RELEASE DATE:  April 29, 2004
RFA Number:  RFA-CA-05-017

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

(Reissued as RFA-CA-09-504)

EXPIRATION DATE:  July 22, 2004
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

National Institutes of Health (NIH) 

National Cancer Institute (NCI) 



o Purpose of this RFA
o Research Objectives
o Mechanism of Support 
o Funds Available
o Eligible Institutions
o Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators
o Special Requirements 
o Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award
o Where to Send Inquiries
o Letter of Intent
o Submitting an Application
o Peer Review Process
o Review Criteria
o Receipt and Review Schedule
o Award Criteria
o Required Federal Citations


The purpose of this initiative is to support the infrastructure needed to 
ensure the collection of, storage of, and access to high-quality, well-
annotated human specimens collected from and representative of the patient 
populations entered into NCI-funded, phase III clinical treatment trials. The 
advent of powerful molecular technologies and the emergence of targeted 
therapeutics have opened the door to developing more effective and, in some 
cases, individualized treatment of patients with cancer.  Access to specimens 
with associated high-quality clinical, treatment, recurrence, and outcome 
data will be critical to developing and validating the tests needed for 
diagnosis, target identification, and prediction of response to therapy.  
Developing and effectively using cancer interventions based on the 
comprehensive analysis of critical pathways of cancer initiation and 
progression will ultimately require access to specimens from patients treated 
in prospective randomized trials.  High quality banks of uniformly collected 
specimens with validated clinical and outcome data will be essential for 
development and delivery of the new diagnostic and predictive tools that are 
critical to eliminating the suffering and death due to cancer by 2015.  
Groups organizing and carrying out phase III clinical trials are uniquely 
positioned to provide the high quality specimens and have the informative 
clinical data and resources needed to meet this challenging goal.   

This initiative is intended to expand the quantity, quality, 
representativeness and accessibility of specimen collections developed from 
NCI-funded, phase III treatment trials in order to better support cancer 
research needs. Specimen collections from phase III trials provide important 
support for research studies while providing quality control and economies-
of-scale not available from collections of specimens that are assembled 
outside the context of clinical trials.   These specimen collections are 
unique because they have detailed treatment histories, recurrence data, and 
careful follow-ups from patients over long periods of time.  Improving the 
quality and accessibility of specimens from NCI-supported clinical trials 
will facilitate the development of prognostic and predictive markers, 
molecular signatures, identification of therapeutic targets and other 
important translational research studies. 

Objectives and Scope

This initiative is intended to support the activities necessary to operate a 
well-developed bank.   The range of activities that can be covered includes 
support and training for staff to collect and ship specimens from the 
collection sites to the central banks; to oversee receipt of specimens, and 
to process specimens at the central bank, including conducting pathologic 
review and providing histology services.  The initiative can also cover 
support for equipment and supplies, including shipping materials and shipping 
costs, storage costs such as liquid nitrogen for freezers, travel to required 
meetings, informatics to track specimens, and miscellaneous costs such as 
maintenance contracts and subcontracts to participating institutions. 
Additional support can be obtained to cover some of the costs associated with 
review of requests for specimens and data, and retrieval and shipment of 
specimens to researchers and/or return of blocks to the collecting 
institution for patient care or legal requirements.  The costs of organizing 
or operating data centers beyond those incremental costs directly associated 
with transmission of data related to operation of the banks will not be 

At the time that the application is submitted, eligible groups must have 
current NCI funding for conducting phase III cancer clinical trials and have 
one or more operating specimen banks with access to detailed demographic, 
clinical, treatment, and outcome data for the cases (patients) whose 
specimens make up the bank.  

Awardees retain custody and primary rights to specimens and data developed 
under these awards, subject to legally mandated government policies, e.g., 
NCI, NIH, or PHS rights of access, consistent with current DHHS, PHS, and NIH 

A major objective of this initiative is to improve the operation of the banks 
and to assure that there is coordination of banking activities among groups 
conducting trials.   To the extent possible, common collection and storage 
practices should be implemented.  Applicants will be required to agree to 
work with the steering committee (hereafter referred to as the  Group Banking 
Committee [GBC]) to develop policies with milestones for implementation.  The 
GBC activities shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
a. Coordination of activities;
b. Best practices for collection and storage and exchange of specimens;
c. Common data structures for banking and data exchange;
d. Principles for utilization of banked specimens and data;
e. Researcher application and review processes; and
f. Meeting the needs of emerging technologies. 
The GBC will establish a timeline for developing and implementing the 
policies listed, with specific milestones and dates when they are to be 
completed.  Progress will be evaluated annually by the NCI and substantial 
progress will be expected at a rate that will lead to appropriate policies 
and actions by the end of the second year of funding.  Failure to make 
substantial progress will be grounds for discontinuing funding.
This RFA will use the NIH U24 Cooperative Agreement award mechanism for 
Resource-Related Research Projects.  As an applicant, you will be solely 
responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project.  
This RFA is a one-time solicitation.  Future unsolicited, competing-
continuation applications based on this project will compete with all 
investigator-initiated applications and will be reviewed according to the 
customary peer review procedures. The NCI may, at its discretion, reissue 
this RFA for additional future competitions.  The anticipated award date is 
April 2005.
The NIH U24 is a cooperative agreement award mechanism.  In the cooperative 
agreement mechanism, the Principal Investigator (PI) retains the primary 
responsibility and dominant role for planning, directing, and executing the 
proposed project, with NIH staff being substantially involved as a partner 
with the PI, as described under the section "Cooperative Agreement Terms and 
Conditions of Award".
NCI intends to commit approximately $9 million in FY 05 to fund approximately 
nine new awards in response to this RFA. An applicant may request a project 
period of up to 5 years and a budget for total direct costs (including sub-
contractual party, Facilities and Administrative costs) of up to $1.5 million 
per year. Because the nature and scope of the proposed research resource will 
vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and 
duration of each award will also vary. Although the financial plans of the 
NCI provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this RFA are 
contingent upon the availability of funds and the receipt of a sufficient 
number of meritorious applications. 
You may submit (an) application(s) if your organization has all of the 
following characteristics: 
o Public or private institutions, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, 
non-profit organizations and laboratories
o Domestic institution/organization
o Foreign institutions are not eligible to apply.
Organizations responding to this announcement should also:

o Have one or more existing banks of human specimens from Phase III treatment 
trial cases
o Organize and coordinate large phase III cancer treatment trials
o Have current NCI funding for phase III clinical trials.
Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to oversee 
the resource development is invited to work with their institution to develop 
an application for support.  Individuals from under-represented racial and 
ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged 
to apply for NIH programs.   

Applicants are required to agree that if funded they will name three people 
from their group to participate as members of the GBC as described in the 
following section,  Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award.   
They must also agree to abide by the decisions of the GBC and to meet 
milestones developed by the GBC within the established time-lines subject to 
the Arbitration clause in the  Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of 
Award  section.  
Applicants must include funding in their applications for the three members 
from their group to attend the GBC meetings.  They should anticipate that 
there will be three meetings in the first year and two in each subsequent 
year.  Applicants should assume that the first meeting will be in 
Bethesda/Rockville, Maryland and that subsequent meetings will alternate 
among the various participants  repository sites.  For planning purposes, you 
may assume that the meetings in the first year will be Bethesda/Rockville, 
Maryland, one on the west coast and one on the east coast. You may plan on 
one west coast and one east coast meeting for each subsequent year.
Applicants must agree to provide information about their specimen and data 
collections to the NCI Tissue Expediter after receipt of this award and on a 
regular basis thereafter.  This information will be required at least once 
annually. (This information can be sent electronically to ) 
The information will be used to facilitate possible collaborations with 
appropriate researchers.
Applicants must establish policies to make appropriate patient demographic, 
clinical, outcome and treatment data available to users of the specimen bank.  
Data policies can and in most cases should be, in collaboration with group 
statisticians and other participants in the clinical trial(s) in which the 
specimens were collected.
Awardees must also collect and report as part of their non-competing 
application: the information listed in section 3 of the  Cooperative 
Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award  section.
These special Terms of Award are in addition to and not in lieu of otherwise 
applicable OMB administrative guidelines, HHS Grant Administration 
Regulations at 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92, and other HHS, PHS, and NIH Grant 
Administration policy statements.  (Part 92 applies when state and local 
governments are eligible to apply as a "domestic organization.")
The administrative and funding instrument used for this program is a U24 
Resource-Related Research Project Cooperative Agreement, an "assistance" 
mechanism (rather than an "acquisition" mechanism) in which substantial NIH 
scientific and/or programmatic involvement with the awardee is anticipated 
during performance of the activity.  Under the cooperative agreement, the NIH 
purpose is to support and/or stimulate the recipient's activity by 
involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the award recipient in a 
partner role, but it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a 
dominant role in the activity.  Consistent with this concept, the dominant 
role, and prime responsibility for the activity resides with the awardee(s) 
for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities in 
carrying out the funded activities will be shared among the awardees and the 
NCI Project Coordinators.
1.  Awardee Rights and Responsibilities
The PI is responsible for implementing bank operating policies developed by 
the GBC.  The PI is also responsible for overseeing the activities of the 
group’s representatives to the GBC.  This responsibility includes 
implementing policies, objectives, and approaches developed by the Group 
Banking Committee in areas such as defined best practices or operating 
policies, marketing the banks, access procedures, fiscal arrangements such as 
setting charges for the use of bank specimens, and quality assurance measures 
for all aspects of the operation of the banks.  The PI must also assure that 
designated banked tissues remain available and that the relevant clinical 
data are obtainable in accordance with the policies developed by the Group 
Banking Committee.
2.  NCI Staff Responsibilities

One NCI scientist (Project Coordinator) will be assigned to participate as a 
voting member of the GBC.  The Project Coordinator will have substantial 
scientific-programmatic involvement during conduct of this activity, through 
technical assistance, advice, and coordination above and beyond normal 
program stewardship for the award. The Associate Director of the Cancer 
Diagnosis Program or a designee shall appoint the Project Coordinator.  The 
NCI Project Coordinator will have voting membership on the GBC, and on any 
subcommittees of the Group Banking Committee.  The NCI Project Coordinator 
will have the additional responsibility of coordinating activities of the GBC 
between meetings.  The NCI Project Coordinator will work closely with the 
Chair of the GBC (who cannot be the NCI representative) to develop agendas 
and monitor progress toward developing policies and milestones and adhering 
to the time-lines set by the Committee.  The Project Coordinator will also 
provide technical advice in the development of best practices for collection, 
processing, storage, retrieval, and shipping of specimens and the development 
of appropriate processes for assuring access to the banked specimens, legal 
and ethical issues such as implementation of the DHHS Health Information 
Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule, the  common rule  
(45 CFR 46) and Institutional Review Board (IRB) interactions, as well as 
other issues for which the GBC will develop policies.  Other NCI staff will 
be asked to attend meetings to ensure that the necessary areas of expertise 
are represented, but they will not be designated as voting members of the 
An NCI program director will be assigned and be responsible for normal 
program stewardship for the award.  The program director may also serve as 
the Project Coordinator.
3.  Collaborative Responsibilities
The cooperative agreements (U24) will require cooperation between the NCI 
representative (the NCI Project Coordinator) and members of the GBC 
(described below) to assure the success of the project and to ensure smooth 
interactions among the cooperating organizations.  The NCI Project 
Coordinator participates as a voting member of the GBC and assists in 
coordinating the activities of the awardees and facilitating communications.  
Each cooperating organization has one vote on the GBC.  The Chair of the GBC 
is responsible for developing agendas, ensuring progress, facilitating 
cooperation among participants, and chairing meetings.  These 
responsibilities are described more fully below.
Group Banking Committee

The GBC, the steering committee for the project, consists of up to three 
representatives appointed by the principal investigator of each cooperative 
agreement and the NCI Project Coordinator.  While each group may have up to 
three members, they will have only one vote on the Committee.  The GBC as the 
main governing board of the project will be primarily responsible for 
developing policies for the participating banks.  Policies will be reviewed 
and implemented by the PI for each award. The Committee will be composed of 
three representatives from each participating organization (one voting 
member) and the NCI Project Coordinator.  The chairperson, who will be 
someone other than an NCI staff member, will be selected by the GBC.   
Subcommittees may be established by the GBC as appropriate and the NCI 
participants may serve on any subcommittees that they deem appropriate. 

a).  The GBC will develop policies with milestones for implementation.  These 
policies shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

i). Coordination of activities;

ii). Best practices for collection and storage of specimens;

iii). Common data structures for banking;

iv). Utilization of banked specimens and data;

v). Researcher application and review processes; and

vi). Meeting the needs of emerging technologies

b). The GBC will determine the format in which information must be reported 
in the non-competing (Type 5) grant progress report (PHS 2590).  Information 
shall include, but not be limited to the following:

i). Marketing of the resource;

ii). The number of requests received (report total numbers, and separately 
list the number of requests from investigators not served previously and 
those from investigators outside your institution, cooperative group, or 
cancer center);

iii). The number of investigators who received specimens (report total 
numbers, and separately list the number of investigators not served 
previously and the number of investigators from outside your group);

iv). The number and types of specimens provided to researchers; and

v). The study from which the requested specimens were collected.

c).Awardees must agree to name three representatives to the GBC and to ensure 
that at least two representatives are present at each meeting.  
Representatives are charged with keeping the PI apprised of the policies 
under discussion and representing any concerns of the PI back to the 

d).The NCI will provide one member to the GBC who will be full participants 
in all deliberations and help coordinate the group between meetings.

e).The GBC will meet three times in the first year and at least twice 
annually thereafter on a date and time agreed upon by the membership.

f).Awardees must come to agreement on policies recommended by the GBC and 
implement those policies.

4.  Arbitration
Any disagreement that may arise on scientific/programmatic matters (within 
the scope of the award) between award recipients and the NCI may be brought 
to arbitration.  An arbitration panel will be composed of three members: one 
selected by the GBC (with the NCI members not voting) or by the individual 
awardee in the event of an individual disagreement, a second member selected 
by NCI, and the third member selected by the two previously selected members. 
This special arbitration procedure in no way affects the awardee's right to 
appeal an adverse action that is otherwise appealable in accordance with the 
PHS regulations at 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D and DHHS regulation at 45 CFR 
Part 16.
We encourage inquiries concerning this RFA and welcome the opportunity to 
answer questions from potential applicants.  Inquiries may fall into three 
areas:  scientific/research, peer review, and financial or grants management 
o Direct your questions about scientific/research issues to:
Roger L. Aamodt, Ph.D. 
Resources Development Branch, 
Cancer Diagnosis Program
National Cancer Institute
Executive Plaza North, Room 6035A
6130 Executive Boulevard, EPN Room 6035A, MSC 7420
Bethesda MD 20892-7240 
Rockville, MD 20850 (for express/courier service) 
Telephone: (301) 496-7147
FAX: (301) 402-7819
o Direct your questions about peer review issues to:
Referral Officer
National Cancer Institute
Division of Extramural Activities
6116 Executive Boulevard, Room 8041, MSC 8329
Bethesda, MD 20892-8329
Rockville, MD 20852 (for express/courier service)
Telephone: (301) 496-3428
FAX: (301) 402-0275 
o Direct your questions about financial or grants management matters to:
April Winegar
Grants Administration Branch 
National Cancer Institute
Fairview Center Building, Suite 300
1003 West 7th Street
Frederick, MD 21701-4106
Telephone:  (301) 846-6832
FAX:  (301) 846-5720
Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes 
the following information:
o Descriptive title of the proposed research
o Name, address, and telephone number of the Principal Investigator
o Names of other key personnel 
o Participating institutions
o Number and title of this RFA.
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 NCI staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan 
the review.
The letter of intent is to be sent by the date listed at the beginning of 
this document.  The letter of intent should be sent to:
Roger L. Aamodt, Ph.D. 
Resources Development Branch, 
Cancer Diagnosis Program
National Cancer Institute
6130 Executive Boulevard, EPN Room 6035A, MSC 7420
Bethesda MD 20892-7240 
Rockville, MD 20850 (for express/courier service) 
Telephone: (301) 496-7147
FAX: (301) 402-7819
Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application 
instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001). Applications must have a Dun and 
Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as the 
Universal Identifier when applying for Federal grants or cooperative 
agreements.  The DUNS number can be obtained by calling (866) 705-5711 or 
through the web site at The DUNS number 
should be entered on line 11 of the face page of the PHS 398 form. The PHS 
398 document is available at in an interactive 
format.  For further assistance, contact GrantsInfo; Telephone: (301) 710-0267; Email:
USING THE RFA LABEL: The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) 
application form must be affixed to the bottom of the face page of the 
application.  Type the RFA number on the label.  Failure to use this label 
could result in delayed processing of the application such that it may not 
reach the review committee in time for review.  In addition, the RFA title 
and number must be typed on line 2 of the face page of the application form 
and the YES box must be marked. The RFA label is also available at:
SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH: Submit a signed, typewritten original of 
the application, including the Checklist, and three signed, photocopies, in 
one package to:
   Center for Scientific Review
   National Institutes of Health
   6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710
   Bethesda, MD  20892-7710
   Bethesda, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)
At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application and all 
five copies of the appendix material must be sent to:

Referral Officer
National Cancer Institute
Division of Extramural Activities
6116 Executive Boulevard, Room 8041, MSC 8329
Bethesda, MD 20892-8329
Rockville, MD  20852 (for express/courier service)

Appendices should be comprised of unbound materials, with separators between 
WILL NO LONGER BE ACCEPTED.  This policy does not apply to courier deliveries 
(i.e., FEDEX, UPS, DHL, etc.) 
This policy is similar to and consistent with the policy for applications 
addressed to Centers for Scientific Review as published in the NIH Guide 
Notice (See
APPLICATION PROCESSING: Applications must be received by the application 
receipt date listed in the heading of this RFA.  If an application is 
received after that date, it will be returned to the applicant without 
Although there is no immediate acknowledgement of the receipt of an 
application, applicants are generally notified of the review and funding 
assignment within 8 weeks.
The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept any application in 
response to this RFA that is essentially the same as one currently pending 
initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending application.  
However, when a previously unfunded application, originally submitted as an 
investigator-initiated application, is to be submitted in response to an RFA, 
it is to be prepared as a NEW application. That is, the application for the 
RFA must not include an Introduction describing the changes and improvements 
made, and the text must not be marked to indicate the changes from the 
previous unfunded version of the application.
Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR and 
responsiveness by the NCI.  Incomplete and/or non-responsive applications 
will not be reviewed.
Applications that are complete and responsive to the RFA will be evaluated 
for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group 
convened by the Division of Extramural Activities of the NCI in accordance 
with the review criteria stated below.  As part of the initial merit review, 
all applications will:
o Undergo a process in which only those applications deemed to have the 
highest scientific merit, generally the top half of the applications under 
review, will be discussed and assigned a priority score
o Receive a written critique
o Receive a second level review by the National Cancer Advisory Board.
The goal of NIH-supported human specimen resources is to facilitate research 
that advances the understanding of biological systems, improves the control 
of disease, and enhances health. In the written comments reviewers will be 
asked to evaluate the application in order to judge the likelihood that the 
proposed resource would have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these 
goals.  The scientific review group will address and consider each of these 
criteria in assigning the application’s overall score, weighting them as 
appropriate for each application.   
o Significance 
o Approach 
o Innovation
o Investigator
o Environment
The application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged 
likely to have major scientific impact and thus deserve an improved priority 
score. For example, an investigator may propose to carry out important work 
that by its nature is not innovative but is essential to move a field 
SIGNIFICANCE:  Does the proposed resource address the overall goals and 
objectives of the RFA?  Does the proposed resource address an important 
scientific need?  Is that need adequately justified?  Could the need have 
been easily satisfied in other ways?  Will the resource support and 
facilitate progress in the field? 

APPROACH: Are the conceptual framework, design, methods and implementation 
plans for the resource adequately developed, well integrated and appropriate 
to the aims of the project?  Are plans described for appropriate quality 
control of the resource? Are plans for participation in the Group Banking 
Committee and for cooperation with the other members of the project adequate? 
Are plans presented for continued cooperation and coordination among 
participating awardees and the NCI?

INNOVATION:  Does this application propose a resource not otherwise available 
to the researcher users?  Has the applicant proposed improved methods, such 
as more effective means of collection from distributed sites, improved 
practices for specimen processing and transfer of specimens, specimen 
tracking and/or encouraging utilization of the resource? 

INVESTIGATORS:  Are the qualifications of the resource leader(s) and key 
personnel well suited to organize and maintain the resource, maintain quality 
control and equitable access, and manage record keeping? Is the relationship 
between the PI and the resource leaders clearly defined?

Does the environment contribute to the probability of success? Are the 
facilities and equipment for the resource adequate? Does the proposed 
resource take advantage of unique features of the organizational environment? 
In addition to the above criteria, the following items will be considered in 
the determination of scientific merit and the priority score:
subjects and protections from research risk relating to their participation 
in the proposed research will be assessed. (See criteria included in the 
section on Federal Citations, below).
plans to include subjects from both genders, all racial and ethnic groups 
(and subgroups), and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the 
research.  Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be 
evaluated. (See Inclusion Criteria in the sections on Federal Citations, 
Sharing Research Data 

Applicants requesting more than $500,000 in direct costs in any year of the 
proposed research must include a data sharing plan in their application. The 
reviewers will assess the reasonableness of the data sharing plan or the 
rationale for not sharing research data. However, reviewers will not factor 
the proposed data sharing plan into the determination of scientific merit or 
priority score. 
BUDGET:  The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period 
of support in relation to the proposed research.
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: June 21, 2004
Application Receipt Date: July 21, 2004
Peer Review Date: October/November 2004
Council Review: February 2005
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: April 2005
Award criteria that will be used to make award decisions include:
o scientific merit (as determined by peer review)
o availability of funds
o programmatic priorities
HUMAN SUBJECTS PROTECTION: Federal regulations (45CFR46) require that 
applications and proposals involving human subjects must be evaluated with 
reference to the risks to the subjects, the adequacy of protection against 
these risks, the potential benefits of the research to the subjects and 
others, and the importance of the knowledge gained or to be gained.  See
DATA AND SAFETY MONITORING PLAN:  Data and safety monitoring is required for 
all types of clinical trials, including physiologic, toxicity, and dose-
finding studies (phase I); efficacy studies (phase II); efficacy, 
effectiveness and comparative trials (phase III).  The establishment of data 
and safety monitoring boards (DSMBs) is required for multi-site clinical 
trials involving interventions that entail potential risk to the 
participants. (NIH Policy for Data and Safety Monitoring, NIH Guide for 
Grants and Contracts, June 12, 1998:  
Clinical trials supported or performed by NCI require special considerations.  
The method and degree of monitoring should be commensurate with the degree of 
risk involved in participation and the size and complexity of the clinical 
trial.  Monitoring exists on a continuum from monitoring by the principal 
investigator/project manager or NCI program staff or a Data and Safety 
Monitoring Board (DSMB).  These monitoring activities are distinct from the 
requirement for study review and approval by an Institutional review Board 
(IRB).  For details about the Policy for the NCI for Data and Safety 
Monitoring of Clinical trials, see  For Phase I and II 
clinical trials, investigators must submit a general description of the data 
and safety monitoring plan as part of the research application.  For 
additional information see NIH Guide Notice on "Further Guidance on a Data 
and Safety Monitoring for Phase I and II Trials" at  
Information concerning essential elements of data safety monitoring plans for 
clinical trials funded by the NCI is available:
SHARING RESEARCH DATA:  Investigators submitting an NIH application seeking 
more than $500,000 or more in direct costs in any single year are expected to 
include a plan for data sharing 
( or state why this is not 
possible.  Investigators should seek guidance from their institutions, on 
issues related to institutional policies, local IRB rules, as well as local, 
state and Federal laws and regulations, including the Privacy Rule. Reviewers 
will consider the data sharing plan but will not factor the plan into the 
determination of the scientific merit or the priority score.
the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their sub-populations 
must be included in all NIH-supported clinical research projects unless a 
clear and compelling justification is provided indicating that inclusion is 
inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of 
the research. This policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 
(Section 492B of Public Law 103-43).
All investigators proposing clinical research should read the "NIH Guidelines 
for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research - 
Amended, October, 2001," published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts 
on October 9, 2001 
a complete copy of the updated Guidelines are available at
The amended policy incorporates: the use of an NIH definition of clinical 
research; updated racial and ethnic categories in compliance with the new OMB 
standards; clarification of language governing NIH-defined Phase III clinical 
trials consistent with the new PHS Form 398; and updated roles and 
responsibilities of NIH staff and the extramural community.  The policy 
continues to require for all NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials that: (a) 
all applications or proposals and/or protocols must provide a description of 
plans to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by 
sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable; 
and (b) investigators must report annual accrual and progress in conducting 
analyses, as appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group 
The NIH maintains a policy that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 
21) must be included in all human subjects research, conducted or supported 
by the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include 
All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
"NIH Policy and Guidelines" on the inclusion of children as participants in 
research involving human subjects that is available at
policy requires education on the protection of human subject participants for 
all investigators submitting NIH proposals for research involving human 
subjects.  You will find this policy announcement in the NIH Guide for Grants 
and Contracts Announcement, dated June 5, 2000, at  A 
continuing education program in the protection of human participants in 
research is available online at
HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS (hESC): Criteria for federal funding of research 
on hESCs can be found at and at  Only 
research using hESC lines that are registered in the NIH Human Embryonic Stem 
Cell Registry will be eligible for Federal funding (see   
It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide in the project 
description and elsewhere in the application as appropriate, the official NIH 
identifier(s) for the hESC line (s) to be used in the proposed research.  
Applications that do not provide this information will be returned without 

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to 
provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act 
(FOIA) under some circumstances.  Data that are (1) first produced in a 
project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) 
cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action 
that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed 
through FOIA.  It is important for applicants to understand the basic scope 
of this amendment.  NIH has provided guidance at
Applicants may wish to place data collected under this RFA in a public 
archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the 
distribution for an indefinite period of time.  If so, the application should 
include a description of the archiving plan in the study design and include 
information about this in the budget justification section of the 
application. In addition, applicants should think about how to structure 
informed consent statements and other human subjects procedures given the 
potential for wider use of data collected under this award.
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued final modification to 
the "Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information", 
the "Privacy Rule," on August 14, 2002.  The Privacy Rule is a federal 
regulation under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act 
(HIPAA) of 1996 that governs the protection of individually identifiable 
health information, and is administered and enforced by the DHHS Office for 
Civil Rights (OCR).  
Decisions about applicability and implementation of the Privacy Rule reside 
with the researcher and his/her institution. The OCR website 
( provides information on the Privacy Rule, including 
a complete Regulation Text and a set of decision tools on "Am I a covered 
entity?"  Information on the impact of the HIPAA Privacy Rule on NIH 
processes involving the review, funding, and progress monitoring of grants, 
cooperative agreements, and research contracts can be found at
URLs IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES: All applications and proposals 
for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page limitations. 
Unless otherwise specified in an NIH solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) 
should not be used to provide information necessary to the review because 
reviewers are under no obligation to view the Internet sites.   Furthermore, 
we caution reviewers that their anonymity may be compromised when they 
directly access an Internet site.
HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010: The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to 
achieving the health promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy 
People 2010," a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas. This 
RFA is related to one or more of the priority areas. Potential applicants may 
obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at
AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS: This program is described in the Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance at and is not subject to the 
intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health 
Systems Agency review.  Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 
301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 
284)(cite appropriate authorizations) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 
and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92. All awards are subject to the terms and 
conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH 
Grants Policy Statement.  The NIH Grants Policy Statement can be found at 
The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free 
workplace and discourage the use of all tobacco products.  In addition, 
Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in 
certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which 
regular or routine education, library, day care, health care, or early 
childhood development services are provided to children.  This is consistent 
with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of 
the American people.

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