Department of Health and Human Services
Part 1. Overview Information

 

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Funding Opportunity Title

Partnerships  for Development of Clinically Useful Diagnostics for Antimicrobial-Resistant Bacteria (R01)

Activity Code

R01 Research Project Grant

Announcement Type

New

Related Notices

None

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-AI-17-014

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

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

 93.855; 93.856 

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The objective of this initiative is to support milestone-driven projects focused on the development of clinically informative diagnostic platforms that identify select antimicrobial-resistant bacterial pathogens and determine associated antimicrobial sensitivity and/or resistance. Applications must include a Product Development Strategy and demonstrate substantive investment by at least one industrial participant. 

Key Dates

 

Posted Date

June 1, 2017

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

September 4, 2017  

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

September 4, 2017  

Application Due Date(s)

October 4, 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 .

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 Da(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

February 2018  

Advisory Council Review

May 2018  

Earliest Start Date

June 2018 

Expiration Date

October 5, 2017 

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable 

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the Research (R) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.


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

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

  3. Go to Grants.gov to download an application package to complete the application forms offline or create a Workspace to complete the forms online; submit your application to Grants.gov; and track your application in eRA Commons.
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
Purpose

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to solicit research applications for projects focused on the development of culture-independent, rapid, sensitive, and specific medical diagnostics that identify select antimicrobial-resistant bacterial pathogens and determine their antimicrobial susceptibility and/or resistance.

The primary goals of the new diagnostics are to improve patient outcomes and facilitate antibacterial stewardship, thereby reducing selective pressure on current therapeutics and preserving their usefulness. A secondary goal of developing the new diagnostics is to facilitate enrollment of appropriate infected patients in future clinical trials. The diagnostics will be able to identify the causative pathogen and associate drug susceptibility/resistance going into the trial, improving determination of efficacy of candidate therapeutics. The proposed diagnostic platforms must be supported by proof-of-concept data demonstrating feasibility. Examples of supported research areas include, but are not limited to: assay and prototype optimization; sample preparation, including pathogen concentration; continued development of multiplexed platforms and/or production technologies; adaptation of products or platform technologies to new applications; software development; process development; manufacturing; and diagnostic validation.

Background

Antimicrobial-resistant bacteria are a serious global health threat that is undermining the ability to effectively diagnose, treat, and prevent infections. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year in the United States, over 2 million patients develop antibiotic-resistant infections and at least 23,000 people die as a result of these infections. The development of new diagnostics capable of rapidly detecting bacteria and determining their antimicrobial sensitivity and/or resistance is a critical and urgent need. Improved diagnostics will enable clinicians to make informed therapeutic decisions for patients with infectious diseases and advance goals outlined in the National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/pdf/carb_national_strategy.pdf).

Research Goals, Objectives, and Scope

This FOA will support development of rapid, sensitive, specific, simple, and cost-effective diagnostics for primary health-care settings (hospitals and point-of-care). The proposed diagnostics must:

  • Detect one or more bacterial pathogens listed in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013 report (https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/threat-report-2013/);
  • Provide phenotypic information about corresponding drug-susceptibility and/or drug-resistance that will inform clinical therapeutic approaches. The phenotypic output will be based on bacterial metabolic response(s) to antimicrobial(s). Since it can be uncertain whether the presence of an antibiotic-resistance-conferring genomic mutation will result in therapeutic failure, assessment of antimicrobial susceptibility/resistance must be performed using rapid methods that assess the bacterial response to antimicrobials; and
  • Be culture-independent: Directly detect targeted bacterial pathogens in a clinical sample (swab, sputum, blood, serum, cerebrospinal fluid, urine, stool, etc.) obtained from individuals at multiple stages of infection.

NOTE: A short incubation step that enables the platform to provide all relevant information in approximately 3 hours is acceptable.

NOTE: The diagnostic may also include detection of additional clinically relevant pathogens not listed in the CDC report.

For the purposes of this FOA, the following diagnostic performance parameters are of greatest importance:

  • Rapid: Ideal diagnostic test time of approximately 3 hours for identification of species and determination of susceptibility profiles, which includes the time-required to process the clinical sample (if appropriate) through detection and delivery of the final test result;
  • Sensitive: Sensitivity should be equivalent to or exceed current FDA-cleared standards for proposed targets from the same sample type;
  • Specific: Specificity should be equivalent to or exceed current FDA-cleared standards for proposed targets from the same sample type;
  • Easy-to-use: Integrated, closed sample-to-answer system with automated data analyses and/or result presentation and with minimal operator training and expertise required;
  • Cost-effective: Projected production and operating costs should be consistent with commonly used platforms for detecting infectious disease-causing pathogens; and
  • Where appropriate, enable multiplexed differential detection of multiple pathogens.

In addition, the following characteristics are desirable, but not essential to diagnostics developed under this FOA:

  • Random Access: The proposed platform should allow samples to be run as needed.
  • Adaptable: Capable of integrating new diagnostic assays/tests for targets as required, including detection of modified or new targets.

Examples of potential activities to be supported include, but are not limited to:

  • Development of novel technologies to concentrate and detect viable bacterial pathogens.
  • Development of novel technologies to rapidly determine bacterial viability after in vitro exposure to antibiotics.
  • Development of novel imaging methods and development of contrast agents for visualization of targets, including pathogen and/or host targets, in vivo.

NOTE:  The following application types will be considered non-responsive and will not be reviewed:

  • Applications proposing the development of a diagnostic that lacks the required capability to detect at least one bacterial pathogen listed in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013 report   (http://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/threat-report-2013/); 
  • Applications focused solely on detection of genomic mutations to predict bacterial susceptibility and/or resistance;
  • Applications proposing development of a diagnostic that is not culture-independent: i.e. lacks the capability to detect the targets directly from a clinical sample;
  • Applications lacking proof-of-concept data for proposed diagnostic platforms/technologies;
  • Applications that do not have the ultimate goal of detection and identification of targets in human clinical samples, or those focused on development of environmental or workplace detection technologies;
  • Applications that propose clinical trial(s). While clinical development strategies may be included within the overall project, this FOA will NOT support clinical trials. Utilization of human-derived material in pre-clinical studies in support of compliance with regulatory requirements is permitted and encouraged.

Industrial Participation

All projects submitted to this FOA must include substantive investment by at least one industry participant. For the purpose of this FOA, "industry" is defined as a large or small, domestic or foreign, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, bioengineering, chemical, or diagnostic company, or a related non-profit entity with an established track record in product development. “Substantive investment" is defined as a significant commitment of one or more resources to the project including, but not limited to: product development support/guidance, personnel, in kind contributions of materials and/or reagents (i.e. chemical libraries, innovative biotechnology platforms, scale up of CGMP chemical synthesis or production, etc.), provision of animal or other laboratory models for evaluation, subcontracts, data management resources, regulatory support, or alterations/renovations of facilities or provision of equipment to address biohazard concerns. The PD(s)/PI(s) of the project may be affiliated with either industry or an academic organization; however, if the PD(s)/PI(s) is from academia, an industrial partner must be included. Conversely, for applications submitted by industrial organizations there is no requirement for an academic participant. PD(s)/PI(s) are strongly encouraged to obtain expertise in the areas of product development planning and target product profile development in general, and regulatory matters in particular.

NOTE: PD(s)/PI(s) are strongly encouraged to obtain expertise in regulatory matters associated with product development. Expertise may be retained as defined effort or may be included as periodic consultation on specific issues.

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

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

Grant: A support mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity.

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

NIAID intends to commit $5.0 million in FY 2018 to fund 5-7 awards.

Award Budget

Budgets for direct costs of up to $750,000 per year may be requested. Applicants may also request up to an additional $300,000 in the first year of the award for major equipment to ensure that research objectives can be met and biohazards can be contained, totaling $1,050,000 direct costs.

Award Project Period

The scope of the proposed project should determine the 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)
  • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
  • U.S. Territory or Possession

Other

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

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are eligible to apply.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are eligible to apply.
Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are allowed.

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the 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

Buttons to access the online ASSIST system or to download application forms are available in Part 1 of this FOA. See your administrative office for instructions if you plan to use an institutional system-to-system solution.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the Research (R) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Grant Application Instructions except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

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:

Lynn Rust, Ph.D.
Telephone: 240-669-5069
Fax: 240-627-3153
Email: lrust@niaid.nih.gov

Page Limitations

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

Instructions for Application Submission

The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this FOA.

SF424(R&R) Cover

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

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

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

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

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

Other Attachments: Applicants are required to include a Product Development Strategy that includes both a “Milestones and Timeline” and a “Product Development Plan” section. The Product Development Strategy attachment must be in pdf format with a filename of “Product_Development_Strategy.pdf.” Applications lacking a required section of the Product Development Strategy section will be deemed incomplete and will not be reviewed.

The overall Product Development Strategy, made up of the "Milestone and Timeline" and the "Product Development Plan sections," is limited to 12 pages. (Note: Applicants should not add additional attachments to circumvent page limits.)

Milestones and Timeline: Applicants are required to provide detailed project performance and timeline objectives in a section entitled “Milestones and Timeline.” This section must be no more than 5 pages and must include:

  • A clear description of all interim objectives (research and/or developmental milestones) to be achieved during the course of the project. Applicants also must identify any impediments that could require a revision in the work plan or milestones with a discussion of alternative approaches.
  • Detailed quantitative criteria by which milestone achievement will be assessed.
  • A detailed schedule or timeline for the anticipated attainment of each milestone and the overall goal(s).

Product Development Plan: Applicants are required to provide detailed development plans in a section entitled “Product Development Plan”. This section must be no more than 7 pages and must include:

  • A statement of the intended use/indication of the proposed diagnostic platform and public health gap the product is intended to fill.
  • A statement of the value of the project, including lay description of key technology objectives, innovation, and advantages compared to competing products, technologies, or services.
  • A clear description of the goal(s) of the project, including one (or more) intermediate products (tools), final product(s) or stage(s) of product development to be completed during the award period. A specific final product profile that is intended for licensing indication is not requested.

Additionally, the Product Development Plan must include descriptions pertaining to preclinical product development activities pertaining to the product proposed. For the purpose of this FOA, “preclinical” is defined as all activities beyond diagnostic assay/platform/prototype development.

Product Development Plans for diagnostics projects should summarize:

  • The performance specifications required to demonstrate that the candidate diagnostic is equivalent or superior to the gold standard for identifying the targeted agent(s), including clinical sensitivity in appropriate human samples, clinical specificity in appropriate human samples, analytical sensitivity (limit of detection), analytical reactivity (pathogen strains detected for each pathogen), analytical specificity (cross-reactivity), and analytical reproducibility (test replicates at different agent concentrations, at different sites, etc.). If no FDA-cleared test is available for the agent(s), the specifications should be equivalent to or exceed performance specifications of FDA-cleared tests for similar types of agent(s).
  • Data that support the selection of the candidate product for further development, including an assessment of the present capacity of the diagnostic method, technology or assay to meet the performance specifications.
  • Discussions with FDA, if any, which are relevant to development activities for the candidate product.

When appropriate, and as part of the Product Development Plan, applicants should document compliance with guidelines that govern GLP, as defined by 21 CRF (58), and CGMP, as defined by 21 CRF (211), manufacturing and/or IND/IDE enabling studies that will be performed under the project award as they would be applicable to eventual product licensure in the U.S.

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

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

 Applications for projects involving CGMP manufacture should ensure inclusion of appropriate personnel to provide regulatory guidance before, during and after manufacture.

R&R or Modular Budget

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

R&R Subaward Budget

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

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

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

PHS 398 Research Plan

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

Research Strategy: Applications must propose continued development of a candidate diagnostic technology and include corresponding proof-of-concept data demonstrating feasibility. Applications for diagnostics in the final design stage(s) of product development in preparation for manufacture and validation are especially encouraged. All applications for research projects focused on diagnostics should include in the Research Strategy:

  • A clear description of how the project will significantly advance the development of a culture-independent, rapid, sensitive, and specific medical diagnostic against one or more bacterial pathogens listed in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013 report (http://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/threat-report-2013/);
  • A clear description of the capabilities of the candidate diagnostic;
  • A description of how the plan represents the best use of current or emerging technologies and appropriate collaborations to achieve the project objectives;
  • Plans for determining the sensitivity, specificity and validation of the candidate diagnostic.

Industry Participation: All applications submitted by academic institutions must demonstrate substantive investment and participation in the project by at least one industry participant. There is no reciprocal requirement for applicants from industrial organizations to include an academic partner.

Applications from academic institutions should include in the Research Strategy:

  • A clear description of the role of the industrial partner(s) and associate participation and investment in the project;
  • A clear description of how the project leverages industry involvement to accelerate diagnostic platform development.

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

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

PHS Assignment Request Form

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

Foreign Institutions

Foreign (non-U.S.) institutions must follow policies described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, and procedures for foreign institutions described throughout 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). 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.

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) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH. See Section III of this FOA for information on registration requirements.

The applicant organization must ensure that the DUNS number it provides on the application is the same number used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the System for Award Management. Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness and compliance with application instructions by the Center for Scientific Review and responsiveness by components of participating organizations, NIH. Applications that are incomplete, non-compliant and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.

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

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

Scored Review Criteria

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

Significance

Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? Is 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?

Are the goals of this project likely to significantly advance the development of a diagnostic platform for one or more of the select antimicrobial-resistant bacterial pathogens targeted in this initiative? 

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?

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?

For applications from academic institutions, does the research plan leverage appropriate industry involvement to accelerate diagnostic platform development, some aspects of which may not be inherently innovative? In addition, does the approach represent the best use of current or emerging technologies to achieve the product development and research objectives?  

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?  

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?

Product Development Strategy

Is the Product Development Strategy well-conceived and appropriate for the proposed diagnostic platform? Does the Product Development Strategy adequately address the goals to develop culture-independent, rapid diagnostics for select anti-microbial resistant pathogens?? Are the Milestones and Timelines proposed to achieve the goals of the project appropriate and feasible? Is the proposed Product Development Plan feasible and appropriate for proposed and future product development? Is the Plan consistent with the goals to develop culture independent, rapid diagnostics for select anti-microbial resistant pathogens?? 

Additional Review Criteria

As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will evaluate the following additional items while determining scientific and technical merit, and in providing an overall impact score, but will not give separate scores for these items.

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

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

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

Select Agent Research

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

Resource Sharing Plans

Reviewers will comment on whether the 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 (GDS).

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 the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 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 Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council . The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

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

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

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

Section 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

Not Applicable

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)

Maureen Beanan, Ph.D.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Telephone: 240-292-0999
Email: beananm@mail.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Lynn Rust, Ph.D.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Telephone: 240-669-5069
Email: lrust@niaid.nih.gov  

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Cynthia Rodriguez
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID))
Telephone: 240-669-5391  
Email: cynthia.rodriguez@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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