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)

All applications to this funding opportunity announcement should fall within the mission of the Institutes/Centers. The following NIH Offices may co-fund applications assigned to those Institutes/Centers.

Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives, Office of Disease Prevention (ODP)

Funding Opportunity Title
The Physiology of the Weight Reduced State Clinical Trial Consortium (UG3/UH3 Clinical Trial Required)
Activity Code
UG3/UH3 Exploratory/Developmental Phased Award Cooperative Agreement
Announcement Type

New

Related Notices
July 26, 2019- Changes to NIH Requirements Regarding Proposed Human Fetal Tissue Research. See Notice NOT-OD-19-128

August 23, 2019- Clarifying Competing Application Instructions and Notice of Publication of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Regarding Proposed Human Fetal Tissue Research. See Notice NOT-OD-19-137

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number
RFA-DK-19-017
Companion Funding Opportunity

RFA-DK-19-018, U24 Resource-Related Research Projects – Cooperative Agreements

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

93.847

Funding Opportunity Purpose

Following intentional weight loss, physiological processes including altered appetite and decreased energy expenditure create a tendency toward regain of lost weight. This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites UG3/UH3 cooperative agreement applications from multi-disciplinary teams that propose to conduct collaborative mechanistic clinical trials focused on elucidation of the physiological mechanisms underlying individual variability in maintenance of reduced weight over time. This FOA will not support studies with a goal to evaluate the efficacy of interventions for weight loss or maintenance of reduced weight. Participants must be studied before and after a successful behavioral/lifestyle weight loss intervention to determine the extent, durability, and mechanisms for physiologic adaptations to weight loss, including metabolic and biobehavioral mechanisms. It is expected that tissue biospecimens will be collected that can be used to identify potential metabolic pathways that are altered after weight loss and may render it more difficult to maintain the reduced weight.

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) will use the bi-phasic, milestone-driven UG3/UH3 cooperative agreement mechanism in parallel with a companion FOA, RFA DK-19-018  , Physiology of the Weight Reduced State Data Coordinating Center (U24 Clinical Trial Not Allowed). Awards made under this FOA will initially support a planning/preparation phase (UG3) for approximately one year with possible transition to a study (UH3) phase of up to four additional years once planning milestones are met. Applications submitted in response to this FOA must propose activities for both phases and are expected to include plans for project management and performance milestones for each phase.

Key Dates

Posted Date

November 22, 2019

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
May 11, 2020
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

May 11, 2020

Application Due Date(s)

June 11, 2020 by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.  

All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on the listed date(s).

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date. No late applications will be accepted for this Funding Opportunity Announcement.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)
Not Applicable
Scientific Merit Review

October/November, 2020

Advisory Council Review

January, 2021

Earliest Start Date

April, 2021

Expiration Date
June 12, 2020
Due Dates for E.O. 12372
Not Applicable
Required Application Instructions
It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Research (R) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide,except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts ).

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

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

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

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

  3. Use Grants.gov Workspace to prepare and submit your application and eRA Commons to track your application.
  4. Table of Contents

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

Background

Obesity is a major health risk in our current environment, affecting almost 40% of adults and 18.5% of children in the United States (https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/). Individuals seeking to lose weight can often alter their dietary intake and physical activity regimens to lose a significant fraction of their excess weight but will often experience weight regain. Whether there is a weight 'set point', and how it might be altered by weight gain or loss, are debatable concepts. However, there is considerable evidence that homeostatic physiological and biobehavioral pathways counter the attempt to maintain a reduced (or elevated) weight. These include appetitive and metabolic adaptation. The latter describes how the efficiency of resting and non-resting energy utilization appears to adapt to defend against weight change. The mechanisms for physiologic adaptation to the weight reduced state likely involve tissue specific as well as central alterations in energy handling, and neural pathways involved in eating behavior and reward, amongst others. The weight loss phase may be physiologically distinct from the reduced weight maintenance phase, and strategies focused on weight loss per se may not be as successful when applied to weight loss maintenance. This gives rise to the need to understand the physiology of the weight reduced state and the mechanisms of individual variability in weight maintenance, which could reveal new therapeutic targets for interventions aimed at maintaining weight loss.

This FOA follows a recent NIDDK workshop June 3-4, 2019, “Physiology of the Weight Reduced State”, in which the state of the science was discussed.

Research Objectives

This FOA will support collaborative Clinical Centers (CCs) with multi-disciplinary teams to conduct mechanistic clinical trials with a goal of understanding the mechanisms underlying individual variability in weight-loss maintenance, with extensive phenotyping and biospecimen collection. This FOA will not support studies with a goal to evaluate the efficacy of interventions for weight loss or maintenance of reduced weight.  A companion FOA (RFA-DK-19-018) invites applications for a Data Coordinating Center (DCC) to provide additional scientific input as well as coordinate study design and protocol development, protocol implementation, and data analysis. CC, DCC and NIH staff will comprise a Steering Committee that will work together during the first UG3 year of the award to complete the planning process and thereafter to conduct the study.

Applicants should propose to explore the physiology of the reduced weight state. Specifically, they will study adults with overweight and/or obesity longitudinally before and after successful weight loss achieved through a behavioral/lifestyle intervention, in order to explore the extent, duration, and potential metabolic, biobehavioral, cellular and molecular mechanisms for those physiologic processes that oppose weight loss maintenance. Applicants should propose to study physiologic mechanisms that regulate both energy intake and metabolic adaptation/regulation of energy expenditure. An appropriate enrollment target, allowing for both attrition and inability to achieve the targeted weight loss, should ensure a sufficient number of people that will successfully lose weight and can then be monitored for individual variability in weight loss maintenance on relevant phenotypes. Applicants can propose a series of outcomes to be evaluated in all participants in the weight maintenance phase, as well as highly specialized phenotypic evaluations on subsets of participants, as long as those outcomes are well-justified. Applicants should propose to collect biospecimens such as blood, stool, muscle and/or adipose tissue at appropriate times. Applicants can propose mechanistic experiments using these tissues, and can also propose to store tissues for possible future analysis using discovery approaches, with the anticipation that some plans may be altered during the UG3 planning year.

It is anticipated that during the planning year, the steering committee will employ some common protocol elements across all participating clinical trials. These include a common behavioral/lifestyle weight loss intervention and weight maintenance plan, and a common definition of successful weight maintenance. The period of monitoring weight maintenance following weight loss should be at least 12 months. Some outcomes and assessments are likely to be common, potentially including but not limited to calorimetric measures of total energy expenditure, resting and non-resting energy expenditure, exercise efficiency and respiratory quotient, and fasting and post-prandial measures such as appetitive measures and obesity relevant metabolic/appetitive hormones. CCs are also expected to collect a common set of biospecimens from each participant, although a CC co?u?l?d also collect additional biospecimens of interest. In addition to any analyses planned at the CCs, biospecimens should be stored such that they can subsequently be analyzed using discovery approaches such as genomics, proteomics and/or metabolomics.

The use of common protocol elements will ensure that a sufficient number of participants can be enrolled and extensively studied to provide insight into the duration and extent of metabolic and appetitive adaptation following weight loss. Other outcomes, particularly highly mechanistic measures, might be unique to one trial. Examples of specialized CC-specific measures might include, but are not limited to, mitochondria quality and function, calcium metabolism, isotope measures of metabolic flux, neuroimaging or other measures of response to food, or measures of brown adipose tissue mass and activity. Study teams should include appropriate expertise, such as in behavioral weight loss interventions, energy intake and expenditure, biostatistics, omics analysis or other mechanistic outcomes.

In accordance with NIDDK data sharing policies, all data produced by the consortium will be made publicly available, following current best practices regarding data safety and participant privacy. It is expected that where appropriate, data will be stored in standardized formats in appropriate data sites.

Specific Objectives for UG3 Phase

The UG3/UH3 two-phase grant mechanism is being used to provide for a planning stage of the clinical trial(s), ensure that planning has been adequately completed prior to initiation of the clinical trial, and facilitate a timely start for the UH3 implementation phase.

The UG3 phase, which is expected to last approximately one year, provides support for development of study protocol(s) and other essential elements of a clinical study, including a Manual of Operations, informed consent documents, case report forms, and data and safety monitoring procedures. Procedures for staff training and study oversight will also be developed during the planning period. These activities will be coordinated by the DCC. The UG3 award can also support limited pilot feasibility projects as needed to ensure success of the larger study.

Milestones and Transition from UG3 Phase to UH3 Phase

Transition from the UG3 to the UH3 phase requires administrative review by NIDDK staff and successful completion of negotiated milestones. The UG3 phase application must propose milestones that will be evaluated during peer review and used as the basis of programmatic review at the transition time. Final milestones will be negotiated between awardee and program staff and established during the first year of the UG3 phase. See Section IV.2, "Other Attachments", "Milestone Plan".

Objectives for UH3 Phase

The UH3 phase will support all aspects of the clinical trial and is expected to last approximately 4 years. During this time, the DCC will support the study by assisting with study implementation and oversight, receiving and storing clinical data, data analysis, etc. The clinical centers will meet regularly with DCC and NIH staff to monitor progress, enhance recruitment strategies as needed, share data, plan and write publications, and other activities as necessary. Milestones and timelines are discussed in section IV.2, "Other Attachments", "Milestone Plan".

Steering Committee

The primary governing body of the study will be the Steering Committee, comprised of the PDs/PIs of the DCC and each CC, and the NIDDK Project Scientist.

In addition to protocols, the Steering Committee will develop policies and procedures for the study group and ensure that these policies are properly implemented.  These may include procedures for modification of study design, use of study samples and data, approval of ancillary studies, publication and presentation of study findings, monitoring study progress, determining completeness and quality of data collection, and other performance measures.  NIDDK expects the investigators to develop robust ancillary study policies to provide opportunities for outside investigators to leverage collected data and biospecimens, as well as the recruited cohort, to expand the scientific output of the group.  The steering committee will meet twice in person in the first year and at least annually after that, and will conduct regular phone meetings.

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

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. See Section VI.2 for additional information about the substantial involvement for this FOA.
Application Types Allowed
New

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

Clinical Trial?
Required: Only accepting applications that propose clinical trial(s)

Need help determining whether you are doing a clinical trial?

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NIH intends to fund up to 2 awards, corresponding to a total of $500,000 in FY 2021 and $2,350,000 per year in FYs 2022-2025. 

The following NIH components intend to commit the following amounts:

NIDDK intends to commit a total of $450,000 in FY 2021 and $2,300,000 per year in FYs 2022-2025.

ODP intends to commit a total of $50,000 per year in FYs 2021-2025.

Award Budget

Application budgets are limited to $165,000 direct costs in FY 2021 and $780,000 direct costs per year in FYs 2022-2025. Budgets should reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

Award Project Period

The project period is limited to 1 year for the UG3 phase and up to 4 years for the UH3 phase.  The maximum project period is 5 years.

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

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

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

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

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

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

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

For-Profit Organizations

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

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
Foreign Institutions

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

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

Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are 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) – 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 to register in eRA Commons. Organizations can register with the eRA Commons as they are working through their SAM or Grants.gov registration , but 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 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

 

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)

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

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

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

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

 

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:

John Connaughton, Ph.D.

Chief, Scientific Review Branch

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

Telephone: 301-594-7797

Email: NIDDKletterofintent@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 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: The following items must be included as attachments under Other Attachments.

Overview of Mechanistic Outcome Measures: The file name "Mechanistic Outcome Measures.pdf" must be used.  

The Overview of Mechanistic Outcome Measures must provide a narrative description of the outcomes  . Elements could include, but are not limited to, descriptions of the following:

  • Rationale, description and methodological considerations for all physiological outcomes associated with reduced weight maintenance (weight, BMI, body composition, energy expenditure, appetitive behaviors, dietary intake, etc.);
  • Biospecimen number, type/tissue and collection times;
  • Appropriate biospecimen handling and storage for proposed analyses;
  • Rationale, description and methodological considerations for a?l?l mechanistic outcomes associated with altered appetitive drives and/or eating behavior in the weight-reduced state;
  • Rationale, description and methodological considerations for all mechanistic outcomes associated with metabolic adaptation. Applications must address mechanisms for metabolic adaptation, either through discovery or hypothesis-driven approaches, to be considered responsive;
  • Other elements as necessary.

Applications that lack the Overview of Mechanistic Outcome Measures  are incomplete and will not be peer reviewed.

Statistical Analysis Plan: The filename "Statistical Analysis Plan.pdf" must be used.

The applicant should describe the proposed sample size necessary or expected for each study phase (recruitment and enrollment, active weight loss, and weight loss maintenance.  A justification should be provided for how the participant characteristics for each phase will provide enough participants with successful weight loss to permit evaluation of the effects of individual variation in weight maintenance on the proposed mechanistic outcomes.

The applicant must describe the statistical methods to be used, including the sample size and power calculations, plans for the primary and secondary analyses, and pre-specified interim analyses, if applicable. This plan is critical to knowing whether applicants have selected the correct cohort size based on proper power calculations and/or are using the most appropriate methods to analyze the resulting data and make correct conclusions at the end of the study. The sample size and statistical power calculations should contain enough detail, including a discussion of assumptions made, so that a reviewer can readily duplicate the sample size projection. The power analysis should include a discussion of the anticipated rates of follow-up (i.e., drop out/lost to follow up) during key outcome collection contacts. A discussion of how missing data will be handled should be included. Any planned interim analyses should also be described.

Applications that lack the Statistical Analysis Plan are incomplete and will not be peer reviewed.

Tissue Analysis Plan: The filename "Tissue Analysis Plan.pdf" must be used.

The applicant must describe any uses for biospecimens that are proposed to be collected. This should include any analyses to be done as part of the CC's proposed research project, as well as suggestions for subsequent analyses such as metabolomics or proteomics. The applicant should detail the type and expected amount of collected tissue, and the amounts needed for each analysis.

Applications that lack the Tissue Analysis Plan are incomplete and will not be peer reviewed.

Milestone Plan: The filename "Milestone Plan.pdf" must be used.

Applicants are required to provide detailed interim performance measures and timelines for completing key objectives and administrative functions for the proposed planning phase (UG3) and the clinical study (UH3 phase), as applicable. The Milestone plan is separate and distinct from the Study Timeline, which should be included in the Research Strategy.  Milestones should be easily measurable and realistic. Milestones may include, as applicable, but are not limited to:

UG3 phase (year 1)

  • Finalization of the protocol, recruitment plan and consent forms;
  • Finalization of a manual of operations;
  • Preparation of data forms and database for clinical data;
  • Standardization of outcome measures to be shared by all clinical sites;
  • Approval of study documents by a DSMB and IRB;
  • Execution of contracts/third party agreements;
  • Plan for training of study staff.

UH3 phase (years 2-5)

  • Anticipated date of enrollment of the first participant;
  • Enrollment of 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% of the target sample size;
  • Follow-up visit completion, if applicable, of 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% of the enrolled study population, including women and minorities;
  • Expected drop-out or lost-to-follow-up rate;
  • Completion of data collection;
  • Completion of primary endpoint and secondary endpoint data analyses;
  • Completion of final study report and manuscript submission;
  • Closeout plans/communication of results to participants;
  • Transfer of data and biospecimens for storage at the NIDDK repository at the completion of the study.

These milestones will be negotiated at the time of the award, as appropriate. Future year support is contingent on satisfactory achievement of performance milestones. If milestones are not achieved fully, NIDDK may request development of a remedial plan and more frequent monitoring of progress or take other remedial actions.

Applications that lack the Milestone Plan are considered incomplete and will not be peer reviewed.

Consortium Assurance: The filename "Consortium Assurance.pdf" must be used.

The PD/PI should provide a letter stating his/her willingness to participate in Consortium activities, including sharing the scientific portion of the application, participating in meetings at the NIH and regular conference calls and abiding by approved Consortium policies, following all common elements in the protocol agreed to during the planning phase, providing clinical data to the DCC in approved formats, and submitting biospecimens for storage at the NIDDK repository at the end of the study. In the letter, the PD/PI may discuss past experiences participating in multi-center studies.

In addition, the PD/PI and an authorized Institutional Official must provide evidence that the Institution is willing to sign a standard reliance agreement and use the single IRB proposed by the DCC, if required, as part of its application, in accordance with NIH policy on the use of a single Institutional Review Board for multi-site research, https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-17-076.html.

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
 

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

In addition to costs associated with planning during the UG3 phase and with the clinical trial during the UH3 phase, budget requests should include the following:

  • Travel costs for two face-to-face meetings during the first year of the award and one annual face-to-face meeting thereafter. These are expected to take place in Bethesda, MD; and
  • Costs for biospecimens collection, processing, analysis and storage at the CC during the study period.
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:

Research Strategy:

This section should address both the planning period (UG3) and the full study (UH3).

The applicant should clearly articulate the significance of the proposed study and provide preliminary data to support mechanistic hypotheses and indicate feasibility where needed. The definitions of successful weight loss and successful weight maintenance to be used in the study? should be included. The application should include a description of the study team along with a detailed description and scientific rationale for the study design, addressing the population to be studied, each study phase (recruitment and enrollment, a behavioral/lifestyle weight loss intervention, and the process for monitoring weight loss maintenance for a duration of at least 12 months with a description o?f any proposed weight maintenance program) and a brief description of the outcomes being assessed. The discussion of supporting data that will provide the basis for the study's design should address the adequacy and quality of previous studies and include a plan to address research gaps, including improved rigor and reproducibility of existing research, where needed.

UG3 Planning Phase (Year 1)

Activities supported by the UG3 include, but are not limited to:

  • Establishment and participation in a steering committee made of clinical centers and DCC key personnel and NIH staff, and any needed subcommittees to work together as a consortium;
  • Agreement on any necessary consortium policies, such as data sharing and safety or publication of data from shared study elements;
  • Finalization of the common elements of the study protocol(s), including biospecimen preparation and storage protocols as necessary;
  • Development of consent form(s);
  • Development of manuals of operations which would include, but is not limited to, procedures, validation, and quality control for any clinical or laboratory/mechanistic testing which will be performed;
  • Development of a data and safety monitoring plan. During the UG3 phase, NIDDK will appoint a Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) to conduct oversight of the clinical trials;
  • Development of training materials and training/certification plans for study staff;
  • Participation in the Institutional Review Board (IRB) review process. A single IRB is required for multi-site research (see NOT-OD-16-094);
  • Discussions regarding archiving of data and samples in the NIDDK Repository. The NIDDK has established Central Biosample, Genetic, and Data Repositories for the archiving and storage of data and biosamples collected in large, multi-site studies funded by NIDDK. The investigator(s) should be prepared to transfer all data to the Repository. In addition, investigators should set aside a portion of collected biosamples for transfer to the Repository and later distribution to the scientific community for further research. Samples that meet NIDDK criteria can be shipped to the NIDDK Repositories for storage, at no cost to the study. The study group will be expected to adhere to NIDDK data sharing policies;
  • Conduct of limited feasibility projects as needed to ensure success of the study(ies);
  • Other elements as necessary.

Timeline

A timeline for activities for the entire project should be included. This is distinct from the Milestone Plan attachment.

Letters of Support:

Letters of Support from key collaborators should be included.

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

The following modifications also apply:

  • All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data and Resource (Biological Sample) Sharing Plan.
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.

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

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

4. Submission Dates and Times

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

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

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

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

5. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

6. Funding Restrictions

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

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

7. Other Submission Requirements and Information

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

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

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

Important reminders:

All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential 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 and compliance with application instructions by the Center for Scientific Review and responsiveness by components of participating organizations, NIH. Applications that are incomplete, non-compliant and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.

Use of Common Data Elements in NIH-funded Research

Many NIH ICs encourage the use of common data elements (CDEs) in basic, clinical, and applied research, patient registries, and other human subject research to facilitate broader and more effective use of data and advance research across studies. CDEs are data elements that have been identified and defined for use in multiple data sets across different studies. Use of CDEs can facilitate data sharing and standardization to improve data quality and enable data integration from multiple studies and sources, including electronic health records. NIH ICs have identified CDEs for many clinical domains (e.g., neurological disease), types of studies (e.g. genome-wide association studies (GWAS)), types of outcomes (e.g., patient-reported outcomes), and patient registries (e.g., the Global Rare Diseases Patient Registry and Data Repository). NIH has established a “Common Data Element (CDE) Resource Portal" (http://cde.nih.gov/) to assist investigators in identifying NIH-supported CDEs when developing protocols, case report forms, and other instruments for data collection. The Portal provides guidance about and access to NIH-supported CDE initiatives and other tools and resources for the appropriate use of CDEs and data standards in NIH-funded research. Investigators are encouraged to consult the Portal and describe in their applications any use they will make of NIH-supported CDEs in their projects.

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

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

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

For this particular announcement, note the following:

A proposed Clinical Trial application may include study design, methods, and intervention that are not by themselves innovative but address important questions or unmet needs. Additionally, the results of the clinical trial may indicate that further clinical development of the intervention is unwarranted or lead to new avenues of scientific investigation.

Overall Impact
Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).
Scored Review Criteria
Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

 

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

Specific to this FOA:

Do preliminary data support the mechanistic hypotheses of the planned project  ?

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

Are the scientific rationale and need for a clinical trial to test the proposed hypothesis or intervention well supported by preliminary data, clinical and/or preclinical studies, or information in the literature or knowledge of biological mechanisms? For trials focusing on clinical or public health endpoints, is this clinical trial necessary for testing the safety, efficacy or effectiveness of an intervention that could lead to a change in clinical practice, community behaviors or health care policy? For trials focusing on mechanistic, behavioral, physiological, biochemical, or other biomedical endpoints, is this trial needed to advance scientific understanding?

 

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 FOA:

Is there evidence that the PD/PI and investigative team are willing to collaborate with other investigators in this consortium to develop common measures and disseminate research results?

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

With regard to the proposed leadership for the project, do the PD/PI(s) and key personnel have the expertise, experience, and ability to organize, manage and implement the proposed clinical trial and meet milestones and timelines? Do they have appropriate expertise in study coordination, data management and statistics? For a multicenter trial, is the organizational structure appropriate and does the application identify a core of potential center investigators and staffing for a coordinating center?

 

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

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

Does the design/research plan include innovative elements, as appropriate, that enhance its sensitivity, potential for information or potential to advance scientific knowledge or clinical practice?

 

Are 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?

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

Does the application adequately address the following, if applicable

Study Design

Is the study design justified and appropriate to address primary and secondary outcome variable(s)/endpoints that will be clear, informative and relevant to the hypothesis being tested? Is the scientific rationale/premise of the study based on previously well-designed preclinical and/or clinical research? Given the methods used to assign participants and deliver interventions, is the study design adequately powered to answer the research question(s), test the proposed hypothesis/hypotheses, and provide interpretable results? Is the trial appropriately designed to conduct the research efficiently? Are the study populations (size, gender, age, demographic group), proposed intervention arms/dose, and duration of the trial, appropriate and well justified?

Are potential ethical issues adequately addressed? Is the process for obtaining informed consent or assent appropriate? Is the eligible population available? Are the plans for recruitment outreach, enrollment, retention, handling dropouts, missed visits, and losses to follow-up appropriate to ensure robust data collection? Are the planned recruitment timelines feasible and is the plan to monitor accrual adequate? Has the need for randomization (or not), masking (if appropriate), controls, and inclusion/exclusion criteria been addressed? Are differences addressed, if applicable, in the intervention effect due to sex/gender and race/ethnicity?

Are the plans to standardize, assure quality of, and monitor adherence to, the trial protocol and data collection or distribution guidelines appropriate? Is there a plan to obtain required study agent(s)? Does the application propose to use existing available resources, as applicable?

Data Management and Statistical Analysis

Are planned analyses and statistical approach appropriate for the proposed study design and methods used to assign participants and deliver interventions? Are the procedures for data management and quality control of data adequate at clinical site(s) or at center laboratories, as applicable? Have the methods for standardization of procedures for data management to assess the effect of the intervention and quality control been addressed? Is there a plan to complete data analysis within the proposed period of the award?

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 FOA:

Does the application propose measures to address both eating behavior and energy expenditure?

 

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

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

If proposed, are the administrative, data coordinating, enrollment and laboratory/testing centers, appropriate for the trial proposed?

Does the application adequately address the capability and ability to conduct the trial at the proposed site(s) or centers? Are the plans to add or drop enrollment centers, as needed, appropriate?

If international site(s) is/are proposed, does the application adequately address the complexity of executing the clinical trial?

If multi-sites/centers, is there evidence of the ability of the individual site or center to: (1) enroll the proposed numbers; (2) adhere to the protocol; (3) collect and transmit data in an accurate and timely fashion; and, (4) operate within the proposed organizational structure?

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.

Study Timeline

Specific to applications involving clinical trials:

Is the study timeline described in detail, taking into account start-up activities, the anticipated rate of enrollment, and planned follow-up assessment? Is the projected timeline feasible and well justified? Does the project incorporate efficiencies and utilize existing resources (e.g., CTSAs, practice-based research networks, electronic medical records, administrative database, or patient registries) to increase the efficiency of participant enrollment and data collection, as appropriate?

Are potential challenges and corresponding solutions discussed (e.g., strategies that can be implemented in the event of enrollment shortfalls)?

Tissue Analysis Plan

Is the tissue analysis plan included?  Does it describe the type and amount of tissue planned for analyses at the CC, as well as suggestions for subsequent analyses that should be done across the consortium

Milestones

 Are the milestones for the UG3 and UH3 phases appropriate and feasible?

 

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

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

 

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

 

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following criteria: (1) description of proposed procedures involving animals, including species, strains, ages, sex, and total number to be used; (2) justifications for the use of animals versus alternative models and for the appropriateness of the species proposed; (3) interventions to minimize discomfort, distress, pain and injury; and (4) justification for euthanasia method if NOT consistent with the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals. Reviewers will assess the use of chimpanzees as they would any other application proposing the use of vertebrate animals. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.

 

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

 

Not Applicable

 

Not Applicable

 

Not Applicable

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

 

Not Applicable

 

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

 

Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: (1) Data Sharing Plan; (2) Sharing Model Organisms; and (3)  Genomic Data Sharing Plan (GDS).

 

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

 

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

2. Review and Selection Process

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

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

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

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

Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

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

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

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

ClinicalTrials.gov: If an award provides for one or more clinical trials. By law (Title VIII, Section 801 of Public Law 110-85), the "responsible party" must register and submit results information for certain “applicable clinical trials” on the ClinicalTrials.gov Protocol Registration and Results System Information Website (https://register.clinicaltrials.gov). NIH expects registration and results reporting of all trials whether required under the law or not. For more information, see https://grants.nih.gov/policy/clinical-trials/reporting/index.htm

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

Data and Safety Monitoring Requirements: The NIH policy for data and safety monitoring requires oversight and monitoring of all NIH-conducted or -supported human biomedical and behavioral intervention studies (clinical trials) to ensure the safety of participants and the validity and integrity of the data. Further information concerning these requirements is found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/hs/data_safety.htm and in the application instructions (SF424 (R&R) and PHS 398).

Investigational New Drug or Investigational Device Exemption Requirements: Consistent with federal regulations, clinical research projects involving the use of investigational therapeutics, vaccines, or other medical interventions (including licensed products and devices for a purpose other than that for which they were licensed) in humans under a research protocol must be performed under a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigational new drug (IND) or investigational device exemption (IDE).

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.

Recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS must administer their programs in compliance with federal civil rights law. This means that recipients of HHS funds must ensure equal access to their programs without regard to a person’s race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, sex and religion. This includes ensuring your programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency.  HHS recognizes that research projects are often limited in scope for many reasons that are nondiscriminatory, such as the principal investigator’s scientific interest, funding limitations, recruitment requirements, and other considerations. Thus, criteria in research protocols that target or exclude certain populations are warranted where nondiscriminatory justifications establish that such criteria are appropriate with respect to the health or safety of the subjects, the scientific study design, or the purpose of the research.

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

For additional guidance regarding how the provisions apply to NIH grant programs, please contact the Scientific/Research Contact that is identified in Section VII under Agency Contacts of this FOA. HHS provides general guidance to recipients of FFA on meeting their legal obligation to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to their programs by persons with limited English proficiency. Please see https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/special-topics/limited-english-proficiency/index.html. The HHS Office for Civil Rights also provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/section-1557/index.htmlhttps://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-providers/laws-regulations-guidance/index.html. Recipients of FFA also have specific legal obligations for serving qualified individuals with disabilities. Please see https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/disability/index.html. 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. Also note it is an HHS Departmental goal to ensure access to quality, culturally competent care, including long-term services and supports, for vulnerable populations. For further guidance on providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services, recipients should review the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care at http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=2&lvlid=53.

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 Part 75, 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:

1. Developing the research design and study protocol, including definition of objectives and approaches, sample size and power calculations, and establishing procedures for participant recruitment and follow-up, data collection, quality control, interim data and safety monitoring, final data analysis and interpretation, and publication of results.

2. Establishing a Steering Committee to implement, coordinate and manage the project(s). Awardee(s) will name investigators to serve as members on a Steering Committee and other subcommittees, as appropriate, meeting periodically. Awardees will be required to accept and implement the common protocol(s) and procedures approved by the Steering Committee.

3. Designating Protocol Chairs. The Program Directors/Principal Investigators (for studies involving multiple protocols) shall designate a single Protocol Chairperson (if the Program Director/Principal Investigator does not assume this role) for each protocol to be carried out by the study group. The Protocol Chairperson shall function as the scientific coordinator for the protocol and shall assume responsibility for obtaining approval to implement the protocol from the Steering Committee and for developing and monitoring the protocol. Significant modifications to approved protocols must be approved by the Steering Committee.

4. Implementing collection of data specified by the study protocol. For a multi-center study, each awardee/site is required to ensure that data will be submitted expeditiously to the Data Coordinating Center. Additionally, individual investigators/sites must demonstrate the ability to implement the strategy specifically designed for their individual study population.

5. Establishing procedures for data quality and completeness. Awardees are responsible for ensuring accurate and timely assessment of the progress of each study, including development of procedures to ensure that data collection and management are: (1) adequate for quality control and analysis; (2) for clinical trials, as simple as appropriate in order to facilitate cooperation/referral of study participants by physicians to avoid unnecessary expense; and (3) sufficiently staffed across the participating institutions. For research involving multiple sites, a plan for analysis of pooled data will be developed by the Steering Committee.

6. Submitting interim progress reports, when requested or agreed upon by both parties, to the NIDDK Program Official including as a minimum, summary data on protocol performance. For coordinated multiple awards or a multi-site single award, the NIDDK Program Official may require additional information from individual awardees/sites. Such reports are in addition to the required annual noncompeting continuation progress report.

7. Reporting of the study findings. 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. The awardee must also be adherent to Study Publication and Presentation Policy. The NIDDK will have access to and may periodically review all data generated under an award. NIDDK staff may co-author publications of findings with awardees consistent with NIH and study policies.

8. Any third-party (including industry, academia, and foundations) collaboration should be governed by a research collaboration agreement (e.g. Clinical Trial Agreement, Research Collaborative Agreement, etc.) or any third-party contract mechanism(s) with terms that ensure the collaboration is conducted in accordance with the Cooperative Agreement, applicable NIH/NIDDK policies and procedures, and with written approval from NIDDK Program staff. Any relevant proposed third-party agreements related to the network studies between grantee and third-party will be provided to the NIDDK Program staff and NIDDK Technology Advancement Office for review, comment, and approval to assure compliance with NIH/NIDDK policies and network policies. Further, at the request of the NIDDK Program staff, any other network-relevant third-party agreements must be shared with NIDDK. Failure to comply with this term may prompt action in accordance with NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 8.5 titled: "Special Award Conditions and Remedies for Noncompliance (Special Award Conditions and Enforcement Actions", and Section 8.5.2, titled: "Remedies for Noncompliance or Enforcement Actions: Suspension, Termination, and Withholding Support", noncompliance with the terms and conditions of award will be considered by the funding IC for future funding and support decisions and may result in termination of the award."

9. Any involvement of a third-party (including industry, academia, and foundations) in the study and network activities that includes access to any network study data and biosamples, or study results that are not publicly available, or using the name of the network or study or the name of the NIH or NIDDK, is permitted only after written permission by the NIDDK Program staff who will consult with others at NIH and NIDDK Technology Advancement Office.

10. Study investigators are required to publish and to release publicly and disseminate results and other products of the study, in accordance with study protocols and steering committee policies on publications.

11. Maintaining confidentiality of information: The awardee(s) will maintain the confidentiality of the information developed by the investigators (i.e., protocols, data analysis, conclusions, etc.) as well as proprietary information of an individual company or other entity collaborating with the study. Any exception requires written approval from NIDDK Program staff.

12. The NIDDK has established Central Biosample, Genetic, and Data Repositories for the archiving and storage of data and biosamples collected in large, multi-site studies funded by NIDDK. Prior to enrolling participants, the PI or his/her designee will coordinate with the NIDDK Central Repository to develop a Data Sharing Plan and prepare the collected data for eventual archiving and distribution. In addition, if applicable, the PI or his/her designee will work with the NIDDK Biosample Repository to coordinate procedures for coding, shipping, processing, receipt, storage, and sharing of study samples that are to be maintained in the Repository. All samples and data transferred to the Repositories will be under the custodianship of the NIDDK, although the study’s leadership will have proprietary control of and exclusive access to the samples and data for an agreed-upon period of time. Subsequently samples and data will be available to the wider scientific community in accordance with the NIH policy on Data Sharing (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing/ and, https://grants.nih.gov/policy/sharing.htm, and http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing/data_sharing_faqs.htm), as well as the NIDDK policy for data sharing in multi-center and large single-center clinical studies http://www.niddk.nih.gov/research-funding/process/human-subjects-research/Documents/PublicversionNIDDKdatasharingpolicy2013July2013.pdf.

13. Study investigators are required to comply with NIH Policy on the Dissemination of NIH Funded Clinical Trial Information as stated at https://grants.nih.gov/policy/clinical-trials/reporting/understanding/nih-policy.htm. Per policy, the awardee is responsible for meeting the expectations of this policy. Refer to additional information at https://grants.nih.gov/policy/clinical-trials/reporting/index.htm.

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

An NIDDK Project Scientist with substantial involvement will:

1. Serve as the contact point for all facets of the scientific interaction with the awardee (s). As required for the coordination of activities and to expedite progress, NIDDK may designate additional NIDDK staff to provide advice to the awardee on specific scientific and/or analytic issues. Such staff may include another Project Scientist or Project Coordinator, who will provid direct technical assistance to the awardees to optimize the conduct and/or analysis of the study; or who may assist in the coordination of activities across multiple sites.

2. For multi-center studies, participate in the Steering Committee that oversees study conduct. The NIDDK Project Scientist or Project Coordinator will be a full participant and voting member of the Steering Committee and, if applicable, subcommittees.

3. Serve as a resource to study investigators with respect to other ongoing NIDDK activities that may be relevant to the study to facilitate compatibility with the NIDDK missions and avoid unnecessary duplication of effort.

4. Have substantial involvement assisting in the design and coordination of research activities for awardees as elaborated below:

a. Assisting by providing advice in the management and technical performance of the investigations, coordinating required regulatory clearances for investigational agents used in the study, which are held by NIDDK. The NIDDK may reserve the right to cross file or independently file an Investigational New Drug Application or an Investigational Device Exemption form with the FDA.

b. The NIDDK Project Scientist or Project Coordinator may coordinate activities among awardees by assisting in the design, development, and coordination of a common research or clinical protocol and statistical evaluations of data; in the preparation of questionnaires and other data recording forms; and in the publication of results.

c. Reviewing procedures for assessing data quality and study performance monitoring.

d. The NIDDK Project Scientist or Project Coordinator may be co-authors on study publications. In general, to warrant co-authorship, NIDDK staff must have contributed to the following areas: (a) design of the concepts or experiments being tested; (b) performance of significant portions of the activity; (c) participation in analysis and interpretation of study results and (d) preparation and authorship of pertinent manuscripts.

The NIDDK Program Official identified in the Notice of Award will:

1. Interact with the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) on a regular basis to monitor study progress. Monitoring may include: regular communications with the Program Director/Principal Investigator and staff, periodic site visits, observation of field data collection and management techniques, quality control, fiscal review, and other relevant matters; as well as attendance at Steering Committee, data safety and monitoring board, and related meetings. The NIDDK retains, as an option, periodic review of progress by researchers not involved with the study.

2. Review and approve protocols prior to implementation to insure they are within the scope of peer review, for safety considerations, as required by Federal regulations.

3. The NIDDK Program Official will monitor protocol progress, and may request that a protocol study be closed to accrual for reasons including: (a) accrual rate insufficient to complete study in a timely fashion; (b) accrual goals met early; (c) poor protocol performance; (d) patient safety and regulatory concerns; (e) study results that are already conclusive; (f) low likelihood of showing a benefit of the intervention (futility); and (g) emergence of new information that diminishes the scientific importance of the study question. The NIDDK will not permit further expenditures of NIDDK funds for a study after requesting closure except as specifically approved by the NIDDK.

4. Make recommendations for continued funding based on: a) overall study progress, including sufficient patient and/or data accrual; b) cooperation in carrying out the research (e.g., attendance at Steering Committee meetings, implementation of group decisions, compliance with the terms of award and reporting requirements); and/or c) maintenance of a high quality of research, which will allow pooling of data and comparisons across multiple cooperative agreement awards for common data elements.

5. Appoint an independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) as appropriate for Phase III clinical trials or other high-risk studies, or an Observational Study Monitoring Board (OSMB) for observational/epidemiologic studies; these Boards will review study progress, safety data, and interim results, as appropriate, and provide guidance to the NIDDK. The NIDDK Program Official or their Project Coordinator will serve as the Executive Secretary and/or NIDDK program representative on the DSMB/OSMB.

Areas of Joint Responsibility include:

In addition to the interactions defined above, NIDDK Project Scientist and Awardees shall share responsibility for the following activities:

Steering Committee

A Steering Committee organized by the study investigator(s) will be the main governing body of the study.

The Steering Committee has primary responsibility to design research activities, establish priorities, develop common protocols and manuals, questionnaires and other data recording forms, establish and maintain quality control among awardees, review progress, monitor patient accrual, coordinate and standardize data management, and cooperate on the publication of results. Major scientific decisions regarding the core data will be determined by the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will document progress in written reports to the NIDDK Program Official, and will provide periodic supplementary reports upon request.

The Steering Committee will be composed of all Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s), (including those of data coordinating /statistical centers, if any) and co-investigators as deemed necessary, and the NIDDK Project Scientist. The final structure of the Steering Committee and voting procedures will be established at the first meeting. The NIDDK Project Scientist will have voting membership on the Steering Committee, and as appropriate, its subcommittees. The frequency of Steering Committee meetings will be dictated by a vote of the members of the Steering Committee.

A Chairperson of the Steering Committee, other than the NIDDK Project Scientist, will be selected by the NIDDK, in consultation with the Steering Committee. The Chairperson provides leadership to the Committee by conducting the Steering Committee meetings, representing the study group to the External Oversight Committee established by the NIDDK and by interacting closely with the awardees during protocol development and implementation.

Dispute Resolution

Any disagreement that may arise on scientific/programmatic matters (within the scope of the award), between award recipients and the NIDDK may be brought to dispute resolution. A dispute resolution panel will be composed of three members --one selected by the awardee (or the Steering Committee, with the NIDDK member not voting), a second member selected by NIDDK, and the third member elected by the two prior selected members. These special dispute resolution procedures in no way affect the awardee's right to appeal an adverse action that is otherwise appealable in accordance with PHS regulations at 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D, and HHS regulations at 45 CFR Part 16.

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
A final RPPR, invention statement, and the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout of an award, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

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

In accordance with the regulatory requirements provided at 45 CFR 75.113 and Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75, recipients that have currently active Federal grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from all Federal awarding agencies with a cumulative total value greater than $10,000,000 for any period of time during the period of performance of a Federal award, must report and maintain the currency of information reported in the System for Award Management (SAM) about civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings in connection with the award or performance of a Federal award that reached final disposition within the most recent five-year period.  The recipient must also make semiannual disclosures regarding such proceedings. Proceedings information will be made publicly available in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS).  This is a statutory requirement under section 872 of Public Law 110-417, as amended (41 U.S.C. 2313).  As required by section 3010 of Public Law 111-212, all information posted in the designated integrity and performance system on or after April 15, 2011, except past performance reviews required for Federal procurement contracts, will be publicly available.  Full reporting requirements and procedures are found in Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75 – Award Term and Conditions for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.
Application Submission Contacts
eRA Service Desk (Questions regarding ASSIST, eRA Commons, application errors and warnings, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, and post-submission issues)

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

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

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

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Maren R Laughlin, Ph.D.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone: 301-594-8802
?Email: maren.laughlin@nih.gov

Ashley J. Vargas, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D.N., F.A.N.D.
Office of Disease Prevention (ODP)
Telephone: 301-827-6030
Email: ashley.vargas@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Peter Kozel, Ph.D.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
?Telephone: 301-594-4721
?Email: kozelp@mail.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Todd Le
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone: 301-594-7794
Email: ToddLe@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 Part 75.


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