) List of publications, if available. This publication list should be consistent with the NIH Public Access Policy.
11) A narrative describing the impact of the instrument on the research community, specific research accomplishments, and administration and operation of the instrument.
12) A report from the Advisory Committee.
The SIFAR Final RPPR must be submitted electronically through the Closeout module in eRA Commons. For facilitation of Final RPPR preparation, the SIFAR Scientific Research/Contact staff will contact grantees prior to the due date for report and provide specific instructions.
Annual Instrument Usage Report
In addition, for the period of four years after the Final RPPR, on the anniversaries of the expiration of the award, Annual Instrument Usage Reports (AURs) must be provided to the NIH. These reports will include analogous information requested in S10 Final RPPR (as listed above in Final Research Performance Progress Report section) about the usage and operation of the instrument, with an attached report from the Advisory Committee, description of research which benefited from the instrument, and a summary of research outcomes as documented by publications.
In accordance with the regulatory requirements provided at 45 CFR 75.113 and Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75, recipients that have currently active Federal grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from all Federal awarding agencies with a cumulative total value greater than $10,000,000 for any period of time during the period of performance of a Federal award, must report and maintain the currency of information reported in the System for Award Management (SAM) about civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings in connection with the award or performance of a Federal award that reached final disposition within the most recent five-year period. The recipient must also make semiannual disclosures regarding such proceedings. Proceedings information will be made publicly available in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS). This is a statutory requirement under section 872 of Public Law 110-417, as amended (41 U.S.C. 2313). As required by section 3010 of Public Law 111-212, all information posted in the designated integrity and performance system on or after April 15, 2011, except past performance reviews required for Federal procurement contracts, will be publicly available. Full reporting requirements and procedures are found in Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75 – Award Term and Conditions for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.
We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity
and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.
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: http://grants.nih.gov/support/ (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
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)
Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding
Grants.gov registration and Workspace)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726
Willie McCullough, PhD
Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP)
Nuria Assa-Munt, PhD
Center for Scientific Review (CSR)
Gavin Wilkom, M.I.M.
Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP)
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.
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 45 CFR Part 75.
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