Department of Health and Human Services
Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

Funding Opportunity Title

(Re)Building a Kidney: Cells to Organ (UH2/UH3)

Activity Code

UH2/UH3 Phase Innovation Awards Cooperative Agreement

Announcement Type

New

Related Notices
  • November 26, 2014 - See Notice NOT-DK-15-004. Notice of Pre-application Webinar for RFA-DK-14-009 "(Re)Building a Kidney Coordinating Center (U01)" and RFA-DK-14-010 "(Re)Building a Kidney: Cells to Organ (UH2/UH3)"
  • September 25, 2014 - See Notice NOT-DK-14-026. Notice of Change to the Award Budget for RFA-DK-14-010 "(Re) Building a Kidney: Cells to Organ (UH2/UH3)"
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-DK-14-010

Companion Funding Opportunity

RFA-DK-14-009; U01 Cooperative Agreements

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)

93.847

Funding Opportunity Purpose

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites new research project applications to participate in the NIDDK (Re)Building a Kidney Consortium. The projects will be part of a research network focused on the expansion of tools, resources, and knowledge that will guide studies on the in vivo regeneration of functional nephrons or in vitro generation of nephrons for kidney transplant.

Funds will be made available through the UH2/UH3 cooperative agreement award mechanism. The initial UH2 phase will support milestone-driven projects that will inform strategies for the enhancement of endogenous regenerative repair processes and generation of cell types important for the development of functional nephrons.

UH2 projects that have met their scientific milestones will be eligible for transition to the second UH3 phase after NIH administrative review. The UH3 award is to provide a second phase for the support for innovative exploratory and development research activities initiated under the UH2 mechanism. UH3 phase will support milestone-driven projects. It is anticipated that relevant projects will be integrated as appropriate to further synergistic interactions and collaborations.

Key Dates
Posted Date

September 2, 2014

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

December 14, 2014

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

December 14, 2014

Application Due Date(s)

January 14, 2015, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on this date.

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.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

March/April, 2015

Advisory Council Review

May, 2015

Earliest Start Date

July, 2015

Expiration Date

January 15, 2015

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

Table of Contents

Part 1. Overview Information
Part 2. Full Text of the Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Section II. Award Information
Section III. Eligibility Information
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
Section V. Application Review Information
Section VI. Award Administration Information
Section VII. Agency Contacts
Section VIII. Other Information

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites new research project applications to participate in the NIDDK (Re)Building a Kidney Consortium. The goals of this initiative are to establish a network of investigators and research projects focused on the expansion of tools, resources, and knowledge that will guide studies on the in vivo regeneration of functional nephrons or in vitro generation of nephrons for kidney transplant.

To maximize scientific exchange and accelerate this area of research, the (Re)Building a Kidney Consortium will include a Coordinating Center that will facilitate activities of the consortium and oversee communication of data, and sharing of resources and tools within the consortium and the research community. The Coordinating Center is being considered under RFA-DK-14-009 "(Re)Building a Kidney Consortium Coordinating Center (U01)".

Background

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) are interconnected syndromes which pose a substantial public health burden. Even with the best available medical therapy, the progressive loss of kidney function can lead to need for renal replacement therapy (dialysis, kidney transplantation), both of which have substantial morbidity and mortality.  While living donor kidney transplantation is preferred, the selection process is complex and lengthy, not all patients are candidates, organs are in short supply, and two surgeries are required (donor and recipient). Unlike dialysis, kidney transplantation cannot be offered emergently.

Currently few efforts have been successful in ameliorating the acute injury in AKI, and chronic progressive pathologic processes in CKD, although the use of agents which interrupt the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system have improved the care of patients with CKD. Progressive kidney disease involves failure to effectively repair injury, ineffective regeneration of critical tissues, and unchecked continuation of pathophysiologic processes. Hence, the development of potential alternative therapies is of great importance. The development and employment of strategies to enhance renal repair and promote the generation of new nephrons in the postnatal organ could have a significant impact on the prevalence and progression of kidney disease. 

The de novo repair of nephrons, the re-generation of nephrons, and the in vitro engineering of a biological kidney all require diverse scientific approaches drawn from several disciplines and lines of study. This includes, but is not limited to, studies in developmental and cellular biology, productive and maladaptive repair, stem and progenitor cell biology, and tissue engineering. However, the cross-talk between these disciplines is limited. Although our understanding of the establishment, maintenance, and differentiation of the renal progenitors is extensive, only recently has this knowledge been used to guide the in vitro induction of renal cell lineages. It has not been exploited to inform strategies to best re-cellularize an injured kidney.

Ongoing studies and new developments have produced detailed knowledge of nephron development, induction of pluripotent stem cells towards a renal cell fate, and ex-vivo programming of renal progenitor cells. These advances make it reasonable and timely to consider efforts to coordinate and support studies that will in the future culminate in the ability to generate or repair nephrons that can function within the kidney.

Research Objectives

This program will be funded in two phases. During the UH2 phase, the NIDDK will support a wide range of projects including but not limited to studies that:

  • Identify, characterize, and evaluate progenitor cell types (embryonic and in the adult), including manipulation of iPS cells to a renal cell fate;
  • Determine the role of microenvironments to establish the cellular compartments of the kidney (including innervation, and the vasculature and lymphatic systems);
  • Study progenitor cells and microenvironment involved in productive repair in response to injury;
  • Develop and study scaffolds for use both in vivo and in vitro;
  • Evaluate methods to target cells and molecules to specific kidney locations/compartments; and
  • Establish the necessary pre-patterning of the kidney and the interaction of cellular components to boost kidney self-organization.

It is anticipated that the identification of progenitor cells, their microenvironment, and understanding the differentiation of renal and associated cell types and the development of scaffolds will spin-of key insights and reagents that can be utilized in the UH3 phase. UH3 phase should focus on studies that may (1) increase nephron number or nephron efficiency in situ to increase kidney capacity (2) allow kidney organogenesis in vitro, including cellular re-population of kidney scaffolds, (3) enhance productive repair thru manipulation of endogenous or exogenous cells, or (4) develop functional renal organoids or establish large scale cell cultures for purification of specific renal cell products. 

Transition to the UH3 phase will be based on an administrative review. The criteria to advance to the UH3 phase will be based on

  • Successful achievement of the defined milestones for the UH2 project;
  • Potential for meeting the UH3 phase stated goals;
  • Ability to work within a consortium arrangement and with other UH2 awardees to meet the goals of the initiative;
  • Availability of funds; and
  • Program balance.

Applications unresponsive to this FOA are those that focus primarily on basic transcriptional control of renal cell development, characterization of kidney injury models, creation of patient-derived hPSC lines, development of in vitro or in vivo disease models for studying pathophysiology, identification of therapeutic drug compounds or construction of artificial or bio-artificial dialyzers. Non-responsive applications will not proceed to review.

Consortium

The (Re)Building a Kidney Consortium will be made up of awardees involved in the (Re)Building a Kidney research projects as proposed in this FOA, the (Re)Building a Kidney Coordinating Center, the Opportunity Pool studies as described in RFA-DK-14-009.  The Consortium will be a collaborative effort between the awardees and the NIDDK. NIDDK will request that applicants share with members of the ((Re)Building a Kidney Consortium and its External Advisory Panel their peer review evaluation, post award evaluation, and their submitted application in response to this FOA. In addition, prior to publication but upon validation (1) all tools, reagents and data will be shared with consortium members, and (2) all tools and reagents will be made available to the general research community.

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

Cooperative Agreement: A support mechanism used when there will be substantial Federal scientific or programmatic involvement. Substantial involvement means that, after award, NIH scientific or program staff will assist, guide, coordinate, or participate in project activities.

Application Types Allowed

New

The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NIDDK intends to commit a total of $3 million in FY 2015 for RFA-DK-14-009 and RFA-DK-14-010. The UH2 phase will support between 6-8 awards. Following administrative review, it is anticipated that the UH3 phase will support between 4-6 awards made up of successful UH2 projects. Awards issued under this FOA are contingent upon the availability of funds and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Award Budget

The direct costs for UH2 awards are expected to be approximately $200,000-$300,000 per year. Total costs for the entire UH2 phase are limited to $500,000.  For the UH3 phase, the direct cost amount is expected to be approximately $500,000-$600,000. Total costs for the UH3 phase are limited to $1.0 million per year.

Award Project Period

The UH2 phase is limited to two years.  The UH3 phase is limited to   three years.

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

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)
  • 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 Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.

  • Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) - All registrations require that applicants be issued a DUNS number. After obtaining a DUNS number, applicants can begin both SAM and eRA Commons registrations. The same DUNS number must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly CCR) – Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
  • eRA Commons - Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the eRA Commons registration. Organizations can register with the eRA Commons as they are working through their SAM or Grants.gov registration. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • Grants.gov – Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

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

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

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

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

2. Cost Sharing

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

3. Additional Information on Eligibility
Number of Applications

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

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time.  This means that the NIH will not accept:

  • A new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping new (A0) or resubmission (A1) application.
  • A resubmission (A1) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of the previous new (A0) application.
  • An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see NOT-OD-11-101).

In addition, the NIH will not accept a resubmission (A1) application that is submitted later than 37 months after submission of the new (A0) application that it follows.  The NIH will accept submission:

  • To an RFA of an application that was submitted previously as an investigator-initiated application but not paid;
  • Of an investigator-initiated application that was originally submitted to an RFA but not paid; or
  • Of an application with a changed grant activity code.
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Requesting an Application Package

Applicants must download the SF424 (R&R) application package associated with this funding opportunity using the “Apply for Grant Electronically” button in this FOA or following the directions provided at Grants.gov.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Grant Application Instructions 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.

For information on Application Submission and Receipt, visit Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.

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, preferably electronically, should be sent electronically to:

Dr. Francisco O. Calvo
Chief, Review Branch
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Rm. 752 MSC 5452
Bethesda, MD 20892-5452
(for express/courier service: Bethesda, MD 20817)
Telephone: 301- 594-8897
Email: calvof@mail.nih.gov

Page Limitations

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

The Biographical Sketch for each Senior/Key Person may not exceed 5 pages.

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.  

Other Attachments: Please provide a statement indicating willingness to:

  • Work with NIDDK to participate in the initial and semi-annual meetings during the course of the grant award;
  • Cooperatively interact with NIDDK in support of the projects and activities;
  • Actively seek input from NIDDK regarding resource or expertise needs that may arise during the performance of the project; and
  • Participate in monthly conference calls.
SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

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

Biographical Sketch: NIDDK is piloting a proposed change to the SF424 (R&R) Biographical Sketch to allow applicants to this FOA to include a description of up to five contributions to their scientific field(s). The Biographical Sketch Format page for the pilot is available at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/SF424R-R_pilot-biosketch_VerC.docx.  

Following the education section of the Biographical Sketch, complete sections A, B, C and D as indicated below:

NOTE: Applicants must follow the format and instructions below.

A. Personal Statement: Briefly describe why you are well-suited for your role in the project described in this application. The relevant factors may include aspects of your training; your previous experimental work on this specific topic or related topics; your technical expertise; your collaborators or scientific environment; and your past performance in this or related fields (you may mention specific contributions to science that are not included in Section C). Also, you may identify up to four peer reviewed publications that specifically highlight your experience and qualifications for this project, provided that those publications do not appear in Section C. If you wish to explain impediments to your past productivity, you may include a description of factors such as family care responsibilities, illness, disability, and active duty military service.

B. Positions and Honors: List in chronological order previous positions, concluding with the present position. List any honors. Include present membership on any Federal Government public advisory committee.

C. Contributions to Science: Briefly describe up to five of your most significant contributions to science. For each contribution, indicate the historical background that frames the scientific problem; the central finding(s); the influence of the finding(s) on the progress of science or the application of those finding(s) to health or technology; and your specific role in the described work. For each of these contributions, reference up to four peer-reviewed publications that are relevant to that contribution. The description of each contribution should be no longer than one half page including any figures. Please also provide a link to a full list of your published work as found in a publicly available digital data base such as PubMed, myBibliography, or SciENcv all of which are maintained by the National Library of Medicine.

D. Research Support: List both selected ongoing and completed research projects for the past three years (Federal or non-Federally-supported). Begin with the projects that are most relevant to the research proposed in the application. Briefly indicate the overall goals of the projects and responsibilities of the key person identified on the Biographical Sketch. Do not include number of person months or direct costs.

All other components of the Biographical Sketch remain as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

R&R or Modular Budget

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

Budget requests must include costs for the PD/PI and at least one other member of the individual project to attend the initial and bi-annual meetings.

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: The UH2 and UH3 phases should have distinct and clearly enumerated specific aims; both phases should be included in a single specific aims section.

Research Strategy: The research strategy section should include sections succinctly addressing how the tools, resources, and knowledge developed in the UH2 phase will be used to direct the UH3 phase; and how development of the UH3 phase will guide strategies for the generation or enhanced repair of nephrons or enhancement of clinical treatment.

A section labeled “Milestones” must be included for both the UH2 and UH3 phases. Milestones are different from specific aims. The milestones must provide objective and quantitative outcomes by which to justify advancing the project. For the UH2 phase of the application, milestones must address the critical tools, resources or knowledge to be generated. Milestones for the UH3 phase must address utilization of advancements in the UH2 phase to advance critical areas outlined for UH3 Phase in Section I. Funding Opportunity Description. The application must include a strong rationale for the choice of models, functional readouts, and quantitative go/no-go decisions to be made by those involved in the project, based upon accepted practices in the specific field.  Once an application is funded, the milestones will be used to evaluate progress as part of the non-competing award process.

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, and Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS)) as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modification:

  • All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address the Resource Sharing Plan.
  • All applications are expected to provide plans that address sharing and demonstrate commitment to make data, biomaterials, models, reagents, tools, resources and methods available to the (Re)Building a Kidney Consortium and the research community. The terms and timelines for sharing within the (Re)Building a Kidney Consortium; adjustments for coordination of research plans, validation of models, materials, methods and data; and sharing with the research community will be established by the Steering Committee consistent with achieving the goals of the program and NIH policies and all participants are expected to adhere to these terms as a condition of award.
  • The sharing plan must include an agreement that investigators will work collaboratively with the (Re)Building a Kidney Consortium and with the Coordinating Center to maximize research accomplished by the consortium, and to implement procedures to provide quality controlled (per Steering Committee-approved procedures) data and information
  • In addition, applications are expected to include plans for the form and method to make resources, materials and models available to other investigators, for example through public resource centers, consistent with achieving the goals of the program. These plans should address releasing data and information validated per Steering Committee policies, and make materials and resources available to the research community in accordance with Steering Committee policies and prior to publication of the research results. This plan should also address methods for continuing to make public (Re)Building a Kidney Consortium data available to the NIH and the research community upon completion or termination of the project so that accumulated data remain accessible, for example through public repositories if available.

Appendix:  Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Planned Enrollment Report

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Planned Enrollment Reports as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. 

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. 

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. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates. 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.

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.  If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late.

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.

4. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. 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.

6. 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 Applying Electronically.

Important reminders:
All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH. See Section III of this FOA for information on registration requirements.

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

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the Center for Scientific Review and responsiveness by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Applications that are incomplete and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.  

In order to expedite review, applicants are requested to notify the NIDDK Referral Office by email at calvof@mail.nih.gov when the application has been submitted. Please include the FOA number and title, PD/PI name, and title of the application.

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in NOT-OD-13-030.

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process. As part of the NIH mission, all applications submitted to the NIH in support of biomedical and behavioral research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

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? 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?

Does the research address a critical need in advancing the tools, resources or knowledge necessary to guide strategies for the in vivo regeneration of functional nephrons to enhance repair or in vitro generation of nephrons for a transplantable kidney?

Investigator(s)    

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

Innovation

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

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? 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?

Is the overall approach to sharing adequate to allow timely distribution of tools, resources and knowledge within the Consortium?

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

Environment

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

Additional Review Criteria

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

Protections for Human Subjects

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

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

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

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

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following five points: 1) proposed use of the animals, and species, strains, ages, sex, and numbers to be used; 2) justifications for the use of animals and for the appropriateness of the species and numbers proposed; 3) adequacy of veterinary care; 4) procedures for limiting discomfort, distress, pain and injury to that which is unavoidable in the conduct of scientifically sound research including the use of analgesic, anesthetic, and tranquilizing drugs and/or comfortable restraining devices; and 5) methods of euthanasia and reason for selection if not consistent with the AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal 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

Not Applicable

Renewals

Not Applicable

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations

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

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 following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: 1) Data Sharing Plan; 2) Sharing Model Organisms; and 3) Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS).

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 NIDDK, 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:

  • 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.
  • Will receive a written critique.

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 National Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Advisory Council. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

  • Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by scientific peer review.
  • Availability of funds.
  • Relevance of the proposed project to program priorities.
  • Evidence that the applicant and investigators are committed to policies as established by the Steering Committee including with regard to confidentiality, sharing of information and resources, and cooperative interaction.
  • Evidence of past productive, cooperative, collaborative interaction.
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD/PI will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written critique) via the eRA Commons

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 grantee’s business official.

Awardees must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions. Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.

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

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, Grantees, and Activities. More information is provided at Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

The following special terms of award are in addition to, and not in lieu of, otherwise applicable U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) administrative guidelines, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) grant administration regulations at 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92 (Part 92 is applicable when State and local Governments are eligible to apply), and other HHS, PHS, and NIH grant administration policies.

The administrative and funding instrument used for this program will be the cooperative agreement, an "assistance" mechanism (rather than an "acquisition" mechanism), in which substantial NIH programmatic involvement with the awardees is anticipated during the performance of the activities. Under the cooperative agreement, the NIH purpose is to support and stimulate the recipients' activities by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the award recipients in a partnership role; it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activities. Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility resides with the awardees for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities may be shared among the awardees and the NIH as defined below.

The PD(s)/PI(s) will have the primary responsibility for:

  • Defining the objectives and approaches, planning, conduct, analysis, and publication of results, interpretations, and conclusions of studies conducted under the terms and conditions of the cooperative agreement award.
  • Accountability towards the applicant organization officials and to the NIDDK for the performance and proper conduct of the research supported by the project in accordance with the terms and conditions of the award.
  • Serving as a voting member of the Steering Committee and will attend the initial meeting which will serve as a planning meeting, the bi-annual Steering Committee meetings, and monthly teleconference calls.
  • Accepting and implementing the goals, priorities, procedures, protocols, and policies agreed upon by the Steering Committee and subcommittees, and be responsible for close coordination and cooperation with the components of the (Re)Building a Kidney Consortium and with NIH staff.
  • Adhering to PHS policy for the distribution of unique research resources produced with PHS funding as described under Resource Sharing. The NIH Project Scientist, on behalf of the NIH, will have the same access, privileges and responsibilities regarding the collaborative data as the other members of the Steering Committee.
  • Submission of modified written milestones for the project, in consultation with (Re)Building a Kidney Consortium, External Expert Panel, and the NIDDK Project Staff within the first three months of the award period.
  • The PI is expected to put all study design materials and procedure manuals into the public domain and/or make them available to other investigators, according to the approved plan for making data and materials available to the scientific community and the NIDDK, for the conduct of research at no charge other than the costs of reproduction and distribution, consistent with achieving the goals of this program initiative.
  • Awardees will retain custody of and have primary rights to the data and software developed under these awards, subject to Government rights of access consistent with current DHHS, PHS, and NIH policies.

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

  • An NIH Project Scientist will have substantial programmatic involvement that is above and beyond the normal stewardship role in awards, as described below. However, the dominant role and prime responsibility for the project as a whole resides with the awardees, although specific tasks and activities in carrying out the studies will be shared by awardees and the NIDDK.
  • NIDDK will designate a Project Officer and a Grants Management Specialist to provide normal program stewardship and administrative oversight of the cooperative agreement.
  • NIDDK will form an External Expert Panel (EEP), comprised of the NIDDK Project Scientist and other NIH extramural staff with relevant scientific expertise or who manage research grant programs that relate scientifically to the goals of the (Re)Building a Kidney projects, and outside advisors selected by the NIDDK. The EEP will meet annually with the (Re)Building a Kidney Consortium Steering Committee to review and assess the Consortium and to advise NIDDK Project Staff of scientific developments and opportunities that may enhance the achievement of the(Re)Building a Kidney Consortium goals.
  • The NIDDK Project Scientist will attend and participate as a voting member in all meetings of the Steering Committee, and provide liaison between the Steering Committee and the External Expert Panel.
  • The NIDDK Project Scientist will help the Steering Committee develop and draft operating policies.
  • The NIDDK Project Officer will review the scientific progress of the (Re)Building a Kidney Consortium for compliance with operating policies developed by the Steering Committee, and may recommend to the NIDDK to withhold support, suspend, or terminate an award for lack of scientific progress or failure to adhere to policies established by the Steering Committee.
  • An agency program official or IC program director will be responsible for the normal scientific and programmatic stewardship of the award and will be named in the award notice. The assigned Program Officer may also serve as an NIH Project Scientist.

Areas of Joint Responsibility include:

  • Steering Committee - The NIH Project Scientist, PIs from the project funded through this FOA and RFA-DK-14-009, will be responsible for forming a Steering Committee as defined below. An arbitration system, as detailed below, will be available to resolve disagreements among members of the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will be the main governing board of the (Re)Building a Kidney Consortium. It will develop collaborative protocols, identify technological impediments to success and strategies to overcome them, develop shared software tools for disseminating information about the projects, and identify opportunities for sharing techniques and tools that might be developed in future projects.
  • The PIs and the NIDDK Project Scientist will each have one vote on the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will select a chairperson who will be someone other than an NIH staff member.
  • The Steering Committee may, as it deems necessary, invite additional, non-voting scientific advisors to meetings at which research priorities and opportunities are discussed. The NIH reserves the right to augment the scientific or consumer expertise of the Steering Committee when necessary.
  • There will be two Steering Committee meetings annually. The first meeting is on September 15-16, 2015. At this initial meeting, the Steering Committee will be formed and a chairperson selected from among the members. At this meeting, the Steering Committee may: (a) draft a charter to detail policies and procedures, a process for monitoring compliance with the policies and procedures, and a process for recommending that the NIH Project Administrators act on evidence of non-compliance of any Consortium component with Steering Committee policies; and (b) agree upon the terms of the charter; and (c) devise a plan for working with the Coordinating Center to provide input into website design and database content.
  • At the second and subsequent meetings, the Steering Committee will refine the (Re)Building a Kidney Consortium projects' scientific objectives and implementation as necessary.
  • The Steering Committee will plan workshops, to which non-(Re)Building a Kidney Consortium participants will be invited, in order to inform the research community of the progress made by the (Re)Building a Kidney Consortium toward meeting its' goals, and to inform the research community of any technological advances related to (Re)Building a Kidney Consortium. The NIDDK Project Scientist, the External Expert Panel, and other NIH staff as appropriate will provide the Steering Committee with advice on participants for the workshops and symposia.
  • The Steering Committee may establish subcommittees as it deems appropriate; the NIH Project Scientist may serve on the subcommittees as deemed appropriate.
  • Awardee members of the Steering Committee will be required to accept and implement policies approved by the Steering Committee.
  • The EEP will meet annually with the (Re)Building a Kidney Consortium Steering Committee to review and assess the progress of the (Re)Building a Kidney Consortium and to advise NIDDK Project Staff of scientific developments and opportunities that may enhance the achievement of the (Re)Building a Kidney Consortium's goals.

Dispute Resolution:

Any disagreements that may arise in scientific or programmatic matters (within the scope of the award) between award recipients and the NIH may be brought to Dispute Resolution. A Dispute Resolution Panel composed of three members will be convened. It will have three members: a designee of the Steering Committee chosen without NIH staff voting, one NIH designee, and a third designee with expertise in the relevant area who is chosen by the other two; in the case of individual disagreement, the first member may be chosen by the individual awardee. This special dispute resolution procedure does not alter the awardee's right to appeal an adverse action that is otherwise appealable in accordance with PHS regulation 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D and DHHS regulation 45 CFR Part 16.n

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the annual Non-Competing Progress Report (PHS 2590 or RPPR) and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

A final progress report, invention statement, and the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout of an award, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later.  All awardees of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000.  See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement. 

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 Commons Help Desk (Questions regarding eRA Commons registration, submitting and tracking an application, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, post submission issues)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)
Finding Help Online: https://grants.nih.gov/support/index.html
Email: commons@od.nih.gov

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission, downloading forms and application packages)
Contact CenterTelephone: 800-518-4726
Email: support@grants.gov

GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and process, finding NIH grant resources)
Telephone: 301-710-0267
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Deborah K. Hoshizaki, Ph.D.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone: 301-594-7712
Email: deborah.hoshizaki@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Francisco O. Calvo, Ph.D.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone: 301-594-8897
Email: calvof@mail.nih.gov.

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Pamela Love
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone: 301-435-6198
Email: lovepa@mail.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 Parts 74 and 92.

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