National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on these dates. No late applications will be accepted for this Funding Opportunity Announcement.
Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.
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.
This funding opportunity is being offered as part of the NIH’s Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) initiative to speed scientific solutions to the national opioid public health crisis. The NIH HEAL Initiative will bolster research across NIH to (1) improve treatment for opioid misuse and addiction and (2) enhance pain management. More information about the HEAL Initiative is available at: https://www.nih.gov/research-training/medical-research-initiatives/heal-initiative.
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites applications from clinical investigators to participate in the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN). NIDA intends to expand research capacity and continue to develop and test interventions for management of the wide spectrum of substance use problems via collaborative partnerships among NIDA, clinical research investigators, healthcare providers, and institutions. The emphasis of this FOA is to: 1) increase the Network’s scientific and clinical research capabilities, and 2) better cover geographic regions across the United States, particularly in regions highly impacted by the opioid overdose epidemic.
NIDA’s CTN was established in 1999 to bridge the gap between research and practice to improve treatment of substance use disorders (SUD) nationwide. The CTN seeks to address critical research questions with direct relevance to clinical practice and the needs of patients. Over the last two decades, the CTN’s research infrastructure and agenda have evolved to reflect the changing landscape of the SUD treatment community, transformation of health care systems, and emerging scientific advancements. The CTN has been engaging providers in general medical settings and healthcare systems, and in 2015 the Network built upon and expanded its research portfolio encouraging adoption of innovative bioinformatics approaches, new technology, and "learning healthcare system" principles to enhance the efficiency of SUD clinical research and clinical care.
The CTN currently is comprised of 13 research Nodes that serve as research and training centers, with numerous collaborating healthcare organizations or clinical research sites, and two coordinating centers. The CTN program is administered within NIDA through the Center for the Clinical Trials Network (CCTN). The ongoing opioid epidemic and overdose death crisis present a critical public health need to expeditiously augment the CTN research portfolio to enhance treatment options and improve the quality of opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment. NIDA has decided to expand the CTN infrastructure and research portfolio to address and enhance every stage of the cascade of care for OUD. This includes screening and diagnosis of OUD among those affected; linkage to care among those diagnosed with OUD; opioid agonist, partial agonist, or antagonist medication initiation among those entering care; retention for at least six months among those who initiate medication; and relapse prevention or remission among those retained in care. Research on prevention and early intervention for unhealthy opioid use/misuse is also a high priority. Research on prevention and reversal of opioid overdose in the community and emergency departments is another top priority. This expansion would enhance the CTN’s ability to use cutting-edge research designs, methods, and data resources, consistent with National Academy of Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine) recommendations for the conduct of clinical research. For example, addition of Nodes with expertise in clinical data science and informatics would bolster the CTN’s capacity to conduct pragmatic studies embedded in clinical practice that will inform care. Additional Nodes located in geographic regions severely affected by the opioid epidemic would allow greater reach and impact of research across the country.
Through this targeted augmentation of the CTN research infrastructure, NIDA proposes to build on the broad portfolio of research that has been conducted in the CTN to: 1) further investigate the use of mobile health technology and other digital tools as well as telemedicine, hub and spoke, and collaborative care models to optimize evidence-based treatment for OUD and improve all steps in cascade of care for OUD, 2) conduct implementation research studies to improve adoption of evidence-based practices, and 3) conduct studies to test innovative care delivery models such as Bridge clinics, patient navigation models, primary care-pharmacy partnerships, patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs), and streamlined admission to treatment to ensure patients receive continuous care to prevent relapse and enhance recovery.
This initiative would build upon the existing NIDA CTN to support 3 – 4 new Nodes that would enhance the Network’s capacity to nimbly respond to urgent public health needs and bring the power of science to bear to reduce morbidity and mortality from opioid misuse and OUD. Successful Nodes will have core faculty with research expertise in addiction medicine, large multi-site clinical trials, and bioinformatics; familiarity with state-level SUD treatment policies; and demonstrated active and ongoing collaboration with health systems and/or research networks in rural and underserved areas.
Desirable features of new Nodes include the following: 1) an experienced SUD treatment expert as the Node PI, 2) ability to engage patients in geographic hot spots of the opioid epidemic, 3) involvement in current state-wide or state-led initiatives to improve access to high quality SUD treatment, 4) history of utilization of implementation science tools and constructs and capacity to conduct implementation research and hybrid implementation-effectiveness research that would have significant direct public health impact, 5) ability to leverage advanced digital technology such as mobile health tools and electronic health record systems (EHR), and 6) ability to conduct research embedded in clinical care that utilizes pragmatic research designs, leverages existing clinical staff, and evaluates interventions or strategies that can be sustainably implemented in rural and other settings that are under-resourced yet highly impacted by the opioid epidemic.
The focus of this FOA is to expand CTN expertise and resources to address SUD in general and the opioid epidemic specifically. Applications responsive to this FOA should address pressing clinical problems in OUD treatment in general medical settings, specialty care settings, and/or other healthcare settings in accordance with the specific objectives and research topics outlined below. Incomplete and/or non-responsive applications will be withdrawn prior to review.
Test strategies for the integration of OUD prevention and treatment into general medical settings (such as in primary care, emergency care, and HIV and other infectious disease settings) including strategies linking general medical settings to SUD specialty care settings or vice versa;
Evaluate comprehensive OUD treatment models that address co-occurring medical and mental health conditions;
Evaluate eHealth and other innovative technologies for improving OUD treatment;
Promote use of learning healthcare system principles and practices through research conducted in the CTN that embeds research in clinical care and leverages electronic health record data and existing datasets;
Ensure that OUD treatment research encompasses the full spectrum of people affected by SUDs, including racial and ethnic minorities, women, children, adolescents, underserved populations, and other special populations;
Generate evidence that will inform and support healthcare policy decisions and clinical guidelines in healthcare settings.
Priority Research Topics
NIDA’s priorities for treatment research topics vary over time, largely in response to public health needs, substance use trends, and other related changes in medical and societal problems, governmental legislation and institutional policies. It is necessary to seize new research opportunities brought about by scientific discoveries and changes in healthcare practices, clinical infrastructures, and research funding. Examples of high priority research topics include, but are not limited to:
Organization of the CTN
Nodes: The Node is the functional unit within the CTN and resides within the grantee institution of the cooperative agreement award. The Node:
Specifically, the Node will be responsible for:
Research Agenda: Nodes develop research concepts for potential CTN research projects in close partnership with the clinical and research personnel within its Node, NIDA, and colleagues across the CTN. Nodes submit research proposals to the Research Development Committee (RDC, a subcommittee of the CTN Steering Committee) for discussion and review.
Each collaborating research organization/site agrees to:
Training Agenda: The CTN structure provides many opportunities for pre-doctoral, post-doctoral and junior faculty researchers to gain valuable experience in designing, participating in, and managing complex clinical trials and other clinical studies.
Principal Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)). Nodes are led by the PD(s)/PI(s), who should be able to make a substantive and long-term commitment of effort to CTN responsibilities. The PD(s)/PI(s) are responsible for all projects conducted within their Node.
Center for the Clinical Trials Network (CCTN). The organization within NIDA responsible for the scientific collaboration, administrative oversight, and operational management of the CTN research program.
Data and Statistics Center. The entity established under a contract awarded by NIDA to provide data management and analysis systems as required to implement and support standards established by NIDA's CCTN. The major tasks of the DSC are to:
Clinical Coordinating Center. The entity established under a contract awarded by NIDA to provide certain resources and services for CTN clinical trials and other clinical studies, including support for regulatory requirements and oversight functions mandated by NIH and DHHS. The major tasks of the CCC are to:
CTN Steering Committee. The Steering Committee (SC) constitutes the primary governing body of the CTN, with representation from each of the Nodes, NIDA, the CTN Clinical Coordinating Center, and the CTN Data and Statistics Center. The SC uses both established and ad hoc committees and workgroups (e.g., Research Development Committee, Publications Committee) to assist in carrying out its functions. The SC meets in person at least annually, and via webinars as the need arises.
Public Law 115-141, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 (signed March 23, 2018) includes a requirement that grantees from for-profit applicant organizations must provide a 50% match and/or in-kind contribution of all federally awarded dollars under the grant award (direct costs, as well as facilities and administrative costs) for research related to opioid addiction, development of opioid alternatives, pain management and addiction treatment.
Matching Requirement: A grantee from a for-profit organization funded under this funding opportunity announcement must match funds or provide documented in-kind contributions at a rate of not less than 50% of the total-Federally awarded amount, as stipulated by Public Law 115-141, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018.The applicant will be required to demonstrate that matching funds and/or in-kind contributions are committed or available at the time of, and for the duration of, the award. Applications must identify the source and amount of funds proposed to meet the matching requirement and how the value for in-kind contributions was determined. All matching funds and/or in-kind contributions must be used for the portion of allowable project costs not paid by Federal funds under the grant award. NIH will not be the recipient, nor serve as a pass-through entity, of any such matching funds and/or in-kind contributions required under this announcement. See 45 CFR 75.306 for additional details.
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.
The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.
Higher Education Institutions
The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:
Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education
Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.
Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s))
All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account. PD(s)/PI(s) should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate their existing account with the applicant organization in eRA Commons. If the PD/PI is also the organizational Signing Official, they must have two distinct eRA Commons accounts, one for each role. Obtaining an eRA Commons account can take up to 2 weeks.
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.
For grantees from a for-profit organization, this FOA does require cost sharing, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. More information on cost matching requirements is in Section IV.2 R&R or Modular Budget
The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time. This means that the NIH will not accept:
Buttons to access the online ASSIST system or to download application forms are available in Part 1 of this FOA. See your administrative office for instructions if you plan to use an institutional system-to-system solution.
For information on Application Submission and Receipt, visit Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.
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:
The letter of intent should be sent to: NIDALetterofIntent@mail.nih.gov
Applicants are encouraged to send the letter of intent by email to the email address above but as an alternative, the letter may also be sent to:
Office of Extramural Policy and Review
National Institute on Drug Abuse/NIH/DHHS
6001 Executive Boulevard, Suite 4243, MSC 9550
Bethesda, MD 20892-9550
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
If an award is made, applicants will propose studies and protocol budgets for future protocols to be conducted in the CTN. Annual negotiated protocol budgets will consist of specific protocol-related allowances (protocol costs) and will be awarded as such. Nodes participating in specific projects will be required to project patient enrollment for a specific protocol during a specified time frame. Federal agencies shall use the negotiated rates for F&A costs in effect at the time of the initial award throughout each competitive cycle of the project. Supplemental funding will be considered for research costs for participation in protocols in excess of annual awards.
Cost matching or documented in-kind contributions is required for for-profit organizations responding to this FOA. The for-profit awardee is required to match funds or provide documented in-kind contributions at a rate of not less than 50% of the total-Federally awarded amount (direct costs, as well as facilities and administrative costs), as stipulated by Public Law 115-141, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018.
Federal funds may not be used as a source of matching funds. Generally, cost matching requirements may not be met from the following sources:
a) Costs borne by another Federal grant or sub award;
b) Costs or contributions toward cost sharing on another Federal grant, a Federal procurement contract, or any other award of Federal funds;
c) Cost of services or property financed by income earned by contractors under a contract from the recipient (or sub recipient);
(d) Program income; and
(e) Patient incentives.The for-profit organization will be required to demonstrate that matching funds and/or in-kind contributions are committed or available at the time of, and for the duration of, the award. Applicants must submit budgets that clearly document the total costs, the source and amount of matching funds, and how valuation was determined in the case of in-kind contributions, as well as the Federal and Institutional (non-Federal) components of the budget. All matching funds and/or in-kind contributions must be used for the portion of allowable project costs not paid by Federal funds under the grant award. NIH will not be the recipient, nor serve as a pass-through entity, of any such matching funds and/or in-kind contributions required under this announcement. See 45 CFR 75.306 for additional details.
Budget Justification: All for-profit applicants must document the matching (non-Federal) component and the federal (non-matching) component in the total project budget. That is, the requested budget plus the cost-matching budget must be detailed in tabular format to document the cost-matching (non-Federal) component and the federal (non-cost matching) component. The amount of matching is subject to adjustment based on total allowable costs incurred. All costs and contributions used to satisfy the matching requirement must be documented by the recipient, including how the value for in-kind contributions was determined, and are subject to audit. The cost matching requirement is not negotiable for for-profit organizations.
Successful Nodes will have core faculty with research expertise in addiction medicine, large multi-site clinical trials, and bioinformatics; familiarity with state-level SUD treatment policies; and demonstrated active and ongoing collaboration with health systems and/or research networks in rural and underserved areas. The research plan must include the following features of collaborating sites and research networks: 1) capacity to support large-scale trials of treatment and prevention interventions to answer important OUD health research questions, 2) collaboration with health systems and settings that can embed research in clinical care and cover the costs of healthcare that would be given to the patient whether or not the patient participates in CTN-sponsored research, 3) ability to use electronic health record system (EHRs) data collected within typical clinical visits to simplify clinical trial implementation, including the identification, assessment, monitoring, and follow-up of SUD patients, and, 4) willingness to participate in collaborative studies with data sharing as part of a national clinical research infrastructure.
Proposed research sites must have previous experience and success in conducting multi-site clinical trials. Applicants should provide evidence of the ability of the individual site or center to: (1) enroll the proposed numbers; (2) adhere to the protocol; (3) collect and transmit data in an accurate and timely fashion; and, (4) operate within the proposed organizational structure.
Node organizational structure and potential investigators should be described. The capacity to expand, as needed, for the conduct of specific scientific projects and related activities should be described. Applicants are encouraged to describe novel approaches or methodologies for improving efficiency of implementing pragmatic trials in the CTN. The application should describe mechanisms for leveraging novel, effective collaboration and study oversight strategies in rural and/or underserved settings. Applicants are encouraged to use existing Federal and other resources (e.g., CTSAs, practice-based research networks, administrative databases or patient registries) to increase study efficiencies.
Applicants should provide a detailed description of a research agenda likely to have substantial public health significance or clinical practice impact and consistent with the goals and objectives of this FOA (see Section 1., Priority Research Topics), which could be carried out to take advantage of the unique capabilities of the CTN. Applicants should describe how the communities served by organizations in their proposed Node have been impacted by the opioid epidemic. Applicants must cite specific measures and their data sources to justify the impact of opioids such as overdose deaths per capita and/or rates of OUD . The proposed research agenda is not meant to be limited to the description of a single study; rather it must encompass a broader set of research ideas that address current public health needs relevant to the opioid epidemic and describe how knowledge gaps would be filled if the agenda were to be accomplished. It should include high priority projects that will provide needed evidence to help decision makers and providers in health care settings and patients/caregivers make better-informed decisions. The proposed research agenda should describe critical research questions that the applicant asserts must be addressed to advance scientific knowledge and have an impact on curtailing opioid related morbidity and mortality. The application should highlight how the rationale/premise of the research agenda or studies proposed is based on previous well-designed preclinical and/or clinical research.
The application should include a discussion of the relevance and feasibility of the proposed research agenda to the treatment field, research methods that might be used, patient populations that might be studied, cost-efficiencies, potential for implementation and adoption by health care systems, and how potential findings would lead to changes in clinical practice. The discussion should also address how the applicant proposes to work collaboratively at all levels (including with other network members and NIDA) to advance the research agenda. This research agenda is not expected to be a detailed concept for a research protocol, and the proposed research agenda will not necessarily be conducted in the CTN; however, the proposed vision for a CTN research agenda could constitute one source of research ideas to be considered during the project period. Each of the specific research areas within the proposed agenda should include: scientific rationale and significance, main research questions; explanation of reliance on electronic health records (if applicable), feasibility for execution in the CTN; public health impact; and plans for dissemination and implementation of findings.
History of Collaboration
Applicants must describe any relevant collaborative research activity undertaken between the applicant institution and the proposed healthcare organizations (or healthcare system networks). Contributions and collaborations in areas such as protocol design, study recruitment, data analysis and interpretation, publication and dissemination should be highlighted. Documentation of recruitment and retention rates in clinical trials should be provided.
Population Available for Clinical Trials
Applicants must describe populations who are available to them in state(s) highly impacted by the opioid epidemic. Investigators must demonstrate the ability to recruit and retain diverse participants, including racial and ethnic minorities and women, from populations served by their proposed healthcare providers. Potential challenges and corresponding solutions should be discussed (e.g., strategies that can be implemented in the event of enrollment shortfalls).
Letters of Support
Applications indicating opportunities to conduct research in multiple types of medical settings and healthcare organizations are preferred. Letters of support from all healthcare organizations outside of the awardee institution with whom the applicant desires to collaborate in conducting CTN-sponsored research should be included. These letters should summarize the organizations' research experience and demonstrate their capacity to conduct research. These letters should also be coupled with evidence of support for these activities from administrative and executive leadership of the collaborating organizations.
For-profit applicants must include a letter(s) of support confirming that the required secured cost matching (cash; in-kind commitments such as salary, consultant costs, equipment) is available and confirm that the essential personnel have the authority within the organization to allocate resources.
Participating institutions must agree to acceptance of oversight by a single IRB of record for multi-site studies per NIH policy rather than local IRBs to standardize the oversight for protection of human subjects in CTN trials, especially those operating in multiple states (https://grants.nih.gov/policy/clinical-trials/single-irb-policy-multi-site-research.htm).
Research sites must have previous experience and success in conducting multi-site clinical trials.
HIV/AIDS Counseling and Testing Policy for the National Institute on Drug Abuse: In light of recent significant advances in rapid testing for HIV and in effective treatments for HIV, NIDA has revised its 2001 policy on HIV counseling and testing. NIDA-funded researchers are strongly encouraged to provide and/or refer research subjects to HIV risk reduction education and education about the benefits of HIV treatment, counseling and testing, referral to treatment, and other appropriate interventions to prevent acquisition and transmission of HIV. This policy applies to all NIDA funded research conducted domestically or internationally. For more information see https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-DA-07-013.html.
National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse Recommended Guidelines for the Administration of Drugs to Human Subjects: The National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse (NACDA) recognizes the importance of research involving the administration of drugs with abuse potential, and dependence or addiction liability, to human subjects. Potential applicants are encouraged to obtain and review these recommendations of Council before submitting an application that will administer compounds to human subjects. The guidelines are available on NIDA's Web site at http://www.drugabuse.gov/funding/clinical-research/nacda-guidelines-administration-drugs-to-human-subjects.
Points to Consider Regarding Tobacco Industry Funding of NIDA Applicants: The National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse (NACDA) encourages NIDA and its grantees to consider the points it has set forth regarding existing or prospective sponsored research agreements with tobacco companies or their related entities and the impact of acceptance of tobacco industry funding on NIDA's credibility and reputation within the scientific community. Please see http://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/advisory-boards-groups/national-advisory-council-drug-abuse-nacda/council-statements/points-to-consider-regarding- for details.
Data Harmonization for Substance Abuse and Addiction via the PhenX Toolkit: NIDA strongly encourages investigators involved in research with human subjects to employ a common set of tools and resources that will promote the collection of comparable data across studies and to do so by incorporating the measures from the Core and Specialty collections, which are available in the Substance Abuse and Addiction Collection of the PhenX Toolkit (www.phenxtoolkit.org). Please see NOT-DA-12-008 (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-DA-12-008.html) for further details.
The following modifications also apply:
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.
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
See Part 1. Section III.1 for information regarding the requirement for obtaining a unique entity identifier and for completing and maintaining active registrations in System for Award Management (SAM), NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code (if applicable), eRA Commons, and Grants.gov
Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates and times. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission. When a submission date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday , the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.
Organizations must submit applications to Grants.gov (the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies). Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration. NIH and Grants.gov systems check the application against many of the application instructions upon submission. Errors must be corrected and a changed/corrected application must be submitted to Grants.gov on or before the application due date and time. If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late. Applications that miss the due date and time are subjected to the NIH Policy on Late Application Submission.
Applicants are responsible for viewing their application before the due date in the eRA Commons to ensure accurate and successful submission.
Information on the submission process and a definition of on-time submission are provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
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.
Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. Paper applications will not be accepted.
Applicants must complete all required registrations before the application due date. Section III. Eligibility Information contains information about registration.
For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit Applying Electronically. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Guidelines for Applicants Experiencing System Issues. For assistance with application submission, contact the Application Submission Contacts in Section VII.
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.
Important Update: See NOT-OD-18-228 for updated review language for due dates on or after January 25, 2019.
Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process. As part of the NIH mission, all applications submitted to the NIH in support of biomedical and behavioral research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.
A proposed Clinical Trial application may include study design, methods, and intervention that are not by themselves innovative but address important questions or unmet needs. Additionally, the results of the clinical trial may indicate that further clinical development of the intervention is unwarranted or lead to new avenues of scientific investigation.
Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? Is there a strong scientific premise for the project? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?
In addition, for applications involving clinical trials
Are the scientific rationale and need for a clinical trial to test the proposed hypothesis or intervention well supported by preliminary data, clinical and/or preclinical studies, or information in the literature or knowledge of biological mechanisms? For trials focusing on clinical or public health endpoints, is this clinical trial necessary for testing the safety, efficacy or effectiveness of an intervention that could lead to a change in clinical practice, community behaviors or health care policy? For trials focusing on mechanistic, behavioral, physiological, biochemical, or other biomedical endpoints, is this trial needed to advance scientific understanding?
Is the proposed research agenda likely to have substantial public health significance and support objectives of the CTN? Does the proposed research agenda include a multi-site project(s) that could change clinical practice and is aimed at improving the clinical management of opioid use problems and/or improving the opioid use outcomes of patients seen in health care settings?
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?
In addition, for applications involving clinical trials
With regard to the proposed leadership for the project, do the proposed PD/PI(s) and key personnel have the expertise, experience, and ability to organize, manage and implement the proposed clinical trial and meet milestones and timelines? Do they have appropriate expertise in study coordination, data management and statistics? For a multicenter trial, is the organizational structure appropriate and does the application identify a core of potential center investigators and staffing for a coordinating center?
Do the PD(s)/PI(s) have a well-documented record of leading multi-site clinical studies, including using electronic health records and other health information technology (HIT) resources for recruitment and outcomes assessment? Have the PD(s)/PI(s) demonstrated successful collaborations with co-investigators, healthcare providers and other collaborators in the conduct of clinical research? Do team members responsible for participant recruitment, enrollment, data collection and data management have extensive experience and high qualifications?
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?
In addition, for applications involving clinical trials
Does the design/research plan include innovative elements, as appropriate, that enhance its sensitivity, potential for information or potential to advance scientific knowledge or clinical practice?
Are proposed projects embedded in the context of a well-articulated, comprehensive longer-term research agenda? Will proposed studies demonstrate cost-efficiencies in design and conduct?
Does the application challenge and seek to impact current conventional approaches by utilizing novel approaches or methodologies for improving efficiency of implementing pragmatic trials?
Does the application include mechanisms for leveraging novel, effective collaboration and study oversight strategies in rural and/or underserved settings?
Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Have the investigators presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed? Have the investigators presented adequate plans to address relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies in vertebrate animals or human subjects?
If the project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?
In addition, for applications involving clinical trials
Does the application adequately address the following, if applicable?
Is the study design justified and appropriate to address primary and secondary outcome variable(s)/endpoints that will be clear, informative and relevant to the hypothesis being tested? Is the scientific rationale/premise of the study based on previously well-designed preclinical and/or clinical research? Given the methods used to assign participants and deliver interventions, is the study design adequately powered to answer the research question(s), test the proposed hypothesis/hypotheses, and provide interpretable results? Is the trial appropriately designed to conduct the research efficiently? Are the study populations (size, gender, age, demographic group), proposed intervention arms/dose, and duration of the trial, appropriate and well justified?
Are potential ethical issues adequately addressed? Is the process for obtaining informed consent or assent appropriate? Is the eligible population available? Are the plans for recruitment outreach, enrollment, retention, handling dropouts, missed visits, and losses to follow-up appropriate to ensure robust data collection? Are the planned recruitment timelines feasible and is the plan to monitor accrual adequate? Has the need for randomization (or not), masking (if appropriate), controls, and inclusion/exclusion criteria been addressed? Are differences addressed, if applicable, in the intervention effect due to sex/gender and race/ethnicity?
Are the plans to standardize, assure quality of, and monitor adherence to, the trial protocol and data collection or distribution guidelines appropriate? Is there a plan to obtain required study agent(s)? Does the application propose to use existing available resources, as applicable?
Data Management and Statistical Analysis
Are planned analyses and statistical approach appropriate for the proposed study design and methods used to assign participants and deliver interventions? Are the procedures for data management and quality control of data adequate at clinical site(s) or at center laboratories, as applicable? Have the methods for standardization of procedures for data management to assess the effect of the intervention and quality control been addressed? Is there a plan to complete data analysis within the proposed period of the award?
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?
In addition, for applications involving clinical trials
If proposed, are the administrative, data coordinating, enrollment and laboratory/testing centers, appropriate for the trial proposed?
Does the application adequately address the capability and ability to conduct the trial at the proposed site(s) or centers? Are the plans to add or drop enrollment centers, as needed, appropriate?
If international site(s) is/are proposed, does the application adequately address the complexity of executing the clinical trial?
If multi-sites/centers, is there evidence of the ability of the individual site or center to: (1) enroll the proposed numbers; (2) adhere to the protocol; (3) collect and transmit data in an accurate and timely fashion; and, (4) operate within the proposed organizational structure?
Specific to applications involving clinical trials
Is the study timeline described in detail, taking into account start-up activities, the anticipated rate of enrollment, and planned follow-up assessment? Is the projected timeline feasible and well justified? Does the project incorporate efficiencies and utilize existing resources (e.g., CTSAs, practice-based research networks, electronic medical records, administrative database, or patient registries) to increase the efficiency of participant enrollment and data collection, as appropriate?
Are potential challenges and corresponding solutions discussed (e.g., strategies that can be implemented in the event of enrollment shortfalls)?
Other Review Criteria
Consistent with the goals of the program, does the applicant demonstrate capacity to support large-scale trials or studies of treatment and prevention interventions to answer important OUD health research questions without undue disruption of clinical workflow and resources?
Consistent with the goals of the program, does the applicant demonstrate collaboration with health systems and settings that can embed research in clinical care and cover the costs of healthcare that would be given to the patient whether or not the patient participates in CTN-sponsored research?
Consistent with the goals of the program, does the applicant demonstrate ability to use electronic health record system (EHRs) data integrated within typical clinical visits to simplify clinical trial implementation, including the identification, assessment, monitoring, and follow-up of SUD patients?
Consistent with the goals of the program, does the applicant demonstrate willingness to participate in collaborative studies with data sharing as part of a national clinical research infrastructure ?
Consistent with the goals of the program, is the scientific rationale/premise of the research agenda or studies proposed based on previous well-designed preclinical and/or clinical research? Are the approaches, measures, design, and outcomes proposed pragmatic? And generalizable? Will results provide relevant information and adequate data for general medical settings to determine applicability for adoption?
Does the proposed research agenda incorporate efficiencies and utilize existing resources (e.g., CTSAs, practice-based research networks, electronic medical records, administrative databases, or patient registries) to increase the efficiency of participant enrollment and data collection, as appropriate?
Has the applicant described and provided a justification for a streamlined research infrastructure with the capacity to expand, as needed, for the conduct of specific scientific projects and related activities? Does the description of the Node infrastructure demonstrate core capabilities and expertise (e.g., clinical investigators and informaticists, etc.) for satisfactory conduct of CTN research activities and efficient implementation of pragmatic trials in general medical settings? Are the partner healthcare organizations well suited to contribute to research studies aimed at improving OUD clinical practices? Have partner healthcare organizations demonstrated the capability to leverage electronic health record systems and other health information technology (HIT) resources to facilitate research designs that make use of data collected during routine clinical care? Does the application include documentation from the partner healthcare organizations that outlines strong commitment to the project planning and implementation? In the context of the proposed research agenda, does the application adequately address the capability and ability to conduct trials at the proposed site(s)?
For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.
For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.
When the proposed project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of children to determine if it is justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed. For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.
The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following criteria: (1) description of proposed procedures involving animals, including species, strains, ages, sex, and total number to be used; (2) justifications for the use of animals versus alternative models and for the appropriateness of the species proposed; (3) interventions to minimize discomfort, distress, pain and injury; and (4) justification for euthanasia method if NOT consistent with the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals. Reviewers will assess the use of chimpanzees as they would any other application proposing the use of vertebrate animals. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.
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.
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).
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).
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.
Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.
Specific to this FOA:
How likely is it that the plans for cost matching will be adequate?
Appeals of initial peer review will not be accepted for applications submitted in response to this FOA.
Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s), convened by NIDA 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.
Information regarding the disposition of applications is available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization for successful applications. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document and will be sent via email to the grantee’s business official.
Awardees must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions. Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.
Any application awarded in response to this FOA will be subject to terms and conditions found on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website. This includes any recent legislation and policy applicable to awards that is highlighted on this website.
ClinicalTrials.gov: If an award provides for one or more clinical trials. By law (Title VIII, Section 801 of Public Law 110-85), the "responsible party" must register and submit results information for certain “applicable clinical trials” on the ClinicalTrials.gov Protocol Registration and Results System Information Website (https://register.clinicaltrials.gov). All NIH-funded clinical trials are expected to register and submit results information to Clinicaltrials.gov, as per the "NIH Policy on Dissemination of NIH-Funded Clinical Trial Information". For more information, see http://grants.nih.gov/ClinicalTrials_fdaaa/
Institutional Review Board or Independent Ethics Committee Approval: Grantee institutions must ensure that the application as well as all protocols are reviewed by their IRB or IEC or a central IRB. Participating institutions must agree to acceptance of oversight by a single IRB of record for multi-site studies per NIH policy rather than a local IRB to standardize the oversight for protection of human subjects in CTN trials, especially those operating in multiple states (https://grants.nih.gov/policy/clinical-trials/single-irb-policy-multi-site-research.htm). 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. Data and Safety Monitoring Requirements: The NIH policy for data and safety monitoring requires oversight and monitoring of all NIH-conducted or -supported human biomedical and behavioral intervention studies (clinical trials) to ensure the safety of participants and the validity and integrity of the data. Further information concerning these requirements is found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/hs/data_safety.htm and in the application instructions (SF424 (R&R) and PHS 398).
Investigational New Drug or Investigational Device Exemption Requirements: Consistent with federal regulations, clinical research projects involving the use of investigational therapeutics, vaccines, or other medical interventions (including licensed products and devices for a purpose other than that for which they were licensed) in humans under a research protocol must be performed under a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigational new drug (IND) or investigational device exemption (IDE).
Award condition specific to this FOA for for-profit recipients: Matching funds (at least 50% of award total) will be required as stipulated in Public Law 115-141, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018. Matching funds must be non-Federal funds set aside for this project and are available from the source(s) identified in the application, as committed to by the recipient. Matching will be evaluated by the awarding office to ensure that this requirement is being met. Compliance with the matching requirement must be verified on an annual basis and must be documented in the annual FFR.
Recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS must administer their programs in compliance with federal civil rights law. This means that recipients of HHS funds must ensure equal access to their programs without regard to a person’s race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, sex and religion. This includes ensuring your programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency. HHS recognizes that research projects are often limited in scope for many reasons that are nondiscriminatory, such as the principal investigator’s scientific interest, funding limitations, recruitment requirements, and other considerations. Thus, criteria in research protocols that target or exclude certain populations are warranted where nondiscriminatory justifications establish that such criteria are appropriate with respect to the health or safety of the subjects, the scientific study design, or the purpose of the research.
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.
For additional guidance regarding how the provisions apply to NIH grant programs, please contact the Scientific/Research Contact that is identified in Section VII under Agency Contacts of this FOA. HHS provides general guidance to recipients of FFA on meeting their legal obligation to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to their programs by persons with limited English proficiency. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/resources/laws/revisedlep.html. The HHS Office for Civil Rights also provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/section1557/index.html; and http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/index.html. Recipients of FFA also have specific legal obligations for serving qualified individuals with disabilities. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/disability/index.html. Please contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights for more information about obligations and prohibitions under federal civil rights laws at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/office/about/rgn-hqaddresses.html or call 1-800-368-1019 or TDD 1-800-537-7697. Also note it is an HHS Departmental goal to ensure access to quality, culturally competent care, including long-term services and supports, for vulnerable populations. For further guidance on providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services, recipients should review the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care at http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=2&lvlid=53.
The administrative and funding instrument used for this program will be the cooperative agreement (NIH UG1), an "assistance" mechanism (rather than an "acquisition" mechanism), in which substantial NIH programmatic involvement with the awardees is anticipated during the performance of the activities. Under the cooperative agreement, the NIH purpose is to support and stimulate the recipients' activities by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the award recipients in a partnership role; it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activities. Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility resides with the awardees for the project, although specific tasks and activities may be shared among the awardees and the NIH as defined above.
The PD(s)/PI(s) will have the primary responsibility for:
The Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) will have the primary responsibility for defining the details for the project within the guidelines described in the Request for Applications DA-19-008 and for performing the scientific activity. The PD/PI agrees to accept close coordination, cooperation, and participation of NIDA Program staff in those aspects of scientific and technical management of the project described in these terms and conditions. The PD/PI agrees to accept close coordination and to cooperate fully with NIDA designated coordinating centers and contractors. The PD/PI further agrees to participate fully in the activities of the Clinical Trials Network (CTN) Steering Committee and in other committees and workgroups as formed.
Awardees will retain custody of and have primary rights to the data under these awards, subject to Government rights of access consistent with current DHHS and NIH Policies.
a. Generally, Awardees under this agreement have the following rights and responsibilities:
b. Data Rights:
c. Study Management:
d. Reporting Requirements:
In addition to periodic financial and administrative reports required by NIH for administration of this cooperative agreement, the Awardee agrees to furnish the following reports according to the schedule indicated:
e. Publication of Data:
Prompt and timely presentation and publication in the scientific literature of findings resulting from research undertaken in the CTN is required. It is expected that the Lead Investigator will complete and submit the initial outcome paper to an appropriate peer-reviewed scientific journal within 180 days of study data lock. The Awardee agrees to acknowledge NIDA support in the publications and oral presentations resulting from research conducted under this cooperative agreement. Review and approval by the Publications Committee will be required for all analyses prior to publication or presentation. The Awardee agrees to present all CTN manuscripts to the CTN Publications Committee for review and approval prior to journal submissions.
f. Protocol Closure:
Throughout the term of the cooperative agreement NIDA may request that a research project or study site be terminated for reasons including but not limited to: 1) insufficient participant accrual; 2) poor performance in conducting the protocol; 3) safety of the participants in the study; 4) achievement of conclusive study results; 5) emergence of new information that diminishes the scientific importance of the study question; 6) misuse of federal funds; and 7) shortfalls in appropriated funds available to pursue the study. Financial support from NIDA and access to further investigational drug supplies through this cooperative agreement will cease upon project closure, except that funds and other resources may remain available for participants already enrolled in the study.
NIH staff have substantial programmatic involvement that is above and beyond the normal stewardship role in awards, as described below:
The Center for the Clinical Trials Network (CCTN) is the organization within NIDA responsible for the scientific collaboration, administrative oversight, and operational management of the CTN research program funded by NIDA.
NIDA Program staff has substantial scientific and programmatic involvement throughout this cooperative agreement through technical assistance, and advice and coordination extending beyond normal program stewardship for grants as described below.
a. NIDA’s Scientific Role
The Director of the CCTN will appoint NIDA Program Officers and Science Officers with expertise in clinical research to participate in the development of study plans and protocols, and to coordinate projects across scientific disciplines and CTN Nodes. NIDA Science Officers may initiate or participate in publications in accordance with established professional and NIH guidelines for authorship.
The CCTN Director, and/or designated staff, will work closely with the CTN Steering Committee to assure that CTN efforts are consistent with NIDA’s research objectives and complement other clinical research activities supported by NIDA under other means.
NIDA Science Officers will advise the clinical investigators, as requested or needed, of results from other studies (e.g., adverse experiences and study termination) that could influence the design, development, or conduct of clinical studies under this cooperative agreement. NIDA will serve as a resource, and will communicate information regarding promising new therapies.
NIDA will appoint advisory boards within and outside of the CTN as deemed necessary during the development and progress of protocols and studies.
For ongoing research projects NIDA Science Officers and NIDA's contractors will monitor study progress through incremental review of case report forms. NIDA and its contractors and/or the LI will prepare periodic reports profiling the conduct of the study including the safety of study participants for review by the CTN Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) and/or other monitoring bodies as applicable. The DSMB may recommend to NIDA a need to alter, suspend, or close an ongoing study due to safety concerns, study performance issues, or early evidence of efficacy or futility.
b. NIDA’s Role in Protocol Review and Approval
In order for a CTN research project to be initiated, a research concept must be reviewed by the CTN Research Development Committee and approved by the NIDA CCTN. Once a concept is presented for consideration, NIDA will evaluate the proposed project according to: NIDA’s research agenda; potential impact on the science and public health; relevance to current national priorities; likelihood for timely completion; participant safety; compliance with Federal regulatory requirements; an estimated budget; and resource requirements. If a concept is approved to move forward, a team comprised of CTN investigators, NIDA Science Officer(s), and Data and Statistics Center and Clinical Coordinating Center staff members will be convened to develop a study protocol. The CCTN Director will appoint a Protocol Review Board that will review protocols as needed and provide recommendations to the CCTN Director. The CCTN Director will consider PRB recommendations and will make final decisions regarding protocol approval or disapproval. To maximize resources, the NIDA CTN DSMB Charter could include the role of scientific protocol review. NIDA will provide no study materials or permit expenditure of CTN funds unless and until the proposed protocol is officially approved by NIDA.
c. NIDA Access to Data
The CCTN Director, and/or designated staff or agents, shall have access to all data generated under this cooperative agreement. Monthly reports on trial progress for studies that are monitored will be prepared by the Data and Statistics Center and reviewed by CCTN, the CTN Steering Committee, and the study Lead Investigator. Data must be available for external checking against original source documents as required by NIDA, and Federal regulations pertaining to the responsibility of NIDA as an IND sponsor.
Monitors from the Data and Statistics Center and the Clinical Coordinating Center will perform periodic review of data recorded on clinical source documents, case report forms, or in electronic form. Both the Data and Statistics Center and the Clinical Coordinating Center are established under contracts awarded by NIDA to provide certain resources and common services for CTN clinical trials or clinical studies, as needed, including support for regulatory requirements and oversight functions mandated by NIH and DHHS.
d. NIDA Monitoring of Trials
All CTN studies are subject to monitoring according to protocol-specific monitoring plans. The Node must agree to periodic monitoring by Clinical Coordinating Center representatives. In addition, formal site audits will be conducted if necessary. Nodes must also agree to remote, central monitoring by Data and Statistics Center representatives. The monitoring may include periodic on-site visits and remote document reviews by staff from the Node and the NIDA appointed Coordinating Centers to assess the following: (1) investigational drug accountability; (2) compliance with applicable federal, state and local regulations for Human Subject Research, including Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval and informed consent (compliance with 45 CFR 46); (3) compliance with protocol specifications; quality control and accuracy of data recording; and (4) completeness of reporting adverse events. Monitoring is conducted to assure that: the rights and well-being of participants are protected; the reported trial data are accurate, complete, and verifiable from source documents; and the conduct of the trial is in compliance with the currently approved protocol/amendment(s), with GCP, and with all applicable regulatory requirements. Reports of all monitoring activities and audits will be reviewed by the CCTN and study performance will be reported to the DSMB. Summary reports from DSMB meetings will be provided to the Lead Investigator, who in turn will provide necessary documentation to other entities, as needed. Finally, NIDA program and grants management staff will review protocol accrual, and fiscal and administrative procedures. NIDA reserves the right to discontinue site participation in protocols based on poor performance.
e. NIDA Review of Performance
CCTN will periodically review the performance of the CTN as a whole and of individual Nodes. The review will be based on information provided in periodic trial progress reports compiled from data on recruitment, retention, follow-up, treatment exposure, monitoring reports, and other factors, as well as from evaluations of site performance conducted by the CCTN staff. Insufficient patient accrual, substandard data quality, inadequate progress in executing the research agenda, or noncompliance with the Terms and Conditions of Award may result in a reduction in budget, withholding support, suspension, or termination of award.
f. Normal Program Stewardship
A separate NIDA Program Official other than the CCTN Director will be responsible for the normal programmatic stewardship of the award and will be identified in the Notice of Grant Award.
Areas of Joint Responsibility include:
CTN Steering Committee. The Steering Committee constitutes the primary governing body of the CTN. Membership shall comprise voting representation from each of the Nodes, the CCTN Director, the Clinical Coordinating Center, and the Data and Statistics Center. The Steering Committee uses both established and ad hoc committees and workgroups (e.g., Research Development Committee, Publications Committee) to assist it in carrying out its functions. By accepting a Cooperative Agreement award, all participating Nodes must agree to abide by the policies and By-laws approved by the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee shall meet face-to-face at least once each year and via webinar/conference call as necessary during the year.
Protocol Review Board (PRB). An independent expert board, appointed by and reporting to the CCTN Director, that reviews proposed protocols and informed consent documents. To minimize delay and provide continuity, this board may be combined with a DSMB (see below) for a given study.
Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB). An independent expert board, appointed by and reporting to the CCTN Director, that oversees and monitors the conduct of multi-site clinical trials and other clinical studies as needed to ensure the safety of participants and the validity and integrity of data. The DSMB may conduct a scientific review of a protocol if necessary (see above). The DSMB also makes an independent assessment of the interventions under study and whether trials undertaken in the CTN that are monitored should continue. One or more NIDA staff serves as a non-voting administrator of the DSMB.
Single IRB of record (IRB). To reduce the burden on local IRBs and to standardize the oversight for protection of human subjects in our trials, the use of a single IRB for CTN research studies is required unless an exception is granted (https://grants.nih.gov/policy/clinical-trials/single-irb-policy-multi-site-research.htm).
Any disagreements that may arise in scientific or programmatic matters (within the scope of the award) between award recipients and the NIH may be brought to dispute resolution. A Dispute Resolution Panel composed of three members will be convened. The three members will consist of a designee of the Steering Committee chosen without NIH staff voting, one NIH designee, and a third designee with expertise in the relevant area who is chosen by the other two. In the case of individual disagreement, the first member may be chosen by the individual awardee. This special dispute resolution procedure in no way affects the Awardee’s right to appeal an adverse action that is otherwise appealable in accordance with PHS regulations 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D and DHHS regulations 45 CFR Part 16.
Special award condition specific to this FOA:
A grantee from a for-profit organization funded under this announcement must match funds or provide documented in-kind contributions at a rate of not less than 50% of the total-Federally awarded amount, as stipulated by Public Law 115-141, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018. See 45 CFR 75.306 for additional details. Matching funds must be non-Federal funds set aside for this project and are available from the source(s) identified in the application, as committed to by the recipient. Cost matching will be evaluated by the awarding office to ensure that this requirement is being met. Compliance with the matching requirement must be verified on an annual basis and must be documented in the annual and final FFR.
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.
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