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 on Aging (NIA)

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

Funding Opportunity Title
HEAL Initiative: Novel Targets for Opioid Use Disorders and Opioid Overdose (R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Activity Code

R21 Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant

Announcement Type
Reissue of RFA-DA-22-032
Related Notices

    See Notices of Special Interest associated with this funding opportunity

  • August 31, 2022- Implementation Changes for Genomic Data Sharing Plans Included with Applications Due on or after January 25, 2023. See Notice NOT-OD-22-198.
  • August 5, 2022- Implementation Details for the NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy. See Notice NOT-OD-22-189
Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) Number
RFA-DA-24-064
Companion Funding Opportunity
RFA-DA-24-063 , R01 Research Project
Assistance Listing Number(s)
93.279, 93.855, 93.213, 93.866, 93.865
Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of this notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) is to support research focusing on the identification of druggable new targets and the discovery of optimizable probes for the development of safe and efficacious medications to prevent and treat opioid use disorders (OUDs), opioid overdose, and opioid-polysubstance use comorbidities. This NOFO is part of the NIH Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) initiative to accelerate the development of novel medications to treat all aspects of the opioid addiction cycle, including progression to chronic use, withdrawal symptoms, craving, relapse, and overdose.

For information about Novel Therapeutic Options for Opioid Use Disorder and Overdose, see https://heal.nih.gov/research/medication-options

This NOFO requires a Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP), which will be assessed as part of the scientific and technical peer review evaluation. Applications that fail to include a PEDP will be considered incomplete and will be withdrawn.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the NOFO instructions carefully and view the available PEDP guidance material

Key Dates

Posted Date
July 19, 2023
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
January 01, 2024
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

January 01, 2024

Application Due Dates Review and Award Cycles
New Renewal / Resubmission / Revision (as allowed) AIDS - New/Renewal/Resubmission/Revision, as allowed Scientific Merit Review Advisory Council Review Earliest Start Date
February 01, 2024 February 01, 2024 Not Applicable July 2024 August 2024 September 2024

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.

Expiration Date
February 02, 2024
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 How to Apply - Application Guide , except where instructed to do otherwise (in this NOFO or in a Notice from NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts).

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

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

Table of Contents

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Notice of Funding Opportunity Description

Background

The NIH 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/.

There is an ongoing opioid use and overdose crisis in the United States. Opioids that are often prescribed for the treatment of pain can lead to opioid misuse and Opioid Use Disorders (OUDs). It has been reported that more than 3 million Americans have OUDs, and many started their addiction with prescribed opioids. One of the most devastating consequences of opioid misuse is opioid overdose, which can produce respiratory depression and death. Drug overdose is a leading cause of accidental death in the US, with more than 80,000 opioid-involved overdose deaths reported in 2021. Although safe and effective pharmacotherapies for the treatment of opioid use disorders and for the prevention or reversal of opioid overdose are available, there are limitations to their use, and they are underutilized. For example, methadone and buprenorphine are opioid agonist therapies and, as such, have policy restrictions on their use in treating OUD. The opioid antagonist naloxone is not optimally effective for the reversal of overdoses of highly potent opioids such as fentanyl. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop new medications through the identification of novel targets and lead molecules to enable the development of new therapeutic approaches that will be effective at various stages along the trajectory of OUD from initiation to chronic use, physical dependence, relapse, and overdose.

Recent research using new technologies has advanced our knowledge of how opioids produce their many effects, from molecular to circuit-level analysis. A variety of methods have been developed as enabling techniques to interrogate signaling pathways and to identify/validate druggable targets of interest. These include single-cell multiomics, high-throughput chemotranscriptomics, genetically encoded biosensors, CRISPR-based approaches, targeted protein degradation, click chemistry, and the use of genetically modified organisms and animal models. The application of these emerging technologies along with nonbiased approaches provides an opportunity to identify novel targets encompassing enzymes, receptors, ion channels, intracellular trafficking, neuropeptides, signaling pathways and networks, protein-protein interactions, genetic and epigenetic targets, or other biological mechanisms of relevance to OUDs and opioid overdose.

Parallel advances in drug development technologies, such as the ability to screen large synthetically accessible or available libraries of compounds, including DNA encoded libraries, virtual screening of ultra-large libraries of molecules, and the application of computational tools, machine learning methods, and artificial intelligence, have the potential to shorten the time needed for identifying probe molecules for interrogating the targets as well as for optimization of the probes and lead molecules toward the drug development path. The developments in target identification coupled with the advances in ligand discovery/optimization approaches provide an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate the development of drugs for the treatment of OUDs and opioid overdose. The purpose of this notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) is to support such studies leading to the identification of druggable new targets and the discovery of optimizable probes for the development of safe and efficacious medications to prevent and treat OUDs and opioid overdose.

Scope

This program announcement is specifically focused on the identification of novel targets and preclinical validation of small molecules and biologics for treating OUDs, opioid overdose and opioid-polysubstance use comorbidities. The outcome sought by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is to expand the target space and lead molecules to enable the development of novel therapeutic approaches. The main focus of research activities to be supported through this NOFO is the identification of novel drug targets and their validation through the development of probe molecules that modulate those targets. Applications may focus on hit identification/confirmation up to the lead optimization stage.

The proposed studies could include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Identification of novel targets for the treatment of OUDs, opioid overdose, and opioid-polysubstance use comorbidities.
  • Compound screening (including FDA-approved drugs) to identify new hits and leads.
  • Development of artificial intelligence/machine learning methods for the identification of novel targets and lead molecules.
  • Application of biophysical and computational methods, including virtual screening, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to identify targets, hits, leads, and optimization of hits to leads.
  • Discovery and development of small molecule probes and lead compounds for specific novel targets that have been identified as promising targets for OUD and opioid overdose.
  • Studies on the interaction of the hits and probe molecules with the identified targets/pathways.
  • Identification of peptides, biologics (monoclonal antibodies, recombinant proteins), and nucleic acid-based molecules to modulate the expression or function of the identified targets.
  • Studies on target engagement in vivo, mechanism of action, and target selectivity.
  • Testing the identified probes and lead compounds in appropriate animal behavioral models of OUD or opioid overdose.

Applications that include the following types of studies will be considered non-responsive and will not be reviewed:

  • Applications focusing on targets for the discovery of analgesics for the treatment of pain.
  • Applications focusing on optimization of leads to clinical candidates and drug development efforts.
  • Applications focusing on the generation of new animal models.
  • Applications that do not focus on the discovery of novel targets or probes for OUD/opioid overdose, or targets involved in comorbidities associated with the use of opioids in combination with other substances.

Information Relevant to Specific Institutes/Centers/Offices:

The participating NIH institutes and centers are interested in applications with a specific research focus. Specific research areas of interest to the participating NIH institutes are listed below.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

In addition to the ongoing opioid use and overdose crisis, synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, carfentanil, acetylfentanyl, sufentanil, remifentanil, lofentanil, and alfentanil, have also been designated by the U.S. Government as highly toxic chemicals of concern where medical countermeasures (MCMs) are urgently needed to advance national biosecurity and medical and public health preparedness for, response to, and recovery from disasters and mass casualty emergencies resulting from deliberate and/or accidental release.

Through the Chemical Countermeasures Research Program (CCRP), the NIAID supports the research and early stage development of MCMs to treat and/or prevent serious morbidities and mortality during or after high consequence public health emergencies involving the release of highly toxic chemicals that may result in mass civilian casualty. 

In partnership with the NIDA Chemistry and Pharmacology Branch (CP), the CCRP is particularly interested in identifying novel therapeutic targets and approaches that:

  • Will improve upon the current post-exposure/overdose standard-of-care therapies to more effectively rescue victims of synthetic opioid intoxication alone or in combination with other substances, such as xylazine and nitazenes.
  • Can be easily and rapidly deployed in the field, i.e., amenable to mass casualty use.
  • May be therapeutically effective against one or more of the synthetic opioids of concern listed above.
  • Has a mechanism of action other than antagonizing the mu-opioid receptor.
  • Improves respiratory drive to stimulate reversal of opioid-induced respiration depression (OIRD).

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) supports a broad portfolio of basic and mechanistic projects on natural products and their potential in multicomponent interventions. These natural products include microbial-based therapies such as probiotics, prebiotics, botanicals, and dietary supplements. In the context of this RFA, NCCIH is particularly interested in applications pertinent to the development of microbial-based therapies as an approach for the prevention and treatment of OUDs, opioid overdose, and opioid-polysubstance use comorbidities.

The proposed studies could include, but are not limited to:

  • Identification and verification of novel targets for microbial-based therapies with relevance to the gut-brain axis.
  • Discovery of microbial-based therapies for specific novel targets that have been identified as promising targets for OUDs, opioid overdose, and opioid-polysubstance use comorbidities.
  • Studies to characterize the underlying mechanisms of microbial-based therapies for the purpose of identifying new therapeutic targets.
  • Discovery of microbial-based therapies as complementary interventions with existing therapies.

Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP)

  • This NOFO requires a Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP) as described in NOT-MH-21-310, submitted as Other Project Information as an attachment (see Section IV).
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the NOFO instructions carefully and view the available PEDP guidance material. The PEDP will be assessed as part of the scientific and technical peer review evaluation, as well as considered among programmatic matters with respect to funding decisions.

Other application considerations

High risk/high payoff projects that lack preliminary data are most appropriate for this R21 NOFO. Applicants with preliminary data may wish to apply for the companion R01 NOFO RFA-DA-24-063.

Special Considerations

NIDA applicants are strongly encouraged to review the guidelines and adhere to the requirements applicable to their research listed in the Special Considerations for NIDA Funding Opportunities and Awards. Upon award, these considerations will be included in the Notice of Grant Award.

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.

Diversity

In addition to scientific diversity, applicants should strive to incorporate 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. In spite of tremendous advancements in scientific research, information, educational and research opportunities are not equally available to all. NIH encourages institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations to enhance the participation of individuals from groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences. Please refer to Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity NOT-OD-20-031 for more details.

Engaging People with Lived Experience and Other Collaborators

People with lived experience (e.g., patients, patient advocates, caregivers, families, community leaders) have important insights that can improve meaningful outcomes, uptake of research findings, and health equity across the continuum of research from basic through implementation studies. The perspectives of other relevant collaborators (e.g., health service providers, payers, public health agencies, community-based organizations, biotech, pharma) can further improve research impact. The NIH HEAL initiative strongly encourages applicants to specify their plan for meaningful engagement of people with lived experience and other collaborators in the research process. Meaningful engagement will vary with the focus of the research but should at minimum ensure that researchers are connecting with relevant collaborators and incorporating their perspectives throughout the conception, implementation, and dissemination of the research. Meaningful engagement should address what the researchers will learn and how the people with lived experience and/or collaborators will benefit from the partnership. To promote health equity, as is relevant for the research proposed, it is recommended that at least two people with lived experience from populations who experience health disparities should be meaningfully engaged in these efforts.

See this resource for more information in engaging people with lived experience: https://aspe.hhs.gov/lived-experience.

Pre-Application Consultation

Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their interests with Scientific/Research contacts well in advance of submitting applications. This early contact will provide an opportunity to discuss and clarify NIH policies and guidelines, including the scope of the project relative to the HEAL initiative mission and intent of this funding opportunity announcement.

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
Resubmission - Resubmissions of applications previously submitted to RFA-DA-22-032

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 NOFO.

Clinical Trial?

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

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

The NIH HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative intends to commit an estimated total of $5 million to fund 8-10 awards in response to this and the companion notice of funding opportunity in FY 2024. Awards pursuant to this funding opportunity are contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Award Budget

The combined budget for direct costs for the two year project period may not exceed $275,000. No more than $200,000 may be requested in any single year.

Award Project Period

The maximum project period is 2 years.

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

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 Government

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

Other

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

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are eligible to apply.

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are eligible to apply.

Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are allowed. 

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 2.3.9.2 Electronically Submitted 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. The same UEI must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • eRA Commons - Once the unique organization identifier is established, organizations can register with eRA Commons in tandem with completing their Grants.gov registration; 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 their organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and women are always encouraged to apply for NIH support. See, Reminder: Notice of NIH's Encouragement of Applications Supporting Individuals from Underrepresented 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 NOFO 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 NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 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 NIH Grants Policy Statement 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 NOFO. 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 How to Apply - Application Guide except where instructed in this notice of funding opportunity 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

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 NOFO.

SF424(R&R) Cover

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

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

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

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

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

Other Attachments:

Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP)

  • In an "Other Attachment" entitled "Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives," all applicants must include a summary of strategies to advance the scientific and technical merit of the proposed project through expanded inclusivity. 
  • The PEDP should provide a holistic and integrated view of how enhancing diverse perspectives is viewed and supported throughout the application and can incorporate elements with relevance to any review criteria (significance, investigator(s), innovation, approach, and environment) as appropriate. 
  • Where possible, applicant(s) should align their description with these required elements within the research strategy section. 
  • The PEDP will vary depending on the scientific aims, expertise required, the environment and performance site(s), as well as how the project aims are structured.
  • The PEDP may be no more than 1-page in length and should include a timeline and milestones for relevant components that will be considered as part of the review. 

Examples of items that advance inclusivity in research and may be part of the PEDP can include, but are not limited to:

  • Discussion of engagement with different types of institutions and organizations (e.g., research-intensive, undergraduate-focused, minority-serving, community-based).
  • Description of any planned partnerships that may enhance geographic and regional diversity.
  • Plan to enhance recruiting of women and individuals from groups traditionally under-represented in the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research workforce.
  • Proposed monitoring activities to identify and measure PEDP progress benchmarks.
  • Plan to utilize the project infrastructure (i.e., research and structure) to support career-enhancing research opportunities for diverse junior, early- and mid-career researchers.
  • Description of any training and/or mentoring opportunities available to encourage participation of students, postdoctoral researchers and co-investigators from diverse backgrounds.
  • Plan to develop transdisciplinary collaboration(s) that require unique expertise and/or solicit diverse perspectives to address research question(s).
  • Publication plan that enumerates planned manuscripts and proposed lead authorship.
  • Outreach and planned engagement activities to enhance recruitment of individuals from diverse groups as research participants including those from under-represented backgrounds.

For further information on the Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP), please see https://braininitiative.nih.gov/about/plan-enhancing-diverse-perspectives-pedp.

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

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

R&R or Modular Budget

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

Applicants may include allowable costs associated with PEDP implementation (as outlined in the Grants Policy Statement section 7: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps/html5/section_7/7.1_general.htm).

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:

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. 

Other Plan(s):

Note: Effective for due dates on or after January 25, 2023, the Data Management and Sharing Plan will be attached in the Other Plan(s) attachment in FORMS-H application forms packages.

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

  • All applicants planning research (funded or conducted in whole or in part by NIH) that results in the generation of scientific data are required to comply with the instructions for the Data Management and Sharing Plan. All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, must address a Data Management and Sharing Plan.

The HEAL Initiative has additional requirements that must be addressed in the Data management and Sharing plan. All HEAL-generated data must be shared through the HEAL Initiative Data Ecosystem following HEAL’s compliance guidance (https://heal.nih.gov/data/complying-heal-data-sharing-policy). Specifically, HEAL applicants must include:

HEAL has developed additional details and resources to fulfill these requirements (https://www.healdatafair.org/resources/road-map).

HEAL Public Access and Data Sharing Policy: NIH intends to maximize the impact of HEAL Initiative-supported projects through broad and rapid data sharing and immediate access to publications (https://heal.nih.gov/about/public-access-data). Guidelines for complying with the HEAL Public Access and Data Sharing Policy can be found at https://heal.nih.gov/data/complying-heal-data-sharing-policy. Resources and tools to assist with data related activities can be found at https://www.healdatafair.org/. For more detail and specific data sharing requirements, see Section 4. Other plans.

Publications resulting from NIH HEAL Initiative funded studies must be immediately publicly available upon publication.

  • For manuscripts published in journals that are not immediately open access, authors should arrange with journals in advance to pay for immediate open access
  • Costs to ensure manuscripts are immediately publicly available upon publication should be included in budget requests
Appendix:

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

PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

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

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

Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

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

Delayed Onset Study

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

PHS Assignment Request Form

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

Foreign Institutions

Foreign (non-U.S.) institutions must follow policies described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, and procedures for foreign institutions described throughout the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

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

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

4. Submission Dates and Times

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

Organizations must submit applications to Grants.gov (the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies). Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration. NIH and Grants.gov systems check the application against many of the application instructions upon submission. Errors must be corrected and a changed/corrected application must be submitted to Grants.gov on or before the application due date and time.  If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late. Applications that miss the due date and time are subjected to the NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 2.3.9.2 Electronically Submitted Applications.

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

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

5. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

6. Funding Restrictions

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

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

7. Other Submission Requirements and Information

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

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

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

Important reminders:

All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile 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 NOFO for information on registration requirements.

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

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

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

Applications must include annual milestones. Applications that fail to include annual milestones will be considered incomplete and will be withdrawn. Applications must include a PEDP submitted as Other Project Information as an attachment. Applications that fail to include a PEDP will be considered incomplete and will be withdrawn before review.

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in the policy

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

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

For this particular announcement, note the following:
 

The R21 exploratory/developmental grant supports investigation of novel scientific ideas or new model systems, tools, or technologies that have the potential for significant impact on biomedical or biobehavioral research. An R21 grant application need not have extensive background material or preliminary information. Accordingly, reviewers will emphasize the conceptual framework, the level of innovation, and the potential to significantly advance our knowledge or understanding. Appropriate justification for the proposed work can be provided through literature citations, data from other sources, or, when available, from investigator-generated data. Preliminary data are not required for R21 applications; however, they may be included if available.

Overall Impact

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

Scored Review Criteria

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

Significance

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

Specific to this NOFO:

To what extent do the efforts described in the Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives further the significance of the project?

Investigator(s)

Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? If Early Stage Investigators or those in the early stages of independent careers, do they have appropriate experience and training? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance, and organizational structure appropriate for the project?

Specific to this NOFO:

To what extent will the efforts described in the Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives strengthen and enhance the expertise required for the project?

Innovation

Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?

Specific to this NOFO:

To what extent will the efforts described in the Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives meaningfully contribute to innovation?

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Have the investigators included plans to address weaknesses in the rigor of prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project? Have the investigators presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed? Have the investigators presented adequate plans to address relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies in vertebrate animals or human subjects?

If the project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of individuals of all ages (including children and older adults), justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?

Specific to this NOFO:

Are the timeline and milestones associated with the Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives well-developed and feasible?

Environment

Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, equipment, and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements?

Specific to this NOFO:

To what extent will features of the environment described in the Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (e.g., collaborative arrangements, geographic diversity, institutional support) contribute to the success of the project?

Additional Review Criteria

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

Protections for Human Subjects

For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.

For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Individuals Across the Lifespan

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

Vertebrate Animals

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 Animals Section.

Biohazards

Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.

Resubmissions

For Resubmissions, the committee will evaluate the application as now presented, taking into consideration the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group and changes made to the project.

Renewals

Not Applicable

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations

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

Applications from Foreign Organizations

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

Select Agent Research

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

Resource Sharing Plans

Reviewers will comment on whether the Resource Sharing Plan(s) (i.e., Sharing Model Organisms) or the rationale for not sharing the resources, is reasonable.

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources:

For projects involving key biological and/or chemical resources, reviewers will comment on the brief plans proposed for identifying and ensuring the validity of those resources.

Budget and Period of Support

Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s) convened by 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.

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

Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this NOFO. 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 2.4.4 Disposition of Applications.

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 NOFO will be subject to terms and conditions found on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.  This includes any recent legislation and policy applicable to awards that is highlighted on this website.

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

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Recipients, and Activities, 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 will be required to complete an HHS Assurance of Compliance form (HHS Assurance of Compliance form (HHS 690) in which the recipient agrees, as a condition of receiving the grant, to administer programs in compliance with federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex and disability, and agreeing to comply with federal conscience laws, where applicable. This includes ensuring that entities take meaningful steps to provide meaningful access to persons with limited English proficiency; and ensuring effective communication with persons with disabilities. Where applicable, Title XI and Section 1557 prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and gender identity, The HHS Office for Civil Rights provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. 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 NOFO.

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. Data Management and Sharing

Note: The NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing is effective for due dates on or after January 25, 2023.

Consistent with the NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing, when data management and sharing is applicable to the award, recipients will be required to adhere to the Data Management and Sharing requirements as outlined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Upon the approval of a Data Management and Sharing Plan, it is required for recipients to implement the plan as described.

HEAL Data Sharing Requirements

NIH intends to maximize the impact of HEAL Initiative-supported projects through broad and rapid data sharing. All HEAL Initiative award recipients, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, are required to comply with the HEAL Public Access and Data Sharing Policy. HEAL award recipients must following all requirements and timelines developed through the HEAL Initiative Data Ecosystem (https://heal.nih.gov/about/heal-data-ecosystem), as described in HEAL’s compliance guidance (See “Already Funded” section: https://heal.nih.gov/data/complying-heal-data-sharing-policy):

 1. Select a HEAL – Compliant data repository (https://www.healdatafair.org/resources/guidance/selection)

  • Data generated by HEAL Initiative-funded projects must be submitted to study-appropriate, HEAL-compliant, data repositories to ensure the data is accessible via the HEAL Initiative Data Ecosystem.
  • Some repositories require use of specific data dictionaries or structured data elements, so knowing your repository’s requirements up front can help reduce the burden of preparing data for submission.
  • HEAL-funded awardees must follow requirements for selected repository

2. Within one year of award, register your study with the HEAL platform (https://heal.github.io/platform-documentation/study-registration/)

  • This process will connect the Platform to information about your study and data, including metadata, and identify the selected repository. HEAL requests initial submission within one year of award, with annual updates, and to be updated in accordance with any release of study data.

3. Within one year of award, submit HEAL-specific study-level metadata.

 4. Submit data and metadata (and code, if applicable) to HEAL-Compliant repository

5. Additional Requirements for HEAL Initiative studies conducting clinical research or research involving human subjects.

These studies must meet the following additional requirements:

  • HEAL Initiative trials that are required to register in clinicaltrials.gov should reference support from and inclusion in the HEAL Initiative by including the standardized terms “the HEAL Initiative (https://heal.nih.gov/)” in the Study Description Section.
  • All new HEAL clinical pain studies are required to use core questionnaires required by the HEAL Clinical Data Elements (CDE) Program (https://heal.nih.gov/data/common-data-elements). Outside of the core questionnaires, studies should select questionnaires from among the repository of supplemental questionnaires that are already being used by other HEAL clinical pain studies. The program has created the CDE files containing standardized variable names, responses, coding, and other information for all of these questionnaires The program has also formatted 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); https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/USCODE-2011-title29/html/USCODE-2011-title29-chap16-subchapV-sec794d.htm) which “require[s] Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities.”
    • Studies that wish to use questionnaires not already included in the HEAL CDE repository should consult with their program official and the HEAL CDE team. New questionnaires will be considered for inclusion in the repository on a case-by-case basis and only when appropriate justification is provided.
    • 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 (https://heal.nih.gov/data/common-data-elements).
  • To the extent possible, all other (non-pain) HEAL studies conducting clinical trials or research involving human subject are expected to use questionnaires by the HEAL Clinical Data Elements (CDE) Program (https://heal.nih.gov/data/common-data-elements) if applicable and relevant to their research.
  • To the extent possible, HEAL awardees are expected to integrate broad data sharing consent language into their informed consent forms.

Additional details, resources, and tools to assist with data related activities can be found at https://www.healdatafair.org/.

All data collected as part of the NIH HEAL Initiative are so collected under a Certificate of Confidentiality and entitled to the protections thereof. Institutions who receive Data and/or Materials from this award for performance of activities under this award are required to use the Data and/or Materials only as outlined by the NIH HEAL Initiative, in a manner that is consistent with applicable state and federal laws and regulations, including any informed consent requirements and the terms of the institution’s NIH funding, including NOT-OD-17-109 and 42 U.S.C. 241(d). Failure to adhere to this criterion may result in enforcement actions.

4. 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.

  • Award recipients will provide updates at least annually on implementation of the PEDP.

Report and ensure immediate public access to HEAL-funded publications

Publications resulting from NIH HEAL Initiative funded studies must be immediately publicly available upon publication.  

  • For manuscripts published in journals that are not immediately open access, authors should arrange with journals in advance to pay for immediate open access  
  • Costs to ensure manuscripts are immediately publicly available upon publication should be included in budget requests 

Prior to publication, HEAL expects investigators to alert their program officers of upcoming manuscripts to ensure coordination of communication and outreach efforts.

Award recipients and their collaborators are required to acknowledge HEAL Initiative support by referencing in the acknowledgment sections of any relevant publication:

“This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health through the NIH HEAL Initiative (https://heal.nih.gov/) under award number [include specific grant/contract/award number; with NIH grant number(s) in this format: R01GM987654].”

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 NOFOs 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 $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 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 Conditions for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

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

Finding Help Online: https://www.era.nih.gov/need-help (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: 301-637-3015

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)

Sam Ananthan, Ph.D.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Telephone: 301-435-2199
Email: sam.ananthan@nih.gov

Kiran Vemuri, Ph.D
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Phone: 301-435-4446
Email: kiran.vemuri@nih.gov

Hye-Sook Kim, Ph.D.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Phone: 301-827-6910
Email: hye-sook.kim@nih.gov

Devon Oskvig, Ph.D.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Phone: (301) 496-9350
E-mail: devon.oskvig@nih.gov

Dave Yeung, Ph.D
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Telephone: 301-761-7237
Email: dy70v@nih.gov     

Michele Walsh, MD
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-402-7886
Email: michele.walsh@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)

Lennin Greenwood 
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Telephone: 301-827-0478 
Email: Lennin.Greenwood@nih.gov 

Debbie Chen
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Phone: 301-594-3788
Email: debbie.chen@nih.gov

Kathleen Moy
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Phone: 301.827.2856
E-mail: kathleen.moy@nih.gov

Jason A Lundgren
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Telephone: 240-669-2973
Email: Jason.Lundgren@nih.gov 

Margaret Young
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-642-4552
Email: margaret.young@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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