Department of Health and Human Services
Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute on Aging (NIA)

Funding Opportunity Title

Mobile Monitoring of Cognitive Change (U2C)

Activity Code

U2C Resource-Related Research Multi-Component Projects and Centers Cooperative Agreements

Announcement Type

New

Related Notices

None

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-AG-18-012

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)

93.866

Funding Opportunity Purpose

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites applications to design and implement research infrastructure that will enable the monitoring of cognitive abilities and age, state, context, or health condition-related changes in cognitive abilities on mobile devices. This effort will include the development (or support for development) of apps on the Android and iOS platforms, the validation of tests and items to be used on the two leading smartphone platforms in age groups ranging from 20 to 85, and the norming of successfully validated measures to nationally representative U.S. population samples that will also receive gold standard measures, including the NIH Toolbox® for Assessment of Behavioral and Neurological Function. A goal of this project is to also support data collection efforts from participants enrolled in projects awarded through this FOA as well as other NIH-funded studies though FY2022, and enable the widespread sharing of both the collected data and the test instruments.

Key Dates
Posted Date

June 30, 2017

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

October 2, 2017

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

October 2, 2017

Application Due Date(s)

November 2, 2017, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on this date.

No late applications will be accepted for this Funding Opportunity Announcement.

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.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

February/March 2018

Advisory Council Review

May 2018

Earliest Start Date

July 2018

Expiration Date

November 3, 2017

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

** ELECTRONIC APPLICATION SUBMISSION REQUIRED**

NIH’s new Application Submission System & Interface for Submission Tracking (ASSIST) is available for the electronic preparation and submission of multi-project applications through Grants.gov to NIH. Applications to this FOA must be submitted electronically using ASSIST or an institutional system-to-system solution; paper applications will not be accepted. ASSIST replaces the Grants.gov downloadable forms currently used with most NIH opportunities and provides many features to enable electronic multi-project application submission and improve data quality, including: pre-population of organization and PD/PI data, pre-submission validation of many agency business rules and the generation of data summaries in the application image used for review.

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the Multi-Project (M) 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) and where instructions in the Application Guide are directly related to the Grants.gov downloadable forms currently used with most NIH opportunities. 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.


There are several options available to submit your application through Grants.gov to NIH and Department of Health and Human Services partners. You must use one of these submission options to access the application forms for this opportunity.

  1. Use the NIH ASSIST system to prepare, submit and track your application online.
  2. Use an institutional system-to-system (S2S) solution to prepare and submit your application to Grants.gov and eRA Commons to track your application. Check with your institutional officials regarding availability.

Learn more about the various submission options.

Table of Contents

Part 1. Overview Information
Part 2. Full Text of the Announcement

Section 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

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

Background and Rationale

Recent work has demonstrated both that declines in normal cognitive ability begin to occur by age 30, and that pathological processes related to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may also begin in midlife if not before, which makes it highly desirable to be able to measure even subtle cognitive decline in midlife. Currently, however, there are formidable challenges to estimating cognitive trajectories in midlife relating to the sensitivity of measures, the expense and participant burden of “gold standard” cognitive testing, and confounds between the negative effects of aging and improvements related to repeated test exposure. At the population level, insensitivity to detect change also compromises our ability to identify or specify potential risk factors, whereas at the individual level, insensitivity to change makes it difficult to identify participants for early-stage clinical trials, and reduces power to detect positive therapeutic effects.

Although this funding opportunity announcement will focus on the measurement of cognitive ability, similar strategies could (and should) be pursued for other psychological variables of interest, especially those that are potential risk or protective factors for cognitive impairment or decline in later life. Cognition is in many ways a “worst case” for mobile monitoring for many reasons: because cognition is characterized along multiple dimensions, and measurement is usually based on task performance rather than self- or other-report, protocols appear to be longer on average; the effects of practice on task performance are usually larger and far more salient (e.g., responding to one item measuring negative affect has a smaller effect on future responses to the same item than an episodic memory item); and moment-to-moment changes are often smaller (making them more difficult to measure). In many cases, new measures will need to be invented for cognition where they are more likely to be adapted for other variables of interest.

These challenges for mobile monitoring of cognitive change are non-trivial, but modern approaches to psychometric testing have dramatically reduced the amount of time and number of items required to estimate cognitive ability levels at a single point in time, because items can be selected adaptively and optimally for the individual being tested. In addition, several studies have confirmed the theoretical superiority of burst measurement designs to measure true longitudinal change unconfounded by practice effects. Dramatic improvements in computer hardware have made it feasible to administer valid cognitive tests over the internet, and even on mobile devices. Further, important elements of the NIH Toolbox® for Assessment of Behavioral and Neurological Function (previously normed in representative cohorts ranging in age from 3 to 85) were made available on the iPad, and NIA-supported researchers have shown the feasibility of valid measurement of cognitive level, change, and intra-individual variability on smart phones using data from repeated, ultra-brief (1-2 minute) assessments.

The decision to target smartphones for a resource of this kind is driven by both demographic and technological concerns. On the demographic front, smartphone penetration had already reached 70% among U.S. 25- to 54-year-olds by 2013 and is plausibly expected to approach or exceed 90% by 2018. Although it must be acknowledged that usage in older cohorts is lower, usage is growing rapidly, and the current resource is focused on the measurement of cognitive change in midlife. Nevertheless, because both iOS and Android also support devices with potentially higher usability and penetration in older demographics (e.g., tablets), instruments developed with the smartphone in mind should be adaptable to earlier versions as well as other platforms that do not depend on the use of a smartphone.

A major additional advantage of smart phones in this context is that apps can be securely connected to centralized servers that allow the ongoing storage of data as well as the opportunity to customize the specific mix of tests and items to be delivered to a specific participant. Importantly, items presented can be based on a participant’s known ability level, which allows scales to be much briefer. In addition, it is now clear that we can reliably “break up” longer batteries over several sessions to boost reliability; interclass correlations (ICC) greater than 0.95 have been reported in the literature for measures validated against gold-standard neuropsychological tests. Moreover, the ability to acquire data from tens or hundreds of thousands of individuals also helps to solve a persistent problem with longitudinal cognitive testing, namely, that repeated test experience leads to higher scores (at least in cognitively normal individuals). Furthermore, mobile devices afford the opportunity to overcome limitations in the generalizability of findings by sampling a much broader spectrum of the population; although most racial and ethnic minorities as well as lower socioeconomic status (SES) individuals are under-represented in clinic- and laboratory-based studies, they are apparently possibly over-represented in the population of owners of mobile devices, since they are more likely to own smartphones than computers. As long as there is a firm connection to a thoroughly normed group (as is proposed below), we can use the well-established principles of unidimensional or multidimensional item-response theory to assess the measurement properties of any new specific tasks or single items we propose to use generally. Before the smartphone revolution, achieving samples large enough for validating such items was relatively expensive, since samples sizes in the hundreds or low thousands were required; in the proposed environment, we should be able to establish information curves for items based on thousands of participants (or more) in a matter of days. Once a properly normed system is in place (and re-anchored in the future as necessary), an essentially limitless number of items and tasks can potentially be generated and deployed, guaranteeing that, at least in the realm of cognition, no specific item will ever be seen twice, and that specific tasks will only need to be repeated infrequently as other tasks that measure the same construct can be interspersed.

An additional advantage of developing mobile (and momentary) measurements of cognitive functioning and other psychological states is that they can be linked to measures we can already obtain from passive sensors and mobile devices (e.g., geographical location, gait speed, heart rate, skin conductance) and others that could be collected via advances in biosensors. Indeed, contextual data is likely more necessary to interpret cognitive task performance data outside of a laboratory, while simultaneously affording the opportunity to better understand how cognition is affected by real-world variables. Although resolution ability at the individual level could require more intensive monitoring, collection of data over thousands of individuals could indicate, for example, whether certain medications are significantly associated with changes in cognitive status in a dose- and time-dependent manner; evidence from online sources shows we can see effects of self-reported sleep duration and alcohol intake on even un-optimized cognitive measures.

Specific Research Objectives

Although the measurement of cognition is relevant to many different research communities, valid and innovative measures of cognitive level and change in cognitive level are especially needed by the mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD research community to facilitate detection of disease at the earliest stages, to assess change in function over time, and potentially to track success of preventive and therapeutic interventions. To address these needs, the following elements are particularly sought, although applicants are welcome to include additional features as appropriate:

  • Establish and implement the basic governance and administrative structure for collection of data on cognitive level and change across a wide portion of the lifespan (age 20-85);
  • Design and implement smartphone applications measuring cognitive constructs known to change across the lifespan, and with enough sensitivity to detect these changes;
  • Create programming and database structures to receive, store, aggregate, analyze and share (as appropriate) data collected through this research resource;
  • Ensure diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, and SES within the groups used to validate and norm the tests designed;
  • Establish the psychometric properties of the tests implemented in the smartphone apps for individuals across the entire age range to be covered;
  • Collect longitudinal data to evaluate reliability of the instruments (short term) and to evaluate performance over longer intervals (up to 2 years);
  • Evaluate promising new measures for inclusion in the smartphone applications that would enhance the performance of the measurement battery for detecting cognitive change and possible disease at the earliest stages and differentiating between age-related cognitive decline and impairment/pre-clinical dementia;
  • Provide the operating procedures for administering validated and enhanced measurement batteries.

See Section VIII. Other Information for award authorities and regulations.

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

Cooperative Agreement: A support mechanism used when there will be substantial Federal scientific or programmatic involvement. Substantial involvement means that, after award, NIH scientific or program staff will assist, guide, coordinate, or participate in project activities. See Section VI.2 for additional information about the substantial involvement for this FOA.  

Application Types Allowed

New

The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

NIA intends to commit $2.25 million in FY2018 to fund 1 award. NIA also intends to commit a total of $3.75 million in FY2019, $3.75 million in FY2020, $2.25 million in FY2021, and $1.5 million in FY2022.

Award Budget

Application budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

Award Project Period

 The maximum project period is 5 years.  

NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made in response to this FOA.

Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants
Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

  • Public/State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education
  • Private Institutions of Higher Education

The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:

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

  • Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)
  • Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)

For-Profit Organizations

  • Small Businesses
  • For-Profit Organizations (Other than Small Businesses)

Governments

  • State Governments
  • County Governments
  • City or Township Governments
  • Special District Governments
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized)
  • U.S. Territory or Possession

Other

  • Independent School Districts
  • Public Housing Authorities/Indian Housing Authorities
  • Native American Tribal Organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Faith-based or Community-based Organizations
  • Regional Organizations
Foreign Institutions

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 allowed.

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. 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.

  • Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) - All registrations require that applicants be issued a DUNS number. After obtaining a DUNS number, applicants can begin both SAM and eRA Commons registrations. The same DUNS number must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly CCR) – Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
  • NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code – Foreign organizations must obtain an NCAGE code (in lieu of a CAGE code) in order to register in SAM. 
  • eRA Commons - Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the eRA Commons registration. Organizations can register with the eRA Commons as they are working through their SAM or Grants.gov registration. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • Grants.gov – Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s))

All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account.  PD(s)/PI(s) should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate their existing account with the applicant organization in eRA Commons.If the PD/PI is also the organizational Signing Official, they must have two distinct eRA Commons accounts, one for each role. Obtaining an eRA Commons account can take up to 2 weeks.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

2. Cost Sharing

This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

3. Additional Information on Eligibility
Number of Applications

Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time.  This means that the NIH will not accept:

  • A new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping new (A0) or resubmission (A1) application.
  • A resubmission (A1) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of the previous new (A0) application.
  • An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see NOT-OD-11-101).
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Requesting an Application Package

A button to access the online ASSIST system is available in Part 1 of this FOA. See your administrative office for instructions if you plan to use an institutional system-to-system solution.

Most applicants will use NIH’s ASSIST system to prepare and submit applications through Grants.gov to NIH. Applications prepared and submitted using applicant systems capable of submitting electronic multi-project applications to Grants.gov will also be accepted.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the Multi-Project (M) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Grant Application Instructions except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise and where instructions in the Application Guide are directly related to the Grants.gov downloadable forms currently used with most NIH opportunities. 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.

For information on Application Submission and Receipt, visit Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.

Letter of Intent

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows IC staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

By the date listed in Part 1. Overview Information, prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • Name(s), address(es), and telephone number(s) of the PD(s)/PI(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Jonathan W. King, Ph.D.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Telephone: 301-402-4156
Fax: 301-402-0051
Email: kingjo@nia.nih.gov

Page Limitations

Component Types Available in ASSIST

Research Strategy/Program Plan Page Limits

Overall

6

Admin Core

6

Data Core (use for Data and Statistical Analysis Core)

12

Core (use for Technical Core)

6

Core (use for Extension and Dissemination Core)

6

Project

12

Additional page limits described in the SF424 Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.

Instructions for the Submission of Multi-Component Applications

The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, and should be used for preparing a multi-component application.

The application should consist of the following components:

  • Overall: required;
  • Administrative Core: required;, max 1
  • Data and Statistical Analysis Core: required; min 1, max 1
  • Technical Core: required; min 1, max 1
  • Extension and Dissemination Core: required; min 1, max 1
  • Project: required; min 1, max 1
Overall Component

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type ‘Overall’.

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions, as noted.

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Overall)

Complete entire form.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement  (Overall)

Note: Human Embryonic Stem Cell lines from other components should be repeated in cell line table in Overall component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Overall)

Follow standard instructions.

Project/Performance Site Location(s) (Overall)

Enter primary site only.

A summary of Project/Performance Sites in the Overall section of the assembled application image in eRA Commons compiled from data collected in the other components will be generated upon submission.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Overall)

Include only the Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) and any multi-PDs/PIs (if applicable to this FOA) for the entire application. The PD/PI should have experience overseeing selection and management of sub-awards, and the management of multi-component projects. Investigators, collaborators, or other researchers on the project should have sufficient software and hardware expertise to support the use of and modifications to the current platform.

A summary of Senior/Key Persons followed by their Biographical Sketches in the Overall section of the assembled application image in eRA Commons will be generated upon submission.

Budget (Overall)

The only budget information included in the Overall component is the Estimated Project Funding section of the SF424 (R&R) Cover.  

A budget summary in the Overall section of the assembled application image in eRA Commons compiled from detailed budget data collected in the other components will be generated upon submission.

PHS 398 Research Plan (Overall)

Specific Aims: Comprehensively address the goals of this FOA, which are to design and implement research infrastructure that will enable the monitoring of cognitive abilities and age, state, context, or health condition-related changes in cognitive abilities on mobile

devices.

Research Strategy:  Applicants should describe the overall structure of their proposed solution to the infrastructure problem; their proposed development strategy for the required backend software system and for app development on the iOS and Android systems; the process for consideration, evaluation and determination of new measurement instruments that may be added or changed within the project; any novel approaches they will use to capture relevant information; unique advantages or capabilities of the research resource; and how the overall system will leverage free and open tools for software development and the establishment of APIs, or, if proprietary systems are used, a justification for the use of these non-sharable components. Note that the project may require modification of existing instruments or creation of new ones appropriate to the target groups in this initiative, but should not propose creation of intellectual property that cannot be freely shared with the research community or the general public. The resource should allow accessibility of measurement tools and data by researchers. Applicants should describe how their plan will increase uptake of the resource for use in research and clinical settings. In the Overall section, applicants should address how the various cores will be coordinated in order to establish the research resource.

The investigative team should demonstrate sufficient software and hardware expertise to support use of and modifications to the current platform as well as experience selecting and managing sub-awards, if necessary. Applicants should also describe the resources available in the scientific environment to support electronic information handling as well as commitments of facilities, infrastructure, and other resources to allow for the full-scale operation. 

Focusing on the project as a whole, describe (i) the importance of the problem or barrier to progress in the study of life course cognitive change; (ii) how the resource developed in the proposed project will improve scientific knowledge, assessment capability, and/or clinical practice; and (iii) how assessment and monitoring of cognitive ability across the lifespan will be changed if the proposed aims are achieved.  

Letters of Support: Include letters of support/agreement for any collaborative/cooperative arrangements, subcontracts or consultants. For activities to be conducted at an institution other than the applicant institution, a letter of assurance or comparable documentation, signed by the collaborator as well as the institutional officials, must be submitted with the application. Only letters relevant to the entire application should be submitted in this component. Letters specific to a core or project should be submitted in the relevant component.

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modification:

All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan.

Appendix:

 Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.   

PHS Assignment Request Form (Overall)

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

Administrative Core

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type ‘Admin Core.’

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions, as noted.

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Administrative Core)

Complete only the following fields:

  • Applicant Information
  • Type of Applicant (optional)
  • Descriptive Title of Applicant’s Project
  • Proposed Project Start/Ending Dates
PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Administrative Core)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Administrative Core)

Human Subjects: Answer only the ‘Are Human Subjects Involved?’ and 'Is the Project Exempt from Federal regulations?’ questions.

Vertebrate Animals: Answer only the ‘Are Vertebrate Animals Used?’ question.

Project Narrative:  Do not complete. Note: ASSIST screens will show an asterisk for this attachment indicating it is required. However, eRA systems only enforce this requirement in the Overall component and applications will not receive an error if omitted in other components.

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Administrative Core)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

Note: The Project Performance Site form allows up to 300 sites, prior to using additional attachment for additional entries.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Administrative Core)
  • In the Project Director/Principal Investigator section of the form, use Project Role of ‘Other’ with Category of ‘Project Lead’ and provide a valid eRA Commons ID in the Credential field.
  • In the additional Senior/Key Profiles section, list Senior/Key persons that are working in the component.
  • Include a single Biographical Sketch for each Senior/Key person listed in the application regardless of the number of components in which they participate. When a Senior/Key person is listed in multiple components, the Biographical Sketch can be included in any one component.
  • If more than 100 Senior/Key persons are included in a component, the Additional Senior Key Person attachments should be used.   
Budget (Administrative Core)

Budget forms appropriate for the specific component will be included in the application package.

Note: The R&R Budget form included in many of the component types allows for up to 100 Senior/Key Persons in section A and 100 Equipment Items in section C prior to using attachments for additional entries. All other SF424 (R&R) instructions apply.

PHS 398 Research Plan (Administrative Core)

Specific Aims: Identify general objectives planned for the Administrative Core along with the main benchmarks that would indicate the accomplishment of these objectives.  

Research Strategy:  The Administrative Core will provide overall administrative and organizational oversight and management of the Cores and Project. As part of this section, applicants should address the following:

Letters of Support: Include signed letters of support/agreement for any collaborative/cooperative arrangements, subcontracts, or consultants. For program activities to be conducted off site, i.e., at an institution other than the applicant institution, a letter of assurance or comparable documentation, signed by the collaborator as well as the off-site institutional officials, must be submitted with the application.

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modification:

All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan.

Appendix:

Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.   

PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report (Administrative Core)

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.  

Data and Statistical Analysis Core

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type ‘Data Core.’

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions, as noted.

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Data and Statistical Analysis Core)

Complete only the following fields:

  • Applicant Information
  • Type of Applicant (optional)
  • Descriptive Title of Applicant’s Project
  • Proposed Project Start/Ending Dates

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Data and Statistical Analysis Core)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Data and Statistical Analysis Core)

Human Subjects: Answer only the ‘Are Human Subjects Involved?’ and 'Is the Project Exempt from Federal regulations?’ questions.

Vertebrate Animals: Answer only the ‘Are Vertebrate Animals Used?’ question.

Project Narrative: Do not complete. Note: ASSIST screens will show an asterisk for this attachment indicating it is required. However, eRA systems only enforce this requirement in the Overall component and applications will not receive an error if omitted in other components.

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Data and Statistical Analysis Core)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

Note: The Project Performance Site form allows up to 300 sites, prior to using additional attachment for additional entries.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Data and Statistical Analysis Core)

  • In the Project Director/Principal Investigator section of the form, use Project Role of ‘Other’ with Category of ‘Project Lead’ and provide a valid eRA Commons ID in the Credential field.
  • In the additional Senior/Key Profiles section, list Senior/Key persons that are working in the component.
  • Include a single Biographical Sketch for each Senior/Key person listed in the application regardless of the number of components in which they participate. When a Senior/Key person is listed in multiple components, the Biographical Sketch can be included in any one component.
  • If more than 100 Senior/Key persons are included in a component, the Additional Senior Key Person attachments should be used.   

Budget (Data and Statistical Analysis Core)

Budget forms appropriate for the specific component will be included in the application package.

Note: The R&R Budget form included in many of the component types allows for up to 100 Senior/Key Persons in section A and 100 Equipment Items in section C prior to using attachments for additional entries. All other SF424 (R&R) instructions apply.

PHS 398 Research Plan (Data and Statistical Analysis Core)

Specific Aims: Identify general objectives planned for the development and functioning of the Data and Statistical Analysis Core. Objectives should target plans for development of psychometric properties for the test instruments proposed in the Project (Measurement Battery) below, data interoperability, data access and security, and privacy, along with the main benchmarks that would indicate the accomplishment of these objectives.

Research Strategy: The Core should develop a central data and software resource for integrating and facilitating access, analysis, and dissemination of data for the purposes of determining the measurement properties of the instruments in the defined groups. Information regarding the dissemination of data and instruments should be presented in the Dissemination Core.

Applications should describe the following:

  • The overall vision of the Data and Statistical Analysis Core and how this meets the project objectives;
  • Overall approach to developing and utilizing the appropriate expertise from the measurement science and assessment technology communities;
  • The proposed process for creating a central data repository with the capability to store/aggregate all primary and processed data;
  • Plans for statistical and psychometric oversight and input;
  • Plans for integration and analysis of diverse data obtainable from mobile devices (e.g., cognitive tests, other psychological measures, information on activity or movement) on the same subjects to achieve development of a valid research resource;
  • Plans to prioritize and incorporate improvements into operations and software that enhance its utility for research
  • Plans to establish a data-submission pipeline, quality-control metrics and provenance checking required to deposit data for analysis;
  • Plans to combine and analyze various formats of data, including previously collected machine-readable data on the participants in the study;
  • Ability to store and report participant data to the researchers via a secure system compliant with applicable federal data-security standards;
  • Ability to test additional instruments for possible inclusion into the research resource;
  • Specific processes and methods for integration of data generated by outside sources; and
  • Ability to perform quality control to ensure that any new measures meet relevant standards.

Letters of Support: Include signed letters of support/agreement for any collaborative/cooperative arrangements, subcontracts, or consultants. For program activities to be conducted off site, i.e., at an institution other than the applicant institution, a letter of assurance or comparable documentation, signed by the collaborator as well as the off-site institutional officials, must be submitted with the application.

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modification:

All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan.

Appendix:

Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.   

PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report (Data and Statistical Analysis Core)

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Technical Core

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type ‘Core.’

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions, as noted.

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Technical Core)

Complete only the following fields:

  • Applicant Information
  • Type of Applicant (optional)
  • Descriptive Title of Applicant’s Project
  • Proposed Project Start/Ending Dates

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Technical Core)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Technical Core )

Human Subjects: Answer only the ‘Are Human Subjects Involved?’ and 'Is the Project Exempt from Federal regulations?’ questions.

Vertebrate Animals: Answer only the ‘Are Vertebrate Animals Used?’ question.

Project Narrative: Do not complete. Note: ASSIST screens will show an asterisk for this attachment indicating it is required. However, eRA systems only enforce this requirement in the Overall component and applications will not receive an error if omitted in other components.

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Technical Core)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

Note: The Project Performance Site form allows up to 300 sites, prior to using additional attachment for additional entries.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Technical Core )

ASSIST will default to “Project Lead”. If you would like to use a different category, then replace “Project Lead” below with a different Category (e.g., Core Lead).

  • In the Project Director/Principal Investigator section of the form, use Project Role of ‘Other’ with Category of ‘Project Lead’ and provide a valid eRA Commons ID in the Credential field.
  • In the additional Senior/Key Profiles section, list Senior/Key persons that are working in the component.
  • Include a single Biographical Sketch for each Senior/Key person listed in the application regardless of the number of components in which they participate. When a Senior/Key person is listed in multiple components, the Biographical Sketch can be included in any one component.
  • If more than 100 Senior/Key persons are included in a component, the Additional Senior Key Person attachments should be used.   

Budget (Technical Core)

Budget forms appropriate for the specific component will be included in the application package.

Note: The R&R Budget form included in many of the component types allows for up to 100 Senior/Key Persons in section A and 100 Equipment Items in section C prior to using attachments for additional entries. All other SF424 (R&R) instructions apply.

PHS 398 Research Plan (Technical Core)

Specific Aims: Identify general objectives planned for the development and functioning of the Technical Core along with the main benchmarks that would indicate the accomplishment of these objectives.

Research Strategy: Describe the technologies to be initially deployed, the capacity to address system standards and upgrades, and the incorporation of any new measures into the proposed measurement system platform. Applications should describe the following:

  • Overall approach and methods for utilizing existing smartphone development platform(s) and technologies in the context of the project goals;
  • Process for monitoring the hardware and software technology in the context of the project;
  • Ability to create programming and database structures for receipt, storage, management and analysis of the collected data;
  • Software maintenance and upgrades, and security and backup processes;
  • How the Core will build upon and coordinate the use of existing standards, specifications, and resources where possible to meet requirements;
  • How the Core will facilitate novel multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research strategies;
  • How Core staff will lead the proposed program and interact with any other program and organizational components within and outside the institution;
  • Basic technical support for use of smartphone apps;
  • Ability to refer to more technical staff for issues requiring more detailed knowledge of programming, databases, statistical or bioinformatics approaches, etc.;
  • Ability to ensure appropriate translation of any proposed or additional instruments into foreign languages (e.g., Spanish);
  • Ability to ensure data security and maintain confidentiality of personally identifiable information at the highest level; and
  • Description of server maintenance, software maintenance and upgrades, security, backup processes, and data recovery plan.      

Letters of Support: Include signed letters of support/agreement for any collaborative/cooperative arrangements, subcontracts, or consultants. For program activities to be conducted off site, i.e., at an institution other than the applicant institution, a letter of assurance or comparable documentation, signed by the collaborator as well as the off-site institutional officials, must be submitted with the application.

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modification:

All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan.

Appendix:

Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.   

PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report (Technical Core)

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Extension and Dissemination Core

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type ‘Core.’

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions, as noted.

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Extension and Dissemination Core)

Complete only the following fields:

  • Applicant Information
  • Type of Applicant (optional)
  • Descriptive Title of Applicant’s Project
  • Proposed Project Start/Ending Dates

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Extension and Dissemination Core)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Extension and Dissemination Core)

Human Subjects: Answer only the ‘Are Human Subjects Involved?’ and 'Is the Project Exempt from Federal regulations?’ questions.

Vertebrate Animals: Answer only the ‘Are Vertebrate Animals Used?’ question.

Project Narrative: Do not complete. Note: ASSIST screens will show an asterisk for this attachment indicating it is required. However, eRA systems only enforce this requirement in the Overall component and applications will not receive an error if omitted in other components.

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Extension and Dissemination Core)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

Note: The Project Performance Site form allows up to 300 sites, prior to using additional attachment for additional entries.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Extension and Dissemination Core)

  • In the Project Director/Principal Investigator section of the form, use Project Role of ‘Other’ with Category of ‘Project Lead’ and provide a valid eRA Commons ID in the Credential field.
  • In the additional Senior/Key Profiles section, list Senior/Key persons that are working in the component.
  • Include a single Biographical Sketch for each Senior/Key person listed in the application regardless of the number of components in which they participate. When a Senior/Key person is listed in multiple components, the Biographical Sketch can be included in any one component.
  • If more than 100 Senior/Key persons are included in a component, the Additional Senior Key Person attachments should be used.   

Budget (Extension and Dissemination Core)

Budget forms appropriate for the specific component will be included in the application package.

Note: The R&R Budget form included in many of the component types allows for up to 100 Senior/Key Persons in section A and 100 Equipment Items in section C prior to using attachments for additional entries. All other SF424 (R&R) instructions apply.

PHS 398 Research Plan (Extension and Dissemination Core)

Specific Aims: Identify general objectives planned for: 1) the sharing of participant data according to user-definable search criteria as well as code used to implement specific tests/instruments, as appropriate and consistent with achieving the goals of the program; and 2) the ability to accommodate and implement new specific tests/instruments from researchers that have been approved by the Steering Committee and have been implemented according to the application program interfaces (APIs) required by the platform.     

Research Strategy: Describe how appropriately de-identified data, including norming data where applicable, as well as code and media used to implement specific tests/instruments, will be made available according to FAIR principles (i.e., Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable). Describe how new tests/instruments implemented according to published platform APIs and approved by the Steering Committee could be integrated into the platform. Applications should describe the following:

  • Overall approach to insuring data that has been appropriately consented for sharing can be de-identified for public use;
  • Overall approach to developing tools and APIs for finding and accessing de-identified data, and documentation for how to convert data and sharable metadata to interoperable formats (e.g., JSON, YAML);
  • How the Core's strategy will lead to the ultimate financial stability of the program;
  • Process for updating tools and APIs used for dissemination to track evolving best practices; monitoring the hardware and software technology in the context of the project;
  • Process for updating tools and APIs used for the implementation and integration of new tests/instruments into the resource.
  • Approach and methods for inclusion of any nominated new measures for inclusion in the app;
  • Process for performing software maintenance and upgrades, and security and backup processes;
  • How the Core will build upon and coordinate the use of existing standards, specifications, and resources where possible to meet requirements;
  • How the Core will facilitate novel multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research strategies;
  • How Core staff will lead the proposed program and interact with any other program and organizational components within and outside the institution;
  • How the approach enhances the Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability of the data and tests implementations by members of the external community;
  • How basic technical support for users attempting to find, access, or reuse data will be provided;
  • How basic technical support for researchers attempting to implement new tests/instruments according the published APIs will be provided.
  • Strategy for providing communication channels (e.g., email, social media, or web-based content such as frequently asked questions, and other appropriate mechanisms); and
  • Ability to refer to more technical staff for issues requiring more detailed knowledge of programming, databases, statistical or bioinformatics approaches, etc.    

Letters of Support: Include signed letters of support/agreement for any collaborative/cooperative arrangements, subcontracts, or consultants. For program activities to be conducted off site, i.e., at an institution other than the applicant institution, a letter of assurance or comparable documentation, signed by the collaborator as well as the off-site institutional officials, must be submitted with the application.

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modification:

All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan.

Appendix:

Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.   

PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report (Extension and Dissemination Core)

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Project

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type ‘Project.’

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions, as noted.

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Project)

Complete only the following fields:

  • Applicant Information
  • Type of Applicant (optional)
  • Descriptive Title of Applicant’s Project
  • Proposed Project Start/Ending Dates

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Project)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Project)

Human Subjects: Answer only the ‘Are Human Subjects Involved?’ and 'Is the Project Exempt from Federal regulations?’ questions.

Vertebrate Animals: Answer only the ‘Are Vertebrate Animals Used?’ question.

Project Narrative: Do not complete. Note: ASSIST screens will show an asterisk for this attachment indicating it is required. However, eRA systems only enforce this requirement in the Overall component and applications will not receive an error if omitted in other components.

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Project)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

Note: The Project Performance Site form allows up to 300 sites, prior to using additional attachment for additional entries.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Project)

  • In the Project Director/Principal Investigator section of the form, use Project Role of ‘Other’ with Category of ‘Project Lead’ and provide a valid eRA Commons ID in the Credential field.
  • In the additional Senior/Key Profiles section, list Senior/Key persons that are working in the component.
  • Include a single Biographical Sketch for each Senior/Key person listed in the application regardless of the number of components in which they participate. When a Senior/Key person is listed in multiple components, the Biographical Sketch can be included in any one component.
  • If more than 100 Senior/Key persons are included in a component, the Additional Senior Key Person attachments should be used.   

Budget (Project)

Budget forms appropriate for the specific component will be included in the application package.

Note: The R&R Budget form included in many of the component types allows for up to 100 Senior/Key Persons in section A and 100 Equipment Items in section C prior to using attachments for additional entries. All other SF424 (R&R) instructions apply.

PHS 398 Research Plan (Project)

Specific Aims: Specify a set of aims for a project that designs, tests and implements a collection of cognitive tests that can be administered via smartphone and that will enable the monitoring of cognitive abilities and age- or condition-related changes in cognitive abilities on mobile devices, making use of the infrastructure implemented as described in the preceding Cores.     

Research Strategy: Applicants should describe the scientific rationale and process for the selection of cognitive domains to be tested and justification for how the tests proposed for implementation and validation will measure the chosen constructs and (simultaneously) are appropriate for use on smartphones. The plans for collection of data and validation of the measures in populations ranging in age from 20 to 85 as well as the process for norming the tests chosen against “gold standard” measures should also be described.

Applicants must describe how the central objectives of the Project will be accomplished, including the following aspects:  

  • How the resultant measurement tools will better serve the biomedical research enterprise by facilitating detection of disease at earlier stages, allowing tracking of change in performance over time, and providing a resource for uniform data collection;
  • How the Project will use the Cores for its functions;
  • How the resources and environment prioritize and incorporate improvements into operations and software that enhances its utility for research;
  • How the Project will facilitate novel outcome assessment strategies;
  • Justification of the sample size, selection of participants, and how participants are stratified;
  • Plans for recruitment of participants, including plans to enroll individuals across the entire age range;
  • Procedures for measurement administration, data collection, and transfer to central repository for analysis;
  • Plans for including participants from racially/ethnically and socioeconomically diverse backgrounds;
  • Procedures for “evergreening” the platform by introducing new tasks/tests that can be cross-validated with participants; and
  • How the proposed activities will successfully collect data to validate the NIH Toolbox measures in designated groups.     

Letters of Support: Include signed letters of support/agreement for any collaborative/cooperative arrangements, subcontracts, or consultants. For program activities to be conducted off site, i.e., at an institution other than the applicant institution, a letter of assurance or comparable documentation, signed by the collaborator as well as the off-site institutional officials, must be submitted with the application.

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modification:

All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan.

Appendix:

Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.   

PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report (Project)

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

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

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.

4. Submission Dates and Times

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) using ASSIST or other electronic submission systems. 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.

5. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

6. Funding Restrictions

All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

7. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.  Paper applications will not be accepted.

For information on how your application will be automatically assembled for review and funding consideration after submission go to: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/ElectronicReceipt/files/Electronic_Multi-project_Application_Image_Assembly.pdf.

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 Applying Electronically. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Guidelines for Applicants Experiencing System Issues. For assistance with application submission, contact the Application Submission Contacts in Section VII.

Important reminders:

All PD(s)/PI(s) and component Project Leads 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.

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 (SAM). 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 and responsiveness by the National Institute on Aging, NIH. Applications that are incomplete, non-compliant and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.

In order to expedite review, applicants are requested to notify the NIA Referral Office by email at ramesh.vemuri@nih.gov when the application has been submitted. Please include the FOA number and title, PD/PI name, and title of the application.

Post Submission Materials

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

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process. As part of the NIH mission, all applications submitted to the NIH in support of biomedical and behavioral research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

Overall Impact - Overall

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).

Scored Review Criteria - Overall

Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

Significance

Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? Is there a strong scientific premise for the project? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field? Does the proposed plan address the needs of the research resource that it will serve? Is the scope of activities proposed for the plan appropriate to meet those needs? Will successful completion of the aims bring unique advantages or capabilities to the research resource? Does the proposed plan provide for a resource that will allow accessibility of these measurement tools and data by researchers? Will the proposed plan increase uptake of the measurement systems for use in research and clinical trials?  

How well does the applicant describe (i) the importance of the problem or barrier to progress in the study of life course cognitive change; (ii) how the resource developed in the proposed project will improve scientific knowledge, assessment capability, and/or clinical practice; and (iii) how assessment and monitoring of cognitive ability across the lifespan will be changed if the proposed aims are achieved?

Investigator(s)

Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? If Early Stage Investigators or New Investigators, or in the early stages of independent careers, do they have appropriate experience and training? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI , do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project? Does the applicant have experience overseeing selection and management of sub-awards, if needed? Do the investigators, collaborators, or other researchers on the project have sufficient software and hardware expertise to support use of and modifications to the current platform? 

Innovation

Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed? What novel approaches will be used by the investigators to capture relevant information for research purposes? Does the proposed plan allow for technological advances (e.g., upgrades to relevant software or development of new software) during the project period?  

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Have the investigators presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed?  Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed? Have the investigators presented adequate plans to address relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies in vertebrate animals or human subjects?

If the project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?  Is there an overall structure of the proposed solution to the infrastructure problem? How well does the applicant describe a proposed development strategy for the required back-end software system and for app development on the iOS and Android systems? How well does the applicant describe the process for consideration, evaluation and determination of new measurement instruments that may be added or changed within the project? How well does the applicant address how the various cores will be coordinated in order to establish the research resource?

Environment

Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements? Are resources available within the scientific environment to support electronic information handling? Are there sufficient commitments of facilities, infrastructure, and other resources to allow for the full-scale operation?   

Additional Review Criteria - Overall

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.

Protections for Human Subjects

For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.

For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

When the proposed project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of children to determine if it is justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed.  For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following criteria: (1) description of proposed procedures involving animals, including species, strains, ages, sex, and total number to be used; (2) justifications for the use of animals versus alternative models and for the appropriateness of the species proposed; (3) interventions to minimize discomfort, distress, pain and injury; and (4) justification for euthanasia method if NOT consistent with the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals. Reviewers will assess the use of chimpanzees as they would any other application proposing the use of vertebrate animals. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.

Biohazards

Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.

Resubmissions

Not Applicable

Renewals

Not Applicable

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations - Overall

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.

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable

Select Agent Research

Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).

Resource Sharing Plans

Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: 1) Data Sharing Plan; 2) Sharing Model Organisms; and 3) Genomic Data Sharing Plan .

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources

For projects involving key biological and/or chemical resources, reviewers will comment on the brief plans proposed for identifying and ensuring the validity of those resources.

Budget and Period of Support

Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.

Scored Review Criteria - Administrative Core

Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

Significance

Does the proposed Core address the needs of the research resource that it will [coordinate]? Is the scope of activities proposed for the Core appropriate to meet those needs? Will successful completion of the aims bring unique advantages or capabilities to the research resource? Do the proposed activities described allow for successful interface among the Project and Core investigators and with the research community? How will the core contribute to achieving the overall goals of the project?  

Investigator(s)

Are the PD(s)/PI(s) and other personnel well suited to their roles in the Core? Do they have appropriate experience and training, and have they demonstrated experience and an ongoing record of accomplishments in managing technology-based research? Do the investigators demonstrate significant experience with coordinating collaborative research? If the Project is multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise and skills; are their leadership approach, governance, plans for conflict resolution, and organizational structure appropriate for the Core? Does the applicant have experience overseeing selection and management of subawards, if needed?  

Innovation

Does the application propose novel organizational concepts, management strategies, or instrumentation in coordinating the research resource the Core will serve? Are the concepts, strategies, or instrumentation novel to one type of research program or applicable in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of organizational concepts, management strategies or instrumentation proposed? How effectively will the core facilitate novel multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research strategies?

Approach

Are the overall strategy, operational plan, and organizational structure well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the goals of the research resource the Core will serve? Will the investigators promote strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased scientific approach across the Core, as appropriate for the work proposed? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the resource is in the early stages of operation, does the proposed strategy adequately establish feasibility and manage the risks associated with the activities of the resource? Are an appropriate plan for work-flow and a well-established timeline proposed?  Have the investigators presented adequate plans to ensure consideration of relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies of vertebrate animals or human subjects?

If the Core involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?  How well will the core staff lead the proposed program and interact with other program components and other organizational components within and outside the institution? Are the plans adequate for the establishment and functioning of the proposed advisory panels? How appropriate are the basic governance, operational, and policy structures as described? How well will the core interface with the other cores and support the work of the Project? Are there internal evaluations, self-assessment processes, and progress reporting activities that can assess and anticipate both researcher and participant needs? How well is meeting support for annual Steering Committee meetings and monthly teleconferences, and subcommittees described? How well-tuned is the core's plan to prioritize and incorporate improvements into operations and software to the continuing needs of the planned research? Are anticipated challenges/obstacles and alternative strategies to surmount potential obstacles addressed?

Environment

Will the institutional environment in which the Core will operate contribute to the probability of success in facilitating the research resource it serves? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the Core proposed? Will the Core benefit from unique features of the institutional environment, infrastructure, or personnel?  Will the resources and environment of the core adequately contribute to the leadership of the program and to achieving its goals? Will the resources and environment prioritize and incorporate improvements into operations and software that enhances its utility for research?

Additional Review Criteria - Administrative Core

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.

Protections for Human Subjects

For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.

For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

When the proposed project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of children to determine if it is justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed.  For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following criteria: (1) description of proposed procedures involving animals, including species, strains, ages, sex, and total number to be used; (2) justifications for the use of animals versus alternative models and for the appropriateness of the species proposed; (3) interventions to minimize discomfort, distress, pain and injury; and (4) justification for euthanasia method if NOT consistent with the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals. Reviewers will assess the use of chimpanzees as they would any other application proposing the use of vertebrate animals. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.

Biohazards

Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.

Resubmissions

Not Applicable

Renewals

Not Applicable

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations - Administrative Core

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.

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable

Select Agent Research

Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).

Resource Sharing Plans

Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: 1) Data Sharing Plan; 2) Sharing Model Organisms; and 3) Genomic Data Sharing Plan .

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources

For projects involving key biological and/or chemical resources, reviewers will comment on the brief plans proposed for identifying and ensuring the validity of those resources.

Budget and Period of Support

Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research. 

Scored Review Criteria -  Data and Statistical Analysis Core

Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

Significance

Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? Is there a strong scientific premise for the project? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field? Do the proposed activities successfully develop a central data resource? How will the core contribute to achieving the overall goals of the project?

Investigator(s)

Are the Core Lead(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the core? Have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? Do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the core? Are the leadership and administrative staff of the core qualified in leading the operations of the core?

Innovation

Does the core challenge and seek to shift current research and technology by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, technologies, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, technologies, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, technologies, or interventions proposed?

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Have the investigators presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed? Have the investigators presented adequate plans to ensure consideration of relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies of vertebrate animals or human subjects?

If the Core involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?   

How well will the core staff lead the proposed program and interact with other program components and other organizational components within and outside the institution? How effectively will the core facilitate the analysis of diverse data captured from smartphones and other modalities on the same subjects to achieve the goals of the development of a valid research resource?

Environment

Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements? Will the resources and environment of the core adequately contribute to the leadership of the program and to achieving its goals? Will the resources and environment prioritize and incorporate improvements into operations and software that enhance the utility of the resource for research?

Additional Review Criteria - Data and Statistical Analysis Core

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.

Protections for Human Subjects

For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials

For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

When the proposed project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of children to determine if it is justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed.  For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following criteria: (1) description of proposed procedures involving animals, including species, strains, ages, sex, and total number to be used; (2) justifications for the use of animals versus alternative models and for the appropriateness of the species proposed; (3) interventions to minimize discomfort, distress, pain and injury; and (4) justification for euthanasia method if NOT consistent with the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals. Reviewers will assess the use of chimpanzees as they would any other application proposing the use of vertebrate animals. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.

Biohazards

Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.

Resubmissions

Not Applicable

Renewals

Not Applicable

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations - Data and Statistical Analysis Core

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.

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable

Select Agent Research

Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).

Resource Sharing Plans

Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: 1) Data Sharing Plan; 2) Sharing Model Organisms; and 3) Genomic Data Sharing Plan .

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources

For projects involving key biological and/or chemical resources, reviewers will comment on the brief plans proposed for identifying and ensuring the validity of those resources.

Budget and Period of Support

Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.

Scored Review Criteria - Technical Core

Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

Significance

Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? Is there a strong scientific premise for the project? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field? Do the proposed activities describe the technology to be employed? How will the core contribute to achieving the overall goals of the project?

Investigator(s)

Are the Core Lead(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the core? Have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? Do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the core? Are the leadership and administrative staff of the core qualified in leading the operations of the core?

Innovation

Does the core challenge and seek to shift current research and technology by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, technologies, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, technologies, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, technologies, or interventions proposed? How effectively will the core facilitate novel multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research strategies?

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Have the investigators presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed? Have the investigators presented adequate plans to ensure consideration of relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies of vertebrate animals or human subjects?

If the Core involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?   

How well will the core staff lead the proposed program and interact with other program components and other organizational components within and outside the institution? How well is the technology described and how successful will the program be in meeting objectives?

Environment

Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success?  Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements? Will the resources and environment of the core adequately contribute to the leadership of the program and to achieving its goals? Is the existing hardware and software capacity adequate for continued support and expansion of the resource? Does the proposed plan include adequate privacy and security protections? Will the resources and environment prioritize and incorporate improvements into operations and software that enhances its utility for research?

Additional Review Criteria - Technical Core

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.

Protections for Human Subjects

For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.

For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children

When the proposed project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of children to determine if it is justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed.  For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following criteria: (1) description of proposed procedures involving animals, including species, strains, ages, sex, and total number to be used; (2) justifications for the use of animals versus alternative models and for the appropriateness of the species proposed; (3) interventions to minimize discomfort, distress, pain and injury; and (4) justification for euthanasia method if NOT consistent with the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals. Reviewers will assess the use of chimpanzees as they would any other application proposing the use of vertebrate animals. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.

Biohazards

Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.

Resubmissions

Not Applicable

Renewals

Not Applicable

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations - Technical Core

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.

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable

Select Agent Research

Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).

Resource Sharing Plans

Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: 1) Data Sharing Plan; 2) Sharing Model Organisms; and 3) Genomic Data Sharing Plan.

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources

For projects involving key biological and/or chemical resources, reviewers will comment on the brief plans proposed for identifying and ensuring the validity of those resources.

Budget and Period of Support

Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.

Scored Review Criteria – Extension and Dissemination Core

Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

Significance

Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? Is there a strong scientific premise for the project? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field? Do the proposed activities describe the technology to be employed? How will the core contribute to achieving the overall goals of the project? 

Investigator(s)

Are the Core Lead(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the core? Have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? Do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the core? Are the leadership and administrative staff of the core qualified in leading the operations of the core?

Innovation

Does the core challenge and seek to shift current research and technology by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, technologies, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, technologies, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, technologies, or interventions proposed? How effectively will the core facilitate novel multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research strategies?

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Have the investigators presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed? Have the investigators presented adequate plans to ensure consideration of relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies of vertebrate animals or human subjects?

If the Core involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?   

Will the strategy lead to the ultimate financial sustainability of the program? How well will the core staff lead the proposed program and interact with other program components and other organizational components within and outside the institution? How well is the technology described and how successful will the program be in meeting objectives? Will the proposed approach enhance the Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability of the data and test implementations by members of the external community?

Environment

Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success?  Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements? Will the resources and environment of the core adequately contribute to the leadership of the program and to achieving its goals? Is the existing hardware and software capacity adequate for continued support and expansion of the resource? Does the proposed plan include adequate privacy and security protections? Will the resources and environment prioritize and incorporate improvements into operations and software that enhances its utility for research?

Additional Review Criteria - Dissemination Core

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.

Protections for Human Subjects

For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.

For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children

When the proposed project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of children to determine if it is justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed.  For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following criteria: (1) description of proposed procedures involving animals, including species, strains, ages, sex, and total number to be used; (2) justifications for the use of animals versus alternative models and for the appropriateness of the species proposed; (3) interventions to minimize discomfort, distress, pain and injury; and (4) justification for euthanasia method if NOT consistent with the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals. Reviewers will assess the use of chimpanzees as they would any other application proposing the use of vertebrate animals. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.

Biohazards

Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.

Resubmissions

Not Applicable

Renewals

Not Applicable

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations - Dissemination Core

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.

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable

Select Agent Research

Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).

Resource Sharing Plans

Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: 1) Data Sharing Plan; 2) Sharing Model Organisms; and 3) Genomic Data Sharing Plan .

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources

For projects involving key biological and/or chemical resources, reviewers will comment on the brief plans proposed for identifying and ensuring the validity of those resources.

Budget and Period of Support

Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.

Scored Review Criteria - Project

Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

Significance

Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? Is there a strong scientific premise for the project? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field? Will the proposed activities successfully collect data to validate the NIH Toolbox measures in the designated groups? Will the resultant measurement tools better serve the biomedical research enterprise by facilitating detection of disease at earlier stages, allowing tracking of change in performance over time, and providing a resource for uniform data collection?

Investigator(s)

Are the Core Lead(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? Have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? Do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project? Are the leadership and administrative staff of the project qualified in leading the operations of the project?

Innovation

Does the project challenge and seek to shift current research and technology by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, technologies, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, technologies, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, technologies, or interventions proposed? How effectively will the project facilitate novel outcome assessment strategies?

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Have the investigators presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed? Are potential problems and alternative strategies presented? Will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed? Have the investigators presented adequate plans to address relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies in vertebrate animals or human subjects?

If the project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed? Is the plan for how the Project will use the Cores for its functions well described? Has a justification of the sample size, selection of participants, and how participants are stratified been provided? Is there a coherent plan for recruitment of participants, including plans to enroll individuals across the entire age range, from racial and ethnic minorities, and from participants varying in SES presented? Are the procedures for measurement administration, data collection, and transfer to central repository for analysis clearly described? Is there a plan for “evergreening” the platform by introducing new tasks/tests that can be cross- validated with participants given?   

If the project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?

Environment

Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, data, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements? Will the resources and environment of the project adequately contribute to the leadership of the program and to achieving its goals? Will the resources and environment prioritize and incorporate improvements into operations and software that enhances its utility for research?


Additional Review Criteria - Project

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.

Protections for Human Subjects

For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.

For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children

When the proposed project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of children to determine if it is justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed.  For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following criteria: (1) description of proposed procedures involving animals, including species, strains, ages, sex, and total number to be used; (2) justifications for the use of animals versus alternative models and for the appropriateness of the species proposed; (3) interventions to minimize discomfort, distress, pain and injury; and (4) justification for euthanasia method if NOT consistent with the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals. Reviewers will assess the use of chimpanzees as they would any other application proposing the use of vertebrate animals. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.

Biohazards

Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.

Resubmissions

Not Applicable

Renewals

Not Applicable

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations - 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.

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable

Select Agent Research

Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).

Resource Sharing Plans

Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: 1) Data Sharing Plan; 2) Sharing Model Organisms; and 3) Genomic Data Sharing Plan .

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources

For projects involving key biological and/or chemical resources, reviewers will comment on the brief plans proposed for identifying and ensuring the validity of those resources.

Budget and Period of Support

Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s), convened by National Institute on Aging 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:

  • May undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific and technical merit (generally the top half of applications under review) will be discussed and assigned an overall impact score.
  • Will receive a written critique.

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

Applications will be assigned to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the National Advisory Council on Aging. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

  • Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by scientific peer review.
  • Availability of funds.
  • Relevance of the proposed project to program priorities.  
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD/PI will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written critique) via the eRA Commons. Refer to Part 1 for dates for peer review, advisory council review, and earliest start date.

Information regarding the disposition of applications is available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices

If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

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.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General  and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, 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 http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/resources/laws/revisedlep.html. The HHS Office for Civil Rights also provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/section1557/index.html; and http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/index.html. Recipients of FFA also have specific legal obligations for serving qualified individuals with disabilities. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/disability/index.html. Please contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights for more information about obligations and prohibitions under federal civil rights laws at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/office/about/rgn-hqaddresses.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

The following special terms of award are in addition to, and not in lieu of, otherwise applicable U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) administrative guidelines, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) grant administration regulations at 45 CFR Part 75, and other HHS, PHS, and NIH grant administration policies. 

The administrative and funding instrument used for this program will be the cooperative agreement, an "assistance" mechanism (rather than an "acquisition" mechanism), in which substantial NIH programmatic involvement with the awardees is anticipated during the performance of the activities. Under the cooperative agreement, the NIH purpose is to support and stimulate the recipients' activities by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the award recipients in a partnership role; it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activities. Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility resides with the awardees for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities may be shared among the awardees and the NIH as defined below.

The PD(s)/PI(s) will have the primary responsibility for:

  • Defining objectives and approaches for the award and its components, in collaboration with the Steering Committee (do not list the names of committee members);
  • Overseeing the planning and conducting of all scientific, organizational, and administrative activities;
  • Promoting and coordinating scientific collaborations across sites (if multiple sites are involved) and projects (when directed by the Steering Committee);
  • Overseeing the adherence to the approved plans for timely sharing of resources and data consistent with achieving the goals of the program;
  • Participating as voting member(s) in the activities of the Steering Committee and interacting with any sub-committee(s);
  • Accepting and implementing all scientific, organizational, administrative, and policy recommendations approved by the Steering Committee to the extent consistent with applicable grant regulations;
  • Organizing and participating in the periodic Steering Committee Meetings and other activities of the project as relevant;
  • Cooperating in the program evaluation process and interacting with NIH representatives coordinating this process;
  • Overseeing the timely preparation and submission to the NIH of annual progress reports and other information as needed;
  • Conducting periodic self-evaluation of the resource; and
  • Being prepared for possible administrative site visits by NIH staff members.

Intellectual Property Consideration

In general, and as noted in the body of the funding opportunity announcement, it is expected that instruments/tests made available through this platform will be made freely available under an open source license to be agreed upon by members of the Steering Committee. In some limited situations (e.g., related to projects that need to validate instruments against existing ones), the platform may need to incorporate tests/instruments that have different or more restrictive licensing agreements. In these cases, awardees will be responsible for relevant intellectual property oversight that will include:

  • Ensuring the ability to maintain, manage, modify, and distribute data by securing appropriate permissions from other parties involved;
  • Developing criteria for making decisions to include outcome measures and various technology as needed to address intellectual property constraints while ensuring minimal burden to users of these instruments;
  • Notifying users of the existence of third party ownership or reach-through, as appropriate;
  • Ensuring that infrastructure, items, and instruments developed with NIH grant support are made available to users in a manner consistent with NIH sharing policies (see http://sharing.nih.gov/), including the NIH research systems policy and the NIH data sharing policy as applicable;
  • Ensuring that agreements with any party, including users, do not unreasonably limit access by other parties to the infrastructure developed through this cooperative agreement and/or items or instruments; and
  • Establishing appropriate agreements between/among stakeholders for the appropriate sharing of data and appropriate protection of intellectual property, consistent with achieving the goals of the program.

The PD(s)/PI(s) assumes responsibility and accountability to the applicant organization officials and to the NIH for the performance and proper conduct of research conducted with or through the grant in accordance with terms and conditions of the award.

The grant will be subject to external evaluation (coordinated by the NIH) by an External Scientific Panel. The investigators will be expected to participate in such evaluations.

NIH staff have substantial programmatic involvement that is above and beyond the normal stewardship role in awards, as described below:

One or more designated NIH Project Scientist(s) will have substantial programmatic involvement that is above and beyond the normal stewardship role in awards. Additional NIH scientific staff members with relevant expertise may also become substantially involved in grant activities as Projects Scientists or Coordinators.

The NIH Project Scientist(s) and other substantially involved NIH program staff members will assist with the grant by:

  • Monitoring the operations of the components and activities;
  • Making recommendations to the Steering Committee on strategic directions and improvements to the components and activities;
  • If appropriate, collaborating scientifically on research projects involving the investigators;
  • Serving as a liaison to facilitate and/or coordinate interactions between the investigators and other entities that may be mutually beneficial;
  • Using the NIH channels to disseminate knowledge about the resource to the scientific community;
  • Facilitate contacts between the awardee(s) and outside researchers interested in potential collaborations and/or the use of the resource; and
  • Coordinating an external evaluation of the research program.

NIH staff members who are substantially involved in the scientific activities (e.g., publications) of the grant will not attend peer review meetings of renewal and/or supplemental applications.

In addition, an NIH Program Official will be responsible for the normal scientific and programmatic stewardship of the award, including reviewing progress, and will be named in the award notice. If this individual becomes substantially involved in the grant activities, he/she will not attend peer review meetings of renewal and/or supplemental applications or will seek NIH waiver if such participation is essential.

The NIH reserves the right to adjust funding, withhold, suspend, or terminate the support to the awardee and/or member institutions that are unable to meet the performance requirements set forth in these Terms and Conditions of Award, or significantly change the level of performance.

Areas of Joint Responsibility include:

Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will serve as the main governing board for the research resource development. The Steering Committee will consist of the following voting members:

  • PD(s)/PI(s), one of whom is expected to chair the Steering Committee;
  • Three to five other PD(s)/PIs and/or senior scientific staff from the grant, with at least one representative from each core; and
  • Up to four NIH scientific staff, including the primary NIH project scientist and possibly additional NIH staff who have domain-relevant expertise in either mobile monitoring, measurement development, or cognitive aging in order to facilitate those aspects of the project.

NOTE: Each voting member noted above will have one vote (including those individuals who may have multiple responsibilities).

All NIH representatives will collectively have no more than one third of the total votes.

Additional individuals may be added to the Steering Committee as non-voting members by a decision of the existing voting members. These additional non-voting members may include, for example, other NIH Program Staff members, and/or Program Staff members from other Federal Agencies (e.g., U.S. Food and Drug Administration).

The Steering Committee will meet once per year in person and monthly via phone conference. Applicants should budget for in-person meetings to occur in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

The Steering Committee will have primary responsibility for:

  • Overseeing the overall functioning of the award;
  • Establishing advisory committees and subcommittees, as needed;
  • Reviewing strategic goals for its evolution as a research resource (in consultation with Scientific Consulting Panel, see below);
  • Ensuring goals for sustainability are prioritized;
  • Evaluating proposals from other NIH grantees to augment the tests/instruments available on the platform, as noted in the Extension and Dissemination Core description;
  • Ensuring that the award takes advantage of existing NIH resources and programs; and
  • Ensuring that award meets the missions/needs of funding agency, to the extent possible.

The Steering Committee will also form subcommittees as appropriate and necessary, each with a specific functional area of oversight as defined in the application.

External Scientific Panel: An External Scientific Panel (ESP) consisting of 6-8 individual will operate as an independent group that will advise the Steering Committee and providing technical expertise to the entire project. The ESP will comprise scientific experts not affiliated with the grantee institution(s) and may include scientists from academic and other research institutions as well as from NIH, clinicians and clinical staff, and relevant stakeholders. Members of the ESP will be selected by NIH, in consultation with the Steering Committee. The ESP will attend the annual in-person Steering Committee Meeting and may attend other Steering Committee meetings on an as-needed basis. The ESP will be charged with the following activities:

  • Reviewing the overall progress and making appropriate recommendations to strengthen activities in certain areas once per year;
  • Participating in the annual Steering Committee Meeting;
  • Providing additional consultations to the Steering Committee and investigators as needed (responding to inquiries via e-mail and/or telephone); and
  • Providing linkages to investigators not funded by the grant but conducting, or interested in conducting, related research.

Because members of the ESP will be appointed by NIH following the award, potential members should NOT be named in the application as this will limit the potential pool of reviewers unnecessarily.

Dispute Resolution:

Any disagreements that may arise in scientific or programmatic matters (within the scope of the award) between award recipients and the NIH may be brought to Dispute Resolution. A Dispute Resolution Panel composed of three members will be convened. It will have three members: a designee of the Steering Committee chosen without NIH staff voting, one NIH designee, and a third designee with expertise in the relevant area who is chosen by the other two; in the case of individual disagreement, the first member may be chosen by the individual awardee. This special dispute resolution procedure does not alter the awardee's right to appeal an adverse action that is otherwise appealable in accordance with PHS regulation 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D and DHHS regulation 45 CFR Part 16.

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

A final progress report, invention statement, and the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout of an award, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

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. 

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.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.

Application Submission Contacts

eRA Service Desk (Questions regarding ASSIST, eRA Commons registration, submitting and tracking an application, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, 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)

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission, downloading forms and application packages)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726
Email: support@grants.gov

GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and process, finding NIH grant resources)
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-945-7573

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Jonathan W. King, Ph.D.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Telephone: 301-402-4156  
Email: kingjo@nia.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Ramesh Vemuri, Ph.D.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Telephone: 301-496-9666
Email: ramesh.vemuri@nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Jillian Morris
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Telephone: 301-496-8986
Email: morrisjil@mail.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Authority and Regulations

Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Part 75.

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