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 Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)

All applications to this funding opportunity announcement should fall within the mission of the Institutes/Centers. The following NIH Offices may co-fund applications assigned to those Institutes/Centers.

Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH)

Funding Opportunity Title
Accelerating Medicines Partnership Autoimmune and Immune-Mediated Diseases: Technology and Analytic Cores (TACs) and Research Management Unit (RMU) (UC2 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Activity Code

UC2 High Impact Research and Research Infrastructure Cooperative Agreement Programs

Announcement Type
New
Related Notices

  • May 24, 2021 - Notice of Pre-Application Webinar for RFA-AR-21-015 and RFA-AR-21-016. See Notice NOT-AR-21-017.

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number
RFA-AR-21-016
Companion Funding Opportunity
RFA-AR-21-015 , UC2 High Impact Research and Research Infrastructure Cooperative Agreement Programs
Assistance Listing Number(s)
93.846, 93.313, 93.855, 93.121
Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of this FOA is to establish Technology and Analytic Cores (TACs) and a Research Management Unit (RMU) for the Accelerating Medicines Partnership Autoimmune and Immune-Mediated Diseases (AMP AIM) Program. The TACs include the Technology Cores and the specialized Tissue Repository and Systems Biology Cores. The goal of the AMP AIM Program is to gain a comprehensive understanding of cellular and molecular disease pathways and to identify novel targets for intervention. TACs will work together to test, optimize and apply state-of-the-art and next-generation high-dimensional, high-resolution technologies to interrogate and analyze human biopsy tissue and biosamples from patients with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriatic spectrum disease and Sjögren’s syndrome. The RMU will provide centralized management and operational support to the network including clinical monitoring for the entire AMP AIM program. All Cores and the RMU will work collaboratively with the Disease Teams (RFA-AR-21-015) to identify molecular and cellular pathways of disease by probing the structural, functional and molecular complexities of end organ tissue involvement in relevant patient populations.

Key Dates

Posted Date
March 31, 2021
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
June 15, 2021
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

June 15, 2021

Application Due Dates Review and Award Cycles
New Renewal / Resubmission / Revision (as allowed) AIDS Scientific Merit Review Advisory Council Review Earliest Start Date
July 15, 2021 Not Applicable Not Applicable September 2021 January 2022 November 2021

All applications are due by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on the listed date(s).

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.

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

Expiration Date
July 16, 2021
Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in 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 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.

Table of Contents

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is one of two FOAs that implement the Accelerating Medicines Partnership in Autoimmune and Immune Mediated Diseases (AMP AIM) Research Network. The goal of the planned AMP Autoimmune and Immune Mediated Diseases (AMP AIM) Program is to ascertain and define shared and disease-specific biological pathways in order to identify relevant drug targets for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus, psoriatic spectrum diseases (PSD), Sjögren’s syndrome (SS), and related autoimmune and immune mediated diseases. The NIAMS, the NIAID, the NIDCR and the ORWH as participating members of the AMP AIM Program, are promoting these goals by publishing two FOAs to solicit applications for the development of AMP AIM Disease Teams (AMP AIM DTs), AMP AIM Technology and Analytic Cores (AMP AIM TACs), and an AMP AIM Research Management Unit (AMP AIM RMU). The DT, TAC and RMU award recipients will form the AMP AIM Network and will work collaboratively to implement the AMP AIM Research Program. The Research program will be developed by the AMP AIM Network in collaboration with the NIH and industry partners that will guide and advise on the scientific direction of the project.

This FOA solicits applications specifically for the AMP AIM Technology Cores (AMP AIM TC), Systems Biology Core (AMP AIM SBC), Tissue Repository Core (AMP AIM TRC) and Research Management Unit (AMP AIM RMU) awards. Each application submitted to this FOA should be focused on only one of the following: TC or SBC or TRC or RMU. Applicants may submit more than one application. Applicants interested in the AMP AIM Disease Teams must use the companion FOA (RFA-AR-21-015).

A critical program goal of the AMP initiative is to advance research in specific disease areas by creating a community resource of data, analyses, and other research protocols that are publicly available and accessible to the broad biomedical community. In order to maximize scientific exchange and accelerate research, it is expected that all information, data, protocols, and methods developed by AMP AIM investigators will be shared in a rapid and timely way with other investigators in the AMP AIM Network and with the research community at-large.

The vision for the AMP AIM Program is to gain a comprehensive understanding of molecular and cellular disease pathways and to identify novel targets for intervention.

Background

Autoimmune diseases in aggregate affect more than 25 million Americans and recent studies suggest that the prevalence and incidence of these diseases are increasing. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic spectrum diseases, Sjögren’s syndrome and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are chronic autoimmune diseases characterized by profound abnormalities in the innate and adaptive immune responses that result in persistent damage to multiple tissues and organ systems. They feature a self-propagating feedback loop that maintains and perpetuates systemic and local inflammation and tissue injury. Differences and complexity in genetics, immune dysregulation and environmental contributors result in disease heterogeneity, delay drug development and complicate patient care. Defining shared and unique mechanisms of disease at the systemic and organ level is critical for the design of new and specific interventions.

The NIH, pharmaceutical companies and nonprofit organizations together created the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) to develop new models for identifying and validating promising biological targets for new diagnostics and drug development. A major goal is to generate pre-competitive data that will be publicly accessible to the broad biomedical community for further research. Over the last 6 years, the Accelerating Medicines Partnership – rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus (AMP RA/SLE) program has brought together public and private communities to make unprecedented progress in understanding the cell populations, pathways and potential novel drug targets that drive these diseases.

The AMP RA/SLE program has advanced the concept of disease deconstruction by establishing the value and feasibility of using high dimensional analytics on biopsy samples in RA and systemic lupus erythematosus to discover the molecular and cellular pathways active in the tissues from patients with these diseases. In order to deconstruct disease components, AMP RA/SLE has generated multi ‘omics’ data (protein, mRNA, open chromatin) to characterize thousands of single cells in >100 synovial biopsies from rheumatoid arthritis patients and >200 renal biopsies from lupus nephritis patients. These studies have led to the discovery of new cell populations and states and biomarkers. Careful phenotyping and longitudinal follow-up of patients have allowed discovery of linkages between patients and disease mechanisms.

AMP AIM will extend the concept of ‘disease deconstruction’ that was established by the AMP RA/SLE Program to psoriatic spectrum diseases and Sjögren’s syndrome. The AMP AIM Program will bring in novel multi-modal analytics to elucidate how innate and adaptive cells of the immune system and tissue-resident cells network with each other to cause inflammation, abnormal function, tissue injury, and clinical disease. The new cornerstone of AMP AIM will be the concept of disease reconstruction based on high dimensional study of cell interactions in RA, systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjögren’s syndrome and psoriatic spectrum diseases. A major strategic goal of the AMP program is to create standardized, open-source data structures and platforms that will aid the accessibility and ease of analysis of autoimmune diseases biological data.

AMP AIM

To carry out the goals of AMP AIM, a discovery infrastructure will be created to strengthen clinical phenotyping protocols; implement diversified, nimble workflows; streamline the selection and optimization of emerging technologies and their application to tissue; expand systems level analysis capacity; and, expedite the steps to operate under the open science principles of the AMP initiative. The new infrastructure will maintain steady patient enrollment opportunities, technology cores and services, allowing optimization and execution of clinical and molecular analyses.

Objectives

  • Design clinical observational and cross-sectional patient cohorts and controls to address prioritized scientific challenges on disease de- and reconstruction
  • Dissect mechanisms of disease at the organ level leveraging AMP AIM resources and infrastructure.
  • Conduct spatial mapping of cell types and states to identify the pathways of crosstalk between cells that drive inflammation and tissue damage.
  • Integrate analysis of selected environmental cues (e.g. microbiome)
  • Model integrated single cell multi- ‘omics data in a spatial context and identify inflammatory mediators to uncover the regulatory mechanisms governing functions within and between cells that cause disease.
  • Conduct comparisons between and across tissues to understand how different cell types, states and interactions may lead to different disease manifestations.
  • Deploy data storage platforms and accelerate data sharing under the FAIR principles.

Major Expected Outcomes

  • A robust clinical data set that can support rigorous interrogation of clinical correlates of molecular data.
  • A highly curated data set that includes high dimensional information about tissue resident and infiltrating cells at the single cell level in blood and tissues that are affected in different autoimmune diseases. This will potentially include data on gene expression, spatial mapping of cell types and states, and mediators of cell interactions that drive inflammation and tissue damage.
  • Modelling of pathways active in target tissues, skin and blood, in RA, psoriatic spectrum diseases, lupus and Sjögren’s syndrome, including identification of pathways involved in early and pre-clinical disease.
  • A suite of proven tools, technologies and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), to investigate blood and tissues at the single cell level that can be applied to other autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
  • New computational tools to analyze and integrate high dimensional, multi modal data sets into disease pathways.
  • A roadmap for how to apply contemporary molecular technology to similarly assess therapeutic strategies for target identification in additional inflammatory diseases of interest.
  • A knowledge and data portal to enable data sharing and make data accessible to all stakeholders.

Structure

The AMP AIM Program will be carried out within a research infrastructure to be established using two interrelated FOAs (RFA-AR-21-015, RFA-AR-21-016) that will support research teams which will form the AMP AIM Network. The Network is defined as the consortium of investigators and institutions funded under both FOAs. A diagram of the organizational structure can be found on the NIAMS website.

Components

1. Disease Teams (DTs). Each DT will lead the development of the research agenda and research priorities for one disease, RA, lupus, psoriatic spectrum disease or Sjögren’s syndrome. The teams will identify critical opportunities and, select, recruit and deep phenotype the most informative patient populations to implement disease de- and reconstruction strategies of the AMP AIM program. They will establish cross-sectional and longitudinal cohorts and collect biopsy tissue and biosamples for research projects. (RFA-AR-21-015)

2. Technology and Analytics Cores (TACs). TACs will test, optimize and apply innovative technologies to interrogate and analyze human biopsy tissue and biosamples (e.g.,single-cell metabolomics and lipidomics). The TACs include the Technology Cores (TCs) and specialized Tissue Repository Core (TRC) and Systems Biology Core (SBC). All TACs will be aligned to work collaboratively to support Network-wide activities and priorities. (RFA-AR-21-016)

3. Research Management Unit (RMU). The RMU will provide centralized management and operational support to the network including providing and/or overseeing clinical monitoring for the entire AMP AIM program. (RFA-AR-21-016)

4. Knowledge Portal (KP). The KP will provide an interface for storage, analysis aggregation and visualization of all data generated by the DTs and TACs. (To be established separately by NIH)

Research Activities

It is anticipated that the AMP AIM Program research goals and objectives will be fulfilled through a series of prioritized projects collaboratively designed by the AMP AIM Network Investigator Committee (NIC) and the AMP AIM Steering Committee. (SC). Thus, all studies proposed in the applications will be a starting point for discussions regarding the research to be undertaken following a short planning period. Activities may include, but are not limited to:

Planning:

  • DTs and TACs collaboratively establish disease research priorities and analytic pipelines.
  • Collaboratively define shared priorities across diseases.
  • Design analytic pipelines.
  • Establish common, harmonized clinical protocols and studies.
  • Obtain regulatory and other approvals.

Pilot:

  • Enroll a small number of patients.
  • Assess quality of phenotype data and biopsy protocols at each site.
  • Optimize and validate tissue processing and interrogation methods.
  • Optimize next generation assays.
  • Conduct small scale proof of concept studies to determine if clinical and analytic pipelines are robust.
  • Refine analytic pipeline design.
  • Develop and test new tools for data analysis.

Scale-Up Pipelines:

  • Implement analytic pipelines in large cohorts.
  • Periodically update and release data and tools to facilitate analysis.
  • Develop meta-analysis plans and strategies, develop and deploy tools that researchers can use to interrogate the data, promote the identification of potential druggable targets based on new “omics” type data.
  • Make data available via open or controlled access depending on the data type and data source and as determined by the informed consent documents for each study guided by the designated IRB.

Pilot and Scale-Up pipeline projects will be conducted collaboratively.

In order to achieve the goals of AMP AIM, the academic grant award recipients are expected to engage in collaborative and broad sharing of biological data, analytical methodologies, and disease models prior to publication consistent with the overarching goals of the program.

The sharing of data, integrated pathway models and analytical tools and the data integration activities will be provided by a Knowledge Portal (KP) to be established separately by NIH. The KP will provide the infrastructure, resources and management for sharing data, network models, and analytical tools, as well as the data integration activities for the AMP AIM Program.

To provide a community resource for advancing research in this area, all AMP AIM activities must meet rigorous data sharing and quality control standards. All of the AMP AIM activities will be overseen by an Observational Safety Monitoring Board (OSMB) convened by the NIH that will focus on participant safety, study burden and scientific validity of the clinical data.

Coordination and Collaboration

To achieve the research goals of AMP AIM Program, successful applicants will be expected to work collaboratively with all members of the Network to contribute to developing SOPs, data and metadata standards, metrics for data generation, participate in cross-site studies, engage in cross-training, and guide development of data analysis that can be used by the broader scientific community.

Coordination of cross-network activities will be carried out by various committees which include:

AMP AIM Network Investigator Committee (NIC): Composed of principal investigators of the DTs, Technology Cores (TCs), SBC, TRC and KP and NIH staff, the NIC will formulate research priorities and implement all collaborative scale-up pipelines and projects, as well as develop and implement Network policies, and guide overall direction of the Network to meet the goals of the program. The NIC will meet regularly and be complemented by an Executive Group and a set of working groups.

AMP AIM Network Executive Group (EG): Composed by representatives from the NIC and NIH project scientists, the EG will be responsible for ensuring the objectives and priorities of the AMP AIM Program are achieved.

AMP AIM Steering Committee (SC):A Steering Committee will be convened by FNIH and include representatives from sponsoring organizations including NIH, industry and not-for-profit organizations. The AMP AIM SC will provide scientific guidance and oversight to the project.

Research Objectives

This FOA encourages a wide range of technologies that may benefit the AMP AIM Program disease deconstruction and reconstruction approach spanning the fields of tissue collection and preservation; high resolution, high dimensional imaging; high sensitivity and specificity transcriptomics, genomics, proteomics and metabolomics; analysis, visualization and modelling of multidimension molecular data. The Technology and Analytic Cores include the Technology Cores, Systems Biology Core and Tissue Repository Core. The TACs will work collaboratively with the Disease Teams to develop analytic pipelines. Applicants may propose to carry out more than one technology provided those are complementary or carried out as part of a single analytic pipeline. However, the application should identify the technology/approach that represents the major focus and strongest area of expertise of the applicant team. All TAC and RMU applications must include the Opportunities Fund. Each application submitted to this FOA should be focused on only one of the following: TC or SBC or TRC or RMU. Applicants may submit more than one application.

NIH expects that studies proposed in the applications will be a starting point for discussions regarding the research to be undertaken to achieve the AMP AIM program objectives. It is unlikely that any study proposed in the application will be undertaken exactly as planned, or at an individual site. This FOA is intended to support discovery. Applications that include animal studies are not responsive.

Technology Cores (TC)

Each TC application should be focused primarily on one high-dimensional tissue interrogation analytic (e.g., single-cell proteomics) or closely related high-dimensional tissue interrogation analytics (e.g., combined single-cell transcriptomics and proteomics). Novel technologies in single-cell approaches are encouraged.

Specific Objectives include:

1. Tissue Interrogation

  • Devise important scientific questions that will inform the use and development of innovative technologies and reagents for the analysis of human biopsies.
  • Provide state of the art approaches to tissue disaggregation (if required) and processing for relevant analytic pipelines using tissue sections and/or dissociated cells.
  • Use state-of-the-art methods or analytic pipeline (a series of complementary methods) to interrogate human tissues and examine pathological changes (e.g., fibrosis, inflammation), metabolic changes, cell phenotypes/state (e.g., healthy/normal function, disease/dysfunction, injury, adaptive/maladaptive repair, regeneration, chronic activation), regulatory pathways (e.g., multi-omic approaches), etc. Potential analytics/technologies may include, but are not limited to single cell sequencing, CyTOF mass cytometry, proteomics, spatially resolved single-cell genomics and transcriptomics by imaging, and metabolomics/lipidomics.
  • Devise protocols for isolation, fixation, clearing and/or dissociation that are appropriately optimized for specific methods and allow for transportation between sites.
  • Devise quality control metrics for tissue sample handling, processing and analytic methods, to ensure that high-quality data can be generated, and minimize experimental variation.
  • Define a strategy for and conduct primary analysis of the analytic datasets and to correlate with clinical and histological parameters.

2. Tool and Technology Development

  • Develop next generation tools and technologies to better interrogate human biopsies and probe the structural, histological, functional and molecular complexities of the disease target tissues/organs.
  • Devise novel methodologies to conduct analytic-specific data quality control and primary analysis of the analytic datasets
  • Correlate data from complementary analytics (e.g., optical images and omics; slide-based vs. cell-suspension methods) to promote the analysis of human biopsy tissue in spatial context.

3. Collaboration and Sharing

  • Work collaboratively with other TACs and DTs to develop disease specific and shared priorities, analytic pipelines and projects.
  • Work collaboratively with other TACs and DTs to decide on approaches to tissue interrogation, develop common protocols and quality metrics/standards for harmonizing tissue collection, handling, processing, transportation.
  • Work collaboratively as a member of the AMP Network Investigator Committee to identify important scientific questions to be addressed.
  • Work collaboratively with other TACs to develop methods for data analysis, combining complementary datasets, data annotation and data visualization; develop quality control/quality assurance measures and milestones for each step.
  • Submit all data including images and annotations to SBC and the KP.
  • Contribute relevant data to be used to support future ancillary studies to the AMP AIM program.

4. TC Project Activities

There will be a planning/exploratory period to demonstrate that the site can interrogate existing tissue samples and small numbers of new biopsies using current state-of-the-art methods. Sites may also conduct work for the development of next generation technologies to improve tissue interrogation. Based on evidence of feasibility and availability of samples and other resources, the most promising analytics and approaches may be approved for scale up and implementation.

Pilot activities include:

  • Rapidly implement processes and procedures to apply current high dimensional methods for interrogation of human tissues.
  • Pilot and optimize next generation tools and technologies to interrogate of human biopsies.
  • Establish measures of assay, sample and data quality control.
  • Implement processes to share and harmonize protocols and procedures with DTs and other TACs.
  • Develop processes and procedures to harmonize data collection and coordinate data submission with SBC and KP.
  • Promote collaboration and sharing of all protocols, tissues, samples and data.

Scale-Up activities include:

  • Apply the analytic pipelines determined by the NIC to interrogate human tissues and generate high-quality data.
  • Investigate tissue and disease heterogeneity.
  • Concurrently develop new tools and technologies that improve the interrogation of human biopsies.
  • Leverage other sources of samples and data as appropriate, towards achieving the goals of the AMP AIM.
  • Achieve acceptable tissue, sample and data quality control metrics.
  • Work collaboratively with the other AMP AIM investigators and sharing all protocols, samples and data as appropriate and consistent with achieving the goals of the AMP AIM.
  • Contribute to the scientific output of the AMP AIM and timely sharing of data with the broader research community.
  • Accomplish the overall objectives of the AMP AIM.

Implementation of Scale-Up activities will depend on tissue sample availability, program priorities, network approval and availability of funds.

TACs will be eligible to conduct small scale proof of concept (POC) studies that advance and are consistent with the goals and objectives of the AMP AIM Program. The POCs will be expected to enhance the innovation and robustness of the clinical and analytic pipelines.

Systems Biology Core (SBC)

The goal of the SBC is to work collaboratively to conduct systems-level analyses of multi-dimensional datasets generated by the research projects conducted by the DTs and TCs to identify modules and pathways active in specific tissue cells and define how they differ between diseases or patients with different characteristics.

Specific Objectives

  1. Tool and Technology Development
  • Optimizing existing bioinformatics and computational tools to analyze and interpret AMP AIM generated data.
  • Devising new software and advanced tools for systems level analysis to produce an integrated model of how abnormalities in different tissue interact to produce tissue damage or clinical manifestation of disease.
  1. Collaboration and Sharing
  • Participating and informing the design of the central databases and systems to facilitate data standardization, data accessibility, archiving and transfer.
  • Working with the DTs, TCs, RMU and KP to support the integration of mechanistic data with clinical datasets.
  • Providing scientific, technical support and training on analytical strategies to the Network and to individual DTs and TCs investigators.
  • Building on primary analysis of disease/analytic design complementary strategies to analyze pathways and mechanisms that are unique or shared between tissues and diseases.

Tissue Acquisition Research Core (TRC)

The goal of the TRC is to work collaboratively with DTs, TACs and KP to identify the most efficient methods for tissue acquisition and prepping, and to develop standard operating procedures to support tissue acquisition activities. Effective procurement and utilization of well-characterized tissue are critical to the success of the AMP AIM Network. The goal is to.

Specific Objectives

  1. Tissue Acquisition
  • Optimize the efficient use of available samples for tissue analytics.
  • Develop and ensure the consistent implementation of new and existing standardized procedures for procurement, processing, short-term storage, quality control, histopathologic evaluation, and distribution of clinical samples.
  • Ensure that Network investigators work with well-characterized, high-quality tissue specimens, peripheral blood cells, plasma, and serum from patients with RA, lupus and related autoimmune diseases.
  • Perform conventional and propose (if available) advanced (e.g., omic, 3-Dimensional imaging) pathologic reading of all available tissue and compare to the clinical diagnosis and local site pathologic analysis.
  1. Collaboration and Sharing
  • Provide research resources including: (i) consultation with the DTs and TACs; (ii) SOPs for sample and specimen processing; and (iii) conducting centralized histopathology readings.
  • Develop guidelines for distribution of limited tissue samples and make recommendations to the AMP for tissue acquisition and distribution.

The SBC and the TRC will be eligible to conduct small scale proof of concept (POC) studies that advance and are consistent with the goals and objectives of the AMP Program. The POCs will be expected to enhance the innovation and robustness of the clinical and analytic pipelines.

Research Management Unit (RMU)

The Research Management Unit (RMU) will provide operational management, clinical monitoring, and coordination of program-wide activities. The RMU will coordinate establishment of necessary working groups, develop study timelines and provide clinical monitoring. The structure of the proposed RMU should reflect lines of authority, personnel with specific responsibilities for internal function, quality assurance and control.

Areas of responsibility include:

  • Providing support to the Chair(s) of AMP AIM NIC, AMP AIM EG and future Functional Working Groups including planning and arranging meetings for the various committees and groups.
  • Assisting with formulation of research plans for the scale-up phase collaborative research project and pilot projects.
  • Establishing and maintaining effective communications across the network to ensure the members understand their roles and responsibilities and are kept abreast of the scientific and procedural development in the program.
  • Coordinate development of and adherence to network-wide policies and procedures,
  • Working with the KP to develop a secure portal for the distribution of study documents, forms, and relevant information, including metrics (textual and graphical) of study progress and performance (e.g., expected versus actual subject accrual) across the AMP AIM sites.
  • Providing support for obtaining IRB approvals, establishing subcontract to potential external laboratories / biospecimens repositories; coordinating with suppliers of reagents/drugs.
  • Assist with the planning and submission of manuscripts for publication.

Opportunities Fund (OF)

OF. To capitalize on emerging opportunities and sharing of resources and expertise consistent with the goals of AMP AIM, an OF will be made available. Examples of activities that might be supported by the OF include collaborative and pilot/feasibility projects among AMP AIM Network members; early stage investigator projects; and new and emerging technologies and collaborations. OF projects must be within the scope of the AMP AIM Research Program and may be submitted by members of AMP AIM Network or by outside investigators.

OF Management. One institution will be chosen by NIH after award from the successful applicants to manage the OF for the entire AMP AIM Network This institution must agree to take responsibility for managing the OF, including establishing an administrative structure for disbursement and tracking funds, and under the advice of the AMP AIM EG and AMP AIM NIC establishing procedures for reporting status of OF projects to NIH and the Steering Committee.

AMP Chair (this component is optional):

PIs of the TACs or RMU may propose to serve as the AMP AIM Network Chair. The Chair (and co-Chair) will organize and lead meetings of the Executive Group. With the leadership of the Chair, the Executive Group will be responsible for development of the research strategy, oversight of working groups organized by the NIC, and for approval of Network policies. As part of this process, the Chair will engage with other stakeholders, including funders and FNIH. NIH will name the Chair from nominations made in applications in response to this or companion FOA (RFA-AR-21-015) or delegate that to the Executive Group. Applicants who wish to serve as Chair may request support for additional effort for themselves and for administrative support.

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. Only those application types listed here are allowed for this FOA.

Clinical Trial?

Not Allowed: Only accepting applications that do not propose clinical trials.

Need help determining whether you are doing a clinical trial?

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.

Issuing IC and partner components intend to commit an estimated total of $5,000,000 to fund up to five awards for Technology Cores, 1 award for Systems Biology Core, 1 award for Tissue Repository Core and 1 award for Research Management Unit

Pre-Application Webinar

NIH will hold a pre-application informational webinar for this FOA on May 5, 2021, 12:00 - 2:00pm ET. Other details for the webinar and FAQs will be posted at NIAMS website.

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

The UC2 is limited to five years.

NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made from 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:

  • Hispanic-serving Institutions
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)
  • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions
  • 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)

Local 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)

Federal Governments

  • 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
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) – 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.
  • eRA Commons - Applicants must have an active DUNS number to register in eRA Commons. Organizations can register with the eRA Commons as they are working through their SAM or Grants.gov registration, but all registrations must be in place by time of submission. 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

The application forms package specific to this opportunity must be accessed through ASSIST, Grants.gov Workspace or an institutional system-to-system solution. Links to apply using ASSIST or Grants.gov Workspace are available in Part 1 of this FOA. See your administrative office for instructions if you plan to use an institutional system-to-system solution.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

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

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:

Justine Buschman
Telephone: 301-496-4811
Email: buschmanj@mail.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.

Applicants must provide the following Other Attachments:

The filename “Team.pdf” should be used and will be reflected in the final image bookmarking for easy access for reviewers

Team (Limit to 3 pages)

  • This attachment must describe for the team proposed in this application: the roles and responsibilities of each key member of the team, processes and strategies to ensure effective communication and interactions, and for resolving conflicts between members. Describe a plan to facilitate the interaction between the Team leadership and key personnel at different sites for the team proposed in the application.

Opportunities Fund (OF) Management Plan (Limit to 1 page)

The filename “OF.pdf” should be used and will be reflected in the final image bookmarking for easy access for reviewers.

  • Applicants must include a plan for administering the OF to include coordination, communication, and management of the proposed OF, proposed measures and procedures for disbursement, reporting and monitoring of expenditures, and plans for soliciting, evaluating, and selecting projects. Applicants should NOT include or propose specific projects to be funded from the OF; these decisions will be made in conjunction with the AMP AIM NIC and AMP AIM SC after award.

Optional

The following attachment is optional. The filename “Chair.pdf” should be used and will be reflected in the final image bookmarking for easy access for reviewers.

AMP AIM Network Chair Nomination. (Limit to 1 page)

Include a description of:

  • Experience, expertise and approach to managing and leading collaborative research networks or organizations.
  • The leadership approaches that may be successful in the context of complexities due to diverse scientific, administrative and potential conflicts characteristic of interdisciplinary teams.
  • How the Chair may engage the different stakeholders within and outside the AMP AIM Network to advance the work of the Network and the field.
  • Vision for the AMP AIM Chair role.
SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

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

R&R Budget

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

Applications should budget for the following:

  • PD(s)/PI(s) are expected to commit a minimum of 2.4 person months per year. The level of commitment can be increased to be commensurate with the needs of the project (planning, pilot or scale up activities). Applications proposing Multiple PD(s)/PIs(s) must have a minimum combined PD/PI effort of 2.4 person months.
  • Key personnel
  • Research Coordinator for IRB submission, protocol tracking, and training.
  • Arrangement of logistical services for protocol-specific costs, including subcontracts and supplies.
  • Support for in-person travel to Bethesda MD/Washington DC area at least two times per year throughout the project period, including the launch meeting anticipated in November or December of 2021
  • Data analysis costs including data QC and statistical analysis.
  • Costs of conducting four pilot studies (1 per year)
  • Technology Cores:
  • The pilot study costs should be presented as the product of per sample costs times 200 samples.
  • The scale-up phase should be presented as the product of per sample costs times 2400 samples (assuming an average of three biosamples per patient).
  • Per sample costs should include personnel, supplies, instrument use time, QC and analysis.
  • TRC:
    • TRC budgets should be based on collection and analysis of multiple biosamples in four diseases, with approximately 200 patients included in the pilot phase and 800 in the scale up phase.
    • Assume a minimum of 6 biosamples (4 blood samples and 2 tissue samples) per patient and at least 4 high dimensional analytic pipelines.
  • RMU:
    • Include support for a full-time senior project manager to direct and coordinate day to day operations of the AMP AIM Network.
  • Opportunities Fund Administration:
    • The budget must include a separate item of an intent to establish future subcontract with AMP AIM recipient institutions in support of pilot, new technologies / analytics, collaborations and scale up studies. This cost must not exceed $2M / year in years 2-5 to support four to six subcontracts per year. These costs should be placed in the Subawards/Consortium/Contractual Costs category.
  • Chair function (if proposed):
    • The budget must include a separate item for costs related to Chair function, including effort, travel and administrative support.
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:

Technology Cores

Specific Aims: Provide the overall goals for the entire application, and indicate separately, specific aims for the planning pilot and the scale up activities. This FOA is intended to support only human studies and applications that include animal studies are not responsive. This FOA is intended to support discovery and validation of pathways and targets implicated in autoimmune and immune mediated diseases.

Research Strategy: Organize the Research Strategy in the subsections identified below.

1) Background and Significance

  • Discuss the potential of the technology or analytic proposed to the discovery of new pathways of disease and targets for intervention in lupus, RA, Sjögren’s syndrome and psoriatic spectrum diseases.
  • Address how the proposed technology/analytic may help resolve how cell types and tissue regions relate to end organ health, injury, and disease heterogeneity.
  • Discuss the potential to apply the proposed technology to samples collected within the longitudinal cohort(s)
  • Discuss the advantages and limitations of the proposed tissue interrogation method(s).

2) Preliminary Data

  • Summarize preliminary data documenting the value and performance metrics and robustness of the proposed method(s) and next generation assays, including if appropriate, sensitivity, specificity, level of detection, accuracy, variability, depth/completeness and validation metrics.
  • Demonstrate how proposed technologies can support the AMP AIM objectives for disease de and reconstruction.
  • Indicate whether and how the data can be mapped back to 2- and 3-D tissue for spatial location and can be correlated with clinical phenotype.
  • Discuss other sources of existing healthy or diseased data and samples (including archived tissue) to be used for optimization, discovery and validation efforts. (Note: any existing data or samples discussed in the application must be made available to the AMP AIM upon award.)
  • Document willingness to share all methods, data and samples, as appropriate, and discuss how they will be harmonized with new efforts.
  • Indicate how the proposed methods and technologies complement each other, if applicable.

3) Activities and Management of the Multidisciplinary Team

  • Clearly describe the formal organizational structure of the multidisciplinary team, including lines of authority and responsibility, with attention to the relationship of the organizational structure to the major objectives of the AMP AIM.
  • Document the collaborative research experience of the team.
  • Confirm willingness to accept the overall governance, common protocols, publication policies, collaborative procedures, confidentiality and data sharing plans to be developed by the AMP AIM.
  • Confirm willingness to attend AMP meetings virtually and in the Bethesda MD/Washington DC area at least twice yearly. Applicants should also state their willingness to work collaboratively with the other AMP investigators on conference calls, working groups, SC meetings, and in the dissemination of research findings through publication or presentation.

4) Approach: Applicants should propose and justify the approaches to interrogate human biopsy tissue/specimens. This should include: 1) a planning/feasibility approach to test interrogation methods using existing tissue and a limited number of new biopsies, 2) an approach to develop next generation technologies; and 3) an approach to scale-up implementation to test and or validate the use of the technology in a large cohort. Applicants should justify each approach and propose specific milestones for each.

Address each of the items listed below.

  • Propose at least one current state-of-the-art method or analytic pipeline to interrogate human tissue.
  • Propose strategies to process tissue samples from RA, Sjögren’s syndrome, psoriatic spectrum diseases and lupus cohort studies and investigate tissue and disease heterogeneity.
  • Propose development of a next generation technology to interrogate human biopsy tissue. The applicant should provide preliminary evidence that this novel technology will be feasible using human biopsy tissues and blood from one or more AMP AIM diseases.
  • Propose methods to overcome current hurdles in processing, imaging and advanced analysis of tissue.
  • Discuss plans for optimization, validation and quality control.
  • Discuss any bioinformatics, statistical analysis and computational modeling required for primary analyses.
  • Propose specific milestones that will be used to evaluate the likelihood that the technology can be scaled up.
  • Discuss plans for scale-up of tissue interrogation throughput, with careful attention to quality metrics.
  • Propose how the TC may provide consultation to the Network investigators to address questions and needs in the specified analytic area and, where feasible, work with the Network investigators to develop novel and innovative solutions to identified needs/problems.

Systems Biology Core

Specific Aims: Briefly describe the specific aims of the SBC.

Research Strategy:

SBC Structure, Staffing and Governance. Describe plans for the structure, staffing and governance of the SBC. Include descriptions of the responsibilities of all proposed functional entities within the SBC; identification of all senior personnel with degrees and titles reflecting their role on the project; delineation of lines of authority and reporting among proposed SBC personnel serving in a senior role; proposed processes for decision-making.

The use of tables, diagrams, flow charts and organizational charts is strongly recommended in describing the proposed structure and staffing of the Core.

Research Designs. Describe the rationale, preliminary data and approach for the application of existing bioinformatics tools to analyze and interpret Network-generated data. Discuss pitfalls and alternative approaches. Describe the innovation and feasibility aspects of the proposed research strategies to identify and test new bioinformatics approaches to identify key signaling pathways.

Describe plans to establish and maintain a technologically up-to-date toolset that can be readily used for systems-level analyses of data generated by the Network. Emphasis should be given to systems biology and other emerging computational approaches that can contribute to understanding, visualization, integration and analysis of multi-dimensional data, envisaged to be essential for the goals of the Network. Include:

  • Innovative high-level integrative analysis with careful consideration of statistical biases and confounders.
  • Approaches to advanced statistical analyses of high-throughput data sets generated by the Network. This includes established techniques for statistical genetics and transcriptomics (e.g., principal components analysis, data normalization, smoothing, clustering, association testing, eQTL mapping etc.). Examples of the types of analyses include pipelines for genome-wide analysis and interpretation of RNA-seq and single cell RNA-seq data; pipelines and methods for interpretation of mass cytometry data, etc.
  • Novel approaches to perform systems-level analyses of multiple different datasets (e.g., genetic, epigenetic, immunological, proteomic or clinical) and define clinically relevant modules and nodes that form tissue-specific networks.

Bioinformatics Tools and Software Development: Describe in detail the strategy for the development of tools and software for the integration, annotation, analysis, retrieval, and presentation of data and meta-data from Network clinical and analytic studies. Describe what is the track record of the team proposing the core.

Consider building flexibility to allow incorporation of new, diverse data types.

Secondary Analyses. Provide plans for:

  • Interactions with AMP AIM Network investigators, NIH scientists for the development, review and implementation of proposed studies/sub-studies, including assessing feasibility and suggesting appropriate technologies to use.
  • Collaborations with domain specialists or investigators’ bioinformatics staff on in-depth analysis of clinical, laboratory and analytics study data.
  • Collaboration with TCs and KP. Describe how the SBC will work with the Network teams to create necessary computational infrastructure and tools to facilitate systems-level understanding of disease. Specifically, include descriptions of at least the following collaborative functions:1. Development and maintenance of a database for storage and retrieval of data generated by the Network. The database must be able to store multi-dimensional data, such as image, numerical and multi-omics, and integrate those data with experimental (protocol) and clinical descriptive data as well as other existing datasets and to facilitate correlational and meta-analyses.
    2. Development of criteria or templates for uniform data collection, data standardization, data exchange and integrative modeling across multiple data types. Consider use of existing biological ontologies as the basis for defining data standards.

Consultation. Provide consultation to the Network investigators to address questions and needs in the bioinformatics area and, where feasible, work with the Network investigators to develop novel and innovative solutions to identified needs/problems.

Training and Outreach. In collaboration with the other functional components of the Network, organize training workshops and community outreach activities to enhance awareness and proficiency in usage of the tools and software to conduct systems level analysis.

Tissue Repository Core

Specific Aims: Briefly describe the specific aims of the TRC.

Research Strategy:

TRC Structure, Staffing and Governance. Describe in detail plans for the structure, staffing and governance of the TRC. Include descriptions of the roles of all proposed functional entities with the TRC; delineation of lines of authority and reporting among proposed TRC personnel serving in a senior role; proposed processes for decision-making; proposed processes and procedures to ensure timely and effective implementation of TRC functions across all Network research projects, track progress, identify and resolve technical and operational issues, and monitor the use and adequacy of allocated resources; and proposed processes for communication within the TRC and between the TRC and the TCs, DTs, and NIH scientific staff and Network investigators. The use of tables, diagrams, flow charts and organizational charts is strongly recommended in describing the proposed structure and staffing of the Core.

Specimen Acquisition and Handling. Provide plans and procedures for ensuring that TCs work with well-characterized, high quality tissue, peripheral blood cells, plasma and serum and other tissue specimens. Propose standardized procedures for procurement, processing, storage, quality control, and distribution. Discuss proposed approaches to be used for handling specimens for analysis, identify new approaches/technologies for specimen handling and describe their relevance and applicability to the scope of research to be carried out by the Network.

Distribution of Patient Samples. Discuss approaches to ensure maximum efficiency in the use of available samples for tissue analytics; identify those approaches most likely to promote efficiency; and provide proposed guidelines for the distribution of limited samples.

Sample Tracking. Describe in detail the proposed computerized database system(s) for tracking all samples from patient consent to tissue acquisition and distribution to appropriate TCs. Include descriptions of key system features to allow for: inclusion of or linkage to clinical information on all patients and characteristics of patient samples; maintaining site- and study-specific reconciliation of physical samples and reconciliation of data results corresponding to physical samples, tracking and reporting of specimen collection, sample processing, inter-laboratory shipping and receipt, and final specimen disposition; sample availability; integration with data produced by tissue analytics projects; analysis across studies; etc.

Provision of Materials for Laboratory Testing. Provide proposed plans and procedures for the purchase, packaging and shipping of kit materials required for protocol-specific specialized laboratory tests and for ensuring intact receipt. Describe proposed methods for maintaining a computerized inventory of all materials distributed and, where appropriate, methods to streamline and centralize handling of all processes and provisions requiring material transfer agreement, interstate shipments, and collaborations with foreign research sites providing specimens.

Regulatory Considerations. All applicable laws and regulations for shipment should be satisfied. Facilities with CAP accreditation are encouraged to apply. For example, ISBER Best Practices and International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations (ISBER 2008; IATA 2009) should be consulted for information concerning international transport regulations and classifying samples for shipment. Variation in national and regional standards regarding biospecimen transport should be considered when shipping biospecimens to or from an international location.

Research Management Unit

Specific Aims: Briefly describe the specific aims of the RMU.

Research Strategy:

This section of the application should propose plans to facilitate clinical protocol development; curate and analyze patient data; monitor recruitment, retention, and follow-up of participants; manage efforts to ensure quality control; and facilitate whole genome sequencing. Include an organizational chart listing the tasks that this component will accomplish. Identify the types of staff associated with each task and describe their respective roles and responsibilities. Discuss prior experience in coordinating research networks and present examples of challenges that were encountered, and solutions offered.

Specifically, propose plans to:

  • Provide oversight to ensure adherence to the highest ethical, research and clinical standards, and any required regulatory standards.
  • Coordinate the harmonization of biopsy collection protocols for implementation by the AMP AIM Network.
  • Coordinate the harmonization of study protocols and longitudinal studies.
  • Facilitate whole genome sequencing on all study participants. Do not budget for whole genome sequencing.
  • Assist the Disease Teams with the development of uniform case report forms and management of IRB submissions. Coordinate with the Disease Teams to ensure that appropriate local IRB approvals and appropriate patient consent are obtained for data and sample acquisition, transfer and use.
  • Establish and monitor quality assurance and control standards.
  • Catalyze the incorporation and harmonization of data and samples from other existing longitudinal cohorts.
  • Conduct standard clinical data assessments, including development of data reports, recruitment tables, observational study reports, quality evaluation, etc. across Network sites.
  • Monitor adverse complications and prepare regular reports for the OSMB, whose membership will be determined by the NIAMS subsequent to award.
  • Develop and coordinate staff training for all activities, including patient recruitment and retention, biopsy performance, biological sample collection, interrogation and handling, etc.
  • Maintain an integrated timeline of all major Network activities including target dates for submission of data to an NIH designated Knowledge Portal.
  • Monitor Electronic Health Record (EHR) integration plans for the DTs and encourage the return of study and diagnostic data back to participants and the (re)incorporation into EHR systems as feasible and appropriate.

Timelines (TC, TRC, SBC and RMU)

A timeline including milestones is required. Milestones are objectives that create go/no-go decision points in the project and must include clear and quantitative criteria for success. Milestones should function as indicators of continued progress. Timelines must state when metrics for assessment of progress will be achieved, including specific milestones for progressing to the scale up project. The AMP AIM Program Timeline can be found at AMP Autoimmune and Immune Mediated Diseases (AMP AIM) Program.

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.

The following modifications also apply:

  • All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan.
  • In keeping with the strategic goal of the open-science enterprise of the AMP AIM and the NIH goal to enhance the transparency of reporting and enable reproducible and translatable discovery research, award recipients will be expected to make all data, analytical methods, network models and research tools available to the broad scientific community via an NIH designated AMP-AIM Knowledge Portal to be established separately.

    To this end:

      • All datasets used/generated on the project (such as data about clinical phenotypes and high-dimensional omic data, including genomic, proteomic, and metabolomic data generated from human samples or from cell-based models) will be made accessible and reusable by qualified individuals other than the original data generators via the AMP-AIM Knowledge Portal to enable multiple parallel approaches to data analysis and interpretation.
      • All analytical methodologies will be made fully reproducible and transparent so that results can be vetted, and existing analysis techniques quickly applied to new application areas.
      • All models of biological systems and networks will be made open to users such that theoretical predictions can be rapidly validated experimentally.
      • All disease models generated in the course of the project will be made freely available to qualified investigators to accelerate their characterization and validation and their translational utility.
      • All biological samples used to generate data with this award will be made available to all s of this initiative.

    Award recipients will be expected to have all data and analytical results deposited in the Consortium space of the Knowledge Portal after they have undergone basic quality control (within 6 months after completion of data QC).

    Data and analytical results will be made available broadly to all qualified users via the AMP-AIM Knowledge Portal twice a year and no later than 6 months after deposition. Data will be accessible via open or controlled access depending on the data type and data source and as determined by the informed consent documents for each study guided by the local IRB. There will be no publication embargo imposed on the use of data after they have been made available through the Knowledge Portal.

    Applicants need to provide a timeline of data deposition as part of a complete Resource Sharing Plan. Program staff may negotiate modifications to the plan prior to funding.

Appendix:
Only limited Appendix materials are allowed. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

When involving human subjects research, clinical research, and/or NIH-defined clinical trials (and when applicable, clinical trials research experience) follow all instructions for the PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following additional instructions:

If you answered “Yes” to the question “Are Human Subjects Involved?” on the R&R Other Project Information form, you must include at least one human subjects study record using the Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form or Delayed Onset Study record.

Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

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

Delayed Onset Study

Note: Delayed onset does NOT apply to a study that can be described but will not start immediately (i.e., delayed start).All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS Assignment Request Form

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

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 How to Apply – Application Guide. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Dealing with System Issues guidance. For assistance with application submission, contact the Application Submission Contacts in Section VII.

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. Any instructions provided here are in addition to the instructions in the policy.

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process.  Applications submitted to the NIH in support of the NIH mission are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

For this particular announcement, note the following:

NIH expects that studies proposed in the applications will be a starting point for discussions regarding the research to be undertaken to achieve the AMP AIM program objectives. It is unlikely that any study proposed in the application will be undertaken exactly as planned, or at an individual site. This FOA is intended to support discovery.

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 the prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project rigorous? 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?

  • Specific for this FOA: Does the project propose an important analytic, methodologic or management approach relevant to the opportunities in disease de- and reconstruction of AMP AIM?

Investigator(s)

Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? If Early Stage Investigators or those 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?

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Have the investigators included plans to address weaknesses in the rigor of prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed 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 individuals of all ages (including children and older adults), justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?

Specific for this FOA:

Has the applicant demonstrated the ability to work with large collaborative groups?

Are the milestones and timeline quantitative, feasible, and appropriate to assess continued research progress or emerging difficulties?

For Technology Core:

Is there a sound rationale for the selection of state-of-the-art and next generation technologies? Is there evidence of technical excellence and capacity for the proposed analytics, demonstrating general feasibility of the proposed approaches? Data demonstrating applicability to disease tissues are not a prerequisite for applying. Are there plans for standardization and validation? Are procedures in place to ensure quality of data and consistency of the experimental techniques as well as adequate data management and statistical plans for the proposed analyses?

For Systems Biology Core:

Is the proposed SBC structure clearly defined and does it provide for effective and efficient planning, direction and management of the scientific, technical and operational activities of the Group as a whole? Are proposed processes for decision-making, resolving technical and operational issues, and communication clearly articulated and appropriate?

Are the proposed research strategies to develop and test new bioinformatics approaches to identify key signaling pathways innovative and feasible? Is there adequate discussion of pitfalls and alternative approaches?

Is there a strong plan to establish and maintain a technologically up-to-date toolset that can be readily used for systems-level analyses of data generated by the Network?

Does the application propose a sound, feasible, effective and efficient system for the development of tools and software for the integration, annotation, analysis, retrieval, and presentation of data and meta-data from Network clinical and analytic studies?

Does the application provide well defined, appropriate and effective plans for interacting with the Network Research Site investigators, investigators’ bioinformatics staff, domain experts, and NIH scientific staff to develop, review and implement studies/sub-studies?

For Tissue Repository Core:

Is the proposed TRC structure clearly defined and does it provide for effective and efficient planning, direction and management of the scientific, technical and operational activities of the Core as a whole? Are proposed processes for decision-making, resolving technical and operational issues, and communication clearly articulated and appropriate?

Are there sound and appropriate plans for the operation and management of oversight of specimen acquisition, processing, shipping, tracking, testing, storage, and quality control? Is there a sound plan and system for inventory processing?

Are there appropriate and efficient plans and procedures for the purchase, tracking, packaging and shipping of kit materials for specialized laboratory tests?

Are proposed approaches to maximize efficiency in the use of available samples sound, practical?

Does the application propose relevant alternative or new approaches for tissue acquisition and for handling tissue and cells that will be analyzed using new technologies?

For Research Management Unit:

Is the proposed RMU structure clearly defined and does it provide for effective and efficient planning, coordination of the scientific, technical and operational activities of the AMP AIM Network as a whole? Are proposed processes for decision-making, resolving technical and operational issues, and communication clearly articulated and appropriate?

Are plans for coordinating the use of critical Network resources sound and clear? Is there evidence of adequate consultation with the NIC in these plans and decision-making?

Are the proposed plans and procedures for assisting, monitoring and supporting clinical work across the Network sound and clear?

Is the plan for the development of SOPs governing key study processes and procedures clearly articulated, efficient and effective? Are the proposed SOPs likely to contribute to achieving standardization across participating Technology Cores and Disease Teams?

Is there an effective plan to provide technical, communication and administrative support for the operations and activities of the NIC including management of meetings/teleconferences?

Are proposed project management and tracking systems clearly defined, feasible and appropriate for overseeing effective planning and implementation of the full scope of AMP AIM Network activities?

Does the application propose effective, efficient and reliable information management system(s) to support day-to-day AMP AIM Network activities?

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?

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.

Team

Has a plan been developed to facilitate the interaction of PD/PIs and key personnel at different sites or institutions? Are the plans for ensuring the collaboration-readiness of the proposed team and for resolving conflicts between team personnel adequate to ensure the success of the project? Is the proposed team willing to work cooperatively with the AMP AIM Network, the NIH and the AMP AIM SC to further the overall goals of the Program?

Protections for Human Subjects

For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the 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 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 Individuals Across the Lifespan

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 individuals of all ages (including children and older adults) 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

Not Applicable .

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.

As described, does the OF plan propose an adequate plan to successfully administer the funds to indicate a high potential for successful tracking, distribution and management of the funds?

Does the applicant provide evidence of expertise to serve as AMP AIM Chair?

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 (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{NIAMS}, 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 will receive a written critique.

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.

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

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

  • 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.
  • Evidence of previous productivity and cooperative collaboration in projects of similar complexity.
  • Evidence that the applicant and investigators are committed to policies including confidentiality, sharing of information and resources, and cooperative interaction.

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 recipient'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.

Institutional Review Board or Independent Ethics Committee Approval: Recipient institutions must ensure that protocols are reviewed by their IRB or IEC. To help ensure the safety of participants enrolled in NIH-funded studies, the awardee must provide NIH copies of documents related to all major changes in the status of ongoing protocols.

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, Recipients, 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 laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, religion, conscience, and sex. This includes ensuring programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency. The HHS Office for Civil Rights provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-providers/provider-obligations/index.html and http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/section1557/index.html.

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.

Please contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights for more information about obligations and prohibitions under federal civil rights laws at https://www.hhs.gov/ocr/about-us/contact-us/index.html or call 1-800-368-1019 or TDD 1-800-537-7697.

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 award recipients 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 award recipients for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities may be shared among the award recipients and the NIH as defined below.

The primary responsibility of the PD(s)/PI(s) will be:

  • Determine experimental approaches, design protocols, ensure participant safety, set project milestones, conduct experiments, and analyze and interpret research data.
  • Provide objectives for projects and protocols and costs to the NIH Project Officer (PO) and Project Scientist (PS), at the outset of the award, following re-negotiation of the milestones after the first meeting of the SC and at six-month intervals thereafter, in consultation with the AMP AIM, PO, and PS.
  • Serve as a voting member of the NIC, and participate, along with critical staff, in NIC meetings including two face-to face meetings per year in the Bethesda MD/Washington DC area.
  • Adhere to the AMP AIM guidelines and other policies that might be established, as agreed upon by the NIC, and the PO.
  • Apprise the PO and PS of any potential impediments to execution of the objectives of the project.
  • Ensure that primary and secondary data, protocols, procedures and any other project-derived resources are made available to the AMP AIM (e.g., deposited in a centralized database, as specified by the PO and PS) according to a timeline agreed upon by the NIC and PO.
  • Providing representation on all relevant subcommittees and working groups established by the AMP AIM NIC and the AMP AIM EG. Issues to address in working groups may include participant safety, quality control, pathology, molecular interrogation, pilot studies, publications, intellectual property, data access, etc.
  • Agree not to disclose confidential information obtained from other members of the AMP AIM and agree to the AMP AIM intellectual property agreements, consistent with the terms and conditions of the cooperative agreement awards, applicable regulations, and the policies and practices of the award recipient institutions.
  • Be solely responsible for the timely acquisition of all appropriate proprietary rights, including intellectual property rights, and all materials needed for the award recipient to perform the project.
  • Before, during, and subsequent to the award, the U.S. Government is not required to obtain for the award recipient any proprietary rights, including intellectual property rights, or any materials needed by the award recipient to perform the project.
  • Award recipients will retain custody of and have primary rights to the data and software developed under these awards, subject to Government rights of access consistent with current DHHS, PHS, and NIH policies.

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

NIH Project Scientists (PS)

The role of the PS in the cooperative agreement is to support and encourage the recipient's activities by substantial involvement as partners and facilitators in the process without assuming responsibilities that remain with the PD(s)/PI(s). The PS will:

  • Work closely with the PD(s)/PI(s) and other AMP AIM investigators to facilitate collaborations and to leverage the resources available to the sites and the AMP AIM. They will assist in the integration of the individual DTs, TACs, and RMU sites into a collaborative research project.
  • Monitor progress, help coordinate research approaches, and contribute to the shaping of research projects or approaches as warranted. The PS will support and facilitate this process but will not direct it.
  • Assist in avoiding unnecessary duplication of effort across the AMP AIM and help coordinate collaborative research efforts that involve multiple sites.
  • Keep the PDs/PIs informed about other ongoing studies supported by the NIH to avoid duplication of effort and encourage resource sharing and collaboration. The PS will coordinate access to other NIH resources, as well as assist the research efforts of the AMP AIM by facilitating access to fiscal and intellectual resources provided by industry, private foundations, NIH intramural scientists and other federal government agencies as appropriate.
  • Serve as voting members of the AMP AIM NIC and assist in developing the AMP AIM priorities and research agenda, operating guidelines and consistent policies for dealing with situations that require coordinated action.
  • Retain the option to recommend to the PO the withholding or reduction of support from any cooperative agreement that substantially fails to achieve its objectives according to the milestones agreed to at the time of the award or fails to comply with the Terms and Conditions of the award.
  • Serve as scientific liaison between the award recipients and other NIH program staff.
  • Review and comment on critical stages of the AMP AIM progress.
  • Share opportunities and discuss strategies and potential avenues of collaborations (such as with industry, private foundations and/or NIH intramural scientists).

NIH Program Official (PO)

The PO is responsible for the normal scientific and programmatic stewardship of the award. The PO will:

  • Provide approval for Scale-Up projects.
  • Convene the OSMB.
  • Have the option to recommend, the possible withholding, reduction, or reallocation, as appropriate, of support from any AMP AIM component that substantially fails to achieve its objectives according to the milestones agreed to at the time of the award or fails to comply with the Terms and Conditions of the award, at the appropriate times.
  • Have the option to recommend, an increase in support to engage in further research efforts within the original research scope, as appropriate, for any AMP AIM component exceeding its objectives according to the approved milestones and substantially improving state-of-the-art capabilities, at the appropriate times.
  • Participate in the NIC meetings as non-voting member.
  • Retain the option to recommend, with the advice of the NIH PS, re-allocation of NIH support among award recipients, as scientific objectives evolve.
  • Carry-out continuous review of all activities to ensure objectives are being met.
  • Serve as the official NIH representative in all communication with the SC.

An NIH Grants Management Specialist will be named in the award notice. A Grants Management Official will attend the NIC meetings as a non-voting member.

AMP AIM Network Investigator Committee

Voting members of the NIC may include:

  • The Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PDs/PIs) of each AMP AIM award
  • The NIH Project Scientists (together representing a minority of voting members - not to exceed 1/3 of NIC membership). Other NIH Program staff may attend the meeting as non-voting members.

The NIC will be the primary governing body for all the AMP AIM scientific activities.

Responsibilities of the AMP AIM NIC include:

  • The NIC will convene at least two meetings a year in the Bethesda MD/Washington DC area. The first meeting will be a two-day meeting in December of 2021. Additional regular meetings will be conducted by teleconference or videoconference. Prior to each meeting, teleconference or videoconference, the AMP AIM Chair will prepare an agenda for review and approval, and distribute to members of the NIC. Following these meetings, a list of participants and summary of discussion, action items, and recommendations will be prepared and submitted to the PO by the NIC. Part of these meetings may be open to the public. The Chair may convene additional teleconferences, videoconferences, or electronic reviews to avoid delays in addressing key issues that cannot be evaluated at the regularly scheduled meetings.

The AMP AIM Executive Group will coordinate all projects awarded under the AMP AIM FOAs.

The role of the AMP AIM EG includes:

  • Foster collaboration, synergy and sharing among the AMP AIM sites and investigators.
  • Provide the primary mechanism for interactions with the NIH.
  • Oversee the planning of the AMP AIM scientific activities, including dynamic adjustment as needs and opportunities arise.
  • Guide the development and documentation of the AMP AIM standards and guidelines.
  • Prioritize the use of the AMP AIM resources including systems biology analyses and bioinformatics.
  • Foster partnerships and collaborations that will facilitate the extension of the approach to new technologies and their application to related disease.

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 RPPR, 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, application errors and warnings, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, and post-submission issues)

Finding Help Online: http://grants.nih.gov/support/ (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)

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

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and Workspace)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726
Email: support@grants.gov

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Ricardo Cibotti, Ph.D.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Telephone: (301) 451-5888
Email: ricardo.cibotti@nih.gov

Su-Yau Mao, Ph.D.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Telephone: 301-594-5032
Email:maos2@mail.nih.gov

Yan Wang, M.D., Ph.D.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Telephone: (301) 594-5032
Email: wangy1@mail.nih.gov

Preethi Chander, PhD
National Institute Of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Phone: 301-443-7230
E-mail: preethi.chander@nih.gov

Lisa Begg, Dr.P.H., R.N. 
Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH)
Telephone: 301-496-3975
Email: beggl@od.nih.gov  

John A. Peyman, Ph.D.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Telephone: 240-627-3544
Email: peymanj@niaid.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Kathy Salaita, Sc.D.
National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Telephone: 301-594-5033
Email: Kathy.salaita@nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Stephanie Kreider
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Telephone: 301-402-1691
Email: skreider@mail.nih.gov

Diana Rutberg. MBA
National Institute Of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Phone: (301) 594-4798
E-mail: rutbergd@nih.gov

Jenna Briggs
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Telephone:  301-761-5137
Email:  jenna.briggs@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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