Department of Health and Human Services
Part 1. Overview Information

 

Participating Organization(s)

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

NOTE:  The policies, guidelines, terms, and conditions stated in this announcement may differ from those used by the NIH.  Where this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) provides specific written guidance that may differ from the general guidance provided in the grant application form, please follow the instructions given in this FOA.

The FDA does not follow the NIH Page Limitation Guidelines or the NIH Review Criteria. Applicants are encouraged to consult with FDA Agency Contacts for additional information regarding page limits and the FDA Objective Review Process.

Components of Participating Organizations

Office of the Commissioner (OC)

Funding Opportunity Title

Strengthening Global Competency and Capacity in Inspectional Approaches and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) (U01)  

Activity Code

U01 Research Project – Cooperative Agreements

Announcement Type

New

Related Notices
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-FD-18-024

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

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

 93.103

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The Cooperative Agreement will build upon the extensive experience of an institution with well-established and globally recognized collaboration with inspectorates of National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) around the globe in support of data-driven and science-based regulatory and public health strategies and approaches that align with FDA domestic and global priorities to assure a pharmaceutical quality integration of assessment, inspection, policy, and research activities within a pharmaceutical context, including Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).  The funding will catalyze and support the institution's activities that are focused on consensus around what optimal good manufacturing practices are and the competencies for Inspectors within the context of emerging and increasingly complex science, research and innovation in manufacturing of pharmaceutical products.  Based on such consensus, the institution and its network of NRA Inspectorates will work toward a systems-approach and sustainable alignment across and among NRA Inspectorates in GMP quality manufacturing.

Key Dates

 

Posted Date

June 8, 2018

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

June 13, 2018

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Application Due Date(s)

August 13, 2018, by 11:59 PM Eastern Time.

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.

Applicants should be aware that on-time submission means that an application is submitted error free (of both Grants.gov and eRA Commons errors) by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on the application due date. 

Late applications will not be accepted for this FOA.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

August 2018

Advisory Council Review

Not Applicable

Earliest Start Date

September, 2018

Expiration Date

August 14, 2018

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

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing a cooperative agreement where supporting funds will be made available from the Office of International Programs (OIP). The goal of the funding is to strengthen global competency and capacity in inspectional approaches and good manufacturing practices (GMP) of pharmaceuticals through activities that may include, but not limited to:

1- Developing and implementing global norms and standards. 

2- Developing Competent Inspectors in a changing GMP environment driven by science, research and innovation.

A. Background

The increasing globalization of public health concerns and the multiplication of actors involved (in industry and among Regulatory Authorities) make it necessary to further increase harmonization efforts in setting of regulatory requirements, inspecting and evaluating GMP compliance, licensing manufacturing sites, recalling defective batches, and better exchange of information.

National regulatory authorities face complex environments in the regulation of pharmaceutical products to ensure safety and quality medicines are available to their patients/consumers.  It is important that NRAs work nationally and globally to integrate assessment, inspection, surveillance, policy, and research activities to strengthen pharmaceutical quality on a global scale, within a complex and dynamic context of science, research, innovation, and technology.  An essential element is the NRAs Inspectorates/Inspectors working together to enable consistent, sustainable, and internationally recognized competency-based programs so that NRAs can address the conduct of investigations and inspections of pharmaceutical products (especially GMP inspections), as well as provide technical assistance regarding pharmaceutical operations.   

For the FDA, pharmaceutical quality for the 21st century is a priority, modernizing regulatory processes, developing flexible regulatory approaches to support continuous improvement and educating the FDA workforce on manufacturing sciences and other important aspects of improving the Agency's regulatory programs, including inspectional systems and approaches.  This announcement focuses on the critical role of Inspectors in the pharmaceutical product area, with an emphasis of pharmaceutical quality and GMP. 

FDA believes that quality systems and GMP are central to drugs safety and that it is essential to bring together NRAs to a consensus on what it takes to build competent inspectorates performing inspections under harmonized GMP standards and quality systems in the field of medicinal products; bringing these inspectorates together will facilitate cooperation and networking among competent NRAs.  The increasing globalization of public health concerns and the multiplication of actors involved (in industry and among Regulatory Authorities) make it necessary to further increase harmonization efforts in setting of regulatory requirements, inspecting and evaluating GMP compliance, licensing manufacturing sites, recalling defective batches, and better exchange of information. This is increasingly challenging as the scientific and research fields for pharmaceutical manufacturing quality systems is dynamic with a wide array of emerging innovation and technological advancements.  FDA wants to take a leadership role internationally in supporting such efforts as part of its strategy to strengthening regulatory systems to ensure safety and quality of imported products. 

B. Research Objectives

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announces its intention to accept and consider applications for award to applicants who meet the criteria as outlined under the eligibility section for the strengthening of global competency and capacity in inspectional approaches and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) for pharmaceuticals.  The Cooperative Agreement will build upon the extensive experience of an institution where NRAs Inspectorates from around the globe recognize and respect the institution and where the institution collaborates consistently and sustainably with inspectorates of National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) in support of data-driven, and science-based regulatory and public health strategies and approaches that align with FDA domestic and global priorities.  The funding will catalyze and support the institution's programmatic efforts and initiatives with a focus on a global consensus around what is a highly-competent good manufacturing practices/GMP Inspector within the context of emerging and increasingly complex science, research and innovation manufacturing of pharmaceutical products.  Based on such consensus, the institution and its network of NRA Inspectorates will work toward a systems-approach and sustainable alignment across and among Inspectorates in GMP quality manufacturing

The Cooperative Agreement announced in this FOA will support of research-based, data-driven, and science-based public health strategies and approaches. These collaborations must align well with FDA's domestic and global goals on product safety and quality and must support a better and more secured product supply chains. The purpose of the program is to identify, support, develop, conduct, and/or coordinate research efforts relating to the establishment of or the strengthening of current inspectional approaches and Inspectorate capacity in foreign countries for increased safety and effectiveness of FDA-regulated medical products that are manufactured under FDA regulations and destined for the U.S. market for patients and consumers.  The program seeks to advance FDA's mission by utilizing an institution's expertise and extensive international contacts in the areas of Inspections and GMP manufacturing.  The Program will advance and expand research in support of medical product GMP regulations and approaches to ensure that non-compliance with FDA regulations of such products is reduced and mitigated and that imported products to the United States are safe and of high-quality.  Additionally, the Program will provide a public health benefit by creating opportunities for collaboration and research development globally, resulting in better information, increased knowledge of Inspectorates and inspectional approaches around the globe with a complex pharmaceutical manufacturing environment driven by science, research, and innovation dynamics. 

The funding will catalyze and support the institution's activities that are focused on consensus around what is the optimal good manufacturing practices in GMP inspections and essential capacity for Inspectors within the context of emerging and increasingly complex science, research and innovation manufacturing of pharmaceutical products.  Based on such consensus, FDA will support an institution that would work toward a systems-approach and sustainable alignment across and among Inspectorates in GMP quality manufacturing.   

Under this cooperative agreement, the application must propose science-based activities that will strengthen the regulatory systems for medical products, with an emphasis on inspections and GMP, to ensure product safety and quality.  The applicant should track short- and long-term goals and objectives, and demonstrate how the proposed activities relate to the FDA's regulation of pharmaceutical products under the U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as amended.  

The applicant must include the following activities:

1-Developing and Implementing Global Norms and Standards. 

- The applicant will assist the NRA Inspectorates in the development and implementation of evidence-based practices necessary to apply science-based inspectional standards and approaches within currently accepted internationally and whose requirements and procedures work to ensure appropriate implementation and effective and sustainable inspectional operations. 

- As appropriate, initiate research and/or studies that build or expand knowledge around the science, research, and innovation that may impact quality pharmaceutical manufacturing systems and thus, impact the inspectional competencies and capacities needed for GMP. 

2-Developing Competent Inspectors in a changing GMP environment driven by science, research and innovation.

- Development of measurable, outcome-oriented, and science-driven training curricula and/or training program(s) for the GMP Inspector.  Elements could include but not limited to specific area of GMP such as blood products, computerized systems, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), quality risk management, as well as fields of specialization such as Good Distribution (GDP) and Good Clinical Practices (GCP). 

- Development of a strategy or program that helps to strengthen external Inspectorate institutional linkages with relevant stakeholders and enables measurable outcomes for a more consistent and comprehensive capacity building system that results over time in strongly aligned and comparable competencies and capacities across NRA inspectorates with a focus on quality manufacturing and GMPs. 

3-A Plan for Strengthening Inspectorates in Areas that Ensure GMPs. 

- Propose a plan relying on the applicant's recognized methods of capacity and competency building of GMP Inspectorates and Inspectors, utilizing its institutional expertise and emerging challenges for GMP inspectional systems strengthening to support FDA priorities to ensure sustainable approaches enabling effective, high-quality and comparable GMP inspections in the quality and safety of regulated pharmaceutical products.

4-Conduct of Relevant Research Efforts

- Identify, support, develop, conduct, and coordinate relevant research efforts in the areas of science, technology, and innovation advances that exist in and are emerging from GMP and manufacturing for safety and high-quality pharmaceutical products, and to inform future standards development and competency-building approaches in GMP.  Research should inform and help to strengthen the capacity and competency of regulatory GMP standards and competencies of NRA Inspectorates and advance compliance with FDA regulation for the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of pharmaceutical products.  

5-Strengthen Data Collection and Information Sharing Mechanisms.

- Plan, build, adapt, and/or expand data collection/information sharing mechanisms and protocols necessary to facilitate and sustain program information exchanges, analyses, and other research efforts. 

6-Metrics and Evaluation

- Evaluate program activities, metrics, systems, and outcomes, including summation evaluation, to document and disseminate emerging information and results 

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, FDA 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.

Clinical Trial?

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

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

The number of awards is contingent upon FDA appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications. Award(s) will provide one (1) year of support and include future recommended support for four (4) additional year(s) contingent upon annual appropriations, availability of funding and satisfactory awardee performance.

FDA/OC/OIP intends to fund up to $300,000, for fiscal year 2018 in support of this grant program.

It is anticipated that up to 1 (one) award will be made, not to exceed $300,000 in total costs (direct plus indirect), per award.

Award Budget

Application budgets need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project and should not exceed the following in total costs (direct and indirect):

YR 01: $300,000

YR 02: $300,000

YR 03: $300,000

YR 04: $300,000

YR 05: $300,000

Award Project Period

The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period. The maximum project period is five (5) years.

HHS grants policies as described in the HHS 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 FDA support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:

o          Hispanic-serving Institutions

o          Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

o          Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)

o          Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions

o          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)

Other

  • Regional Organizations
  • Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions)

The applicant must:

1) have strong institutional linkages with NRA Inspectorates around the globe;

2) have extensive knowledge of procedures and systems across the globe in the field of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) of medicinal products for human or veterinary use;

3) be a leader in international development, implementation, and maintenance of harmonized GMP standards and quality systems; and

4) have a proven record of working with a varied and wide range of NRA inspectorates aiming at harmonizing and better aligning inspection procedures worldwide by developing common standards, practices and approaches in the field of GMP, by providing capacity building opportunities to inspectors, and facilitating cooperation and networking among competent inspectional authorities, regional, and international organizations, thus increasing mutual confidence in the GMP inspectional arena in the field of pharmaceutical products; and 5) have a proven record in the development of competency- and capacity-building activities and programs to build and strengthen skills and expertise of GMP Inspectors and the development of harmonized inspectional procedures.  

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 HHS 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. 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.
  • NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code – Foreign organizations must obtain an NCAGE code (in lieu of a CAGE code) in order to register in SAM. 
  • 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 FDA 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 HHS 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 FDA will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time.  This means that the FDA 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.
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Requesting an Application Package

Buttons to access the online ASSIST system or to download application forms are available in Part 1 of this FOA. See your administrative office for instructions if you plan to use an institutional system-to-system solution.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Research 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.

Page Limitations

All page limitations described in the SF424 Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed, with the following exceptions or additional requirements:

For this specific FOA, the Research Strategy section is limited to 30 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.  

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

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

R&R Budget

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

  • Applications requesting multiple years of support must complete and submit a separate detailed budget breakdown and narrative justification for each year of financial support requested.
  • If an applicant is requesting indirect costs as part of their budget, a copy of the most recent Federal indirect cost rate or F&A agreement must be provided as part of the application submission.  This agreement should be attached to the RESEARCH & RELATED Other Project Information Component as line #12 'Other Attachments'.
  • If the applicant organization has never established an indirect cost rate and/or does not have a negotiated Federal indirect cost rate agreement, a de minimis indirect cost rate of 10 percent (10%) of modified total direct costs (MTDC) will be allowed.  MTDC means all direct salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and subaward and subcontracts up to the first $25,000 of each subaward or subcontract.  MTDC excludes equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each subaward and subcontract in excess of $25,000.
  • A portion of the budget should be reserved for travel to participate in site visits or attend meetings as requested by the FDA.   
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. 

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, with the following modification:

  • Generally, Resource Sharing Plans are expected, but they are not applicable for this FOA.

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.

PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

The PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form replaces the Human Subjects section of the Research Plan form. FOAs that do not allow clinical trials use this form for human subjects.

When involving human subjects research, clinical research, and/or 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.

 
PHS Assignment Request Form

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

Foreign Institutions

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

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

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

4. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates and times. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission.

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, FDA's electronic system for grants administration. eRA Commons 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. Late applications will not be accepted for this FOA.

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

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

Additional funding restrictions may be part of the Notice of Award.  

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 Applying Electronically. 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 FDA. 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 assigned Grants Management Specialist and responsiveness by components of participating organizations, FDA. Applications that are incomplete, non-compliant and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.   

Post Submission Materials

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

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process.

Scored Review Criteria

Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit.

Significance (25 Points)

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

Investigator(s) (20 Points)

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 (20 Points)

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 (20 Points)

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

If the project involves human subjects and/or FDA-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 (15 Points)

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, but will not give separate scores for these items and should not consider them in providing an overall score.

Vertebrate Animals

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

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)  Genomic Data Sharing Plan (GDS).

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources:

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

Budget and Period of Support

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

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an Objective Review Committee using the stated review criteria.

As part of the objective review, all applications:

  • Will receive a written critique.

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

Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

  • Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by objective review.
  • Availability of funds.
  • Relevance of the proposed project to program priorities.
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Successful applicants will be notified of additional information that may be required or other actions leading to an award. The decision not to award a grant, or to award a grant at a particular funding level, is discretionary and is not subject to appeal to any FDA or HHS official or board.

Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices

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 in the HHS Grants Policy Statement.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All FDA grant and cooperative agreement awards include the HHS Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA.

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.

HHS provides general guidance to recipients of FFA on meeting their legal obligation to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to their programs by persons with limited English proficiency. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/resources/laws/revisedlep.html. The HHS Office for Civil Rights also provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/section1557/index.html; and http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/index.html. Recipients of FFA also have specific legal obligations for serving qualified individuals with disabilities. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/disability/index.html. Please contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights for more information about obligations and prohibitions under federal civil rights laws at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/office/about/rgn-hqaddresses.html or call 1-800-368-1019 or TDD 1-800-537-7697. Also note it is an HHS Departmental goal to ensure access to quality, culturally competent care, including long-term services and supports, for vulnerable populations. For further guidance on providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services, recipients should review the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care at http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=2&lvlid=53.

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), FDA 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 judgment 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 FDA grants and cooperative agreements.

FDA considers the sharing of research resources developed through FDA-sponsored research an important means to enhance the value and further the advancement of research. When research resources have been developed with FDA funds and the associated research findings published, those findings must be made readily available to the scientific community.

Upon acceptance for publication, scientific researchers must submit the author's final manuscript of the peer-reviewed scientific publication resulting from research supported in whole or in part with FDA funds to the NIH National Library of Medicine's (NLM) PubMed Central (PMC). FDA defines the author's final manuscript as the final version accepted for journal publication, which includes all modifications from the publishing peer review process. The PMC archive is the designated repository for these manuscripts for use by the public, health care providers, educators, scientists, and FDA. Please see the FDA Public Access Policy.

Additional terms and conditions regarding FDA regulatory and Office of International Program programmatic requirements may be part of the Notice of Award.

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 (HHS) grant administration regulations at 45 CFR Part 75, and other HHS, PHS, and FDA 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 FDA programmatic involvement with the awardees is anticipated during the performance of the activities. Under the cooperative agreement, FDA's purpose is to support and stimulate the recipients' activities by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the award recipients in a partnership role; it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activities.  Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility resides with the awardees for the project although specific tasks and activities may be shared among the awardees and FDA as defined below.

2.A.1. Principal Investigator Rights and Responsibilities

The PD(s)/PI(s) will have the primary responsibility for the scientific, technical, or programmatic aspects of the cooperative agreement and for day-to-day management of the project or program.  The PD(s)/PI(s) will maintain general oversight for ensuring compliance with the financial and administrative aspects of the award, as well as ensuring that all staff have sufficient clearance and/or background checks to work on this project or program.  This individual will work closely with designated officials within the recipient organization to create and maintain necessary documentation, including both technical and administrative reports; prepare justifications; appropriately acknowledge Federal support in publications, announcements, news programs, and other media; and ensure compliance with other Federal and organizational requirements.

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 HHS, PHS, and FDA policies.

Additionally, PD/PIs will:

1. Participate in site visits or attend meetings as requested by the FDA.  A portion of the budget should be reserved for such travel.

2. FDA may also request data be made available through speaking engagements and publications, presentations at scientific symposia and seminars, while making sure that confidentiality and privacy of the data is protected. 

3. The awardees will provide FDA any data obtained from investigations if requested by FDA. 

4. Any publication or oral presentation of regarding outcomes of this grant must undergo FDA/CDER review and approval process. This process can take 30-90 days.

2. A.2. FDA Responsibilities

An FDA Project Officer (PO) will have substantial programmatic involvement as described below. The PO is the official responsible for the programmatic, scientific, and/or technical aspects of assigned applications and grants. The PO's responsibilities include, but are not limited to, post-award monitoring of project/program performance, including review of progress reports and making site visits; and other activities complementary to those of the Grants Management Officer (GMO). The PO and the GMO work as a team in many of these activities.

Additionally, an agency program official will be responsible for the scientific and programmatic stewardship of the award and will be named in the award notice.

FDA will provide technical monitoring and/or guidance of the work, including monitoring of data analysis, interpretation of analytical findings and their significance.

FDA will assist and approve (as deemed appropriate) the substance of publications, co-authorship of publications and data release.

Financial Reporting:

A. Cash Transaction Reports

The Federal Financial Report (FFR) has a dedicated section to report Federal cash receipts and disbursements. For recipients, this information must be submitted quarterly directly to the Payment Management System (PMS) using the web-based tool. Quarterly reports are due 30 days following the end of each calendar quarter. The reporting period for this report continues to be based on the calendar quarter. Questions concerning the requirements for this quarterly financial report should be directed to the PMS.

B. Financial Expenditure Reports

A required Federal Financial Report (FFR) must be submitted annually. FDA now requires all annual financial expenditure reports to be submitted electronically using the Federal Financial Report (FFR) system located in the eRA Commons. This includes all initial FFRs being prepared for submission and any revised FSR/FFRs being submitted or re-submitted to FDA. Paper expenditure/FFR reports will not accepted.

Annual FFRs must be submitted for each budget period no later than 90 days after the end of the calendar quarter in which the budget period ended. The reporting period for an annual FFR will be that of the budget period for the particular grant; however, the actual submission date is based on the calendar quarter. Failure to submit timely reports may affect future funding.

Performance Progress Reporting:

1.  Annual progress reports are required. The Annual Progress Report will be due as part of the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR).

2.  Grants with Multiple Years: When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR).

Information regarding submitting the RPPR is available at https://era.nih.gov/erahelp/commons/default.htm#cshid=1020

PROGRAM INCOME:

1. The grantee is required to report any Program Income generated during the Project Period of this grant. Except for royalty income generated from patents and inventions, the amount and disposition of Program Income must be identified on lines 10 (l), (m), (n), and (o) of the grantee's Federal Financial Report (FFR) SF-425.

2. Examples of Program Income include (but are not limited to): fees for services performed during the grant or sub-grant period, proceeds from sale of tangible personal or real property, usage or rental fees, patent or copyright royalties, and proceeds from the sale of products and technology developed under the grant.

3. Any Program Income generated during the Project Period of this grant by the grantee or sub-grantee is subject to the Addition Alternative for Program Income and, therefore, must only be used to further the goals of the project for which this grant was awarded.

PRIOR APPROVAL:

All requests that require prior approval must include the award number and bear the signature of an authorized official of the grantee business office as well as that of the PI/PD. Any requests involving funding issues must include a new proposed budget and a narrative justification of the requested changes. If a grantee questions whether prior approval is required for an activity or cost, they should contact the assigned Grants Management Specialist prior to expenditure of funds for clarification.

Below are activities that require prior approval from FDA:

CHANGE IN SCOPE OR OBJECTIVES

CHANGE IN KEY PERSONNEL

CHANGE IN GRANTEE ORGANIZATION

DEVIATION FROM TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE AWARD

CARRYOVER OF UNOBLIGATED BALANCES

NO COST EXTENSIONS

SIGNIFICANT REBUDGETING

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 Notice of Award.

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 HHS 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 FDA 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. 

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 registration, submitting and tracking an application, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, 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)

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission, downloading forms and application packages)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726

Web ticketing system: https://grants-portal.psc.gov/ContactUs.aspx
Email: support@grants.gov

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Layla I. Batarseh
Office of International Program
Telephone: 240-402-4281
Email: layla.batarseh@fda.hhs.gov

Objective Review Contact(s)

Shashi Malhotra
Office of Acquisitions & Grants Services (OAGS)
Food and Drug Administration
Telephone: 240-402-7592
Email: Shashi.Malhotra@fda.hhs.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Shashi Malhotra
Office of Acquisitions & Grants Services (OAGS)
Food and Drug Administration
Telephone: 240-402-7592
Email: Shashi.Malhotra@fda.hhs.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

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

Authority and Regulations

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

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