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

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

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

Funding Opportunity Title

Developmental Mechanisms of Human Structural Birth Defects (P01)  

Activity Code

P01 Research Program Projects

Announcement Type

Reissue of PAR-13-285

Related Notices
  • December 17, 2019 - This RFA has been reissued as RFA-HD-21-013.
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-HD-17-017

Companion Funding Opportunity

None   

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

93.865  

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to support innovative, multidisciplinary, interactive, and synergistic program projects that integrate basic, translational, and clinical approaches to understanding the developmental biology and genetic basis of significant congenital human malformations. To contain costs, each program project will consist of only three component research projects, as well as associated cores. At least one project must use basic research in an animal model system and at least one project must be clinical or translational in nature. The component research projects must share a common central theme, focus, or objective on a specific major developmental defect or malformation that is genotypically, mechanistically, biologically, or phenotypically analogous or homologous in both animal models and humans. Any non-mammalian or mammalian animal model may be used, as long as it contributes to the common overall theme or objective of the program project.  The component research projects should share a common developmental gene, process, mechanism, pathway, or phenotype.

Key Dates
Posted Date

August 15, 2016

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

November 16, 2016

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

30 days prior to the application due date

Application Due Date(s)

December 16, 2016, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on this date.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Available   

Scientific Merit Review

March 2017

Advisory Council Review

May 2017

Earliest Start Date

July 2017

Expiration Date

December 17, 2016

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

** ELECTRONIC APPLICATION SUBMISSION REQUIRED**

NIH’s new Application Submission System & Interface for Submission Tracking (ASSIST) is available for the electronic preparation and submission of multi-project applications through Grants.gov to NIH. Applications to this FOA must be submitted electronically using ASSIST or an institutional system-to-system solution; paper applications will not be accepted. ASSIST replaces the Grants.gov downloadable forms currently used with most NIH opportunities and provides many features to enable electronic multi-project application submission and improve data quality, including: pre-population of organization and PD/PI data, pre-submission validation of many agency business rules and the generation of data summaries in the application image used for review.

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Multi-Project Instructions for 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) and where instructions in the Application Guide are directly related to the Grants.gov downloadable forms currently used with most NIH opportunities. Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.


Table of Contents

Part 1. Overview Information
Part 2. Full Text of the Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Section II. Award Information
Section III. Eligibility Information
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
Section V. Application Review Information
Section VI. Award Administration Information
Section VII. Agency Contacts
Section VIII. Other Information


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

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages innovative, multidisciplinary, interactive, and synergistic program project grant applications from institutes/organizations that propose to integrate basic, translational, and clinical approaches to understanding the developmental biology and genetic basis of major congenital structural human malformations. The projects must share a common central theme, focus, or objective on a specific developmental structural malformation or class of anomalies that is genotypically, mechanistically, biologically, or phenotypically analogous or homologous in both animal models and humans.

 
Background

Annually, almost five percent of all live births in the United States (more than 180,000 babies) involve babies born with birth defects when broadly defined to include both structural and functional/metabolic abnormalities.  Next to accidents, birth defects are the leading cause of death in children; they account for half of all pediatric hospitalizations.  In terms of economic costs, billions of dollars are spent over the lifetimes of children born with major, severe, nonfatal birth defects.  In sum, structural birth defects have a great impact on public health, socioeconomics, and family life.  A high priority goal for NICHD is to address the problem of structural birth defects with the ultimate goal of facilitating advances in our understanding of the etiology, mechanisms, epidemiology, prevention, and treatment of structural birth defects.

The Developmental Biology and Structural Variation Branch at NICHD has supported a Birth Defects Initiative since 2000 by funding a number of research grants and program project grants focused on the use of molecular genetic approaches for the study of the genetic susceptibility, genetic epidemiology, and developmental biology of human congenital structural malformations.  These grants established the basis for the Birth Defects Working Group whose investigators meet annually to present research updates, share ideas and technical advances, establish new collaborations, and provide input to NICHD staff.  The objective is to capitalize on the rapid and revolutionary discoveries occurring as a result of the Human Genome Project.  The ultimate goal is to enhance the translation of basic knowledge and insights from functional genomic studies into the development of new, innovative, and efficacious strategies for the molecular diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of human structural birth defects.  Investigators funded through this FOA will become part of NICHD’s Birth Defects Working Group comprised of investigators funded through prior FOAs issued under NICHD’s Structural Birth Defects Initiative. 

This FOA invites P01 applications in order to broaden the base of basic scientists and clinicians involved in the Birth Defects Working Group, to enhance this research effort, and to promote the translation of advances from the bench to bedside.

Essential Features of a Program Project: 
  • There must be a unifying, well-defined goal or central research theme to which each Research Project relates and contributes scientifically, thereby producing a synergistic environment that allows each research effort to share the creative strengths of the other projects.
  • The program involves interrelated Research Projects and collaborating investigators, yielding results beyond those achievable if each project were carried out separately. Thus, the program’s overall scientific merit is expected to be greater than the sum of its parts.
  • Each Research Project must independently have significant and substantial scientific merit, as assessed by peer review, and must complement the other Research Projects in the program.
  • Research Projects should be supported by the Administrative Core and any other appropriate Cores in order to enhance the research objectives.
  • The PD/PI must possess recognized scientific and administrative competence, devote a substantial commitment of effort to the program, and exercise leadership in maintaining program quality.
  • Program Projects require the participation of established investigators in several disciplines or investigators with special expertise in several areas of one discipline. All Senior/Key Personnel (PDs/PIs, Project Leads, Core Leads) must contribute to, and share in, the responsibilities of fulfilling the program objectives.

The Program Project size should be planned carefully.  The program must be comprised of three meritorious R01-type Research Projects to permit an effective collaborative effort among the participating investigators.  Research efforts should not be so diverse and diffuse in scope as to hinder productive collaboration.  In such instances of diverse and diffuse scope, consideration should be given to submitting individual R01 research project grant applications to an appropriate FOA.  In addition, P01s that are too large may inhibit communication and interaction among collaborators and, as a result, become less effective.  For the purposes of this FOA, in order to contain costs, each P01 will consist of only three R01-type Research Projects, an Administrative Core, and a maximum of two additional associated cores. 

P01 Program Projects supported by NICHD may only be renewed for one additional 5-year period.  At the end of that time, the Projects within the program should be sufficiently developed to warrant independent support as R01 grants.  Applications for support beyond the first renewal period must be submitted as "new" applications and must include significant changes in scope and direction and, when appropriate, changes in individual project leadership. Exceptions to this policy may be approved by NICHD staff, but such exceptions will be rare and granted only with extraordinary justification. 

Research Scope

This FOA encourages research on developmental defects of generalized body patterning and localized dysmorphic anomalies across a variety of organ systems, such as the cardiac, genitourinary, digestive, lymphatic, nervous, respiratory, craniofacial, and musculoskeletal systems, that lead to clinically significant and major congenital structural malformations.  In particular, studies focusing on modifier genes, gene regulatory networks (GRN), and the role of quantitative aspects of development, such as gene dosage or copy number variation, as well as imaging of developmental processes are encouraged. 

While applications that focus on developmental disorders that result in intellectual disabilities and related neurobehavioral disabilities are of interest to the NICHD, they are outside the scope of this FOA.  However, studies that address syndromes of which intellectual disabilities are a part of the phenotype will be considered as long as the project focuses only on the structural defects associated with the phenotype.

Proposed projects should be innovative, multidisciplinary, interactive, and synergistic while integrating basic, translational, and clinical approaches.  Of the three R01-type Research Projects, at least one research project must use basic research in an animal model system and at least one project must be clinical or translational in nature.  The R01-type Research Projects must share a common central theme, focus, or objective on a specific developmental structural malformation or class of anomalies that are genotypically, mechanistically, biologically, or phenotypically analogous or homologous in both animal models and humans. 

The basic science project(s) may include but are not limited to studies to: 1) identify and characterize the genes, gene modifiers, gene products, mutations, polymorphisms, or multigene and gene/environment interactions that play a role in normal and abnormal embryonic patterning and organogenesis; 2) elucidate the developmental biological processes and pathways, the biochemical, biophysical, cellular, molecular, genetic mechanisms, or spatial and temporal gene expression patterns which are involved in dysmorphogenesis; and/or 3) examine how teratogens and nutritional deficiencies disrupt or modify gene expression and basic developmental processes.

The translational/clinical project(s) may include but are not limited to studies to: 1) characterize and classify genotypes and phenotypes of human malformations that are comparable in the animal models being examined; 2) develop physical, genetic, and comparative maps for genes involved in human malformations; 3) identify the developmental genetic processes and molecular pathogenesis of human malformations utilizing animal models; and 4) develop innovative molecular genetic methods, technologies, and strategies to enhance the diagnosis of human malformations or aid in the intervention to ameliorate the formation of the birth defects.

Applications may include, but are not limited to, new and innovative approaches to investigate: 1) genetic and epigenetic defects, nutritional deficiencies, and teratogens that perturb, modify, or alter gene expression during early development; 2) the identity and function of transcription and growth factors in normal and abnormal gastrulation, embryogenesis, organogenesis, and patterning, as well as their modification by environmental agents; and 3) defective embryonic developmental processes and pathways that ultimately lead to malformations.

Areas of research appropriate for this FOA include, but are not limited to:

  • Studies of developmental genes, gene products, transcription factors, small RNAs, and growth factors that function and interact to regulate cell proliferation, cell differentiation, apoptosis, cell migration, or cell fate during normal embryonic development and abnormal development leading to a structural defect;
  • Studies to identify, map, and characterize genes that play a role in signal transduction and biochemical pathways, cell fate determination, gastrulation, embryogenesis, organogenesis, or body patterning and how developmental defects, mutations, or susceptible polymorphisms lead to malformations;
  • Studies using a systems biology approach toward understanding the complex networks of interactions between numerous genes and proteins controlling normal and abnormal development;
  • Studies to understand how disruptions in biophysical and biomechanical processes might lead to known structural defects;
  • Investigations into the use of small molecules to identify those that ameliorate a structural defect;
  • Investigations of pharmaceutical, nutritional, and teratogenic agents and factors that alter genes and developmental processes and pathways that result in dysmorphologies;
  • Examination of genes and molecular mechanisms and interactions that control normal and abnormal body axes and symmetry during development;
  • Investigations of the role of imprinting and epigenetic factors in developmental processes and formation of major congenital malformations;
  • Investigations to characterize and classify genotype/phenotypes of hereditary human malformations and correlate them to homologs in animal models;
  • Development and validation of new and/or improved animal models to study the genes, mutations, mechanisms, and developmental processes and pathways that cause human malformations;
  • Efforts to define pleiotropic effects that genes and their modifiers have in the spatial and temporal development of embryonic and/or fetal anomalies;
  • Imaging and gene expression studies to investigate and monitor the developmental pathogenesis of dysmorphic features;
  • Investigation of the influence of gene dosage on developmental processes and the etiology of birth defects;
  • Examination of the role and developmental biology of neural crest cells and how defects in their cell proliferation, differentiation, migration, and patterning may result in major structural birth defects;
  • Identification and characterization of polymorphisms/mutations of metabolic genes that function in the development of structural birth defects.

The topics listed above are only examples, are not in priority order, and are not intended to be all-inclusive. Investigators are encouraged to explore and develop new, innovative projects and research cores that are consistent with the overall objectives of this FOA.

Research Cores

The aim of a core is to provide support and enhance the progress, productivity, cost-effectiveness, and outcome of the research projects. While the Administrative Core is required, up to two additional cores are allowed.  Applicants are encouraged to make use of recent technological advances in developmental biology, genetics, and genomics in their projects and, when applicable, to utilize resources via research cores. The research cores should be structured to share work effort and research resources (e.g., biotechnology, high-throughput instrumentation, microarrays, oligonucleotide chips, animal model development, and technical assistance) among the research projects in the most cost-effective manner.  A core must be utilized by at least two of the three component research projects and preferably by all three.   

Participation in NICHD’s Birth Defects Working Group

The PD(s)/PI(s) for the overall grant and the Project Lead for each research project should plan to participate in the NICHD-sponsored Birth Defects Working Group.  This group consists of investigators funded through NICHD's Birth Defects Initiative and provides a forum for all investigators to communicate, discuss the progress of their research, exchange ideas and information, troubleshoot technical issues, share resources, and foster collaborations that are relevant to the research goals of the Birth Defects Initiative as well as provide input to NICHD staff. This requirement is designed to establish an interactive group of investigators who are interested in multidisciplinary approaches to enhancing our understanding of the genetic epidemiology, etiology, pathogenesis, developmental biology, and genetics of structural birth defects.  Periodic meetings will be organized by members of the Working Group in conjunction with others from the structural birth defects research community to facilitate these goals. 

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

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

Grant: A support mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity.

Application Types Allowed

New
Renewal
Resubmission
Revision

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

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NICHD intends to commit $3,000,000 in FY 2017 to fund up to two awards.

Award Budget

New (Type 1) and Renewal (Type2) applications may request up to $1,000,000 in direct costs (excluding subcontract Facilities and Administrative [F&A] costs) for each project year.  Direct costs for each project year may exceed $1,000,000 with appropriate scientific justification provided subtotal direct costs do not exceed $5,000,000 over 5 years.

No annual increases in noncompeting years may be requested.

Applicants should discuss equipment requests with NICHD staff early in the planning phase and must receive permission from the Institute to include equipment costs in their budget request. Final decisions on equipment requests will depend on the nature of the justification and the Institute's fiscal situation.

Award Project Period

The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period.  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 in response to this FOA.

Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants
Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

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

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

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

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

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

For-Profit Organizations

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

Governments

  • State Governments
  • County Governments
  • City or Township Governments
  • Special District Governments
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized)
  • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
  • U.S. Territory or Possession

Other

  • Independent School Districts
  • Public Housing Authorities/Indian Housing Authorities
  • Native American Tribal Organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Faith-based or Community-based Organizations
  • Regional Organizations
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) (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 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.

The PD/PI of the overall P01 Program Project should be an established scientist with demonstrated administrative capabilities.

2. Cost Sharing

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

3. Additional Information on Eligibility
Number of Applications

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

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

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

The simultaneous submission of an R01 and a P01 application for support of the same Research Project is allowed.  If both applications receive a fundable score, however, the Lead of the Research Project must decline the R01 award and keep the Research Project in the funded P01.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Requesting an Application Package

A button to access the online ASSIST system is available in Part 1 of this FOA. See your administrative office for instructions if you plan to use an institutional system-to-system solution.

Most applicants will use NIH’s ASSIST system to prepare and submit applications through Grants.gov to NIH. Applications prepared and submitted using applicant systems capable of submitting electronic multi-project applications to Grants.gov will also be accepted.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Multi-Project Instructions for the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Grant Application Instructions except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise and where instructions in the Application Guide are directly related to the Grants.gov downloadable forms currently used with most NIH opportunities. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

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

Letter of Intent

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

By the date listed in Part 1. Overview Information, prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • Name(s), address(es), and telephone number(s) of the PD(s)/PI(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Lorette C. Javois, Ph.D.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-435-6890
Email: javoisl@mail.nih.gov

Page Limitations

Component Types Available in ASSIST

Research Strategy/Program Plan Page Limits

Overall

12 pages

Admin Core

  6 pages

Core

  6 pages

Project (use for Research Project)

12 pages

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

Instructions for the Submission of Multi-Component Applications

The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, and should be used for preparing a multi-component application.

Revision applications must include an Overall component and the components that are affected by the revision. Therefore, the component requirements listed below may not apply to the revision application.

The application should consist of the following components:

  • Overall: required
  • Administrative Core: required; maximum of 1
  • Cores: optional; maximum of 2
  • Research Projects: 3 required; maximum of 3
Overall Component

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type ‘Overall’.

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Overall)

Complete entire form.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement  (Overall)

Note: Human Embryonic Stem Cell lines from other components should be repeated in cell line table in Overall component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Overall)

Follow standard instructions.

Project/Performance Site Location(s) (Overall)

Enter primary site only.

A summary of Project/Performance Sites in the Overall section of the assembled application image in eRA Commons compiled from data collected in the other components will be generated upon submission.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Overall)

Include only the Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) and any multi-PDs/PIs (if applicable to this FOA) for the entire application. The PD/PI of the overall P01 Program Project should be an established scientist with demonstrated administrative capabilities.

A summary of Senior/Key Persons followed by their Biographical Sketches in the Overall section of the assembled application image in eRA Commons will be generated upon submission.

Budget (Overall)

The only budget information included in the Overall component is the Estimated Project Funding section of the SF424 (R&R) Cover.  

A budget summary in the Overall section of the assembled application image in eRA Commons compiled from detailed budget data collected in the other components will be generated upon submission.

PHS 398 Research Plan (Overall)

Introduction to Application: For Resubmission and Revision applications, an Introduction to Application is required in the Overall component.

Specific Aims: Include Specific Aims for the overall program project.  

Research Strategy: Describe the major themes of the overall Program Project, its goals and objectives, background information, and the overall importance of the research to the theme of this program.  Explain the strategy for achieving the goals defined for the overall program and how each Research Project and Core relate to that strategy. Explain how the different aspects of the organization, including key personnel, will coordinate and communicate, why they are essential to accomplishing the overall goal of the research, and how the combined resources create an overall program that is more than the sum of its parts. Include all necessary tables, graphs, figures, diagrams and charts in this section.  In addition, provide the following information: 

  •   History of collaboration (if applicable), Purpose, and Objectives of the Program - Discuss the overall P01 program's objectives and general plans for the proposed grant period.
  •   Organization of the Program - Describe the organizational framework of the Program and provide an organizational chart.
  •   Research Program - Discuss the proposed research program, highlighting its central theme. Describe the relationship between the three Research Projects and the Cores to the central theme. At least one Research Project must use basic research in an animal model system and at least one Research Project must be clinical or translational in nature.  If a foreign Research Project is part of the P01, include a justification for why the research cannot be performed in the US, clearly stating what unique resource (e.g., unusual talent, resources, or populations) the foreign component brings to the P01.
  •   Description of Assurances and Collaborative Agreements - Provide an overview and rationale for any collaborative and cooperative endeavors or subcontracts. Letters of Support for these arrangements must be included as described in Letters of Support below.

Letters of Support: Include letters of support/agreement for any collaborative/cooperative arrangements, subcontracts, or consultants.  Letters of support for the Program Project overall should be included with the Overall Component, especially letters that document institutional support for the program project.  Examples of institutional support could include purchase or co-funding of necessary equipment, salary support, or support for subject recruitment. Letters of support for individual Research Projects or Cores should be included with those components of the application. For program activities to be conducted off site, i.e., at an institution other than the applicant institution, a letter of assurance or comparable documentation, signed by the collaborator as well as the off-site institutional officials, must be submitted with the application.  

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:

  •   All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan, including a Genomic Data Sharing Plan and a Plan for Sharing Model Organisms.  Resources to be developed under the Research Projects and Cores should be described in the Resource Sharing Plan for the Overall Component.

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 Assignment Request Form (Overall)

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

Administrative Core

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type ‘Admin Core.’

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Administrative Core)

Complete only the following fields:

  • Applicant Information
  • Type of Applicant (optional)
  • Descriptive Title of Applicant’s Project
  • Proposed Project Start/Ending Dates
PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Administrative Core)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Administrative Core)

Human Subjects: Answer only the ‘Are Human Subjects Involved?’ and 'Is the Project Exempt from Federal regulations?’ questions.

Vertebrate Animals: Answer only the ‘Are Vertebrate Animals Used?’ question.

Project Narrative:  Do not complete. Note: ASSIST screens will show an asterisk for this attachment indicating it is required. However, eRA systems only enforce this requirement in the Overall component and applications will not receive an error if omitted in other components.

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Administrative Core)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

Note: The Project Performance Site form allows up to 300 sites, prior to using additional attachment for additional entries.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Administrative Core)
  • In the Project Director/Principal Investigator section of the form, use Project Role of ‘Other’ with Category of ‘Core Lead’ and provide a valid eRA Commons ID in the Credential field.
  • In the additional Senior/Key Profiles section, list Senior/Key persons that are working in the component.
  • Include a single Biographical Sketch for each Senior/Key person listed in the application regardless of the number of components in which they participate. When a Senior/Key person is listed in multiple components, the Biographical Sketch can be included in any one component.
  • If more than 100 Senior/Key persons are included in a component, the Additional Senior Key Person attachments should be used.   
Budget (Administrative Core)

Budget forms appropriate for the specific component will be included in the application package.

Note: The R&R Budget form included in many of the component types allows for up to 100 Senior/Key Persons in section A and 100 Equipment Items in section C prior to using attachments for additional entries. All other SF424 (R&R) instructions apply.

PHS 398 Research Plan (Administrative Core)

Introduction to Application: For Resubmission and Revision applications, an Introduction to Application is allowed for each component.

Specific Aims:  Include a brief list of Specific Aims outlining the objectives and functions of the Administrative Core.  

Research Strategy:  The Administrative Core will provide oversight for the Cores and Research Projects and will promote coordination and collaboration within the program and with investigators and organizations outside the program. For the Administrative Core, provide the following information:

  •   Objectives of the Administrative Core
  •   Staffing-  Describe administrative, scientific, technical, and support staff who are not designated as Key Personnel, how those individuals will interact, and mechanisms of supervision/coordination by the Core Lead.
  •   Resources - Describe how the Administrative Core resources will contribute to the objectives of the Research Projects.  
  •   Services provided - Describe the services provided to other Cores and Research Projects, including the method of determining Core access and space assignments.
  •   Administration - Describe the strategies and processes that will be used to manage the P01 and achieve the overall goals.  Describe the planning and coordination of research activities, the integration of cross-disciplinary research, allocation of funds, management of resources and quality control, the maintenance of ongoing communication, and plans for evaluation of the Program Project by internal or external advisory committees.  Indicate who will be responsible for each of these activities.   Describe structures for day-to-day management of the Program Project, including arrangements for internal quality control of ongoing research. Include information on the authority of the PD(s)/PI(s) and the structure and use of advisory committees.  Do not list specific members for any external advisory committees. The list should only include the type of expertise of the proposed members and their role in advising Key Personnel of the Program Project. 
  •   Include tables or organizational charts, if appropriate
  •   For new applications, include information on past activities or accomplishments relevant to the Administrative Core.   For renewal applications, provide a Progress Report.

Letters of Support: Include letters of support specific to the Administrative Core. 

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:

Do not include a Resource Sharing Plan for this Component.  Any resources to be developed under this component should be included with the Resource sharing Plan for the Overall Component. 

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 Inclusion Enrollment Report (Administrative Core)

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

Applicants with multi-site clinical recruitment may coordinate enrollment through the Administrative core or other Project or Core, as appropriate.  

Core

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type ‘Core.’

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Core)

Complete only the following fields:

  • Applicant Information
  • Type of Applicant (optional)
  • Descriptive Title of Applicant’s Project
  • Proposed Project Start/Ending Dates

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Core)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Core)

Human Subjects: Answer only the ‘Are Human Subjects Involved?’ and 'Is the Project Exempt from Federal regulations?’ questions.

Vertebrate Animals: Answer only the ‘Are Vertebrate Animals Used?’ question.

Project Narrative:  Do not complete. Note: ASSIST screens will show an asterisk for this attachment indicating it is required. However, eRA systems only enforce this requirement in the Overall component and applications will not receive an error if omitted in other components.

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Core)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

Note: The Project Performance Site form allows up to 300 sites, prior to using additional attachment for additional entries.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Core)

  •   In the Project Director/Principal Investigator section of the form, use Project Role of ‘Other’ with Category of ‘Core Lead’ and provide a valid eRA Commons ID in the Credential field.
  •   In the additional Senior/Key Profiles section, list Senior/Key persons that are working in the component.
  •   Include a single Biographical Sketch for each Senior/Key person listed in the application regardless of the number of components in which they participate. When a Senior/Key person is listed in multiple components, the Biographical Sketch can be included in any one component.
  •   If more than 100 Senior/Key persons are included in a component, the Additional Senior Key Person attachments should be used.   

Budget (Core)

Budget forms appropriate for the specific component will be included in the application package.

Note: The R&R Budget form included in many of the component types allows for up to 100 Senior/Key Persons in section A and 100 Equipment Items in section C prior to using attachments for additional entries. All other SF424 (R&R) instructions apply.

PHS 398 Research Plan (Core)

Introduction to Application: For Resubmission and Revision applications, an Introduction to Application is allowed for each component.

Specific Aims:  Include a brief list of Specific Aims outlining the objectives and functions of the Core.     

Research Strategy:  Provide the following information:

  • Objectives of the Core
  • Staffing:  Description of how the Core resources will contribute to the objectives of the Research Projects.
  • Services provided:  Description of the services provided to other Cores and Research Projects as well as the process for prioritizing requests for use of Core facilities by the various Research Projects.  If a Core already exists, include a description of past services provided, new technologies developed, changes in protocols or Core administration, and other significant developments.
  • Management:  Description of overall management of the Core, decision-making process for use of Core services, and plans for cost-effectiveness and quality control.
  • Utilization of Core:  Provide a summary of past and/or projected usage of the Core services (e.g., assays performed, animals supplied, etc.).  

Letters of Support: Include Letters of Support specific to the Core.

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:

Do not include a Resource Sharing Plan for this Component.  Any resources to be developed under this component should be included with the Resource Sharing Plan for the overall Component.

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 Inclusion Enrollment Report (Core)

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

Applicants with multi-site clinical recruitment may coordinate enrollment through the Administrative Core or other Project or Core, as appropriate. 

 
Research Project

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type ‘Project.’

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Research Project)

Complete only the following fields:

  • Applicant Information
  • Type of Applicant (optional)
  • Descriptive Title of Applicant’s Project
  • Proposed Project Start/Ending Dates

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Research Project)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Research Project)

Human Subjects: Answer only the ‘Are Human Subjects Involved?’ and 'Is the Project Exempt from Federal regulations?’ questions.

Vertebrate Animals: Answer only the ‘Are Vertebrate Animals Used?’ question.

Project Narrative:  Do not complete. Note: ASSIST screens will show an asterisk for this attachment indicating it is required. However, eRA systems only enforce this requirement in the Overall component and applications will not receive an error if omitted in other components.

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Research Project)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

Note: The Project Performance Site form allows up to 300 sites, prior to using additional attachment for additional entries.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Research Project)

  • In the Project Director/Principal Investigator section of the form, use Project Role of ‘Other’ with Category of ‘Project Lead’ and provide a valid eRA Commons ID in the Credential field.
  • In the additional Senior/Key Profiles section, list Senior/Key persons that are working in the component.
  • Include a single Biographical Sketch for each Senior/Key person listed in the application regardless of the number of components in which they participate. When a Senior/Key person is listed in multiple components, the Biographical Sketch can be included in any one component.
  • If more than 100 Senior/Key persons are included in a component, the Additional Senior Key Person attachments should be used.   

Budget (Research Project)

Budget forms appropriate for the specific component will be included in the application package.

Note: The R&R Budget form included in many of the component types allows for up to 100 Senior/Key Persons in section A and 100 Equipment Items in section C prior to using attachments for additional entries. All other SF424 (R&R) instructions apply.

The Project Lead should plan to attend periodic meetings organized by members of the NICHD Structural Birth Defects Working Group in conjunction with others from the structural birth defects research community.  Funds to pay for this travel should be included in the budget request for the project.

Applicants should include funds in their budget to attend  meetings organized by NICHD's Birth Defects Working Group annually.

PHS 398 Research Plan (Research Project)

Introduction to Application: For Resubmission and Revision applications, an Introduction to Application is allowed for each component.

Specific Aims: Include a brief list of Specific Aims outlining the objectives for the Research Project.     

Research Strategy:  Following the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, start each section with the appropriate section heading - Significance, Innovation, Approach. Clearly describe the project's objectives and explain its relevance to the overall program's theme.  Specify the biomedical significance of the proposed work. As part of the Research Strategy, include information of preliminary studies, data, and/or prior experience pertinent to this application. For renewal applications, provide a Progress Report.  Describe the Research Project's use of Core services, including why the services are needed and the advantages and cost effectiveness of Core usage for the Project.      

Letters of Support: Include Letters of Support specific to the Research Project.   

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:

Do not include a Resource Sharing Plan for this Component.  Any resources to be developed under this component should be included with the Resource Sharing Plan for the Overall Component.

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 Inclusion Enrollment Report (Research Project)

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

Applicants with multi-site clinical recruitment may coordinate enrollment through the Administrative Core or other Project or Core, as appropriate.

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) using ASSIST or other electronic submission systems. 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.

For information on how your application will be automatically assembled for review and funding consideration after submission go to: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/ElectronicReceipt/files/Electronic_Multi-project_Application_Image_Assembly.pdf.

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. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Guidelines for Applicants Experiencing System Issues. For assistance with application submission, contact the Application Submission Contacts in Section VII.

Important reminders:

All PD(s)/PI(s) and component Project Leads 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.

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 (SAM). 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.

Requests of $500,000 or more for direct costs in any year

Applicants requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs in any year (excluding consortium F&A) must contact a Scientific/ Research Contact at least 6 weeks before submitting the application and follow the Policy on the Acceptance for Review of Unsolicited Applications that Request $500,000 or More in Direct Costs as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Post Submission Materials

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

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria

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

For this particular announcement, note the following:  peer review of NICHD Program Project applications focuses on three areas:  (1) review of the individual Research Projects; (2) review of the individual Cores; (3) review of the P01 program as an integrated collection of Projects and Cores oriented around a central theme as well as the overall merit of the program.

Overall Impact - Overall

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the Program 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 Program Project proposed).

Scored Review Criteria - Overall

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 Program Project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

Significance

Does the Program 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 Program 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)

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

Innovation

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

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the Program 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 Program Project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?     

Environment

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

Additional Review Criteria - Overall

As applicable for the Program 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.

Program Project as an Integrated Effort

The overall Program Project will be evaluated as an integrated research effort focused on one or more research areas listed under Research Scope. The relationship and contributions of each Research Project and Core to the central theme will be discussed and evaluated.  The assessment will take into consideration all proposed Research Projects and Cores, including any with poor ratings.  The review of the Program Project as an integrated effort will include the following criteria:

  •   Will there be coordination, cohesiveness, and synergy among the Research Projects and Cores as they relate to the common theme of the Program Project?
  •   Are there clear advantages of conducting the proposed research as a Program Project rather than through separate Research Projects?
  •   Are mechanisms proposed for regular communication and coordination among investigators in the Program Project?
  •   Are there effective administrative structures for the day-to-day management of the Program Project, including arrangements for internal quality control of ongoing research?
  •   Is an effective method in place to periodically evaluate the progress of the overall Program Project?
Protections for Human Subjects

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

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

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

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

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following 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

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

Renewals

For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the last funding period.

Revisions

For Revisions, the committee will consider the appropriateness of the proposed expansion of the scope of the project. If the Revision application relates to a specific line of investigation presented in the original application that was not recommended for approval by the committee, then the committee will consider whether the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group are adequate and whether substantial changes are clearly evident.

Additional Review Considerations - Overall

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

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable

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 . All Resource Sharing Plans for Cores and Research Projects will be reviewed as part of the Overall component.   


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.

Scored Review Criteria - Research Projects

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

Significance

Does the Research 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 Research 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)

Are the Project Lead(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the Research 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-Lead, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?  

Innovation

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

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the Research 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 Research 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 Research Project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?    

Environment

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

Additional Review Criteria - Research Projects

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

Protections for Human Subjects

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

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

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

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

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following 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

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

Renewals

For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the last funding period.

Revisions

For Revisions, the committee will consider the appropriateness of the proposed expansion of the scope of the Research Project. If the Revision application relates to a specific line of investigation presented in the original application that was not recommended for approval by the committee, then the committee will consider whether the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group are adequate and whether substantial changes are clearly evident.

Additional Review Considerations - Research Projects

As applicable for the Research 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.

Projects from Foreign Organizations

Reviewers will assess whether the Research Project presents special opportunities for furthering the Overall Program Project 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 of Research Projects need not comment on Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, Genomic Data Sharing).  Resources to be developed through any Core or Research Project should be described in the Resource Sharing Plan for the P01 Overall Component and reviewed for that section of the application only.

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.

Scored Review Criteria - Cores

Reviewers will evaluate the following items while determining the scientific and technical merit, and in providing an Impact Score, but will not give separate scores for these items.

Administrative Core and Other Cores

For the Administrative Core and all other Cores, the reviewers will evaluate the following:

  • Are the qualifications, experience, and commitment of the Core Lead and other Core personnel appropriate?
  • Will the services provided by the Core enable the investigators to achieve their research goals?
  • Is the Core cost-effective, and are there appropriate quality control measures?
  • Is the Core of utility to the Program Project overall?

Administrative Core

In addition to the above criteria for all Cores, reviewers will evaluate the following for the Administrative Core:

  • Does the Administrative Core Lead have appropriate experience in research administration? 
  • Is the decision-making process for evaluating research productivity, allocation of funds, and management of resources appropriate?
  • Is the plan for evaluating the Program Project appropriate?
  • Is the plan for use of internal or external advisory groups effective?
Additional Review Criteria - Cores

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

Protections for Human Subjects

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

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

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

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

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following 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

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

Renewals

For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the last funding period.

Revisions

For Revisions, the committee will consider the appropriateness of the proposed expansion of the scope of the Core. If the Revision application relates to a specific line of investigation presented in the original application that was not recommended for approval by the committee, then the committee will consider whether the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group are adequate and whether substantial changes are clearly evident.

Additional Review Considerations - Cores

As applicable for the Core 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.

Cores from Foreign Organizations

Reviewers will assess whether the Core presents special opportunities for furthering the Overall Program Project 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 of Cores need not comment on Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, Genomic Data Sharing).  Resources to be developed through any Core or Research Project should be described in the Resource Sharing Plan for the P01 Overall Component and reviewed for that section of the application only.

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources

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

Budget and Period of Support

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

       
2. Review and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s), convened by NICHD, in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

  • May undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific and technical merit (generally the top half of applications under review) will be discussed and assigned an overall impact score.
  • Will receive a written critique.

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

Applications will be assigned to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the National Advisory Child Health and Human Development (NACHHD) 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.

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 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.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

Not Applicable

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

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

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: https://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
Email: support@grants.gov

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

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Lorette C. Javois, Ph.D.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-435-6890
Email: javoisl@mail.nih.gov 

Peer Review Contact(s)

Sherry Dupere, Ph.D.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-496-1485
Email: duperes@mail.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Bryan S. Clark, MBA
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-435-6975
Email: clarkb.1@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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