Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

Funding Opportunity Title
HEAL Initiative: Harm Reduction Policies, Practices, and Modes of Delivery for Persons with Substance Use Disorders: Coordination Center (R24 Clinical Trial Optional)
Activity Code

R24 Resource-Related Research Projects

Announcement Type
New
Related Notices

None

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number
RFA-DA-22-042
Companion Funding Opportunity
RFA-DA-22-046 , R01 Research Project
Assistance Listing Number(s)
93.279, 93.846
Funding Opportunity Purpose

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) intends to establish a Harm Reduction Network consisting of several research projects, which will be supported by a single Coordination Center. The goal of this network is to increase our understanding of the effectiveness, implementation, and impact of existing and new harm reduction practices to address the ongoing opioid crisis and substance use disorder more broadly.

This FOA seeks applications for a single Coordination Center for the Harm Reduction network. Key activities for the Coordination Center would include (1) providing logistical and coordination support for the network; (2) providing data harmonization and data sharing supports; (3) convening key stakeholders, (4) developing research and clinical practice resources, including facilitating the development of common metrics defining effective harm reduction, with input from the network, conducting landscape analyses and other research to determine the evolution of harm reduction practices nationally, and developing translational products and tools based on findings from studies funded under this initiative. This FOA runs in parallel with a companion FOA that seeks applications to develop evidence-based harm reduction strategies (RFA-DA-22-046).

Key Dates

Posted Date
December 29, 2021
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
February 10, 2022
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

February 10, 2022

Application Due Dates Review and Award Cycles
New Renewal / Resubmission / Revision (as allowed) AIDS Scientific Merit Review Advisory Council Review Earliest Start Date
March 10, 2022 Not Applicable Not Applicable July 2022 August 2022 September 2022

All applications are due by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. 

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.

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

Expiration Date
March 11, 2022
Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Research (R) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts).

Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions.

Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

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

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

  3. Use Grants.gov Workspace to prepare and submit your application and eRA Commons to track your application.


  4. Table of Contents

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) intends to establish a Harm Reduction Network consisting of several research projects, which will be supported by a single Coordination Center. The goal of this network is to increase our understanding of the effectiveness, implementation, and impact of existing and new harm reduction practices to address the ongoing opioid crisis and substance use disorder more broadly.

This FOA seeks applications for a coordination center for the Harm Reduction Network. Key activities for the Coordination Center would include (1) providing logistical and coordination support for the network; (2) providing data harmonization and data sharing supports; (3) convening key stakeholders, (4) developing research and clinical practice resources, including facilitating the development of common metrics defining effective harm reduction, with input from the network, conducting landscape analyses and other research to determine the evolution of harm reduction practices nationally, and developing translational products and tools based on findings from studies funded under this initiative. This FOA runs in parallel with a companion FOA that seeks applications to develop evidence-based harm reduction strategies (RFA-DA-22-046).

Background

Harm reduction services aim to prevent or minimize adverse outcomes related to substance use, such as fatal and non-fatal overdose and infectious disease transmission. Examples of established harm reduction approaches include naloxone, fentanyl test strips (FTS), safer smoking equipment, and sterile syringes, as well as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Hepatitis C virus testing. Emerging strategies to make harm reduction services and supplies more accessible include providing them in low/no barrier treatment clinics, placing them in vending machines, and mailing them, among other approaches. Harm reduction policies are also emerging, and include decriminalization of various drugs, police and prosecutor-driven deflection and diversion efforts, and the authorization of safe consumption sites.

In 2021, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) identified harm reduction as one of the administration’s top priorities. The ONDCP Statement of Drug Policy Priorities specifically calls for support of research on: the clinical effectiveness of emerging harm reduction practices in real world settings; the implementation strategies for these emerging practices; the expansion of practices with demonstrated effectiveness; and the development materials and strategies to support the use of harm reduction practices in a wide range of settings. Likewise, the HHS Overdose Prevention Strategy identifies harm reduction as one of four pillars, and encourages research to study the effectiveness and implementation of these services. In this context, NIDA seeks to address existing knowledge gaps in the field of harm reduction related to the use of opioids and other substances.

Research studies funded under this announcement will be part of a Harm Reduction Network, which will consist of R01-level grants and a Coordination Center. The Coordination Center will be responsible for administrative coordination and communication, data harmonization, infrastructure support, convening of stakeholders, and development of resources for research and practice. The R01 investigators in the network will work closely with the Coordination Center throughout the project period and, in particular, will play a role in developing common metrics to allow data harmonization. Applicants should carefully read the Research Projects RFA (RFA-DA-22-046) to fully understand the scope and structure of the overall network.

HEAL Initiative

This study is 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 bolsters 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://heal.nih.gov/.

Harm Reduction Network Coordination Center: Scope of Activities and Purpose

Applicants responding to this FOA should carefully review the companion FOA for the Harm Reduction research grants (RFA-DA-22-046) to fully understand the mission of this network. Applicants should also familiarize themselves with the harm reduction research and findings emerging from the HEAL Initiative’s HEALing Communities Study to ensure that their proposed research studies will complement the work that is already taking place.

The Coordination Center is expected to provide coordination, infrastructure and other supports for the network. Key responsibilities for the Coordination Center include:

A. Administrative coordination and communication.

  • Develop a communication strategy across this network, other NIH HEAL programs of interest (i.e.,HEALing Communities), and other emerging programs of interest.
  • Provide logistical support and host quarterly meetings and an annual in-person meeting throughout the grant award. These meetings will provide a forum to (1) discuss research updates; (2) share research resources and (3) identify opportunities of synergy and collaboration.
  • Provide NIH with quarterly reports on overall network progress related to participant recruitment, enrollment, findings from the research studies within this network, and other progress metrics.
  • Maintain awareness of emerging research findings of relevance to the network, including knowledge of other initiatives funded by the NIH HEAL initiative as well as broader programs supported by NIH/HHS. The Coordination Center should coordinate between research project PIs and investigators from other programs of relevance in the HEAL initiative, including HEALing Communities. Since these programs are already in the field, the bidirectional communication between this network and these programs is intended to keep each other abreast of emerging findings, related challenges, and actionable solutions, and to inform data standards in the field. It is expected that this center will identify opportunities for synergy and coordinate collaborative efforts accordingly, which may result in regular meetings between PIs funded within this network and PIs from these HEAL programs.
  • Applicants are encouraged to respond flexibly to the needs of the Harm Reduction Network and HEAL initiatives more broadly to support research and related activities that reduce harms associated with drug use.

B. Data harmonization and infrastructure support.

  • Facilitate harmonizing common data elements and any data collection procedures across the research projects within this network, and align with other NIH/HHS initiatives as appropriate. This effort will begin with a data harmonization meeting in Fall 2022 and will convene in person permitting safety from the COVID19 pandemic.
  • Facilitate data sharing into the HEAL data ecosystem.
  • Work with HEAL Data Stewards to identify an appropriate data repository for storage and archiving.

C. Convene key stakeholders. Each research project within this network must include strong stakeholder engagement components to ensure community buy-in and long-term sustainability of these interventions. Relevant stakeholders may include, but are not limited to persons with lived experience, service providers, payors, policymakers, advocacy groups, and community-based organizations. The Coordination Center is expected to translate broader network findings into resources of interest to external stakeholders. Responsibilities include:

  • Facilitate bidirectional communication and translation between network investigators and external stakeholders.
  • Engage stakeholder communities not formally involved in the network and identify strategies for assisting those communities in applying insights that emerge from funded research studies in this network. It is expected that research project PIs and the Coordination Center will interact collaboratively to accomplish this goal.
  • Disseminate protocols, resources, products and information generated by the research projects and Coordination Center.
  • Applicants may opt to execute small pilot studies on effective dissemination strategies to meet this goal.

D. Generating resources for research and clinical practice. The harm reduction research field is in its infancy and applicants should propose a robust plan to develop resources for research and clinical practice audiences as findings from this network emerge. Required activities include:

  • Assist with developing common metrics defining effective harm reduction.
  • Conduct landscape analyses and other research to determine the evolution of harm reduction practices nationally.
  • Develop translational products, tools, and educational resources based on findings from studies funded under this initiative. These resources should target key stakeholders that can transform clinical practice, policy, and/or payment models and educate community-based organizations and individuals who use drugs.

Diversity: In addition to scientific diversity, applicants should strive to address diversity in their team development plan. Research shows that diverse teams working together and capitalizing on innovative ideas and distinct perspectives outperform homogenous teams. Scientists and trainees from diverse backgrounds and life experiences bring different perspectives, creativity, and individual enterprise to address complex scientific problems. There are many benefits that flow from a diverse NIH-supported scientific workforce, including: fostering scientific innovation, enhancing global competitiveness, contributing to robust learning environments, improving the quality of the research, advancing the likelihood that underserved or health disparity populations participate in, and benefit from health research, and enhancing public trust. Please refer to Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity NOT-OD-20-031 for more details.

PI Meeting Attendance: The NIH HEAL Initiative will require a high level of coordination and sharing between investigators. It is expected that NIH HEAL Initiative awardees will cooperate and coordinate their activities after awards are made by participating in Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) meetings, including an annual HEAL Investigators Meeting, as well as other activities.

Special Considerations:

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 with regard to 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/organization/nacda/points-to-consider.html) for details.

Data Harmonization for Substance Abuse and Addiction via the PhenX Toolkit: NIDA strongly encourages investigators involved in human-subjects studies 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 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-DA-12-008.html) for further details

Establishment of a Standard delta-9-THC Unit to be used in Research: Applications proposing research on cannabis or its main psychotropic constituent delta-9-THC are required to measure and report results using a standard delta-9-THC unit in all applicable human subjects’ research. The goal is to increase the comparability acrosscannabis research studies. A standard delta-9-THC unit is defined as any formulation of cannabis plant material or extract that contains 5 milligrams of delta-9-THC. A justification should be provided for human research that does not propose to use the standard unit. Please see https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-DA-21-049.html for additional details.

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

Section II. Award Information

Funding Instrument

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

Application Types Allowed
New

The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types. Only those application types listed here are allowed for this FOA.

Clinical Trial?

Optional: Accepting applications that either propose or do not propose clinical trial(s).

Need help determining whether you are doing a clinical trial?

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

The HEAL Initiative intends to commit $500,000 direct costs in FY 2022 to fund 1 award.

Award Budget

Application budgets are limited to $500,000 per year in direct costs. Facilities and administrative costs requested by consortium participants are not included in the direct cost limitation.

Award Project Period

The project period is 5 years.

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

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

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

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

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

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

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

For-Profit Organizations

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

Local Governments

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

Federal Governments

  • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
  • U.S. Territory or Possession

Other

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

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are not eligible to apply.

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply.

Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are not allowed. 

Required Registrations

Applicant organizations

Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.

  • System for Award Management (SAM) – Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
    • NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code – Foreign organizations must obtain an NCAGE code (in lieu of a CAGE code) in order to register in SAM.
    • Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)- A UEI is issued as part of the SAM.gov registration process. SAM registrations prior to fall 2021 were updated to include a UEI. For applications due on or after January 25, 2022, the UEI must be provided on the application forms (e.g., FORMS-G); the same UEI must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
    • Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) – Organization registrations prior to April 2022 require applicants to obtain a DUNS prior to registering in SAM. By April 2022, the federal government will stop using the DUNS number as an entity identifier and will transition to the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) issued by SAM. Prior to April 2022, after obtaining a DUNS number, applicants can begin both SAM and eRA Commons registrations. The same DUNS number must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • eRA Commons - Once the unique organization identifier (DUNS prior to April 2022; UEI after April 2022) is established, organizations can register with eRA Commons in tandem with completing their full SAM and Grants.gov registrations; all registrations must be in place by time of submission. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • Grants.gov – Applicants must have an active SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

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

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

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support. See, Reminder: Notice of NIH's Encouragement of Applications Supporting Individuals from minority Ethnic and Racial Groups as well as Individuals with Disabilities, NOT-OD-22-019.

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

2. Cost Sharing

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

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

Number of Applications

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

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time, per 2.3.7.4 Submission of Resubmission Application. This means that the NIH will not accept:

  • A new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping new (A0) or resubmission (A1) application.
  • A resubmission (A1) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of the previous new (A0) application.
  • An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see 2.3.9.4 Similar, Essentially Identical, or Identical Applications).

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

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

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

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

Letter of Intent

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

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

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

The letter of intent should be sent to: 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
3WFN 9th Floor, MSC 6021
301 North Stonestreet Ave
Bethesda, MD 20892

Page Limitations

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

Instructions for Application Submission

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

SF424(R&R) Cover

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

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

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

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

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

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

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

With the following additional instructions:

PD/PIs are required to expend at least 2.0 person-months effort annually on the award over the entire period of support. In a multi-PI application, at least one PD/PI is required to commit a minimum of 2.0 person-months annually over the life of the grant award.

Senior/Key Personnel biosketches should describe recent experience and participation in coordinating a network consisting of multiple research projects. Applicants are expected to provide evidence of their unique strengths, accomplishments and capabilities to contribute to shared activities across the network. Since the awarded research projects will include stakeholders relevant to their individual study, applicants for the Coordination Center should describe a plan for engaging a diverse range of audiences to broadly disseminate the products and findings of the awarded research projects within this network to wider audiences. A diverse range of stakeholders may include, but are not limited to, persons with lived experience, service providers, payors, policymakers, advocacy groups, and community-based organizations.

R&R Budget

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

With the following additional instructions:

The Coordination Center is expected to engage stakeholders in order to disseminate knowledge and products generated by the awarded R01 research projects. Applicants for the Coordination Center should plan to engage with the stakeholders that are part of the R01 research projects. The Coordination Center should also identify and engage with 3-5 stakeholder groups outside of the Harm Reduction Network on a quarterly basis. Rather than pre-identifying these stakeholder groups in the applications, applicants are encouraged to include slots to be filled once the research projects in the Harm Reduction Network are funded. Applications are encouraged to include budgetary support for these stakeholders, which might include allowable salary support or honorarium, travel, and per diem costs.

Requirements for Participating in Network Activities

Budgets should include funds for travel for the PD(s)/PI(s), and up to three additional project staff to participate in in-person meetings once per year, every year of the award, in Rockville, MD. An additional in-person kickoff meeting to be held in Rockville, MD should be included in the Year 1 budget of the award to discuss data harmonization policies and procedures. In the event that in-person gatherings are not possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic, applicants should plan to conduct these meetings virtually.

In addition to the annual in-person meeting, representatives from the Coordination Center are expected to participate in virtual meetings that will occur quarterly. At least one PI should be present from the Coordination Center at these virtual meetings, with the option to include additional stakeholder partners as appropriate.

At least one PI should also be present at the annual HEAL Investigators meeting that convenes annually. Time and support should be budgeted to participate in such activities.

R&R Subaward Budget

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

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

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

PHS 398 Research Plan

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

Specific Aims: A 1-page Specific Aims describing all of the key responsibilities are required.

Research Strategy:

The Coordination Center should be viewed as a resource center that provides support to individual research projects, to the network as a whole, and to the greater community of stakeholders engaged in harm reduction efforts in their communities. Applicants should describe the overall structure of their proposed Coordination Center. This should include unique advantages or capabilities of the proposed center and how it will interact with the broader network of funded research projects and HEAL programs of relevance to this network (e.g., HEALing Communities). Applicants should include details on workflow plans and timelines. Applicants should describe a plan for engaging a diverse range of stakeholders to broadly disseminate the products and findings generated by the R01 research projects. Relevant stakeholders may include, but are not limited to, persons with lived experience, service providers, payors, policymakers, advocacy groups, and community-based organizations.

If the application includes activities that span multiple institutions, applicants must explain how those activities will be coordinated across institutions, and how the proposed activities will effectively collaborate with other relevant activities at participating institutions. Investigators are encouraged to convene a diverse, multidisciplinary, skilled team that addresses the breadth of expertise in the application and provides synergy to the network.

The application should describe the Coordination Center's ability to conduct the following required tasks:

A. Administrative Coordination and Communication

  • Develop a communication strategy across this network, other NIH HEAL programs of interest (i.e.,HEALing Communities), and other emerging programs of interest.
  • Provide logistical support and hosting quarterly meetings and an annual in-person meeting throughout the grant award. These meetings will provide a forum to (1) discuss research updates; (2) share research resources and (3) identify opportunities of synergy and collaboration.
  • Provide NIH with quarterly reports on overall network progress related to participant recruitment, enrollment, findings from the research studies within this network, and other progress metrics.
  • Maintain awareness of emerging research findings of relevance to the network, including knowledge of other initiatives funded by the NIH HEAL initiative as well as broader programs supported by NIH/HHS. The Coordination Center should coordinate between research project PIs and investigators from other programs of relevance in the HEAL initiative, including HEALing Communities. Since these programs are already in the field, the bidirectional communication between this network and these programs is intended to keep each other abreast of emerging findings, related challenges, and actionable solutions, and to inform data standards in the field. It is expected that this center will identify opportunities for synergy and coordinate collaborative efforts accordingly, which may result in regular meetings between PIs funded within this network and PIs from these HEAL programs.
  • Applicants are encouraged to respond flexibly to the needs of the Harm Reduction Network and HEAL initiatives more broadly to support research and related activities that reduce harms associated with drug use.
  • Support the network in the development and execution of a dissemination and publication plan for study protocols, findings, best practices, and tools.
  • Identify opportunities for joint presenting, networking, and outreach opportunities at meetings held by researchers, professional societies, and those that convene health care system leaders and policymakers relevant to the network.
  • Identify opportunities for collaboration on manuscripts and other publications.
  • Track the progress of presentations and publications generated by the network.

B. Data harmonization

  • Facilitate harmonizing common data elements and any data collection procedures across the research projects within this network, and align with other NIH/HHS initiatives as appropriate. This effort will begin with a data harmonization meeting in Fall 2022 and will convene in person permitting safety from the COVID19 pandemic.
  • Facilitate data sharing into the HEAL data ecosystem.
  • Work with HEAL Data Stewards to identify an appropriate data repository for storage and archiving.

C. Convene key stakeholders

  • Research plan should outline an approach to conducting activities to ensure engagement of key stakeholders, including those from the R01 research projects. Relevant stakeholders may include, but are not limited to persons with lived experience, service providers, payors, policymakers, advocacy groups, and community-based organizations.
  • The plan should describe how stakeholders will provide meaningful input on the development and activities of the network.
  • The Coordination Center should also identify and engage with 3-5 stakeholder groups outside of the Harm Reduction Network on a quarterly basis. Rather than pre-identifying these stakeholder groups in the applications, applicants are encouraged to include slots to be filled once the research projects in the Harm Reduction Network are funded.

D. Generating resources for reserach and clinical practice

  • Develop documents, tools, and other resources to disseminate plain-language study protocols and research findings.
  • Assist with facilitating the development of common metrics defining effective harm reduction.
  • Conduct landscape analyses and other research to determine the evolution of harm reduction practices nationally.
  • Develop translational products, tools, and educational resources based on findings from studies funded under this initiative. These resources should target key stakeholders that can transform clinical practice, policy, and/or payment models and educate persons with lived experience, service providers, payors, policymakers, advocacy groups, and community-based organizations.
  • Track the success of information dissemination strategies in metric-based reporting to NIH.

Letters of support:

Letters of support should not be included from potential stakeholder groups. Rather, a plan for identifying and engaging these groups should be included in the Research Strategy Section, as specified above. Include letters of support/agreement for any collaborative arrangements, subcontracts or consultants. For activities to be conducted at an institution other than the applicant institution, a letter of assurance or comparable documentation, signed by the collaborator as well as the institutional officials, must be submitted with the application.

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

The following modifications also apply:

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

HEAL Central Data Sharing Platform Requirements

NIH intends to maximize the impact of HEAL Initiative-supported projects through broad and rapid data sharing.Consistent with the HEAL Initiative Public Access and Data Sharing Policy (https://heal.nih.gov/about/public-access-data), , all applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, are required to include a Data Management and Sharing Plan outlining how scientific data and any accompanying metadata will be managed and shared. The plan should describe data types, file formats, submission timelines, and standards used in collecting or processing the data. It is expected that data generated by HEAL Initiative-funded projects will be submitted to study-appropriate domain-specific or generalist repositories in consultation with the HEAL Data Stewardship Group to ensure the data is accessible via the HEAL Initiative Data Ecosystem. Additional guidance on data related activities can be found at https://www.healdatafair.org/.

To maximize discoverability and value of HEAL datasets and studies, and facilitate data integration and collaboration, applications submitted in response to this FOA are strongly encouraged to incorporate standards and resources where applicable:

  • Applicants are encouraged to ensure that data collected by the study conform to Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) principles.
  • Applicants are specifically encouraged to incorporate into their planning, an alignment with the guidelines, principles and recommendations developed by the HEAL Data Ecosystem, including but not limited to preparing data to store in selected specified repositories, applying minimal metadata standards, use of core HEAL Clinical Data Elements (CDEs, https://heal.nih.gov/data/common-data-elements), and other necessary requirements to prepare data to connect to the HEAL Data Ecosystem.
  • All new HEAL clinical pain studies are required to submit their case-report forms/questionnaires to the HEAL Clinical Data Elements (CDE) Program. The program will create the CDE files containing standardized variable names, responses, coding, and other information. The program will also format the case-report forms in a standardized way that is compliant with accessibility standards under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C § 794 (d)), which “require[s] Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities.” HEAL Initiative clinical studies that are using copyrighted questionaries are required to obtain licenses for use prior to initiating data collection. Licenses must be shared with the HEAL CDE team and the program officer prior to use of copyrighted materials. For additional information, visit the HEAL CDE Program.

The NIH notices referenced below provide additional NIH guidance that should be considered in developing a strong data management and sharing plan. The list is instructive but not comprehensive.

  • Elements of an NIH Data Management and Sharing Plan (NOT-OD-21-014)
  • NIH has provided guidance around selecting a repository for data generated by NIH-supported research and has developed desirable characteristics for all data repositories (NOT-OD-21-016).
  • NIH encourages the use of data standards including the PhenX Toolkit (www.phenxtoolkit.org) (for example, see NOT-DA-12-008, NOT-MH-15-009)
  • NIH encourages researchers to explore the use of the HL7 FHIR® (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) standard to capture, integrate, and exchange clinical data for research purposes and to enhance capabilities to share research data (NOT-OD-19-122). The FHIR® standard may be particularly useful in facilitating the flow of data with EHR-based datasets, tools, and applications.
  • NIH encourages clinical research programs and researchers to adopt and use the standardized set of data classes, data elements, and associated vocabulary standards specified in the United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI) standards, as they are applicable (NOT-OD-20-146). Use of the USCDI can complement the FHIR® standard and enable researchers to leverage structured EHR data for research and enable discovery.

Recipientsconducting research that includes collection of genomic data should incorporate requirements under the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy (NOT-OD-14-124, NOT-OD-15-086).

Appendix:

Only limited Appendix materials are allowed. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

  • No publications or other material, with the exception of blank questionnaires or blank surveys, may be included in the Appendix.

PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

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

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

Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

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

Delayed Onset Study

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

PHS Assignment Request Form

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

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

See Part 1. Section III.1 for information regarding the requirement for obtaining a unique entity identifier and for completing and maintaining active registrations in System for Award Management (SAM), NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code (if applicable), eRA Commons, and Grants.gov.

4. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates and times. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission. When a submission date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.

Organizations must submit applications to Grants.gov (the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies). Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration. NIH and Grants.gov systems check the application against many of the application instructions upon submission. Errors must be corrected and a changed/corrected application must be submitted to Grants.gov on or before the application due date and time.  If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late. Applications that miss the due date and time are subjected to the NIH Policy on Late Application Submission.

Applicants are responsible for viewing their application before the due date in the eRA Commons to ensure accurate and successful submission.

Information on the submission process and a definition of on-time submission are provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

5. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

6. Funding Restrictions

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

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

7. Other Submission Requirements and Information

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

Applicants must complete all required registrations before the application due date. Section III. Eligibility Information contains information about registration.

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

Important reminders:

All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential fieldof the Senior/Key Person Profile form. 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 unique entity identifier (DUNS number or UEI as required) provided on the application is the same number used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the System for Award Management. Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness and compliance with application instructions and responsiveness by NIDA, NIH. Applications that are incomplete, non-compliant and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.

 

Post Submission Materials

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

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

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

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials: 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.

Overall Impact

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

Scored Review Criteria

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

 

Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? Is the prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project rigorous? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?

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?
 

Specific to this FOA: Does the application include plans to effectively disseminate research findings with stakeholders?

 

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 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?
 

Specific to this FOA: Is there a clear description of roles for all key personnel involved in the Coordination Center? Are investigators experienced in conducting harm reduction research and engaging relevant investigators? Is there a commitment to promoting early career investigators and diversity among the investigative team?

 

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?

Specific to this FOA: Does the research plan include novel or appropriate strategies for capturing, monitoring, and displaying metrics data on performance of communicating between research projects and with all of their stakeholder partners? Are there innovative strategies for disseminating findings and best practices to relevant stakeholders? Are there innovative approaches for engaging with a diverse range of stakeholders? Are innovative questions being addressed by the landscape analysis and other research studies to determine the evolution of harm reduction practices nationally? Are there innovative methods and/or processes to establishing common metrics defining effective harm reduction?

 

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Have the investigators included plans to address weaknesses in the rigor of prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project? Have the investigators presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed? Have the investigators presented adequate plans to address relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies in vertebrate animals or human subjects? 
If the project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of individuals of all ages (including children and older adults), justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials
Does the application adequately address the following, if applicable
Study Design
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?
 

Specific to this FOA: Are a clear communication plan and state of the art technology proposed to facilitate collaboration between research projects, their stakeholders, and other HEAL funded programs of relevance (e.g., HEALing Communities)? Is there a plan to respond flexibly to the needs of the Harm Reduction Network and HEAL initiatives more broadly to support research and related activities that reduce harms associated with drug use? Is there a clear plan to keep abreast of emerging findings relevant to harm reduction research, including initiatives internal to the HEAL initiative and broader NIH/HHS funded programs? Is there a clear vision or framework for working with research projects and other involved key personnel to coordinate all study-related activities? Is there a conceptually driven dissemination plan for study findings that include various audiences across the country dealing with harm reduction efforts? Does the application include plans to develop research and clinical practice resources, including the development of common metrics defining effective harm reduction, landscape analyses and other research to determine the evolution of harm reduction practices nationally, and the development of translational products and tools based on findings from studies funded under this initiative? Do these resources address important gap areas in the harm reduction research field? Does the approach include a plan for identifying and convening relevant stakeholder groups? Does the plan for stakeholder engagement include a wide, representative array of stakeholder groups? Is there a clear vision for how the center will facilitate data harmonization and sharing? Are there plans to interface between the funded research projects and other relevant initiatives funded by HEAL and more broadly by NIH/HHS?

 

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 this FOA: Does the application demonstrate a track record of collaborating with the relevant stakeholders in research and is there information about the nature and extent of collaborations between the researchers and stakeholder? Does the application list the infrastructure necessary to deliver project coordination activities for a large multi-project network? Does the application describe an environment with experience conducting or coordinating research related to harm reduction?

Additional Review Criteria

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

 

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)?

 

For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the  categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.
For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the  categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.

 

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

 

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.

 

Not applicable.

 

Not applicable.

 

Not applicable.

Additional Review Considerations

As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items, and should not consider them in providing an overall impact score.

 

Not Applicable.

 

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: ) 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.

2. Review and Selection Process

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.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications will receive a written critique.

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

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

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

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

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

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

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

Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

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

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization for successful applications. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document and will be sent via email to the recipient's business official.

Recipients must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.6. 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.

Individual awards are based on the application submitted to, and as approved by, the NIH and are subject to the IC-specific terms and conditions identified in the NoA.

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). NIH expects registration and results reporting of all trials whether required under the law or not. For more information, see https://grants.nih.gov/policy/clinical-trials/reporting/index.htm

Institutional Review Board or Independent Ethics Committee Approval: Recipient institutions must ensure that all protocols are reviewed by their IRB or IEC. To help ensure the safety of participants enrolled in NIH-funded studies, the recipient 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).

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Recipients, and Activities, including of note, but not limited to:

If a recipient is successful and receives a Notice of Award, in accepting the award, the recipient agrees that any activities under the award are subject to all provisions currently in effect or implemented during the period of the award, other Department regulations and policies in effect at the time of the award, and applicable statutory provisions.

Should the applicant organization successfully compete for an award, recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS must administer their programs in compliance with federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, religion, conscience, and sex (including gender identify, sexual orientation, and pregnancy). This includes ensuring programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency and persons with disabilities. The HHS Office for Civil Rights provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-providers/provider-obligations/index.html and https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/nondiscrimination/index.html

HHS recognizes that research projects are often limited in scope for many reasons that are nondiscriminatory, such as the principal investigator’s scientific interest, funding limitations, recruitment requirements, and other considerations. Thus, criteria in research protocols that target or exclude certain populations are warranted where nondiscriminatory justifications establish that such criteria are appropriate with respect to the health or safety of the subjects, the scientific study design, or the purpose of the research. For additional guidance regarding how the provisions apply to NIH grant programs, please contact the Scientific/Research Contact that is identified in Section VII under Agency Contacts of this FOA.

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

In accordance with the statutory provisions contained in Section 872 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417), NIH awards will be subject to the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) requirements. FAPIIS requires Federal award making officials to review and consider information about an applicant in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS) prior to making an award. An applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through FAPIIS and comment on any information about itself that a Federal agency previously entered and is currently in FAPIIS. The Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgement about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 45 CFR Part 75.205 and 2 CFR Part 200.206 “Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.” This provision will apply to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements except fellowships.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

Not Applicable

3. Reporting

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

A final RPPR, invention statement, and the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout of an award, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. NIH FOAs outline intended research goals and objectives. Post award, NIH will review and measure performance based on the details and outcomes that are shared within the RPPR, as described at 45 CFR Part 75.301 and 2 CFR Part 200.301.

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for recipients of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later.  All recipients 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 the threshold.  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 2 CFR Part 200.113 and Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75 and 2 CFR Part 200, 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 and 2 CFR Part 200 – Award Term and Condition for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

eRA Service Desk (Questions regarding ASSIST, eRA Commons, application errors and warnings, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, and post-submission issues)

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

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

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

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Julia Zur, Ph.D.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Telephone: (301) 443-2261
Email: julia.zur@nih.gov

Leslie K Derr, PhD
National Institute Of Arthritis And Musculoskeletal And Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Phone: (301) 594-8174
E-mail: derrl@mail.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Dharmendar Rathore, PhD
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Telephone: 301-402-6965
Email: dharmendar.rathore@nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Pamela Fleming
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Telephone: 301-480-1159
Email: pfleming@mail.nih.gov

Erik Edgerton
National Institute Of Arthritis And Musculoskeletal And Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Phone: 301-594-7760
E-mail: erik.edgerton@nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

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

Authority and Regulations

Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Part 75 and 2 CFR Part 200.

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