RELEASE DATE:  December 19, 2003
RFA Number:  RFA-GM-05-003  (see correction NOT-OD-04-029)

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) 




o Purpose of this RFA
o Research (Program) Objectives
o Mechanism of Support 
o Funds Available
o Eligible Institutions
o Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators
o Special Requirements
o Where to Send Inquiries
o Letter of Intent
o Submitting an Application
o Peer Review Process
o Review Criteria
o Receipt and Review Schedule
o Award Criteria
o Required Federal Citations


Minority Opportunity for Research (MORE) Division, Minority Biomedical 
Research Support (MBRS) Branch of the National Institute of General 
Medical Sciences (NIGMS) announces a limited competition for supplements 
to Support for Continuous Research Excellence (SCORE) grants to acquire 
laboratory equipment. Although equipment is an allowable cost in SCORE 
grants, these supplements should provide SCORE individual PIs or groups of 
PIS with equipment that is either not readily available or lacking but 
that is essential for meeting the specific aims of SCORE funded projects 
or those of the parent grant. 

Supplemental funds may be used to purchase new equipment for meeting the 
specific aims of SCORE parent grants, including those of funded core 
facilities, the specific aims of individual SCORE projects, or to upgrade 
equipment currently being used in SCORE programs including equipment used 
in a core facility.  

Types of Equipment Requests

Individual Equipment Items:  Applicants may request costs for individual 
pieces of equipment necessary to facilitate progress in a particular 
SCORE-funded research subproject.  Justification for the equipment should 
be based on its utility to drive the research forward and its present 
unavailability at that institution.
Multi-user research core facilities:  Costs for multi-user research core 
facilities are allowable.  The core may include substantial equipment and 
services that will be shared by one or more SCORE-funded regular research 
or pilot subprojects.  A plan for access to the facility, its maintenance, 
management and use must be included.  The core may also include a 
technical assistant to maintain and service the equipment and instruct 
others in its use.  To aid in the review, it is suggested that a tabular 
summary show the estimated or actual proportional use of this core 
component by each SCORE-funded project and other investigators (including 
non-SCORE funded investigators).  Justify this core component by 
discussing ways in which these centralized services improve quality, bring 
about an economy of effort, and/or save overall costs as compared to their 
inclusion as part of one or more SCORE-funded research projects.  Plans to 
maintain the core facility beyond the grant period should be discussed.  
Support for large pieces of equipment, however, may be limited by the NIH 
MBRS budget.  

This RFA for competing supplements (Type 3) will use an existing NIH S06 
award mechanism.  As an applicant you will be solely responsible for 
planning, directing, and executing the proposed project.  This RFA is a 
one-time solicitation and awards are not renewable.  The anticipated award 
date is January 2005.

This RFA uses just-in-time concepts.  It uses the non-modular budgeting 
formats (see  
This program does not require cost sharing as defined in the current NIH 
Grants Policy Statement at  


NIGMS intends to commit approximately $3-7 million in FY 2005 to fund 10-
30 equipment supplements to SCORE grants in response to this RFA.  Because 
the nature and cost of the equipment may vary, it is anticipated that the 
size of each award will also vary. Awards pursuant to this RFA are 
contingent upon the availability of funds and the receipt of a sufficient 
number of meritorious applications.  


You may submit an application (Type 3) if your institution has an active 
MBRS SCORE grant and will have at least one year of support remaining at 
the time of award. The supplemental award may not extend beyond the parent 
grant. MBRS SCORE grantee institutions that responded to earlier 
announcements of this RFA or that have previously received funds under 
this RFA are eligible to reapply. 


The PI for this supplement must be the current Program Director of the 
MBRS SCORE parent grant. 


Equipment requested under this RFA must be used to accomplish the funded 
specific aims of the SCORE parent grant or SCORE-funded regular research 
or SCORE-funded pilot projects and may not expand the scope of the parent 
grant or of funded SCORE research projects.  Institutions that received an 
equipment supplement grant in response to a previous RFA (FY 2002 or 2003) 
must give details of the equipment purchased under previous awards, 
including how it is being used and how it relates to the equipment 
requested under this RFA. Additionally, when equipment is being requested 
to support a specific SCORE-funded regular or pilot research project, 
provide a description of the equipment currently available to or being 
used by the PI to accomplish the funded research goals and specific 

Supplement may not extend beyond parent grant.   

A report on the value added by the acquired research equipment will be 
required as a part of a subsequent non-competing grant progress report 
(Type 5), competing renewal (Type 2) application, or of the close-out 
package if a competing renewal application is not awarded.  

Allowable Costs

Under this RFA, only grant applications with a minimum aggregate cost of 
$50,000 and a maximum of $1,000,000 will be considered.  Individual 
equipment (not including the cost of ancillary equipment) costing a 
minimum of $20,000 and a maximum of $750,000 is allowable under this 
program.  Applications requesting equipment outside these ranges will be 
returned without review.   

In addition, when fully justified, support up to $40,000 per year for a 
technical assistant to maintain and teach others in the use of the 
equipment is allowed and may be requested for the term of the parent SCORE 
grant.  Continued support, up to $40,000 per year for a technical 
assistant position awarded under this RFA, may be requested during 
competing renewal of MBRS SCORE grants.  

Unallowable Costs

Unallowable costs include: 
o   Computers for individual use
o   Computers and audiovisual equipment for general classroom use 
o   Individual equipment costing less than $20,000 or more than $750,000 

We encourage inquiries concerning this RFA and welcome the opportunity to 
answer questions from potential applicants.  Inquiries may fall into three 
areas:  programmatic, peer review, and financial or grants management 

o Direct your questions about programmatic issues to:

Derrick C. Tabor, Ph.D.
Program Director, MORE Division
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH
45 Center Drive, Room 2AS.37, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone:  (301)594-3900
FAX:  (301)480-2753

o Direct your questions about peer review issues to:

Richard I. Martinez, Ph.D.
Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH
45 Center Drive, Room 3AN.12, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone:  (301)594-2489
FAX:  (301)480-8506

o Direct your questions about financial or grant management matters to:

Antoinette Holland
Grants Management Officer
Grants Management Branch
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH
45 Center Drive, Room 2AN.50, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone:  (301)594-5132
FAX:  (301)480-2554


Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that 
includes the following information:

o   Descriptive title of the proposed research 
o   Name, address, and telephone number of the Principal Investigator 
o   Name of the applicant institution 
o   Names of other key personnel 
o   Number and title of this RFA. 

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

The letter of intent is to be sent by the date listed at the beginning of 
this document.  The letter of intent should be sent to:

Derrick C. Tabor, Ph.D.
Program Director, MORE Division
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH
45 Center Drive, Room 2AS.37, MSC 6200 
Bethesda, MD 20892-3900 
Telephone:  (301) 594-3900 
Fax:  (301) 480-2753 


Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application 
instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001). Applications must have a DUN and 
Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as the 
Universal Identifier when applying for Federal grants or cooperative 
agreements. The DUNS number can be obtained by calling (866) 705-5711 or 
through the web site at The DUNS number 
should be entered on line 11 of the face page of the PHS 398 form. The PHS 
398 document is available at in an interactive 
format.  For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone (301) 710-0267, Email:

SUPPLEMENTARY INSTRUCTIONS: In addition to following the PHS 398 
instructions for supplements, for example, all supplements are required to 
have a one page introduction; the instructions given below should also be 

RESEARCH PLAN (Not to exceed 25 pages)

Under the Research Plan, the PI should provide the information requested 
below.  This section may not exceed 25 pages.  Equipment quotations, 
letters from collaborators and consultants, and the checklist are excluded 
from the 25 page limit.

Section 1:  Describe how the requested equipment has (1) relevance to the 
institution's goals and specific objectives, (2) immediate utility to 
specific research project(s), and (3) how the investigator(s) will take 
advantage of unique features of the equipment to enhance progress of the 
research project(s).  Describe how the requested equipment will provide an 
innovative approach to the research being conducted.  Describe how the 
equipment will significantly enhance the scientific environment in which 
the research is being conducted and how it will contribute to the 
probability of meeting the goals and objectives of the SCORE program.
Section 2:  Describe the plan for maintenance of the requested equipment 
and how the institution will assist in support of the equipment requested.

Section 3:  Describe your plans to share data generated from the requested 
equipment (if applicable).

Section 4:  Complete Section 3 ("Facilities and Administrative Costs") of 
the PHS 398 Form Checklist.

USING THE RFA LABEL: The RFA label is available in the PHS 398 (rev. 
5/2001) application. Type the RFA number on the label.  Failure to use 
this label could result in delayed processing of the application such that 
it may not reach the review committee in time for review.  In addition, 
the RFA title and number must be typed on line 2 of the face page of the 
application form and the YES box must be marked.  The RFA label is also 
available at:

SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH: Submit a signed, type written original 
of the application, including the Checklist, and three signed photocopies 
of the application in one package by February 23, 2004 to:

Richard I. Martinez, Ph.D.
Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD 20892-7710
Bethesda, MD20817 (for express/courier service)

At the time of the submission to CSR, two additional copies of the 
application and five copies of the appendix materials must be sent to: 

Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Room 3AN.12, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200

APPLICATION PROCESSING:  Applications must be received on or before the 
application receipt date listed in the heading of this RFA. If an 
application is received after that date, it will be returned to the 
applicant without review.

Although there is no immediate acknowledgement of the receipt of an 
application, applicants are generally notified of the review and funding 
assignment within 8 weeks.
The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept any application in 
response to this RFA that is essentially the same as one currently pending 
initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending application.  
However, when a previously unfunded application, originally submitted as 
an investigator-initiated application, is to be submitted in response to 
an RFA, it is to be prepared as a NEW application.  That is, the 
application for RFA must not include an Introduction describing the 
changes and improvements made, and the text must not be marked to indicate 
the changes from the previous unfunded version of the application.  


Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR 
and responsiveness by the NIGMS.  Incomplete applications will not be 

Applications that are complete and responsive to the RFA will be evaluated 
for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group 
convened by the NIGMS in accordance with the review criteria stated below. 
As part of the initial merit review, all applications will:

o   Undergo a process in which only those applications deemed to have the 
highest scientific merit, generally the top half of applications under 
review, will be discussed and assigned a priority score 
o   Receive a written critique
o   Receive a second level review by the National Advisory General Medical 
Sciences Council.


The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of 
biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health.  
In the written comments, reviewers will be asked to discuss the following 
aspects of your application in order to judge the likelihood that the 
proposed research will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these 
goals. The scientific review group will address and consider each of the 
following criteria in assigning your application's overall score, 
weighting them as appropriate for each application

o   Significance 
o   Approach 
o   Innovation
o   Investigator
o   Environment
The application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged 
likely to have major scientific impact and thus deserve a high priority 
score.  For example, an investigator may propose to carry out important 
work that by its nature is not innovative but is essential to move a field 

Applications submitted in response to this RFA are supplemental to an 
existing award.  Since these were previously reviewed using the NIH 
standard review criteria, the following review criteria will be used to 
determine the merit of the supplemental application for equipment:

(1) SIGNIFICANCE: For research subproject equipment: Does the requested 
equipment have relevance and immediate utility and will the investigator 
take advantage of unique features of the equipment to enhance progress of 
his/her research project? For equipment core: Does the proposed equipment 
core satisfy the needs of specific research and pilot projects and is 
there a plan for coordinating equipment core use by several faculty 

(2) APPROACH: For subproject equipment: Is there a plan for its 
maintenance? For equipment core: If technical assistance for core is 
requested, does the technician have the appropriate background and skills 
to maintain the equipment and instruct others in its use?  If a technical 
assistant is not requested, is the plan for its maintenance and service 

(3) INNOVATION: For all equipment: Has the investigator shown that the 
equipment will provide an innovative approach to accomplishing the 
original aims of the research project(s)?

(4) INVESTIGATOR:  For subproject equipment: Has the investigator been 
productive in documenting his/her research findings in refereed journals? 
Will this equipment enhance his/her productivity?

(5) ENVIRONMENT: For all equipment: Will the equipment significantly 
enhance the scientific environment in which the research is being 
conducted and contribute to the probability of meeting the goals and 
objectives of the SCORE program?  For all equipment: Is there evidence of 
institutional support?

ADDITIONAL REVIEW CRITERIA: In addition to the above criteria, your 
application will also be reviewed with respect to the following:

Sharing Research Data 

Applicants requesting more than $500,000 in direct costs in any year of 
the proposed research are expected to include a data sharing plan in their 
application. The reasonableness of the data sharing plan or the rationale 
for not sharing research data will be assessed by the reviewers. However, 
reviewers will not factor the proposed data sharing plan into the 
determination of scientific merit or priority score.

BUDGET:  The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested 
period of support in relation to the proposed research.


Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  January 23, 2004 
Application Receipt Date:  February 23, 2004
Peer Review Date:  June-July 2004
Council Review:  September 2004
Earliest Anticipated Award Date:  January 2005 


Award criteria that will be used to make award decisions include:  

o The likelihood that the applicant institution will fulfill the proposed 
objectives and further the goals of the MBRS program 
o The effective use of previously awarded equipment supplements  
o Scientific merit (as determined by peer review)
o Availability of funds 
o Programmatic priorities


SHARING RESEARCH DATA: Starting with the October 1, 2003 receipt date, 
investigators submitting an NIH application seeking $500,000 or more in 
direct costs in any single year are expected to include a plan for data 
sharing or state why this is not possible.  Investigators should 
seek guidance from their institutions, on issues related to institutional 
policies, local IRB rules, as well as local, state and Federal laws and 
regulations, including the Privacy Rule. Reviewers will consider the data 
sharing plan but will not factor the plan into the determination of the 
scientific merit or the priority score.

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to 
provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information 
Act (FOIA) under some circumstances.  Data that are (1) first produced in 
a project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) 
cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action 
that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed 
through FOIA.  It is important for applicants to understand the basic 
scope of this amendment.  NIH has provided guidance at

Applicants may wish to place data collected under this PA in a public 
archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the 
distribution for an indefinite period of time.  If so, the application 
should include a description of the archiving plan in the study design and 
include information about this in the budget justification section of the 
application. In addition, applicants should think about how to structure 
informed consent statements and other human subjects procedures given the 
potential for wider use of data collected under this award.

proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page 
limitations. Unless otherwise specified in an NIH solicitation, Internet 
addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide information necessary to 
the review because reviewers are under no obligation to view the Internet 
sites.   Furthermore, we caution reviewers that their anonymity may be 
compromised when they directly access an Internet site.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010: The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to 
achieving the health promotion and disease prevention objectives of 
"Healthy People 2010," a PHS-led national activity for setting priority 
areas. This RFA is related to one or more of the priority areas. Potential 
applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS: This program is described in the Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance at and is not subject to 
the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or 
Health Systems Agency review.  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 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 
and 92. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost 
principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy 
Statement.  The NIH Grants Policy Statement can be found at 

The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free 
workplace and discourage the use of all tobacco products.  In addition, 
Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in 
certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which 
regular or routine education, library, day care, health care, or early 
childhood development services are provided to children.  This is 
consistent with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and 
mental health of the American people.

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