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

Contraception Research Centers Program (U54)

Activity Code

U54 Specialized Center- Cooperative Agreements

Announcement Type

Reissue of RFA-HD-17-013

Related Notices
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-HD-18-035

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

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

93.865  

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The primary purpose of this announcement is to support and facilitate multidisciplinary approaches to the development of new and/or improved contraceptive methods for both men and women through the formation of Contraceptive Research Centers. This FOA also allows the inclusion of behavioral and social science research projects to inform on contraceptive use and non-use of marketed products or products in clinical development.  The Centers will serve as a national resource for development of early stage investigators electing to pursue careers in contraceptive research. 

Key Dates

 

Posted Date

November 9, 2017

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

December 9, 2017

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

30 days prior to the application due date

Application Due Date(s)

January 9, 2018, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on this date.

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

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

March 2018  

Advisory Council Review

May 2018  

Earliest Start Date

July 2018

Expiration Date

January 10, 2018

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 Multi-Project (M) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts) 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.


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

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

Learn more about the various submission options.

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

The primary purpose of this announcement is to support and facilitate multidisciplinary approaches to the development of new and/or improved contraceptive methods for both men and women. This FOA also allows the inclusion of behavioral and social science research projects to inform our understanding of contraceptive use and non-use of marketed products or products in clinical development.  These Centers also will serve as a national resource for development of early stage investigators electing to pursue careers in contraceptive research.

 
Background

Since 1994, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development NICHD has been directed by federal law to establish three research centers 'for the purpose of improving methods of contraception' (42 USC 285g-5).

In the United States, a large proportion of births, 33%, are unintended—either mistimed or unwanted. According to official U.S. government statistics, for the 2012-2015 period, women aged 15 to 44 reported that 20 percent of births in the last five years were mistimed (the woman wanted a pregnancy, but it occurred sooner than she wanted it) and 13 percent were unwanted (the mother never wanted a baby, or a baby of that birth order—second, third, fourth, etc.) (Key Statistics from the National Survey of Family Growth, I-listing; Mosher et al., 2012).

Research Scope

The objective of this FOA is to use a multidisciplinary approach to develop new, or improve existing methods of contraception for men and women.  This FOA supports method development projects ('Contraception Development Research Projects'). It also allows the inclusion of translational studies ('Contraception Translational Research Projects') to facilitate the pre-clinical to clinical transition and increase the likelihood of clinical success, and behavioral and social science research projects ('Contraception Behavior Research Projects') to inform on contraceptive use and non-use of marketed products or products in clinical development.  The ideal application must have two or more highly meritorious Contraception Development Research Projects and may integrate behavioral and/or translational projects that together form a scientifically aligned, conceptually integrated and cohesive center focused on the development of new or improved methods of contraception.

The funded Centers will be expected to establish or maintain an organizational infrastructure with the scientific and administrative capabilities to support the proposed research.

Contraception Development Research Projects of high program priority are:

  • Male or female contraceptive development based on non-steroidal action.
  • Pre-coital on-demand contraception.

Contraception Development Research Projects appropriate for this FOA include, but are not limited to the following: 

  • Small-molecule lead discovery and optimization for modulation of validated male or female contraceptive targets (e.g., high throughput screening, virtual screening, etc.);
  • Multipurpose prevention technology (MPT) products with both contraceptive and anti-infective properties;
  • Development or improvement of vehicles (implants, transdermal, etc.) for delivery of contraceptive drugs;
  • Male or female contraceptive development projects that involving steroids that act via non-classical steroidal mechanisms (e.g., via cell surface receptors).
  • Clinical or late-stage preclinical translational research to increase the likelihood of successful clinical development of promising method, compound or device. 
  • Clinical trials to assess safety and/or efficacy of new agents with promising contraceptive properties.

The following areas of Contraception Development Research Projects are not within the scope of this funding announcement and are not responsive to this FOA:

  • Research projects not focused on a defined and validated target, delivery strategy or method;
  • Research projects lacking a clear drug/device/method development plan;
  • Research projects focused on the elucidation of biological mechanisms unrelated to a defined chemical molecule of interest;
  • Any approaches that result in modulation of a reproductive blood-tissue barrier (e.g., blood-testis, blood-epididymal) to achieve contraceptive effect.
  • Development of female contraceptive methods based on a classical steroidal mechanism of action unless these methods also have anti-viral properties or are a component of pre-coital on-demand contraception;
  • Preclinical research projects on male contraceptives that act via a classical steroidal mechanism;
  • Research of prospective patient/consumer preferences on theoretical product designs are not permitted as Contraception Development Research Projects but are allowed as a specific aim of a Contraception Development Research Project.
  • Research projects focused on target identification and/or validation, although this research may be supported by the pilot program. 

Contraception Translational Research Projects appropriate for this FOA include, but are not limited to the following: 

  • Projects in support of late stage pre-clinical or early stage clinical programs to identify pharmacodynamic, target interaction, patient efficacy, patient safety or side effect biomarkers.
  • Development of novel models (laboratory, animal) to predict clinical efficacy.

Contraception Behavior Research Projects must be aimed at improving understanding of contraceptive acceptance/use/discontinuation and based on actual use of marketed products or products in clinical development.  Examples of research projects include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Integration of existing research on the needs and expectations of women and men who report having had unintended pregnancies into the development and improvement of contraceptive research;
  • Follow-up studies of clinical trials to identify the characteristics and behaviors of study participants who discontinue or are non-compliant with contraceptive methods;
  • Studies to identify the specific characteristics of contraceptive products—e.g. dosing or application processes, texture, or side effects—that affect discontinuation or ineffective and/or inconsistent use of contraceptive products and examination whether reactions to specific characteristics of products differ by demographic and socioeconomic status;
  • Identification of characteristics of contraceptive products that affect the ratio between the actual use Pearl Index and the perfect use or clinical trial Pearl Index; identification of characteristics of contraceptive product users that are associated with low effectiveness in actual use.

The following areas of Contraception Behavior Research Projects are not within the scope of this funding announcement and are not responsive to this FOA:

  • Re-analyses of extant data sets examining the determinants of contraceptive use in general, or the collection of new data for that purpose;
  • The use of clinical or convenience samples to examine contraceptive use except when the goal is to examine the use of one specific contraceptive product with the aim of improving the acceptability of that particular product;
  • Research that focuses solely on attitudes on contraceptive products. Note: Research that focuses primarily on behavior, but includes analysis of attitudes as they relate to behavior, is within the scope of this announcement. 
Center Description

Centers must include a mandatory Administrative Core and a minimum of three and a maximum of four research projects.  There must be at least two Contraception Development Research Projects.  Funds to support one- to two-year optional pilot projects, either focusing on contraception development (including target ID and validation), translational medicine or contraception behavior may be provided as part of the Administrative Core.  Technical Service Cores that support and enhance the research projects are optional.

A Center should build its overall research strategy on a scientific theme of contraception method development.  If Contraception Behavior Research Projects or Contraception Translational Research Projects are proposed, they must integrate with the other projects to form a scientifically aligned, conceptually integrated and cohesive center focused on the development of new or improved methods of contraception. Centers can have an unlimited number of consortium agreements with institutions or organizations outside of their applicant institutions to incorporate sufficient expertise for an effective multidisciplinary approach to contraceptive research.  The ultimate result should be a Center where the best and most innovative science for contraceptive discovery, development and usage will be pursued.   

Optional Cores:

Technical Service Cores may be proposed.  Examples of optional cores include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Medicinal chemistry core;
  • Screening core;
  • Animal facility core;
  • Protein production core;

Optional cores may be designated as closed access structure or open access

  • Closed Access Structure:  In this center structure, administrative and all technical service cores will be utilized by budgeted center projects only.  Utilization by two research projects is required to justify a closed Technical Service Core facility.  Percent utilization by either of the two research projects justifying the core may not exceed 70 percent.  No internal charge-back system is required.
  • Open Access Structure:  In this center structure, budgeted center research projects, as well as research projects from other Contraception Research Centers (CRCs) or laboratories within or outside of the institution may have access to Technical Service Cores. If Centers choose to operate in an open access format, the PD/PI must have in place management policies that ensure that budgeted center research projects are given highest priority in receiving services provided by the core. In addition, a plan for fair and open access is needed for how the resource, when not in use by Center projects, will be made available to others, including an effective charge-back system.  Centers must establish an internal management policy for evaluating the acceptability of proposed projects from other CRCs laboratories or laboratories within or outside of the institution to access the core facilities. 
  • Centers choosing to configure in an open access format may also propose one or more technical service cores that will be utilized exclusively by budgeted center research projects.  These Centers, therefore, have a mix of open and closed access technical service cores, i.e., in a closed access structure.  The administrative Core in open structures may be accessed only by budgeted Center Projects.
  • Centers configured as a closed access structure may, at a later time, choose to convert to an open access structure by requesting such conversion in writing to NICHD.

Other Center Requirements:

  • The PD/PI has sufficient experience, skills, and competence to oversee cooperation within the Center and across funded Centers.
  • The Leads of the individual components have sufficient experience, skills, and competence to oversee the research projects, cores, and core facilities;
  • Technical resources and facilities for the conduct of the proposed projects are available, including appropriate animal facilities;
  • The applicant institution offers an environment that is conducive to the development of early stage investigators in the field of contraception research;
  • The Center has strong departmental and institutional support and commitment.

Cooperative Agreement Structure:

Centers funded through this FOA will be expected to work together cooperatively and engage in a coordinated research program involving two or more Centers with multiple interacting research projects and, if required, research support cores and core facilities.  The Center Directors will work together to minimize overlap and to facilitate research efforts, as required by research goals of the funded projects.

The research priorities and metrics for success of the projects within the approved research scope will be established after discussions between the awardee and the NICHD Project Scientist. Outside consultants/experts may be asked to participate in these discussions. Once priorities have been agreed upon, the awardee will assume the responsibility for implementation of research activities.  The awardee and NICHD Program Staff will interact throughout the duration of the award to facilitate progress and resolve any problems that may arise.

 
Subcontracting of Research Facilities

PDs/PIs may sub-contract portions of their research they are not able to conduct at their facility or institute to outside vendors (e.g., animal studies, protein production, high throughput screening, medicinal chemistry and x-ray crystallography).  Applicants interested in subcontracting facilities must obtain agreement in advance, provide for the services in the budget, and include a letter of support in the application.  Applicants who desire assistance in identifying subcontractors for animal studies or drug development services are advised to consult the NICHD Program Official.

See Section VIII. Other Informationfor award authorities and regulations.

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

Cooperative Agreement: A support mechanism used when there will be substantial Federal scientific or programmatic involvement. Substantial involvement means that, after award, NIH scientific or program staff will assist, guide, coordinate, or participate in project activities. See Section VI.2 for additional information about the substantial involvement for this FOA.  

Application Types Allowed

New
Renewal

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

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

The NICHD intends to commit $4.0 million in FY 2018 to fund up to two new and/or renewal applications in response to this FOA.

Award Budget

A Center should propose a budget that reflects the actual needs of the proposed projects and costs; such a budget should not exceed $1.3 million per year in direct costs, excluding third party F&A.

Award Project Period

The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period. The maximum project period is 4 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:

o   Hispanic-serving Institutions

o   Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

o   Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)

o   Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions

o   Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

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

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.

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).
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 Multi-Project (M) Instructions in 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:

Daniel S. Johnston, Ph.D.
Telephone: 301-827-4663
Email: daniel.johnston@nih.gov

Page Limitations

Component Types Available in ASSIST

Research Strategy/Program Plan Page Limits

Overall

12

Admin Core

6

Core (Use for Technical Service Cores)

6

Research Projects

12

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.

The application should consist of the following components:

Overall: required

Administrative Core: required; maximum 1

Technical Service Cores: optional; minimum 0, maximum 3

Research Projects: Required; minimum 3, maximum 4.  At least 2 Contraception Development Projects must be included.

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.

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)

Specific Aims:  Include Specific Aims for the overall Center.     

Research Strategy:  Describe the major themes of the overall Center, its goals and objectives, background information and the overall importance of the research to the objectives of this program.  Explain the strategy for achieving the goals defined for the overall program and how each project and core relate to that strategy.  Explain how the different aspects of the organization, including Senior/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, Purpose, and Objectives of the Program

Discuss the overall program's objectives and general plans for the proposed grant period, including research grant history (as a U54 Center) with annual funding level (direct costs), if appropriate.

Administration, Organization, and Operation

Provide information on the authority and responsibilities of the PD(s)/PI(s).  Describe the organizational framework of the Center and provide an organizational chart. The overall Center plan must include internal priorities, timelines and milestones to evaluate success.  Collaboration among Center members is critical.

Resources

Describe how the resources and funding available to the center will contribute to and enhance the objectives of the center.  Information in the Research and Related Other Project Information may be referenced and should not be repeated here.

Research Program

Discuss the proposed research program, highlighting its central theme.  Describe the relationships between the projects.  Describe the relationship of the research projects and any technical service cores; provide the timelines and milestones of projects in tabular form, and describe how progress will be evaluated.  Describe how the components of the center will promote and develop the careers of early stage investigators in contraceptive research.

Description of Assurances and Collaborative Agreement

Provide an overview and rationale for any collaborative and cooperative endeavors or subcontracts. Letters of Support for these arrangements are included as described below.  

Letters of Support: Include letters of support/agreement/commitment for any collaborative/cooperative arrangements, subcontracts, or consultants.  Letters of support for the overall Center should be included with the Overall Component. Letters of support for individual 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.  Grantees are encouraged to consider submission of their data to the NIH Data and Specimen Hub (DASH).  Information about DASH may be obtained at http://dash.nichd.nih.gov/.

A Resource Sharing Plan should be provided for the overall Center.  Any resources to be developed under the individual core components should be included with the Resource Sharing Plan for the Overall Component.  Resources to be developed specifically under the Research Projects should be included with those components as indicated below.

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.

  • Meetings (required) - Funds should be allocated for the PD(s)/PI(s) of the U54 Center and the Leads of the research projects and cores to attend annual Contraception Research and Development Meetings.  The location of the meeting may not be constant and air travel and hotel fees should be budgeted.
  • Pilot projects (if applicable) - up to $100,000 direct costs per year may be requested to support contraception development or contraception behavior pilot projects. 

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)

Specific Aims:  Describe specific aims for the Administrative Core.      

Research Strategy: The Administrative Core will provide scientific and administrative oversight for the cores and projects, and will promote coordination and collaboration within the program, and with investigators and organizations outside the program.  The Research Strategy should describe the planning and coordination of research activities, the integration of cross-disciplinary research, allocation of funds, management of resources, quality control, the maintenance of ongoing communication, and plans for evaluation of the Center Project by internal and external advisory committees.  Indicate who will be responsible for each of these activities.

The Administrative Core may provide support for short-term (1-2 years) and small (up to $100,000/year) pilot projects, if applicable, that enhance the research goals.  Pilot projects are meant to provide preliminary data leading to larger research efforts and are not renewable.  These pilot projects can either be focused on development, translational or behavior research areas.  Unlike research projects, pilot projects may propose to identify and/or validate contraceptive targets.  Centers are strongly encouraged to use the funds to support either early stage investigators or investigators who are not already supported by the Contraception Research Centers program and to use the pilots as a means of launching early stage investigators' careers.  These funds may also support collaborative projects with investigators supported by other CRC centers.  Potential pilot projects should be thoroughly evaluated and selected at the awarded institution.

For the Administrative Core, provide the following information:

Objectives: Describe the objectives of the Administrative Core.

Staffing:

  • Describe how administrative, scientific, technical, and support staff who are not designated as Senior/Key Personnel and other Significant Contributors will interact, and mechanisms of supervision/coordination/governance by the Center Director (PD/PI);
  • Provide an organizational chart.

Resources and Services:

  • Describe how Administrative Core resources and services provided will contribute to the objectives of the Center;
  • Describe the method of determining Core access.

Administration:

  • Describe the strategies and processes that will be used to manage the Center and achieve the overall goals; 
  • Describe the organizational structures for day-to-day management of the Center, including arrangements for internal quality control of ongoing research;
  • Describe how communication will be facilitated among all PD(s)/PI(s) and Project/Core Leads, regardless whether they are focused on a biomedical or behavioral project, and whether they are at institutions other than the lead institution; 
  • Explain the procedures the Center uses, if any, to maximize the efficiency of the Administrative Core;
  • Explain the procedures the Center uses to ensure that early stage scientists and investigators who are not already supported by the contraceptive research center have access to Administrative Core services;
  • Describe how the proposed pilot projects will be solicited, evaluated and selected, if applicable.  For example, will advisory panels be used in the selection process?
  • Internal and External Advisory Committees:  The Administrative Core should establish an Internal Advisory Committee, composed of members of the Center and other institutional faculty, as well as an External Advisory Committee (EAC) composed of members outside the institution.  Do not name specific individuals in the application unless the EAC has already been constituted, i.e., for renewal applications.          Describe the general composition of the EAC, the type of expertise of the proposed members and their role in advising Senior Key Personnel of the Center.  Describe how the EAC will contribute to the oversight and evaluation of the Core facilities and specific research projects.  Describe a plan for assessing research productivity of the center components.
  • Contraceptive Research and Development Meeting:  A Contraceptive Research and Development Meeting will be held annually.  The purpose of the meeting is to exchange scientific information, evaluate product development strategy and discuss collaborations within and between Centers.  It is expected that the PD(s)/PI(s) and Project Investigators from each of the participating Centers will attend the annual meeting and teleconferences with program approximately on a quarterly basis or at NICHD's discretion.  Core Directors and research fellows participating in the projects should also attend the meeting.

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:

All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan.

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.  

Technical Service 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 (Technical Service 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 (Technical Service Core)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Technical Service 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) (Technical Service 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 (Technical Service 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 (Technical Service Core)

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

Costs necessary to utilize a particular core facility by budgeted center research projects must be incorporated into the budget of the project and not the core budget in order to accommodate participation in the required charge-back system.

If the core structure is open access, describe the use.  In addition, a plan for fair and open access is needed for how the resource, when not in use by Center projects, will be made available to others, including an effective charge-back system.

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 (Technical Service Core)

Specific Aims: List the objectives and functions of the Technical Service Core.

Research Strategy:   Provide the following information:  

Objectives of the Technical Service Core:  Describe the overall rationale, objectives, and structure of the core, e.g., closed access structure or open access structure.

Staffing:

  • Describe the administrative, technical, and support staff who are not designated as Senior Key Personnel, how those individuals will interact, and mechanisms of supervision/coordination by the Center Director (PD/PI) and Core Lead.

Resources and Services provided:

  • Describe the current and projected services to other core and research components, 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:

  • Describe the overall management of the Core, decision-making process and priorities for use of Core services, and plans for cost-effectiveness and quality control. Budgeted center research projects should be given highest priority in receiving services provided by the core. 
  • If the core structure is open access, describe a plan to assure fair and open access to the resource and an effective charge-back system for non-center projects.
  • If appropriate for the core, describe how early investigators in contraceptive research will be involved in core activities. 

Utilization of Core:

  • Provide a summary of past and/or projected usage of Core services (e.g., assays performed, animals supplied, etc.). Include estimates of the percentage use of each Core unit by the affiliated Research Project components.
  • Explain the procedures the Center uses to ensure that early stage investigators have access to Technical Core services. 

Letters of Support: Include Letters of Support specific to the Technical Service 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:

All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan.

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 (Technical Service Core)

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

Research Projects

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type 'Research Projects.'

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Research Projects)

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 Projects)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Research Projects)

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 Projects)

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 Projects)

  • 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 Projects)

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 (Research Projects)

Specific Aims: Include a brief list of Specific Aims outlining the objectives and functions of 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 indicate whether the project is a Contraception Development Research Project, a Contraception Translational Research Project, or a Contraception Behavior Research Project.
  • Cite published experimental details as appropriate and provide the full reference in the Bibliography and References Cited section of the Other Project Information form.
  • Clearly describe the project's objectives and explain its relevance to the overall program's theme.  Specify the significance of the work proposed to biomedicine, behavior or both. 
  • Include information on preliminary studies pertinent to the project.
  • 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. 
  • Described any proposed subcontracted resources.
  • If appropriate for the research project, describe how new investigators in contraceptive research will be involved in research activities. 
  • For renewal applications, provide a Progress Report.  Describe the Research Project's past use of Core services, including why the services will be needed and the advantages and cost effectiveness of Core usage for the Project.
  • Provide timelines, milestones, and metrics for success.  Describe how progress will be evaluated during the funding period.  If a particular approach/goal proves to not be feasible, describe how the investigators would proceed in future years. 

For Contraception Development Research Projects, also address the following:

  • Describe how the research project(s) relate to the scientific theme of the application.
  • For any proposed contraceptive research target, address potential off-target effects based on the target's available tissue distribution profile (e.g. RNA, protein data from public and proprietary resources).
  • For any proposed contraceptive research target, identify and address known molecules with high degrees of similarity to the target (isoforms, family members, etc.) and strategies to develop highly specific target modulators with low cross-reactivity to similar non-target molecules.  
  • For any proposed chemical entity, address all potential issues related to compound molecular weight, mechanism of action, bioavailability (if known), toxicity (if known), feasibility of modification/optimization and intellectual property.

For Contraception Translational Research Projects, also address the following:

  • Describe how the research fits with the overall theme of the application.
  • Describe how the research will impact and improve the likelihood of clinical success.

For Contraception Behavior Research Projects, also address the following:

  • Clearly describe the project's objectives and explain its relevance to the overall theme of the application.
  • Describe the populations to be studied that will advance scientific knowledge on factors affecting contraceptive acceptance and use. 

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:

All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan.

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 Projects)

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

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

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

4. Submission Dates and Times

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

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in the policy.

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria

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

Overall Impact - Overall

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the Center 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 Center 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 Center that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

Significance

Does the Center 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 Center 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? Is the proposed research likely to improve the development of new and improved contraceptive methods that have high acceptance, high use, and/or low discontinuation rates, especially among populations that currently have high unintended pregnancy rates?

Investigator(s)

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

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 Center? 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 Center 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 Center 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.

Center as an Integrated Effort

The overall Center will be evaluated as an integrated research effort focused on one or more research areas listed under Research Scope.  The review will assess the level of merit of the Center as an integrated effort, including the following criteria:

  • Will there be coordination, interrelationships, cohesiveness, and synergy among the research projects and cores as they relate to the common theme of the Center? >
  • Are there advantages of conducting the proposed research as a program rather than through separate research efforts?  Will the research efforts taken together have more impact on the field than each separate project conducted in isolation?
  • Will the research proposed in individual projects be enhanced by the Center?
  • If there is a Contraception Behavior Research Project, does it integrate conceptually or directly with the other research projects to inform contraception method development?
  • If there is a Contraception Translational Research Project, does it integrate conceptually or directly with the other research Projects to inform contraception method development?
  • Are effective mechanisms proposed for regular communication and coordination among investigators in the Center, especially for those who may not be at the primary site of the Center?
  • Is there a coordinated Center-wide plan to encourage and support early stage investigators in pursuing a career in contraceptive research?
  • Are administrative structures in place for the day-to-day management of the Center, including arrangements for internal quality control of ongoing research, identification and evaluation of pilot projects, and conflict resolution?
  • Are timelines and milestones in-place that will allow an evaluation of progress to be made? 

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 Center 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

Not Applicable

Renewals

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

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations - Overall

As applicable for the Center 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 .


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.

Review Criteria - Cores

As applicable for each individual Core, reviewers will provide an assessment of its strengths and weaknesses.  The following items should be evaluated while determining scientific and technical merit, and in providing an overall Impact Score for the Core; however, separate scores will not be given for these items.

For the Administrative Core:

For the Technical Service Cores:

Review Criteria for Research Projects

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the Project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the Project proposed).

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

Investigator(s)

Are the Project Lead(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? If Early Stage Investigators or those in the early stages of independent careers, do they have appropriate experience and training? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? If the project is collaborative, 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

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

For Contraceptive Development Research Projects: Have the investigators addressed potential off-target effects based on the target's tissue distribution profile (e.g. RNA, protein)?  Have the investigators identified and addressed known molecules with high degrees of similarity to the target (isoforms, family members, etc.) and strategies to develop highly specific target modulators with low cross-reactivity to similar non-target molecules?  Have the investigators addressed all potential issues related to compound molecular weight, mechanism of action, bioavailability (if known), toxicity (if known), and feasibility of modification/optimization and intellectual property? 

For Contraception Behavior Research Projects:  Are the populations to be studied appropriate to advance scientific knowledge on factors affecting contraceptive acceptance and use?

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

Environment

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

Additional Review Criteria - Research Projects

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

Protections for Human Subjects

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

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

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

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

Vertebrate Animals

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

Biohazards

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

Resubmissions

Not Applicable

Renewals

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

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations - Research Projects

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

Applications from Foreign Organizations

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.


Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources

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

Budget and Period of Support

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

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) 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:

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:

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.

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.

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.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

The following special terms of award are in addition to, and not in lieu of, otherwise applicable U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) administrative guidelines, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) grant administration regulations at 45 CFR Part 75, and other HHS, PHS, and NIH grant administration policies.

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

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

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

The NIH Project Scientists will be staff from the Contraceptive Research Branch, NICHD, and will have substantial involvement above and beyond the normal program stewardship of the award.  The Project Scientists are partners within the research team representing the government's interest in the substantive work of the research team.  The primary role of the Project Scientist is to facilitate the work of the awardees.

Responsibilities of the NICHD Project Scientist:

Responsibilities of the NICHD Program Official:

Additionally, an agency program official will be responsible for monitoring progress, be responsible for the normal programmatic stewardship of the award and will be named in the award notice. The Program Official will:

Areas of Joint Responsibility include:

The Contraceptive Research and Development Meeting meetings will be convened at least once yearly.  The purpose of these meetings is to assess scientific progress, identify new research opportunities, establish priorities, and discuss strategies that will accelerate the translation of preclinical findings into clinical applications. Outside consultants/experts may be asked to participate in these discussions as advisors.

Dispute Resolution:

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

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

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

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

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

Section VII. Agency Contacts

We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.

Application Submission Contacts

eRA Service Desk (Questions regarding ASSIST, eRA Commons registration, submitting and tracking an application, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, post submission issues)
Finding Help Online: http://grants.nih.gov/support/ (preferred method of contact)

Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)

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

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)

Daniel S. Johnston, Ph.D.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-827-4663
Email: daniel.johnston@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Sherry Dupere, Ph.D.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-451-3415
Email: duperes@mail.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Ted Williams 
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-326-6450
Email: williate@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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